Author Topic: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)  (Read 58146 times)

snowcat

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #135 on: November 13, 2009, 09:06:36 PM »
The Foot fist way – 2008
Director – Jody Hill
Running Time – 81 minutes
Stars: Danny R. McBride, Ben Best, Mary Jane Bostic

The foot fist way sounds like a cheesy martial arts movie, whilst it is about Taekwondo, it's far from your average martial arts movie, it's a comedy, relatively funny and Jody Hill of Observe and Report fame's directorial debut.

Starring new Frat Pack collaborator Danny McBride (Heartbreak Kid, Tropic Thunder) The Foot Fist way is the story of Taekwondo instructor Fred Simmons, a 4Th degree black belt who thinks He's a big shot, driving a Ferrari and promoting the ways of Taekwondo to potential students.

Fred loses confidence in himself after he finds out his wife has cheated on him, out to get revenge he beats up the child of the man his wife has an affair with only to find he has gotten the wrong child. To gain more confidence Fred two students and his best friend from high school go on a trip to meet Fred's idol, action movie star Chuck "the Truck" Wallace, Fred manages to talk to Chuck, he is invited to a party and even manages to convince the star to come and visit his Dojo, but will this really solve his problem?

Danny Mcbride's acting is good, his character is convincing yet, after watching the series Eastbound and Down, which he plays the main character, I can’t help but see similarities between his character in the show and his character in this film. Of course there is also the fact the lead character in Eastbound is called Kenny Powers and a character in the film is called Roy Powers. The film seems like a springboard for the TV show, although there are some loose similarities, the series was made by the same team behind this film.

Overall the film is slow and some scenes last too long, saying that I feel the ending was far too abrupt, it felt as though it ended part way through a scene. The Foot Fist way was a low budget film that just happened to be picked up by Will Ferrell's production company two years after it was made. This film could have been great, all it needed was a stronger cast and a script rewrite.

snowcat

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #136 on: November 14, 2009, 08:39:12 PM »
Citizen Kane – 1941
Director – Orson Wells
Running Time – 119 minutes
Stars: Orson Wells

Most people have heard of Citizen Kane, mainly because its often voted “Greatest Film Ever Made” but, is this film over hyped? Or is it really that good?

The film begins with the death of Charles Kane, his dying words “Rosebud” confused, and who wouldn't be by the meaning of this? Media Mogul Kane is well known in New York, head of Newspaper the Inquirer.

Following Kane's death reporter Jerry Thompson decides to find out just exactly what Kane meant by “Rosebud” he visits Kane's second ex wife, his business manager and best friend. But will Jerry ever be able to find the meaning of Rosebud?

The film shows a series of flashbacks of the life of Kane, told by the people Jerry meets, its an intresting story and Orson Wells does a great job of directing and acting. But I think more could have been done to make the film intresting, some scenes seemed to carry on too long.

I think this film is massively over hyped, I really enjoyed it but it just isn't the greatest film of all time, now I can get in to arguments about time etc, but what about The Wizard of Oz? Gone With the Wind? Wuthering Heights? Maybe I'm missing something, I guess its subjective its one of those things I think people agree with just to agree, of course “the greatest movie of all time” is entirely subjective, I just wish I wouldn't read countless publications with the same top 5. Of course I'm sure I've opened a giant can of worms.

Najemikon

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #137 on: November 14, 2009, 09:24:40 PM »
I think this film is massively over hyped, I really enjoyed it but it just isn't the greatest film of all time, now I can get in to arguments about time etc, but what about The Wizard of Oz? Gone With the Wind? Wuthering Heights? Maybe I'm missing something, I guess its subjective its one of those things I think people agree with just to agree, of course “the greatest movie of all time” is entirely subjective, I just wish I wouldn't read countless publications with the same top 5. Of course I'm sure I've opened a giant can of worms.

Oooh, Emma! Where's my tin opener? :P

Now you've said in the past that you're doing some sort of film studies, aren't you? So I hope you'll understand that I'm only pushing this point because you've expressed such serious interest in the past. If you're taking it that seriously, please find out why Citizen Kane is considered as important as it is. You may still come to the conclusion that it is over-hyped and not worthy of such attention, but at least you won't lump it in with Gone With The Wind or Wuthering Heights! They are both very good, but are merely studio melodramas. The Wizard of Oz is fairer, but actually, I consider it exempt to some degree because it's very genre specific. Although wonderful and of course, colourful, it didn't advance film-making as much as Orson Welles with Citizen Kane.

You're right, that labelling films "the greatest" is subjective, but there are genuine fundamental reasons why Welles was years ahead of his time. When I did Film Studies, I had seen it a couple of times and enjoyed it, but I ended up seeing it three times in one week for an essay on narrative and in particular, mise en scene. It should have been a bore, but instead it clicked and I've loved it since.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2009, 09:26:37 PM by Jon »

snowcat

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #138 on: November 14, 2009, 09:58:31 PM »
No I realise that it paved the way for films and the fact he acted, directed and co wrote the film is pretty revolutionary,  I can see all these points but! I just feel its so over rated still...

Kevin Smith said in one of his Smodcast that Citizen Kane should be removed from those lists to give other films a chance. I agree, there should be some variety in these lists :p not everyone has the same opinions!

I remember being told that Citizen Kane was amazing because they showed ceilings in the shots.... I laughed, I don't think the average cinema goer of 1941 walked out of a film saying "that's so unrealistic, where are the ceilings in the shots?"

Citizen Kane revolutionary? ;P yes, best movie of all time? NO NO NO!

Najemikon

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #139 on: November 15, 2009, 12:06:39 AM »
 :slaphead:

Look, I don't even like these "top fives" "top tens" crap that critics put out. We're dealing with art and to say one is absolutely better than all is ridiculous. That's why I stressed the word "importance". Also, whatever I'm about to say is not unique to Welles. He was a genius like Hitchcock, because he could bend the technique to his will. Others are just as brilliant for doing the exact opposite and working miracles with what they have.

If you had watched Kane and come on here and said it was better than anything ever, I'd still be here suggesting you look up Ikiru or something. I completely agree with Kevin Smith because Kane has received too much attention. It doesn't come down to opinion, but context. Kevin Smith is a walking encyclopaedia and he wants people to understand the stuff they've never heard of, not because Kane isn't important.

But I'm still arguing the point because you said...

I remember being told that Citizen Kane was amazing because they showed ceilings in the shots.... I laughed, I don't think the average cinema goer of 1941 walked out of a film saying "that's so unrealistic, where are the ceilings in the shots?"

Ok, whoever made that statement was being foolish and working with absolutes. "Oooooh, a ceiling!". You really think that's why critics wet themselves over this film?

Consider several points: in any well constructed film, nothing is an accident (that's a fundamental of Mise En Scene); also, in any well constructed film, the technique never outbalances the narrative. In other words, everything is constructed for a reason to elicit a reaction from the audience... most of whom have no idea about the techniques and wouldn't have noticed the ceiling until it caved in. Still, they react anyway because Welles made the film for them, not film nerds.

A lot of those nerds go in to Kane, especially when they think they have to agree with the herd, and so they talk about the ceilings, the depth of field, the fluid camera, the set design and... the bloody ceilings. All very observant, but no-one ever thinks... "why?".

So, if Welles did nothing by accident, and everything for a fundamental reason (not just because he could), what do you think he is trying to do by showing the ceiling?


Offline DJ Doena

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #140 on: November 15, 2009, 12:15:37 AM »
what do you think he is trying to do by showing the ceiling?

Hide the studio floor?

 :bag:
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Najemikon

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #141 on: November 15, 2009, 12:39:30 AM »
Karsten, can you install a "withering look" smiley? Because that's what I have for you right now. A withering look. Are you withered yet? Are you?  :laugh:

But actually you're on the right track. You could say he was pointing the cameras at the ceiling because there was no floor. He'd dug it up. Why had he gone to the trouble of digging up the floor? So the cameras could look up at the ceiling!  :yahoo:

Oh, I love this shit! We have a chicken and the egg situation. But why? Goddamn it! Why?

:-X

snowcat

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #142 on: November 15, 2009, 09:28:52 AM »
I realise the film is a masterpiece. The use of non linear flashbacks, combined with Kane's fascinating character make this a great story, leaving the ending open for interpretation was also a big thing then.

He used long shots instead of short, catching peoples reactions in one shot instead of having to edit reactions in, his ability to keep background and foreground in focus was pretty amazing (back then) as the film goes on Kane stops being the main figure in the shots to a lesser one, more so when he is exiled to Xanadu with Susan.

:p im gonna be honest Jon, I have no idea what you want me to say about the film, technically this film was great, its withstood the test of time, but I feel it now has no place on one of those lists, firstly because I don't want people to tell me what the best films are, and secondly, because why do those lists all have to be the same? the top 5 is almost identical every time, for something that's subjective publications seem to go with the same things ¬_¬

richierich

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #143 on: November 15, 2009, 11:15:18 AM »
You either liked it or didn't, thats what having a personal choice is for.
I say it as I see it, and even when I can respect certain films (seven samurai jumps to mind) it doesn't mean I have to enjoy it.

I've had some good debates with jon over time and he has helped my overall film education. But he would never influence my opinion (nor I'm sure would he want to), enjoying a film is purely down to personal taste.

Sadly there are a lot of people beyond these forums who are influenced by these lists, they feel they should say some 'classics' in their top ten, even if they would never be in their top ten desert island discs.

For Citizen Kane, I actually enjoyed the film, and clearly understand why it is historically significant in terms of movie-making, but it would never be in my top ten.

Offline Achim

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #144 on: November 15, 2009, 11:28:13 AM »
Oh, I love this shit! We have a chicken and the egg situation. But why? Goddamn it! Why?
You have me curious now... So, why did he show the ceiling?

I realise the film is a masterpiece. The use of non linear flashbacks, combined with Kane's fascinating character make this a great story, leaving the ending open for interpretation was also a big thing then.
It's been a while since I last saw it, but I don't remember be overly open at the end. After all, the reference to Rosebud is revealed... Or am I missing something?

Najemikon

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #145 on: November 15, 2009, 12:40:53 PM »
You either liked it or didn't, thats what having a personal choice is for.
I say it as I see it, and even when I can respect certain films (seven samurai jumps to mind) it doesn't mean I have to enjoy it.

I've had some good debates with jon over time and he has helped my overall film education. But he would never influence my opinion (nor I'm sure would he want to), enjoying a film is purely down to personal taste.

Sadly there are a lot of people beyond these forums who are influenced by these lists, they feel they should say some 'classics' in their top ten, even if they would never be in their top ten desert island discs.

For Citizen Kane, I actually enjoyed the film, and clearly understand why it is historically significant in terms of movie-making, but it would never be in my top ten.

Thank you, Rich. You summed it up perfectly. The reason I've pushed this with you, Emma, is because you made a fateful comment when you first joined us, that you were in some sort of film education and importantly, the amount you write shows you take it seriously. For me, that means you can't get away with a mere statement! If you're going to say you disagree with something like Kane being so revered, I need to know why. :tease:

Rich alluded to an important thing in studying art of any sort. Personal opinion informs understanding, but you don't have to like it to understand it. In my Film Studies exam I had to write about My Beautiful Laundrette, a film I detest as being subversive and basically shit. I got a mark for explaining that, but it was taken away again because I couldn't separate my opinion from putting it in context. The exam importantly didn't ask, "did you like it"? It asked me to understand it and I couldn't. Mainly because I didn't want to.

Good for you that you don't want to be told what the greatest films are. I'm proud to say I do include Kane in my top ten (perhaps not personal 10), but I do so because I've seen others and have been able to put it in context. You just demonstrated the same; you do understand Kane and that's why it isn't in your top films. You asked what I expected you to say? Just that. Thank you! :yahoo:

That said, you started this ceiling crap and you only skirted around it...  :devil:

You have me curious now... So, why did he show the ceiling?

I realise the film is a masterpiece. The use of non linear flashbacks, combined with Kane's fascinating character make this a great story, leaving the ending open for interpretation was also a big thing then.
It's been a while since I last saw it, but I don't remember be overly open at the end. After all, the reference to Rosebud is revealed... Or am I missing something?

He shows the ceiling not because he wants to, but because it's a side effect of looking up and therefore he had to have a roof. It is technically important because it meant the set couldn't be lit in traditional ways.

As everyone already knows, a basic rule of photography says how you compose the subject suggests how you want the viewer to feel about it; Villains tower above you, cute little dogs look up at you. Be careful when you take a snap of your partner! Do you worship them, own them, or consider them equal?  ;) Welles took this to a new level in film that is rarely used even now.

Emma mentioned the depth of field, keeping characters in focus (no-one is more important than the other so far as the camera is concerned). Additionally, there were often three characters in any one scene, forming a triangle, and his camera angles allowed them to walk around so their size would change in relation to one another. Who is emotionally stronger? The biggest one. There's a key scene where Kane is pacing toward the camera and his emotions match his size in the frame. Often the sets are impossibly large; cold, empty Xanadu matches his mind.

This is also why he had to make a set that could let the camera move fluidly because a normal edit would ruin this. Remember when we discussed Rope and how the set could split open? Welles did that and so much more in the flashback. The camera goes right through a wall and the furniture! But this meant he had a beautiful composition between Kanes mother (most important), Thatcher (the instigator, trying to get custody of Kane, frustrated by the mother) and Kanes father (currently not important at all, but his motion to hit Kane reveals why his mother has to send him away). Best of all, while Kane is outside unaware his life is being decided, he is framed by the window, so he is also in the scene. Welles broke the triangle rule for the most important scene.

The reason it's most important is because it breaks all the rules of the film, which is built of scenes with a reporter interviewing people who knew Kane. We never see the reporters face because he is us, but actually, he can't possibly understand what we now know because the flashback was just for us, the viewer, and Charles Kane. It's a special moment for us and him, which is why he kept it in a snowglobe.  ;) You're right, the ending isn't really open...

(click to show/hide)

For me, Kane will always be one of the greatest because the technique was always extreme, only to match the narrative. Even more than Hitchcock (he did a very similar flashback structure in I Confess), though his output has far more range than Welles. David Fincher of all people used the fluid camera as recently as Panic Room, but really only because it looked good and could be done in CGI now. Emotionally, few scripts are as strong as Kane.

As I mentioned before though, Ikiru is worth seeing... :D
« Last Edit: November 15, 2009, 12:48:37 PM by Jon »

Offline Kathy

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #146 on: November 15, 2009, 02:20:27 PM »
This is why I love these forums, an intellectual debate that is thoughtful, interesting and informative. Thank you.

snowcat

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #147 on: November 15, 2009, 05:58:11 PM »
I agree with everything you say about it being technically a great film how ever ;P as an extremley amature film maker and writer I like to think the story is more important then the techniques, I make a film for an audiance not change the way films are made.  ;)

As for the ending being subjective, whilst we know what Rosebud is, its left open as to why he said it, what does it mean to him? what did it symbolise? why was it so important to him that it was his dying word! and why does that snowglobe remind him of it? if you see the film again you instantly remember the sled and its importance. on a one time viewing, you could forget that!;P thats what I ment by open.

Najemikon

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #148 on: November 15, 2009, 06:18:47 PM »
I agree with everything you say about it being technically a great film how ever ;P as an extremley amature film maker and writer I like to think the story is more important then the techniques, I make a film for an audiance not change the way films are made.  ;)

I agree. I love Citizen Kane because the story is more important than the technique. He built the technique so he could tell the story in the best way possible. Bear in mind Orson Welles was a story-teller first and his films are never outweighed by technique. And films are first and foremost visual storytelling. Around the time of Kane, Hollywood was taking a lot of influence from German Expressionism and developing the thriller into ways we take for granted now. Otherwise you might as well just film a play. :shrug:

As for the ending being subjective, whilst we know what Rosebud is, its left open as to why he said it, what does it mean to him? what did it symbolise? why was it so important to him that it was his dying word! and why does that snowglobe remind him of it? if you see the film again you instantly remember the sled and its importance. on a one time viewing, you could forget that!;P thats what I ment by open.

Sorry, Emma, you're confusing me!  :bag: Are you saying that at the end, we don't understand what Rosebud means to Kane? Because we certainly do. Or do you simply mean the ending is open while we're watching it? That's kind of the point... :hmmmm:

snowcat

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Re: Emma's Film Reviews (snowcat)
« Reply #149 on: November 15, 2009, 06:34:27 PM »
I think at the end its open, even thought you know what is Rosebud is, it took me a few minutes of thinking after to work out why it was important, although that may be because I found some scenes long and kind of drifted away from them. I posted on my facebook that I had watched it, some old school friends said they had watched it in there English lesson, I asked if they understood what Rosebud meant to Kane and they said not originally. of course they studied it ;p I got to study Oliver.

yep, true true. and this film was good at visualising, but there is no way it will ever be my favourite film XD