Author Topic: Antares' Short Summations  (Read 141354 times)

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #330 on: December 12, 2013, 05:59:39 AM »
Rebels and Redcoats: How Britain Lost America (2003) 50/100 - When I first endeavored to undertake this mini marathon, this was the documentary that intrigued me the most. Liberty! The American Revolution, The Revolutionary War and The American Revolution all shared one thing in common, they were mostly told from the American perspective, with the latter being the most egregious in its chest thumping. But this documentary was made by the BBC and promised to give the British point of view on it's involvement and loss in the war. Unfortunately, the man who made the documentary, Richard Holmes, a military historian at Cranfield University in England, had some sort of agenda when he undertook this production. From what I understand, he was so incensed at Mel Gibson's film The Patriot, that he felt the need to set the record straight. But instead of making a thought provoking assessment of what it was really like for the British during the struggle, he does exactly the same thing that Gibson did, he bashes his opponent with an almost gleeful passion. He constantly emphasizes the atrocities that the rebels inflicted on what he deems were honorable loyalists, while conveniently glossing over the same kind of acts perpetrated by the British regulars. George Washington is a greedy, slave owning, aristocratic hypocrite whose sole mission was to insure his wealth and status in the colonies. He also spends an inordinate amount of time on the slavery issue, conveniently forgetting or omitting the fact that England accrued most of its wealth through commerce in the slave, rum and molasses triangular trade route in the 17th and early 18th century. The Dutch may have started the slave trade, but England fine tuned it to a money making monster for almost a century. About the only thing he gets right is the omission by most American history books and curriculum's on the crucial involvement and success of the French during the war, whom with out their help, the rebels wouldn't have stood a chance of winning. If you're looking for a jaded, biased, and poorly made documentary on the Revolutionary War, then look no further than this waste of time and 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
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 06:02:27 AM by Antares »

Mustrum_Ridcully

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #331 on: December 12, 2013, 10:31:41 AM »
George Washington is a greedy, slave owning, aristocratic hypocrite whose sole mission was to insure his wealth and status in the colonies.
Strangely this is quite exactly what is said about Jefferson in "Killing Them Softly" (except for "aristocratic").
And being the cynic bastard that I am, I have to say that these statements for sure hold some truth.
I yet have to find a war that (putting aside the official reasons that are usually only given to ensure the support of the population, which has to do the fighting after all) wasn't fought for this reasons. Money and Influence.

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #332 on: December 12, 2013, 06:51:29 PM »
George Washington is a greedy, slave owning, aristocratic hypocrite whose sole mission was to insure his wealth and status in the colonies.
Strangely this is quite exactly what is said about Jefferson in "Killing Them Softly" (except for "aristocratic").
And being the cynic bastard that I am, I have to say that these statements for sure hold some truth.
I yet have to find a war that (putting aside the official reasons that are usually only given to ensure the support of the population, which has to do the fighting after all) wasn't fought for this reasons. Money and Influence.

And I understand and believe that too, but Holmes goes out his way to denigrate Washington, as if the marble needed to be chipped away. As bad as some American documentarians can be, they don't go out of their way to smear the Duke of Wellington, or any of the monarchy like Holmes does with Washington in this series. And let's face it, it was the divided class structure of English monarchal rule that brought on the war in the first place. The colonial aristocracy wanted to be treated like the peerage class in England and who can blame them. Their situations weren't too far removed from the upper class in England. Lords and Dukes had their own little fiefdoms where lower class commoners worked their lives in indentured servitude. The only difference was that those people had the freedom to leave their situations if they desired to. Take away the stigma of forced slavery in the colonies and their is no difference between the two groups of aristocrats. But the arrogance of the Tory peerage class looked down upon what they deridingly termed "colonials" because they were not a part of the lineage of Tory ancestors.

Mustrum_Ridcully

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #333 on: December 13, 2013, 12:02:34 AM »
Look at it this way:
The loss of America chimed in the decline of the British Empire and therefore can be considered to be a severe trauma that influences their relationship to the USA until today.
Or in other words: Why should the oak be bothered if there are pigs running around it?
Luckily later leaders of segregational activities are considered to be heroes in the UK too (e.g. Gandhi). Probably they got used to it after some time.

On the other hand, how many statues of Jefferson Davis can be found today?
OK, he lost, but still his motives as such weren't too different from those of Washington and Jefferson.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 12:37:25 AM by Silence_of_Lambs »

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #334 on: December 20, 2013, 11:42:37 PM »
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) 65/100 - Manic film making that drove me crazy for the first hour or so. Yeah, I know, we're supposed to feel the mania that his life is surrounded by, but after 30 minutes of this kind of film making I was close to reaching for the remote and throwing it at the TV. Too many edits and cuts, that it looks like the camera man has ADD and too much caffeine at the same time. Why is it that film makers today have to make every film in the post-MTV video style? I don't think there was one camera shot that lasted more than 5 seconds before the next edit appeared. Have we evolved as human beings to the point where we have such a short attention span that directors feel we need to shift gears every few seconds? As for the story, I didn't care for Cooper's character or family situation, but I did think that Jennifer Lawrence stole every scene she was in. And I will admit that this was probably the best work I've seen from De Niro in a couple of decades, but this film definitely was way over-hyped by the Weinstein marketing militia and rump swab critics.

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 #335 on: January 02, 2014, 04:35:06 PM »
Double Suicide (1969) 65/100 - This definitely wasn't what I was expecting from this film after reading the description on a few other sites. The story itself, although consider a time worn classic, doesn't really have much bite to it. And I feel that the gimmick of having the 'puppeteers' in the scenes, didn't really add anything significant enough to have their presence justified. In the beginning of the film, you see real bunraku puppeteers readying themselves for a play. I think it would have made the film more enjoyable if not only had the director used the live action puppeteers, but also did exposition scenes using bunraku puppets and puppeteers to tell the viewer how the two lovers came to be in their deadly situation. It would have given the live action puppeteers some basis for being there and not just a gimmick.

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 #336 on: January 02, 2014, 05:03:32 PM »
Ballad of Narayama (1958) 83/100 - The 1983 version of this film by Shôhei Imamura is the more famous version, but this film has the talents of Kinuyo Tanaka as the lead actress. Every moment she is onscreen, the story is captivating, playing a 69 year old woman who will meet her fate on her 70th birthday. The story tells of an ancient ritual where every citizen of a village, upon their turning 70 year's old, must make the trek to the top of Mount Narayama and sacrifice their remaining life for the good of a village that can't produce enough food for the community. It is in Tanaka's wonderful performance that the film has it's strengths. The weaknesses in the film tend to be with the use of Jōruri narration, which at times, becomes a bit grating on the ear. Also, it tends to linger on scenes a bit too long at times and as I said earlier, only when Tanaka is onscreen, does the film truly resonate. It's a beautifully shot film, with very sumptuous colors throughout, but this also leads to one very glaring weakness in the production. The village where these peasants live is too fertile looking to not be able to sustain agriculture, sufficient enough for the survival of the entire village's occupants. This is the cost of shooting the entire film in an enclosed stage. Had it been shot outdoors, it would have better suited the theme of the film. It does make me curious now to view the Imamura version, from which I've read, plays to the more realistic nature of the story. But this version is still a good view for those who want to see one of the best actresses in the history of Japanese 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 #337 on: January 03, 2014, 02:35:25 AM »
The Master (2012) 48/100 - It's a well shot film with many scenes looking exquisite, but PTA is laughing at anyone who thinks this is a masterpiece. I believe he decided to conduct his own little experiment and the audience was the case subject. Could he dangle pretty baubles, scene after scene after scene, with a haunting score, yet no cohesive storyline but because it's from PTA, would the critics and the hipsters lap it up like mother's milk? From the reviews I've read, it looks like the answer is... YES! There's one key moment in the film when you should have realized you were being had. It's when the son says...He's making it up as he goes along. It was Anderson telling you what he himself was doing.

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 #338 on: January 22, 2014, 05:28:04 PM »
Kuroneko (1968) 70/100 - I was hoping that this was going to be another favorite of mine, especially after loving Onibaba so much, but when you look away from the beauty of the film, all that's left is a weak tale of ghostly vampires. Shindo is a master when it comes to lighting and black & white cinematography, but the story here is a bit lacking, and needed a bit more energy. Nobuko Otowa is wonderful as one of the ghosts, but Kiwako Taichi is kind of a one note cipher, and Kichiemon Nakamura is desperately trying to emulate Toshirô Mifune. At times it becomes repetitive as if Shindo is padding it out to make it a full length feature, leaving it to come across as nothing more than Onibaba lite.

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 Piffi

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #339 on: January 22, 2014, 09:21:05 PM »
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) 65/100 - Manic film making that drove me crazy for the first hour or so. Yeah, I know, we're supposed to feel the mania that his life is surrounded by, but after 30 minutes of this kind of film making I was close to reaching for the remote and throwing it at the TV. Too many edits and cuts, that it looks like the camera man has ADD and too much caffeine at the same time. Why is it that film makers today have to make every film in the post-MTV video style? I don't think there was one camera shot that lasted more than 5 seconds before the next edit appeared. Have we evolved as human beings to the point where we have such a short attention span that directors feel we need to shift gears every few seconds? As for the story, I didn't care for Cooper's character or family situation, but I did think that Jennifer Lawrence stole every scene she was in. And I will admit that this was probably the best work I've seen from De Niro in a couple of decades, but this film definitely was way over-hyped by the Weinstein marketing militia and rump swab critics.

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






This was actually my favorite movie of 2013 along with Django Unchainded.  :-[
And i understand why Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscar for her part IMHO.
We'll Always Have Paris.


Thomas

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #340 on: January 29, 2014, 12:18:52 AM »
Brazil (1985) 88/100 - When Gilliam is on his game, his films are a vibrant tapestry of controlled insanity, and Brazil shows him at his zenith in creativity. First off, the Coen brothers should be paying Gilliam some royalty checks for lifting the art direction from this film and using it in The Hudsucker Proxy. Scenes such as Norville Barnes in the bowels of the Hudsucker building are eerily similar to the early scene in this film, where Ian Holm is looking for Sam and the chaos of his department unfolds as the camera tracks through the department. So much is coming at you in every frame, you are hard pressed to take it all in, in just one sitting. No doubt, this is a film that reaps a reward upon subsequent viewings. Another film that came to mind as I watched was Metropolis, especially when Harry Tuttle would escape on the zip line. But what is best about the film is the prophetic nature of the screenplay. The mania for plastic surgery, the Orwellian nature of our government, the random terrorist attacks on society and how quickly we move on and forget the horrors of the attacks. Gilliam skewers the bureaucracy of a strong centralized government run amok in its mission to control the peace and to keep everyone on the righteous path of conspicuous consumerism. Probably my favorite shot in the film, was the ersatz Salvation Army band that carries a banner proclaiming Consumers for Christ. I was in stitches when that banner came into view.

I'll be definitely buying this now on DVD, and I'm glad I was able to cross this off my List of Shame. Now I just have to get to Time Bandits, my last Gilliam film on that list.

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 DSig

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #341 on: January 29, 2014, 05:54:43 AM »
I liked Brazil too .. loved the imagery.  But I think Time Bandits is his best work.  I am simply in love with that film.   
Thank you
David

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #342 on: January 30, 2014, 04:24:59 AM »
I liked Brazil too .. loved the imagery.  But I think Time Bandits is his best work.  I am simply in love with that film.   

Haven't seen it yet, it's my last Gilliam on my List of Shame.

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #343 on: February 11, 2014, 05:07:49 PM »
The Human Condition I: No Greater Love (1959) 80/100 - A bit overly melodramatic at times, yet balanced with some great cinematography in a very bleak landscape. Standout performances from Seiji Miyaguchi, Tôru Abe, Sô Yamamura, Chikage Awashima and Ineko Arima help to keep the viewer interested during this film's 200 minute length. Sadly, for me that is, I found both Tatsuya Nakadai and Michiyo Aratama in need of a little tug on the leash, as they both tend to be way over the top at times. This is a problem I've had with Nakadai outside of his performances for Kurosawa, with his role in Seppuku being the only non-Kurusawa film I've liked him in. But that role is so subdued, that he really couldn't go off the deep end with it. Overall, I'm looking forward to the rest of the trilogy, I'm just hoping he doesn't start to really grate on 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

Offline Antares

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Re: Antares' Short Summations
« Reply #344 on: February 12, 2014, 11:57:47 PM »
42 (2013) 71/100 - It's trots down the path of righteous formula film making, but overall, still entertains. For those who know nothing of Jackie Robinson, it may send them scampering to Wikipedia. I just wish it had a bit more depth to it, and less of the Roy Hobbs baseball epic effect. I'm usually not a big fan of Harrison Ford, and most of the reviews I've read paint him as over the top in this role, but I think he got it right for once. If you've ever heard Rickey interviewed, his mannerisms and inflections in speech are perfectly captured by Ford.

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