The Movie Thread
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I was just talking to a friend earlier who saw Moonlight last week. I thought the film was very very beautiful and very moving, the performances were all exceptional and I think the mother of the
main character deserves a best supporting actress Oscar. My problem with the film is that it is but another portrayal of poor black people living in a ghetto who are drug addicts, pushers and prostitutes. I imagine this exists in the U.S, but I'm kind of tired of seeing this in the films as pretty much the only representation of Black people. I recently saw Straight outta Compton and even though it is based on a true story,once again we are shown violent, drug-filled,gross black people. It is just too much for me. And the depiction of the gay element of the film is also a little strange.
But still it is moving and very well produced and shot and the score is lovely and haunting.
Similar to this...the preview for the new movie Loving seems to do a lot of focusing on the white husband and not on his black wife. I haven't seen the film and maybe my perception is completely
incorrect, but that was the sense I got from the preview.
Thinking of watching Bringing Up Baby tonight. It usually puts me in a good mood.
Haha, well, I'm watching The Mortal Storm and it's doing the opposite.
We're going to Arrival tomorrow, although DG tells me it will make me melancholy.
Maybe I'll watch Down with Love tonight. It's silly, but never fails to put a smile on my face.
I really want to see this, and to read up on the history of the story
Saw Dr. Strange with the boys, Friday. It was fine but the cape is the best character and I'm tired of Marvel. Almost regretted seeing it without 3D because it was so intent on using the D to its fullest, but I was glad not to wear the stupid glasses.
I really want to see the Arrival -- hopefully tomorrow.
Is anyone familiar with this:
I was on their mailing list and then they announced it would only be available in the US. It sounds really great and I was ready to join but...
Another streaming service that is interesting is Fandor. They have a half-price sale on right now so an annual membership is quite reasonable. They focus on independent and international films and documentaries. I haven't joined because I already have more streaming services that I can keep up with.
Interesting,just read that this year people are cutting the cable cord in droves-it's a massive reduction in subscribers now.
I live in a rural area with no high speed internet.
Yeah, let that sink in for a second.
Anyway we don't get to watch movies outside of our collection very much (my husband and I that is) and so on a recent flight we watched The Infiltrator with Bryan Cranston. It was great. I hadn't heard of it, what with the no internet, and incidentally, no TV either, but we only had to see his picture to know we wanted to watch it. It's set in the 1980s and Cranston plays an undercover agent for the US Customs. He's trying to find a way to take down the Escobar drug cartel by posing as a guy who launders money. Based on a real story so far as it goes. Tremendous.
I actually thought Moonlight did a relatively good job of avoiding poverty porn in a way that some other movies with poor black people have not -- Precious, even Beasts of the Southern Wild fetishized poverty a bit. I didn't think Chiron and his mother were living the high life or anything, but it didn't seem like they were living in a dumpster, either.
There are movies out there right now with black characters who aren't poor -- the Madea Halloween one, and another one, Almost Christmas, are both in theaters right now. Just a few weeks ago, we had Southside With You, about the Obama first date; it was great and no one went.
I had a good run last week thanks to our local indie house -- The Handmaiden, the restored Battle of Algiers, Moonlight, and the absolutely lovely Certain Women, directed by Kelly Reichardt, who maintains her perfect record. I think she's my favorite living director now. All that plus Arrival -- which I really did like....well, it only took five movies for me to not want to die after the events of last week.
I think I'm signing up for Filmstruck this week, since Criterion's deal with Hulu is over because they're in cahoots with TCM. I've read that the TCM content on Filmstruck won't perfectly reflect their cable library, but there's hope that'll broaden out as time progresses, if they figure out people will pay for it.
I Am Not Your Negro
Movie based on an unfinished Baldwin book.
So, Fantastic Beasts is good - I could certainly see David Yates's hand in it. Acting very good, some parts that were rather creepy, and was pleasantly surprised that they didn't let predictable things happen. Still there was something that didn't feel right - maybe it was all the CGI (how many buildings can we watch creatures destroyed in one movie?) But all in all a very good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Oh and I know its marketed to kids (I can see these fantastic beasts as figures for sale this Christmas),but know your child - its rather dark, like HP actually, no surprise there. Just sayin')
My 16 year old wanted to see Moonlight (woot!), so he and I saw it on Sunday. I thought it was really lovely with some really nuanced and positive male characters. Plus the camera work was interesting -- lots of tight shots that limited what we could see. Liam sighed at the end and said it was the best movie he had ever seen. Next up is the Alien communication movie -- I keep forgetting its title, for some reason.
>10 alans: Fandor sounds really interesting, and I love the groupings they show on the main page (women directed, foreign, indie, LGBTQ; awesome!). Too bad it's limited to US/Canada :(
Thanks to whoever it was who let me know that The Physician, one of my favorite books by one of my favorite all time authors, was made into a Netflix movie! Watched it last night, it was soooo good! Really on target adaptation, with great acting!
I've been to the movies three times in the past month - more than in the last three years, combined!
Dr. Strange, in 3D in an iMax theater, gave me vertigo. It really felt like the world was tipping and sliding. I agree with >8 mkunruh: the cape was the best character. If you go see it, definitely try to catch the 3D version. It certainly adds a lot to the experience!
Arrival was quite satisfying - an alien contact movie of ideas rather than mayhem (trying hard to avoid spoilers here). 'Course, the main thrust of the movie being about the Whorfian hypothesis was pure pleasure for me - I worked as a linguist for many years and Language, Thought and Reality is one of my favorites.
Fantastic Beasts was enjoyable, but seeing it with a couple of Harry Potter fanatics made it an event! Eddie Redmayne does an absolutely hilarious mating dance and the bar scene is better than the one in Star Wars!
I wonder if I have any money left for next week?
Saw Moana - is it just me or are all the actors playing the main lead in Disney animations required to have the same voice range? I close my eyes and swore I was hearing both Frozen's Elsa and Tangled's Rapunzel....Anyway the plot is a typical child needing to prove self; a little too much of Lion King going in in the beginning. But there was much to praise here - Moana is not just the cheif's daughter - she is smart, quick and determined and does not get rescued by a hero (granted she does get some help from the ocean and her dead grandmother) Her demi god partner of sorts is aggravating but the end up supporting each others efforts. what I esp liked is that their interaction was not romantic in the least (granted, he does 'tweet' her, but doesn't work). One of the best lines was him saying 'of course you are a princess, you are wearing a dress and have a animated animal companion'. But thats about the last mention of royalty. What I loved was the Polynesian story and graphics - the art design here is amazing. Also liked the music, with lyrics by Lin -Manuel Miranda. Recommended
We went to see Nocturnal Creatures last night. It's really not my cup of tea but it's very effective. At first, it's resemblance to a Calvin Klein ad really threw me off and then the penny dropped and I got that it's really modeled on a kind of old fashioned thriller with a great big score and perfectly-coifed elegant people. But it's also really violent and I'm a big baby so watched some of it peeking through my fingers.
On the other hand, Michael Shannon is fantastic.
Oh, and DG, McCabe and Mrs Miller is coming back in a week or two - the theater's tribute to Leonard Cohen. Let me know if you want to go. I saw it last year and I know you did too but I'm game for a second viewing.
Ha, Lauren, I saw the preview for McCabe yesterday at Tampopo. Even though I did see it onscreen last year, and also just got the long-awaited Criterion disc of it, I'm totally up for a re-watch in a movie theater. Lemme know when; I think they're doing it Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Nocturnal Animals is planned for Monday afternoon.
DG, I''ll be interested to know your thoughts about NA. I found watching it almost excruciating but I can't stop thinking about it.
I'll let you know about MMM.
I am watching The Harvey Girls and I have two things to say (FOR NOW):
Angela Lansbury is only 21 in this movie. She always looks much older than her actual age--she was only 19 or so in Gaslight. I think she was only 34 when she was in Murder, She Wrote.
I've been watching Westworld, and I keep mentally putting THG in that world, so now I'm waiting for Judy Garland to gun down everyone in the street and then wake up naked in a laboratory to talk to Anthony Hopkins.
I can't tell if you're joking about Murder, She Wrote...? You obviously know when she was born, and that show started in the mid-80s... >.>
I probably need to request some sort of warning bar or disclaimer for all of my posts stating that I am rarely, if ever, serious in any of my posts.
The Harvey Girls is all downhill after the absolutely spectacular Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe number....which is most of the movie, so.
I will say, though, that I had a verrrrrry vivid memory of it from childhood and when I went with my family to the Grand Canyon, we ate at some restaurant that was a Harvey outpost at some point and I was very shocked that waitresses were not running around with giant platters of three-inch steaks. There was a salad bar, for Garland's sake!
Angela Lansbury was BORN twenty years older than everyone else.
I was just thinking the same thing, SP. But the most of the movie is pretty Grade B-.
John Hodiak is a dud. I kept waiting for "Whip-Crack-Away" and then I remembered that was Calamity Jane.
SP, your comment about Angela Lansbury's age during Murder, She Wrote made me snort. I thought you needed to know this.
I have been considering going to a movie theater soon, but mostly because I am craving popcorn. I just rented some dumb stuff over Thanksgiving, nothing to write home about (Bad Moms, Sausage Party, Ghostbusters, and Finding Dory).
Has anyone seen Manchester by the Sea? I loved Lonergan's other films (I think there are only two, right?)
It opens here in a week and I will be there. Just the previews made me cry like a baby.
Hey, Julie, did you know you can freeze popcorn? Our local theaters will give you a free refill if you buy a large popcorn. I take jumbo size zip-loc bags. We both buy a large popcorn, butter it all up in layers and salt it then pour it into the zip-loc bags. After the movie we take our paper bags back to the counter and they refill them for free. We pour those into the zip-loc bags, butter them up and then bring them home and pop them in the freezer. Whenever we need a bowl of popcorn, we just pop out to the freezer and scoop a bowl full out of the bag and much away. It's really great!
What a wild process April!
We saw Arrival this week. I really enjoyed it (linguistics! protagonist a woman! (although it certainly didn't pass the Bechtel test) large octopus! misty scenery!) but my 16-year-old was less than impressed by the camera work, the predictable storyline (up till the middle where it begin to shift), and the over earnest soundtrack. He gave it a 6.5/10. He did say that it really suffered in comparison to Moonlight. I, couldn't argue, but still enjoyed watching Amy Adams hyperventilate and talk about language for almost 2 hours. Next week is the Manchester movie (or whenever it comes out) and the 16-year-old is very anxious to see LaLa Land. I must say it is really fun to have someone eager to see movies who also wants to talk about them after.
I'm desperate for Manchester, though from the looks of things, it could use a joke or two. I think Lonergan's the real deal, though: You Can Count on Me is the best movie I've ever seen about sibling dynamics and Margaret is its own weird perfect thing (director's version only).
>36 Cara_DB: Yes this. I've not eaten any popcorn that wasn't stovetop for probably 6 years. :)
Heh, Ghost Worldwas on this morning. One of my favorite scenes is Thora Birch's stint at the movie concession stand. "Yellow chemical sludge" or something similar was how she referred to it.
I made it to Nocturnal Animals today, which -- after you strip away the violence -- is basically a big glossy 1950s movie, right down to the strings-y swelling score (it's fantastic, there's a THEME). It's a little bit Peckinpah, a little bit Hitchcock (and a LOT DePalma), a little bit John Boorman, with a sprinkle of Sirk (lots and lots of looking out windows!). Tom Ford gives all of his beautiful stars beautiful closeups (Armie Hammer doesn't even look REAL; he's practically burnished) and then there are some wide John Ford vistas. It's just all A BIG GIANT GLOSSY MOVIE kind of movie: no indie grime! I loved it, though it is not unproblematic in about a million ways.
It's cast to the nth degree -- everyone gets a good scene...Michael Sheen, Jena Malone.....Laura Linney gets the best one -- but it's funny, it's only the best scene because she MAKES it the best scene. You spend the next thirty minutes hoping she'll show back up.
I didn't love it as much as you but I agree Laura Linney was the highlight but I also really liked Michael Shannon.
It's a movie I kind of hated watching because it's so manipulative but I think about it a lot. Better in retrospect, perhaps.
also, during that first night-time scene, I don't think I exhaled. I haven't been that uncomfortable during a movie in I don't know how long.
Yes, it was Deliverance for about ten minutes.
I would probably be raving about Shannon more if Jeff Bridges hadn't just had almost the same part in Hell or High Water.
Going to see Manchester By The Sea tomorrow. A friend of mine said she was so upset by the end that she had to hide in the women's washroom and bawl her eyes out.
>44 alans: I almost went to see it Tuesday and chickened out. We stayed home and watched The Producers with Gene Wilder (at my 16-year-olds insistance) instead. I enjoyed it far more than I expected to.
I was really underwhelmed by Manchester By the Sea. The acting is great as is the script and the direction,the photography is lovely,but it just didn't hit me as I expected it would. Michelle Williams is on for barely ten minutes and her big scene is excellent,Casey Affleck is very moving,but the film felt so small.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit all the right notes and took me back to 1977. I absolutely love it.
So my sis and I decided to see Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet and Keira Knightly and Will Smith in Collateral Beauty. Didn't check the reviews, huge mistake. What are those incredible actors doing in this piece of crap? So checked the reviews when we got home. Yep, everyone agrees with us. I esp liked the AV review: " Collateral Beauty is one of those cloying movies about learning to take the good with the bad that feels like it was made by aliens with little grasp of human life" I want those 90 minutes of my life back, dammit.
>48 cindydavid4: Well I can't speak to the others, but Will Smith seems to be all about the money now, he has no integrity anymore, his fame has gone to his head. He won't do anything if they don't meet his exorbitant demands, and presumably if they do, well then he'll do it.
I don't follow that stuff so I didn't know that. Pity. Men in Black is one of those movies I watch on a regular basis.....the other actors, well all I can think of is that they made some sort of deal, or dare, or lost a bet or something for them to be a part of it.
That being said - I think I posted about my friend's son who died last summer. Haven't been able to really cry. But the topic of the movie itself and its maudlin music, had me in tears by the end, thinking of Peter and my friend. So I guess it was good for something. I needed to do that.
Yeah, it came out clear as day when he refused the new Independence Day flick because they wouldn't meet his insane salary demand. It made me sad because that was such a fun movie, and I used to adore him, back in the 90s. So I was wondering why there was no mention of him for the sequel for so long after it had the green light and all, and then... *sigh* So yep I won't support him anymore, if that's his attitude. Oh well, I can keep loving my Bad Boys and forget he still makes other stuff. xP
Glad it had a cathartic effect for you, at least!
>50 .Monkey.: No, I think he's all about chasing an Oscar now, ever since that dumb Pursuit of Happyness movie -- it's been one failed Oscar-bait flop after another.
>53 DG_Strong: That may well be, but there's no question that he will also only do anything that pays what his inflated head thinks he ought to get.
We saw La La Land yesterday because the 16-year old insisted. It was the perfect Christmas Day movie. It also had one of the best endings I've seen in a movie in a long time. My only reservation was Emma/Ryan, although there is no denying their chemistry.
Yeah we just watched it - acting was great as was the music. I didn't like the ending, think it would have been better if (wait - how do I do spoilers here?)
I LOVED it -- it was a very DG movie in ALL the ways! -- but it did remind me of another movie so much that it was almost distracting -- there's no way it's not intentional, so I ended up feeling a little funny about loving it because I can't quite decide if it's a loving homage or a blatant ripoff.
But I can't mention the movie because that gets spoilery. You all have a week! Then I'm blabbing.
Definitely don't wait to watch it at home. It's a movie theater movie if there ever was one.
We sat close to the front, and it was like we were watching a stage production - very cool!
I took my son to see SING last night. I was underwhelmed. The animation was great. The music was fantastic, but the story was slow and the main character only partly sympathetic. I ended up yawning in the second act, waiting for the finale to arrive.
That said, I enjoyed Storks. I have yet to see Trolls or Moana.
Oh ok, the old way. Got it. (got spoiled by so many sites that use a special buttton to hide the spoiler, forgot how it all worked!)
I made it to Manchester by the Sea today -- I admired it quite a bit, but everything is held at such a remove (except for a couple of times when it isn't) that it's kind of hard to love. It's the feel-bad movie of the season! Kenneth Lonergan (who maintains his 100% Fresh DG Rating) knows how to do what he's interested in, though -- it's very compressed and detailed in a way that not many movies are...lots of extra scenes that add nothing to the nominal plot but add quite a bit of dimension to characters, little throwaway-seeming scenes that really end up being the most interesting parts of the movie.
Adding my voice to the Michelle Williams controversy: she has like twelve lines! Matthew Broderick is in it as much as she is! It's not big enough for a supporting actress nomination, sorry. Though she's very good.
But remember Judy Dench won for even a shorter moment in Shakespeare in love. I agree about Williams. She was great but brief.
My audience laughed when Broderick appeared. Totaly idiotic to put him in the movie.
Dench didn't deserve it EITHER -- that was her makeup prize for losing to Helen Hunt the year before, the year Helena Bonham Carter should have beat them both.
Williams is going to end up competing against Viola Davis who is really a lead performance. It's like a kitten and a tractor are in a fight.
I watched SING last night with my 6 and 8 year old. I think I laughed louder than they did!
OK so I thought the Star Wars thing was fun. It's basically a commando movie, and draws on a ton of those--WWII in particular--for character beats and plotting. What I enjoyed most were all the ways (especially the small details) that tied this film to the ones from the 1970s and 1980s. Some of it was strange, like CGI Leia, but some were really fun, like the 70s pornstaches and sideburns sported by a lot of the rebel pilots.
>68 SPRankin: I just saw it with my dad and my nephews. They all loved it. I liked it, but yeah, it ended up a weird mash up of invasion of Normandy, the taking of Iwo Jima, and Hiroshima. A little more blatantly patriotic than I was expecting or happy with.
Good grit, though. The original Cantina looked five star by comparison.
Behind the times, but I just finished watching Brooklyn. What a lovely, gentle film.
I loved that both guys were good choices -- there wasn't a "villain."
Passengers, despite a few holes you could drive a truck through, was quite entertaining to watch.. Never saw Pratt before, tho David has in the comic movies and always liked him. I can see why; some really amazing acting there And Lawrence is always good. I did want to know
>72 cindydavid4: I heard it was better than the bad press its getting.
I watched 'Hell or High Water' and I am not sure it warrants all the 'one of the best of the year' hype. I get the story. I thought it was an okay film, but I'm not sure why everyone thinks it is so great. Any insight out there?
>73 brodiew2: Yeah, I had no idea critics were panning it so much, wow. it had problems (and I loved the alternative endings that the AV comment section provided!) But it wasn't all that bad.
Its not that its being panned. It's being praised as one of the best of the year. It was a good indie crime film, but it did not compell me. I like Pine, but his performace was so subdued. His motivations were clear, but I didnt kbow enough about the characters histories to care.
>57 DG_Strong: I LOVED it -- it was a very DG movie in ALL the ways! -- but it did remind me of another movie so much that it was almost distracting -- there's no way it's not intentional, so I ended up feeling a little funny about loving it because I can't quite decide if it's a loving homage or a blatant ripoff.
But I can't mention the movie because that gets spoilery. You all have a week! Then I'm blabbing."
Were you talking about La La Land? I saw it last night. It's been close to a week, I'm just saying.
I liked it a lot but I got fooled a bunch of times near the end thinking the credits were about to roll. I was also sitting next to one of those people who keep pointing out every little inaccuracy, like "they have the traffic headed the same direction on the 101." The fact this person was my husband didn't help.
>75 brodiew2: (edited) sorry, I misunderstood your reference last night. We were talking about two dif movies and i didn't notice it at the time! I was talking about Passengers
>76 lynn_r: It's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg in about a million ways.
I think once you give in and suspend disbelief and allow people to sing and DANCE IN THE AIR AMONG THE STARS, you don't get to hold them to Rand McNally geographic accuracy.
Last night, for the hell of it, we watched Russian Ark. Anyone seen it? It's... I'd say on the other end of the spectrum from any kind of popular film anywhere. But gorgeous, like sumptuously so, and technically fascinating—96 minutes of a single steadicam take. Basically a film collage of Russian history from the time of Peter the Great onward, set in the Hermitage—nonchronological, nonnarrative, to the point where I think I would have appreciated it much more if my grounding in Russian history and politics was better. But still incredible eye candy, with period costumes and the Hermitage itself, which is just amazing (I was there when I was 13 and wish I had more of a memory of it, but it still made a big impression). Anyway, even with a sometimes glacial pace it was still pretty fascinating, and really stunning to look at throughout, though I'm not sure if you want to watch it on TV that's not wide-screen (and a theater screening would be awesome).
Saw that a while back, and agree it was fascinating and stunning. I'd love to go there in person. But I'll probably have to settle for that film
I saw three movies while on vacation visiting my folks. My dad had us watch the new Star Wars, and the latest Bourne movie with Matt Damon (who is getting too old for that role, fyi).
My mom had us watch something called The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, which was a documentary and made me cry.
This pretty much sums up the division of taste in my family. But it is kind of awesome that dad always sits through mom's picks with equanimity, and she always sits through his with the same genial forbearance. And thus I'm always especially interested in the movies and shows that they both like, because it seems so unlikely that there would be any.
I remember a long story about Russian Ark somewhere when it came out -- apparently, they did it on like the sixth try. I loved it, but I do like a constriction-kind of movie.
Fourth try, is what I read. And they had to dub the sound separately because the director swore so much during the shooting—among the other constraints they were shooting in Leningrad in winter and only had four hours of daylight to work with. Not to mention a thousand extras in period dress, too. I think there's a documentary about its making, which I would totally watch.
I thought Manchester-by-the-Sea was very good, a tiny bit misery-porn but I admire the way Lonergan makes movies about people wrestling with things they can't change which seems to go against every rule of film storytelling. That part of the country is one I know very well and he sure got it right in every way.
The kid - Lucas Hedges- was really good.
I do think there should be a ban on the use of Albioni's Adagio in G Minor in all films for the next century. Please, no more.
We saw Fences yesterday. It was better than I expected and Denzel is very very lucky that he had Viola Davis, although she is so good that I think she skews the storyline a bit away from the relationship with the sons, making the play much more about the marriage.
It's interesting to me that two of the actresses who will get nominated for Best Supporting had scenes where they cried so hard that snot came out of their noses.
I watched "Hell or High Water" with my 82 y/o dad and we both liked it a lot. I'm not sure if I've ever seen Chris Pine in anything else. I'd have to look up his filmography, but I thought he was very good playing a guy doing bad things for a greater good. I also liked that the plot complicated the desired results with a certain death. Bridges was excellent. He could've gone over the top with that role. Not that it had a similar storyline, or anything, but there was something very "The Grapes of Wrath" about it. Can't put my finger on it.
I also saw "Rogue One" with my son, who grew up playing with model AT-ATs, me constantly tripping over a huge Millennium Falcon, and he carrying a Boba Fett figurine in his pocket wherever he went. I thought it was just okay. A nice afternoon with my son. He loved it.
>85 Pat_D: Thank you for responding, Pat_D. I appreciate you comments and see where you are coming from. There is a sense of desperation in the brothers' actions. However, I never could find a reason to care to terribly much about whether they succeeded. There is a dreariness in the ex-wife and we don't get enough of the family history to care that the kids will not have to suffer poverty. The life of the film is left squarely on the shoulders of Ben Foster, who has played crazy so well before. Here, he wasn't as crazy as, again, desperate, to see his brother's plan succeed. It is clear that the older brother loves the younger and does not want to see him more spoiled by the world than he already has been. This was the core of the film for me. Pine was too spare with his performance. One thing that initially annoyed me was they way Pine was always looking at the ground, like he was ashamed to face what he was doing, even for his own good reason.
I love Jeff Bridges, but I couldn't really root for him either. He was a sad, lonely character who cares for his partner, but shows in the only, inappropriate, way he knows how. It was awkward. But, perhaps that is why it is so good. Not sure.
'I loved Rogue One'!
So Hidden Figures was interesting - well acted with a good story. But wow it went over the top sometimes in terms of dialogue. Talk like real people talk, pls . Plus my long term dislike of Kevin Costner has not abated. Every time he stuck another stick of gum in his mouth I thought of the guy in Dr. Strangelove. Still worthwhile movie to watch.
I actually saw a movie other people are talking about! I saw La La Land with a friend yesterday, and we both really enjoyed it. That might have been because we'd just come from brunch with pomegranate mimosas and a waiter who brought us more wine than we asked for in the theater. The ending seemed a bit abrupt to me, but in general, it's fun and sweet.
We saw La La Land last night whilst it was winning so many awards. I''m afraid it didn't sit well with me - I loved all the magical musical bits but every time it put one foot on the ground, it became deadly.
I couldn't get past that whole 'jazz is dead and it's up the white guy to bring it back' especially in LA which is so rich in jazz of all kinds. Then I felt bad because I know the movie is about dreams and here I was dragging it down, asking it to be realistic. But I felt embarrassed for it as a movie.
I love Emma Stone though. I could look at her face forever.
She has a lovely face, but I didn't love her or Ryan G., certainly not enough for them to both win the GG. You're right about the white guy saving Jazz, although I don't think that was quite it's intent it was close enough to be embarrassing, and the mother/wife fantasy grated as well. Yet, I loved the filigree at the end and the colour and the dancing, so I was willing to let lots go. BUT, I will say that it winning all the awards, particularly over lovely and thoughtful movies like Moonlight was very frustrating.
The thing with the jazz business.....I think it really could have been anything; he could have been trying to save optometry -- that's how faint of an impression his career as a jazz musician seemed. I honestly thought it was more about his opening a club -- but I thought it was striking that HER creative arc was the more interesting one (I thought her audition scenes were the best thing in the movie).
dg, I completely agree, hers was the more interesting creative arc and her final song - at that final audition - was one of the movie's most magical moments.
BUT, if you are going to make a decision about what his journey is - and again, I agree, it's more about the club than his career, then why make it something so loaded? Anyone saying that they want to 'save jazz' when it doesn't need saving sounds like a dum-dum but a white guy saying it just sounds pitiful. And then those scenes in the club where he's playing and she's bopping around and all the African American folks are looking at them with approval - I was literally cringing in my seat.
I wondered if that was John Legend's input? That and I suspect that Chapelle thinks he is saving jazz on some level. Whiplash certainly goes there.
I made it to the terribly-titled* Lion today -- it's got a lot of beats in common with The Impossible from a few years ago, though this is the better movie, mainly because Dev Patel is a better actor than Ewan McGregor. The first half is all subtitled -- which did thin the herd a little in the audience I saw it with -- but the kid who is young Dev Patel is just incredible; it's worth seeing just for him. Nicole Kidman -- who goes the no-makeup-and-frowny route here (she's fine) -- wears the worst wig this side of Season 1 of The Americans. There's maybe a little mixed-up "perfect white people adopt the savages" stuff, but not enough to get too nervous about.
Like The Impossible, it's got a lot riding on the ending and how they play it and it's pretty well-done; it earns the swelling music.
*the explanation of the title, though, is a good ta-da moment
It would have been better if either one of them could actually sing or dance.
I watched the GGs the other night and I realized its really a Peter Pan story about theatre nerds who never want to grow up. I can't imagine Damzen Chenille (no, I didn't look up his name) having a long film career.
It's still a charming movie, and I would watch a video of Emma Stone googling the White Pages.
"and I would watch a video of Emma Stone googling the White Pages."
I forgot to mention -- "Lion" features what has to be a 20-minute sequence of Dev Patel clicking around Google Earth. It's not the movie's finest moment.
I am apparently only posting about Andrew Sean Greer today. Madonna to direct Greta Wells.
Jeeeesus. Stay out of the movie business, lady!
I had fewer problems with La La Land than most of you. I didn't think of Gosling's character as trying to save jazz, but of trying to be a contributing part to exposing people so they learn to love it...six of one, half dozen of the other? He wanted people to love what he loved. And I had no problem with them hanging out and dancing in the club. That does happen, you know. I've been to jazz clubs and no one kicked me out for being white, even though I was almost the only one there and I wasn't trying to dance like I was in a Bjork video. Ha. However, I will agree that neither one of them is a good singer or dancer. I was hoping I was the only one who really noticed it. If you don't know much about dance, I think you may not see it. But to me, clearly they'd both taken dance classes at one point in their lives (most actors do, right?), but they weren't great.
I really want to go see Lion. Almost did yesterday, but a medical emergency at work had me dealing with paramedics and stuff (not me, an employee). And Moonlight is also at the top of my list, but it's playing like ONE theater. ARGH.
Re watching Birdman, easily my favorite movie of the last 10 years, and realized that there are good movies about trying to make art and this is one of them.
Yeah yeah I know .. I used "make art" in a sentence. That's like someone talking about the great recipes in the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Well FU, meatloaf can be art, too.
Confessions of Max Tivoli is one of my favorite all time reads (and is the story that should have been made into a movie, not that other one....) But I didn't care for Greta Wells at all
>99 JulieCarter: I didn't think of Gosling's character as trying to save jazz, but of trying to be a contributing part to exposing people so they learn to love it...six of one, half dozen of the other? He wanted people to love what he loved.
Interesting, thats how I see it as well. However I know others are more attuned to this, I get that. Maybe some can school me on this ?
BTW is the trailer for Boss Baby the worst ever? I can't imagine watching that movie.
Loved, loved, Loved 'The Accountant' with Ben Affleck. I think the trailer did the film justice without giving too much away. Affleck's high functioning autistic accountant was a great character with a surprising set of 'specific skills' which blend just fine into the story.
I made it to Scorsese's "Silence" today which is really well made and just a tiny bit boring and never quiiiite convincing. I think the problem is the two leads should have switched -- Andrew Garfield just has too modern of a face (and you spend a LOT of time looking at it) and despite his non-stop parade of man-buns and many many other hairstyles (at one point, he sports an awesome mall-shag not seen since Mary McDonnell sported it in Dances with Wolves), you never really believe he's ever heard of the 17th century, much less that he actually lives in it. Whereas Adam Driver has that great weird Renaissance Caravaggio-face.
Anyway. I also think if I was at all interested in "faith" I probably wouldn't have been fidgety, but every single minute of its almost three hour length is about this subject, so you're either in or out in like the first five second.
It's better than the deadly preview would suggest, but it's not top-tier. But also, who the fuck am I to talk crap about Scorsese?
toDAY'S time waster (I do love a short workday!) was Affleck's Live By Night, which is just terrible terrible terrible -- the only thing to do while watching it is to tick off the gangster movie clichés. Why do so many stars with power and a successful movie behind them get into trouble with this era and genre? Bugsy Malone was more convincing -- and there's one actress in this who is so miscast she actually looks like she's FROM Bugsy Malone.
There are two fun things: the majority of it is set in prohibition-era Tampa, so the setting doesn't look like the usual generic-looking big-city backlot brownstone sets and then also Anthony Michael Hall pops up in one scene and its fun playing "wait a minute, I know him from somewhere..."
Affleck manages to look both bloated and cadaverous at the same time.
>105 laurenbufferd: It's that weird thing where the main guys are supposed to be Portugeuse but speak in weirdly formal English with Italian? maybe? accents (for a few scenes -- then they just give up. And Neeson is never not Irish). But the Japanese speak in SUPER ACCENTED JAPANESE and you can baaaarrrreeelllllyyy eke out what they're saying sometimes.
>104 Pat_D: Pat, you should go and report back; I think it was a hard movie for me to embrace because it is ALL JESUS ALL THE TIME
>106 DG_Strong: Too bad, DG_Strong. I had high hopes for this. I like Affleck as an actor and director. I am still planning to read/listen to the book before seeing the film.
I know some here shared my affection for Lean on Pete, by Willie Vlautin.
Filming has completed for the movie adaptation, directed by Andrew Haigh. Interesting cast:
Ragnar = Ray (Charley's dad)
Charlie Plummer = Charlie
Steve Buscemi = Del
Chloe Sevigny = Bonnie
Steve Zahn in an unnamed role.
In the right hands, this could be sooooo good (fingers crossed).
The movie version of The Motel Life was an admirable effort, but ultimately disappointing. In fairness, that book probably wouldn't transfer to the screen well, no matter who tried. It has to be read to get the full effect.
Oh, cool. I loved Lean On Pete -- such a nice understated book. I hope the director's got a light touch because it would be easy to get ruinously melodramatic with this one.
I made it to 20th Century Women on Friday -- it's a good movie, though dangerously low on incident for those of you who really need a story. Bening is great in it; it's her show, and it's a pleasure watching her have some acting to do. And I am still on the Greta Gerwig love-train, I don't care what anyone says.
It's most interesting attribute is how it fits in with Beginners -- Mike Mills' other movie portrait of his parental figures -- both movies are a little, hmmm, sketched, but they add up to a really good self-portrait of Mills himself. It seems like that would be navel-gazing-y, and maybe it is, but it's such a complete portrait that you're just happy to see such a thing.
There are a couple of snazzy directory things I could have done without (he speeds footage up occasionally, and it's a complete mystery as to why. Did it really take too long for Elle Fanning to climb down that scaffolding?), but then you get lots of scenes of people reading books, so it all balances out.
There's a good profile of Mills from the NYer a couple of weeks back. I found it to be helpful in terms of thinking about his work.
I saw 20th Century Women yesterday after the march, which was interesting. I agree it's Bening's show. I also think if it weren't so highly specific to Mills's life (I'm assuming), I'd have a harder time with it. It was a little heavy on the "sad mysterious beautiful cool girl with a mean cold mother which leads her to have sex with boys/men the main character doesn't think are good enough for her" for me. Which really, I do think Mills pushes against a bit.
But I don't know, I think my days of being interested in yet another exploration of how unknowable women ciphers variously confuse, inspire, or sexually frustrate/initiate a boy into manhood were over a long, long, long time ago.
Yeah, it's definitely not very original in that sense. But it is his story, so I was ok with him telling it.
So, tonight on TMC, Magnificent Obsession and All That Heaven Allows (Jane Wyman night, I guess? At least one more of hers.). Are they both required watching? Looks like ATHA is more highly regarded, but I thought I'd check with the experts (that's you).
BOTH REQUIRED and BOTH NUTS
Heaven is definitely the more essential, but Obsession is a deeply weird movie.
Wyman has been the star of the month on TCM -- every Thursday....and hilariously uneven.
Wyman was in some real stinkers, wasn't she?
MO is so, so weird. And it has probably one of the most annoying child actresses on earth in it--approaching Little Mary in The Women levels.
I spend half of my life mooning over Heaven, but there's really nothing else like it. I watch it probably once a week.
The two of them have such vivid settings, too -- I was obsessed with the ATHA house forever and now I'm kind of fascinated by the outdoor cafe that seems to be literally in the middle of the redwoods in MO -- the one she's leaving right before she gets in and then, um, out of the car. And her house in that one is no slouch either.
I am also obsessed with ATHWA, especially Rock Hudson's house. The view from his window!!
Then you should watch Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul which borrows the plot - in this case, a older German woman falls in love with a Moroccan man.
Wikipedia says it was filmed in Lake Tahoe for the speedboat stuff and Lake Arrowhead for the rest, and the restaurant scene looks like Lake Arrowhead Village.
I was only missing two movies from the main Oscar categories (aside from Hacksaw Ridge, in which I am completely uninterested) -- Elle and Hidden Figures - so I managed both of those this week. Elle is peculiar and not an easy movie to watch at all (worst date movie in quite some time, I'd wager) but it's really provocative and gives you a lot to think and talk about, even past Huppert's mind-bogglingly great performance. In a perfect world, the statue is hers. But seriously, don't take a sexytime date to this movie.
This makes me sound like a kitten strangler, but I thought Hidden Figures was kind of a bore. The actual story is quite interesting, but the movie spends so much time making the three main characters into saints that any complexity they might have had as real people gets ironed right out. I think the worst thing any of them does is steal a library book and even that's for the Greater Good. I dunno; it just seemed like one of those old Hallmark movies, the ones they used to make that felt like BIG EVENTS but were still just TV movies. I'm sure they saved a lot of money filming Taraji running across the parking lot FIVE HUNDRED TIMES to go to the bathroom. I did spend a lot of time looking at the details in Taraji's house, though, and I'll take those two Blenko vases on the sideboard.
After 15 years on the night shift, I'm still having trouble adjusting to a regular sleeping schedule. So, late last night I finally got around to watching "Snowden." Man, talk about a timely selection. That story has all kinds of relevance right now.
Despite anyone's personal feelings about the character, Joseph Gordon-Levitt turned in another excellent performance. It's such a beautifully subtle depiction that I don't know if anyone else noticed it, but he even changes the sound of his voice to more mimic the real Snowden. I think he might be one of his generation's most underrated actors. Ever since 50/50, I've made a point of keeping an eye out for his non-fratboy films. I wish he'd get more challenging roles.
"(aside from Hacksaw Ridge, in which I am completely uninterested)"
Aside from "Hell or High Water," I haven't seen any of the 2017 nom's. I am eagerly awaiting "Hacksaw Ridge," rental availability because I saw a documentary about that main character, and I think it's an amazing story... how a pacifist managed to serve his country in combat. I don't expect much from Eastwood, I'm just very interested in the story.
It's Gibson, not Eastwood, and I just can't cross the picket line for Sugar Tits. No money from me.
>124 DG_Strong: DG_Strong, you lost me with the picket line comment? Care to explain?
A lot of people boycott Gibson because of his anti-Semitic and anti-Sugar Tits remarks from a few years ago. There is not a physical picket line.
I just broke my never explain a joke rule!
I can't figure out Netflix. I think it's great that they have turned movie and TV production upside down by producing their own stuff ... and all the extra work it's providing for both former stars and new actors. And more people are probably watching documentaries now than ever before.
But as for their selection of theatre movies ... I don't know the business decisions behind how they get rights to stream movies, but I'm always intrigued when movies that are 40, 50, 60+ years old show up. For the most part, I'll always choose to watch an old movie than some comic book movie.
Anyway, for this month at least they are showing The Third Man. I don't even have to watch the whole thing but I like watching any part of it. Joseph Cotton was never a very good actor but he's perfect here. And all the odd camera angles. And the odd-looking European actors. And nothing but zither music on the soundtrack! And the big reveal!! (What's the statute of limitations on spoiler alerts?)
Anyway, if you have Netflix and haven't seen The Third Man, go watch it.
Our local indie theater has been showing a series of big-screen musicals -- last week was Carmen Jones (which I think is a bit of a bore, though I really wanted to see it big -- but, still boring) and today was A Star is Born. I've seen it so many times that it's hard to find new things in it, but on the big screen I was really struck by how so much of it is James Mason's movie. And that's saying something because he doesn't even get a song -- but he's really really good in it.
And I loved it that the whole audience practically screamed when he hit her; people were really invested in it.
Thanks teep, I didn't know The Third Man was streaming, so I just started it. It's one of those movies I've seen before, but didn't really follow --or if I did, I don't remember the plot. Maybe this time it will stick.
In my backwoods streaming searches I've uncovered a couple of early James Mason movies ... British productions ... that were really good. I think he was an excellent actor, but it's hard to know that because, understandably, he was lured by big Hollywood dollars to make a LOT of movies that aren't very watchable.
My favorite late Mason pleasure is The Last of Sheila.
The Last of Sheila is nuts -- it's so dumb but of course everyone involved thinks they're just the smartest people on earth, which lends it some, hmmm, hubris? But I do love it -- it's that weird 70s movie they just don't make anymore. I have a friend who calls it Murder, She Love Boated.
Very long post containing "Manchester of the Sea" SPOILERS. Sorry.
As an antidote to my football withdrawals, yesterday was a double bill. I watched both "Hacksaw Ridge" and "Manchester by the Sea." I scrolled back to check others' comments and saw:
alans: "Michelle Williams is on for barely ten minutes and her big scene is excellent,Casey Affleck is very moving,but the film felt so small."
I'm not sure what you meant by this, Alan. Did you mean lo-fi (as in budget), or mundane, or too specific? Honest question.
DG_Strong: "I made it to Manchester by the Sea today -- I admired it quite a bit, but everything is held at such a remove (except for a couple of times when it isn't) that it's kind of hard to love."
I didn't feel that, at all. It's one of the many things Lonergan gets so right- that Yankee stoicism that can easily be mistaken for flat affect (except when sports are involved). I spent most of my childhood growing up in a town almost exactly like that one, only in CT, and I can't think of another movie that was so on-the-nose with that trait. New Englanders are like walking/talking paradoxes. They're so damn possessive of their tragedy and guilt, yet their kindness and compassion and sense of community knows no bounds. They share nothing and everything of themselves.
I think it's the best movie I've seen all year, and I was prepared for a bit of a let-down after all the buzz. I still can't shake it (can you tell?). Like it's center stage in my frontal lobe, or something, or like when I experience a very affecting read that stays with me for days. Actually, it did feel like I was watching a novel.
laurenbufferd: "That part of the country is one I know very well and he sure got it right in every way. "
Snap. Couldn't agree more, Lauren.
"The kid - Lucas Hedges- was really good."
One of the first things I did after the movie ended was to pick up my phone and check whether he'd been nominated. I know he's very young, but that truly is an award worthy performance.
I've always hated those "make up for our f**k up" awards, so it's really strange for me to get on board with Michelle Williams' nomination for so little screen time. But every short scene she is in is exceptionally demanding skill wise and crucial to the plot. Especially that scene where Lee and Randi run into each other on the street corner after she's had her baby. I mean that not just because it's so packed with a plethora of her emotions: self-recrimination, pity, an epiphany of compassion, concern... and love (the way she says those three short words, "I love you," is absolute perfection, and I think it broke my heart almost as much as it did Lee's). It's an extremely important scene, because up until that moment, Lee is very conflicted about what to do with Patrick. So much so, he even starts job hunting in town. But then Lee runs into Randi, she tells him everything he's probably not consciously longed to hear for years, he falls back into his pattern of self-flagellating bar fights, and finally knows he can't stay there. It's a short scene in minutes but it's a huge scene for resolution. Willaims manages to pack in an awful lot in that scene without overdoing it.
Based on the limited amount of this year's nominated actors I've seen, I think Affleck should be a no-brainer. I could specify any of a number of scenes as evidence, but he should get the Oscar for the immediate aftermath of the tragedy alone. I've seen a lot of real life people in shock, and his portrayal of stunned grief and instant self-crucifixion is phenomenal. Then it segues into that incredibly amazing scene at the police station, and I'm not referring to the violent part. The way he delivers his version of events is absolute perfection when it so easily could have felt like so much exposition.
I also thought Lonergan's pacing was genius. For instance, he doesn't visually tell us the whole story of that night when the camera follows Lee home from the store. We find out just like the police do, and it's so much more effective that way.
Also, the movie is very close to being timeless in that I highly doubt it will ever feel dated in years to come. Just like Affleck, I thought the screenplay was sublime, and I wasn't surprised to read that Lonergen worked on it for three years.
I'm so frustrated by the timing of the films. It's true every year, I suppose, but I think it's a bit worse this year. I live in one of the biggest areas of the country, and some of these movies were barely available here at all. But then, I hate going to theaters, so I haven't seen many of the films that were here anyway. But, over the next couple of weeks, I may try to go ahead and rent some of the ones that are available. Or figure something out.
Oh, I love that first weeks of January here in Nashville, when all the December prestige movies finally show up in theaters -- I've trained my mother to give me a $100 Regal gift card for Christmas so I just go to ten movies in three weeks.
"Murder, She Love Boated." .... hee hee
I also like the odd screenwriting credit -- "Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim" ... if I was a movie producer I would sign up odd couples to write movies screenplays.
Lady Gaga and Franklin Graham
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Vince Gallagher
Lena Dunham and Robert Towne
Watched "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk." My recommendation: read the book.
I'd criticize everything that was wrong with the flick, except I honestly felt that book was unfilmable from the moment I heard they were going to try. Nicest thing I can say about the movie is they cast the main character perfectly.
I thought the book was excellent, though.
You are literally the only person I know who watched it all the way through to the end -- I know at least three people who walked out because they way it was filmed in that super-many-billion frames per second way gave them instant headaches (and one is a professional film critic!). But also only about eight people went in the first place, so congratulations!
Ang Lee is funny -- when he's on, he's ON -- and when he's not....well, hello Lust, Caution.
Then there's "Ride With the Devil" which I bought because I loved it so much.
I love Ride with the Devil too (and the Criterion disc is beeeeyyooootiful) -- I do think the only duds have been Lust Caution and now Billy Lynn...eh, and maybe Hulk, though there are things about it that I like. I am a big defender of the Woodstock movie, which I think even FEWER people saw.
But he's puzzling -- like John Huston or William Wyler, he makes a lot of completely different types of movies and it can be hard to pin down exactly what themes he's interested in. It might just take more movies before we see the thread. His next project is the Thrilla in Manilla one.
My knee-jerk reaction is that'll be a loser, too, but you're right. You just never know with him.
The thread I've noticed is that all of his stellar films, IMO, are the ones with screenplays written by established writers (Woodrell, Austen/Emma Thompson, Wang Dulu, Prouix) that come with a strong sense of cinema already built-in. Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn author), wrote a truly great book, but it was not one that would translate to the screen well, since so much of it is dependent on its structure via the written word. I also think he seems to do better with period pieces.
Proulx didn't write the Brokeback screenplay -- it was written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry (!); Proulx thought it was unfilmable -- but I do think you're probably on to something.
I think Lee has a thing for challenges; I know everyone on earth thought Life of Pi was unfilmable, so he said, eh, we'll see. I wasn't super-keen on it (I really dislike the book), but I thought it was pretty inarguable that he had indeed made a good movie out of the material.
I agree about Life of Pi -- it isn't a great movie, but the movie is much better than the book.
John Huston made so many BAD movies, which I suppose you can forgive him for the handful of classics he made.
And, having just looked at his list of movies, you can focus mainly on his movies from 1948 and earlier and 1975 and later.
I watched them all year before last. It took a long time. But it was so clearly figure-outtable when he was interested in a project or not. But I think the good (or at least the interesting) far outnumbered the bad. And he had the best final three of almost anyone. I love that run in the 50s of Moulin Rouge, Beat the Devil, Moby Dick and Heaven Knows, Mr Allison. It seems like he was making variations on Moby DIck his whole life, so it's funny that he couldn't quite crack the real thing...but it's a fascinating movie.
We saw Lion today. We saw an interview with Saroo and his adoptive mother on TV a few weeks ago. Even though we thought we knew the story, there were still a couple surprises. I didn't realize how tall Dev Patel is, which is a really stupid observation.
>153 AprilAdamson: I didn't realize how tall Dev Patel is
I didn't either! I saw it in the theatre, I think. There were a couple of surprise. Incredible story.
>154 mkunruh: Really incredible story and so heartbreaking in a number of ways.
I think I'll skip watching the Oscars this year. I always watch and have a good time, but the combination of La-La Land adoration (I liked the movie but it isn't Citizen Kane .... it's more like "The Artist" or "Crash" and who remembers or would willingly watch either of those again?) and Trump dumping by really rich people just isn't appealing. think i'll go to the movies instead.
So, here are all the Best Movies from this century, with my worthless commentary on re-watchability --
2015 - "Spotlight" -- really really good movie; heratbreaking in spots. I'ts streaming, but I don;t feel compelled to watch it again.
2014 - "Birdman" -- fun inventive movie that I have watched a half-dozen times already and would watch again
2013 - "12 Years a Slave" -- didn't see it
2012 - "Argo" -- fun trailer, entertaining movie, no strong desire to see again
2011 - "The Artist" -- i was entertained but have no desire to see again
2010 - "The King's Speech" -- preachy period piece ... no desire to see again
2009 - "The Hurt Locker" -- saw it ... good tension as I remember but have no desire to see it again
2008 - "Slumdog Millionaire" -- inventive, kinetic, both depressing and exhilarating. Have seen it a half dozen times and would see it again. Best closing credits EVER
2007 - "No Country for Old Men" -- compelling and depressing. I watch Fargo whenever I get the chance but have not felt the desire to watch this again.
2006 - "The Departed" -- boy I'll sound film-snobby but I prefer the Hong Kong original Infernal affairs. also features one of the worst Jack Nicholson performances
2005 - "Crash" -- want to feel depressed about humans? here's the movie for you. no desire to see again
2004 - "Million Dollar Baby" -- I really loved this movie when it came out, but have no desire to see it again
2003 - "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" -- ugh ugh ugh ... this is the only of the series that I saw and I hated it. The longest most boring mountain climb EVAH.
2002 - "Chicago" -- didn't see it; have seen the stage show a couple of times and like the music.
2001 - "A Beautiful Mind" -- never saw it
2000 - "Gladiator" -- never saw it
>156 tpc_real: Oh I still remember The Artist - first saw it in our independent film theatre and was totally wowed by it. Saw it again a couple of other times. Thrilled it got best picture and still think it was great. Far better then LaLa Land (which was ok but I don't think it shoul be best pic)
Just my opinion, but rich people who pay their taxes are just as entitled as anyone else to speak out against human rights violations.
My favorite movies rarely win these big awards, just as my favorite tv shows hardly ever get recognized by The Emmys (I still can't come to terms that The Wire never even received a nomination), so they hold very little credibility with me. I don't watch it live, so I can fast forward through the commercials and really awful parts, but it's hard to completely avoid the spectacle.
David and I went to see LaLa again, with some friends who hadn't seen it before. I liked it ok the first time, but this time it all clicked for me - the dancing and singing didn't feel fake or out of place, the scenes were a delight to watch, Emma Stone really got a chance to show her talents, and the score.....well. I even was ok with the ending this time around
I saw almost no movies in 2016, but I did see Florence Foster Jenkins and La La Land. I liked FFJ well enough, but I absolutely loathed LLL. It was actually painful to sit through the entire thing, and if I wasn't with a small group, I would have left the theater after about fifteen minutes. It is in every way NOT MY THING. I was stunned when it started getting Oscar-talk.
Are you not a fan of musicals? Or was it something else all together?
My son came over yesterday to do some work around the house in exchange for a home-cooked dinner, and we managed to squeeze in "Moonlight" before the Oscars aired. I thought it was an exquisite piece of filmmaking and deserved its award. While I thought Ali's performance was excellent, I actually thought Trevante Rhodes stole the movie with his almost wordless vignette. The interplay between Rhodes and Holland was indescribably poignant. I was very pleased to see Lonergan's script/Affleck's win, also.
I actually forgot about the Oscars last night. I recorded, and even recorded the News afterwards, but apparently that is not enough? I heard on the radio that it went until 11:15 (central time), which is 45 minutes long! Ridiculous. So I missed the big snafu, although I heard it on the radio. What a clusterf*#$.
I only saw La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Arrival (and one of the animated movies, I think). I've been wanting to see Moonlight, but it's never at a convenient time by my work, and it's in like 3 theaters in the entire area. Hopefully it will open at some new theaters now. I looked at the theater closest to my house on Saturday, and they are only showing shit movies. I mean, like that one with James Franco? Trash. I can't even remember what they were, because they are all monumentally unappealing. Anyway, with Manchester by the Sea, I had heard a lot about Casey Affleck (including the ick-factor news) and Michelle Williams. I waited for her few scenes to blow me away, and she doesn't until that one near the end. THAT scene is why she got nominated, and it was a great, great scene. But you can't really compete with Viola, can you?
However, there are a TON of big, blockbuster type movies coming up, which many of you may not care for. But I'm all in for Wonder Woman an Guardians of the Galaxy 2. There are a few more like that coming, and I'm more likely to go see some of those in the XD theaters or 3D theaters. The rest will just have to wait for me to rent them at Redbox or wait for cable. Grrr.
(Forgive me,please. I've had so much going on, I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't found the time to learn how to quote, link, etc. I will--when the dust settles. But for now you're stuck with my fumblings.)
Cindy asked: Are you not a fan of musicals? Or was it something else all together?
I think it was something else altogether. I can't say I don't like musicals, but I only like them when the music (and the dancing) is something that is special, fresh, new--or at least contributes to the story in a way that is enlightening, or at least informative. I wasn't at all moved by the music, although a lot of it was pretty.
I never felt the love between these two characters. They were young and nimble together, but that was about it. Who the hell were they? Los Angeles is full of these vapid youngsters, bless their hearts. Even at the end of the movie they had barely reached the beginning of their lives. And the Ryan Gosling character--please--big jazz savior?
Maybe the movie was just bad timing. It seemed like a light-hearted, dancing musical would be just the thing to escape us from the now world. But it didn't do that for me. I felt especially sensitive to the fraud of it and the exclusiveness of it. I felt like this was the movie that the new order would vote for.
That's how I felt, Nancy. I liked a few things - the scene in the planetarium, Emma Stone's storytelling. But Ryan Gosling's character trying to save jazz just made me so sad - especially since LA has such an incredible and exciting jazz scene. It felt really pathetic to me and once I went there, I couldn't get myself out.
I can't help myself. I'm going to watch The Girl with All the Gifts this afternoon.
I saw a wonderful Emma Thompson movie that is based on the Hans Falluda novel No One Dies Alone. I don't think it was ever released but it is a very moving story about a couple in Berlin during
the Nazi period whose son gets killed in the war, and the father starts writing and anonymously dropping off postcards denouncing Hitler as a fraud and a liar. The way the film depicts the complicity of ordinary Germans and the difficulty in fighting the regime from within the country was just fascinating. I'm not usually a huge Emma Thompson fan but her performance as a very troubled German frau was wonderful. If you find it somewhere...watch it. It's a shame it never got released apart from New York.Sorry the movie is called Alone in Berlin. Her husband is played by
a very famous British actor but I can't recall his name. He too is exceptional. The story is based on a true story.
Last night I finished watching Jackie and I swear had I had to sit through that in the theatre I would have shot myself in the head. What a dreadful bore-just on and on about Jackie's thoughts and
inanities. I know the woman was going through a lot, but it is just so painful and boring to watch. And Natalie Portman's accent drove me around the bend. I thought Jackie was supposed to be
an intelligent woman? She sounds like a twerp in this and that little girl whisper is unbearable. Surprisingly Billy Crudup has a huge part in the film and he is totally unrecognizable. How he has
aged! But the movie is just this tedious bore, why anyone thought it was a great movie is beyond me. here is Jackie in Lincoln's bedroom, and here is Jackie in this state room....oh it was dreadful.
At the end of the film (no spoilers)John Hurt appears as this super self-righteous priest and I just wanted to throw up. He goes on and on about what Christ said and thought and I'm so tired
of the clergy assuming they know what Christ said and thought. The whole damn thing put me in a lousy mood.
I also watched a dreadful/fun (because it was so scary) movie with Naomi Watt who is very very beautiful. She plays this mother who is taking care of her paralyzed son and all sorts of spooky
things start to happen. The film is called Shut In. The plot twists are inane but I love being terrified so it was fun for that. Little Jacob Tremblay from Room was also in it.
Finally I watched Patriot Day-the movie about the Boston Marathon bombing. I really wasn't expecting much but I found the story so fascinating-especially the way the police and the FBI do
the investigation and find the brothers. A very sad film...Place a bomb in the middle of a crowd where a three year old was blown up is sick beyond belief, but I found the telling of the story to
be very respectful and there were a lot of details I didn't know about. Boston Proud!!
>167 Pat_D: please report back. I really enjoyed that book, and the trailer looks decent. Glenn Close is well cast as the scientist/doctor/asshole. (and did it go straight to video? Did it have a theatrical release?)
We saw The Salesman last night and it's superb. Can't stop thinking about it, in fact.
Really looking forward to the Salesman. Finished watching Jersey Boys today. Have loved the stage version I found the first hour of the film just incredibly boring. But once they form the band I felt it really picked up.
Well, I am a pretty big Emma Thompson fan (though there are many movies of hers I haven't seen), and now I want to see Alone in Berlin! Never heard of it before. But it sounds like it might be something inspiring to watch in these times of "holyfuckwhathappenedNOW??"
I also saw Get Out last weekend and I just don't get the excitement. No spoilers-the first half was lots of fun but then.....I guess it's intended to be comic but it just struck me as being really
lame and silly.
I watched What Ever Happened to Baby Jane for the first time on saturday. What a joy,what a treat, what a wild adventure! I'm so glad I finally got to see it. I wanted to see it in order to prepare for The Feud. But when I looked at a clip from The Feud, the actresses look absolutely nothing like Bette Davis or Joan Crawford. Of course who would want to look like Davis in Baby
Jane,but there seemed to be absolutely no resemblance at all. Maybe this is the new normal,
you don't have to appear to look like the person you are playing as long as you act well.
alan, we really liked it. I am not a big fan of the genre but I thought Jordan Peele did a great job utilizing so many elements of horror and reworking them to make the film really comment very cleverly about race. I didn't think it was supposed to be comic - although it does have humour and blessedly so, more of a way to look at current issues.
I watched "Alone in Berlin" the other day, Julie, and it's very good. Definitely a different kind of role for Thompson.
I have a thing about the Beauty and the Beast story so of course I had to go see it. It's exhausting and kind of heavy where it should be exhilarating and light and every inch of it is gilded -- there's even like a seven-hour scene where her ball gown gilds itself. It's pretty slavish to the original Disney version, so the fact that it comes in at an ass-numbing 2:20 is puzzling. I started looking at my watch at about the fifteen minute mark.
Yeah dg, that was my feeling as well - and really surprised it was so long. Missed the humor from t he original; I liked it ok, but its not something Id see again. Audra MacDonold was on Late night; hilarious!
Watched Oliver Stone's Nixon last night...just sensational....Anthony Hopkins is amazing, the
whole cast was great.
I caved and rented "Silence."
I dunno. It wasn't horrible, but nowhere near as good as the book. It just barely touches upon the illusion of religion theme that was so profoundly realized in the book, and, IMO, except for Liam Neeson, it was terribly miscast.
Such a blown opportunity.
A Monster Calls was one of my Year's Best Books a while back. Especially weird, since I don't read a lot of YA, but it was really an all-ages book. The movie does it justice. The child actor is very good, and Sigourney Weaver is amazing in a smallish but pivotal part. I was so relieved. I don't think I could have handled back-to-back books-into-movies being disappointing. I got misty eyed from the movie, but the book turned me into a soggy, sobbing mess.
EDIT: And I thought the animation (as were the book's illustrations) was stunning.
Oh Im glad; been wanting to see that (and yeah, reading it left me in a similar wet soggy mess). When did it come out? I remember seeing the trailers but kinda lost track of whats out there while I am recouperating
It just recently became available for rent on Amazon. Not sure when it hit the theaters.
I saw Colossal today -- it's a very peculiar movie and I think it mixes up its metaphors to the point of muddiness (a big one turns out to not really matter at all) but I was so turned on by its weirdness and singularity that I kind of found the whole thing moving -- at least from a "I'm glad movies like this can get made" standpoint.
I also think Anne Hathaway does something brilliant after years of being accused of not being likable -- in this, she plays someone kind of not likable and you end up loving her through the whole thing. Clever girl.
Movies are piling up again, so many things to see. Today was The Lost City of Z -- it's pleasingly old-fashioned but I do have a thing about explorer movies (have I ever mentioned I'm a Livingstone relation?) so I was willing to grant it a lot of leeway. But I was relieved, it's good. Statelier than the previews might indicate (that's the old-fashioned part) and a lot of very intimate scenes against a large epic sort of backdrop. I think it says something that in a movie with three different Amazonian expeditions and a WW1 battle sequence, the most electric sequence in the whole movie is a showdown around a table at the Royal Geographic Society. And there's a genuinely great, moving father/son scene toward the end.
The Twilight guy gives the best performance, but everyone's good, even the dreaded Sienna Miller, movie killer, who seems to be channeling Jacqueline Bisset as she ages.
There are some second-rate tries at Garcia Marquez territory (a fully staged opera in the jungle, a fortune teller in a foxhole) and I don't care if they were true, they made me roll my eyes like crazy.
But it's good, it's a good afternoon at the movies.
Later this weekend: Their Finest and My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea.
I'm probably one of the last on earth to do so, but I finally got around to watching Hidden Figures, and, for me, it lived up to all its buzz. I'm willing to bet there's a lot of little girls, of all colors, who decided to become engineers after seeing it. We throw around the word "inspiring" a lot, but that movie practically defines the word for me. I was genuinely surprised by its quality... or the fact it was even funded. Hats off to the big names that probably helped get it made.
Sofia Coppola's version of The Beguiled with Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst will be appearing at the Cannes Film Festival, and I've been reading a lot of buzz about it which claims it's going to be the indie hit of the summer. I remember watching the terrible Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page version many years ago, but I did not know it was based on a Southern Gothic novel (A Painted Devil by Thomas Cullinan). One article I read said the 1966 novel has been out of print for 30 yrs., and it will be reissued as a movie tie-in.
The trailer looks much more like a movie based on a Southern Gothic novel than the Eastwood version:
Another selection for Cannes is Todd Haynes' adaptation of the YA novel Wonderstruck (another book by Brian Selznick who wrote The Invention Of Hugo Cabret), starring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams and an unprecedented number of deaf actors/actresses. This is another Amazon production.
I'm really excited about the Coppola movie. I plan on reading the book asap.
I think they're giving us too much of The Beguiled in advance -- both the trailer and the general buzz -- but I am so excited for it I can't stand it.
I saw Their Finest yesterday -- it has the worst title in quite some time -- and it's a very Readerville movie; I sort of jokingly said it was a cross between Call the Midwife and Argo, but that's actually kind of true. It's about an effort to make a British propaganda movie during WW2 right before America jumps into the war (that figures prominently), and all the making-the-movie stuff is really interesting -- you see how they would shoot scenes on a beach with matte paintings or whatever and there's some spectacular footage of the movie that they make (they talk about Technicolor a lot but you don't see the actual Technicolor bits until the end and it's just thrilling, they get it exactly right).
There's a love story, blah blah blah, but you won't care about that part at all.
Another interesting thing is that there's an artist character in the movie -- a painter -- and for ONCE in a movie, the paintings are really good. I wanted all of them.
Anyway, it'll be streaming in about ten seconds, but if you can see it big, do, because the little movie bits pay off in a way that they might not on a TV screen with you on your phone and the dog barking to go out.
I didn't -- but it's the kind of movie that will show up streaming in a heartbeat because no one will go see it in the movie theater.
Terence Davies' biopic, A Quiet Passion with Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson, is getting rave reviews across the board.
Saw Their Finest last night. It is really charming, as DG said, and a bit like a slightly beefed up Masterpiece Theatre. But so many little details seem just right.
And I agree, the love story is the most forgettable bit.
Best use of typewriters since His Girl Friday.
also watched 20th C. Women now that it's on demand. The acting is superb and even the tweeness of the style didn't bother me but I think at 56, I am permanently over the mysterious sad girlfriend who will have sex with everyone but you. Maybe all straight guys have one. But i'm just not interested in that story.
Greta Gerwig though!!! I love her.
The rollout for A Quiet Passion is so slow that for a moment I thought it might actually be an old-tyme print they were sending around.
Just saw Their Finest. Incredible acting, and yes the details are just right. But there is a point when the film becomes totally pointless. Anything that happens after that is not the ending this movie should have had (how do I do hide spoilers here?) And deeg, the theatre where I saw it was packed, so I think more will see it than you might think
Eww, the trailer for Beguiled was dreadful! You can enoy it Deeg, Im staying home!
Really? I thought the trailer conveyed its Southern Gothic atmosphere beautifully.
The more I read about the Emily Dickinson movie, the more excited I get.
I was such a HUGE fan of Davies' House of Mirth adaptation that I am willing to put up with a LOT. So even if the Dickinson movie turns out to be a two hour shot of a teapot reciting Dickinson poems, I'LL BE FINE.
Last night, The Hounds of Love, loosely based on the story of a pair of Australians who preyed on young women. Whew, that was intense. I'm not going to recommend it because the subject matter is so grim, but it's exceedingly well done. An economy of storytelling without the gratuitous flourishes you often find in movies where women come to bad ends.
Lauren, I saw 20th Century Women with my sister (both of us mid-50s) and we had the EXACT same conversation about the girlfriend. Yawn.
I haven't seen, but will watch soon, I'm sure, 20th Century Women, but the girlfriend storyline is the reason why I haven't watched it yet.
Last week I watched Citizen Kane and the first half of Lawerence of Arabia because my 16-year-old continues to be into charging through the movie canon. The LoA print was crappy, too dark, and it is a shame to watch it on a TV screen, but both boys were entranced with Peter O'Toole as Lawerence. And Citizen Kane was significantly shorter than I remembered! But so much fun watching the framing shots, and the shadows, and doorways/windows.
Next, apparently is Bicycle Thieves which I've never seen (because I'm a weeny) and Vertigo. Both recommended (referenced?) by Scorcese during his Jefferson Lecture (I think). His tastes are very influenced the his boy-ness (Scorcese, Tarintino, Cohen Brothers) but I'm pleased to see him respond critically/thoughtfully to everything he watches.
This is a ridiculous movie no one should probably watch, but I watched Don't Mess with the Zohan last night and spent the whole time explaining to my brother how Adam Sandler doesn't know dick about women. Trust me, we don't find it sexy to have some gross hairdresser rub his junk on us without permission. Nowadays, we call that sexual assault. Our sexual fantasies don't involve dressing up as a MAID (that's a male fantasy)... we get stuck doing cleaning too much as it is. No woman is going to watch this guy have sex with 100 old women and then decide he's just the man for her! OMG, it was so stupid.
It was just a whole lot of that kind of stuff. I've been indoctrinated by the feminazis, obvs. (HAHAHA.)
I did laugh at some of the gags, but it was not a movie I need to see again. There are better Sandler movies out there, believe it or not!
"There are better Sandler movies out there, believe it or not!"
The new Noah Baumbach movie, for example, The Meyerowitz Stories. Though it also features Ben Stiller, and that's almost a deal-killer for me, those two single in anything...much less together. Luckily there's also Emma Thompson, who offsets a Sandler, a Stiller and maybe even the mumps.
In the middle of The Nanny with Bette Davis. God bless TCM! Davis is soooo weird in this film...but was she ever normal?
I am no fan of Adam Sandler but I thought Don't Mess with the Zohan was a pretty interesting movie in that it posited an economic solution to the Israeli/Palestinian issue and got to some hard truths about that situation.
We were waiting for the movie Paterson after seeing an interview with Adam Driver. It looked intriguing. It is about a bus driver in Paterson, NJ who is also a poet.
It never came to the theaters, so we watched it through Amazon prime. At first we were ambivalent about it, but a few days later realized that we were thinking about different scenes in the movie. So we watched it again. And now we bought the DVD.
Very interesting movie, one you need to see more than once to get all the nuances from it.
Adam Driver has very interesting looks. Sometimes he looks downright ugly, other times he looks impossibly handsome. How is that?
I came home last night to my older son watching Frances Ha and plopped right down next to him. Not without it's problems, it still passes the Bechdal test about 10 times over and with so much fresh charm. I love the ending so much.
That Greta is the real deal.
not dg, but Mistress America is excellent.
On a different topic, The Family Stone is one of my favourite Christmas Family movies, and one of the few movies I'll watch repeatedly. Are their the movies like this that I could try? I love the family dynamic 'thing.'
Lauren, I do think Frances Ha is her at her most Gerwigish, but yeah Mistress America was a big favorite of mine. I liked Maggie's Plan quite a bit too, and that has an absolutely hilarious Julianne Moore performance in it as a bonus. But the one I love the most, and the one I guarantee most people will hate, is Damsels in Distress, the Whit Stillman movie...where, in her efforts to be slightly Emma-ish (though it's not really a riff on Emma), she attempts to start an international dance sensation. If you have the Stillman gene at all, you'll love it. If not, you will kill me for recommending it.
Also, Greenberg, which has Ben Stiller, so: sorry about that. But also Jennifer Jason Leigh!
I forgot about Damsels in Distress. I'm not completely onboard with Stillman, but I quite liked that movie.
I got lassoed (ha, see what I did there!) into the very first show of Wonder Woman tonight , a Thursday preview. It's fun until the last twenty minutes, which feels like every other dumb superhero movie's last twenty minutes -- its disappointing because there's a lot of smart before that.
There's an absolutely thrilling sequence right in the middle and a music thing accompanies it that is so exciting I almost came out of my chair -- it involves something I had no idea I remembered and then suddenly I knew what it was and girrrrrrl, i queened out big time.
All the acting is terrible but you won't care.
Im not a superhero movie fan, but I liked this one. Yeah the last bit was crazy, and I guessed two spoilers without trying too hard, but it was still a great way to spend a summer afternoon
It's the 25th anniversary of the LA Riots, and you know what that means: lots of documentaries. I had moved away from southern California a year beforehand, so I watched the whole thing on TV with horror and fascination--the beating of King, the acquittal of the cops, the riots afterwards. My parents lived in Simi Valley, where the trial was held (and not surprisingly where the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located). Jeez, can you imagine how all this would play now? Frankly it was so intense I can't imagine that social media would have made it more so. It almost feels as if Facebook did exist. The images of King being beaten to the ground, and later of Reginald Denny being pulled from his truck--I saw them so many times they stick in my memory as if I were there.
Last weekend I watched Let It Fall: LA 1982-1992, which is pretty good. It details events leading up to the trial, highlighting difficult relations between blacks and Korean shop owners, in particular the shooting of a teenage girl at a cash register. It didn't cover new (to me) ground, but it brought together a variety of people living in LA at the time. It reminded me what an ugly piece of work Darryl Gates was.
Next, Rodney King, a one-man show filmed by Spike Lee.
Penelope Fitgerald's The Bookshop becomes a filmhttp://www.celsiusentertainment.com/films/the-bookshop/:
I had an afternoon to kill so went to the TCM-in-theaters Godfather anniversary thing today. Are 45th anniversaries a thing? Anyway. I've seen it so many times I can practically recite it, but it's always nice to see something big (though something about this big-screen thing made some of the scenes look intentionally grainy, and I couldn't figure out if I had ever seen that before).
But this time I was focused on little things, like how good that cat is in the opening scene and how fake Talia Shire's preggo belly is when she's getting walloped and how terrible the grandchild in the tomato patch is and how the actress playing Apolonia is certainly no Helen Mirren, either in the acting or the boobs departments. There's a lot to look at in all the backgrounds, so that was fun. I never noticed that you can see Moe Green's crack during his deadly massage before. Well this time I did, and it was BIG SCREEN SIZE.
I wish I'd known about that - we just watched it as a family the other night - it was high on the list of movies I wanted my sons to see. It's such an extraordinary movie and I had forgotten how packed some of those scenes are - the amount of visual information in the wedding-funeral-christening scenes, plus the way they move the plot along, is just incredible.
I hate to say it because I know how much you love her but Diane Keaton is so generic and she has just about zero chemistry with Pacino which is weird because I'm pretty sure they were involved at the time.
I thought the lack of chemistry was deliberate -- Coppola wants us to to see his love affair in Italy as the true one, and his marriage with Diane as one of convenience and to a certain extent, of the past.
Lauren, I watched it with my boys as well (or at least one, the other struggles with lots of emotion on the screen, so begged off). It holds up brilliantly.
I think that's right -- not being a Sicilian is an accusation leveled at a couple of other characters (though not at Kay). I do kind of think Keaton's bad in it, though.
I escaped some heat today with Terence Davies' peculiar and beautiful A Quiet Passion, the Emily Dickinson movie. It's not for everyone -- in fact, I can't think of who it IS for other than me. It's such a DG movie -- nothing happens for over two hours! It's so short on incident that when someone breaks a plate, it's practically the equivalent of the atom bomb going off.
I do think it stacks the deck a little -- there's quite a bit of voiceover Dickinson poetry and the final one is both obvious and impossibly moving and I just challenge you to not be a little shaken by that bit. There's also a little movie-magic trick in the first twenty minutes or so that is so fantastic I almost squealed.
It's not perfect - there's a casting error in the first half that takes a bit of time to shake off -- but the two sisters, Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Ehle are both so great that it all works out fine.
Easily top of my list so far this year.
>223 DG_Strong: I found that movie so interesting, and thought Nixon and Ehle were superb. Who was the casting error for you? Dickinson's work and life is so layered and enigmatic that Davies could have made several different movies.
>224 theaelizabet: I thought Catherine Bailey as Vryling Buffam (who existed, but not in the way she was depicted in the movie) was a disaster, delivering all of her lines like she was in a bad local Noel Coward production.
>225 DG_Strong: I figured it was her; I could remember neither the character's nor actor's name. I agree with you, though I'll place some of the blame on Davies. He used the character as a device (I'm assuming loosely based on an amalgam of Abiah Root and Kate Scott Turner) played in a highly stylized manner that I thought didn't work. I thought it was especially true in the wedding scene, where Vryling stopped opposite Emily as she was leaving the church. The moment seemed as if it were meant to convey...what? Probably Dickinson's movement away from society, but it just seemed so heavy handed. In any case, I still applaud him for moving Dickinson beyond that misbegotten version of her in the play Belle of Amherst and toward a more authentic one.
Date night tonight to watch Grease on the big screen (part of our cinema's Tues Night Classics). They sold so many tickets they had to open two theatres! Had a great time, love love love that show (and David had never seen it before, so it was a special treat for him). I had forgotten that Sid Cesear played the coach, he was so cool. think I need the soundtrack in my cr tomorrow.
It's probably a good thing Sid Caesar's dead, or he'd get hate mail from dumbasses right now.
I went to see Beatriz at Dinner today -- it's made by the same team that made Chuck & Buck and it's just as squirm-inducing, scene after scene of uncomfortable conflict, each one of which goes on a beat too long to be endurable. I mean that as a compliment, though.
It is a touch underbaked -- five more minutes in the oven and one more revision and it could have been a truly savage class warfare social comedy. Somehow the end manages to have it both ways (it would be a super-size spoiler to say how). It's also a touch over-cast: two people from Transparent, John Lithgow, Chloe Sevigny, Connie Britton -- a couple of them have nothing at all to do except be horrible rich whiteys. At the center of it all, though, is a truly nervy, unsettling Salma Hayek, about whom I have never given a single thought before. But she's fantastic here -- even though sometimes it looks like she's never worn pants before; she seems uncomfortable in them.
I'll recommend it, but it's a little chickenshit ultimately.
That's good to know, I guess. It sort of looked like another one of those Serious Movies where a glamorous actress did something weird to her eyebrows.
Now, Cindy, you know I never explain a joke. I bet you can puzzle it out.
I know but I am totally at a loss. Does it refer to Ceasar, or the movie? Give me a hint, Peter
Well, I'm not Peter, but try entering "Julius Caesar" in the Google machine and see what turns up.
Hee, ok got it. Well played, both of you. (Peter is Peter Segal of Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Its a phrase often used by the panel members)
I finally watched All That Heaven Allows the other day. Loved it, of course. But man, that hit close to home for some of it! Oh, you poor, sad, pathetic widow...you're so alone, you need a tv for company, you old woman just waiting to die because you don't have a man in your life. Those parts, I was like, "Hey! I'm alone and pathetic and lying on my bed watching this movie and eating a whole bag of SmartFood popcorn BY CHOICE, man!"
But other than that, I really liked it. Rock Hudson had those giant fake teeth like so many stars did back then, that look like dentures a la Clark Gable. And he didn't do a ton of acting in this, but somehow seemed sweet. Maybe a little boring and simple, but sweet. I hope they had years of amazing sex and cozy nights by the fireplace, not watching tv.
"Life's parade, at your fingertips!"
But my favorite part is this exchange between the daughter and Jane Wyman. There's something so throwaway and matter-of-fact about Wyman's last line that really sells it, especially compared to how whispery and pent-up she is in the rest of the movie. Sort of like she's just absent-mindedly agreeing with her daughter and not really listening, but she is, she IS. She's so deadpan and resigned, it makes me laugh every time I see it.
Kay Scott: Personally, I never subscribed to that old Egyptian custom. At least I think it was Egypt.
Cary Scott: What Egyptian custom?
Kay Scott: Of walling up the widow alive in the funeral chamber of her dead husband along with all of his other possessions. The theory being that she was his possession too so she was supposed to journey into death with him. And the community saw to it that she did. Course that doesn't happen anymore.
Cary Scott: Doesn't it? Well, perhaps not in Egypt.
The Big Sick is a lousy title, for a really excellent movie. highly recommended.
Today was The Beguiled, finally. It's dreamy in an afternoon hazy nap way (it's not nap inducing, but it has that quality of laze to it) and it's beautifully made; I think it needed to be a tad more feverish...but that might have been intentional on Coppola's part, to keep the sweaty Southern cliches at bay. Kidman's really good in it -- she's having a verrrry good year -- her accent is on in a way it was not in Cold Mountain; she figured out how to make it sound real. Farrell, I dunno. When he's supposed to be threatening, all you can think is "uh, that child could just push him right over."
There's no score at all, nothing but insects buzzing and nature sounds and that sort of thing until the very last scene, and it's such an interesting choice to add music right at the tail end.
I am curious about it but the lack of black people in a movie set in the civil war south makes me itchy.
And the original does have a slave character - they do gloss it a bit here by saying "all the slaves left." It's basically a drawing room drama, though -- it could easily be a stage play -- so it didn't bug me too much. It's also not a documentary and I am not saying that to be snarky -- it is so far removed from reality that the only way a black person could have believably been in it is if it was Whoopi Goldberg going "you in danger, girl."
I totally understand what you are saying - it's so stylized it doesn't really matter. sometimes I just can't get over myself.
I went to a 9pm IMAX Dunkirk tonight -- it's overwhelming in a lot of ways. I cried for basically the last thirty minutes, once a goose-bumpy old-fashioned movie-moment-with-a-swelling-score happens straight through to the end.
There are only like ten lines of dialogue -- and I'll be interested to see how people react to the three different timelines that are three different lengths. Do see it in an IMAX format if you get the chance; it was mostly shot on film and it shows, especially that big.
There's also a funny bit of casting that had me thinking for a brief moment that Agent Peggy Carter might show up. She doesn't, but it would have been awesome.
My son and I are driving down to West Palm next week to see it in IMAX.
I'll probably wait for the hype to fade and get to The Beguiled when rentable.
I saw where the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness is being adapted... starring Tom Holland (jeez that kid is in everything, lately) and Mads Mikkelssen with a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman. I credit that series with sparking my interest in YA books.
The book-to-movie event I'm most eager for is Lean on Pete. I loved that book.
Yesterday, I watched a BBC adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's "The Scapegoat" on the Acorn with Matthew Rhys, Andrew Scott, Eileen Atkins, and Jodhi May which was an absolute treat. Check it out.
We watched Maudie, which we liked; the story was lightened up quite a bit, but its not a straight biography. Acting was absolutely wonderful
The Dark Tower opens on Aug 4, and there is no score, or critic reviews on RT. Should I be concerned?
Wow where is everyone? Anyway I saw Close Encounters and loved it all over again. Plus saw the trailer for ReadyPlayer One. Actually it looks half way decent, but not sure how they will make it work. Hope it does
I saw a trailer for Ready Player One, and I think I need to reread the book, because I practically didn't recognize it! It's a great book, so that's not terrible to reread it, I'm sure. I also have to reread The Sympathizer, because my book club picked it and I've already read it (we have a rule that no one can have read the book before, but I often have to be the one to violate it, because I've read so much more than most of my friends. They wouldn't know what to do with you guys!).
Oh I am also intrigued, but hesitant to see the new remake of Murder on the Orient Express. Thats quite a cast line up - but I know from experience that doesn't nec make for a good movie...
We saw Ingrid Goes West - the last pick of Child #1 before h went back to school. Although the film lost me about mid-way through, it is a very thoughtful look at social media and mental illness and adeptly points out the disconnect between life lived on social media and real hard ass life. I was very impressed by Aubrey Plaza.
Orient Express is going to have to change the solution, I think, otherwise there's no real reason to go. But I'm always interested in that kind of old-timey glossy star-studded movie.
Lauren, I made it to Ingrid Goes West today -- I thought it was a great 2/3 of a movie, with an absolutely brutal first third. It was sort of shockingly savage towards a particular type of Instagram celebrity (and by extension, reality celebrity in general). God, no man-bun or moscow mule mug or kilim pillow or Joshua Tree vacation house went unscorched. Taylor's incessant vocal fry was a particularly nice touch. I mean...between Taylor and her bro-brother, you really rooted for Ingrid... until you just couldn't anymore (I will admit I rooted for her a lot longer than I think I was supposed to). I did think the very last bit was muddled, but I couldn't figure out another way to end it -- it has a lot in common with Beatriz at Dinner in that same way..which I also thought was a great 2/3 of a movie.
I particularly enjoyed the first ninety seconds of Ingrid, though. THANKS FOR INVITING ME, YOU CUNT! I'm gong to say that at every party this season.
I completely agree. It gets itself into a muddle and the ending is either deeply cynical or ridiculously pat. Garrett thought - oh, I can't say what he thought because it will give it away but I'll text you - I think he might be right.
The brother was a bit of a mis-step to me but I get who he was and what he represented.
I do think the film captures the deep materialism of instagram and pinterest and the way that mostly women fall prey to that kind of curating life.
There was an article not to long ago in the NYer about a couple whose instagram posts of life in their VW van was being subsidized by corporate sponsors.
Tonight, I am seeing It with my younger son who loves scary movie. I don't. I hope I survive.
I have just watched on my TV An Education starring Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard, very entertaining with a great support cast, pleasantly surprised.
Lauren, I thought it was an interesting movie to try and interpret -- frankly, I thought Taylor's lying about having read The Deer Park was a far worse offense than anything Ingrid did! I think it has a greyscale when it comes to with whom you form your audience allance.
Just came back from seeing Wind River, very well acted movie . Highly recommended.
I don't like scary movies but my younger son wanted to see It and I went along. It's a bit under-baked - some events occur with no resolution and I'm afraid if I think about it too much, the whole thing will fall apart. But true to King, real life, especially when it comes to parents, is just as horrible and frightening as a monstrous clown.
I made it to Logan Lucky today, just before it leaves town. It's decidedly minor Soderbergh -- you do wonder why he bothered when he's already made this movie three times with the Ocean's series (and this movie even mentions it, calling the plot Ocean's 7-11 at one point) but I laughed a lot. Which was kind of a problem also, because I think it's a little muddy when it comes to knowing for sure if he's making fun of these West Virginia hillbillies or not. I'm fine either way, I just don't think the movie is clear about it.
Katie Holmes is in it for about five minutes and she has that second-marriage-redneck-girl-who-looks-like-beef-jerky look down. And Channing Tatum, of all people, gets the accent just right; none of the cast matches each other accent-wise (Adam Driver's is particularly peculiar) but Tatum's actually sounds like a cross between my W Va dad and NC mom and those are the two states the plot occurs in, so his at least sounds specific.
Just back from Darren Aronofsky's "mother!" which is, uh, something. Definitely the strangest wide release since Birdman, at least in the high-tone movie department. It's not what you think it is, but when you figure out what it IS (as much as that's possible), it's a little bit of a letdown (it was for me anyway), but I literally cannot say another word about the plot or subject without spoiling it.
Michelle Pfeiffer steals the show even though almost every frame of the movie has Jennifer Lawrence in it (she's fine, in an impossible part; you'll know why when you see it). Pfeiffer could get more roles like this and I'd be happy, but I think the only other ones like it are all Baby Jane types. So.
I have no idea if I am recommending it or not, it's just so deeply not similar to anything else out there right now.
I made it to Wind River today -- Cindy's right, the acting is mostly good, though I did not believe Elizabeth Olson as an FBI agent for one second -- she sounded like she was trying to get me to follow her on Instagram the whole time...I thought that voice was specifically for Ingrid Goes West, but I guess that's just the way she talks.
The movie is interesting -- you really do get into it, even though it's not a very complicated story. It's also kind of puzzling, though -- there's really hardly any reason to be set it on an Indian reservation outside of maybe one scene involving jurisdictional authority. But maybe that's progress? That a movie can be set on a reservation and we don't have to see all the cliched scenes we always do (other than trailer meth)? There's also something faintly ridiculous that DOESN'T happen but you kind of think it's going to the whole time and then when it doesn't, you're both relieved and disappointed. IT INVOLVES CATS.
It's the Sicario/Hell or High Water writer guy -- this is my least favorite of the three but he is batting a thousand so far.
Hee yeah, what didn't happen surprised me; and I think Olsen was ok - she was supposed to play a naive FBI agent out of her element, and she was.
One thing I was pleasantly surprised by was the lack of a romantic relationship. I was really hoping that was not going to happen, and smiled when it didn't
I was home sick yesterday and watched Topper and part of I Married a Witch. The latter was just too dim, even for me, although I love Veronica Lake. And then I was getting ready to watch Vietnam which is very very good but I watched Some Like It Hot instead. SLIH may be one of my favorite movies ever - it simply never disappoints. Jack Lemmon always makes me laugh and Marilyn Monroe is just sublime. I named my first dog for her character.
Thank god for TCM
I watched SLIH last night too, though I think I watch it like three times a year -- I say that and don't even count it among my top ten or anything, but it's just so impossible to not watch. The only part that makes me itchy is the yacht seduction sequence -- I think it goes on too long and it's also just a little mean. But Joe/Josephine is kind of a heel for most of the movie anyway, so I dunno why that always nags at me. But it makes me want cold pheasant like crazy.
I took the plunge yesterday and saw the 3-1/2 hour Ex Libris, Frederick Wiseman's New York Public Library movie. And I thought it was fantastic, with the caveat that I'm not exactly the most objective audience—I know a lot of the folks in it and have covered a lot of stuff mentioned, like the budget advocacy campaigns, and I'm about to start writing about the mid-Manhattan branch renovation. But I thought it was extremely well done, all 3-1/2 hours of it god help us. Good contrast between the work the library does on the ground—both gritty educational stuff in the branches and the fun/highbrow cultural events—administrative back-end work, and the trustee glitz that brings in the private money. And just pointed enough bouncing between those three to make a statement but not beat you over the head. I do wonder how interesting the administrative scenes would be to anyone else. I found them fascinating, of course, but this is totally the world I'm immersed in day to day so it's all insider baseball for me. It must have resonance for viewers, though, because the film has gotten almost totally positive reviews.
Anyway, since PBS was a major funder I expect it'll be broadcast as a three-part series one of these days. I didn't mind the length that much, though when I got up I said, "That was like a flight to Chicago." But I do highly recommend it.
I have a friend in LA who watched it twice in a row! He's a critic, but still.
It's shot beautifully. You could fill a whole sketchbook just by pausing it and drawing the faces that pop up.
I'm in. I felt the same way about National Gallery - there was a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that I thought might only be of interest to someone who actually wants to know how sausages are made. I am that person.
It was interesting too because even though I work for a teeeny tiny museum, we have similar problems to the National Gallery - just on a much smaller scale. I suppose that will be true for other libraries and the NYPL and librarians will notice that.
Instead of lunch today, I went to see Battle of the Sexes. I suspect it's KILLING Ryan Murphy that he didn't get to this first -- it really could have benefitted from a longer treatment a la the OJ thing -- there are so many peripheral characters that are deserving of thirty minutes or so of examination -- homophobic Margaret Court, Riggs' rich wife, Jack Kramer (who is largely the villain here), half the other female players on the Virginia Slims circuit.... Even Riggs gets a little shorted; it's mainly about Billie Jean.
It's probably not a complete success, but it's craaazy entertaining (especially the second half, though it takes its time getting there) and the cast is just stupid loaded: Stone, Carrell, Bill Pullman, Elisabeth Shue, the absolutely GREAT Andrea Riseborough...even Alan Cumming tries to steal a few scenes, though he can't manage it because Sarah Silverman walks off with the whole movie. Every time she shows up, the thing just spins off into outer space. That's probably a drawback; her tone is so different than everyone else's. But you really do just want to watch HER movie.
Went to movies and saw "Victoria and Abdul" starring Judi Dench, most enjoyable the movie it is based on actual events a fascinating story. Judi is wonderful as the very aged Queen Victoria.
>276 AprilAdamson: I'm curious about this film, but I'll be surprised if it makes it to my little tiny corner of the woods.
>277 cindydavid4: I just keep thinking its a retread of Mrs. Brown, tho in this movie the Queen is considerably older. But it looks like it might stand alone, albeit with the same basic theme
Saw Battle of the Sexes, and think Carrell is brillant as Riggs (and is having way too much fun doing so) and liked Stone as King. I remember the time period and the big ta do it all was at the time - and wonder if all the over the top bits that shocked us then would make much of an impression on young viewers now. I also didn't remember that Riggs beat Court. Liked it tho saddened me that while we have come a long way, some backpeddaling has happened that is most unsettling.
>278 aussieh: Not a bit like Mrs Brown, Victoria just loved having this young handsome fellow at her beckoned call, I have read that he reminded her of her darling Albert, she is in her eighties in the movie so no sexual overtones. I googled this association and found it fascinating.
I made it to the 3+-hour Ex Libris today, the Wiseman NYPL doc. I thought it was 2/3 awesome and 1/3 excruciating; those multiple interminable scenes with library staff sitting around conference tables talking about "partnering with the city infrastructure to eliminate the digital divide" OVER AND OVER AND OVER. I thought I was having a near death experience.
But I loved the rest of it.
And see, I enjoyed that stuff because it's the most insidery baseball I've ever seen on the screen—I spend all day talking about library policy and I talk to all those people all the time. And yes, I'm a lot of fun at parties.
But I don't know how anyone else would find it all that interesting.
Oh, we spent so much time with them I started figuring out who was having an affair with who.
That's because they were busy saying "let's partner to discuss ways the existing infrastructure can implement methods to provide relief from digital darkness" instead of just saying "let's give everyrone the wifi password"
Saw Victoria and Abdul, wasn't bad, a little long maybe, and perhaps painted Victoria as much more progressive than everyone else (she was still a produt of her times) but it was beautifully filmed and well acted. And its apparently historically accurate, based on what I've been reading. So sad on so many levels.
>286 cindydavid4: Well if they didn't say all that stuff, I'd be out of a job... someone needs to translate it into the voice of the people and that someone is me (though apparently you've got the touch too).
My favorite movie (at a theater) this year was Dunkirk. We all loved it.
Says the woman who saw maybe 5 movies total, one of which was The Emoji Movie. Rotten Tomatoes gave that one 6 stars which was 5 too many. I had to take my 5 and 7 year old nephews who spent half the movie yelling out, “Who’s the bad guy? Is that the bad guy? Are there two bad guys? What the....” That last one always got me nervous but they never said anything after “the.”
I chose "London River" for movie day with dad. It's available for free for Amazon Prime customers.
It takes place after a terrorist bombing in London.
Brenda Blethyn plays Elizabeth, whose husband died during the Falklands War and left her to raise their daughter on a small farm, with occasional help from Elizabeth's brother. She's feeling especially overworked and lonely after her daughter goes off to college in London. She calls to check on her daughter after watching scenes of the bombing aftermath on TV. After several days gone by with no word from her daughter, Elizabeth leaves her Guernsey farm in her brother's hands, takes a boat to England, and begins a heartbreaking search for her daughter. Not all of the victims have been ID'd, there have been recent sightings of her daughter in the company of a "dark-skinned" man, and she's found evidence that someone else has been staying with her daughter in her flat.
Sotigui Kouyate plays Ousmane, an African expat living in France and working as a forester for many years. He receives a phone call from his estranged wife in Africa who is frantic. She's not been able to contact their son, a London University student, since the bombing. Despite not seeing his son since he was six years old, he gives his word to the woman he abandoned years ago that he will find their son. He walks through the French countryside and somehow finds crossing to England. The police aren't much help, he's running out of money, so he visits a local Mosque and enlists some kindly help there.
Long story short, Elizabeth and Ousmane are brought together during their searches, discover their children are a couple, and both begin to suspect the worst. Did they die in the bombings? Did Ousmane's son radicalize Elizabeth's daughter? Were their children complicit in the bombings? After a very rocky start (Elizabeth is both afraid and suspicious of Ousmane and even has him arrested at one point), this unlikely couple jointly begin wrenching visits to morgues, hospitals, police headquarters, and neighborhoods.
More than a mystery, this is an incredibly moving story about prejudices, similarities, and connections. The two main performances are unforgettable in their slowly evolving friendship.
If you're a Prime customer, don't miss this movie. It's a real gem.
The Florida Project is a complete winner and it's SUCH a DG-type of movie (nothing happens, and it happens over and over! and then one thing happens and it's unbearable, the end!) I almost laughed out loud.
How can you not love a movie where a child improvises the line "if I had a pet alligator, I would name her Ann"?
Saw Marshall today, don't understand why the theatre wasn't packed - amazing acting and story.
Watched "Gosford Park" really enjoyed, especially since Maggie Smith was one of the leading star studded cast Helen Mirren was also among them, two of my favorite actors.
There was a guy on Readerville who blew the whistle on Kevin Spacey maybe over a decade ago. He was a film critic named David Ehrenstein and he ended up quitting with a lot of noise because Karen Templar censored something he wrote and it infuriated him. The censored material had nothing to do with Spacey as I recall,some other big fight they had and he slammed the door saying he can’t participate in a forum where the moderator deleted something he had written. Back then he wrote over a period of days/ weeks about Spaceys behaviour,said it was well known in Hollywood that Spacey hit on men all the time on his sets and live productions. Well now the piper has come a calling and our very own Cassandra reported this many years ago.
Ha, David Ehrenstein. My first month or so at RV, he was super bitchy to me—along the lines of "I should reach through the monitor and slap you in the face"—over a really innocuous comment. Good thing I have a thick skin and it didn't chase me off the site. But I don't think I ever said another word to him.
Oh, yeah. He called me a c--t. Twice. Spacey's being gay was an open secret. Ehrenstein told us nothing many didn't already know.
Rapp himself already told the Spacey story decades ago to (I think) The Advocate (or maybe it was Out), but there was a prevailing feeling at the time by mainstreamish gay mags to not "out" so they redacted the name. I'm sure it was a business decision -- this was at the time when they'd put ANYONE who wasn't a homophobe on the cover and were glad to do it -- but I remember even then there was no real mystery regarding who it was. But maybe people don't put their antennae up for these things until they have to. I mean, I went on a vacation once many many years ago and almost ruined it for a poor girl who insisted Anderson Cooper and she were meant to be together, but seemed to be missing some crucial information about the likelihood of that.
David's still around; I see him on other fora/comment sections occasionally (he predated even Readerville, going all the way back to Table Talk at Salon before migrating over to Rville). I enjoyed his prickliness but wasn't really on the sharp end of it ever. In fact, he backed me up once on yet ANOTHER forum when I fact-checked Mistuh Rex Reed himself and RR was snippy about it.
I like reading David's posts and reading his opinions about movies, but I avoided interacting. I still missed his posts when they stopped.
My 17 year-old is all agog with the Spacey news, partly because he thought Spacey was cool and is sad that he's had to adjust that opinion, but mainly because Redditers are pulling of clips from a variety of sources (including Family Guy) that show that this was a well known industry "secret."
Yes, DE still has a fairly big internet presence. I like nothing about him. He's a strident misogynist.
All I knew about DE were those comments about Spacey, I guess I didn’t hang in most of the forums where he trolled. Does not sound like a nice man at all.
Lately the thought of Hollywood and the movies is making me feel really nauseous. I started watching this doc on TCM about this famous production coupl and I had to turn it off. Perhaps..I guess.. they never knew how sleazy the industry was,but I just can’t give into the myth anymore. Of course I’m not young and have heard the rumours about all kinds of grossness all my life,but lately it is just too much to handle. I feel really sick about all of the people who have suffered and continue to suffer. Perhaps I am naive,I have worked for the same institution all of my adult life,and no one pats women on the rear end or forces kisses on them,as far as I know and in my work place I would just know,it’s just all so sick.
My local arthouse has been showing trailers for EIGHTEEN MONTHS for a movie called Lady Macbeth and I have been waiting and waiting and waiting and it never came and then ta-da! It showed up on my Roku box thingie where you can pay to watch (it used to be called Vudu but I think they changed it, whatever) and oh my, it's just terrific and weird and unusual and...damp? It's hard to explain without giving the story details away (it's complicated!). Florence Pugh is the real deal, y'all.
I use Vudu. We get free movies from T-Mobile sometimes (they give free stuff every Tuesday), and make sure to use them. That way we don't even have to go drive down the street to a box!
Did not care for David Ehrenstein. I never really recall interacting with him myself, because I saw him as such a whiny, knee-jerk, melodramatic dick. I'm sure he'd accuse me of homophobia for that, because that's what he did to everyone else. And I agree with Nancy, he is a major misogynist.
As far as the Kevin Spacey (and everyone else) stuff, I guess I'm just crazy cynical, because I am not surprised or shocked by any of the allegations out there. I'm not going to say much more, because I have a feeling my thoughts will be taken the wrong way.
So we just made the mistake of watching LBJ. Oh boy where to start. Perhaps the fact that everything Johnson says sounds like it came straight from a speech? I thought there was a LBJ movie recently that got good reviews, anyone remember?
There was the HBO film version of a play with Bryan Cranston called I believe-All the Way-it got good reviews and I'm pretty sure Cranston won Best Actor for a Tony performance for the stage play.
Cindy-I was thinking about you this past weekend. I remember you mentioning on several occasions that your father used to run a deli in Phoenix. This is just fascinating for me. Anyways I saw an incredible documentary
on the history of delis in North American on the weekend called Deli Man. It features interviews with people who
run delis all over the U.S. and talks about the history of the deli. In the 1930s there were over 2,000 delis in the New York area, today there are about 150 delis in the entire United States. It's a wonderful documentary, some real characters in it and the food looks amazing. Feyvush Finkl is in it and he's great as is Jerry Stiller.
Sorry to move off topic but I wanted to bring this to Cindy's attention. I'm a huge deli fan.
I saw Deli Man a couple of years ago at the local JCC -- and the Deli Man was there! He answered questions and gave out secret recipe things he worries are being lost to the ages.
And it was deli-catered with corned beef sandwiches and and sour pickles and black and white cookies and kugel and, oh, so much other stuff. It was a good movie and it made me laugh so much because they'd show these big glistening closeups of like schmaltz dripping off a spoon and the room full of 200 65-year-old Jewish people would start moaning like crazy.
>307 DG_Strong: I really like Cranston, will have to check it out
Heh never heard of deli man before, . Yeah after my dad passed, my brother took over the deli and had it for another 40 years. The mall that its in is closing so he decided it was time for his place to close as well. Big article in the paper about it, mentioning that it was one of the last real delis in the valley. I wonder if he knows about that show. My sis and I will go down there on his last day, get a last pastrami, and help my brother celebrate - tho since we all worked in daddy's deli, I think its going to be bittersweet that it is closing.
Thanks for thinking of me btw!
Plate of shrimp:
whatever happened to chicago jewish delis
This evening three 85% plus from Rotten Tomatoes movies coming up!!, I shall record the lot and see what I come up with.
Three Kings 1999....Swingers 1996 and The Lincoln Lawyer 2011.
Well, the New Murder on the Orient Express is about half a misfire, which is about right for almost every Branagh-directed movie I've ever seen outside of the Shakespeare ones*. The pace is all over the place -- I think I nodded off at one point during the six hundred interrogations scenes -- and there's the usual (again, non-Shakespeare) Branagh connective tissue missing from scene to scene. Scenes just....stop. And then you move to another scene, which also just stops. And then ta-da, you're at the end.
But that said, it's still kind of fun to watch it unfold, especially with movie stars in almost every part. It's almost perverse -- the Oscar winners (Cruz, Dench) get literally three lines each, while the best actress in the bunch (Olivia Colman) gets to play her big scene entirely in German. Branagh himself is less twinkly than Finney, but not as dry as Suchet in the Poirot department. He's fine -- and I have to say, even with the fascinating mustache, he looks FANTASTIC, like back to the OG handsome Kenneth Branagh, so much so that I was looking closely to see if they were computer enhancing his face a little to smooth him out (I think they were) and he gives himself just these incredible blue-eyed closeups against white snowy mountains. It's SO MOVIE STAR.
It also looks great, lots of sweeping train shots, the engine chugging through landscapes thrillingly. And one single completely contrived shot almost at the end is so old-time movie great that it almost makes you un-remember that quite a lot that preceded it is a bore.
*except A Midwinter's Tale, which is perfect and underrated
As long as they didn't change the ending or the plot, I'm so there.
It's not quite a spoiler -- but the Christie estate prevents changing the endings of any of her original stories. I think the plot can meander differently, but the ends have to stay the same.
>312 laurenbufferd: We saw it today, and loved it. Yeah I rolled my eyes sometimes at Branagh (loved the comment I read that he was making the worlds longest selfie) but we really got into the story. The train shots through the snowy mountains were breathtaking (dumb question - would those have been the alps?. And yeah I know just what you mean about the contrived scene - we looked at each other 'is that what I think it is?" pretty much at the same time. Not sure what that meant but it was fine. And I'm glad that the estate does not allow the ending to change. That would have been just disastrous for the story.
Oh and I agree with you about him in Shakespeare, tho Much Ado About Nothing will always be my fav of his.
"And yeah I know just what you mean about the contrived scene - we looked at each other 'is that what I think it is?" pretty much at the same time. Not sure what that meant but it was fine."
I was talking about having all the characters lined up at a long table in front of the tunnel -- for no reason! Except to take advantage of the fact that Branagh had fifty movie stars in a movie he was shooting in 65mm and had been cooped up on a train for the whole rest of the movie. It was such a great moment!
Last night was the streaming-on-Netflix (but also in big-city theaters) The Meyerwitz Stories (New and Selected). I admit I was already in negative territory on this because of Sandler AND Stiller (ugh, ugh, double ugh) and I do think Noah Baumbach is either your cup of tea or he isn't (he used to REALLY be mine until he cheated on Jennifer Jason Leigh!) but the movie's really good; it's the first role Dustin Hoffman's had in twenty years that doesn't feel like a gimmick, and he seems to know it -- it's an absolutely ferocious performance and man, he is ALL IN.
Sandler's getting so much attention for it, but I think it's because he's so terrible in ALMOST EVERYTHING ELSE that it seems faintly miraculous that he's bearable here (and the movie opens with a long Sandler segment, so you're either in or out right off the bat). Stiller's got what can only be called the Ben Stiller part, and I guess he knows how to do it if anyone does.
But it's really smart and well-written (except for the Emma Thompson part, which seems truncated or something) and I highly recommend it.
>316 DG_Strong: Oh no, we thought he was trying to stage The Last Supper in that scene, tho for what reason we didn't know. I thought thats what you meant
I crammed in an 11:20 show this morning of Wonderstruck, the new Todd Haynes movie. I wish I liked it more, but it really suffers from coming AFTER Hugo (same author), with which it shares a lot of themes and, frankly, tweeness -- and gosh, tweeness isn't really Haynes' thing. It has a gorgeous last twenty minutes, however (though you see the story coming together long before the movie actually puts it all together). I saw it in a really tiny little screening room we have here - I think it only seats 36 - and the detail of the last bit was just amazing on that screen up close like that. There's an extended sort of stop-motion animation style at the end that I kind of wish the whole movie had been done in.
Sis and I just came back from Loving Vincent. Really interesting - lots of history I didn't know, but the way it was made - well its just gorgeous. The patterns did hurt my eyes a few times I had to close them a bit.
The Shape of Water.
I'd actually go to the theater to watch this one.
I'm about to come out of my skin over that and I'm not even a del Toro fan.
The creature from the black lagoooooon!!! Oh my!!
I'm so much not a fan I have to agree--his thievery and plagiarism incenses me no end, because he's a clever robber of souls and his stuff gets substituted for his incomparably worthier sources.
I don't know much about his background, but most of his stuff seems like derivative mishmashes. Even this upcoming one feels a little like Amelie Visits the Outer Limits, but I like every actor in it and it's just pushing all my buttons.
Also looking forward to The Post.
Can't wait to see that. It's only playing at a couple of places in the city and I hope it comes to us mindless suburbanites soon. Have you seen it, Lauren?
I did yesterday and though I hate when people say something is perfect, it comes pretty close. It is the most understated coming of age story I've ever seen and even though there were no big surprises, I was overcome emotionally. The acting is fantastic, esp Lucas Hedges, who was the kid in Manchester-by-the-Sea. There is so much that is unspoken in the film but if you pay attention, all the little details really add up to something very special.
The Shape of Water and The Post both look good. I'll be watching for them.
Lisa, it manages to be both the daughter and the mother's story which makes it very powerful. There are some things that you as the viewer know about the parents that the daughter never does which just adds to the emotional heft of the film. I had two burst into tears moments and though your mileage may vary, I think you will be moved by it.
Looking forward to seeing Lady Bird.
Saw Coco and just loved it. Please take anyone who equates Day of the Dead with Halloween to be educated. And unless you are a huge Frozen fan, show up 15 minutes late so you won't have to watch the new Frozen short.
A friend of mine took her kids (who apparently don't like Frozen), and she was really annoyed that they were "forced" to watch the short (she said it was 30 minutes).
To absolutely no one's surprise, I adored everything about Ladybird. It's such an unusual thing -- it feels so fully formed, like it just arrived that way, almost like no one had to MAKE it at all; it feels so effortless. I hope that doesn't trick people into thinking it was easy. It's easily the best traditional in-the-theater movie I've seen this year.
Even without having seen it, I'm pulling hard for Allison Janney in I, Tonya for best supporting...but it will be hard to not give it to Laurie Metcalf in Ladybird. She is having a VERY good year.
I cried twice - big boo-hoos and sniffled a whole bunch of other times. The whole movie is incredible.
Last night, my son and I watched Wild River and oh my gosh, it was good - my heart was in my mouth for about half the movie. Very understated with a beautiful score and just enough dialogue to make it work.
It is a crazily underrated movie. But god, Jo Van Fleet in it. Also the elusive Barbara Loden!
But are you talking about Wind River? Suspiciously Babara Loden-free!
Oops, you are right. Wind River! But now, I need to see Wild River.
My sister-in-law was in town for the weekend, and after ascertaining that none of the Broadway shows we wanted to see were in reach (and don't get me started on the fact that a working person in NYC can't take part in popular culture along with all the other fine folks because of the elitist rarefied bullshit one-percent commerce that passes for theater in this city), so we decided to go see Lady Bird. And, yeah! What a good movie—we all loved it without qualifications, which is saying something right there. What a lovely, well-written, sensitive-yet-unsentimental film. Great acting, great sets. And Lauren, I think I know exactly which moments you mean. I basically leaked tears for the whole last third of the movie but never felt manipulated... which is also saying something.
For once I have something up-to-date, actually from this century, to post about in this thread... Besides the latest Christie adaptation mentioned above (watchable enough, though mum enjoyed it more--my preference would have been 90 minutes of just the Russian guy twirling and kicking people balletically), we saw Haneke's Happy End. Whiiiiich, I'm sorry to say, I didn't find up to his usual standards--rather predictable, stale and tired. Not nearly painful enough for a Haneke movie; merely a whimper--although that, I suppose, may well be the desired metaphor.
Even without having seen it, I'm pulling hard for Allison Janney in I, Tonya for best supporting
Don't bother. She has nothing to work with—it's a cardboard cutout of a role. We saw the movie today and I thought it was horrible, an absolutely reprehensible movie. I don't get the "black humor" label because there is not one funny moment in it, unless your idea of funny is laughing at backward rednecks—which, in fact, the audience in the upper west side theater where we saw it certainly did. It felt like sitting and listening to a bunch of white people laugh at a minstrel show. Zero nuance in any of the characters, including Tonya, lots of weird stereotyping (the fat guy eating sloppily in every shot). The fact that she was an incredibly gifted skater and loved what she did never felt real or true—you never once wanted to root for her. Honestly, it was one of the most morally bankrupt films I've ever seen (our entire party of four agreed).
But hey, don't take my word for it.
Well, I still have to go. I have heard the complete opposite also -- Caroline Leavitt loved it -- so I will have to go with my Tonyaometer tuned precisely.
The Shape of Water is very beautiful -- parts of Beauty and the Beast, Amelie and Free Willy all sewn together into something altogether strange and unusual. I thought it was going to go wrong about fifty times but it makes one right choice after another and ends up being practically perfect. It's a two-hour long swooooon. There's one moment -- and I won't give it away -- that's so spectacularly nervy and movie-love-saturated that even if the whole rest of the movie was a disaster, I'd forgive it. It's only about a minute long, but they leave any hint of it out of the previews and that's an incredibly wise decision because I literally gasped out loud when it happened.
I'm interested to hear what you think. And I need to amend this:
The fact that she was an incredibly gifted skater and loved what she did never felt real or true—you never once wanted to root for her.
During the titles at the end you see footage of the real Tonya skating—and then you see it, and realize just how much joy there was in her skating—both for her and for the audience, because it was absolutely contagious. But if that was the filmmaker's point, two hours of mean-spiritedness is an awfully long time to wait for that particular punch line.
The Shape of Water is on our holiday moviegoing list. Also Three Billboards.
I do think there's some revisionist Tonya apologia going on elsewhere (she knew, she knew, she knew! and I say this as a complete and utter fan) -- she was almost a pure athlete, but she was completely missing the art gene that ice skating judges at the time had been trained to look for. She did everything technically better than anyone else but managed to look like a machine doing it -- and she full well knew that she was rather artless -- the bullheaded part of her personality convinced her that she could just power jump through it, even though that wasn't what they were looking for (again: at the time).
I've said many times that she was ahead of her time -- both in personality (has there ever been a Trumpier heroine?) and particular skillset; now the way scores are determined (changed after the French judge debacle in Calgary), she would have walked away with all of it.
Harding definitely lacked artistry, but she also struggled with consistency, particularly during that period when she thought she could coach herself.
To go further off-topic, I really dislike the current scoring system. It took me from being a life-long fan to not watching figure skating at all.
I was actually thinking of going to see I, Tonya because of the raves,but I'm going to avoid it now..at least until I can stream it. I hate it when films really look down on "white trash", I don't find it
appealing or funny in the least, even though I do have these elitist thoughts myself, I just don't want to see them advertised on a big screen.
Can't wait to see "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" Staring the brilliant Frances McDormand and directed by Martin McDonagh, I have just watched the official trailer!!
Martin McDonagh directed one of my all time favorite movies "In Bruges". This movie is due to be released early January.
Three Billboards is on our list to see over our holiday break next week, as is The Shape of Water. Maybe even Coco if we're really inspired.
Alan, don't not see I, Tonya just on our say-so—lots of other people, including reviewers, have liked it a lot (which is how we got there in the first place). It may be that the class tone-deafness that we objected to so much is our particular area of prickliness, since it obviously doesn't bother everyone. If you don't mind coughing up the price of a ticket for something you may or may not like, I'd say go see it and let me know what you think, since I'm really interested to hear from someone who got something else out of it than I did.
When I first saw the trailer for Greatest Showman, I was wowed, and crossing my fingers that this movie was the real deal. I am happy to report that it is. I know Barnum has been white washed, but the music, art direction, cast, everything was just incredible to listen to and watch! Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams surprised me, Ive never heard either of them sing, and the woman who played the bearded lady Keala Settle, sings like a broadway actress. Actually I really can't think of any fault. Definitely go see this
Oh, when Jenny Lind starts to sing, its a contemporary song. I said to David, shouldn't she be doing something of that time? My dear husband replied, if Hamilton can do rap, she can do anything she likes )
Thanks Lisa,I’ll probably see it at some point. Connected to Tonya Harding,but not the movie, I just read Susan Orleans Nyer piece on her from the time of the Kerrigan incident. It was in a massive pile of printed articles I had for years and decided to check it out. Orleans writes breath-takingly well,her journalistic prose(?) is stunning. But not knowing anything about Tonya’slife or the story or especially where she grew up I really read the article with the eyes of what Lisa had mentioned about the film. Yes the descriptions of the strip malls and the ugly hair salons and tacky skating rings are beautifully rendered,but it is all written with such a big city,Manhattanite snobbery-those poor white trash ,how quaint they look to us big city sophisticates. It just made me realize what a snob Orleans is and how the article is written for snobs,like myself. Manhattan may not have a chicken cheese on every corner,but there are plenty of tacky nail salons and quaint Caribbean fast food holes that because they are ethnic,appear more worthy than the abundance of kfc in Tonya’s hometown.
Anyways,Three Billboards...is a wonderful film about an extremely angry and extremely fucked up town. Really shows the rage and confusion that seems so endemic in so much of the U S right now.
Went and saw Darkest Hour yesterday which was terrific. I did have trouble hearing and understanding a lot of Gary Oldman’s mumblings but I don’t know if it was just him or the problems I have with British accents on the screen in general. (There were a lot of “what did he say” being whispered in the audience.)
We went with our friends Steve and Mary to see this and apparently we only go see Dunkirk themed movies with them. (Still liked Dunkirk better but that was just a different styled film altogether so maybe it was that.)
I was too sick to go so David saw it with some friends. They really liked it and fortunately David likes going to see the same movei multiple times so I will get there!
I'm afraid I have to disagree with Cindy on The Greatest Showman; I was embarrassed for everyone involved! Though I did think it was fun in a terrible way; if you got the right audience for it -- one willing to catcall and hoot -- it could be awesome.
I couldn't believe it turned out to be a follow-your-dreams, don't-hide-your-light, realign-the-stars (seriously, those are lyrics from the songs) musical, but then I thought, well, during the Depression, they made the dumbest, fluffiest musicals on earth, so these must be REALLY DARK TIMES for them to make this.
I liked the bearded lady, though.
You could not pay me to see that Barnum movie- I'm sorry, but no. I've always been interested in Barnum - he was from very close to where my parents grew up and was actually mayor of that same town - though obviously long before they were born. But there was an annual Barnum parade every year on the fourth of July which was a major event of my childhood. He was also involved in so much weird shit - promoting a 'cure' to turn black people white - and a huge promoter of minstrelsy. Endlessly fascinating. But Hugh Jackman - nope, there's just no way.
I just don't get why they didn't make a movie of the musical that already exists about Barnum -- "Barnum." It's really good. But I guess it's cheaper to have all new terrible songs written than pay someone else for their good ones.
For the same reason they needed to redo classics like Psycho- money (pretty much what barnum wanted anyway)
ETA thought you were talking about films, then found the info on the Broadway show from the 80s. That would be interesting to see. Wonder if there was a reason they didn't just use that one? (
Loved All the Money in the World-Christopher Plummer-incredible and Michelle Wiliams just fantastic. Terrific thriller...really exciting true crime film.
I felt like the writers and Ridley Scott couldn't quite decide if they were making a movie that said "aw, sad, rich people are people too and have problems" or "ha ha, rich people are people too and have problems" And I never really believed Williams, though a lot of that had to do with her never-ending parade of wigs. She had that mid-Atlantic accent down, though -- if they ever re-do The Philadelphia Story, they should talk to her. Though is she funny? I dunno.
I also thought it was peculiar to give old-man Getty such a Shakespearean/operatic ending -- who was tending those roaring fires in all those hearths at two in the morning? -- when they'd kind of made the point that he was just another kind of con man earlier in the movie.
I pulled the old pay-for-one, go-to-two at the movieplex today.
First up! Darkest Hour, which was only so-so, but I think we've been over-saturated with Dunkirk-related stories this year, so that probably didn't help. It's an Iron Lady-type movie -- abig fancy showstopping central performance (largely done by the makeup department, if you ask me), surrounded by a curiously un-rousing movie that you'll never want to watch again. Oldman will clean up in some areas, I'm sure, but I think the main accomplishment of the performance is that he didn't seem like Gary Oldman.
Then I snuck over to Molly's Game, which is fun and fizzy until it decides to embrace a gooey father/daughter redemption sort of ick. Lots of Sorkin talk talk talk, though, and I do like that, even if Molly sounds just like almost every other smart Sorkin female.
So an eh and a meh from me, but at six bucks per, a fine way to spend an afternoon.
Lisa, I did make it to I, Tonya today and while I don't think you're off-the-mark completely (it definitely does make fun of its main characters), I didn't think it was as one-sided as you. It's mean-spirited, but it's mean-spirited towards everyone in the movie, not just the lead rednecks. Even the non-redneck characters we see (in the few interactions with judges and the recurring Hard Copy journalist) are depicted quite monstrously; if anything, the movie's more generally misanthropic than hostile to just one class or group. In the one scene where I think the movie overplays its hand artistically, Tonya looks right into the camera and even makes us complicit in all of it, telling us that we are the attackers. I thought that scene was a mistake, but I do think it's the one that lets the moviemakers off the hook regarding how it's treating its characters. This year's Soderbergh movie, Logan Lucky, did a similar thing in depicting its main characters as West Virginia rubes but then managed to pull it off because the rubes ended up being the smartest people in the movie.
I thought it was wildly sympathetic to Tonya -- but I'm guessing it had to be since it was based on interviews with her and Gillooly. She seemed....complicit, but not TOO complicit, which I myself think just isn't true.
As a movie, I thought it had a great first two-thirds and then it sort fell apart after "the incident," largely because we were spending too much time with Gillooly and his henchguy and Tonya was on the edges for too long, storywise. And you're right about it not being very funny, but a lot of that - for me - had to do with the way it was sold to me vs what it actually was. I teared up a little for her a couple of times.
But "lick my ass, Diane; she can do a fucking triple" is as elegant a line as Noel Coward ever managed.
We saw Mollys Game as well and thought it was a fascinating story about a subject I know next to nothing about high stakes poker (my dad and hi sfriends played at our house once a month. Thats about as high stakes as we got) I thought Costain was magnificient in the role, and was with it till the end and then - yeah like you, I wasn't that enamored by it when it was over. Still thought it worth seeing.
I liked The Post a whole bunch. You know I'm not a humongous Spielberg fan, but it was nice to see a story told A-Z in a traditional linear way, with no time jumping around or narrative fiddly-ness. And it's very compressed; outside of an opening sequence set in Viet Nam, it all takes place in a pretty short time span. Everyone's good in it, though it's maaaybe a little over-cast; not every single part needed to be someone recognizable, especially when a lot of them really don't do anything except say "yes ma'am!" or "Ben, no!" or whatever. But it's good, the timing's right and not many mis-steps preach-wise.
There's also something super-generous going on when the big patriotic speech moment goes to a peripheral character and not Streep or Hanks.
I'd like to see The Post, both for filmish reasons and because that news was so much a part of my growing up, it'd be fun to see it turned into art. Or "art," whatever.
I totally get your point about I, Tonya, DG. And yeah, it's nasty to everyone, there is that. I think at least part of our discomfort with it came from where we saw it, in a theater full of Upper West Siders who laughed at everything. It made me feel hostile, honestly. And I really didn't like the fourth wall-breaking, which was clearly the trump card (zero pun intended) and didn't come off right, I think.
Also I still don't get what everyone saw in Allison Janney's role. She was fine in it but it was so two-dimensional as written, it wasn't like she had a whole lot to do other than be a great big bitchy chain-smoking caricature. I imagine that's what people liked.
We didn't make it to any of the movies we wanted to see over our break because it was too goddamned cold to walk to the subway and we were too busy boiling giant pots of water on the stove to stay warm. But we did watch a couple on the big TV—I never watch movies at home so that was an event in itself: Bergman's Fanny and Alexander, which was wacky and strange and terribly beautiful, and Blade Runner 2049, which was pretty crappy—though some of the sets were great. I bet they paid Harrison Ford a boatload of money for that one.
As much as I hate to admit it, I think you're right about Janney -- it's the character people are responding to, not the performance. I mean, you know I clap like a seal when I hear adults use the c word, so. She's very funny in it, but I think a lot of people would be -- and it's fun to try and figure out which clip they can POSSIBLY use during the Oscars. All that said, my allegiance has switched to Laurie Metcalf in that category, mainly because it would get her 3/4 of the way to an EGOT. Next up: a rap album!
I do know what you mean about the audience context; I saw it at our only arthouse, in the wealthiest liberal enclave in town and was expecting a response similar to your audience's. But I ultimately thought the audience agreed with me, that it was a much sadder movie than any of us had been led to believe. There was some OVER laughing in that way there ALWAYS is an this particular theater, but it settled down when people onscreen started getting slapped around.
I saw the Post today and while I didn’t think it was a great film, I found the story incredibly fascinating and I’m really interested in reading Graham’s bio now.
Yesterday I saw Phantom Thread and to my complete surprise I really thought it was a masterpiece. Those clothes and those houses! The plot is very Jamesian and it’s so literate and disturbing and Day Lewis who I’m tired of was just sensational. Really a beautiful film. I’ve seen all of the biggies for this season and this is by far the best.
I liked it also alan, although it seemed like two movies to me and I liked one better than other. DDL is superb as is the actress who plays his sister Lesley Manville. But you are right, the details are extraordinary and the score - which is by Johnny Greenwood, of Radiohead is so lushly beautiful with just a hint of menace.
dg, have you seen it yet?
I agree, the sister was exceptional. I heard her interviewed on the radio and apparently she's a huge star in the UK but not well-known here. She said she grew up in a very working class family and had to really learn to put on British airs because it was so foreign to her. But is she ever fantastic in this film.
Lesley Manville was so great in that movie with Jim Broadbent a few years ago, Another Year. She was my pick for best actress that year -- but it was a tough year, and she didn't make the final five.
She was just devastating in that, without ever once drawing attention to it.
I thought Phantom Thread was equal parts fun, terrible and ludicrous -- I certainly enjoyed it, though! I described it elsewhere as the Whatever Happened to Baby Jane of our time (which isn't really an insult) and I'll stand by that. I'm not completely on the Day-Lewis can do no wrong train (I didn't think he had much to do here), but I'm surprised Vicky Krieps isn't getting more attention for it -- she's in practically every scene; it's a very enigmatic performance in an equally enigmatic part. And Lesley Manville is great in it.
I maintain that it's two movies and without giving much away, one is truly about the death of the Great Male Artist and the other is about a marriage. I liked one better than the other and I'm not sure the whole movie works but its certainly entertaining enough.
Soooo, The Post was...ponderous? Is that the word? Don't get me wrong Streep is amazing as Graham and there was much I learned that I didn't realize at the time (like how they put together the story with thousands of pages to go through, and that the Watergate breakin happened soon after this. ) It also did a good job showing the subtle way women and girls were (and sjtill are) treated (loved the little girl waiting for hanks to give her the ball back, too afraid to ask) But I feel like I've been beaten upon head way too often (eye roll moment - that walk of Grahms down the hallway after the supreme court ruling, flanked by dozens of women smiling and congratulating here. Please.) Anyway its worth seeing.
I am almost finished watching the movie The Obit-a documentary about the New York Times obit department and I think it's just sensational. I have always loved the Times obit section even though more times than naught I don't read the obits because the people don't interest me. But this doc is so well done. Who would have thought that a film about a bunch of reporters who write obituaries could be so fascinating? The fun part is that they often go into the lives of the people they write about-for instance Pete Seeger. They show pictures from the Times archives (they call it the morgue)of little Pete with his parents who are carrying instruments. It's just a wonderful film.
I finally made it to Three Billboards today, the last to the party. I thought it was a bit too much movie cut a little too leanly; so much of the motivation was explained via three a-little-too-on-the-nose voiceover letters and a single incredibly terrible flashback that do precious little to make sense of what's going on -- it's just a bunch of nutty smalltown stuff against an almost greek tragedy sort of setup. I really disliked Sam Rockwell's bumbling cop who is suddenly not a bumbling cop -- it's such a hairpin that it's simply unbelievable. But there's a LOT that's unbelievable (the girlfriends/wives of these guys....I mean....), and the lurching comic/tragic/comic/tragic tone doesn't really clear things up. McDormand's great, of course, but she's too good for the material.
If you had issues with the way I, Tonya treated poor white folks, this one's gonna be a tough row to hoe for you also.
All that said, though-- I loved watching it! It's very entertaining...which might still be the wrong word. I didn't quite know which way things were going to turn from scene to scene...which might be what's wrong with it, actually, I dunno.
And that completes my main Oscar nominees slate with the exception of Denzel. The only things I'd change from their lists -- I'd pull out Margot Robbie and put in Cynthia Nixon and sub The Florida Project's Bria Vinaite for Mary J. Blige. I'd also drop The Darkest Hour from the Best Picture race. Other than that, it's a very respectable (if maybe a little predictable) slate of nominees; there are no humongous embarrassments.
If you get a chance to see the restored Beat the Devil that's making the arthouse rounds, don't miss it. There are four or five minutes that've been put back, one of which is a high camp moment of Gina Lollobridgida holding a tray with a teapot and the only thing you see are the teapot and her breasts as she purrs "tea and crumpets?" and it's positively outrageous. They also stripped off the voiceover from the beginning. None of it makes any sense (still), but it's an awful lot of fun, and it's pretty crisp and high contrast. I never really think of Huston as a master shot-framer, but there are a lot of beauties in this one.
We saw Source of Water yesterday. I really liked it. The allegory was obvious but not insulting, and the story was beautiful. I loved the visuals--all the water water water and the blues and greens and her red shoes.
And I would definitely do it with the fish guy.
Edit: Oops. It is the Shape of Water, yes
Shape Water? (took me a bit -- I actually went and looked for a trailer for Source of Water ....) -- I'd sleep with Sally Hawkins. She was my favorite part of that movie. That and the stage set. And the water -- it was a very visually satisfying movie.
The fish guy also plays a major character on the new Star Trek series. Looks fairly similar in that role too.
I watched Wind River the other night. I like how quickly it solved the murders, and I took far too much pleasure in the deaths at the end. Wish the movie had put the Indigenous actors at the fore, instead of Renner and Olsen (even though I thought both were quite good). In particular, Tantoo Cardinal, who is a stunning actress. All she got to do was raise her eyebrows at Olsen's underwear. I did appreciate the text on missing Indigenous women at the end -- Winnipeg has far too many -- and the the director's respect for women. Plus scenery. Scenery was good.
Really liked Wind River - acting scenery story, it was all good (and yes to the ending)Surprised it hasn't garnered more awards. I also wondered why they didnt have the Indigenous actors at the fore, but you are right the actors all were great. Satisfying movie but very sad - did not know about the missing women.
Loved Three Billboards, Francis McDormand is a favorite of mine ever since seeing Fargo.
Movie on TV Laurence Anyways French a wonderful three hours viewing for me, it has won many awards, I shall be keeping this one on my harddrive.
If you liked Laurence Anyways, you should check out his other films-I think he has four in total. They are all brilliant and he started writing, directing, producing and designing all of the films when he
was about 22. he is a major talent. The film that comes after Laurence Anyways-mommy is a knock-out.
Just saw Darkest Hour. Gary Oldman was extraordinary as Churchill, even outshines The Crown's Churhill performed by John Lithgow. I hope he wins best actor that was an incredible performance
David saw it, really liked it FWIW. Its not my kinda movie so don't plan to see it.
Saw it. Other than it being a Marvel movie, loved it. There was a hella lot of joy and celebration in it, which makes it is worth seeing. We saw it downtown at a grubby theater that sells deeply cheap tickets (and the seats and limited leg room are some of the reasons why), but the nice thing about seeing it in the cheap seats was the downtown crowd that included a couple of Indigenous families, and a whole row of gorgeous women in African garb. Lots of call-outs and woots through out. And there is one very funny comment about colonizers in the movie that set the Indigenous families giggling for quit a bit, and that made the movie for me.
Marvel things -- the prerequisite car chase (mitigated somewhat by Lupita Nyong'o standing on the roof the car looking AWESOME), and a fight scene at the end that really doesn't make sense narratively.
So someone explain to me why the water movie got best picture. Not interested in seeing it, but have seen most of the others and am surprised.
Thrilled about Olman and McDormand, and Coco, tho I wish there was an honorable mention for Loving Vincent - really an amazing work of art.
I think Shape of Water is ultimately a movie about movies -- it quite lovingly borrows liberally from a lot of them and its tone is absolutely drenched in a sort of 40s/50s movie-love nostalgia. They DO love a movie about movies. Even if you have no interest in seeing it for the plot (I was iffy on it myself), I think it's worth seeing for all the rest of it. I had no problem with it winning; it's an exceedingly well-made movie from a technical standpoint. Other than Darkest Hour and to a lesser extent Three Billboards, I thought any of the nominees would have been a good choice. I still think Dunkirk was the best of the lot, though.
I think you can make the same argument about Get Out. It's also completely referential to a certain genre of movies and in a very loving way. But it's so much more terrifying AND the people of color are not totally marginalized or sassy best friends. I knew it wouldn't win but in terms of a movie that kept me guessing from beginning to end and had zero holes in the plot, that's the one.
I liked Shape of Water just fine whilst in the theater, but it's soured in memory. And don't even get me started on Three Billboards. For me, it was this years La-La Land and I just got more and more pissed as I was watching it. I'm not sorry Frances McDormand won - she's the only thing that gives that film any shred of decency. But sheesh, she's a movie star and she's married to a director so she's hardly risking anything to get all the women to stand up in the theater. Ho hum.
Now I'm going back to my grumpy troll hut under the bridge.
OOps, one more - Johnny Greenwood not winning for best score? That made me mad.
#OscarsSoMuchFiller. I was watching other stuff and DVR'd the Oscars so I could skip commercials, the boring songs (good lord, I'm sick of these big productions, because since that Selma song with Common and John Legend, and Lady Gaga's thing, it's like every song has to be some big, inspirational, charismatic church choir, deeply-felt, life-changing and/or life-affirming bore). And I skipped the majority of the speeches. I just do not care. A lot of the movies look excellent, and I am looking forward to many of them (only seen a few of the sound, editing, etc. nominees, none of the best picture noms). I already have Get Out and Dunkirk at home to watch, and I'll be renting a few more this month as they come out on Redbox.
I always tape it but more and more I just can't bear watching it . It's just so tedious and overblown
and although I've seen some of the nominees, I have zero interest in the winner. Shape of Water
was filmed in Toronto where I live and the media has been beside itself because of it's success and
win-it's sooooo tiresome. And the speeches-so sanctimonious and just such a tremendous bore. I think from the little I picked up today I'm going to go home and just delete the whole thing. The only part I find interesting are the memorials and I can catch that on you tube.
Lauren, I thought the Desplat score was the best thing about Shape of Water, so I had no problems with it winning. I am a Desplat fan, though, and I still think his The Painted Veil score is one of the two or three best mainstream scores of the still short century. You know where I stand on Phantom Thread! I was so busy laughing and rolling my eyes I couldn't even tell you what the music sounded like!
I'm with you on Three Billboards. We're going to be so collectively embarrassed by it in a decade, like the way we are with Crash.
I want longer speeches, longer montages and fewer skits.
I couldn't care less about the Oscars, but has anyone here seen The Florida Project? Really good, including a bunch of seriously fantastic little kid performances and a great turn by Willem Dafoe. It's by the same guy who made Tangerine, except this time with a real camera, but it still has those ultra-saturated colors. The eye candy alone would be enough, but it's a a fine film all the way through.
Loved The Florida Project-also thought it was one of the best films of last year.
>389 JulieCarter: Francis McDormand is a favorite of mine, a great hoot of a movie she was in "Burn After Reading" is one not to miss.
>383 laurenbufferd: Albert Finney for me has played the best Winston ever in The Gathering Storm
Went to see a delightful English movie "Finding Your Feet" I hardly recognized Timothy Spall, he has lost so much weight.
>396 cindydavid4: Oh I am a huge Finney fan (The Dresser is one of my all time fav movies), I'll have to check that out.
No, I'M the last to see Three Billboards. Agree that possibly the best of it might have ended up on the cutting room floor... or not, who knows. But I did think it was an interesting portrait of being fueled by anger. Much of which entirely hinged on McDormand's performance, rather than any strong story line, but as Jeff pointed out, about halfway through the movie it becomes more of an allegory than anything else. And the anger thing, I don't know... maybe it just struck a chord, but I thought that was an interesting emotional filter to shoot a whole film through.
I also just saw "3 Billboards." I had much higher expectations. I just couldn't take all the blood and violence, which isn't always true for me.
Also just saw "Lady Bird." It was ok. I'm growing really bored by movies, books, and TV about kids. I know that's overly broad, but I'm an old childless lesbian and I'm growing impatient about my entertainment.
Speaking of old lesbians, we also saw "Battle of the Sexes." I thought it was wildly entertaining. Emma Stone was very good, although somewhat miscast. Steve Carell was funny, and way more likeable than the real-life Bobby Riggs. It was fun.
Next up: "A Quiet Passion" and "Florida Project" (let's see if my weariness of kids applies here). Can you tell we just bought an Amazon Fire Stick?
Man, A Quiet Passion and The Florida Project is quite a lot of awesome to look forward to.
Well, I haven't seen 3 Billboards. I want to, but I suspect it will be until it's on cable or something. I have two free Redbox codes for my birthday, but I think I'm going to try Lady Bird and The Shape of Water when it comes out. There are a ton of great (or at least award nominated) movies available now or coming up this month, but each time I rent something, I end up copying it and not watching it (looking at you, Dunkirk, Get Out, Despicable Me 3, Jason Bourne, Alien: Covenant, etc...). This is why I don't use the library! I want something desperately until I have it, and then I just am NOT in the mood. I'm sure a shrink would have plenty to say (but y'all hush).
I don't think you have to like kids much to like The Florida Project, even though it's filled with them. It was a terrific movie, I thought.
We also watched Paddington, which you should probably skip—kids AND talking bears, and Nicole Kidman doing a Cruella DeVil turn. I thought it was fun, and the CGI was extremely well done. I basically forgot he wasn't a real talking bear, which is something.
I would never see that bear movie.
It's not that I don't like kids--I have liked several of them. I'm just not very entertained by them, artistically speaking.
My slightly crusty film critic friend who has a reputation for being very hard on movies absolutely adores the two Paddington movies.
Jeff said he read that someone called Paddington 2 "the Godfather 2 of kids' movies" or something. It's not streaming yet, I don't think... or anyway there's some reason why we can't watch it yet. I don't even know how to turn on our TV so I'm the wrong person to ask about that.
Well, I am pleased to say that Spielberg managed to make Ready Player One into a good movie! A lot of the filler folk complained about in the book is gone, and the story is well told without it. And Im not a huge action movie fan, but this one had me on the edge of my seat even tho I know what happens! Might have to see it again.
Oh, a couple of weeks ago, I rented three movies and watched them all in a day. And they were all free! Complaining to Redbox has been great, because they just give me free rentals all the time. Justice League, Three Billboards, and The Shape of Water. Oddly, I think I actually enjoyed Justice League the most, though it's obviously not the best movie (and their CGI is SOOOOO obvious! Get it together, DC.). For some reason, The Shape of Water was just a bit too whimsical for me. I expected to be blown away by it, but I just wasn't. Story was kind of predictable. But for that one and Three Billboards, I think the acting was very good, but not everything about the movies worked for me, or I was expecting too much or something. Or maybe it was my mood (which admittedly has not been very good for several weeks now). I kind of feel bout The Shape of Water like I now do about La La Land. It was entertaining, but in the end, it just seems a little silly and over the top Hollywood. I don't feel much desire to rewatch either of those, nor Three Billboards.
I went to a screening of Barry Lyndon last night -- on a real movie screen. Iffy print, but the movie is so crazily entertaining I didn't really care. It was interesting to watch it in the current environment, though -- Marisa Berenson's Lady Lyndon has 13 lines of dialogue. 13! And she's the SECOND LEAD in a THREE-HOUR MOVIE. Then, two other female characters with decent scenes of any length were credited as "Barry's mother" and "German girl."
I love that movie so much. It killed me to miss it on a big screen. It was my intro into the Chieftains too. Forever grateful.
I think the quality of the print might have made you insane -- some people walked out.
I feel less bad then. There was a slew of things I wanted to do last night but my husband was leaving today on a ten day trip and it seemed rude to take myself out on an artists date.
Started watching The Free State of Jones last night. Heard wonderful things about it, but apparently no one went to see it. Very gory.
Went to an afternoon showing of Won't You Be My Neighbor?, the Mr. Rogers movie. Which was great—even handed, sweet but not a hagiography, and gave a good overview of what he did without being annoyingly completist about every tiny detail. I sat there and just leaked tears for most of it, not because it was a tearjerker all the way through (though it certainly was in parts) but just because the world is so absolutely shitty right now, and it feels like there's no place for a person like Fred Rogers. And people like him are so needed. It was like watching a documentary about some marvelous extinct animal, knowing that you'll never see another one.
sigh, yes I remember babysitting when he first started. I didn't mind watching Sesame Street with the kids, but oh, I found something else to do during Mr Rogers. Just hated the surpy sticky sweetness of it all. Was a while before I realized his goodness, and yes now, we so need that. Thing is, given the response to recent events, I don't think such people are really gone, not yet anyway.
I loved Fred Rogers as a child and I do still though the neighborhood of make believe irritated and disturbed me as a child and an adult. I bawled my way through that documentary, along with my 19 year old son and husband. Everyone n the theater was crying. It was a totally cathartic experience.
Meow meow still don't meow Daniel Striped Tiger.
There is no one who respected kids more and didn't try to sell them anything. Revolutionary.
Mark and I watched the Ken Burns documentary on Huey Long. There are so many similarities between him and Trump it's eerie.
I want to see the Mister Rogers movie. I'm too old to have experienced him as a child, but I have a much younger sister who adored him and I watched the show with her all the time. His influence on her life was truly powerful. The world needs more Mister Rogerses.
There was a spectacular long piece about Rogers in the briefly-lived (but long-lamented) magazine Wigwag in the very early 90s, like maybe actually 1990. I was never a Rogers or a Sesame kid -- I skipped both and was Zoom-specific - but it was really an eye-opening piece, part of the first wave to really consider him influential outside of the traditional ways he already was.
The other day I saw some click bait title with Rogers name in it, and I was terrified that there would be some revelation about him that I didn't want to hear. But no, all's fine.
I was exactly the right age for Rogers and watched him until a boy I liked said he was uncool and I promptly stopped (silly me). But I still remember the feeling of security and warmth he provided. I enjoyed the American Sesame St. too, but Rogers was the jam.
I had already decided that if anyone had hideous revelations about Fred Rogers (or John Oliver) I was going to move to Antarctica and never come back.
Did you see him on Colbert last week? He called out Trump in delightful ways. I do miss him; I wonder what the election would have been like if we had him and his own brand of commentary. Ah well.
Oh I hope they don't screw this up: he Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society movie will begin streaming on Netflix on August 10.Looking at the cast, I do have hope, but still crossing my fingers.
I'd watch that even though the book was so twee it made my teeth hurt.
I was surprised by the book, specifically because I didn't think it was nearly as twee as the title makes it sound. Good book, horrible title.
You know what, I went back and looked at an online review I'd written and I said it was not overly twee, despite the title. So I guess I'm remembering wrong.
That title scared me away from the book for good, and probably will keep me away from the movie too unless I hear something incredibly compelling.
It took two book group friends said something like 'its not as twee as it sounds' to try it, and they were right. In fact the end is rather dark (even tho you know what the end will be) I had never heard of the german invasion of the island, had no idea how close to England they were, and no idea of the suffering it cause those who lived there. Just hoping the movie makes that all very clear.
re the title - wonder who chose it, the original author, or her niece who continued the book after her aunt died. I suspece the aunt had another title, and the neice was told to make it more marketable to book groups....
I think The Book of Ebenezer Le Page sort of made me never want to read another book set in Guernsey. I don't know how it could not suffer by comparison and I'd feel sorry for it. But I do think the Netflix thing looks fun.
I don't know if you knew john matthews (jwm), he was on the old Atlantic Table Talk and on Readerville. That was his favorite book and always encouraged me to read it. I really did try a couple of times but never did take to it. Might try again.
I take full credit for John ever reading that book in the first place! It was my pick the month I led the book club group at TT (which was Salon). The estate of GB Edwards owes me a check; I'm relatively certain I've kept that book in print!
It's my favorite book too, and part of the reason why is that it meanders (look I love it, but it MEANDERS) for such a long time and then suddenly you hit the home stretch and it's sixty or seventy pages of true unadulterated joy unlike any I've run across in all of literature.
One of the miracles of it is that I loved it so much when I was so young (I first read it as a callow college junior; it was pushed on me by a librarian who was determined to make me a more thoughtful person) -- I love it even more now that I'm older, though parts of it now seem almost unbearable in their accuracy with regards to aging and friendship.
I will always thank you for turning me on to that book, DG. That was one of the first books I bought because of a Readerville recommendation, and back in that interstitial moment before everything was reissued a friend of mine saw it on my wish list and found me an old used hardcover copy. I read it and raved about it, so she borrowed it and then NEVER GAVE IT BACK. Including after I asked her for it, because I'm still thinking I want to do a piece on it for Bloom. So wtf, I just went ahead and bought myself a NYRB edition and she can keep that one forever. That's one book I really look forward to rereading, and I'm not much of a rereader, for just the reasons DG gave. I'm old enough to appreciate how it will have aged.
That's funny about the second copy, Lisa! I had a paperback de-accessioned library copy forever and then happened across a third-printing hardcover (three printings! But it's easy to forget that the book was a little bit of a sensation for about thirty seconds when it came out; it had a good backstory - published poshumously and taken up as a cause by John Fowles, blah blah blah) but somehow since then, I've ended up with a British first, so it's now officially un-loanable.
Just watched 'Leave No Trace'. Really loved it - had lots of questions it didn't answer, but it didn't really matter in the end. The actress who plays Tom is stunning, and someone to watch - hopefully see her in some other good parts.
I gave Ebenezer Page to someone once who told me that they didn’t really think it was as all that. I felt like she had placed a turd on my dinner plate. I knew at that moment the friendship would never deepen, which indeed it has not.
Last nights Tuesday Night Classics was Indiana Jones. Oh my, I loved this when it came out, watched it a few times on DVD but it had been awhile. Lets see where do I start? With the dreadful acting and worse dialog? The plot holes you could drive a submarine through? The way too long action sequences. Yes its supposed to be a cartoon of sorts - but I was surprised how bad it was and wish I had those two hour back. That said, just watching Harrison Ford do anything for two hours I suppose is compensation....
Oh, now, see....I think it holds up really well, the only one of the series that does (though I think the opening sequences of both 2 and 3 -- especially 2 -- are the best things Spielberg's ever done).
I thought it held up too, but my youngest didn't. We had to survive many days of ranting post-viewing.
However, they loved Mama Mia Here We Go Again (as did I, because Cher singing Fernando was worth the price of admission), so its important to take all reviews with a grain of salt.
It's verrrrry old fashioned -- like a movie from the 50s, almost -- and not a single surprising thing happens in it, which people love, despite saying they want original stories. It's also equal parts food porn, real estate porn and costume porn.
I don't find it old fashioned, I found it grotesque. Loved the first part, but then it just became a show of lets look how outragious, tacky, oppulent we can be. Makes me want to go get my old video of My Big Fat Greek Wedding......
I really didn't care for Grade Eight. i have female friends who are crazy about it so maybe it's
a gender thing-but all of that social media drove me insane. It's such a sad state of the world we live in. And of course I walked out of the theatre and everyone was on their cell phones. I saw
a group of three people and instead of engaging with one another they were all on their phones.
I think the generation that this movie talks about is so lost-it just really made me ill. And no I don't own a mobile.
I thought the lead performance in Eighth Grade was so good that it was honestly hard to tell what I thought of the rest of the movie -- I was so forgiving of it because she is SO GREAT.
I do think eighth grade is different for boys than it is for girls, so it's hard for me to judge it accurately, but I thought a lot of what was going on in the movie was universal -- the social media stuff was just a 21st century version of what always goes on in these kinds of movies. It used to be in teen and pre-teen movies that there was always a scene about lunchroom anxiety -- where to sit, will anyone talk to me, etc -- and now that seems to have turned into a scene about "will anyone like my YouTube video" or "I didn't get very many Instagram likes." It feels like the same thing to me, at least movie-device-wise.
(slight spoiler ahead)
And it's telling that she shuts down her YouTube channel -- one of her great realizations is to stop worrying about social media and go have dinner with the dorky kid.
My friends also thought the lead was excellent. My favourite scene was when she was in the car
and the high school friend wanted her to do something and she said-No, I don't feel comfortable
doing that. I really admired her for that.
But then I really didn't care for Lady Bird either so...
Do y'all know that movie versions of Bel Canto and The Sisters Brothers are coming out next month?
My partner taught Bel Canto in high school for years and he dreads to see what they did with the book because it's one of his all-time favorites.
Well, I saw Mamma Mia: Too Mamma Too Mia and it really was the dumbest thing I've ever seen in my whole life. And I squealed out loud when
We saw The Wife; definitely stayed true to the book, which I loved. Glenn Close and Jonathan Pryce were extraordinary. The young actress who played the young Joan, Annie Stark, is Close's daughter and has some acting genes of her own. Very interesting scenes from 1958, 1968, and 1990, where women writers are given the same treatment by men. The more things change.....
I'm dying to see Eighth Grade.
Saw a great little indy movie on Demand that just came out - Support the Girls - a day in the life movie about the manager of an also-ran sports bar a la Hooters called Double Whammies on an access road somewhere off a Texas highway. The acting was fantastic, eps the lead Regina Hall, relentlessly cheerful despite the odds, determined to protect her employees, and deal with her depressed husband. It reminded me of Last Night at the Lobster - the dignity people bring to the lowliest of jobs.
One of the stars of the upcoming Sisters Brothers movie is on the cover of our alternative weekly today. The film opens at the Toronto International Film festival this week and the early review is a total
Watched a great Israeli movie on TV Restoration 2011, Sasson Gabai played the lead, a darkisk movie, however Sasson's smile when holding his first grandchild at the end was wonderful BTW his only smile small as it was!!
Lauren, I watched Support the Girls this afternoon -- quite a lovely surprise!
Anyone seen First Reformed? Not exactly a date movie—it's dark. But boy is Ethan Hawke stretching his legs.
We also saw a great restored print of Andrei Rublev, but I'm guessing nobody wants to talk about that. I liked it, anyway. Again, not so much of a date movie, unless you're us and the other couple we saw it with (which I guess makes it a double date movie).
A NY Times article about women pioneers of film led me to know more about Lotte Reiniger. I have heard the name, but hadn't seen any of her incredible work, until now......
Her Cinderella is even better (you see it after the above is finished)
Google did a cool Doodle of her work a few years ago
Just weighing in on some of the flicks mentioned above.
Shape of Water and Three Billboards were okay. The acting in both movies was fine, especially some very subtle stuff by McDormand and Harrelson. The more I see of Rockwell, the more he impresses me.
I loved The Florida Project. The acting was astonishingly real across the board as was the entire premise and execution. That had to be a hard movie to make.
Of the Oscar nominations, I was genuinely surprised by how much I liked Roman J. Israel, Esq. I haven't been a big fan of Denzel's late career, but this was a great story with truly wonderful performances.
2018 has been The Year of Nordic Noir and The Year of War for me. Most of my video favorites this year have been little known Nordic Noir TV miniseries and 4 war movies: Journey's End is a perfectly imagined flick about WW1 trench warfare that really affected me (it felt like a video representation of Brooke's, Sassoon's, Owen's, etc. poetry), 12 Strong based on a true, early event in the Afghan war that concentrates more on its humanity than machismo, The 12th Man is another movie based on fact and it takes place during WW2 in Norway. It portrays one of the most thrilling human endurance and escape sagas I've seen recently (plus, it has gorgeous scenery), Mother of Mine is a Finnish flick about children being sent to live with Swedish families during WW2 that's informative, beautifully acted and filmed, and incredibly poignant in a very old-school way.
Woman Walks Alone and Mary Shelley were two gems I also really enjoyed. I've read extensively by and about The Romantics, and I had a few issues with Shelley, but overall it's one of the better movies about the subject matter.
My hands down favorite this year, so far, is Lean on Pete. I'm a major Vlautin fan and absolutely loved that book. I was so worried that the movie version wouldn't do the book justice, but my fears were unfounded.
Nice to have you back Pat, I've missed your voice. I've read very good reviews of Lean on Pete.
Where did you watch your Noir flicks/shows?
Ugh, sorry about the bold. I'll fix it.
Mir, I found them on Amazon (I sub to MHz Choice, Walter Presents, Britbox, and Acorn which are great resources for International TV shows and miniseries), Netflix, and Hulu. When I get a chance I'll make a list. I'm obsessed with that genre. Plus, I just love the scenery.
Because I'm a firm believer in watching movies in movie theaters, I almost never stream day/date theater/home releases if I think there's even the slimmest chance they might come to my area (I actually think critics should have to reveal if they saw a movie in a darkened theater or on a TV or computer in their offices before they write a single word of a review). But since I don't think either of these two are coming to elbow Crazy Rich Asians off my local movie screens, I VODed Bel Canto and The Children Act.
Bel Canto is a millimeter away from being a camp classic -- it's THAT bad and inching right up on funny because of it. It's a classic case of someone reading a book and only thinking it's about the plot and that dumb person ends up being the person who makes the movie. Poor Julianne Moore; you feel sorrier for her than you do the opera singer she plays; making her be in this movie is the real terrorist act. THERE'S YOUR BLURB, POSTER DESIGNERS!
The Children Act, though! Emma is better than the rest of it, but the whole thing is pretty good -- it's the kind of part she used to get to do all the time and can do in her sleep but hardly ever gets to anymore so she really tears into it. I do think her one weakness as an actress is that she can't play less "smart," but that serves her well here -- her character being the smartest person in the room at any given time is the part! And she communicates it really well, how frustrating that is. So it's basically a movie about how Emma Thompson is smarter than you and it makes her crazy that you don't know it. But that's a rave from me! It's actually very good and the story has a good not-quite hairpin in the middle. Not really a plot hairpin, but a kind-of-movie hairpin.
There are some movies I will only first see in the theaters, but the more I enjoy streaming, the less finicky I am about that.
We have a nice big screen in the family room with a very good sound system which comes close to mimicking the theater experience. I love kicking back in my favorite chair, being able to take a break or grab a snack whenever I want. Plus, I friggin' love having the power to rewind at will.
I'd have to travel to Jupiter or West Palm to find theaters that play most of the movies I prefer. I've discovered a whole other world of International TV and foreign movies thanks to the wonders of streaming. I'd never get to see that stuff in my area.
David is like that - has to watch movies in the theatres. Regarding the two movies, I loved the book Bel Canto, and strongly disliked Children's Act. So its interesting that the movies seem to be opposite. With 'can do no wrong' Emma Thompson,I'll try that one first
My sister had a good line about Bel Canto: "so it's The Poseidon Adventure with terrorists instead of a wave."
Tuesday Night Classics, packed movie theatre, to watch Young Frankenstien. Still so funny; first time David seen it on the big screen.
Oh wow - its such a classic. There were several other movies that were take offs Love at First Bite, Top Secret, Airplane, Hot Shot Part Deux that were very funny as well, but I think YF was the first I saw. Be prepared for some really groan worry bits of business, and have fun with it!
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