Author Topic: Resurrecting the Movies thread...  (Read 527896 times)

Offline ednbarby

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,586
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #290 on: September 23, 2007, 02:57:09 pm »
Ooh.  Speaking of rottentomatoes.com, I just checked Eastern Promises' rating.  It's got an 89 after 122 reviews.  That's the highest I've seen in a long time.  (Brokeback ended up with an 86, but that was after 222 reviews.)

And I'm going to see it at 4:30 today.  Woo-eeeeeee!  Yeah!

No more beans!

Offline serious crayons

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 20,803
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #291 on: September 23, 2007, 04:59:01 pm »

Can't wait to hear what you think, Barb!  :D

Offline ednbarby

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,586
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #292 on: September 23, 2007, 11:16:45 pm »
I thought it was excellent.  Viggo Mortensen is really something else.  Just as he did in "A History of Violence," he makes you believe at once that his character is at heart a good man, and at heart a monster.  There aren't too many other actors out there who can pull that off.  I think Jake is one of them.  But then, I'm a tad biased.

It slays me how undereducated so many filmgoers still are.  I mean, here I am, in Boca Raton, FL, sometimes referred to as Manhattan South, and where we get the most sophisticated, sometimes cutting-edge, films going.  And here's this David Cronenberg film.  And people - otherwise seemingly mature, sophisticated people, walk out of it going, "But it was so VIOLENT."  Hel-LO!  Never heard of David Cronenberg, I take it?  Never seen or heard of "Naked Lunch," "Dead Ringers," or "A History of Violence" (not to mention my personal favorite, "Spider")?

I can understand the beauty of knowing zero about a movie before going to see it, and this one got a four-star rating in my local paper.  So I can see someone going, "Hey it got four stars, and it's got that Viggo something-or-other guy in it.  Let's go."  But COME ON.

The only more stupid response I heard coming out of a movie in recent times was after "The Brave One," when one woman said to another, "Well, what did you think?" and her companion replied, "I dunno.  I guess I was just expecting a FASTER movie."  It was all Ed and I could do to keep from laughing out loud.  Once we were out of her earshot, Ed goes, "What?  The killings didn't start soon enough for ya?" and "Not nearly enough explosions?"

Gawd.

Anyway, excellent, haunting performances.  Really something special.

No more beans!

Offline ednbarby

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,586
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #293 on: September 23, 2007, 11:26:09 pm »
Here's a bit from the Boston Globe's Ty Burr about Mortensen's performance:

"Mortensen plays this role as if he had different blood chemistry than the rest of us. Nikolai remains eerily still until he's moved to act; then he glides forth with reptilian grace. Yet something still glows at the bottom of those half-lidded eyes - enough to suggest the cobra has a soul."

I bet he lost some sleep coming up with that one.  ;)

I agree, though.


No more beans!

Offline Mikaela

  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,228
  • Unsaid... and now unsayable
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #294 on: September 29, 2007, 06:18:28 pm »
I saw "Eastern Promises" in NYC with Meryl last week, and posted the following in my LJ. Meryl suggested I post it here too - and well, here I am and here it is.  :) Don't think there are very specific spoilers in this, but hints at what's going on, yes - surely.

(I should perhaps also mention first that I am and remain a serious Lord of the Rings fan and I'm also very impressed with "History of Violence". Viggo was the big draw for me in wanting to see EP.)

 

I hate movie violence, but in Eastern Promises the sinister tension level always let you knew what was coming so it was possible to avert your gaze if you needed to. And while the physical violence *was* extremely graphic, it wasn't gratuitous, drawn-out, lingering, sadistic nor motivated by the pleasure of describing the giving of pain and suffering for its own sake. Any such instances *would* have made it a no-no for me. The violence also was very contained. That is, the graphically violent scenes were actually few and far between.  (I had my hands firmly over my eyes each time.  ::)  ) That is, except for the already justly-famous nude bathhouse fight. One review I just read on Rottentomatos described how the lady next to the reviewer kept alternating between covering her eyes and looking up despite herself to check out Viggo's "kibbles and bits". I suppose that pretty much describe my viewing of it too.  ::) He's a courageous guy, doing that scene - because he has to know it'll be screencapped to exhaustion by every fanperson in sight. And the number of those *must* now be increasing.

Apart from that, it was an incredibly *acted* scene. You believed every second of it - so intense, real, life-or-death desperate - not seeming choreographed at all. Viggo did an incredible acting job all throughout this film - like a cobra, so poised and still most times. Oozing danger and self-assurance and self-confidence but with a completely controlled and contained body language, and then suddenly exploding into impressive movement and deliberate action. And those tattoos he was covered in! I've always seen the tattoos that people like David Beckham and Angelina Jolie and Heath Ledger cover themselves with as so much unpleasant visual noise, but on Viggo it actually looked great and adding to the personality. (Helps to know he washed it all off at the end, though.)

And the film keeps me thinking about it. All the actors were *very* good. (Though I'll be interested in reading opinions on Naomi Watt's spoken english.) The film's colour language was fitting and very noticable -  dark and murky, bleak, approximating black-and-white film language, almost... but with splashes of intensely bright colour (many times red, though not always blood) ever so often.

The story was gripping, very tense, a believable and frightening world of unscrupulous mafia - grabbing hold and keeping me on the edge all the while. Its focus on the dreadful plight of poor Eastern girls who get lured west and end up in a miserable hopeless life of forced prostitution was told with a lot of compassion and a hint of sentimentality too. The more films that show this for what it is, - inhuman cruel slavery - the better it is.

And it seems being "queer" is no more an option in today's "macho" Russian mafia than in 1963 Wyoming, and that the denial takes just the same toll on a person's psyche..... Not that the character in question managed to elicit much sympathy from me in any case. Nevertheless  - a multilayered portrayal, all the more interesting.

There was a twist at the end I totally didn't see coming, in addition to several twists that I did see might be coming. Some elements of the story's plot I found completely unrealistic (relating to the mother and the newborn child and what happened to them) - but only in hindsight, and even those events I keep thinking about, whether there might not be a reasonable explanation for them after all, just that the film didn't use up precious time spelling those explanations out.

The short of this? I think I'm turning into a serious Viggo fangirl. And "Eastern Promises" despite its violence level was fascinating, interesting, haunting and very, very good. I'll watch it again soon as it premieres in my neck of the woods.  :)

Offline Meryl

  • BetterMost Supporter
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,198
  • There's no reins on this one....
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #295 on: September 29, 2007, 06:49:42 pm »
Thanks for posting that, Mika!  You bring up lots of things, like the use of the color red, that remind me of our discussions of BBM.  I want to see EP again, too, but I think I'll wait a few weeks to let it sink in first.  8)

Tomorrow, I'm seeing Lust Caution with Lynne, John Gallagher and maybe Jenny and Juan.  Will let you know what we thought!  8)
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Mikaela

  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,228
  • Unsaid... and now unsayable
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #296 on: September 29, 2007, 07:03:56 pm »
Oh, yes please!   :) :)


*small gripe warning*

Just checked the premiere dates for upcoming movies here and to my chagrin discovered the following:

Rendition - February 1
Lust, Caution - February 29
I'm not there - end of February, exact date undecided


Hello, this is totally unacceptable! I think I need to move to NYC on permanent basis!

*grump*

Offline ednbarby

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,586
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #297 on: September 29, 2007, 10:20:33 pm »
Meryl, you lucky, LUCKY girl.  On several levels.  Please let us know how my dear John is doing.  I think about him so often and miss his presence here terribly.  Can't wait to read your thoughts on the movie as well.  It doesn't start here until next week...

And Mikaela, my heart goes out to you.  It's been difficult enough to wait for these movies this long, let alone another few to several months.  Reminds me of how the premiere of the second season of "Dexter" got postponed from last June to - TOMORROW NIGHT.  Woo-hoo!  (Sorry.)  And how it'll be April before I get to see new episodes of "Lost."  I used to be such a TV whore.  But these two shows (and a couple others before them, like "Six Feet Under") have ruined it for me.  They're just too damned good, and nothing else compares.

No more beans!

Offline Meryl

  • BetterMost Supporter
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,198
  • There's no reins on this one....
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #298 on: September 30, 2007, 12:29:14 am »
Oh yes indeed, I know I am lucky!  It rocks to see Eastern Promises with Mikaela, then in less than a week be able to see Ang Lee's new movie with a clutch of Brokies, then the very next weekend get to see Annie Proulx at a book signing!  Living in NYC is the greatest.  8)
Ich bin ein Brokie...

Offline Meryl

  • BetterMost Supporter
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 12,198
  • There's no reins on this one....
Re: Resurrecting the Movies thread...
« Reply #299 on: September 30, 2007, 11:36:43 pm »
Well, we saw Lust, Caution tonight, and it was really good.  John Gallagher, Jenny newyearsday, Juan (JCinNYC2006) and Lynne were there.  If it hadn't been for Lynne, I would have forgotten to even go!  But she was in Connecticut at a wedding this weekend and made the effort to get down here to see the movie.  What a Brokie!  ;D

The movie is beautiful to look at, thanks to Rodrigo Prieto, and has an authentic period feel, like the better Merchant-Ivory productions.  It takes place in Hong Kong and Shanghai during World War II, when the Japanese occupied parts of China.  A group of idealistic young students decide to serve the cause of patriotism by targeting an infamous Japanese collaborator for assassination.  Throughout the film they become more hardened and sophisticated by the experience and have some harrowing ordeals.  One young girl becomes the mistress of the villainous collaborator, and it is the story of what she goes through emotionally that is the core of the film.

We noticed several things that made us think of Brokeback, particularly a couple of shots of the full moon, Ang Lee's attention to colors (the heroine wore mostly shades of blue) and an elegiac last shot that made us think of the last shot in Brokeback.  As reviewers mentioned, the sex scenes were indeed explicit and powerful.  Those were brave actors!   :P

I do want to see this film again because it's very layered and rich, as you might expect from Ang.  But I agree with Jenny, who commented "I'm certainly not going to see this one 13 times!" as we left the theater.  ;D

We had a fun dinner at a Chinese place (of course!) afterwards and got caught up on each others' doings.  Then Lynne and I said goodbye to Juan, Jenny and John and picked up her rental car at the parking garage nearby.  She's probably arriving at her digs in Hartford about now.  Thanks for a great time, Lynne!  :-*
Ich bin ein Brokie...