films we just saw

Chat here about anything horror related. Be it movies, news, remakes or events.
streetrw
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Post by streetrw » Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:00 pm

Bearded Avenger wrote:Surely this arguement can be ended by pointing out that there were no 'heroes' in either films, but rather protagonists. which is the whole point surely.
Yes, but again it's easier to type than "lead characters" or indeed "protagonists". I also put the word in quotation marks as you're right: none of them are heroes. I know it's wrong but I do tend to use the terms interchangeably. This is why I'm not writing for Sight and Sound. :)

But I think really TGEORC loses out on technical levels - such as the decision to use takes lasting five minutes in which not much happens. I don't understand why a director would want to deliberately handicap himself like that - it's like deciding to use no music or no dialogue, to make life more difficult. Here there's damn all in the way of editing but it's a crucial tool, especially if your material isn't up to much and needs all the help it can get. Long takes are fine - mesmerising - if it's something like a Gene Kelly dance number or a dePalma tracking shot (or an eyeball skewered on a door splinter!). But a group of youths standing around mumbling? I can understand the steady, dispassionate, unblinking gaze working for something like the final assault in TGEORC; it points up the horror as it abandons all the tricks and just watches.

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Post by Matt » Thu Aug 02, 2007 1:23 pm

streetrw wrote:
This is why I'm not writing for Sight and Sound. :)
And you never will at this rate, you're actually criticising a film. I don't know if it's just the few issues I've read but it just seems to be a great big circle jerk in that magazine. Am I wrong? I've never cover-to-covered it, I haven't had the stomach.
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Post by rawshark » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:02 pm

Have been seeing some great films lately, but unfortunately I can't say too much about them as they don't yet have distribution, or have yet been officially screened anywhere yet...

Although I will mention that two of them are included in this year's FF, one of the a New Zealand film, and one from an author whose surname sounds a bit like Tomato Sauce (or should that be Ketchup..)
It's horrible... I love it... What is it?

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Post by jonbly » Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:59 am

streetrw wrote:Long takes are fine - mesmerising - if it's something like a Gene Kelly dance number or a dePalma tracking shot (or an eyeball skewered on a door splinter!).
Warrior King wasn't as good as Ong Bak... but the long takes as he fights his way up the staircase in the hotel (?) are pretty impressive.

Saw The Thirst last night on Sci-Fi, which was OK (if a little preachy on the subject of addiction). The SFX were pretty good for such a low budget...

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Post by Bearded Avenger » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:22 pm

jonbly wrote:
streetrw wrote:Long takes are fine - mesmerising - if it's something like a Gene Kelly dance number or a dePalma tracking shot (or an eyeball skewered on a door splinter!).
Warrior King wasn't as good as Ong Bak... but the long takes as he fights his way up the staircase in the hotel (?) are pretty impressive.

Saw The Thirst last night on Sci-Fi, which was OK (if a little preachy on the subject of addiction). The SFX were pretty good for such a low budget...
Warrior King - agree with Jonbly's comments and additionally I found the bits with the Thai-Australian cop distracting as his English was so bad (the actor doesn't actually speak English) and found my self wondering how he ever got a job in the policeforce.

The Thirst - started watching, but all the over-acting turned me off (I usually like Baldwin and Sisto), so I ended yp watching the Atyan Brotherhood documentary instead.

This weekend I shall start on the Ace of Wands DVD Set I bought (never seen it before, but is somehow appealed to me).

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Post by streetrw » Fri Aug 03, 2007 12:56 pm

jonbly wrote:
streetrw wrote:Long takes are fine - mesmerising - if it's something like a Gene Kelly dance number or a dePalma tracking shot (or an eyeball skewered on a door splinter!).
Warrior King wasn't as good as Ong Bak... but the long takes as he fights his way up the staircase in the hotel (?) are pretty impressive.
Yeah, that's a great example of something where doing the whole thing in one take adds to the (for want of a better word) awesomeness. They could have fast-cut the hell out of it with quarter-second close-ups of fists, feet, teeth and so on and it would n't have worked a fraction as well. I think there's another one in OldBoy - the scene in the corridor.

It's the MTV effect. I've been reading one of William Goldman books recently and he pointed out that this kind of editing is basically a disguise: how do you hide the fact that Elton John (his example but I guess I concur) is "fat, funny looking and totally without performing instinct"? By having all these closeups of feet pounding the piano pedals, hands on the keyboard, zooms into the dancers - all to hide the fact that the supposed centre of attention isn't any good.

If you watch a "Golden Age" MGM musical like Singing In The Rain (the only one I can really stomach, and that's basically because of the movie-making background), every big dance number, whether solo or trio or full chorus line, is usually done in three or four shots at maximum. When they did Chicago a few years ago they actually had to credit Gere, Zellweger and Zeta-Jones with doing their own dancing as it wasn't obvious from watching the over-edited sequences in the movie (CZJ at least is a trained dancer).

I don't want to talk about dancing any more. Bring on the chainsaws.

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Post by lupogirl » Sun Aug 05, 2007 3:48 pm

Saw Transformers found it thoroughly entertaining. Was not going to see it until the positive comments on 'ere. Went in thinking it be another serious blockbuster in yer face film. Found it to have some very humorous moments and rather likeable characters instead. At times had fast edits during the fight sequences but that aside. Really entertaining stuff!
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Post by Sarah of the Dead » Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:16 am

The Lives Of Others - absolutely brilliant.

A Prairie Home Companion - I liked some of the songs but felt like I was missing something.

Hemoglobin - hahahahahahahaha. Oh dear.

The Ferryman - one of the absolute worst films I have ever seen. Stupid, badly directed, badly acted, badly edited, and actually quite offensive.

The Killing Floor - fun, till I had it all worked out, and it took too long to confirm that I was right, which was a bit dull.

Wild At Heart - I like this best of all the Lynch films I've seen, but though it starts well and ends brilliantly, there's this whole sagging, boring, self-indulgent midsection that needs to be cut out.

Hustle and Flow
- I never thought I'd like this, but it was actually really good.
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Post by Matt » Mon Aug 06, 2007 9:07 am

Sarah of the Dead wrote: Hustle and Flow[/b] - I never thought I'd like this, but it was actually really good.
I liked this film too. What surprised me most is that this is now two films where the rapper Ludacris has really impressed me.

This weekend I saw

Art School Confidential - I really liked Ghost World and Bad Santa, but this always seemed on the verge of getting good without ever making the step. It's entertaining in places and I really liked Ethan Surplee's character. It was just a little predictable and felt a bit smug.

The Return - Utter shit.

The Messengers - Utter, utter shit.

Open Your Eyes - Saw this based on the recommendation on here (cheers Giles) and was thoroughly impressed. Wish I had seen this before Vanilla Sky. A really fantastic film.

Scarface - Went to see this at the Prince Charles on Saturday. Was nice to catch it on the big screen, especially on a print thyat was scratched to oblivion. I've only ever watched this film once before, about 6 years ago, and I'll probably leave it a good 6 years until I do again. This film looks badly aged, the scoring is horrfic and has several sections that don't seem to work. It's entire cult appeal slightly baffles me since it's really not that good a film. That said, I've nothing but praise for Al Pacino's performance, which is exceptional

The Thing - Saw the John Carpenter remake, really dug it. Found the first hour perfectly watchable and the last 45 minutes to be really engaging. It'd be wrong of me not to mention Kurt Russell's beard, which was immense.
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Post by giles edwards » Mon Aug 06, 2007 11:58 am

Scarface is just such a bold, excessive and unhindered-by-taste, picture. Which means it's a perfect evocation of the 1980s and all it brought with it -- drugs, violence, increased personal liberties, increased political despondency and a whacked out sense of social cohesion. De Palma is an arch satirist and screenwriter Oliver Stone a master subversive: in hindsight, it was never going to be subtle.

Everything is about excess -- from the Giorgio Moroder score and John Alonzo's gaudy visuals to the baroque performances of everyone. Harris Yulin's cocksure cop; Michelle Pfeiffer's frigid, avaricious accessory-to-everything; Steven Bauer's hilarious stooge; Pacino's legendarily unhinged turn. And Mary Elizabeth Mastrantino's hair. They all typify the decade that taste forgot. The picture -- which is by turns, gloriously and often infuriatingly committed to this above and beyond the actual story of Tony Montana's rise to power -- nails this from the outset.

At least that's my rationale on behalf of my devotion to Brian De Palma. It's flawed and has unfortunately been ravaged by being passed indelicately through the tedious urban pop-culture mill and into the realm of cliché, but it's still impressive.

Glad you dug Open Your Eyes -- when you don't know the ending, it's even more of a mindfcuk! Have you seen Tesis ? Another grand piece of thrilling pulp from Amenabar.
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Post by Sarah of the Dead » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:14 pm

Matt wrote:The Return - Utter shit.

The Messengers - Utter, utter shit.
Hahahahahaha. Agreed on both counts.
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Post by Bearded Avenger » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:21 pm

Ace of Wands: OK Doctor Who-esque 70's kids show

2019 - The Fall of New York: actually really enjoyed this. Far better than Bronx Warriors. Now know where the plot for children of Men was stolen from.

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Post by streetrw » Mon Aug 06, 2007 12:52 pm

giles edwards wrote:Glad you dug Open Your Eyes -- when you don't know the ending, it's even more of a mindfcuk! Have you seen Tesis ? Another grand piece of thrilling pulp from Amenabar.
I saw T(h)esis years ago at the NFT - I think it was one of the Fantasm screenings - and thought it was a terrific suspense thriller. I'm surprised that one hasn't been remade for the "I'd-sooner-watch-crap-from-Maine-than-class-from-Madrid" US subtitle-phobe market rather than Open Your Eyes (which was of course much better than Vanilla Sky).

I haven't watched very much recently.

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Post by giles edwards » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:31 pm

I was at the same screening. A terrific little surprise, that film (I think I saw the increible Johnnie To-produced The Longest Nite the same year. )
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Post by jimbo » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:45 pm

Finally saw Man On Fire - Denzel is awesome as usual, the revenge is brutal and fantastic, and pretty hardcore. Downsides? I don't think I can watch Tony Scott movies any more, unless he stops that stupid editing shite, it makes my head hurt. What do you get, visually, out of the screen going all wonky and stupid? It just looks silly now. The ending was a bit unsatisfying. And Dakota Fanning is extremely annoying as usual. Plus, a failing of many recent revenge movies, there's too much buildup and not enough revenge! Looking forward to Death Sentence - Kevin Bacon going revenge-mad - and The Brave One - Jodie Foster going vigilante.

Caught The Sentinel too - the Michael Douglas/Kiefer Sutherland secret service movie. Not bad, quite silly, but some decent thrills. Bit unreal with a podgy 60-year-old huffing and puffing while Kiefer pretends he can't catch him - the guy would have been caught in five minutes... Also funny to see the real secret service guy in the making-of basically saying that the central plot point just would NEVER happen, EVER, but that they made sure all the technical details were correct...

Finally caught Brothers Grimm - what a shame. Looks gorgeous, but script's a mess, studio chopped it to pieces, miscast, and a waste of Monica Bellucci which is a crime, she's barely in it.

And Transformers - Yes. Very much yes. Giant robots, smashing stuff, fights, explosions, giant robots, smashing, giant robots - did I mention the robots? Apparently there were some human characters in it too, maybe I'll spot them second time around, I was just busy enjoying the robots. Great fun, big mess, but great fun nevertheless.

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