Author Topic: Antares' Short Summations  (Read 123362 times)

Offline Antares

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #75 on: April 21, 2011, 01:12:48 AM »
The Freshman (1925) 4/5 - I'm ashamed to admit it, but I purchased all three volumes of the Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection, and up until today, had only watched his comedy shorts from those sets. Well, TCM was doing a birthday tribute to Lloyd who was born on this day back in 1893. I started to watch Lloyd's most successful feature The Freshman, without any thought of finishing it, but by the mid-point of the film, I was hooked. I now can understand Lloyd's popularity during the high times of silent slapstick. He was an amalgamation of the three other popular silent clowns of the time, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harry Langdon. From Langdon, you get the childlike naivete, from Chaplin, the pathos and from Keaton, the incredible physical agility. But whereas each of those performers plied their trade using those singular attributes predominantly in their work, Lloyd was able to move from mood to mood keeping this film fresh and rolling along. I'm now looking forward to finally putting those shiny discs into my DVD player and checking out his other feature films.

Offline Antares

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #76 on: May 10, 2011, 03:12:34 AM »
The Fighter (2010) 4.5/5 - This is the film that deserved the Best Picture Oscar last year (although I still haven't seen Black Swan yet). From beginning to end it held my attention with its gritty, realistic approach to the seedier side of the world of professional boxing. Prior to viewing the film, I felt that Geoffrey Rush had been robbed when Christian Bale took home the statue for Best Supporting Actor, but after the film finished, I was no longer of this mindset. Very few times in film history have I felt that the academy got it right when the selection of winner was announced. But this was one time where I agree wholeheartedly. If you watched the featurette on the making of the film and you see Dicky Eklund's speech patterns and mannerisms, you couldn't help but be blown away by Bale's performance.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 10:39:55 PM by Antares »

Offline goodguy

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #77 on: May 10, 2011, 03:49:02 AM »
Seriously? Both films struck me as rather unremarkable, despite good performances. And while I concede some "grittiness" to The Fighter, it's little more than a traditional sports movie (yawn) based on a true story (double-yawn). And come to think of it, The King's Speech is just the royal version of a sports movie, although others have argued it's basically a romantic comedy.  :)

Btw, since you specifically mentioned that you haven't seen Black Swan yet, I assume you did see Winter's Bone?
Matthias

Offline Antares

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #78 on: May 10, 2011, 03:52:20 AM »
Btw, since you specifically mentioned that you haven't seen Black Swan yet, I assume you did see Winter's Bone?

I keep forgetting about that one, I need to add it to my list.

Offline goodguy

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #79 on: May 10, 2011, 03:54:19 AM »
Btw, since you specifically mentioned that you haven't seen Black Swan yet, I assume you did see Winter's Bone?

I keep forgetting about that one, I need to add it to my list.

It's the only one of the Best Picture nominees that made it in my Top Five of 2010.
Matthias

Offline Achim

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #80 on: May 10, 2011, 06:10:51 AM »
The Proposition (2005) 4/5 - After reading Smirnoff's dire review of this film over at Filmspotters, I had second thoughts about watching it, but I'm glad I did. 'Noff was right, it is an ugly film about ugly characters, but to me, it was rich in the scope by which it told the story. The latter part of the nineteenth century was a very hostile time all over the world, especially in frontier lands on the outskirts of civilization. This film reminded me very much of a Leone western, with even more bleakness than you expect from a spaghetti western. The one question I would like to ask Smirnoff is this...did you like Sexy Beast? At times I felt the same disdain for the characters that I felt for that film, which coincidentally, also starred Ray Winstone.
I really liked The Proposition as well. It seems to portray the era and especially the Australian landscapes very well and one can learn a thing or two about aboriginal relations at the time.

I am not sure I see the relation, other than Ray Winstone, with Sexy Beast though, as I find that to be a very different film ("No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no." :laugh:).

Najemikon

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #81 on: May 10, 2011, 10:45:40 PM »
Seriously? Both films struck me as rather unremarkable, despite good performances. And while I concede some "grittiness" to The Fighter, it's little more than a traditional sports movie (yawn) based on a true story (double-yawn). And come to think of it, The King's Speech is just the royal version of a sports movie, although others have argued it's basically a romantic comedy.  :)

Why the surprise? The Fighter is brilliant because of its tradition. It subscribes fully to Hollywood wish fulfilment fantasy, while being a double whammy for formula in that it's a true story (bingo for the Academy any other year!), but it has a spark. Not in the grittiness, which is as predictable as anything else, but in the performances and the direction.

I'm glad Antares enjoyed it, but come on, Matthias! Admit it! You just don't like Hollywood.  :tease:

I loved Winter's Bone, which is a marvellous film, but The Fighter is a better movie and sometimes that's what I want.

The Proposition (2005) 4/5 - After reading Smirnoff's dire review of this film over at Filmspotters, I had second thoughts about watching it, but I'm glad I did. 'Noff was right, it is an ugly film about ugly characters, but to me, it was rich in the scope by which it told the story. The latter part of the nineteenth century was a very hostile time all over the world, especially in frontier lands on the outskirts of civilization. This film reminded me very much of a Leone western, with even more bleakness than you expect from a spaghetti western. The one question I would like to ask Smirnoff is this...did you like Sexy Beast? At times I felt the same disdain for the characters that I felt for that film, which coincidentally, also starred Ray Winstone.
I really liked The Proposition as well. It seems to portray the era and especially the Australian landscapes very well and one can learn a thing or two about aboriginal relations at the time.

I am not sure I see the relation, other than Ray Winstone, with Sexy Beast though, as I find that to be a very different film ("No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no." :laugh:).

I sort of see the link with Sexy Beast, but you kind of expect it from a British gangster flick, while The Proposition is relentless when you might have been expecting a western. A violent, nasty one, yes, but that unremitting? Wow. The trick is, like he did with No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy gives the story a beating heart of a conscience somewhere in there. I think John Hillcoat did a better job bringing that out of the story than the Coen's did, though the straight-faced irony suits them better.

Antares, you should check out The Road. Another Hillcoat/McCarthy film that was dismissed as depressing, but actually is almost flawed with a sentimental edge. And if you think you can handle Winstone playing an arsehole, you absolutely have to try 44 Inch Chest. I'd love to hear your take on that after I detested it!


Offline Antares

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #82 on: May 11, 2011, 04:54:38 AM »
Antares, you should check out The Road. Another Hillcoat/McCarthy film that was dismissed as depressing, but actually is almost flawed with a sentimental edge. And if you think you can handle Winstone playing an arsehole, you absolutely have to try 44 Inch Chest. I'd love to hear your take on that after I detested it!

I've caught bits and pieces of The Road, but have been shying away from it because I truly believe that the story portends what's coming in the future. The thought of it just scares the shit out of me.

I'll try and find the other film.

Offline Antares

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #83 on: May 26, 2011, 09:12:48 PM »
Black Swan (2010) 3/5 - I'm glad that Natalie Portman was selected as Best Actress by the Academy, she deserved it for this role. But that being said, the rest of the film, while at times stylish, just kept constantly reminding me of Polanski's Repulsion, a much better film about a woman slowly going insane.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 10:41:06 PM by Antares »

Offline goodguy

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #84 on: May 27, 2011, 01:12:38 AM »
Black Swan (2010) 3/5 - I'm glad that Natalie Portman was selected as Best Actress by the Academy, she deserved it for this role. But that being said, the rest of the film, while at times stylish, just kept constantly reminding me of Polanski's Repulsion, a much better film about a woman slowly going insane.

Natalie Portman deserved the nomination, but not the win. That should have gone to either Michelle Williams or Jennifer Lawrence. Repulsion and The Red Shoes (which I've seen only afterwards) certainly come to mind, but the film both acknowledges that and goes for something different. Oh, and speaking of better films: the best ballet film is still Robert Altman's The Company.
Matthias

Offline Antares

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #85 on: June 23, 2011, 05:26:45 AM »
Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1972) 3/5 - This is my first Werner Herzog film and it just didn't float my boat (pun intended). The cinematography and Klaus Kinski were both great, but the story just didn't have as much to offer as the more exciting tales that coincided with the film's making. Don't get me wrong, there were some very good scenes in the film, but by the halfway point the film appeared to run out of steam, which kind of coincided with the expedition's movement into the river's slower spots. One thing that did stand out to me was that Brad Pitt must be a big fan of Kinski, because at times, when Kinski would make a gesture or expression, I instantly thought of Pitt in Troy. I guess I'll have to try out Fitzcarraldo next, but I hope there's a little more meat in that film.

Najemikon

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #86 on: June 23, 2011, 06:51:18 PM »
I still haven't watched my Herzog set, but I'd be interested in what you might think of Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans. I loved it. It's generally thought of as lesser Herzog and I'm sure that's fair in terms of his pure film-making, but that doesn't stop BL from being superb entertainment with just the right amount of weird.

I always thought I was against weirdness, but after seeing BL and now I've been stunned by properly weird Mulholland Drive, I don't know what to think anymore!

Offline Antares

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #87 on: June 27, 2011, 02:14:48 AM »
Joe (1970) 3.5/5 - If your only conception of Peter Boyle is that of a lovable grandfather, or as a comic Frankenstein, then the indie film Joe will definitely quash that appearance. As the main character in John G. Avildsen's first feature length film, Boyle plays a loudmouth racist who learns of a secret in a chance meeting in his local bar. As Joe is spewing his bigoted bile to the bartender, he quips at the end of his diatribe, "I'd love to kill me a hippie." Seated next to him is a middle aged man who has just entered the bar in a somewhat agitated and disheveled shape. As he listens to Joe's violent request, he lets slip out that he has just killed one himself, his daughter's (Susan Sarandon in her first role) junkie boyfriend.

What follows is a bizarre story about the counter culture and right wing ideology, mixed with an awkward voyeuristic spin on class struggles. The film doesn't really get going until we meet Boyle's character, and sadly, that takes almost a half hour of exposition regarding the daughter and boyfriend's drug induced lifestyle and the aforementioned murder. But once Joe is introduced, his pathological hatred for anything or anyone who leans to the left is riveting to watch. In fact, it is probably the only real reason for watching this very dated film from the golden age of indies. Well, that and the ending kind of takes you by surprise. If you can endure a director who is learning the ropes, and the dated nature of parts of the film, I think you could be pleasantly surprised at this relic of 70's gritty independent film making.

Offline Antares

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #88 on: July 01, 2011, 12:12:21 AM »
I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) 4/5 - Have you ever gone into the viewing of a film with the wrong idea about the premise? For years I've wanted to watch this film, but was unable to procure it. During that time, I read reviews on various forums which described it as a dark drama about a woman who is a gold digger who falls for a young naval officer while stranded in upper Scotland. A few reviews quipped about Wendy Hiller's character as being shrill and whiny to the point of intolerance. So as I sat down to watch this, I had a pre-conceived notion that this was going to be a dark and bleak picture.

Well...I was wrong.

I don't know what movie these reviewers were watching, but I Know Where I'm Going! is one of the best romantic films I've had the pleasure to view. I place it second behind my favorite romance film Brief Encounter. And just like that iconic film, this story has a taut screenplay that keeps you entranced for its duration. Wendy Hiller, and especially Roger Livesy are top notch in their performances. This is the second film I've seen with Livesy and now I'm interested in seeking out his other work. This now moves ahead of The Red Shoes as my favorite Powell/Pressburger film.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 12:17:35 AM by Antares »

samuelrichardscott

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Re: Short Summations
« Reply #89 on: July 01, 2011, 01:03:58 AM »
I think you might like The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp Antares. Livesay is in it and it's a Powell/Pressburger film.