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quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Topaz

While not the total disaster that the previous film Torn Curtain was, this film is certainly a mess. But even a bad Hitchcock film always has something worthwhile, like the spreading dress death sequence. As for the Pieta--ludicrous our genius? I tend to go with the former. If you did not watch the DVD version be sure to obtain to see the ridiculous original duel (as in pistol dueling) ending. Depending on where, and what country, it originally played one of three different endings were seen.
quote:
Originally posted by wine+art:
Frenzy

There's many great single long take (or appearance of a single shot) shots in the history of film. Hitchcock had shown his abilities to make use of it for more than simply a camera trick as early as 1937 in Young and Innocent (A shot that still thrills today.) And of course he carried the idea to the extreme in Rope.

In Frenzy the famous long shot down the stairs and out of the street is perhaps his most chilling. We know the horrors taking place upstairs, but the street scene is one of indifference leaving us to feel the victim's hopelessness.
While watching Tim's Vermeer, a film about art and obsession, I first found myself thinking of Exit Through The Gift Shop. I was sure this must be a Penn & Teller hoax. But no, it's all real and yet totally unbelievable. Tim Jenison, a self made inventor of modern technical items use in TV and film production, starts with two books whose premise is Vermeer made his great painting with the aid optical device. One is David Hockney's still controversial book Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters and the other is Philip Steadman's Vermeer's Camera: Uncovering the Truth behind the Masterpieces Paperback. As a nice touch, and as a historic document, Tim gets to show the fruit of his labor, his finished painting, to both authors.

Watching this movie is a head-shaking experience and is a must for anyone interested in art and art history and the story of a Renaissance man--no not Vermeer, but Jenison.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
While watching Tim's Vermeer, a film about art and obsession, I first found myself thinking of Exit Through The Gift Shop. I was sure this must be a Penn & Teller hoax. But no, it's all real and yet totally unbelievable. Tim Jenison, a self made inventor of modern technical items use in TV and film production, starts with two books whose premise is Vermeer made his great painting with the aid optical device. One is David Hockney's still controversial book Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the Lost Techniques of the Old Masters and the other is Philip Steadman's Vermeer's Camera: Uncovering the Truth behind the Masterpieces Paperback. As a nice touch, and as a historic document, Tim gets to show the fruit of his labor, his finished painting, to both authors.

Watching this movie is a head-shaking experience and is a must for anyone interested in art and art history and the story of a Renaissance man--no not Vermeer, but Jenison.


I'm glad you finally saw the film.
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
I haven't written about so many films I've seen, but as "the season" begins, I though I would, again.

Gone Girl
Fun. This film may or may not be trying to be "about" something. But it isn't. So if it was trying, it failed. It does, however, capitalize on our pop-media sensationalist celebrity culture with skewerings both of those who ingest it as well as those who provide it. (See: the send-up of Nancy Grace.) But, again, while this aspect of modern society is used tremendously, there fails to be any deeper meaning or context.

Ben Affleck gives maybe his best performance. Which, though I love him as a director, is a little bit of a backhanded compliment coming from me when referencing his acting. He is, however, very very good and the casting of him is perfect in the context of so much media in his character's life. All the casting is very good, actually. Even Tyler Perry, it turns out, when he is speaking someone else's words, and being directed by someone else, in someone else's production, and when he is playing a middle aged Black man, can be good. Neil Patrick Harris does a good job with what he has, but his character is used almost solely as a plot device. Carrie Coon, whom I had never seen before is great as Affleck's sister and Kim Dickens, whom I've always thought highly of, is great as a police officer. And, of course, while I'm much more of an ass-man, myself; as we all already knew, Emily Ratajkowski's briefly appearing breasts are evidence of a diety.

Rosamund Pike is excellent as the wife of Affleck's character (and the "Girl" who is "Gone"). Beyond the fact that the film is about her disappearance, I won't say anything else plot-wise, though. I will say the film is nearly 2 hours, 30 minutes long and it zips by until about the last 6 minutes before the credits role. The pacing of the film then changes oddly and I was waiting for one more "oomph" that never happened.

Overall, this film is very well made and it is fun, but it is not a great movie. B/B+


Saw this last night, your analysis is spot on. It left my wife and I with some interesting conversation, but the movie itself we gave a solid B.
Soundtrack for a Revolution

Documentary on the U.S. civil rights movement and the role music played. Not all that much I hadn't seen before, but the music aspect was interesting as were the first hand accounts. Whenever I watch a film on this subject matter, I'm just amazed at the hatred and violence that had to be overcome and that this didn't happen all that long ago. Always good to watch a film like this to remember.
Whiplash

Varying from 'above average' to 'truly exceptional', depending upon how you think about it, this is a must-see. It opened in NYC and LA last weekend and expanded to a total of a couple of dozen theaters in major coastal cities and Chicago this past weekend. I don't really see the reason for such a small release since the film won just about every award (including the prize for best film) at Sundance this year, is being discussed as an Oscar contender here in LA, and is about a fairly accessible topic. I hope and assume the film will continue to roll out and become available to people in other parts of the country.

Because I fear many of you have no prior knowledge of this film's existence...

The film follows a 19 year old boy who is an aspiring jazz drummer. He has been playing drums since he was a little child and already is exceptional; and he has gotten into the most prestigious jazz music school in the country (in NYC). At school, which is basically synonymous with "jazz band", his teacher is a tyrant. Seeming almost sadistic (or perhaps scratch the "almost") the teacher pushes his students beyond any sort of reasonable expectation and is consistently verbally and physically abusive. This is in stark contrast to the boy's easier going single father who never really made it as a writer and is now living a modest life as a well respected high school English teacher. There is also a girl who may or may not be an important part of the story. (ie. I won't say one way or the other because no spoilers.) Apart from a few sentences here and there from characters designed simply to advance the plot, these are the only noteworthy roles in the film.

The film chronicles about a year in the life of the boy. The abuse he (and others) take from the teacher/band leader and the toll this takes on his other relationships. The central question in the film is whether maybe becoming a true great is worth all that you might need to give up in order to do it. It almost pits being a legend against being a human. And to the films credit, it never answers the question. Not even remotely.

The young man is played by the talented up-and-comer Miles Teller. The band leader/teacher is played by J.K. Simmons and he will get an Oscar nomination for supporting actor for this performance. And the dad, who has a much smaller role, doing the best thing I've seen him do since I was a child, is Paul Riser. And the girl is someone I've never seen before but she is good and really cute and actually looks like attractive college girls actually look. I almost didn't notice the acting, though, because everyone is so believable and matter-of-fact. Even the over-the-top character J.K. Simmons is playing is believable in his portrayal.

I missed the first 4 or 5 minutes of the film, so I don't know for sure if that would change my mind, but my one gripe with the film is that there seem to be moments of, "and then...and then... and then..." without one scene flowing into the next. This caused the film to seem a little drier than I was ideally hoping for.

This is 29 year old writer-director Damien Chazelle's first feature length motion picture as director but it does not at all show. And I'm seriously looking forward to his next works -- his ability to 'get out of the way' and to get such amazing performances out of his actors was truly special.

B+
Last edited by winetarelli
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
Whiplash

Varying from 'above average' to 'truly exceptional', depending upon how you think about it, this is a must-see. It opened in NYC and LA last weekend and expanded to a total of a couple of dozen theaters in major coastal cities and Chicago this past weekend. I don't really see the reason for such a small release since the film won just about every award (including the prize for best film) at Sundance this year, is being discussed as an Oscar contender here in LA, and is about a fairly accessible topic. I hope and assume the film will continue to roll out and become available to people in other parts of the country.

Because I fear many of you have no prior knowledge of this film's existence...

The film follows a 19 year old boy who is an aspiring jazz drummer. He has been playing drums since he was a little child and already is exceptional; and he has gotten into the most prestigious jazz music school in the country (in NYC). At school, which is basically synonymous with "jazz band", his teacher is a tyrant. Seeming almost sadistic (or perhaps scratch the "almost") the teacher pushes his students beyond any sort of reasonable expectation and is consistently verbally and physically abusive. This is in stark contrast to the boy's easier going single father who never really made it as a writer and is now living a modest life as a well respected high school English teacher. There is also a girl who may or may not be an important part of the story. (ie. I won't say one way or the other because no spoilers.) Apart from a few sentences here and there from characters designed simply to advance the plot, these are the only noteworthy roles in the film.

The film chronicles about a year in the life of the boy. The abuse he (and others) take from the teacher/band leader and the toll this takes on his other relationships. The central question in the film is whether maybe becoming a true great is worth all that you might need to give up in order to do it. It almost pits being a legend against being a human. And to the films credit, it never answers the question. Not even remotely.

The young man is played by the talented up-and-comer Miles Teller. The band leader/teacher is played by J.K. Simmons and he will get an Oscar nomination for supporting actor for this performance. And the dad, who has a much smaller role, doing the best thing I've seen him do since I was a child, is Paul Riser. And the girl is someone I've never seen before but she is good and really cute and actually looks like attractive college girls actually look. I almost didn't notice the acting, though, because everyone is so believable and matter-of-fact. Even the over-the-top character J.K. Simmons is playing is believable in his portrayal.

I missed the first 4 or 5 minutes of the film, so I don't know for sure if that would change my mind, but my one gripe with the film is that there seem to be moments of, "and then...and then... and then..." without one scene flowing into the next. This caused the film to seem a little drier than I was ideally hoping for.

This is 29 year old writer-director Damien Chazelle's first feature length motion picture as director but it does not at all show. And I'm seriously looking forward to his next works -- his ability to 'get out of the way' and to get such amazing performances out of his actors was truly special.

B+


Love JK Simmons
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by winetarelli:
Whiplash
I missed the first 4 or 5 minutes of the film...

Eek

Have you seen the film? Is it worth sneaking in to catch? It was pretty obvious exactly what was happening, it could have been less than 4 minutes, too...

No, I just have a rule of never entering the theater after a movie has started. About 4 months ago I got the time wrong for a film and they said it had just started. They were gracious enough to re-ticket me for a later film.

I think of missing "Rosebud", "I never knew the old Vienna...", (in Swedish) "Jag är död", A Christ sculpture hanging from a helicopter bridging a broken aqueduct, The opening strains of Rhapsody in Blue against a black and white view of Manhattan, two jets making love to each other with an instrumental version of Try A Little Tenderness playing in the background.

You never know what you'll miss.
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by steve8:
The Big Sleep

Hope Bogart, not Robert Mitchum version.


Of course. In fact, I didn't even know there was a Mitchum version until I read your post.

For some reason it is set in England and is a mess. He also did a slightly better Farewell, My Lovely which while truer to the book than the far superior Murder, My Sweet is still not very good. Another great version that really veers from the source material (it's set in modern day LA), yet is very good, is Robert Altman's version with Elliot Gould.
quote:
Originally posted by Jcocktosten:
Hobbit Desolation of smaug


I am convinced that once all three movies have been released, someone will be able to chop them down to a single, 3 hour movie, that will probably be pretty good.

Just take out all the video-game antics like going down rapids in a barrel while shooting orcs, floating on a river of gold while being chased by a dragon, etc...

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