Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby mavrach » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:39 am

A few movies that I gave up without finishing. Frankly I'm playing catch up and have enough movies under my belt, so if I'm not enjoying myself I'll give it at least a half hour and move onto the next one. But I went from an unwatched DVD pile of 105 movies about a month ago, and am down to 34 remaining now!!

8 1/2 - Do I have to turn in my movie nut membership card for not liking this movie at all? I gave up on it 35 minutes in, just found it to be a chore. I can't call it a bad movie by any means. On a technical and creative level, this was masterful, and I loved the opening scene. I guess the tone and the characters were too generically artsy for my tastes, it came off as pompous. Whenever you try to get somebody to watch a foreign movie or an independent movie and they refuse, this is the kind of movie they picture. I only keep it in my collection because it's so revered, so I'll have to force myself to rewatch it down the line.

21 - Dull, nothing special. Some movies in my lingering DVD stack were unwatched for a reason.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Absolute garbage. It never appealed much to me in the first place, but I tried it anyway because it's directed by David Fincher. I got the last Fincher-ish movie he's ever made. It looks like some attempt to make another Forrest Gump, a movie that tries to be inspirational without actually saying anything. Show a protagonist with a disability who learns to live a fruitful life that inspires the people around him, with "groundbreaking" special effects. I think David Fincher was trying to leap into the mainstream, and sadly this got him his first Best Director Oscar nomination.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby mavrach » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:46 am

2001: A Space Odyssey - Finally got to see this one. I'd been so cautious about seeing this one, waiting for some sort of perfect mood to strike. I expected a painfully slow narrative that would be taxing to sit through. So I dove in and I loved it. The pace worked, though I felt the ending dragged for a little bit. On a technical level, this was one of the best movies I've ever seen. The centrifuge sets lent to some mindblowing shots that have never been replicated to my knowledge.

The 300 Spartans - Ambitious but loveless. It's not fair to make this comparison, but my approach to this story is mainly from 300, so I see the entire point of the 300's sacrifice and courage being their inspiration to the rest of Greece. Say what you will about 300, but it nailed that aspect. In The 300 Spartans, it feels like the soldiers are just going through their motions. Then a bored narrator says their courage would be remembered forever.

The Last King of Scotland - To my surprise this played out more like a thriller than a political statement. Forrest Whitaker went into biopic mode and disappeared into the role of Edi Amin, and was actually pretty likeable at first.

Duck, You Sucker AKA A Fistful of Dynamite - Loved it, a little different courtesy of the main character being an Irish bomber. I'm confused regarding this movie's franchise placement. I'd been under the impression that it was an unofficial follow up to Leone's Man With No Name trilogy, as the DVD was rereleased alongside those. But then I heard this was part 2 of the Once Upon A Time trilogy.

Opera - My wife says we watched this a few years ago, but I swear I've never seen it. This was excellent. I've had trouble connecting to Dario Argento's films, but this was the first one to click with me. Very stylish, and an interesting musical mix of opera, 80's synthesizers, and metal.

Mother of Tears - Lower quality, but enjoyable. Did Dario Argento shoot his daughter's topless shower scene???

I Confess - Lesser-known Hitchcock. As always, he's adept at very gradually cranking up the tension. And the central conflict of the priest's inability to reveal the crime that is framing himself was very effective.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby Bryan Pope » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:15 am

mavrach wrote:The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Absolute garbage. It never appealed much to me in the first place, but I tried it anyway because it's directed by David Fincher. I got the last Fincher-ish movie he's ever made. It looks like some attempt to make another Forrest Gump, a movie that tries to be inspirational without actually saying anything. Show a protagonist with a disability who learns to live a fruitful life that inspires the people around him, with "groundbreaking" special effects. I think David Fincher was trying to leap into the mainstream, and sadly this got him his first Best Director Oscar nomination.

I agree that this one wasn't worthy of the award nominations it received, but I'll reserve the phrase "absolute garbage" for the Jackasses, Hatchet 3's and Epic Movie's of the cinematic world.

I'll admit my support for the film has less to do with the quality of the film than with the circumstances surrounding my first viewing of the last 20 minutes; specifically, Benjamin's toddler years. I was rocking my (at the time) toddler son to sleep while watching it, and the effect was overwhelming. I had tears streaming down my face.

But I also thought the use of the impending Hurricane Katrina as a framing device was effective, and Fincher's nighttime scenes in the hotel had a beautiful, almost other-worldly quality.

In short, there's more than enough here for me to at least recommend it to friends.
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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby Andrew Forbes » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:02 pm

mavrach wrote:Mother of Tears - Lower quality, but enjoyable. Did Dario Argento shoot his daughter's topless shower scene???

Trauma, The Stendhal Syndrome and The Phantom of the Opera have all featured Asia in various stages of undress and "activity." Interesting family...

See, also, John Boorman's Excalibur.
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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby mavrach » Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:06 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:
mavrach wrote:Mother of Tears - Lower quality, but enjoyable. Did Dario Argento shoot his daughter's topless shower scene???

Trauma, The Stendhal Syndrome and The Phantom of the Opera have all featured Asia in various stages of undress and "activity." Interesting family...

See, also, John Boorman's Excalibur.


I'll have to check those movies out then :D

I thought about Excalibur too when I saw that. Please tell me an assistant director shoots those scenes.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby Attrage » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:14 pm

Bryan Pope wrote:
mavrach wrote:The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Absolute garbage. It never appealed much to me in the first place, but I tried it anyway because it's directed by David Fincher. I got the last Fincher-ish movie he's ever made. It looks like some attempt to make another Forrest Gump, a movie that tries to be inspirational without actually saying anything. Show a protagonist with a disability who learns to live a fruitful life that inspires the people around him, with "groundbreaking" special effects. I think David Fincher was trying to leap into the mainstream, and sadly this got him his first Best Director Oscar nomination.

I agree that this one wasn't worthy of the award nominations it received, but I'll reserve the phrase "absolute garbage" for the Jackasses, Hatchet 3's and Epic Movie's of the cinematic world.

I'll admit my support for the film has less to do with the quality of the film than with the circumstances surrounding my first viewing of the last 20 minutes; specifically, Benjamin's toddler years. I was rocking my (at the time) toddler son to sleep while watching it, and the effect was overwhelming. I had tears streaming down my face.

But I also thought the use of the impending Hurricane Katrina as a framing device was effective, and Fincher's nighttime scenes in the hotel had a beautiful, almost other-worldly quality.

In short, there's more than enough here for me to at least recommend it to friends.


I don't get the Benjamin Button hate. It's not Fincher's best work, I'll admit (that honor goes to Zodiac) but I think it's a good story, well directed. The *spoiler* scene where he describes all the events leading up to Cate Blanchett's character getting hit by the car, is inspired. And likewise the last 20 minutes had my heart in my throat too.
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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:29 am

mavrach wrote:8 1/2 - Do I have to turn in my movie nut membership card for not liking this movie at all? I gave up on it 35 minutes in, just found it to be a chore.

Like with "2001" (which you liked) there's a mood one has to be in to appreciate "8 1/2." I personally think the opening act is the weakest because it's too cartoony and weird but, ironically, the rest of the movie gathers a ton of steam (leading up to an unforgettable classic ending) precisely because it gets even weirder and more loony but by then you're used to it (i.e. bought what Fellini is selling). So don't turn the movie nut membership yet, but do plan to rewatch it again when you're in a "2001" acceptance mood. I loved "8 1/2" the first time I saw it but about a third into the film I wasn't sure what it was everybody else saw in it; took the middle and final acts to completely win me over. Patience. ;-)
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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby mavrach » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:36 am

J.M. Vargas wrote:
mavrach wrote:8 1/2 - Do I have to turn in my movie nut membership card for not liking this movie at all? I gave up on it 35 minutes in, just found it to be a chore.

Like with "2001" (which you liked) there's a mood one has to be in to appreciate "8 1/2." I personally think the opening act is the weakest because it's too cartoony and weird but, ironically, the rest of the movie gathers a ton of steam (leading up to an unforgettable classic ending) precisely because it gets even weirder and more loony but by then you're used to it (i.e. bought what Fellini is selling). So don't turn the movie nut membership yet, but do plan to rewatch it again when you're in a "2001" acceptance mood. I loved "8 1/2" the first time I saw it but about a third into the film I wasn't sure what it was everybody else saw in it; took the middle and final acts to completely win me over. Patience. ;-)


Ok that's what I needed to hear. I'm pretty much racing through my unwatched DVD pile just for the sake of getting it off my back. It's ridiculous but there's pressure in having all of these after having paid so much for them. So if I'm a half hour in have already taken two breaks to snack or check Facebook, and am dreading continuing, I've just moved to the next movie.

In general this has worked well for me, since in the past month I've gotten myself to see stuff like Ikiru, M, Double Indemnity and again 2001, but some need that perfect mood. I'm just afraid that mood will never strike.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby mavrach » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:44 am

Ugetsu: Criterion - Highly recommended Japanese period piece. It has a nice slow pace, with a message to appreciate what you have. I did take issue with parts of the story being spoiled. Without trying to spoil it here, mainly every review and even the DVD case allude to this being a certain type of story, but that element isn't revealed until the third act. So while I was watching a supposed ordinary movie about feudal Japan, I knew something was coming that I wasn't meant to. And that's a shame because although Ugetsu is a 60-year old movie, it's not well known at all. So let's not blurt out the twists because not many people have even heard about this movie. It's not like, say Psycho, where we can all say Janet Leigh gets killed in the shower after the first reel. You can't even argue that "it's your fault for not having seen this."

Appleseed & Appleseed Ex Machina - My third viewing of the first, first viewing of the sequel. These are a bit exposition-heavy, but they're paid off with mesmerizing action sequences. And despite an obvious improvement in the animation technology by time Ex Machina was made, I actually preferred the cel-shading style of the first movie. The sequel is rendered better, but the effect is a bit sterile for my tastes, at least in comparison to the first movie.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: Re(NOV)ate your will to rem(EMBER) things to (WATCH)‏in' '11

Postby BenSaylor » Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:27 am

HGervais wrote:Hugo. Run. Go see it now and make sure you see it in 3D. Scorsese has made a heartfelt & kind love letter to the power of movies & imagination. He also uses 3D as a method of telling his story in a more effective manner than anyone who has come before him. If all 3D movies were made like this I would have no problem spending my money on them. Just a wonderful movie that had me with tears running down my face a couple of times.


When I first read that Scorsese was making this, I thought, "What is he thinking? I can't believe he's making a stupid kids movie." Then I saw the trailer and thought, "This looks bad. I am not going to like this." Then I saw the movie, and all I can say is, rarely have I enjoyed being proved wrong more. This is a terrific movie, one I'm going to try to see again in 3D before it's out of theaters. A touching, immersive story, a talented and eclectic ensemble, and some of Scorsese's best filmmaking in a long time all made this one of the best movie experiences I've had of late.
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