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maian
QUOTE (Rua @ Nov 2 2009, 02:07 AM) *
Still one of my all time favourite films. The fantastically honest confessional scene between Dylan Baker & his son about why he did what he did is absolutely hilarious.


The punchline to that is great. In fact, all of their scenes together are brilliant. The first one, in which the son asks him what ''cum/come'' means is one of the most uncomfortably funny scenes I've ever seen.
Atara
QUOTE (Sostie @ Nov 2 2009, 09:57 AM) *
.

ATTACK OF THE CLONES

Does not get any better on repeated viewings. Ignoring the fact that it is part of the Star Wars series, and taking it on it's own merits as a film, it is terrible. I don't remember some the effects being that bad.


It is rather terrible, isn't it. We put it on for a short while and I was shocked at how little was actually there, it was 99% CGI and not good CGI at that, there is no texture or depth or heart in any of the film, on top of that the script is abysmal and the cast look like they can't be arsed. It is no wonder Ewan Mcgregor hated working on those films so much. It sucked all the magic from Star Wars


Choke

Despite mixed reviews, I really enjoyed it.

Waitress

Oh Nathan Fillion, how I love thee. I watched this to mourn the death (in my eyes) of the Uncharted movie if anyone but this man is castm which seems likely. It was sweet and amusing and a good wee watch.

Galaxy Quest

I liked it, even though it is silly. Any film I see these days with physical effects makes me smile

Indy 4

I enjoyed it less second time around. I hated the gopher things and the monkeys and the end alien the first time around and even more so the second. Again, terrible CGI that looks far too clinical. Half of it could have very easily been made for real and it ruins the film.

Maybe Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribean have ruined me, to this day there are still only a few CGI cock ups that have aged badly in either trilogy and, LOTR especially, so much was given depth by physical elements, from bigatures and miniatures and such, that there is a richness and a realness to it that many films are yet to match. Especially those churned out by Lucas and his folks.
logger
Barry Lyndon

Probably Kubrick's most bleak film, an unremittingly unsympathetic examination of ritualistic, hierarchical, pattern-recognition minded apeloids trying to understand, cope with and survive in an uncaring and chaotic universe. Even the viewer doesn't escape scrutiny, as we become complicit in bourgeois self-reflection, only feeling empathy for Ryan O'Neal's titular Barry and his feelings of self-entitled ambition to the point of corruption.

Seeing it it becomes clear why Kubrick's next film was The Shining. Even spooky ghosts offer more hope than being alone in the void.
maian
QUOTE (logger @ Nov 2 2009, 06:20 PM) *
Barry Lyndon

Seeing it it becomes clear why Kubrick's next film was The Shining. Even spooky ghosts offer more hope than being alone in the void.


One of my favourite stories about The Shining is of Stanley Kubrick phoning up Stephen King in the middle of the night (though it would have been early morning in England and he cared not for time zones) and asking him if he thought that ghost stories were inherently hopeful since they promised an afterlife. That was just one of the many things that they did not really see eye to eye on.
logger
Jack Nicholson had a similar conversation with him.
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (logger @ Nov 1 2009, 11:23 PM) *
The Room

Now this is a film that truly lives up to the hype. It has everything, comedy, tragedy, romance, action, scenes with a football being thrown around for no reason, but its greatest accolade could be that it's possibly out-chicken impressioned* Arrested Development. To be honest I didn't think I was going to like this at first, it was only so bad that it was bad, but it very quickly grows into something else, something profound.

I can't recommend it highly enough.

*I read a claim that the chicken impression was the crews' idea, I really hope that's true.


No film this year, or indeed in recent memory (bar maybe For Your Height Only) has given me the same level of pure joy I experienced watching The Room for the first time. Nothing cheers me up more than just flicking through clips on YouTube. Next stop, try a cinema showing - it's a whole new experience and deepens your love of Johnny and hatred of pretty much everyone who betrays him.

QUOTE (logger @ Nov 2 2009, 08:57 AM) *
Southland Tales

Raaay! The Cannes Cut is back on Sky, at least it was this morning, no idea if it'll be on again. Guilty pleasure or not, I've grown to almost love this version. I've no idea if you would enjoy it if you did or didn't like the Theatrical Cut, I personally couldn't make it to the end of the TC. It's still too long, self indulgent and not as clever as it thinks it is but for me it is so much the better version, the differences being comparable to those of the Director's Cut and Theatrical Cuts of Blade Runner.

It just annoys me that Sky get this version but there are still no plans for a dvd release.


I should seek this out, being as I am an unabashed fan of the theatrical version.

Also done watched:

Citizen Kane for the first time, which was like a compilation of best bits from The Simpsons. I could understand what the fuss was about, and no denying the talent of Welles, but as far as first-time-finally-watched-classics I've seen recently, I liked Casablanca a bit more.

Fantastic Mr. Fox - thoroughly enjoyed it. Beautiful, entertaining and brimming with character and corking music.

I think people give kids too much credit for following dialogue in children's films. When I was ickle, I barely paid attention to what people were saying unless it was swears or silly noises - narrative's usually an easy thing to pick up and I would just enjoy the flashing moving images. My hope is that kids will enjoy the cute animals and action and silliness, then go back and rewatch it again and again as they get older and appreciate it on a different level each time.
maian
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Nov 2 2009, 10:27 PM) *
Fantastic Mr. Fox - thoroughly enjoyed it. Beautiful, entertaining and brimming with character and corking music.


What did you make to Jarvis' song? I thought it was absolutely atrocious and, to quote Bean, just weak songwriting. Even if that is the point, I instantly take against anything that forces me to sit and listen to a terrible song just for the purpose of exposition.

QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Nov 2 2009, 10:27 PM) *
I think people give kids too much credit for following dialogue in children's films. When I was ickle, I barely paid attention to what people were saying unless it was swears or silly noises - narrative's usually an easy thing to pick up and I would just enjoy the flashing moving images. My hope is that kids will enjoy the cute animals and action and silliness, then go back and rewatch it again and again as they get older and appreciate it on a different level each time.


I personally don't agree with that attitude. I films that have bits just for kids and bits just for adults are just plain lazy. Rather than try to find something universal that will appeal to everyone, regardless of age, they just compartmentalise it, creating films that sporadically entertain one half of it audience at the expense of the other or, in the case of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, focusing its energy entirely on the adults and leaving the kids to watch the pretty pictures. The great kid's films that I watched as a child (Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Beauty and The Beast, Toy Story) manage to have a universal appeal without pandering to either side, creating something that I personally still find them enchanting to this day, whereas stuff like The Fantastic Mr. Fox leave me cold because I find them deeply, deeply cynical. Also, dialogue may not be crucial in driving a narrative, but I think that a film as wordy as Fantastic Mr. Fox is too jerky to flow in the way that a film needs to keep kids interested, so they will wind up trying to follow the dialogue in an attempt to work out why the film keeps stopping dead every few minutes.

The animation is gorgeous, though. The facial expressions were superb and the freedom of movement that both the characters and the camera had were up there with some of the best Aardman animation.
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (maian @ Nov 2 2009, 10:42 PM) *
What did you make to Jarvis' song? I thought it was absolutely atrocious and, to quote Bean, just weak songwriting. Even if that is the point, I instantly take against anything that forces me to sit and listen to a terrible song just for the purpose of exposition.

I personally don't agree with that attitude. I films that have bits just for kids and bits just for adults are just plain lazy. Rather than try to find something universal that will appeal to everyone, regardless of age, they just compartmentalise it, creating films that sporadically entertain one half of it audience at the expense of the other or, in the case of The Fantastic Mr. Fox, focusing its energy entirely on the adults and leaving the kids to watch the pretty pictures. The great kid's films that I watched as a child (Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Beauty and The Beast, Toy Story) manage to have a universal appeal without pandering to either side, creating something that I personally still find them enchanting to this day, whereas stuff like The Fantastic Mr. Fox leave me cold because I find them deeply, deeply cynical. Also, dialogue may not be crucial in driving a narrative, but I think that a film as wordy as Fantastic Mr. Fox is too jerky to flow in the way that a film needs to keep kids interested, so they will wind up trying to follow the dialogue in an attempt to work out why the film keeps stopping dead every few minutes.

The animation is gorgeous, though. The facial expressions were superb and the freedom of movement that both the characters and the camera had were up there with some of the best Aardman animation.


RE: Jarvis' song - I didn't care for it really, and it was pretty incomprehensible, but it was over so quickly it didn't irk me like it seems to have others.

And I've heard the argument about family films meaning not alternately entertaining for kids and adults, but entertaining everyone all the time. That is very true, and I do agree that the best examples of the genre are the ones that manage to create truly universal entertainment. But with the case of Fantastic Mr. Fox, the grown-up jokes weren't lazy, nor were they desperate pop-culture references or innuendo like other recent animated fare.

I actually felt that it wasn't just strictly for adults, but that kids weren't being talked down to. I previously mentioned that if I were very young, I would have enjoyed it for the animation and silliness more than for the dialogue, but when I was 10-12 years old, I wouldn't have had any problem following the wordiness of it all. A grown-up whimsical comedy drama about relationships and responsibility in sheep's clothing it may be, but I'd rather show that to my imaginary tiddlers than supposed kids films filled with fart gags, sugar-rush special effects and jokes about Starbucks. Maybe that's just bad middle-class parenting on my part.

Anyway, it doesn't matter because Where The Wild Things Are will be the big indie-movie parent's family film outing of the year, right?
logger
QUOTE (Kick in the Head @ Nov 2 2009, 10:27 PM) *
I should seek this out, being as I am an unabashed fan of the theatrical version.

Oh hi, Rory.

You'll have to tell me if you ever find a copy. I taped it off the tv but vhs just looks so crappy now.
Kick in the Head
QUOTE (logger @ Nov 2 2009, 11:36 PM) *
Oh hi, Rory.

You'll have to tell me if you ever find a copy. I taped it off the tv but vhs just looks so crappy now.


It's like the Dr. Nick Riviera Players
Zoe
I was due to have a family excursion to The Fantastic Mr Fox when I visited my folks last week, but Dad changed his mind at the last minute because he'd fallen asleep in Coraline the night before (that's Dad logic for you). We rented 'Looking for Eric' (2009) instead, and I'm very glad we did as it could have been made for my Daddy and it was wonderful to watch it with him. He cried for about the last five minutes, soppy bastard.

If you're not my Dad and don't include football (specifically Man Utd and Catona) amongst your five favourite things (along with John 'Kenny from Early Doors' Henshaw - even with those post office ads you don't like), then there's still lots to enjoy here.

What's so great about it, other than being moving, funny, clever, uplifting, compelling and impeccably performed, is that the trailer gives almost nothing away about what the film's content is. Going into this film thinking it's a typical Northern tale of a disillusioned postal worker and his relationship with an imaginary Eric Cantona is the definitely the best way to do it, so I'll spoil nothing about the other plot elements, or the brilliant denouement which were such a pleasant surprise for me.

Suffice to say it's five star good.

Back to the Fox, I don't like Aardman animations very much, to the point where I found their last Christmas outing a bit of a bore. Nice to look at perhaps (if a bit unoriginal after all these years); but the plot and gags were so hackneyed I'd imagine a lot of kids would have been bored too. I was secretly thrilled when Kermode said The Fantastic Mr Fox was an adult film dressed up as a kids film, because I'm an adult and largely I don't enjoy 'family films' half as much as a lot of people seem to (with a few notable exceptions like 'Monsters Inc', 'Lilo and Stitch' and 'Holes)

Even as a small child I preferred Return to Oz to the Wizard.

Anyway, I'll reserve judgement till I've seen it - but to be honest it's Wes Anderson, so I'm bound to love it.

A lot of the commentary I've heard suggests it's a grown up animated film, which doesn't quite fit a half-term audience; but I look forward to finding out for myself.
Atara
That's because Return to Oz is best.

I think I would have enjoyed Fantastic Mr Fox as a kid and mostly agree with Rory. If I was very little, I would have liked the animation and if I had been 10 or so I'd have been fine following most of the dialogue. I was exposed to adult films at a very young age so maybe that is just me but as a kid, Disney aside, I was much more into more grown up fares.
maian
QUOTE (Zoe @ Nov 2 2009, 11:50 PM) *
We rented 'Looking for Eric' (2009) instead, and I'm very glad we did as it could have been made for my Daddy and it was wonderful to watch it with him. He cried for about the last five minutes, soppy bastard.

I'd probably put in my Top 5 of the year so far, and I hate football. It's one of the warmest comedies I've seen all year,
largely because there is genuine darkness in that makes the light sides all the more effective. And you're completely right about the trailer. Seeing it at the cinema I was completely unprepared for it and thought I'd be seeing a much different film to what I did.

QUOTE (Zoe @ Nov 2 2009, 11:50 PM) *
A lot of the commentary I've heard suggests it's a grown up animated film, which doesn't quite fit a half-term audience; but I look forward to finding out for myself.


This is probably my main problem with it since I was acutely aware of all the kids in the cinema being silent throughout most of the film. Had I seen it in a room full of adults I probably would have had less of a problem with it.

It's probably also because I approach Wes Anderson films more antagonistically than most. Then again, they usually win me over and Fantastic Mr. Fox just failed to for whatever reason.
Outatime
QUOTE (maian @ Nov 3 2009, 09:38 AM) *
I'd probably put in my Top 5 of the year so far, and I hate football. It's one of the warmest comedies I've seen all year, largely because there is genuine darkness in that makes the light sides all the more effective. And you're completely right about the trailer. Seeing it at the cinema I was completely unprepared for it and thought I'd be seeing a much different film to what I did.


I saw it as a See Film First freebie and it wasn't at all what I expected but I thought it was wonderful.
logger
The Producers

Always forget how great this is.
Sostie
QUOTE (logger @ Nov 3 2009, 02:05 PM) *
The Producers

Always forget how great this is.



Gene Wilder's performance is one of my all time faves.
logger
QUOTE (Sostie @ Nov 3 2009, 02:29 PM) *
Gene Wilder's performance is one of my all time faves.

It's perfect, helping ground Zero Mostel's force of nature performance without getting overshadowed or drawn into trying to compete. The entire cast is brilliant, at times killing with jokes that shouldn't be as funny as they are.
Jon 79
I saw Harry Brown last night.
As low budget brit-flicks go, this is excellent.
I'd describe it as gritty and violent. ...certainly not for the faint hearted. - My housemate wasn't too keen on it (wuss!).
Michael Cane is brilliant, as ever. If you don't mind seeing hoodies beating and shooting people (as well as getting a small helping of comeuppance themselves) then you will love this film.
logger
Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone

This is what Joss Wheden sees when he's cheesing.
Shack
I think I'll add Looking For Eric to my Lovefilm list.

Local Hero

American businessman (Peter Riegert) with dubious Scottish heritage goes to Scotland to close the buying of an entire coastal village with an eye to turning it into an oil refinery on behalf of his company.

The story unfolds as he and Danny (a gangling flapping Peter Capaldi) try to broker a deal that keeps locals happy but saves money for the company.

What follows is a beautifully shot tale of upturned views, excellent running jokes and some occasionally surreal humour (notably the man trying to give Burt Lancaster "therapy": his message on the bosses window a particular highlight), surrounded by very good acting and sexy sexy Jenny Seagrove.

Overall, it's an absolute treat. God knows why I'd never heard about it until Kermode banged on about it on the Culture Show.

A must watch.

(It'll make you want to go and live in a quiet seaside village)
maian
After Hours

After a dull day at his job as a word processor, Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne) goes to a coffee shop to read Henry Miller in peace. This is promptly, if mildly, disturbed by Marcy (Rosanna Arquette), with whom Paul strikes up a conversation. Later that night, he phones Marcy up and agrees to meet up, unaware that this is just merely the beginning of the worst night of his life.

Martin Scorsese's hugely enjoyable dark comedy is an elaborately constructed farce that slowly builds and builds as Paul inadvertently finds himself in worse and worse situations. Joseph Minion's script is a masterclass in how to slowly introduce different strands of a film and interweave them to comic effect; half the fun of watching is trying to work out how it's all going to fit together.

Griffin Dunne, best known as Jack in An American Werewolf In London, is a brilliant bundle of nerves as Paul. He's a perfectly paranoid putsch stuck in a situation that he has no comprehension of and which he is arguably not responsible for, and what little involvement he seems to have in the decision making process yields spectacularly disproportionate reactions from those around him (who include Catherine O'Hara, Linda Fiorentino, Will Patton and Cheech and Chong(!)). It's a shame that he didn't become more of a star since, based on this and his scene-stealing turn in An American Werewolf In London, he should have been destined for greater things.

It's a really stylish film, too. Scorsese's camera is much more forceful and deliberate than usual - a deliberate homage to Hitchcock that is reflected by Howard Shore's Hermann-esque score - that makes for some surprisingly tense and thrilling moments, yet it is also graced with a lightness that helps the film to just fly by.
sleeping_pirate
Good Bye, Lenin!

Daniel Bruhl is very, very sexy.

Oh, and it's a great film!
maian
After The Wedding

If I needed confirmation that Susanne Bier is one of my favourite discoveries of this year then After The Wedding would be that confirmation (though I was pretty certain after Brothers that she was something special.).

Mads Mikkelsen plays Jacob, a man who has spent many years working with poor children in India. The orphanage he works at is going to close but a last minute reprieve seems in the offing when he gets a request to return to Denmark to meet a potential benefactor. The benefactor turns out to be more reticent, and Jacob is forced to go to his daughter's wedding in order to try to get the money from him. Once there, though, Jacob is confronted by someone from his past and his whole world is shaken.

What Susanne Bier does best is take plots that might not seem out of place in a soap opera (the description I've given doesn't really indicate how soap opera-esque the story is but it really does veer on Brookside territory) and fills them with warmth, paths and realism, making for some truly sublime films. Though After The Wedding isn't up there with Open Hearts, my personal favourite of her films, it's still an enthralling drama full of warmth and vigour.


Gimme Shelter

A bunch of preening pricks are directly responsible for someone's death at a free concert.
Sostie
Zombieland
Jesse Eisenberg and zombies. What's not to like? Loved every minute of it. The use of slo-mo was excellent and it had probably had my favourite opening scenes/credits since the Dawn Of The Dead remake. A definite entry into my 10 of the year.

Ruben Fleischer, Zack Snyder, Edgar Wright, George Romero - it seems if you want to make an impact with your debut feature, go zombie.
Outatime
An Education

Worth a look but doesn't bear up to close scrutiny, I'd be interested to read the original memoir. I didn't think the actor playing David was quite attractive enough to catch the attentions of a 16 year old school girl, although I appreciate it was the life that was attractive to her but I couldn't help but view him as a dirty old man all the way through the film. Emma Thompson was wonderful though as were the actors playing Jenny's parents, Helen and Jenny's school friends.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (Shack @ Nov 3 2009, 10:04 PM) *
Local Hero

Overall, it's an absolute treat. God knows why I'd never heard about it until Kermode banged on about it on the Culture Show.

A must watch.

(It'll make you want to go and live in a quiet seaside village)


It's really a great movie - Kermode, as usual, is spot-on. Lots of great cameos like Rikki Fulton (Scottish comedy legend) as one of the scientist.

QUOTE
Good Bye, Lenin!

Daniel Bruhl is very, very sexy.

Oh, and it's a great film!


Told you, tongue.gif
sleeping_pirate
QUOTE (Outatime @ Nov 5 2009, 10:07 AM) *
An Education

Worth a look but doesn't bear up to close scrutiny, I'd be interested to read the original memoir. I didn't think the actor playing David was quite attractive enough to catch the attentions of a 16 year old school girl, although I appreciate it was the life that was attractive to her but I couldn't help but view him as a dirty old man all the way through the film. Emma Thompson was wonderful though as were the actors playing Jenny's parents, Helen and Jenny's school friends.

I'm looking forward to seeing Peter Sarsgaard play a dirty old man.
logger
A Clockwork Orange

I've never been sure whether this would be a more effective satire if the cock snoopery wasn't so theatrical and instead was replaced with a more realistic approach. It seems a little too easy to dismiss it as intellectual condescension as it is. Maybe ultra-realism would have been seen as too base by the people who matter, shocked by the brick to the face that would have been rather than a cartoonish approach that gets under the skin. Then again, after seeing that the Daily Mail is getting upset about True Blood maybe I'm giving people more credit than they deserve.
maian
Stalker (1979)

This is the second tim that I've watched (or tried to watch) Andrei Tartovsky's sci-fi opus about three men who travel into a mysterious realm called ''The ZONE''. The first time around I had recorded it off the television and found myself pausing it and walking off and I probably only got about 20 minutes in (basically up to the point where they start driving up to the ZONE itself). However, I knew that the problem was with me and the way in which I was watching it, rather than with the film. I could see that it was a film that demanded to be watched in a single sitting and with my full attention, so when I got to see it on the big screen as part of the Sheffield Documentary Festival (they were screening a documentary about Tartovsky and his cinematographer, Rerberg, so they had a reason to show the film itself) I jumped at the chance.

I'm glad that I watched it because it was a really fantastic experience. Stalker is a unique film with an immersive atmosphere of dread that Tartovsky maintains throughout despite the fact that very little happens for pretty much the entirety of the film. Most of the time has the three characters avoiding unseen traps, so there is never anything on-screen that is particularly menacing, but the pervasive silence and the long, drawn out shots slowly create a sense of expectation that something terrible is going to happen. Stalker is about the fear of the unknown, more than anything, and the great triumph of the film is that it never really explains what The ZONE is or what will happen if any of the character stumble into one of its traps. This unease makes the whole film feel much more terrifying than the images on screen would suggest, making something as unexciting as three men making their way down a pipe into a thrilling set-piece.

Its also absolutely beautiful to look at. The scenes set outside the ZONE are shot in a brown and muddy tint that makes the delapidated, post-industrial landscapes so terribly bleak, and the colour photography used within the ZONE manages to make relatively normal scenes of fields and forests seem incredibly otherworldly.

It is very, very long, though. It's 163 minutes and you do feel every single one of them, but if you are willing to take the plunge then it is a rewarding experience.
sweetbutinsane
Twilight

Ahh, I get the giggles just thinking about it. It was beyond terrible, but at least that gave me and my sister plenty to mock and therefore laugh at. laugh.gif
maian
The Piano Teacher

I think I need to leave longer gaps between watching Michael Haneke films. I really don't want to feel this bad twice in the space of a week.

I'm not a massive fan of Haneke, it has to be said. I always find his films technically quite brilliant (one sequence in The Piano Teacher, involving Isabelle Huppert, Benoit Magimel, an ice hockey rink and a cupboard done in all one shot quite literally caused my jaw to drop when I realised that it was all being done in a single take) but emotionally distant. I imagine that is the point, though, since he never seems interested in allowing us to get to know the characters so much as he is interested in making us experience something profoundly unpleasant and distressing whilst watching them. The previous films of his I have watched have failed to do this, largely. Hidden I found much too distancing and, whilst fascinating, not nearly fascinating enough to sustain my interest, and both versions of Funny Games annoy me more than anything else, though there is a primal energy in the original that sets it above the remake.

The Piano Teacher is the first of his films that genuinely affected me on a level deeper than mere shock. Something about the relationship between Huppert's piano teacher and her pupil, played brilliantly by Magimel, reached down and shook me. I think that Haneke's cold, clinical approach is best used when telling a story primarily about sex, love and perversion, rather than in his films about violence and violence in cinema. The harsh, unwavering gaze of his camera on Huppert in her most private moments make for very uncomfortable viewing and his depiction of a burgeoning sexual relationship between his characters is portrayed in the starkest, least titillating way imaginable. His objectivism really lays bare the emptiness of their experiences and provokes the viewer to come to their own conclusions about the characters, their relationship and the fall out from it.
Shack
QUOTE (Sostie @ Nov 5 2009, 09:57 AM) *
Zombieland
Jesse Eisenberg and zombies. What's not to like? Loved every minute of it. The use of slo-mo was excellent and it had probably had my favourite opening scenes/credits since the Dawn Of The Dead remake. A definite entry into my 10 of the year.

Ruben Fleischer, Zack Snyder, Edgar Wright, George Romero - it seems if you want to make an impact with your debut feature, go zombie.


I'm completely in agreement.

QUOTE (Serafina_Pekkala @ Nov 5 2009, 10:17 AM) *
It's really a great movie - Kermode, as usual, is spot-on. Lots of great cameos like Rikki Fulton (Scottish comedy legend) as one of the scientist.


Definitely. I've got Silent Running to watch this weekend too. I'm having a Kermode recommendation run.
logger
The Descent

Decent. One thing though, whilst not being able to see what's going on works for horror, it doesn't work for action. Cut down on the action then. Now here's in what order I would have sex with the cast...
dandan
art & copy - just do it...

doug pray takes a look at post war advertising in the usa; mainly focussing on the effect that the pairing of copy-writer and artistic director had on the industry. whilst talking to some major players, a guy whose family has been posting billboards for around seventy years and looking at major campaigns, the film also throws in some stats about the money spent on advertising and the reach of it.

now, if like me, you're someone who quite likes a good ad campaign, but still thinks that advertising / marketing types are kind of c***s, then this film may not sit too well with you. sure, doug pray has a talent of putting together a very, very watchable 90 minutes of film but, in reality, this is an extended advert for adverts, with very little dissension involved.

watchable, but i wanted more...



the fantastic planet - as she grew up, she gave up her playthings...

the oms are human like people, living on a planet inhabited by the draags; giant humanoid creatures who treat the oms as pets or pests, depending on whether they are "domesticated" or "wild". when terr, an om who was taken as a pet by tiwa, a young draag, begins to share the education that his mistress is receiving, he escapes and joins the ranks of the wild oms, striving for recognition and freedom from the oppression of the draags...

the second film in my rene laloux double-bill, this time from 1973 and made in czechoslovakia, as an allegory of the countries occupation by the russians. surprisingly, this is a much more powerful film than 'gandahar' and is imbued with much more style and a better soundtrack that the later production.

good stuff...



gandahar - in a thousand years, ganhadar will be destroyed. a thousand years ago, ganhadar will be saved and what can't be avoided will be...

when an evil force attacks the idyllic and peaceful nation of gandahar, their greatest warrior syl is dispatched to investigate the source of the threat and find a way to save these peace loving people. along his way, syl discovers that the threat is coming from the almost forgotten, less than wholesome past of gandahar...

the first of a rene laloux double-bill, the film is a sci-fi adventure, with heavy musings on genetic experimentation, organic farming and industrialisation. an interesting watch, but one that pales slightly when you realise that it came four years after miyazaki's 'nausicaa', not a decade or so before, which is what it looks and feels like...

pretty good.



turn it loose - break... break... break... freeze!

in 2007, sixteen of the words best b-boys assemble in the heart of an abandoned power station and battle it out for the title of the best in the world. amongst the competitors are ronnie (usa), hong10 (korea), lilou (algeria), roxrite (usa) and taisuke (japan).

like 2007's, excellent, 'planet b-boy', 'turn it loose' features a break dancing battle, showing the paths the finalists took to the final and their lives in their home countries. unlike 'planet b-boy', which focussed on crews, 'turn it loose' focusses on individuals. i think i prefer 'planet b-boy', overall, as it provides more of a rounded overview, but this is still a bloody good watch and lots of fun.

good stuff...



first squad - moment of truth...

it is 1943. the war on the eastern front is raging. as the nazis attempt to press forwards, the ahnenbre (a group dedicated to researching the occult and employing such forces to assist them in the war) begin to implement 'sword of vengeance'; the resurrection of baron von wolff, the long dead leader of a group of blood thirsty catholic crusaders.

meanwhile, the russians manage to track down nadya; a 14 year old girl and the most gifted student in the mysterious 6th division, who had been missing since the start of the war. now nadya must get help from the other members of the first squad - a group of teenage fighters with psychic powers - to help neutralise the threat of von wolff...

for me, a new studio 4°c film is always going to be something that catches my eye. and, when it's in russian, based on a russian manga, with a soundtrack by dj krush, i'm sold...

this is a very interesting piece indeed. the animation, which is never less than great, is interspersed with talking heads (mock); russian and german soldiers, psychologists and historians, who add context and detail to proceedings. oh, and krush doesn't let you down...

great stuff...



rumble fish - like watching a black and white tv with the sound turned down...

rusty james (matt dillon) is a street punk, living in the shadow of his older brother, the motorcycle boy (mickey rourke). rusty james hangs around with his friends, getting into scrapes, longing for the days of gangs, which he sees as a golden era. when, after having been absent for a couple of months, the motorcycle boy returns and trouble is in the air...

it'd been ages since i last watched this. it is a strange film. the design of the film, from the black and white cinematography, the touches of time lapse, the production design, the score and the sound design make it an absolute treat to watch, with large swathes of the film looking and sounding like some kind of strange dream.

the narrative itself, and huge chunks of the dialogue are, in retrospect, a touch emo. rusty james is a bit hopeless, thinking that one day he will measure up to the enigma like status which the motorcycle boy has, despite being constantly told that this will not be the case.

a better film to watch than it is a film...



bright star - not in lone splendour hung aloft the night...

fanny brawn (abbie cornish) is a young lady who likes to stitch, is preoccupied with fashion, dances and flirting. one day, she takes a bit of a shine to the poet john keats (ben whishaw) who, despite his failure to set the world of poetry on fire and lack of money, seems like a good enough person to fall in love with. despite the best efforts of keats' friend and benefactor, charles armitage brown (paul schneider), who doesn't think much of miss brawn, the two fall in love...

jane campion's new film. a biopic she just felt she had to make... to be a touch brutal, i'm either not sure why she felt so moved or, the be very brutal, she just didn't do a very good job. brawn and keats are not particularly likeable characters and you're really not too sure what they see in each other; they seem to just decide to fall in love with each other and fall they do. i didn't really care though...

cornish and whishaw didn't really do anything for me and it was only the presence of mr paul schneider - pulling off a good scottish accent - who prevented this being a total loss.

schneider good. film, not so good...



the men who stare at goats - owl-like man...

bob wilton (ewan mcgregor) is a reporter for a small paper, who desperately wants to get in to iraq to prove to his estranged wife, and himself, that he is capable of accomplishing something. he isn't doing very well, until a chance meeting with lyn cassady (george clooney) who claims to be a former member of the u.s. military's first earth battalion - a secret division who claim to have "jedi" powers...

based on jon ronson's book of the same name, this is a fun, yet slightly scary (and embroidered) account of ronson's investigation into the members of this battalion and cassady, who is said to have killed a goat, simply by staring at it. being the opening film of liff (leeds international film festival), ronson was in attendance and said that about 70% of the story was true and i have no reason to doubt. he also commented that the book turns from being comedic oddness to being rather horrific in tone, at around the halfway mark. this is something the film does not do. sure, it maintains an amusing and very watchable quality for all but the last ten minutes of the film but, instead of being dark and horrific, the final ten minutes of the film are just a bit rubbish. a shame, as i'd been thoroughly enjoying things up to this point.

mcgregor is fine, even manages to hold a reasonable american accent throughout. clooney is as good as he always is - i do like a bit of george. jeff bridges is 'the dude'... well, kinda. and spacey is spacey. it's a shame that the highlight of this screening was ronson himself, but the film is well worth watching, until the last ten...

still, pretty good...
Shack
I was thinking of taking a trip to the Hyde Park picture house to watch The Men Who Stare At Goats. I reckon you've just made my mind up.
dandan
QUOTE (Shack @ Nov 7 2009, 06:25 PM) *
I was thinking of taking a trip to the Hyde Park picture house to watch The Men Who Stare At Goats. I reckon you've just made my mind up.


it probably shalln't be on again until after the film festival. well, not at the picture house...
gulfcoast_highwayman
QUOTE (Shack @ Nov 7 2009, 06:25 PM) *
I was thinking of taking a trip to the Hyde Park picture house to watch The Men Who Stare At Goats. I reckon you've just made my mind up.



Look out for the video shop over the road. I had a summer job there in the late 80's.

And you may pass the now boarded up Royal Park school. I was head boy there.
dandan
the misfortunates - the shittiness of things...

gunther (kenneth vanbaeden) is a strobbe. he lives in his grandmother's (gilda de bal) house, with the rest of the strobbes; his father, celle (koen de graeve), and his three brothers - petrol (wouter hendrickx), beefcake (johan heldenbergh) and koen (bert haelvoet). the four brothers are hard drinking men who, still living with their mother, seem to never have shown any signs of growing up. times are often hard and it seems like a struggle to get by, but they also seem to have a lot of fun, in-between the squabbles...

alongside the telling of this story, is a look at the life of the adult gunther (valentijn dhaenens); a struggling writer, with a girlfriend he hates, who is expecting an unwanted child. after failing with a book of poetry, gunther begins to write about his life as a strobbe...

well, this was quite a treat. whilst never shying away from showing the troubles that gunther has to cope with whilst growing up, the film revels in the bawdy nature of the family and draws a lot of comedy from both of these seemingly opposing elements. great performances all round, some very nicely observed musings and lots of laughs.

great stuff.



the two in tracksuits - you bought that?

a father (makoto ayukawa) takes time out from his job as a pin-up photographer to travel to the summer house he inherited from his mother with his out of work son (masato sakai). escaping the heat of the city, the wo actually find themselves being a little chilly, so don a couple of the many tracksuits, collected by the now deceased mother/grandmother. wiling away their day, the two enjoy the gentle pace of life, away from their lives at home.

well, as an antidote to the bleakness of 'exhausted', this was indeed a success. gentle comedic pacing and a warm, light hearted quality made this a very enjoyable watch indeed. nothing much happens, but what doesn't happen, happens in a very pleasant way.

rather super...



exhausted - blow your whistle!

when i saw 'exhausted' listed in the liff calendar, i let out a little cheer (on the inside), thinking that i was finally going to get to see the john holmes documentary. no such luck. although, a korean indie-flick, shot on 16mm, with a promising write up made me give it a go...

a man and a woman live in a motel room. during the day they wander around, stick up posters and fight playfully... although, sometimes not so playfully. at night he sells her body to willing customers who don a gimp mask, while he sits in the room next door, watching animal porn.

this is, in essence, a film which embraces the dogme aesthetic, along with a von trier-esque central female character who is simply tormented to various degrees for the film's duration. is it a good film? is it a powerful film? who can say...

i enjoyed watching it. well, enjoy probably isn't the right word. the woman is intriguing, despite the fact that she doesn't speak at all; her persistent displeasure, her protestations and her running away, all seem to end up with her returning to him.

the look of the film is rather beautiful and the absence of score, apart from the crackling opera that is piped from the radio when she is with paying guests, makes for a great watch and listen, whilst the narrative did just make me think of a couple of dogme films and didn't particularly inspire.

interesting to watch, but not great or powerful...
logger
The Life Aquatic

The Royal Tenenbaums


Does everybody feel like this?
logger
W

Easily Stone's best film since JFK (not counting Nixon because I haven't seen it), although he still hasn't learned to stay away from montage. I'm not really sure why people have described it as sympathetic, it seemed pretty damning to me. It also could have done with something, if even only in passing, about Katrina. Also the Dave Rothschild years. And more Condi. Other than that it was good.
maian
In The Mood For Love

Though I personally prefer to the energy and vivaciousness of Chungking Express, I found myself entranced by Wong Kar-Wai's subdued tale of a man and a woman (Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung) developing a friendship that slowly turns into something more in Hong Kong in the early 1960s.

Gorgeous cinematography, great music and great performances make for a melancholy film about unrequited love that I really liked, even though it came close to losing me towards the end when it starts jumping ahead in time, cramming a lot of experiences into a very condensed space of time and disrupting the calmer, luxuriating pace and mood that characterises the rest of the film.

Reading up on the film, it doesn't surprise me that it has been cited by Sofia Coppola as a major influence on Lost In Translation. The general mood of the film and the relationship at its centre is very similar. as is the ending; having a character whisper a secret so that the audience are unable to hear it and are compelled to find their own answer for what Chow says. However, whilst Lost In Translation leaves me cold, I found In The Mood For Love to be a really good film full of subtlety, warmth and all that other stuff that I am told that Lost In Translation has.
Sostie
JENNIFER’S BODY
Not amazing but a lot better than expected. Not hilariously funny, nor especially gory or scary, but still entertaining. Despite the Fox publicity Amanda Seyfried is the star and carries the whole film (and is hotter than Fox IMO). Overall, the whole thing reminded me of Heathers.

UP!
By far the oddest Pixar film (a film about regret, loss and a pensioner dragging his home around suspended by balloons!) and for me one of the best. I admit it got to me and had me close to blubbing.

THE BOAT THAT ROCKED
Richard Curtis films are one of my guilty pleasures. Great cast, great music, and, surprisingly, light on schmaltz. More Bill Nighy would have been welcome, but still, good fun.
Sostie
REVENGE OF THE SITH
I think I've seen this 3 times now. That's more times than I've seen some truly great movies. I'm ashamed of myself. It's a Marmite film....looks like shit. That's unfair to Marmite. It is shit.
Rua
How To Lose Friends & Alienate People.

What is Simon Pegg doing in this movie, actually, what is Jeff Bridges doing in this movie?
Really poor stuff. Kirsten Dunst is absolutely terrible. I've never seen an actress have to vocally explain what emotions they are feeling to make it absolutely clear to the viewer rather than just, y'know, acting.

I didn't like it.
Serafina_Pekkala
QUOTE (Sostie @ Nov 9 2009, 10:29 AM) *
REVENGE OF THE SITH
I think I've seen this 3 times now. That's more times than I've seen some truly great movies. I'm ashamed of myself. It's a Marmite film....looks like shit. That's unfair to Marmite. It is shit.


My friend and I were watching it the other day. The emboldened above was the overall sentiment. I think we shouted it a couple of times. Natalie Smugman cannot act and yet she continues. Hayden Christianson is even worse.
Zoe
I like it!

I caught the last twenty minutes, it made me *sniffles*
Starscream`s Ghost
It's worth it for if nothing else.

And seeing Scorpius dressed up as Peter Cushing.
Atara
I nearly vommited when that bit happened at the cinema. I was all 'yeah, Vadar getting his helmet and doing his breathing was so cool' and then that happened and I remembered how terrible the last hour and a half of my life had been and I cried, mourning the final shred of childhood nostalgic happiness being torn away from me.
Starscream`s Ghost
You mean the first two movies hadn't already done that? By that point I was just enjoying the fun of Lucas missing the point of his own material.
Atara
I made the mistake each time of putting the previous film behind me (or trying to) and going in all ready to enjoy it, with high hopes and then being crushed again. Maybe this time...maybe this time, but no.
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