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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 2:49 pm 
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maxfrost wrote:
Cinema's been going downhill since the drive-ins started closing.

No joke. You can't blow your nose out the window like you could at the drive-ins.


BOUND - the Wachowski siblings - USA - 1996
ever wonder about their first movie? don't. look, i put it all out there for the fam. it took heart. jussayin.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 3:48 pm 
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Neil_Leach wrote:
maxfrost wrote:
Cinema's been going downhill since the drive-ins started closing.

No joke. You can't blow your nose out the window like you could at the drive-ins.

Yeah and just try smuggling your kid brother into a multiplex in the trunk of your car. Geez, people get so upset over nuthin' nowadays.

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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 3:55 pm 
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the last time i parked next to the vending area they complained i was letting the air conditioning out.

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 4:39 am 
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The Philadelphia Story: A society gal is remarrying, but her ex has shown up with reporters and may ruin the day. Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Cary Grant, etc. Golly gosh I loved this. Spritely, acid, warm, witty, wise. A film that acknowledges, empathises with, and applauds each of its characters. Nobody is sold short. It's shot through with veins of sadness and anxiety but overwhelmingly fun. I can see myself returning to this over and over. Directed by George Cukor.

Your Name: Two teenagers in different parts of Japan discover that their dreams aren't dreams, and they are in fact swapping bodies for an unexplained reason. Starts off as a teen comedy and morphs into something stranger, sadder, more romantic; a sci-fi/fantasy film with unexpectedly high stakes, all rooted in the emotional connection between a boy and a girl.


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 3:18 pm 
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THE DESCENT - Neil Marshall - UK - 2005
Return View
This movie is heavyweight professional grade horror built with plenty of money and plenty of talent and no pathetic CGI. It is very much in the 28 DAYS LATER postal code. In terms of pin-your-ears-back content, it impinges on ALIEN real estate. No, of course it does not have the artistic value of ALIEN. Nothing does. But it works hard, it works fast, and it closes solid. This go round was my 4th viewing (estimated). I do not pick it up and lose interest. When it starts, it finishes. For whatever it might be worth, I have never gotten close to finishing THE SHINING. Not being in awe of Kubrick has something to do with that. Is Neil Marshall better than Stanley Kubrick? Of course not. Not even close. What Mr. Marshall has ably demonstrated is how to helm a movie and stay within yourself. There are identifiable ways in which Mr. Kubrick never learned that lesson. Netflix pigeon holes THE DESCENT as "Cult Movie, Cult Horror Movie" and its rating is given as 2 1/2 out of 5 stars. Bushwa. Perhaps Netflix assumes that the movie's target demographic overlaps nicely with the readership of TIGER BEAT. No, Netflix, bad dog. This is serious, adult horror. In the world of unalloyed horror films, it is top drawer. At 85%, rottentomatoes strikes well within the gold.


RAISING ARIZONA
Return View (again)
This movie is a medicine for melancholy.


BLEEDER - Nicolas Winding Refn - Denmark -1999
I have long thought that the PUSHER films, especially the first, were Refn's best work. BLEEDER is better. BLEEDER is 10 times the movie THE NEON DEMON is. This is because BLEEDER is so strong and THE NEON DEMON is so weak. Refn should have stayed with what he knew, urban grunge. He knows this world inside and out. PUSHER 1996, BLEEDER 1999, PUSHER II 2004, and PUSHER III 2005 are a more worthy body of work than all the rest of his later films combined. Camera work in BLEEDER is gorgeous. BLEEDER stands above its PUSHER brethren in my estimation because of a narrative centered around people closer to the mainstream of society, less the pariahs and predators of the PUSHER world (and the temptation of the director to poeticize their motives and responses). There are characters in this 1999 movie that I believe. I do not doubt that there do exist persons such as those in the PUSHER series, but they are the kind of people who do not watch movies. Kim Bodnia is excellent as ever. Mads Mikkelsen is so much more effective than the Tonny character of PUSHER because of the narrative and structural authority given his character. Mads does fine, fine work here. The cast draws heavily on the PUSHER cast, but utilizes these actors to define different, more complete, characters and situations. Right now, if someone asked me which Refn film was his best, I would not hesitate. I do not anticipate that this evaluation will change.
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 10:03 am 
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Got FilmStruck working and now watching Blow Up for the first time.

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 11:39 am 
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circuitsnake wrote:
Got FilmStruck working and now watching Blow Up for the first time.


OUT*** I said Blow OUT!!!

:mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:25 am 
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BEYOND OUTRAGE - Takeshi Kitano - Japan - 2012
OUTRAGE (2010) did not seem to me to represent Sensei Beat at the top of his game. BEYOND OUTRAGE fixes that with a vengeance, both literally and figuratively. First consider Kitano's DOLLS (2002). A vivid master work of portmanteau, in which imagery from Kabuki theater features prominently. Briefly, Kabuki (歌舞伎) is a classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers. So what, Neil, and for why? For so - As I eased into BEYOND OUTRAGE, with low expectations and high trepidation, I began to notice stylistic elements that seemed to repeat as parts of a motif. Duh, Neil, Kabuki, hello? The immediate world of BEYOND is the top management level of the yakuza culture. OK, sure sure, but everybody is wearing black zillion yen suits and being chauffeured in black luxury automobiles. Set dressing and costume. Yakuza Kabuki. If that is all BEYOND was, it would be a thin gruel and unappetizing. Clue : in this movie, you can't tell the players without a program. Kitano's narrative is complex, say on a par with MACBETH. His directorial snaps are fully engaged AND not only does he write and direct, he also EDITS this elaborate construction. BEYOND is a serious movie. Almost forgot, Takeshi also has a character and does a slam-bang job of bringing his signature loose cannon personality to the effort. Kitano loves to play loose cannons. Loose cannon cops, loose cannon yakuza, loose cannon whatnot; when Kitano enfolds a part you can depend on unpredictability. BEYOND is as mature and comprehensively defined a work as his best; SONATINE, for example. If you have never seen a Kitano film, there is no reason not to start with this one. Sensei Beat was 65 years old when BEYOND was released, and he hasn't aged a bit.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 10:29 am 
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Design for Living A pair of expats living the bohemian lifestyle in Paris both fall in love with the same American commercial artist. Gary Cooper as an expressionist painter is smooth and mannered, but Fredric March as a suave, drawing room playwright who is never at a lost for words, especially when they're someone else's, brings home the prize. Also with Miriam Hopkins. Edward Everett Horton, and Franklin Pangborn. Screenplay by Ben Hecht (based on Noel Coward's play) and directed by Ernst Lubitsch with more wit than any one film deserves to have. Banned by the Legion of Decency.

Marjorie Prime In the not-too-distant-future holograms of deceased loved ones will be used as companions for the infirm, the aged, the lonely, and the grieving. Memories of the way things used to be--maybe--and what it means to be human. Intriguing dialogue and a bit claustrophobic. With Jon Hamm, Geena Davis, Lois Smith, and Tim Robbins. Directed by Michael Almereyda.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:19 pm 
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maxfrost wrote:
Screenplay by Ben Hecht (based on Noel Coward's play) and directed by Ernst Lubitsch with more wit than any one film deserves to have.

Sold!

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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 12:08 pm 
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Peter Ibbetson Lame costume drama with Gary Cooper as a 19th century English architect who is reunited after twenty years with his childhood sweetheart, now a duchess (of course, she is). Watched only because it was included on the DVD with Design for Living. Directed by Henry Hathaway.

Wonder Wheel Woody Allen takes us back to Coney Island in the 50s when the fizz of the place had already begun to dissipate. Except for Kate Winslet's performance, not particularly interesting, except that the story is reminescent of American dramas written mid-Twentieth Century (and I'm thinking here of work like Come Back, Little Sheba), which is also interesting because it's as though one of the main characters, a would-be playwright, wrote the script. Also with Jim Belushi. Juno Temple, and Justin Timberlake.

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PostPosted: Wed May 09, 2018 3:51 pm 
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OUTRAGE CODA - Takeshi Kitano - Japan - 2017
The final installment of the OUTRAGE trilogy. As previously stated, Mr. Kitano's middle name is unpredictable. CODA does not feature the heavily stylized elements of BEYOND OUTRAGE. The story is focused on Kitano's character Otomo. In the opening scene, Otomo is sitting on a jetty in Korea watching his buddy fish and giving him a hard time. Not stylized : no suits, no limos, no shiny board rooms impeccably lit with character placement as studied as a chess board. In the last scene Otomo is doing something else. CODA is more personal, anecdotal, and staccato. BEYOND required attention to micro, macro, and all other aspects of meticulous craftsmanship. CODA must be taken on its own terms, which is very much in keeping with Otomo's character. I would like to have all 3 on Blu-ray and just make a day of it, which is probably the way it plays in director Kitano's internal cinema. Kitano shares editing duties of CODA with Yoshinori Ohta. Lensing is by Katsumi Yanagijima. The excellent score is supplied by Keiichi Suzuki. Ohta, Yanagijima, and Suzuki provide continuity in all three films. All three, naturally, are the best of the best, but I took note of the immaculate score. Exceptional, and certainly enjoyable for audiophiles.
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2018 2:40 am 
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My Cousin Rachel: After the mysterious death of his cousin & father-figure, Philip (Sam Claflin) is infuriated and then charmed by the older man's widow, Rachel (Rachel Weisz). Was she responsible for his death? Or did he just raise the boy into a life of misogyny and mistrust, incapable of imagining a woman to be anything other than either a wicked temptress or divine domestic spirit? An interesting but not entirely successful exercise in suspense and character. High melodrama in the clothes of period romance. Also with Iain Glen, Simon Russell Beale and Holliday Grainger. Adapted from Daphne du Maurier's story by Roger Michell.


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 5:46 am 
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SHIELD OF STRAW - Takashi Miike - Japan - 2013 IMDb
Tamio Hayashi's screenplay was based on the novel by Kazuhiro Kiuchi. When it comes to Mr. Miike, the gentleman has the proven skills to do absolutely anything to any degree of impressive you care to imagine. Dude got skills. Mr. Miike is also often an apparently inconsistent director. I think this is not so much due to lack of discipline as to the predominance of other aspects of his creative temperament which supersede his craftsmanship or the contemporary concepts of narrative. For me, Miike films are always fun, but sometimes "fun", as it "It was real, it was fun, it just wasn't real fun." SHIELD opens with a signature Miike visual flourish for the introductory credits and title. The narrative then shifts to a more conventional cinematographic treatment. Dynamic story elements are fed in and viewing becomes more involved and anticipatory. There is some expensive high angle cinematography and later some very expensive scenes involving scores of vehicles. The movie then settles down to an essentially character and response driven drama. If I had known Miike less well than I do, I might have been disappointed. In total, SHIELD is a competent drama with few stylistic flourishes apart from the introduction. As a Miike fan, I do not count the viewing time as a loss, but would not recommend SHIELD OF STRAW to those looking for a Miike film rich in artistic components.

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ANNIHILATION - Alex Garland - UK | USA - 2018 IMDb
This is a very good movie with an able cast, intriguing special effects, and an ambitious narrative. Contrary to some high profile reviewers (in the public sphere) who have trashed the movie, I believe that persons at rcjohnsoDOTcom would find that they get their money's worth for the price of a ticket. High points for me were the deliberate pace and overall mood of the film. Critical reviewers have taken both aspects and said things like "murky", "awkward", and "impenetrable"; none of which are true. Mr. Garland has served up a narrative possessing vast conceptual implications with a soberly Hitchcockian approach to tension and the opening of plot aspects. Given that the movie is a worthy view, I do not feel that Mr. Garland was able to completely enfold his story or to best express it. In my estimation, Garland is still at least one feature away from reaching his top form. My guess is, that at his peak he will not approach the best directors, but his movies will remain good watches because of the full bodied nature of his narratives and the admittedly broad range of his directorial abilities. I do not think that Garland will ever produce a movie as good as SUNSHINE, were his screenplay was deftly exploited by a master director, Danny Boyle. ANNIHILATION may have been hobbled by constraints (such as time, talent, and money) which a more capable director may have circumvented.

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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2018 7:15 am 
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Rocco wrote:
Oh, hey, speaking of films that are "solid nose-to-tail", everyone needs to go see YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE as soon as possible. Don't read ANYTHING about it, including the rest of this paragraph, unless you're on the fence about catching it in the theater. Required viewing. Good Time made me feel a certain way for the final ten minutes. This had me feeling that way for 80% of its runtime. I cried at the end, not necessarily because of the narrative (though, it probably warranted it), but because I was just genuinely so happy to have seen a film so perfectly done in every regard.

So sorry if I've oversold it, but I genuinely don't want any of you fine folks to miss this one.


I went and saw it again yesterday. Turns out I was right, it's perfect.


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