Author Topic: Antares' Short Summations  (Read 141247 times)

Mustrum_Ridcully

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #270 on: March 15, 2013, 12:13:20 AM »
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

Agreed
Even though it's not an anime, more an animated movie.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 12:14:53 AM by Silence_of_Lambs »

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #271 on: March 19, 2013, 10:00:17 PM »
Before Sunset (2004) 60/100 - I'm putting on as much body armor as I can, as I await the slings and arrows from those who've proclaimed this a truly great film. For years, I've heard nothing but glowing praise for this sequel, some going as far as to say that it is better than the first film. But everything that was magical, absorbing and beautiful in Before Sunrise, is completely absent in Before Sunset. The first film spoke to me with an accurate portrayal of that special moment we probably all have had at least once, when we meet someone who clicks with us. OK, at times, it could be a bit long winded, but I can remember moments I had like this in my past, and the encounter just seems so right, that you try a bit too hard to impress. But that's OK, because if the other person is responsive, then they too, are laying it on a bit thick. Couple this with the unique spots in Vienna that they pass through and you have a wondrous film that breezes by. But now on the other hand, you move the setting to Paris and instead of having the two sharing moments in other unique spots in the city of romance, you have them in a car, on a boat and finally in her apartment. And what do they do? They whine... and they whine... and they whine some more about how their lives really never became full because they never met six months later, oh so many years ago. And the device used to explain why it never happened was convenient, but really paints Celine as not too quick on her feet. I mean, she was willing to toil around Vienna with a perfect stranger all those years ago, but six months later, because of a death in her family, the intelligent young lass can't be a little creative in getting a message to Jesse at the train station? I know that if it were me and I promised to meet someone at a later date, and the misfortune of losing a loved one occurs the very week of the planned meeting, I would have been a bit more resourceful. She couldn't find a friend and offered to pay for their plane fare, hotel room and a couple of day's worth of meals in Vienna and have that person hold a small sign with Jesse's name on it, and if he showed up, give him a letter explaining what happened? If she really thought he was going to be her true soul mate, I think she just would have found a way to contact him there.

Finally, I'd like to comment on the ending, which, once again, has been purported by many as being great.
(click to show/hide)
I know I'm looking at the most extreme examples, but what made the first film so great was how realistic it was in a positive sense, and this second film tries to be real too, but it doesn't care about potential side effects and that's tragic.

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, 02:20:53 AM by Antares »

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #272 on: March 20, 2013, 03:53:46 PM »
7th Heaven (1927) 83/100 - Bette Davis... Joan Crawford... Greta Garbo... Norma Shearer... Katharine Hepburn, y'all got nothing on Janet Gaynor. Every film I watch with this amazing actress is a revelation. It's sad too, because she was one of the lucky ones who made the transition from silent to sound and maintained a following and great acting work, yet chose to walk away from it all. But it's really her silent work where her chameleon like talents are truly showcased. There are an abundance of scenes in this film where she runs the gamut of emotions in only a few short frames and she just radiates. The only fault I can find with the film itself, has to lie with the abrupt introduction of France's entry into World War I. It comes out of nowhere, and it kind of throws a monkey wrench into what was, up to that point, a hauntingly beautiful, romance film. From that point, Borzage lays on the melodrama rather thickly, like he's laying tar across a large roof. I wish he had just stuck with the story in the apartment and Chico and Diane's awakening love for each other. It's in those moments where the film really sings out. Chico... Diane... HEAVEN!!!!!

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, 02:21:10 AM by Antares »

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #273 on: March 29, 2013, 11:40:20 PM »
Edge of the City (1957) 73/100 - Directorial debut of Martin Ritt, better known for his work on Norma Rae and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. And what's evident from the get go is that it is his directorial debut. It looks good, but the performances by all the cast, with the exception of Ruby Dee, could have used a bit of sharpening up. I don't know why, but I've never been impressed with John Cassavetes as an actor. There's something about his mannerisms and delivery that seems forced all the time. The story itself can best be described as On the Waterfront meets The Defiant Ones. It's a quick film that doesn't get bogged down with too much character development, which maybe, it kind of needed. And the score for this film was way too imposing at the pivotal parts of the story. But I still liked it, and I'd watch it again.

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, 02:21:25 AM by Antares »

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #274 on: April 05, 2013, 02:12:02 AM »
Death Rides a Horse (1967) 71/100 - Definitely a much better film than Corbucci's Django. Also, another good Ennio Morricone score, that unfortunately is used to overpower certain scenes in the film. But there were moments when his music far outweighs what is happening on screen. Lee Van Cleef carries over his Col. Douglas Mortimer character from For a Few Dollars More, but that's OK. Van Cleef proves that he can carry a picture with his icy demeanor and charisma and every moment he's on screen, the film is engaging. The real misstep in the film has to John Philip Law, who has to be the poster boy for style over substance. He's a cipher on screen, with scarcely a single moment where he doesn't look lost or completely outmatched by Van Cleef. I swear there were times when I felt as if I was watching an Aryan version of Jethro Bodine from the Beverly Hillbillies. In the end, I was glad that I didn't have the same wanton feeling I had watching Django. That feeling that only Leone is worth watching. This is definitely not in the class of a Leone film, but it was entertaining enough that I'd recommend it to anyone who wants something aside from Leone, in the genre.

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, 02:21:39 AM by Antares »

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #275 on: April 17, 2013, 12:24:07 AM »
A King in New York (1957) 59/100 - It's obvious that Chaplin felt uneasy making a film without the comforts of his old studio and employees. It's not a well crafted film, and sadly, his son Michael is terrible in his performance. I’ve seen a lot of bad child acting performances in my day, and Michael Chaplin has to be the worst of all of them. He has his father’s penchant for looking into the camera, and his monotonous and overly phonetic delivery of his lines, make his scenes with his father most grating. As for the rest of the film, there are moments of Chaplin's brilliance, but unfortunately, they are few and far between. What did strike me about the screenplay, was how prophetic Chaplin was about American society at the time, and in the future and its slow descent into crass banality. The scene with the King’s plastic surgery came out of left field, but reminded me of so many people I’ve seen in modern day life. Can I recommend A King in New York to the casual Chaplin film fan…No. But it should be seen, if only for the fleeting moments that show that the master still had a message, that was sadly and slowly being extinguished with time.

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 17, 2013, 12:34:27 AM by Antares »

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #276 on: April 24, 2013, 02:32:01 AM »
Lady Vengeance (2005) 92/100 - I have to admit that I almost turned this film off after the scene with the dog, but I decided to plod on, and I'm glad I did. For the first hour or so, I couldn't make heads or tails of this film, but by the time of the big payoff scene with the families, it all came together wonderfully. It's a very imaginative film which at times had me thinking of Amélie meets Lady Snowblood. Park uses a lot of creative images to keep his story moving forward, and although the exposition in the first hour can be a bit daunting, he ties in all the loose threads in one of the most disturbing scenes of parental agony and unbridled retribution I've ever seen in a film. This is only my second Chan-wook Park film, the first being the magnificent Oldboy. This is slightly better and it makes me want to seek out his other films. He has a distinct style and his screenwriting talents are creative and most definitely original. For me, this and Oldboy are the kind of films that Quentin Tarantino wishes he had the talent to make. Hard edged, quirky, violent, without being gratuitous. On the cover of the DVD, it mentions that Lady Vengeance is the best revenge film since Kill Bill...not too lofty of a goal in my mind, and to be honest, when I read that, it kind of made me hesitant to watch it.

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

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #277 on: April 26, 2013, 11:43:04 PM »
Sunshine (2007) 5/100 - I never laughed so hard at a film that I wasn't supposed to be laughing at.

There were times when I felt I was watching derivative, paltry versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien and Solaris. This is the epitome of what Science Fiction films have become in a post-MTV, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas world of film making. Basically, this film was a mind f u c k made by a director, who was out of his element in this genre, showcasing his impotence. I would love to know how many edits were made in the duration of the film, because it felt like the film editor suffered from ADD. Inter cutting surreal, psychedelic and ethereal images every time one of the crew has finished speaking or finishing a scene makes for a very distracting and almost epileptic viewing experience. But this is something that has become commonplace in Science Fiction today. Load up the imagery with eye popping CGI and hope that your audience will be dazzled by the bit of sleight of hand your employing and hopefully they’ll not catch on to the fact that your screenplay is as thin as a pad of butter spread across a piece of toast the size of a football field. I also found fault with what was at times, an overbearing, but creative soundtrack. It sounded well crafted, but at times, over played the emotion it was trying to convey.

As to the premise, I thought the angle of the dying sun was a good starting point, but where it lost me is when the solution was the largest thermonuclear bomb ever created on Earth. In essence, it was to act like a nuclear set of jumper cables to recharge the energy fields in the nucleus of the Sun. This was the first place in the film where I found myself laughing out loud. Even if you could construct such a bomb, its equivalent power when exploded, compared to what the Sun emits in that moment, would be like a fart in a 250 mph hurricane gust. The Sun would just absorb it. Then there’s the complete impracticality of how the bomb was going to be inserted into the heart of the sun, by giving it a polar enema. Once again, nothing man made could survive the magnetic field of such an enormous energy producer like the Sun. It would either destroy the bomb or set it off prematurely.

There were other aspects of the technical issues in this film that also drove me crazy. Such as the way that the three crew members get back to the Icarus II when the airlock on Icarus I is destroyed. They only have one pressure suit, so two of the crew wrap themselves in insulation and when the airlock is de-pressurized, they shoot 60 meters through space, back at the open airlock on their mother ship. Now, the cannon like expulsion from one ship to the other is possible, but what happens to Harvey is not. When Capa (who is in the pressure suit) can’t grab onto him, Harvey floats away from the mother ship, for what seems to be close to 30 seconds. You then watch as Harvey quickly begins to freeze to death. Now, if this were taking place out beyond the orbit of Saturn, then freezing would take place, albeit at a much slower rate. But being that close to the Sun, even with a protective heat shield blocking the solar wind, you would not freeze to death. You would actually die within a few minutes as the oxygen in your lungs would be forced out of your lungs due to the rapid depressurization and your heart would stop. You wouldn’t open your eyes and suddenly realize that yyyyyooouuurrrr ffffffrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeezzzzzziiiiiiinnnngggg ttttooo dddddeeeeeaaaaatttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!, and thus become a human popsicle. Here’s a link that explains what would happen to a human being, out in space, without a pressurized suit…

Ebullism in a vacuum

There were other moments of laughable instances that defy physics in this film, but if I keep going, this response will be as long as War and Peace. ;)

To wrap this up, I won’t mention the last third of the film, because so many others already have. But I will say this… in the last twenty minutes, which seemed more like an hour, I found myself screaming at my television…End, will you please end this f u c k ing film!!!!! I can only remember one film I’ve seen in the over 3000+ films I’ve watched in my lifetime, that I hated more than this film. And that film starred Madonna.

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 27, 2013, 12:20:24 AM by Antares »

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #278 on: May 24, 2013, 02:03:39 AM »
Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999) 65/100 - Informative, if somewhat hackneyed attempt at telling the story of the personal computer industries infancy. It definitely doesn't paint a cheery picture of the two main protagonists in the film, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, with Gates really getting an ass reaming from the screenwriter. As for the actors who portrayed these two entrepreneurs, Wyle comes off as being the better of the two at absorbing his character's traits, warts and all. I found Anthony Michael Hall to be a bit vacant at times when he was reciting lines, as if he couldn't quite grab hold of the character. I found the first hour or so the most interesting as we see the infancy of the PC creative process, and how everyone was stealing ideas from each other. Once it got to around the 1984 Apple commercial, I felt it kind of lost a bit of steam. But I'd recommend it to anyone interested in learning about this rarely documented moment in history.

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: October 04, 2013, 12:52:47 AM by Antares »

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #279 on: May 30, 2013, 04:35:24 AM »


A Great Day in Harlem (1994) 92/100 - I learned more about jazz history in just one hour of this documentary, than in all 19 hours of Ken Burns' bloated and pontificating film on the same subject. The director, Jean Bach, who just passed away the other day at the ripe old age of 94, was a jazz fanatic and celebrated historian of this truly American art form. This was her first film, which documents one of the most famous photographs in history, the gathering of 57 of Jazz music's most famous performers for a group photo on the streets of Harlem in 1958. Thelonius Monk, Lester Young, Count Basie, Mary Lou Williams and Dizzy Gillespie are but a few of the genre's heavyweights who took part in the photo shoot. But it's the attention paid to the lesser known musicians in the photo, that makes this documentary so interesting. Inter cut with segments from old television appearances, these jazz practitioners of long ago, show why they were considered the heart and soul of the African American community from the thirties to the latter fifties. I had never heard of some of these performers, but Bach seems to have found old kinescopes of celebrated performances, which just blew me away with these artist's technical expertise. If you're interested in jazz music, then I recommend you seek this short documentary out. It only lasts a little under an hour, but you'll be rewarded with a plethora of background on the New York Jazz scene over sixty years ago.

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

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #280 on: June 08, 2013, 02:43:12 PM »
Design for Living (1933) 84/100 - A cute little Pre-Code film from Ernst Lubitsch that probably was an inspiration for Truffaut's Jules et Jim. But as opposed to the female character being psychotic and mentally deranged in that film, the female prey here is witty, charming and alluring. And you can understand why both men would do anything to be with her. At times, it's a bit stagey, suffering from slightly over the top acting, but all three leads give pleasurable performances, especially Gary Cooper. Of the three, I figured that he would be overshadowed by the masterful March and the radiant Hopkins, but he more than holds his own here. I've definitely come to the conclusion that Miriam Hopkins is one of my favorite actresses from the 30's. I don't know what it is, but she fascinates me, even though there are a few times when Lubitsch's camera caught her in awkward angles. Being a Pre-Code, there's a bit of racy dialog, but it's never anything gratuitous and there a few good laughs and some wonderfully written passages between the trio which makes for a fun and pretty quick viewing experience.

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

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #281 on: June 29, 2013, 12:22:34 AM »
The Iron Lady (2011) 57/100 - This film could be a How to book for aspiring directors in how not to make a biopic. This was one of the most tedious ventures I've ever partaken in, in regards to learning the life story of someone famous. It clocked it at only 1 hour & 45 minutes, but man did it ever seem so much longer. The structure to the narrative became extremely annoying after about 30 minutes as the story kept flipping back and forth through time like a kid with ADD using your TV remote. For a person with such an amazing rise to power as Margaret Thatcher had, you would think that the director could have found a way to make her story at least somewhat interesting. But all the clichés associated with banal biopics are on full display here. The underdog who doesn't have a chance... the megalomaniac, once power is attained... the fall from grace and oblivion. If you want to learn about Thatcher's life history, then avoid this waste of time.

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

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #282 on: July 18, 2013, 01:54:10 AM »
Revenge of a Kabuki Actor (1963) 81/100 - A wonderful performance from Kazuo Hasegawa and a vibrant color scheme go hand in hand in this rather quirky revenge film from Kon Ichikawa. Supposedly, Ichikawa was being punished by Daiei for being a little too self-indulgent in his previous films. So instead of playing by the rules, he pulls out all the stops and makes a visually daring and beautifully crafted vision of Kabuki theater. The story itself, plays a back seat to Ichikawa's indulgence and though it is a good story, it kind of lacks the punch needed to make it a masterpiece. I kept waiting for some kind of payoff, but it never really came. But that's OK, because Hasegawa does a magnificent job with the two roles he's given, and getting any chances to gaze upon Ayako Wakao, is time well spent. I'm pretty sure that my score for this unique film, will increase upon a second viewing. I made the mistake of choosing the 'all subtitles' option on the Anim-Eigo DVD, which not only translated the dialog, but also threw in pop up descriptions of terms and subjects that were being used in the film. Trying to read two sets of subtitles in different portions of the screen became difficult at times and I missed a few things along the way. I don't think I would recommend this to anyone virginal to Japanese cinema, but for anyone who has dabbled and found an appreciation for this kind of film making, it's definitely an interesting, conceptual film.

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

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #283 on: July 26, 2013, 04:08:00 AM »
Stop Making Sense (1984) 95/100 - I am awash in a sea of shame. Back in the late 70's, a friend turned me on to the Talking Heads and they instantly became my favorite band during the ensuing 80's. So for me to have never seen this outstanding concert film is incredibly embarrassing. What amazed me most about the concert was how polished and expressive the band had become in just 5 short years. I had seen them live in August 1979, as they were promoting their third album, Fear of Music, and they pretty much just stood still behind their microphones and played their instruments. Don't get me wrong, it was one of the best concerts I've ever attended, but man, I wish I had seen them on their Speaking in Tongues tour now! Demme does an amazing job of capturing the intensity of the performances with many different camera angles, which put the viewer right on stage with the band. What I found most incredible was the fact that never once do you see any of the other cameras he's using in any one shot. It's as if they were invisible. It's a shame that all concert films aren't shot in this manner. It was refreshing not to have to listen to inane interviews with either ego-maniacal band members or drugged out, wasted concert goers. There's no back stage footage or scenes of the roadies and sound crew doing sound checks in the empty concert hall, before the show. This is how I want my concert films!!!

As for the music... well ... it's the Talking Heads!!!! They were the most creative band of the 80's and it shows here. I loved the way the film began with just David Byrne coming out on stage with a small boom box and playing Psycho Killer. Usually it irks me to no end when a performer messes around with the way they play their most famous songs, but here, it works magnificently as it it acts as a precursor to the introduction of other band members, each coming on stage one at a time with each successive song. The playlist for this concert was heavily ladened with songs from the Speaking in Tongues album, and while it's a very good album, it means that a few other great songs aren't going to be played. That is why I give this film a score just south of perfection. I could have done without the token Tom Tom Club song, catchy as it is, because I'd much rather have heard The Great Curve or For Artists Only instead. The latter, a song which would have fit nicely right after the four song introduction set I mentioned, would have acted as a bridge to the conceptual performance that was to follow.

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

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #284 on: July 27, 2013, 01:41:40 AM »
Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963) 75/100 - The fly on the wall method in which this was shot makes it compelling, but when all is said and done, it is kind of anti-climactic. The one piece of film you want to see is Wallace stepping out of the way after being confronted by the Alabama National Guard general, whose troops had just been nationalized by the president. Instead, we hear, by way of a third party telephone call, what has taken place. I've seen film of that moment before, I don't know why they chose not to use it in this film. If you know nothing about this famous incident at the University of Alabama, then this short documentary will do the job. But I think it could have been done better.

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