MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Gabriel Girard » Sun May 22, 2011 7:50 am

J.M. Vargas wrote:Welcome to the world of a new master director. So much great stuff ("Sansho the Bailiff," "Sisters of the Gion," "Streets of Shame," "The Life of Oharu," etc.) you have yet to experience, not including the obligatory rewatch-with-commentary second viewing of "Ugetsu." The movie isn't 100% perfect because of the Tobei/Ohama arc of the story (IMO) who become the Mertz's to the Ricardo's Genjurô/Miyagi main story. Eitarô Ozawa's portrayal of Tobei is a little too broad and slapstick-heavy. His reunion with abandoned-wife-turned-prostitute Omaha (Mitsuko Mito) should have been a highlight, instead coming across as a check mark to cross out in Mizoguchi's 'to do' shooting script. Tony Rayns' commentary track (Criterion DVD) explains somewhat why the Tobei/Ohama stories were filmed like they are. Still, the next-to-last scene is simply too awesome for words; when it comes, how it unfolds, the way it's lit/shot/performed... just WOW! :cry:


I actually enjoyed the Tobei/Omaha story. 1.It brings some levity to the film,thus enrichng its emotional palette. 2.It supports the theme of men letting women fend for themselves. 3.The rape/prostitution thing seems historically accurate. As for Ozawa's portrayal I felt it was in line with other portrayals ofthe fool in Japanese films of this period e.g. Hidden Fortress. Yeah it's obviously a sideline, but I would miss it if it was cut.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Bryan Pope » Sun May 22, 2011 8:12 am

The Happening -- My second time to watch it. I suppose this is a minority opinion, but I think this is a pretty damn good movie. Certainly it's my favorite of Shamalyandingdong's work. There's one question that is never answered, but otherwise I think the movie's logic makes good, scary sense. And there's no trademark twist at the end, so the story is able to unfold more naturally. The only thing I hated was the title -- I kept waiting for The Supremes to show up.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sun May 22, 2011 8:47 am

Gabriel Girard wrote:I actually enjoyed the Tobei/Omaha story. 1.It brings some levity to the film,thus enrichng its emotional palette. 2.It supports the theme of men letting women fend for themselves. 3.The rape/prostitution thing seems historically accurate. As for Ozawa's portrayal I felt it was in line with other portrayals ofthe fool in Japanese films of this period e.g. Hidden Fortress. Yeah it's obviously a sideline, but I would miss it if it was cut.

We're going to have to agree to disagree. ;-)

Rewatched Hitchcock's REBECCA (1940) on DVD with the Richard Schickel commentary track. I'm no Schickel hater, but his commentary on this "Rebecca" disc (the one from the 'Premiere Collection' Box Set) is a huge waste of time. Schickel barely speaks (he's silent though almost half the film's running time), states the obvious (describing what we're watching), provides little-to-no critical analysis and sounds bored. To his credit he states early that he feels Lancaster is miscast, Fontaine's nameless character is unappealing, that George Sanders steals the movie (duh!) and that he considers "Rebecca" minor Hitchcock canon at best. Which begs the question, why was he asked to do this commentary in the first place? Movie is still good though.

Rewatched John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981) on DVD with the Debra Hill/Joe Alves commentary track. Been on a Carpenter kick lately and, after "Escape from L.A." last week, I needed a taste of the genuine article. Producer Hill (R.I.P.) and production designer Alves can't compete with Carpenter/Russell in the enjoyable commentary sweepstakes (specially the short one for the deleted first reel). In their low-key manner though Hill/Alves fill in the production anecdotes and minor details John & Kurt overlooked. It's nice to hear that James Cameron was as much of an a**hole perfectionist back when he was a poor Corman lackey than when he became 'king of the world,' or that the FBI and the AFA were on the producers' case. Flick still holds up good.

THE SOPRANOS: SEASON 2 (2000) on DVD. Eleven years after these 13 episodes premiered on HBO they still hold up as the best batch of "Sopranos" goodness David Chase & Co. ever wrote/produced/directed. There were better individual episodes ('Employee of the Month,' 'Pine Barrens'), colorful/memorable individual performances (Joe Pantoliano's Ralphie) and/or more involving story arcs (Tony and Carmela's marital troubles reaching an explosive climax during 'Whitecaps') in latter seasons. Season 2 though was the last in which every episode/character/story arc hung together to make a cohesive, satisfying whole (and the last in which Nancy Marchand's Livia matriarch would physically haunt/taunt her mobster son). Plus, for my money, there's never been a better one-season-and-out guest performance on a TV show than David Proval as Richie Aprile to ignite the threat level, danger and barely-repressed emotion holding together the Sopranos' family businesses. The show's greatest achievement on full display this season is that it can be enjoyed by different audiences (or a really smart one) as a mobster drama, a family soap opera and/or a funnier-than-most-comedies irony-laced comment on American society. Except for early "Dexter" seasons premium cable TV doesn't get better than this.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Future Man » Sun May 22, 2011 2:11 pm

The Scarlet Claw
First of the 'modern,' Universal Holmes I've watched. Nice fog-shrouded atmosphere, but the solution is not one that can be deduced by the viewer that I can see (is that always the case with Holmes? I dunno), and Watson is played as such a bumbler that it's hard to imagine someone of Holmes' intellect having any use for him whatsoever.

Pirates...On Stranger Tides
I was dragged to see this and my instincts proved correct. Mostly just too long.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby the5thghostbuster » Tue May 24, 2011 7:45 am

Watched Timecop again this month, as well as reading the original comic, and the end result is an episode of the podcast I am part of: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/24-panels-per-second/id388861047
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sat May 28, 2011 3:49 pm

The Girl Who Played With Fire. I... yeah. Take Dragon Tattoo, which I thought was pretty much sh*t, and add even more trite dramatic devices. Also, apparently you can't be electrocuted if you don't feel pain.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Future Man » Sun May 29, 2011 12:36 pm

13 Assassins
The last 40 minutes or so are pure hand-to-hand battle carnage, less bloody than I was expecting. (Don't get me wrong, there are shocking bursts of violence and disturbing moments throughout its running time.) All in all, a fairly traditional and entertaining telling of a samurai adventure tale.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun May 29, 2011 4:11 pm

Future Man wrote:13 Assassins
The last 40 minutes or so are pure hand-to-hand battle carnage, less bloody than I was expecting. (Don't get me wrong, there are shocking bursts of violence and disturbing moments throughout its running time.) All in all, a fairly traditional and entertaining telling of a samurai adventure tale.

I'm really looking forward to seeing this. I'm not much a fan of Miike, but when he's on, he's on.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Gabriel Girard » Sun May 29, 2011 5:45 pm

The Fighter -This was more about family relationships than the usual underdog story. It works mainly due toDavid O. Russell's nervy camera, Bale's equally nervy acting and Amy Adams successfully cast against type. I'd put it besides The Wrestler as a different take on the sports flick.

On The Waterfront Elia Kazan's masterpiece still stands tall, probably even taller- now that it's removed from the Mccarthy Era. Brando has rarely been better, Karl Maden plays his priest with a fiery conviction, Lee J.Cobb is terryfing,Rod Steiger is amazing in the little time he's given and Eva Marie Saint shines in her debut. Full of great lines and expertly directed . I'll definitely seek outmore of Kazan's films; starting with A Face In The Crowd which had the same screenwriter.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Attrage » Mon May 30, 2011 5:19 am

Okay so it's the last (or second last) day of March I mean May but whatever.
Pirates 4 - Good God almighty. It was originally supposed to be a trilogy. They should have stuck with that idea. It was a good idea. Really. Rob Marshall. My God, man. I'm an unapologetic fan of Memoirs of a Geisha. Beautiful film. But this film was a freakin mess, man. It's been like, two hours since I saw it and I can't honestly really even recall most of it.
Okay...so what else. Watched my blu of Gladiator again the other night for the umpteenth time. Goddamn I love Ridley Scott. And the sound mix on that blu ray is just freakin. awesome. Period. Arrows whizzin by my head. Love it.
Aside from that...watched some Seinfeld re-runs. Years on and probably hundreds of viewings, and still makes me laugh.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Andrew Forbes » Mon May 30, 2011 8:12 am

Attrage wrote:Okay so it's the last (or second last) day of March I mean May but whatever.

You know you're not working on a typewriter, right?
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Dunnyman » Mon May 30, 2011 1:56 pm

Due to our usual rainy weather here in the Puget Sound, hiking was out of the picture yesterday so I did a marathon of 50's drive-in classics.
The Black Scorpion was up first, and gosh it's fun, even if it's a bit slow moving at first. The volcano has erupted and the subsequent earthquakes have unleashed giant scorpions! Run for your lives! The usual cast of B-movie people with a nice turn by Mara Corday as our rancher/heroine/chick who worries about our hero and a truly annoying kid you can only hope gets eaten/stung to death/trampled by the crowd. Willis O'Brien is in charge of the FX and other than a few too many closeups of the monsters, they look pretty good for the era, even cooler is the trapdoor spider and the monster worm which were cut from the "spider pit" sequence in King Kong get used here!! Woo-Hoo! Poison gas is discarded as a way to kill them, as they settle for caving them in, except.....the caves run all the way to Mexico City! They're back, this time wrecking a train in true Godzilla fashion, before succumbing to an electric dart with 600,000 volts!
Harryhausen is up next with Mysterious Island and his FX are of course marvelous for their time and a whole host of people I've never heard of have their little adventure until the arrival of Herbert Lom as Captain Nemo. For a guy who will always be remembered as Chief Inspector Dreyfus, he's actually a pretty good actor who gives the film some gravity as the brilliant and tortured Nemo.
Then it's George Pal's wizardry on display in When Worlds Collide, and it's good stuff as our cast is uniformly excellent in the tale of impending doom, however, I find it hard to believe that the people would be so calm about evacuating all the coastal cities, etc. John Hoyt is great as rich jerk Stanton who hopes to buy his way to safety, and Barbara Rush is terrific as the nice girl who has trouble deciding which guy she really wants. Now about the wizardry on display here? Yep, the earthquakes, floods, lava, etc all look incredible, the spaceship looks great, as does the launching pad, but...they fly into space, and land on their new planet and.....the ships hatch opens to reveal the cheesiest matte painting ever used in a major motion picture!! Seriously, the thing looks like it was painted by a sixth grader!! And not even a talented one at that! Just kills the movie for me.
Then it was South Park, and their brilliant take on "student athletes" disguised as a simple tale of Cartman being an opportunistic douche, and for some reason, Denny's gets a nice shout-out for their Baconalia menu. Freaking brilliant.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Future Man » Mon May 30, 2011 2:54 pm

Dunnyman wrote:The Black Scorpion was up first, and gosh it's fun, even if it's a bit slow moving at first. The volcano has erupted and the subsequent earthquakes have unleashed giant scorpions! Run for your lives! The usual cast of B-movie people with a nice turn by Mara Corday as our rancher/heroine/chick who worries about our hero and a truly annoying kid you can only hope gets eaten/stung to death/trampled by the crowd. Willis O'Brien is in charge of the FX and other than a few too many closeups of the monsters, they look pretty good for the era, even cooler is the trapdoor spider and the monster worm which were cut from the "spider pit" sequence in King Kong get used here!! Woo-Hoo! Poison gas is discarded as a way to kill them, as they settle for caving them in, except.....the caves run all the way to Mexico City! They're back, this time wrecking a train in true Godzilla fashion, before succumbing to an electric dart with 600,000 volts!


I seem to recall dvd cover art that made it look too horrible to endure, a cartoonish smiling black scorpion or some such thing. I'll have to check this out after all.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Dunnyman » Mon May 30, 2011 8:33 pm

Just got back from Bridesmaids, freaking hilarious, Wiig's writing is razor sharp, the cast rocks it, especially Melissa McCarthy, and it's just a helluva good ride, plus, a preview for Tom Hanks' new movie, Leroy Crowne where he looks to be fishing for Oscars....
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby Attrage » Mon May 30, 2011 9:26 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Attrage wrote:Okay so it's the last (or second last) day of March I mean May but whatever.

You know you're not working on a typewriter, right?

LOL yeah I know. I tend to type like I talk sometimes. The three glasses of red I had before logging on last night probably didnt help much ;)
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby HGervais » Tue May 31, 2011 2:37 pm

Took my brother's kids to see Kung Fu Panda 2 and got pretty much what I expected. There was enough going on to keep me interested, the animation was quite beautiful and the film made really good use of the 3D. It's no Pixar movie, or How To Train Your Dragon for that matter but for a 12 & 8 year old, it did the trick.
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Re: MAY (you still have a job in) 2011 WATCHING THREAD!

Postby the5thghostbuster » Tue May 31, 2011 3:10 pm

Attended my first convention ever this past weekend (Anime North in Toronto) and was able to see Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance in HD. The big screen really does favour the scope of Evangelion, and the film is simply beautiful and complex as the original series. However, if these films were intended to be more accessable than the original series was, I really don't see that being the case: it is just as confounding as the original series could be.
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