Author Topic: Resurrecting the Movies thread...  (Read 527871 times)

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2006, 09:33:33 am »
What do you guys think of Tim Robbins' attempt at it in "Catch a Fire" - have you seen the trailer for that one yet?  From what I can tell, I think he does it better - more (or some) subtle.
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Offline ednbarby

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2006, 10:41:40 pm »
Bumped for her pleasure...  ;)

So here's my new tally:  This week, I have seen Infamous, The Prestige, and today - Running With Scissors.  I'd give them three stars, two and a half stars, and three stars respectively.  That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the first and the last.  The Prestige I did not care for much - I saw the "twist" from a mile away and it irritated me.  Way too obvious.  And I saw what several of you mean about Scarlett Johannson.  I didn't think she was terrible, but compared with the actors who played the young magicians' wives, she sucked royally.  Both of them were so subtle.  I don't know what it is, but I've just never fully believed Scarlett in a role.  Not ever.  She even irritated me in The Horse Whisperer.  I kept thinking "Too bad somebody else isn't playing that girl."  I hadn't even read the book - I just didn't believe her.  Hell, I wanted to see the horse's acting more.  He conveyed way more humanity.

Infamous is one of those movies that's deeply flawed - the tone and pacing are uneven to the point of being unnerving - but that contains one or two movie "moments" that burn into your memory cells.  The first for me was the very first scene, with Gwyneth Paltrow singing a Peggy Lee type song and Capote's and his companion's reaction to it.  Beautiful, beautiful acting by Paltrow, Toby Jones and Sigourney Weaver.  Just - Wow.  The other one is the scene with that rancher I mentioned in another post talking to Capote and Harper Lee about what makes a good person go bad.  Sandra Bullock was excellent, by the way.  And I'm not one of those who particularly likes her, especially ever since that certain movie she so gleefully touted last year got a certain award it didn't come close to deserving.  But I digress.  I liked that this one gave the Harper Lee character much more air time and depth than did "Capote."  I liked how Catherine Keener played her in the latter - I just wanted to know more about her.  This one did that.  In spades.  And since Sandra Bullock sufficiently uglified herself, she's a shoo-in for an Oscar.   ::)

The thing about Running With Scissors that makes it most worth seeing is the acting.  Just fearless, vulnerable, wide-freaking-open-and-out-there stuff.  I've never seen so many people cry so often and found myself so entertained by it before.  Joseph Cross was amazing.  I will now say what I said out loud about The Gyllenhaal after seeing "October Sky" - if that boy plays his cards right, he's got a bright future ahead of him.  And Joseph Fiennes was just - Holy Shit Wow.  And I'm not just saying that because I lusted for him mightily after seeing Shakespeare in Love.  Eleven times.  After that, I kept watching his movies with high hopes that I'd see that same spark and intensity as before and was disappointed every time.  Not this time.  Again, totally fearless portrayal.  Just the psychotic episodes alone would be daunting to a lesser actor.  And of course Annette Bening was, as they say, riveting.  You know what it is?  She has those bright eyes, like Judi Dench - you just cannot take your eyes off of them.

OK, enough pontificating for now.  But God, I love this time of year where movies are concerned.  And it's only getting better from this point on.  Have I seen a Romeo/Brokeback Mountain?  I have not.  But I have high hopes.

« Last Edit: October 29, 2006, 10:43:17 pm by ednbarby »
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Offline dot-matrix

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2006, 08:29:47 pm »
Been working lots of hours so haven't been to the cinema in a while now but I did see a film last night I'd like to suggest to anyone renting or netflixing films.

Bee Season(2005)
directed byScott McGehee & David Siegel 

Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, Flora Cross and Max Minghella

My initial attraction to this film was because the screen play was written by Jake’s Mom, Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal based on a novel by Myla Goldberg.  First let me say, I love indie films, there are some real jewels to found outside studio films. They are often quiet, deep, introspective films like Brokeback Mountain.  That’s what I found here, a quiet profound little jewel.

In many ways, the family at the center of this story is not that different from the family in the middle of the divorce drama THE SQUID AND THE WHALE. They enjoy the benefits of belonging to an upper-middle class society and their household is one full of books and musical instruments and a sense of harmony.

Or is it? Are they the perfect family? Meet the Naumanns: Father (Richard Gere) is an avid scholar who teaches the Kabbalah. Mother (Juliette Binoche) is an introvert who passes the time going into other people's properties and collecting items (some which she even gives her daughter Eliza) and has of late taken to a habit of coming home late to dinner. Oldest son Aaron (Anthony Minghella) has a quiet intensity and devotion to his family, particularly his sister, whom he clearly loves. And Eliza (Flora Cross) is one of those quiet individuals who have an ancient wisdom that makes her come across closer to an old soul. It is Eliza who senses all that is wrong with her family, as it appears they are falling apart in front of her, and as a little girl, she simply can't do anything at all to bring everyone together. As a way to escape the unhappy home, Eliza immerses herself in the spelling bee contests in which she excels. Not until then, does she get the attention of her father, who supports her newly found talent.

The advent of the spelling bee victories signals the downward spiral that eventually tears at the foundation and reveals the ugliness beneath. For people who are in love with words, and for Saul Naumann, who teaches the vibration of words and their connection to a greater reality, the reality of being One with the Verb, he is the one most at fault. He's the perfect student who knows what he's reading, but doesn't necessarily practice what he preaches. This spelling bee is a ways for him to bask in Eliza's prowess.

Aaron progressively becomes aware of this lie within his home and is the first to openly rebel. It's a predictable move because it's happened to the best of us. Since Dad practices the Jewish faith, why not choose a belief that challenges it? Enter Challi (Evan Rachel Wood), the girl whom Aaron finds attractive, like a siren calling out to him. Sure, their meeting feels cliché, but I've seen the same types of encounters happening with people of other sects. Her pat screen time serves to instill action in Aaron and create a deeper need to attack Dad's quiet, arrogant pomposity.

Even so, it's not a sincere move.  Against this back drop the mother, Miriam is a woman who is deeply disturbed by what happened in her own life with the tragedy of her parents death. Saul and Miriam's marriage is over, but they don't do anything to correct the situation. Miriam's problems come to a head when she is taken away and makes Saul confront the many issues that he probably never dealt with before.  And with Miriam 's progressive descent into her own world of trinkets and stolen gifts, the only one who seems capable of any real sense of spirituality is young Eliza who lives deep inside her own unformed, unnamed faith. It's of such a magnitude that she at one key moment, invoking the voice of God before her climactic contest, suffers a seizure immediately following an intense rapture.

BEE SEASON is a movie that looks hokey from different perspectives but spoke to me with its message of what true mysticism means
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Offline Ellemeno

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #23 on: November 06, 2006, 01:49:56 am »
I really was glad to read the book Bee Season.  I look forward to the movie.

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2006, 11:48:13 am »
I really was glad to read the book Bee Season.  I look forward to the movie.

I'll have to check that out, too.  It gets really good reviews, and I always enjoy Angela Bassett.

Speaking of six degrees of Jake movies, I checked out Stranger Than Fiction yesterday (Maggie's in it) and LOVED it.  Maybe it helps that I went into it with somewhat lowered expectations - for Will Ferrell, primarily.  And I was very pleasantly surprised.  This just in:  It turns out he can act.  And he and Maggie had a very nice and believable chemistry together.  She's so adorable, really.  And the character she plays is basically me, except I don't have tattoos and I didn't drop out of Harvard Law.  But I can bake (quite well, thankyouverymuch - my bourbon pecan pie is to die for), and I *am* somewhat of an anarchist.  And I'm definitely opinionated.  I especuially loved her character Ana's rationale for not paying 22% of her federal income tax.

And I so enjoyed listening to Emma Thompson's beautiful voice and witty narration of Harold Crick's life.

It was all good, even the ending - which normally wouldn't be my cup of tea - because it was ironic.  And that's all I'll say on that matter.

Don't miss it!  :)
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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2006, 08:31:07 pm »
Saw Marie Antoinette.

I liked Sofia Coppola's 'Lost in Translation', but though Marie is lushly filmed and the costumes are gorgeous, the settings magnificent (you can't go wrong with Versailles), you can see she was going for something similar with Marie, but didn't pull it off.

The period was too fraught with history, politics and change, the court at Versailles rife with intrique and cabals...and all of that is ignored.

The few modern soundtrack pieces did nothing for the story which was extremely spare in dialogue.  It was meant to be a character study, I think, but it failed.  You get next to nothing on her character, no history, no politics, it's not a dialogue/plot driven movie.  The whole movie was like gorgeous postcard shots of Marie's life.

I think Coppola meant to point out how isolating and boredom-inducing being a dauphine was, but Coppola touched so little on Marie's character that you didn't much care that she was bored.  She seemed to fill her time amply enough without any deep thoughts about it being any other way.

Several people walked out before the end.

I didn't pay full price and I'm glad I didn't.

Offline ednbarby

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #26 on: November 14, 2006, 02:08:33 pm »
You know, I debated about seeing this one.  Then I saw it go to just night-time screenings after being open for only a few weeks, and I knew that was the kiss of death.  I like Kirsten and Sofia, but I've never been too wild about purposely (or otherwise) anachronistic things.  Titanic, anyone?   :P

Thanks for the review, Del.  I'll gladly pass.

Again, I really must urge everyone to go see Stranger Than Fiction.  Especially given we're such a literate crowd.  Here's a link to a review that aptly describes exactly why it's so appealing to literature buffs like us:

http://www.pajiba.com/stranger-than-fiction.htm

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Offline delalluvia

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2006, 11:57:01 pm »
OK, just got home from a free screening of The Fountain with Hugh Jackman.

Pluses - beautiful cinematography, imaginative camera angles, intriguingly crafted tale, the camera loves the two acting leads (Hugh Jackman has his contractual obligatory shirtless scene which is always a plus), deeply emotional story

Minuses - deeply emotional story.  It's heartwrenchingly depressing.  I'm sure there is supposed to be a positive note to the movie somewhere, but the anguish of the characters completely buries it.  You will spend much of the movie in tears.

Hint - the advertising for the movie is misleading.  It's not what you think.

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2006, 12:27:40 am »
I'd like to see Hugh in The Boy from Oz or Oklahoma, but I guess I never will.

Has anybody seen Casino Royale yet? I'd like to know what Brokies think of this newest Bond film.
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Offline dot-matrix

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Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2006, 03:24:11 am »
I'd like to see Hugh in The Boy from Oz or Oklahoma, but I guess I never will.

Has anybody seen Casino Royale yet? I'd like to know what Brokies think of this newest Bond film.

His London stage production of Oklahoma for Trevor Nunn is on DVD Front Ranger and it is magnificient!  Unfortunately Boy from Oz is noton DVD, I keep watching for it though with my fingers crossed  :D So far no luck.  Since it was such a limited run and only he played it you'd thing by now they would have a DVD out.  Hmmmmm unless of course Hugh plans to reprise the role in a revival of Boy from Oz...
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