Author Topic: Antares' Short Summations  (Read 151770 times)

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #255 on: February 23, 2013, 06:14:38 AM »
The Proud Valley (1940) 83/100 - I only had the Paul Robeson Criterion Collection set from the library for a week and was only going to watch The Emperor Jones. But on the same disc as that film, was a documentary about Robeson and his career and life. They kept showing clips from this film and after finishing the film that I wanted to see, I decided to give that film a shot too. And I'm glad I did, because it was much better than The Emperor Jones. Robeson plays a merchant seaman named David Goliath, stranded in Wales, looking for work. Passing through a small coal mining town, he overhears a choir practicing for a festival to be held in a few days. The choir consists of coal miners who always seem to come up short in winning the festival's grand prize for best choir, because of a weakness in the baritone section. Out on the street, David starts to sing an old gospel tune and the choir, quietly joins in. When the song finishes, they rush to window to see who it is with that magnificently beautiful baritone voice. The miners ask David to join their choir and one man, Dick Parry, promises to help him find a job in the mines. On the day of the festival, a tragedy occurs in the mine and the festival is postponed for a month. A month later, the choir, minus those killed in the tragedy appear at the festival. And rather than compete, the choir, with David as the lead vocalist, sing an old gospel spiritual which has to be one of the most beautifully sorrowful hymns I've ever heard. The rest of the film deals with the aftermath of the accident, and the hopes of the town to get the mining company to reopen the mine. Another tragedy will take place as one miner will sacrifice himself for the communal good of the town.

This film was released the same year as John Ford's How Green Was My Valley and deals with the same issues as that film does. And while Ford's film won the Oscar that year, this film is pretty much unknown by most film lovers. It's a much shorter film than Ford's, and aside from a bit of wooden or over the top acting by the British actors, it's every bit as engaging and entertaining. It's a film that could never have been made in Hollywood, because Robeson would never have been put on an equal footing with the white actors. It must have been refreshing for Robeson to make films outside of the United States where he was respected for his talent and looked upon as a talented equal. I highly recommend this film solely for Robeson's performance and even with the shortcomings I mentioned.

What the color coding means...

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 02:17:50 AM by Antares »

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #256 on: March 02, 2013, 04:54:51 AM »
Infernal Affairs (2002) 95/100 - Sadly, I saw Scorsese's bloated version of this film first. Once again I have to ask...What was he thinking?!!! He fucked up his remake of Cape Fear and he certainly fucked up his version of this masterful crime film. From its opening moments, the film moves slickly through a very well written screenplay that had me captivated for its entirety. This is what a modern crime film should look like, not the endlessly bloody, absurd action crap that Hollywood keeps churning out. I think I've finally really reached the point where I don't give a rat's ass what comes out of Hollywood anymore, as I find myself enjoying well over 95% of the foreign films that I've watched over the last 10 years. Hong Kong films are a blank spot in my film watching history...I seriously need to correct that.

What the color coding means...

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 02:18:12 AM by Antares »

samuelrichardscott

  • Guest
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #257 on: March 02, 2013, 11:03:20 AM »
Really glad you finally got around to this one! I hope you find the time to check out the two sequels also as, although not as good, they are still worthy of your time.  I know you're not really a big fan of horror or the old school Jackie Chan/Sammo Hung flicks so I'll recommend a few movies I think you'll like:
- Mad Detective
- Election 1 and 2
- SPL
- Naked Weapon
- A Chinese Ghost Story
- Bullet in the Head
- Farewell My Concubine
- A Better Tomorrow trilogy
- God of Gamblers

I guess you're familiar with Wong Kar-wai so I left his films off the list.

If you want some horror/kung-fu recommendations, let me know.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #258 on: March 07, 2013, 02:38:25 AM »
High Fidelity (2000) 62/100 - Back in the glory days of Blockbuster I must have had this film in my hands at least a dozen times, but wound up putting it back on the shelf after finding something else, but vowing to get it "next time". Well, I stopped going to Blockbuster and this film just kind of slipped from my memory. But now after watching it, I'm kind of glad I always found something else to watch. I'm not saying it's a bad film, but it really is just trying to be a little too hip and cute. What really struck me was how it wanted to be a hip amalgamation of Say Anything and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but sadly, never really gels. The continuous use of Cusack's character breaking the fourth wall becomes annoying after a while and keeps the film from concentrating on what really works in the film, namely, the scenes in the record store. I remember record stores like this and I definitely knew guys just like the three who worked there. There's a scene early in the film when Jack Black's character toys with a geek over a bootleg album, and another customer expounds how all three are elitists. I loved this scene, because it was so true. Every person I ever met back in the day who worked at a record store believed that they, and they alone, were God's given messenger of Rock & Roll. It's too bad that they didn't just focus more on the comedic potential of the store and jettison the tired attempt at philosophizing out personal relationships. It's been done to death, and Cusack had already done it much better in the Cameron Crowe film. But I will give kudos to the screenwriter for one of the best lines I've ever heard in a movie. When Dick and Barry are discussing the Top 5 songs about death, Barry mentions the Rolling Stones seminal, You Can't Always Get What You Want, to which Dick rebuts... No. Immediate disqualification because of its involvement with The Big Chill. That's a fucking priceless line and had me ROTFL.

What the color coding means...

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 02:18:33 AM by Antares »

Offline DSig

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1096
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #259 on: March 07, 2013, 03:18:00 AM »
Oh wow ... I never thought " ...  how it wanted to be a hip amalgamation of Say Anything and Ferris Bueller's Day Off ... " but I have always enjoyed it.  What made you think that? 

And I am really surprised at the " ... and another customer expounds how all three are elitists. I loved this scene, because it was so true. Every person I ever met back in the day who worked at a record store believed that they, and they alone, were God's given messenger of Rock & Roll ... " as a long time vinyl collector this really is a surprise too.  Although there were always the occasional "know it all" that happens anytime you have people like to collect things like music, films, HO trains or ... 

Man ... I just really missed those bits.
Thank you
David

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #260 on: March 07, 2013, 04:30:56 AM »
Oh wow ... I never thought " ...  how it wanted to be a hip amalgamation of Say Anything and Ferris Bueller's Day Off ... " but I have always enjoyed it.  What made you think that? 

The breaking of the fourth wall from FBDO and Lloyd and Corey's philosophizing on relationships from SA. Actually, Lili Taylor pretty much phones in her Corey role from that film.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #261 on: March 07, 2013, 06:17:12 PM »
Three Outlaw Samurai (1964) 64/100 - I'm picturing the board members of Shochiku Studios sitting around a big table sometime back in 1963 and discussing the fact that Toho and Akira Kurosawa were raking in boatloads of money with their tandem hits Yojimbo and Sanjuro and how could they get in on the gravy train too. The answer would become Three Outlaw Samurai. I can hear someone throwing the idea of taking elements of the two films mentioned and adding a pinch of story from Toho's other blockbuster Seven Samurai and you're bound to have a sure fire hit. But when all is said and done, it is only a moderately interesting chanbara film, entertaining, but lacking the fun or punch of any of those other three films. So let's go through the check list...first, you have peasant farmers who need to be defended. Seven Samurai...check. Then you have an evil, corrupt magistrate who is squeezing the poor peasants dry...Sanjuro... check. A ronin with masterful swordsmanship who comes to the aid of the peasants...Yojimbo...check. But if you make the film with just those elements, it will definitely appear to be a case of cashing in while you can. So what to do...add two more samurai and you're ready to roll film. Unfortunately, the three samurai are pretty plain in personality and none of them really stands out. Tetsurô Tanba, for me, has always been Toshirô Mifune...lite. He tries to create the aura of invincibility, but never really pulls it off as well as Mifune could. Mikijirô Hira does his best to play the aloof, but cold and skilled samurai, but never reaches the depths that Tatsuya Nakadai would attain two years later in Okamoto's Sword of Doom. Finally, Isamu Nagato plays the humble samurai who closely resembles Shichiroji from Seven Samurai, not only in looks, but also in demeanor.

What the color coding means...

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 02:19:01 AM by Antares »

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #262 on: March 12, 2013, 08:58:47 PM »
5 Centimeters per Second (2007) 88/100 - This film sucker punched me...deeply. I wasn't expecting this kind of story and after it was finished, I was emotionally drained. So drained, that I've been trying to write my thoughts for the last half hour and I can't get anything down that's coherent enough to make sense. The first two segments are outstanding, with characters and story lines that I could relate to in my past. The only fault I can find in the film, has to lie with the final segment. It starts off just as the first two, but then veers off to a musical diversion that doesn't work and kind of spoils what was becoming a masterpiece in my eyes. I'd like to write more, but I can't. This film depressed the hell out of me, and it's cold, grey and rainy outside. Damn...I hate when a movie does this to me!

What the color coding means...

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 02:19:19 AM by Antares »

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #263 on: March 13, 2013, 03:40:22 AM »
Sense and Sensibility (1995) 70/100 - One thing about Jane Austen...you know what you are going to get going in. It will be proper, dry and very British. But for me, that's OK, because I'm deep down, an Anglophile, and I love period pieces. What struck me was the fact that I kind of liked the performances of a couple of the male actors more than the female leads. Alan Rickman and Hugh Laurie both carried themselves rather well for what is extensively a set piece made for females. Hugh Grant, on the other hand, does his usual, one dimensional, stammering, eyelash battering dolt, who, if it weren't for his looks, would relegate him to playing the village idiot. Ang Lee's direction is serviceable, with moments where I felt his editing could have used a bit more tightening. I felt the same way about The Ice Storm, so maybe it's a weakness in his films for me. I liked the film, but doubt if it would be something I'd revisit any time soon.

What the color coding means...

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 02:19:42 AM by Antares »

Offline dfmorgan

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1312
  • Country: gb
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #264 on: March 14, 2013, 10:38:17 AM »
5 Centimeters per Second (2007) 88/100


Is this the anime? It was one I was interested in when it was originally listed for UK Blu-ray release but Manga Entertainment pulled it from their schedules following problems with the Japanese owners of the film. This meant that my order got cancelled and I never got round to doing any kind of follow up.
Dave

Life? - Who needs a life when you have anime!

My DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray Collection
My Library
My CD Collection - sorry I use readerware for that and it doesn't have an online component.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #265 on: March 14, 2013, 02:51:58 PM »
Yes it is and it's the first anime film I've ever liked!

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #266 on: March 14, 2013, 07:07:22 PM »
The Last Detail (1973) 75/100 - Hal Ashby is my favorite seventies director and this film has always been a glaring omission in his canon for me. It's always had the reputation as being one of Ashby's greatest achievements, yet after finishing it, I have to rate it around the middle of the pack when taken in consideration of the other, better films he made in that decade. The acting performances of all three leads is good, and there are a few pretty good laughs during its duration, but The Last Detail doesn't have much there, depth-wise, when it comes to the story. It just exists for its short 104 minutes, a lot like many of those other pre-Jaws films of the early to mid-seventies.

What the color coding means...

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 02:20:05 AM by Antares »

Offline dfmorgan

  • Heavy Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1312
  • Country: gb
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #267 on: March 14, 2013, 08:34:15 PM »
Yes it is and it's the first anime film I've ever liked!

Thanks, I did wonder as you hadn't previously liked the recommendations received. I have now ordered this.
Dave

Life? - Who needs a life when you have anime!

My DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-ray Collection
My Library
My CD Collection - sorry I use readerware for that and it doesn't have an online component.

Offline Antares

  • Super Heavy Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 4100
    • View Profile
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #268 on: March 14, 2013, 11:32:49 PM »
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 95/100 - This is probably my tenth time watching this film and for some strange reason, it really had me in stitches this time. I've always loved this film, but can't understand why I never wrote a review or felt the same way about it in the past. I would give it a perfect score of 100, if it weren't for what I consider Kubrick's sophomoric attempt at humor when he came up with the names of some of the characters. I picture him and whomever he wrote the screenplay with, sitting around a table, drinking heavily and in a moment of stupor bleating out Jack T. Ripper, Burpelson Air Force Base and Bat Guano, thinking how clever he was being. It's kind of the same feeling I get when I watch a Wes Anderson written film. I know it's nitpicking, but for some reason, it has bothered me each time I've watched this movie. But that being said, it's a film I'll always sink my teeth into if it's on TCM, and definitely one of Kubrick's greatest achievements.

What the color coding means...

Teal = Masterpiece
Dark Green = Classic or someday will be
Lime Green = A good, entertaining film
Orange = Average
Red = Cinemuck
Brown = The color of crap, which this film is
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 02:20:26 AM by Antares »

samuelrichardscott

  • Guest
Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #269 on: March 14, 2013, 11:50:01 PM »
Yes it is and it's the first anime film I've ever liked!

Thanks, I did wonder as you hadn't previously liked the recommendations received. I have now ordered this.

I thoroughly recommend Princess to you both:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Princess-DVD-Thure-Lindhardt/dp/B000W47N72/ref=sr_1_3?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1363301359&sr=1-3