Author Topic: What are you watching?  (Read 16310 times)

Agent 204

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What are you watching?
« on: August 05, 2006, 04:41:01 PM »
I just watched Ken Loach's Hidden Agenda, starring Frances McDormand (before Fargo!). It was my third time seeing it, and it still impresses me.
You keep buying these things but you don\'t need them,
But as long as you\'re comfortable it feels like freedom.
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gunnar gunnarson

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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2006, 08:18:29 PM »
Just got home from the Film Buff with The Swimmer and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

Holly Stick

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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2006, 09:10:34 PM »
Last night the power was out for a couple of hours, so I fired up my new laptop and watched the used DVD I just bought of Wallace & Gromit "The Curse of the Wererabbit"  That's my kind of horror! :D
http://www.wandg.com/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0312004/
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

skdadl

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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2006, 05:47:53 AM »
Quote from: gunnar gunnarson
Just got home from the Film Buff with The Swimmer and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.


Gosh. I remember seeing She Wore a Yellow Ribbon when I was a little kid -- in Medicine Hat, probably at the Roxy.

Boom Boom

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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2006, 07:23:25 AM »
Last weekend was the 48 hour Hitchcock weekend, this weekend a 24 hour Mel Brooks marathon - but wasn't able to watch even half of either weekend, just too many other things to do. Watched Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety this weekend. There's a great spoof of 'Psycho' in High Anxiety - hilarious. And a very young and gorgeous Teri Garr in Young Frankenstein. Mel Brooks knew how to cast for his movies. Marty Feldman is hilarious in both of these.

skdadl

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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2006, 07:36:43 AM »
Young Frankenstein has so many lol moments -- my favourite was Madeline Kahn, as she surrendered to the monster, shifting from a shriek to an operatic delivery of "Oh, sweet mystery of love, at last I've found you ..."  :)

Oh, dear. That was very un-PC of me. I seem to be doing a lot of that lately. I guess I'm getting too old.

Boom Boom

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« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2006, 09:58:58 AM »
Madelein Kahn was great in YF, as she is in all of Mel Brook's films where she starts. She's a trouper.

Mandos

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« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2006, 10:52:20 AM »
I just saw two movies last night: Lady in the Water and Miami Vice.  I thought that LitW was better than what the critics thought it was (they panned it, generally) and that Miami Vice was a reasonably good nostalgia piece, with a few problems.

Mandos

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« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2006, 11:20:18 AM »
More specifically, for LitW, well, it follows the standard M. Night Shyamalan formula:

1. Buildup
2. Misdirection
3. Action
4. Anticlimax

The problem for Shyamalan is that he has used it in his 4 (?) previous blockbuster movies, all of which I've seen except for the The Villlage.  So we're kind of On To Him.  Consequently, he has to attempt to misdirect us about the misdirection, and then misdirect us about that, in an infinite regression of meta.  We also know that there's an anticlimax to discharge the misdirection, so he has to execute the anticlimax more subtly.

That means that in LitW, he uses a whimsical fantasy mode and builds up the misdirection very slowly.  This apparently led some critics (on the internet at least) to say that the movie didn't know whether it was a gentle journey of self-discovery---or a softcore horror movie.  I, however, thought it worked.  The humour was enough to disguise the misdirection so that I didn't guess what the actual trick was.

The movie also used multiple smaller misdirections rather than a big one as in Shyamalan's Sixth Sense.  This meant that there were several anticlimaxes, and I'm not surprised that some critics were disappointed---there wasn't a single big payoff in the movie.  I was disappointed because I thought there were some unanswered questions and no epilogue to answer them---I'm a big fan of drawn-out epilogues, whichi s not a universal taste.  What I thought was a lie wasn't, and what I thought was true was a lie, to so some extent Shyamalan succeeded in his formula, but I don't know how he can sustain yet another layer of meta in a future movie, now that we're on to him AGAIN.

Finally, some people thought that the "bedtime story" that frames the plot was too whimsical and childish to fit either a softcore horror movie or a Deep Journey of Self and Collective Discovery.   Yes, names for magical creatures like "narf" and "scrunt" sounded a bit sily, but it was a unique and possibly the only way to tie horror and Deep Deep Thoughts together.

The acting was pretty good.  The Chinese girl was overacted, a bit, as was her mother.  I liked the gentle sadness of the protagonist, the sad apartment community super who nevertheless retains a sense of humour under his melancholy.  The eponymous Lady in the Water played simultaneously-mysterious-and-powerful-yet-vulnerable quite well, and the rest of the very quirky community is warmly and entertainingly done.

One thing I didn't like was the usual stereotype that associates speech impediments with social awkwardness/shyness that is embodied in the main character.  I have a speech impediment not quite as bad as his (though it sometimes gets that way) and it does not correspond at all to shyness or awkwardness in me.  Why, I'm the one-man social life generator of my large graduate programme---most of whom are more introverted than me AND don't stutter.   I didn't appreciate the audience laughing at him for it either, but to Shyamalan's credit, he clearly doesn't intend the stutter to be an object of humour.

(I'm coming around to the thought that stuttering, up to a point, isn't a disability, since I think it's partly responsible for propelling me to where I am now.)

So I liked this movie, on the whole, and give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Mandos

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« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2006, 11:24:24 AM »
Oh, and Shyamalan always appears in his own movies.  In this one he gave himself a larger role (it's usually a cameo), and I found it self-indulgent, since he cast himself as...well, that would be a real spoiler so I won't.  

His wife or gf or something also tends to appear in his movies right from The Sixth Sense.  She's a much better actor than him.

Oh and one reason why the critics might hate the movie is because the movie isn't kind to critics.

Debra

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« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2006, 11:31:21 AM »
Well now you've piqued my interest!
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.” —  Josephine Hart

Mandos

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« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2006, 12:11:08 PM »
As for Miami Vice, I liked it, and would give it 3.5/5.  Unlike Lady in the Water, which is officially PG-13 but actually more innocuous than that, I think, Miami Vice is R-rated for a good reason: lots of sex, violence, and, well, vice.  There are two very extended soft-focus sex scenes, one for each of the main characters (Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx) that each were too drawn-out, but those who WANT to watch the heaving bodies of these actors on the big-screen for extended periods of time will very much appreciate it.

The violence is very explicit, with explosions and car crashes doing to people what you would expect them to do, but they don't focus very long on a particular mutilation.  Small mercies.  However, I went into the movie expecting that so wasn't offended.

The overall aesthetic is cool and glamourous, which is exactly how it should be, being a nostalgia piece for Miami Vice.  And yeah, there's a bit of retro 80's there too.  I like Jamie Foxx's acting, sentimental as his part generally was---I have a hard time taking Colin Farrell seriously, especially as I've come to prefer the Matt Damon style of action hero (I didn't used to, but then after the Bourne movies and Syriana I started liking him).  

Of course, aside from the protagonists, there is a Team of fellow undercover cops who form a not-so-false drug trade gang as part of their jobs---they make deals and then give intelligence to the police.  Two of them are women: Jamie Foxx's character's wife/gf who is their technician and glorified crime-secretary, as far as I can tell, and another woman who is a fighter like the heroes.

But women do not do well in this movie---which is to be expected from anything entitled "Miami Vice".  There are several kidnappings/hostage-takings in this movie, and all of them involve vulnerable and not-so-vulnerable women.  Even Colin Farrell's opposite number and love interest in this movie is problematic somewhat.  She (Gong Li) is the "tough smartly-dressed petite Asian business-chick in the crime world" stereotype.  Now this, aside from being a stereotype, wouldn't be so bad, except that it's clear that when they fall in love, it puts her at a serious disadvantage and compromises her with her colleagues/rivals.  But not him.   So even the toughest chick will crack under the sheer sexiness of the dominating hero...

But I, despite all this, enjoyed it.  The cool aesthetic, the somewhat gory but not drawn out actions scenes, the plot twists were all good and not excessive.  Even the stereotyped characters weren't entirely two-dimensionsal.  So like I said, 3.5/5.

Boom Boom

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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2006, 09:03:16 PM »
Just watched "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" again. Not sure if I liked it or not, but I sat through the whole thing.

suzette

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« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2006, 09:06:24 PM »
I saw "The Life Aquatic...." recently, too, Boom Boom, and had the same reaction.  I was expecting to love it; it had a cast of favorites (including Australian cult figure, Noah Taylor), but somehow it went nowhere.  Sadly.

Boom Boom

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« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2006, 09:10:10 PM »
Bill Murray used to be funny, now I don't know what to think of him.

 

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