Author Topic: Antares' Short Summations  (Read 141478 times)

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2011, 05:53:57 PM »
1918 (1985) 2.5/5 - I can't for the life of me, understand how this film found the financing needed to be put into production. It's screenplay by Horton Foote is a hodgepodge of melodrama and unnecessary filler that at times reminded me of third rate Tennessee Williams. I know that Horton Foote was a hot commodity back in the mid-eighties with hits such as Tender Mercies and The Trip to Bountiful, but it seems as though he didn't quite know what to do with this story. Granted, the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 is probably not something that lends itself to nail-biting tension or deep rooted drama, but if you're going to use this theme, then keep it coherent. The screenplay moves too quickly for you to feel any compassion for its inhabitants, and leaves you feeling in the end, like they wheeled in a beautiful looking wedding cake that was made of 100% marzipan.

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2011, 09:44:58 PM »
Ruffalo striding out of screening of Dirty Harry, muttering "due process"- because by linking with Dirty Harry it inferred to me that the Detective was very much part of the city like Callaghan was.

Here's where you're misinterpreting a scene...It's not that Fincher is linking Toschi with Harry Callahan, or Callahan's association with San Francisco, he's making a sarcastic quip about Callahan's rogue nature. And how Toschi wishes he could impart a little rogue justice upon Arthur Leigh Allen, but his hands are tied by a justice system that makes you cross every T and dot every I, before you arrest someone. That's what I took from that scene.

Well I felt he was frustrated by Callahan's attitude, because of the way it fed into the public's idea of justice, an idea that a serious policeman would realise isn't entirely plausible. I doubt many real Detectives of the time really wanted to be a lone ranger with a .44 Magnum! But in fact that interpretation doesn't matter either way, because what I meant was simply that by using that scene in that way, I felt it was implying that Toschi was being presented as the real equivalent of Callahan for the benefit of grounding the viewer; Dirty Harry exploited the Zodiac murders by pandering to how the public wished such things could be dealt with while this new Zodiac showed the reality isn't a modern wild west after all. Therefore I expected the sense of time and place to be more tangible because of how it was in Siegel's interpretation.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2011, 11:48:13 PM »
Chaplin (1992) 3.5/5 - I'm a big fan of silent films and Charlie Chaplin is one of my favorites, so I was looking with great anticipation back in 1992 when Richard Attenborough made this film. This is my second viewing of this film, and upon finishing it, I realized that I liked it a whole lot more the first time I watched it back in 1992. I have read that Attenborough submitted a director's cut that was close to 16 minutes longer, and he felt that the studios editing ruined the flow of the film. Maybe that is so, but until a director's cut is issued on DVD, we're stuck with this version, and some things that were done don't work. The novelty of the scenes where Attenborough tries to move the story along as if we're watching a silent film, now appear amateurish or hokey. The character played by Anthony Hopkins, whom we find out in the end is fictional, is a weak device to propel the narrative. On the good side, Robert Downey Jr. nails Chaplin's mannerisms and technique and probably should have won the Oscar for his portrayal. Moira Kelly and Diane Lane are both good in their limited roles as two of Chaplin's wives. I think this film should have dealt with more of Chaplin's woes during the late 40's and early 50's, and not just brushed aside their importance. Maybe this is more fleshed out in the director's cut, but for now, we'll never know. All in all, it's an OK biography of one of the great artists of cinema.

Dr. Hasslein

  • Guest
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2011, 08:58:05 AM »
Ghostbusters (1984) 3.5/5
I watched Ghostbusters for the very first time last night. I found it funny, but I don't think it's as good as most people say.
Bill Murray played himself as he usually does, my favourite line was "Yes it's true, this man has no dick".

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2011, 09:51:32 PM »
I think there is a sense it may be a little dated now, it's been a huge influence on so many other stories, and it's certainly a film for its generation who saw it, but I still think it holds up pretty well. Probably worth you giving it a spin again. Let it settle!

Dr. Hasslein

  • Guest
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2011, 11:25:35 PM »
Yeah maybe one day.

Offline Dragonfire

  • Mega Heavy Poster
  • *******
  • Posts: 6911
    • View Profile
    • Dragonfire88 Pbwiki
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2011, 03:01:03 AM »
I watched both of them again in October.  I still think they are entertaining.

Dr. Hasslein

  • Guest
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2011, 03:12:50 AM »
I hear the second one is pretty bad.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2011, 10:27:54 PM »
Le Samourai (1967) 4/5 - I got this DVD from my state's library exchange program and unfortunately, the DVD wasn't in the greatest shape. At least six times it stopped, then skipped forward to a clearer section of the disc, and of course this only happened at key moments in the film. Beyond that annoying problem, I loved this film. I have come to be an ardent admirer of French gangster films as of late and this film is one that I'm definitely going to re-visit in the future, when I can procure a better copy. I'm pretty sure my rating will increase too.

Patterns (1956) 4.5/5 - Everyone thinks of Rod Serling as the creator of The Twilight Zone, but prior to that seminal TV science fiction/horror show, he was an award winning writer for live television. The screenplay that brought him his first taste of fame was Patterns, a drama set in the executive boardroom of a Manhattan corporation. The broadcast was so popular that it was repeated a few weeks later and plans were made to make a big screen version. The ability to expand the original work from just under one hour to ninety minutes only increased the tension in this superb drama. This is first rate writing that keeps you glued to the verbal action onscreen and never lets up for a moment during its ninety minute duration. Van Heflin, Ed Begley and Everett Sloane are so incredible in their performances, you'll wonder how none of them were honored with Oscar nominations.

The Rabbit Trap (1959) 3/5 - TCM was showing films last night that focused on the corporate world, and after Patterns came this B-movie starring Ernest Borgnine. Basically it's about a draftsman who is struggling to get ahead under a boss whom he thinks takes him for granted. It was OK, but the theme of the film wasn't exactly abstract. The trap that Borgnine sets in the woods for the rabbit is meant to convey Borgnine's situation in his company. His dilemma over whether or not to return to the woods to set the rabbit free or keep his job wasn't too subtle in its delivery. But again as in many other films, Borgnine shows his emotional range and proves that he is one of the more underrated actors in film history.

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2011, 10:59:06 PM »
I love Le Samourai too.  :clap:

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2011, 12:08:05 AM »
I love Le Samourai too.  :clap:

Unfortunately because of the skips, I think I missed some key plot developments.

You should check out Patterns, IMDB has it online.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2011, 09:28:06 PM »
In Cold Blood (1967) 4/5 - I don't know why, but for some reason this film never gets a nod for being one of the best films of the 1960's. It's story is based upon Truman Capote's best seller about the Clutter family massacre in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959. Almost everything about this film is first rate, the acting, screenplay, music score by Quincy Jones and most important of all, Conrad Hall atmospheric black & white cinematography. If I can find one fault that keeps it from being a perfect film, it has to be the exposition of Perry's childhood, which goes on for too long at times, and slows down the narrative. One other thing that bothered me was the presentation of Perry's last moments on the gallows. It is well known that Perry cried inconsolably like a coward when they slipped the noose around his next and covered his face. I think it would given the viewer a satisfactory ending to the film, to hear Perry sob uncontrollably about his fate. And would have added a wonderful juxtaposition to the way the Clutter family are depicted when Perry aims his shotgun.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2011, 02:10:35 AM »
The Pacific (2010) - 3/5

I was really disappointed in this mini-series. Band of Brothers was an excellent story about a unique group of soldiers who fought in Europe. There was rich character development in the first episode and throughout the following 9 episodes I cared about the individuals who were part of Easy company. The Pacific, on the other hand, had virtually no character development until the later episodes and this caused the series to be confusing at times, because you just didn't know what was happening to what soldier at a given time in the story. I had a sense that this series was made because some ex-WWII Marine got pissed because the Army got all the glory in BoB, and Spielberg and Hanks said OK, we'll do it. The first 6 episodes had a schizophrenic structure to them, there was no coherency to the narrative. Episodes 7 - 10 righted the ship and saved this series from being a disaster.

My second hobby is military history, and it's rare that I don't care for a film about warfare, but this one tried my patience in the beginning. If you liked BoB, I'd go into this with caution, you may also be as disappointed in it as I was.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2011, 06:18:30 AM »
The Departed (2006) 3/5 - Can someone please tell directors that no one in Massachusetts talks like the Kennedys, except for the Kennedys!!!! I lived the first 25 years of my life in Massachusetts, and it drives me absolutely insane when I watch a film that takes place in my old home state where everyone speaks so phonetically fucked up.

I can't for the life of me, understand all the praise that is heaped upon Martin Scorsese. This film was tedious at points and ridiculous in others. Scorsese, to me, has always been a little too interested in how a film looks as opposed to how the screenplay is gelling, and this film is no different. While the base story was an interesting concept, Scorsese mucks it up by having the main character be so stupid that he can't deduce that Costigan is the State Police mole, even though Costigan was an ex-trooper trainee. Shit, it's easy to see how such a bright individual worked his way up to the top of the Irish mafia. Another bad moment is when Queenan is tossed form the roof and lands at Costigan's feet, but the cops in the car who are tailing Queenan just keep saying to Sullivan, "Something came off the roof", repeatedly. I guess these cops are blind because they're parked within visual range of the front door of the building and should have been able to deduce that it was a body that came off the roof. Oh, and another thing, to get from South Boston to Washington street takes at least 20 minutes on a good day. But in this film they get there so fast, you'd think it was right around the corner. And finally, towards the end when Costello is being confronted by Sullivan, after the first shots are fired by Costello and Sullivan, there is a small bit of dialogue between the two and then finally more shots. The camera then shoots the pair from above as Sullivan yells, "I got him", yet no one is moving towards where the shots have been fired. This moment was so ridiculous I couldn't take it anymore. The second the first salvo was fired between the two, a swarm of state troopers would have started moving towards it, but this would have gotten in the way of the final showdown I guess.

I hope that the original is better than this.

My Night at Maud's (1969) 4/5 - This is only my second Eric Rohmer film and I'm definitely hooked. I can't explain why, maybe it's the rich dialogue, but nothing much happens in his films, yet they suck you in. At first I thought that this was going to be a sophomore jinx for me as the film started a little slowly, but the minute we meet Maud, the film became engrossing. Maud's charm and honesty are refreshing and you want the story to stay with her. Unfortunately, it moves on to the relationship with Francoise, and the film kind of ends on a whimper. But for most of it duration, this film is a winner, and I'll will definitely re-visit it again. Next up...Claire's Knee.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 02:08:09 AM by Antares »

Najemikon

  • Guest
Re: Short Summations
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2011, 07:56:18 PM »
The Departed (2006) 3/5
I hope that the original is better than this.

Well I thought you were being a bit harsh!  :laugh: I really like The Departed, but I love Infernal Affairs. It's leaner and better focused, certainly. Like a Michael Mann film.