Author Topic: goodguy's Watch Log  (Read 73633 times)

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2009, 10:09:32 PM »
   Mad Men (Season 2, 2008)
Created by: Matthew Weiner
Starring: John Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, Christina Hendricks
DVD: R1-US Lionsgate (Jul 14, 2009)

My rating:

Cover blurb: The Golden Globe-winning series for Best TV Drama two years in a row continues to blur the lines between truth and lies, perception and reality. In its second season, the world of MAD MEN is moving in a new direction - can Sterling Cooper keep up? Meanwhile, the private life of Don Draper becomes complicated in a new way. What is the cost of his secret identity?
Winner of six Emmys, MAD MEN is the groundbreaking series from AMC that critics are calling one of TV's best-ever dramas.


Am I the only one around here watching Mad Men?

In the "What'ya got?" thread I said Mad Men is the best show not running on HBO or Showtime. That's not true. It is the best show. Period. Neither HBO nor Showtime currently have anything to offer that is even remotely as complex and insightful as Mad Men. It is the rare case were all the hype and the awards are well-deserved.

Mad Men essentially is a working place drama, set in an advertising company in the early 60s. The Mad Men are the men of Madison Avenue, NY. I love shows that take the working place seriously and deal with people passionate about there job. Not the usual cop/doctor/lawyer bore fest that uses the setting just as a convenient spring board to throw a bunch of characters together, but where the work they do truly illuminates the characters. Six Feet Under comes to mind, or the Canadian Slings & Arrows.

Be warned, though. If you like your shows to have fast paced stories with twists and turns at every corner, Mad Men isn't for you. It is first and foremost a very introspective and layered character piece, with careful attention to mood and atmosphere, gorgeous camera work and production design.
Matthias

richierich

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #61 on: September 02, 2009, 10:41:39 PM »
I've just ordered series 1 based on your recommendation at just £9.99  :thumbup:

http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/5261144//Product.html?P36=FUVNGD

RossRoy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #62 on: September 02, 2009, 11:20:04 PM »
I was actually considering getting the show, but I couldn't find a conclusive review that I can trust... until now!

Ordering S1 and S2 now.  :thanks:

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #63 on: September 02, 2009, 11:24:16 PM »
I've just ordered series 1 based on your recommendation at just £9.99  :thumbup:

Erm... oops? Considering how you teared into Revolutionary Road, I'm a bit weary about the repercussions.  :fingerchew:

Not that they are really that much alike, Mad Men is far less neurotic and the suburban "hell" is only one part of a much richer story.
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #64 on: September 02, 2009, 11:58:09 PM »
9.99? Crikey, worth a punt!  :thanks:

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #65 on: September 06, 2009, 09:57:08 PM »
   Brick (2005)
Written & directed by: Rian Johnson
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner, Noah Fleiss, Emilie de Ravin, Lukas Haas
DVD: R1-US Universal (2006)

My rating:

Cover blurb: Brendan Frye is a loner, someone who knows all the angles but has chosen to stay on the outside. When the girl he loves turns up dead, he is determined to find the "who" and "why" and plunges into the dark and dangerous social strata of rich girl Laura, intimidating Tug, drug-addled Dode, seductive Kara, and the ominous Pin. But who can he really trust? These are the ingredients of 'Brick', a gritty and provocative thriller that critics describe as "a clever, twist-filled whodunit!" (Claudia Puig, 'USA Today')

In 2006, a bunch of Noir movies (film noirs? films noir?) came into the cinema. There was Hollywoodland, which I haven't seen. Then there was The Black Dahlia, De Palma's big budget retro noir, an overall boring exercise that didn't do anything new or interesting. And there was Brick, Rian Johnson's debut feature.

Actually, Brick already appeared in early 2005 at Sundance, where it won the Special Jury Price for Originality of Vision. In 2006 it was released theatrically. In Germany, it was a big hit at the Fantasy Film Fest.

Brick essentially is a Film Noir set in high school. Veronica Mars, you may think, but that's not quite it. While VM may have coined the term "teen noir" and brought it to a wider audience, VM remains a high school series that somewhat undecidedly plays around with Noir elements. With Brick, it is the other way around.

The first thing you will notice is the language. It is all hard-boiled Noir dialogue, complete with 30s/40s slang expressions. It probably sounds more like Hammett than he himself ever did. It is that highly condensed, that archetypical. The same is true for the characters, the morally ambiguous detective, the femme fatale, the dead damsel, the mysterious man in the background, etc. What Johnson does is not a mix of Noir and high school drama, it is a transposition. Which isn't just a gimmick, btw. It is taken absolutely serious and it makes perfect sense, just as early Buffy's "high school is hell" premise did.

Visually, Rian Johnson takes some cues from film noir, but with the style already firmly established in the language, he is free to experiment a little more here. Aided by a wonderful and simple score, there is a somewhat dreamy quality to his images that reminded me just a tiny bit of Altman's noir hommage The Long Goodbye.

The entire young cast is great, especially Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who gives a wonderful physical performance as the hero who gets beaten up a lot on his journey.

This might sound like a sacrilege considering the classics, but Brick has become my favorite Film Noir and made it into my all-time movie top ten.

DVD Notes:

While I have the R1, the R2-UK (Optimum) has some additional extras, most notably an interview with Rian Johnson and a featurette about the making of the score.
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #66 on: September 06, 2009, 11:06:17 PM »
 :redcard:

Argh! Matthias, your thread is getting expensive. First, Madmen (which to be fair I already knew I would get, but still, I'm blaming you...) and now Brick, which I have never considered before. Stop it!

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #67 on: September 06, 2009, 11:19:59 PM »
Argh! Matthias, your thread is getting expensive. First, Madmen (which to be fair I already knew I would get, but still, I'm blaming you...) and now Brick, which I have never considered before. Stop it!

If it is any consolation, you will probably get it cheap. I bought mine when it was released (actually before it) and paid some hefty bucks for it.
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #68 on: September 07, 2009, 12:25:13 PM »
Argh! Matthias, your thread is getting expensive. First, Madmen (which to be fair I already knew I would get, but still, I'm blaming you...) and now Brick, which I have never considered before. Stop it!

If it is any consolation, you will probably get it cheap. I bought mine when it was released (actually before it) and paid some hefty bucks for it.

Cheap as chips! 3.99 used, from a PlayTrade seller... 8)

oh yeah, 2 disc edition as well!

richierich

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #69 on: September 07, 2009, 04:42:40 PM »
Argh! Matthias, your thread is getting expensive. First, Madmen (which to be fair I already knew I would get, but still, I'm blaming you...) and now Brick, which I have never considered before. Stop it!

If it is any consolation, you will probably get it cheap. I bought mine when it was released (actually before it) and paid some hefty bucks for it.

Cheap as chips! 3.99 used, from a PlayTrade seller... 8)

oh yeah, 2 disc edition as well!



£3.63 delivered new here - http://www.asda-entertainment.co.uk/asda/8547329.product


 :tomato:
« Last Edit: September 07, 2009, 04:44:29 PM by Rich »

Najemikon

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #70 on: September 07, 2009, 05:20:18 PM »
Odd. Why didn't they come up on find-dvd last night? No loss really as I'm using my Play Funds, so it's only pretend cash... ;)

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #71 on: September 08, 2009, 01:45:30 AM »
   Northfork (2003)
Written by: Mark & Michael Polish
Directed by: Michael Polish
Starring: James Woods, Nick Nolte, Duel Farnes, Daryl Hannah
DVD: R2-UK Metrodome (2004)

My rating:

Cover blurb: 1955, Montana and a great flood is about to come. A new hydroelectric dam is about to be installed in the mountains above Northfork, ready to flood the valley in the name of progress.
It is the charge of a six man strong, trench-coated Evacuation Commitee to relocate the townsfolk to higher ground. But there are still tenacious stragglers. A lustful couple, a man with a pair of wives and his own Ark, a priest and the frail orphan he watches over, whose fevered visions lead him to believe he is the member of a lost band of roaming Angels desperately searching for a way home. Each one in limbo. Each one looking for a sign. Each one seeking a way to say goodbye.
Telling a beguiling story of loss & resurrection and rendered as a surreal, magical vision of America's Heartland, the Polish Brother's award winning 'Northfork' is a modern day fairytale and a testament to life, death and all that lies in between.


Jon says Quentin Tarantino, I say Hal Hartley. Jon says Coen Brothers, I say Polish Brothers.

To be honest, I'm not sure if it makes sense to compare the latter ones, but I had to get this started somehow. And it certainly seems that what Minnesota is to the Coens, Montana is to the Polish Brothers, meaning, there is a certain fondness for there respective roots in the middle of nowhere, in the "heartland"; combined with an odd and quirky sense of humor that seems to come from there.

In Northfork, that humor is more subdued and deadpan, and it only accentuates a spiritual and enigmatic story that couldn't be further away from the Coens usual antics. Northfork is such an achingly beautiful movie, it so perfectly captures a sense of loss, the longing to preserve a status quo and the dread that comes with unavoidable changes. It is deeply moving and profoundly sad, yet not entirely without hope.

I'm afraid that, even after having seen it now for the second time, I don't really know how to describe it. I intuitively understand it (I think), but I can't explain it. Go, see for yourself.
Matthias

Najemikon

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #72 on: September 08, 2009, 09:34:56 PM »
I like the sound of that too, but I ain't ordering it! :tease:

Oh yeah, I got a Brick put through my door today... ;)

Looks right up my street. No idea why it passed me by.

Najemikon

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #73 on: September 13, 2009, 08:03:49 PM »
There's a great shop near me called Fopp, of all things. They went bust last year, but a lot of branches were rescued by HMV and I'm glad because they sometimes have incredible prices. Today I picked up Street Kings blu-ray for £3! I've heard conflicting reviews about whether it's any good, but £3? Blu-ray? Good grief.

Why am I telling you this here? On my way out, I saw next to the checkout the two disc Brick for £2... A solitary pound per disc?  :slaphead:

Offline goodguy

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Re: goodguy's Watch Log
« Reply #74 on: September 14, 2009, 02:01:33 AM »
Why am I telling you this here? On my way out, I saw next to the checkout the two disc Brick for £2... A solitary pound per disc?  :slaphead:

If I hadn't already killed myself in Kathy's West Wing thread, I would do it now.
Matthias