Author Topic: goodguy's Watch Log  (Read 72114 times)

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #120 on: July 26, 2010, 09:13:27 AM »
Do you like any Nolan film?

I've only seen Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight. I liked Batman Begins to some extent, but I don't feel like putting it to the test by rewatching it, and I suspect my experience with the other two will reflect back negatively on it.

But the truth is, I can't even bring myself to be upset with Nolan, like others do with Tarantino or the Twilight franchise. The Prestige particularly is perfectly shrugworthy; it is mediocre, not bad. Jon claims it is intellectual, but I don't find it very engaging on that level either. It is neatly constructed with its doubled narrative viewpoint and three time periods; it taunts you to watch closely, and so there are the hats and the crushed birds, yadda, yadda. But for all its structural complexity and foreshadowing, it is surprisingly literal in its themes.
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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #121 on: July 26, 2010, 09:20:20 AM »
I must admit, I have actually really enjoyed every Nolan film I have seen except The Prestige. It felt mediocre to me, but I think that's my own fault as it has to do with my reception context. I have only seen The Prestige once and it with a friend who spoke for quite a bit of the film  :yellowcard:. I was so distracted that by the time the end of the film rolled around I had no idea what had happened and I didn't understand it at all. I do want to try and rewatch it again sometime.

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #122 on: July 26, 2010, 12:10:55 PM »
When I say intellectual, I simply mean by comparison. It was released mainstream with three a-list stars and left the audience having to think somewhat. That's very unusual and not something you would see on a Michael Bay film. Spielberg can do it (again, I know you don't like his films, I just mean by comparison) with films like A.I. and even Minority Report, but he spent 20 years getting that point. Nolan has snuck in under half that time and producing films that aren't even based on a book or anything.

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #123 on: July 27, 2010, 08:34:28 AM »
In my previous post on The Prestige, I originally had a comment on how Nolan is neither Borden nor Angier, but Cutter - a plot engineer, not a filmmaker and artist. I removed it, because I thought it was too flippant and a bit of a cheap shot.

After reading the IMDb FAQ entry on the differences between novel and movie, and after reading Achim's complaint about Inception that it "sadly lacks emotional investment", I was reminded of a scene where Cutter invents a new method for the "disappearing bird" number.
 
(click to show/hide)

But despite all those increased costs, Achim's complaint applies to The Prestige as well; the characters remain flat and don't resonate with the viewer. I haven't read the novel and I'm not saying the changes are wrong, but even comparing Nolan to Cutter might give him too much credit.
Matthias

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #124 on: July 27, 2010, 09:44:16 AM »
Matthias, I know we disagree as often as not, but I honestly think that is the most absurd notion you've ever said! You've dismissed Nolan as a film-maker because he doesn't subscribe to your rather limited criteria?

For one thing, I don't quite agree with Achim. The emotional investment is there in Inception, but it is a labyrinthine construction and it's going to take a couple of viewings to unlock it. Perfectly fine. Not unlike other films, Vertigo for one. I'm sure Achim did not mean that comment to be applied to Nolan's career though!

Next your complaints about The Prestige are without merit. Each of Nolan's films so far is about grieving in some ways and self/selfish-sacrifice in others. Ramping up the body count is a broad way of doing this. Borders on Nihilistic if the themes weren't so optimistic overall. This is also perfectly fine. He is not only an artist, but as he defines these themes, he'll be an auteur.

What's clear from past debates is you simply have no interest in genre films or technical film-makers. You don't like Hitchcock or Spielberg, so it goes without saying you're never going to like Nolan. I can guess you have no interest in Scorcese or Leone either. What about the sweeping epics of David Lean or Val Lewton's classic horrors? Unlikely I'd guess.

These men are amongst the finest directors the industry have ever produced. To dismiss any of them as not being film-makers is crazy. I don't like musicals, but I see that as a personal disadvantage; I don't just brush off their producers as invalid.

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #125 on: September 16, 2010, 09:43:47 AM »
  Dom za vesanje (Yugoslavia 1988, AKA Time of the Gypsies)
Directed by: Emir Kusturica
...
Time of the Gypsies is such a poetic and beautiful film; it is a film not to be watched, but to be experienced, to be completely immersed in its images, music and sound. To me it is, ever since I've first seen it and without the shadow of a doubt, the greatest film ever made.

DVD Notes

The French release of 2007 is the first DVD release of the film in the western hemisphere. The film has been remastered and both a single and a 2-disc special edition are available, but sadly with French subtitles only.
...

Just noticed that since July 2010, a German release is available from Winkler Films. I assume it uses the same master as the French DVD, but I don't know for sure. Subtitles are in German only.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 09:45:44 AM by goodguy »
Matthias

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #126 on: November 09, 2010, 01:36:54 AM »
  Winter's Bone (2010)
Written by: Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini, based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell
Directed by: Debra Granik
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Kevin Breznahan, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt
DVD: R1-US Lionsgate (Oct 26, 2010)

My rating:

Cover Blurb: After her deadbeat father jumps bail and mysteriously disappears, 17-year-old Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) must find a way to track him down or she'll be left without a home or custody of her two young siblings. To avoid losing everything, Ree must hack through the lies and threats looming everywhere in her rural town to piece together the dangerous truth about her father – without getting herself killed – in this taut, pulse-pounding thriller.

Long time no post. I'm still not really in the mood for writing even some mini reviews, but this one deserves a few words, because it moved straight up into my Top 3 of 2010.

David Gordon Green's Undertow and Jeff Nichols' Shotgun Stories are the obvious reference points for this Southern Gothic tale, but I'm going out on a limb here (and probably also pique more of an interest on this forum) by mentioning Rian Johnson's Brick.

This time, the weary and beaten teenage detective is a girl, who has to navigate a white trash backwoods community with unspoken rules that are far more complicated than the setting suggests. Newcomer Jennifer Lawrence is amazing in the leading role, but the entire cast is without a flaw.

Trailer:
« Last Edit: November 09, 2010, 01:55:36 AM by goodguy »
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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #127 on: November 09, 2010, 01:38:19 AM »
This has been getting some great reviews. Really want to see it, especially if you've found a way to link a Brick reference in. :thumbup:

Offline Antares

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #128 on: November 09, 2010, 02:04:26 AM »
Damn...that does look good.

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #129 on: November 15, 2010, 12:11:34 AM »
  An Education (UK 2009)
Written by: Nick Hornby, based on a memoir by Lynn Barber
Directed by: Lone Scherfig
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard
DVD: R1-US Sony (Mar 30, 2010)

My rating:

Cover Blurb: From acclaimed writer Nick Hornby (About a Boy, High Fidelity) comes this inspired coming-of-age film Rolling Stone magazine calls "a miracle of a movie." When Jenny (Academy Award and Golden Globe nominee Carey Mulligan), a bright young school girl who longs for adulthood, meets David (Peter Sarsgaard), a dashing older man, he introduces her to his vibrant world of glamorous friends, chic jazz clubs and her own sexual awakening. Will she let this affair ruin her dreams of attending Oxford, as her headmistress (Emma Thompson) fears? This captivating film sparkles with wit, charm and style of 1960s Britain.

I have just one thing to say: How could Carey Mulligan not win the Oscar for this? The movie itself is a bit of a mixed bag, to eager to portrait the parents and some other characters as dull, clumsy and uneducated. A bit more subtlety would have been appreciated. That's also true for the safely played wrap up that ends the cautionary tale with the proper morale. However, all that is forgiven because of the way Mulligan lights up the screen as the bright young girl in love not so much with that older guy, but with a world full of possibilities.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 02:12:57 AM by goodguy »
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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #130 on: November 15, 2010, 12:14:11 AM »
Hmm, I've had this film sitting around the house for a while. You have inspired me to watch it.

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #131 on: November 15, 2010, 12:40:06 AM »
I really liked this film. Don't know why I didn't post a review, because it's very good and worth looking up.

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #132 on: November 20, 2010, 08:38:29 AM »
   Ondine (IRL 2009)
Written & Directed by: Neil Jordan
Starring: Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Dervla Kirwan, Alison Barry
DVD: R1-US Magnolia (Sep 21, 2010)

My rating:

Cover Blurb: ONDINE is a lyrical modern fairy tale that tells the story of Syracuse, an Irish fisherman whose life is transformed when he catches a beautiful and mysterious woman in his nets. His daughter Annie comes to believe that the woman is a magical creature, while Syracuse falls helplessly in love. However, like all fairy tales, enchantment and darkness go hand in hand. Written and directed by Neil Jordan and shot against the Irish coast's magical backdrop, Ondine is a story of love, hope and unwavering belief in the impossible.

For most of its running time, this plays as a sort-of naturalistic fairytale, wonderfully ambigious and poetic. I wish Jordan had kept that up until the end, but for reasons I cannot imagine he turns it into a thriller for the last half hour or so. This is a truly odd choice and I should lower my rating accordingly, but I just loved everything else too much.

Trailer:

Matthias

Offline Antares

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #133 on: November 20, 2010, 05:54:31 PM »
That does look good. Kind of like Splash meets The Secret of Roan Inish.

I'll be looking for it.

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #134 on: November 21, 2010, 12:40:47 AM »
That does look good. Kind of like Splash meets The Secret of Roan Inish.

You do have a thing for odd combinations recently.  :) I have seen neither, but the latter seems to fit while the former just sounds awful.
Matthias