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.
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.
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