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CatManDoza

Watched the original American pie trilogy with the wife the other night, still great, still funny, and those soundtracks! Beautiful. 

Wife was pissing me off last night, so went to bed and wanted to watch max manus, but my dodgy app didn't have any streams for it, so I watched the imitation game instead. 

Really enjoyed it, how close they were to f*cking him off and prolonging the war god knows how much longer. Thought the 5 - 10 minutes at the end was good talking of his homosexuality and what the government did to him. Big f*ck up on their part there for sure. 

A solid 8 outta 10 on the cat scale

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Con
39 minutes ago, CatManDoza said:

Watched the original American pie trilogy with the wife the other night, still great, still funny, and those soundtracks! Beautiful. 

Wife was pissing me off last night, so went to bed and wanted to watch max manus, but my dodgy app didn't have any streams for it, so I watched the imitation game instead. 

American Pie was to kids what Porky's was to me as a kid. I should watch the Porky's Trilogy and dedicate a thread to it even id ill probably cringe watching that now. lol. 

My service also gave me hard time finding Max Manus but eventually settled by watching a non-subtitle version but have started writing a review nonetheless.

 

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Posted (edited)

Kynodontas (Dogtooth)

dir. Yorgos Lanthimos/2009/1h33m

dogtooth" Poster by lucyet | Redbubble

Dogtooth is a Greek black comedy from Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Lobster, The Favourite) about a couple who have kept their now adult children isolated from the outside world for their entire lives.  They live in a walled in compound, the children believing the outside world to be dangerous, hearing stories about what happened to their probably fake older brother who lives in the outside world.  The father works as some sort of manager in a factory, and he pays the security guard, Christina, to come to the house to have s*x with the son.  She gets annoyed with him when he refuses to eat her out, so she goes to the older daughter and trades her headband for some oral s*x.  She is later forced by the older daughter to trade in some movies for her s*xual favours.  These movies show the older daughter the outside world for the first time and spurs her into action, wanting to see what's out there.

This earlier work from Lanthimos shows the style and the themes that he would go on to develop and make his own in his English language films.  The delivery and performances are quite stilted and stylised, not as much as in Killing of a Sacred Deer, but it still gives off an unsettling feeling.  It makes the three children feel almost alien.  This is also reinforced by the story and the script.  These kids have no idea about anything.  At the very start of the film we see them at the dinner table and one of them asks the mother to "pass the telephone", and the mother passes her the salt.  We see, later in the film, how stuff like this happens; they somehow learn a word and ask their parents what it means, and they give them some harmless answer that won't make them question anything else.  The son at one points asks what a zombie is, and he is told that it's a little yellow flower.  This is also a coldly heartbreaking film.  The children have no names.  They have been dehumanised by their parents who seem only to want to keep them as possessions.  

The direction is a rough sketch of what Lanthimos would go on to develop as his own style, harsh lighting, deliberate slow camera movements, almost absurdist violence.  The story is very simple but it's not spoon fed to you, you learn things by yourself just by observing, as if these kids live in a zoo.  This isn't Lanthimos's best work, but it is a solid foundation on which he built his later, greater works, and is definitely worth checking out 8/10

 

=============================================================================

Kumonosu-jō (Throne of Blood)

dir. Akira Kurosawa/1957/1h40m

Amazon.com: Quality Poster.Kurosawa The Throne of Blood.Toshiro ...

Throne of Blood (literal trans. of original title: Spider Web Castle) is a Japanese historical drama from the legendary Akira Kurosawa and based on Shakespeare's Macbeth.  It stars Toshiro Mifune as Washizu, samurai warrior serving under Lord Tsuzuki (Hiroshi Tachikawa).  The Lady Macbeth analogue in this film is Asaji, Washizu's wife, played by Isuzu Yamada.  The plot follows Shakespeare's original very closely.  After defeating a rival army in battle, Washizu and his friend and fellow samurai, Miki (Akira Kubo) head back to Spider Web Castle, but get lost in the forest on the way.  They come across an old woman who tells Washizu that he will become lord of Spiders Web Castle.  He tells his wife of this prophecy and she is very excited at the prospect of becoming a lady.  They scheme and plot, and Washizu becomes lord, but guilt, madness and paranoia come to play and leads Washizu to an epic end under a hail of arrows.

This is a Kurosawa film, so of course it is beautifully directed, his keen eye bringing epic drama to the smallest moment.  Toshiro Mifune gives a masterclass in acting here as he goes from loyal warrior to power crazed maniac effortlessly and without it seeming forced.  His shock at the end of the film when he realises that he's actually been beaten is one of the best bits of non-verbal acting I've seen in a while.  I was disappointed with Asaji as Lady Macbeth.  I recently watched Ran, another of Kurosawa's Shakespeare adaptations, and the actress who played Lady Kaeda in that film played a similar part so much more memorably.  She's not bad, she just can't hold her own against Mifune.  

I'm obviously going to recommend this, there isn't a Kurosawa film I wouldn't tell you to watch, but as far as his Shakespeare adaptations, I slightly prefer Ran.  It has a better cast (although this film has Mifune, who makes up for Isuzu Yamada's Asaji), a better score and I love his use of colour in that film.  Saying that, you'd be hard pressed to find many more better films based on Shakespeare plays.  If Ran is a 10/10 then this is a solid 9/10

 

==============================================================================

Sedmikrásky (Daisies)

dir. Věra Chytilová/1966/1h13m

Daisies (1966)

Daisies is a Czech surreal comedy from radical new wave director Věra Chytilová.  It stars Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová as two young women, both called Marie, who decide at the start of the film that the world has gone bad so they will too.  What follows is a series of loosely connected sketches.  The main focus is on their exploitation of pervy old men who they con out of lavish dinners at fancy restaurants before ditching them at a train station.  They also destroy ph*llic foods, like cutting up raw sausages with a pair of scissors, while a man on a phone, who thinks one of them is called Julie, endlessly declares his love.  The ending of the film sees them coming across a huge feast which they gorge on and throw around, eventually getting up on the table and stomping all over it.  They are then seen being dunked like witches while they try to apologise.  They then return to the trashed feast, which they then start to clean up all while muttering "we'll be good, hard work makes you happy, I'm really happy" etc.  

This is an assault on the senses, an audio/visual punch in the face.  It's full of colour and shapes and movement which seem there to disorient you but in a pleasing way.  It also has a great sense of fun.  The two leads play Marie like giggling schoolgirls stealing sweeties from the corner shop.  This playfulness comes through in the direction and the editing.  Chytilová wants you to know that this is a film and she uses loads of techniques like she's grabbing them from a bag at random, delighting in whatever she pulls out and seeing what she can do with it.  This can lend the film a slap-dash quality at times, but that just adds to the quirky charm of the piece.

This is an acid soaked piece of feminist 60s psychedelia that feels like it could steal your wallet while pinching your bum, naughty but nice 8/10

 

Edited by LimeGreenLegend
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CatManDoza

I wish I could say I'd been watching arty, sophisticated foriegn fils like @LimeGreenLegend, but no, I watched a Dutch film last night called New Kids: Turbo

51x9Ky2b3aL._SY445_.jpg

@Paulie eithwer told me about it or mentioned it and I finally found a version with English subtitles. It's a glouriously stupid film about 5 Dutch, I suppose we'd call them chavs, who all lose their job at the same time andrefuse to pay for anything again when 'the man' cuts off their unemployment. It's crass, it's stupid, it uses the C word every other sentance but I found myself belly laughing at several points, especially when Rikkert loses his job, even thoguh when looking back, I probably shouldn't of!

A solid 6.5/10 on the cat scale, only let down by the storyline being daft AF, but boosted by the slapstick comedy in places.

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LimeGreenLegend

Bill

dir. Richard Bracewell/2015/1h34m

Bill (2015) Review – What The Craggus Saw

Bill is a children's historical comedy from the stars of the fantastic CBBC show Horrible Histories.  It tells the story of a young Bill Shakespeare (Matthew Baynton) and his first visit to "That London" to make his fortune as a playwrite after being kicked out of his lute-rock band Mortal Coil, "you'll see, people will still know the name Shakespeare in 20 years time!"  Once in London he unwittingly gets caught up in a plot of King Philip II of Spain (Ben Willbond, who also wrote the screenplay with Laurence Rickard) to kill Queen Elizabeth I (Helen McCrory) during the premier of a brand new play.  

I'm a huge fan of Horrible Histories the television show.  It's genuinely one of the funniest, cleverest kid's shows ever made, and I was happy to see them successfully transition their child-friendly gross out and gory humour to the big screen.  I'm a 33 year old man and I had a blast watching this.  The script is funny from start to end (even the end credits got a laugh out of me) and the direction feels like a step up from their television work.  The cast are all brilliant, especially Simon Farnaby as the imbecilic Earl of Croydon (or is it Crawly?) and Baynton as a wide-eyed naive Shakespeare.  

If you're a fan of slapstick comedy, both verbal and physical, you should check this out.  It's like a Monty Python film for the pre-pubescent crowd, but one that people of all ages will enjoy.  Just don't mistake it for the more recent Horrible Histories The Movie: Rotten Romans, which is sh*t.  None of the cast from the OG Horrible Histories wrote or starred in that.  Instead, they made this little talked about gem of a film, which is far more deserving of an Oscar than Shakespeare in Love ever was 8/10

 

===================================================================

Room 237

dir. Rodney Ascher/2012/1h43m

Room 237 movie review & film summary (2013) | Roger Ebert

Room 237 is a documentary from Rodney Ascher in which several nobodies espouse ridiculous theories about Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.  One of them thinks it's all about the genocide of Native Americans, one thinks it's about the holocaust.  Another is sure that the film is Kubrick's confession for faking the moon landings.  Some crazy woman thinks that a poster of a man skiing seen in the film looks a little bit like a Minotaur.  This is a bad documentary.  It's made up nearly entirely of clips from The Shining, and all of the interviews with these loonies are all audio, and badly recorded at that.  One guy literally has his kids running around in the background, and they kept that take in!  There's also no structure to the film, it jumps between theories at random, and seems to think that it really is uncovering some lost secret about The Shining, when it reality it comes across as the ramblings of obsessed madmen.

And that is what this film is really about.  Conspiracy theorists.  People who obsess over one tiny detail in a film thinking that it holds all of the answers they so desperately search for.  None of them actually talk about The Shining as a film, they only pick and choose little pieces to fit their own narrative, at the end going "see, I told you!  It's all there."  I was really looking forward to this, it has a load of great reviews and The Shining is one of my favourite films.  But this is just frustrating.  I didn't learn a single thing about the actual film, and why would I? None of these people have ever met Kubrick, they are just obsessive fans who think they're special because they've seen something in the film that no one else ever has.  It's actually quite sad.

A pointless film, the only merit being the incredible bullsh*t these people come up with is occasionally funny 3/10

 

===================================================================

À Bout de Souffle (Breathless)

dir. Jean-Luc Godard/1960/1h31m

Amazon.com: 18"x24" Quality Poster.A Bout de Souffle.French Movie ...

Breathless (Literal trans. of original title: Out of Breath) is the debut film from French new wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard.  It stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel, a carefree criminal who, at the start of the film, shoots a policeman.  He then heads into the city, hooking up with an old girlfriend, American journalist Patricia (Jean Seberg), hoping to hide out at her apartment while he can scrape up some money to get out of town.  

That's the basic plot, not that Godard really cares.  The plot is secondary here to the feel and the look and the style of the film.  French filmmakers of the time worshipped American film noir of the 40s and this is reflected here, especially the downbeat ending.  Even the characters are obsessed with old Hollywood, Michel styling himself after Humphrey Bogart, studying a picture of Bogey, trying to replicate his expression.  But, unlike old noir films, here he uses almost exclusively handheld cameras and natural lighting, giving it an almost documentary feel.  He then subverts the documentary feel by using unconventional film techniques like jump cutting dialogue scenes and having characters speak directly to the audience.  

This is a cool film.  Everything about it bleeds that relaxed, unconcerned attitude that the French, especially back then, seemed to have.  If this film were a person, it would be leaning on a wall outside a museum smoking a cigarette and shrugging it's shoulders 9/10

 

================================================================

Suspiria

dir. Dario Argento/1977/1h35m

Amazon.com: Posterazzi EVCMCDSUSPEC047 Suspiria Movie Poster ...

Suspiria is an Italian horror movie directed by Dario Argento.  It is the story of a young American ballet dancer, Suzy (Jessica Harper) who gets a place at the Freiburg Dance Academy in Germany.  Soon after she arrives she notices several strange things, and hears stories about former pupils being brutally murdered.  This culminates in her coming face to face with an actual witches coven and an ancient evil spirit.  I don't know what I was expecting going into this, but I wasn't expecting anything this...tacky?  I don't know if that's the right word, but it feels right.  This is a straight up b-movie, and it isn't afraid to show it.  

I do like the lighting design in the film, and the set design is at points brilliant, turning into a surreal nightmare bathed in blood red light.  A lot of the time, however, it just looks cheap.  The acting isn't great either.  Apart from Harper as the lead, most of the cast are pretty bad.  They are also mostly dubbed over, you can clearly see that these people aren't speaking English.  What makes the movie is the soundtrack, by prog-rock band Goblin.  It is creepy and unnerving, and made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when it kicked in.  The main theme, with it's satanic, guttural chanting haunted me for nights afterwards.  

This is a cheap looking film that gets by on its atmosphere and its music, but I'd only recommend it to serious horror fans 6.5/10

 

There you go @CatManDoza, only two arty foreign films in this bunch 😄 

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CatManDoza
5 minutes ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

Bill

dir. Richard Bracewell/2015/1h34m

Bill (2015) Review – What The Craggus Saw

Bill is a children's historical comedy from the stars of the fantastic CBBC show Horrible Histories.  It tells the story of a young Bill Shakespeare (Matthew Baynton) and his first visit to "That London" to make his fortune as a playwrite after being kicked out of his lute-rock band Mortal Coil, "you'll see, people will still know the name Shakespeare in 20 years time!"  Once in London he unwittingly gets caught up in a plot of King Philip II of Spain (Ben Willbond, who also wrote the screenplay with Laurence Rickard) to kill Queen Elizabeth I (Helen McCrory) during the premier of a brand new play.  

I'm a huge fan of Horrible Histories the television show.  It's genuinely one of the funniest, cleverest kid's shows ever made, and I was happy to see them successfully transition their child-friendly gross out and gory humour to the big screen.  I'm a 33 year old man and I had a blast watching this.  The script is funny from start to end (even the end credits got a laugh out of me) and the direction feels like a step up from their television work.  The cast are all brilliant, especially Simon Farnaby as the imbecilic Earl of Croydon (or is it Crawly?) and Baynton as a wide-eyed naive Shakespeare.  

If you're a fan of slapstick comedy, both verbal and physical, you should check this out.  It's like a Monty Python film for the pre-pubescent crowd, but one that people of all ages will enjoy.  Just don't mistake it for the more recent Horrible Histories The Movie: Rotten Romans, which is sh*t.  None of the cast from the OG Horrible Histories wrote or starred in that.  Instead, they made this little talked about gem of a film, which is far more deserving of an Oscar than Shakespeare in Love ever was 8/10

 

===================================================================

Room 237

dir. Rodney Ascher/2012/1h43m

Room 237 movie review & film summary (2013) | Roger Ebert

Room 237 is a documentary from Rodney Ascher in which several nobodies espouse ridiculous theories about Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.  One of them thinks it's all about the genocide of Native Americans, one thinks it's about the holocaust.  Another is sure that the film is Kubrick's confession for faking the moon landings.  Some crazy woman thinks that a poster of a man skiing seen in the film looks a little bit like a Minotaur.  This is a bad documentary.  It's made up nearly entirely of clips from The Shining, and all of the interviews with these loonies are all audio, and badly recorded at that.  One guy literally has his kids running around in the background, and they kept that take in!  There's also no structure to the film, it jumps between theories at random, and seems to think that it really is uncovering some lost secret about The Shining, when it reality it comes across as the ramblings of obsessed madmen.

And that is what this film is really about.  Conspiracy theorists.  People who obsess over one tiny detail in a film thinking that it holds all of the answers they so desperately search for.  None of them actually talk about The Shining as a film, they only pick and choose little pieces to fit their own narrative, at the end going "see, I told you!  It's all there."  I was really looking forward to this, it has a load of great reviews and The Shining is one of my favourite films.  But this is just frustrating.  I didn't learn a single thing about the actual film, and why would I? None of these people have ever met Kubrick, they are just obsessive fans who think they're special because they've seen something in the film that no one else ever has.  It's actually quite sad.

A pointless film, the only merit being the incredible bullsh*t these people come up with is occasionally funny 3/10

 

===================================================================

À Bout de Souffle (Breathless)

dir. Jean-Luc Godard/1960/1h31m

Amazon.com: 18"x24" Quality Poster.A Bout de Souffle.French Movie ...

Breathless (Literal trans. of original title: Out of Breath) is the debut film from French new wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard.  It stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel, a carefree criminal who, at the start of the film, shoots a policeman.  He then heads into the city, hooking up with an old girlfriend, American journalist Patricia (Jean Seberg), hoping to hide out at her apartment while he can scrape up some money to get out of town.  

That's the basic plot, not that Godard really cares.  The plot is secondary here to the feel and the look and the style of the film.  French filmmakers of the time worshipped American film noir of the 40s and this is reflected here, especially the downbeat ending.  Even the characters are obsessed with old Hollywood, Michel styling himself after Humphrey Bogart, studying a picture of Bogey, trying to replicate his expression.  But, unlike old noir films, here he uses almost exclusively handheld cameras and natural lighting, giving it an almost documentary feel.  He then subverts the documentary feel by using unconventional film techniques like jump cutting dialogue scenes and having characters speak directly to the audience.  

This is a cool film.  Everything about it bleeds that relaxed, unconcerned attitude that the French, especially back then, seemed to have.  If this film were a person, it would be leaning on a wall outside a museum smoking a cigarette and shrugging it's shoulders 9/10

 

================================================================

Suspiria

dir. Dario Argento/1977/1h35m

Amazon.com: Posterazzi EVCMCDSUSPEC047 Suspiria Movie Poster ...

Suspiria is an Italian horror movie directed by Dario Argento.  It is the story of a young American ballet dancer, Suzy (Jessica Harper) who gets a place at the Freiburg Dance Academy in Germany.  Soon after she arrives she notices several strange things, and hears stories about former pupils being brutally murdered.  This culminates in her coming face to face with an actual witches coven and an ancient evil spirit.  I don't know what I was expecting going into this, but I wasn't expecting anything this...tacky?  I don't know if that's the right word, but it feels right.  This is a straight up b-movie, and it isn't afraid to show it.  

I do like the lighting design in the film, and the set design is at points brilliant, turning into a surreal nightmare bathed in blood red light.  A lot of the time, however, it just looks cheap.  The acting isn't great either.  Apart from Harper as the lead, most of the cast are pretty bad.  They are also mostly dubbed over, you can clearly see that these people aren't speaking English.  What makes the movie is the soundtrack, by prog-rock band Goblin.  It is creepy and unnerving, and made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when it kicked in.  The main theme, with it's satanic, guttural chanting haunted me for nights afterwards.  

This is a cheap looking film that gets by on its atmosphere and its music, but I'd only recommend it to serious horror fans 6.5/10

 

There you go @CatManDoza, only two arty foreign films in this bunch 😄 

I looked at the first poster and though "hmmm they look like the lot from horrible histories" might see if my son wants to watch that, he loves horrible histories too. Always singing the songs from them. 

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LimeGreenLegend
1 minute ago, CatManDoza said:

I looked at the first poster and though "hmmm they look like the lot from horrible histories" might see if my son wants to watch that, he loves horrible histories too. Always singing the songs from them. 

Do it.  If he loved HH, he'll love this.  

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Abizaga
2 hours ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

Bill

dir. Richard Bracewell/2015/1h34m

Bill (2015) Review – What The Craggus Saw

Bill is a children's historical comedy from the stars of the fantastic CBBC show Horrible Histories.  It tells the story of a young Bill Shakespeare (Matthew Baynton) and his first visit to "That London" to make his fortune as a playwrite after being kicked out of his lute-rock band Mortal Coil, "you'll see, people will still know the name Shakespeare in 20 years time!"  Once in London he unwittingly gets caught up in a plot of King Philip II of Spain (Ben Willbond, who also wrote the screenplay with Laurence Rickard) to kill Queen Elizabeth I (Helen McCrory) during the premier of a brand new play.  

I'm a huge fan of Horrible Histories the television show.  It's genuinely one of the funniest, cleverest kid's shows ever made, and I was happy to see them successfully transition their child-friendly gross out and gory humour to the big screen.  I'm a 33 year old man and I had a blast watching this.  The script is funny from start to end (even the end credits got a laugh out of me) and the direction feels like a step up from their television work.  The cast are all brilliant, especially Simon Farnaby as the imbecilic Earl of Croydon (or is it Crawly?) and Baynton as a wide-eyed naive Shakespeare.  

If you're a fan of slapstick comedy, both verbal and physical, you should check this out.  It's like a Monty Python film for the pre-pubescent crowd, but one that people of all ages will enjoy.  Just don't mistake it for the more recent Horrible Histories The Movie: Rotten Romans, which is sh*t.  None of the cast from the OG Horrible Histories wrote or starred in that.  Instead, they made this little talked about gem of a film, which is far more deserving of an Oscar than Shakespeare in Love ever was 8/10

 

===================================================================

Room 237

dir. Rodney Ascher/2012/1h43m

Room 237 movie review & film summary (2013) | Roger Ebert

Room 237 is a documentary from Rodney Ascher in which several nobodies espouse ridiculous theories about Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.  One of them thinks it's all about the genocide of Native Americans, one thinks it's about the holocaust.  Another is sure that the film is Kubrick's confession for faking the moon landings.  Some crazy woman thinks that a poster of a man skiing seen in the film looks a little bit like a Minotaur.  This is a bad documentary.  It's made up nearly entirely of clips from The Shining, and all of the interviews with these loonies are all audio, and badly recorded at that.  One guy literally has his kids running around in the background, and they kept that take in!  There's also no structure to the film, it jumps between theories at random, and seems to think that it really is uncovering some lost secret about The Shining, when it reality it comes across as the ramblings of obsessed madmen.

And that is what this film is really about.  Conspiracy theorists.  People who obsess over one tiny detail in a film thinking that it holds all of the answers they so desperately search for.  None of them actually talk about The Shining as a film, they only pick and choose little pieces to fit their own narrative, at the end going "see, I told you!  It's all there."  I was really looking forward to this, it has a load of great reviews and The Shining is one of my favourite films.  But this is just frustrating.  I didn't learn a single thing about the actual film, and why would I? None of these people have ever met Kubrick, they are just obsessive fans who think they're special because they've seen something in the film that no one else ever has.  It's actually quite sad.

A pointless film, the only merit being the incredible bullsh*t these people come up with is occasionally funny 3/10

 

===================================================================

À Bout de Souffle (Breathless)

dir. Jean-Luc Godard/1960/1h31m

Amazon.com: 18"x24" Quality Poster.A Bout de Souffle.French Movie ...

Breathless (Literal trans. of original title: Out of Breath) is the debut film from French new wave pioneer Jean-Luc Godard.  It stars Jean-Paul Belmondo as Michel, a carefree criminal who, at the start of the film, shoots a policeman.  He then heads into the city, hooking up with an old girlfriend, American journalist Patricia (Jean Seberg), hoping to hide out at her apartment while he can scrape up some money to get out of town.  

That's the basic plot, not that Godard really cares.  The plot is secondary here to the feel and the look and the style of the film.  French filmmakers of the time worshipped American film noir of the 40s and this is reflected here, especially the downbeat ending.  Even the characters are obsessed with old Hollywood, Michel styling himself after Humphrey Bogart, studying a picture of Bogey, trying to replicate his expression.  But, unlike old noir films, here he uses almost exclusively handheld cameras and natural lighting, giving it an almost documentary feel.  He then subverts the documentary feel by using unconventional film techniques like jump cutting dialogue scenes and having characters speak directly to the audience.  

This is a cool film.  Everything about it bleeds that relaxed, unconcerned attitude that the French, especially back then, seemed to have.  If this film were a person, it would be leaning on a wall outside a museum smoking a cigarette and shrugging it's shoulders 9/10

 

================================================================

Suspiria

dir. Dario Argento/1977/1h35m

Amazon.com: Posterazzi EVCMCDSUSPEC047 Suspiria Movie Poster ...

Suspiria is an Italian horror movie directed by Dario Argento.  It is the story of a young American ballet dancer, Suzy (Jessica Harper) who gets a place at the Freiburg Dance Academy in Germany.  Soon after she arrives she notices several strange things, and hears stories about former pupils being brutally murdered.  This culminates in her coming face to face with an actual witches coven and an ancient evil spirit.  I don't know what I was expecting going into this, but I wasn't expecting anything this...tacky?  I don't know if that's the right word, but it feels right.  This is a straight up b-movie, and it isn't afraid to show it.  

I do like the lighting design in the film, and the set design is at points brilliant, turning into a surreal nightmare bathed in blood red light.  A lot of the time, however, it just looks cheap.  The acting isn't great either.  Apart from Harper as the lead, most of the cast are pretty bad.  They are also mostly dubbed over, you can clearly see that these people aren't speaking English.  What makes the movie is the soundtrack, by prog-rock band Goblin.  It is creepy and unnerving, and made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when it kicked in.  The main theme, with it's satanic, guttural chanting haunted me for nights afterwards.  

This is a cheap looking film that gets by on its atmosphere and its music, but I'd only recommend it to serious horror fans 6.5/10

 

There you go @CatManDoza, only two arty foreign films in this bunch 😄 

Nice. My roommate has actually been getting into older flicks too.

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Con
5 hours ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

Room 237

A pointless film, the only merit being the incredible bullsh*t these people come up with is occasionally funny 3/10

I started watching this cold...just thought it was about the actual movie and was intrigued at what they were saying at first but then it felt like a bad episode of Ancient Aliens and i stopped it. Never good when Con stops your documentary. lol. 

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Posted (edited)

Tomboy

dir. Céline Sciamma/2011/1h22m

Tomboy (2011) - IMDb

Tomboy is a French coming-of-age drama from the writer/director of the incredible Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma.  It stars Zoé Héran as Laure/Mickäel, a young girl who presents as male, hair cropped short, boys baggy clothing, dislike of the colour pink etc.  The film starts with his family moving to a new town for an unspecified reason.  We see his loving parents, his mother heavily pregnant, and his cute little sister (seriously, she is friggin' adorable).  He meets a neighbourhood girl, Lisa, and when she asks his name he replies Mickäel.  We then see him become friends with the local group of kids, watching the boys closely to learn how they behave, and then copying what he sees in a mirror, examining his body, wondering if he can pass.  There's a tense scene where the group are playing football, shirts v skins, and the trepidation when he takes his shirt off, glancing around to see if anyone notices anything odd, is palpable.  My heart was in my mouth when that happened, and the pure joy when he does go by unnoticed is beautiful.  Then there is the worry of going swimming with the group, Mickäel making his own play-do p*nis to tuck into the swimming trunks he has fashioned from a girl's one piece swimsuit.  The real worry comes near the end of the film when the school year is nearing and Lisa notices that Mickäel's name isn't on the class list.

This is a beautiful, tender movie about a sensitive subject, and it treats it with real care and affection for the character of Mickäel.  The lead performance from Zoé Héran is incredible, full of both maturity and childish innocence.  The way Sciamma shoots the film shows a real love for this character, it feels like it was shot with a mother's unconditional love.  The cinematography evokes endless summers of childhood with soft, natural lighting and very careful shot composition.  While Portrait of a Lady on fire is a mature film about a doomed love between two adults, this feels like the childhood equivalent with a first crush that can only lead to heartbreak.  This also feels like a less mature film.  It has a sense of fun through a lot of it, which really makes the heartbreaking scenes near the end of the film more impactful.

This is only the second Sciamma film I've seen, but I've loved them both and can't wait to check out the rest of her work.  When was the last time you watched a film directed by a woman?  If it's been a while I can't recommend this film, or the other films of Céline Sciamma highly enough. 9/10

 

  

Edited by LimeGreenLegend
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Pasti, Pasti, Pastičky (Traps)

dir. Věra Chytilová/1998/1h47m

Traps Pasti, pasti, pasticky NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.0 Import ...

Traps (literal trans. of title Trap, Trap, Little Trap) is a Czech black comedy/drama from radical new wave director Věra Chytilová.  It tells the story of a young vet, Lenka (Zuzana Stivínová) who is sexually assaulted by two men, a member of parliament Dohnal (Miroslav Donutil)  and an advertising exec Petr (Tomás Hanák).  She exacts revenge on the two men by surgically castrating them.  This happens in the first 30 minutes of the film, and the rest of the film is about Lenka trying to come to terms with her ordeal, and her attackers trying to come to terms with having no b*lls.  

This is a funny film considering it's about r*pe and revenge.  The scene after the two rapists wake up and discover they have no b*lls is hilarious.  It's also a hard film to watch.  The opening scene is of real pigs really being castrated and in graphic close-up detail.  You see the scalpel cutting the b*ll s*ck, the little b*lls being popped out and clamped off before being cut off and thrown into a bucket of bloody b*lls.  I was clutching myself watching this, wincing the entire time.  This discomfort is carried through the film.  The casual way these two *ssholes decide to randomly r*pe a woman they see by the side of the road, and then discuss whether or not they need to kill her after they've finished is disgusting.  That gives great satisfaction to seeing them stripped of their manhood, carrying their b*lls around in lunchboxes in desperate hope that they can be reattached.  That satisfaction is short lived though, as the trauma is still affecting Lenka, revenge doesn't solve everything.  Also in the way that these two guys pretty much go back to their normal lives.  

This is a more straightforward narrative than Daisies, from the same director, and feels more like a conventional film.  I was surprised that the revenge happens so soon in the film.  I was expecting that to be the climax of the film.  We also don't see any of the operation on the men, the opening scene with the pigs already showed us what happened, and also equates these men to nothing more than filthy animals.  A hard watch, a distressing film, but also a funny one if you can believe that 8/10

Couldn't find a trailer for this, so here's a short scene where an assistant of the politician finds a nice breakfast treat in his boss's fridge.

===================================================================

Ohayō (Good Morning)

dir. Yasujirō Ozu/1959/1h34m

Poster for “お早よう” Good Morning - 1959 by Yasujirō Ozu (With ...

Good Morning is a lighthearted Japanese domestic drama from legendary director Yasujirō Ozu (Tokyo Story) about life in a quiet, small suburb of Tokyo.  The main plot of the film concerns two brothers, Minoru (sh*tara Koji) and Isamu (Masahiko Shimazu).  They spend a lot of time at their neighbour's house because they have a TV, and they love watching sumo wrestling when they should be studying.  They beg their parents for a TV of their own, but they refuse.  This causes the boys to go on a silence strike against all adults in the suburb.  Other plots involve some missing dues for the local women's club, causing a chain reaction of gossip and misunderstanding, and the plight of door to door salesmen trying to make a buck.  There's also a plot involving the boys and their schoolmates learning to fart on command, but one of the boys always pushes too hard causing him to sh*t himself.

This is such a breezy, lighthearted film that was a joy to experience.  This everyday, domestic life is shot with real love and affection by Ozu, like he was shooting it through the eyes of a child.  There is no big drama in life here, except for the desire for a TV, and it felt like a break from the real world watching it.  The performances are all delightful, especially the two brothers.  The little brother, Isamu, is so cute in the way he copies everything his older brother does, reminding me of the little sister from Tomboy.  

This is a really charming film about the small things in life, which are what really matters the most.  If you're looking for a break from all the bleakness and bullsh*t going on in the world right now then you should check this out 9/10

 

 

Edited by LimeGreenLegend
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Posted (edited)

The Love Witch

 

Another film I recorded from Film4 recently that I had never heard of. I've also never heard of nor recognise any of the cast or director.

 

If you take it at face value then it's just a story about a modern day witch, Elaine, who uses her magic to make the men she likes fall in love with her. But things don't turn out for the best. She is a widow, her late husband having died not long after taking one of her potions. She was investigated but no charges brought and she certainly does not feel his death was in any way her fault.

 

The opening looks a bit like a Russ Meyer film, with the very s*xy Elaine driving her open top 60s sports car along the Californian coast roads. She has just moved to a new small town renting an apartment from a couple of other witches she knows. The local witches are all quite harmless, almost like a very specific type of hippy really, making craft items to sell and meeting up for the occasional naked dance around a midnight campfire. But some of the locals don't like them. Elaine soon finds a new man but he too dies after drinking one her potions. She buries the body in the garden next to his country cabin and doesn't report it. She then turns her attention on the husband of a neighbour, who it turns out can't cope with being in love with her and kills himself. The local cops start to suspect her but she casts her magic on the sergeant and he calls off the investigation. She thinks he is her ideal man but the magic hasn't quite worked completely. He confronts her in bar and says he has to arrest her for at least not reporting her ex's death. When other people, some who already suspect the local witches, overhear they attack Elaine. The sergeant helps her to escape. Back at her apparent he is clearly in turmoil, he is in love Elaine but also loves his job and must do his duty. Elaine solves the problem for him, killing him by cutting out his heart re-enacting a scene from one of her paintings (not that gory, you just see her stab him repeatedly in the chest).

 

But this is not just a story about modern day witches. The director, who also wrote the script and designed the costumes, is clearly making a film about feminism and the way women have been treated by men in western society, and making the point that there is nothing wrong with a woman making herself attractive to men if that is what she wants. Elaine seems to suggest that putting on make-up and doing her hair is just as much part of her love magic as her potions are. In fact I'm not sure whether we are really supposed to see her potions as anything more than the vodka infused with herbs that she tells the men who drink them it is. It's slightly surreal. Elaine and main supporting characters, along with their cars, look like they are in 60s films, but the rest of the cast makes it clear this is set in the modern day; at one point someone uses a mobile phone. One example is whilst the police sergeant looks from the 60s the other officers are clearly modern day. I think that is trying to say something about how feminism today is different to what it was in the 60s – but I'm not totally sure on that. The witches follow an old religion that worships a goddess not a god, that too is making a point about how they treat women better than Christianity and most other religions have. Near the end when the men in bar attack Elaine they are shouting “Burn her!” but as they unfasten the belts of their trousers they clearly have something else in mind. At times the dialogue seems to have the characters talking to the audience more than each other and the acting is a little wooden at time, but I suspect that is deliberate, alluding to cheap 60s films.

 

So overall a very enjoyable films, wonderful to just watch, but the plot is a little confusing at times.

 

7/10

Edited by djw180
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Poster American Sniper Movie 70 X 45 cm: Amazon.fr: Cuisine & Maison

 

Didn't know what to expect except I heard good things about it. I completely forgot that it was a Clint Eastwood movie when we picked it up on Netflix last night. And I didn't know that this was based on the real life of a real american sniper during the Iraq war. 

It was a very good film. In the first act, I was kinda afraid that it would turn into a sniper battle like in Stalingrad but thankfully it did not. That would have been lame to focus on a fight like this.

I found that it faithfully depicted the horrors of the war, from what I imagine the war to be, having never been in one thankfully. It was pretty violent but that is to be expected in a movie about a sniper. The guy kills people, that's his job. Still, his first kill at the beginning of the film was a bit shocking. I was thinking "he's not gonna do it is he?" And then he does ! Brutal but I'm sure war is. And the Butcher dude is one nasty *sshole. That scene with the kid and his family was disturbing. But again, war isn't pretty. 

All the scenes when he comes home to his wife are great and show what many veterans must have suffered from : PTSD. You don't understand his reactions. Why is he going back to Irak all the time when he has a wife and 2 beautiful kids at home ? Again, you can't understand what these guys have been through and I find it very well done in the movie. 

I kinda saw the ending coming. Or at least, I could feel that this wouldn't be a happy ending. Just didn't know how but I had anticipated something like this when he starts helping vets at home. 

All around, a very good war movie. Was even sadder when I realised that it was a biographical movie. 

8.5/10

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Amazing Grace

dir. Sydney Pollack/2018/1h29m

Amazing Grace (2018) movie poster

Amazing Grace is a documentary concert film originally directed by Sydney Pollack in 1972 but unreleased until 2018.  It documents the live recording of Aretha Franklin's gospel album of the same name at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church.  She barely speaks during this film, instead letting her incredible voice do all of the talking.  She is backed up by the Southern California Community Choir, with the bulk of the talking done by Reverend James Cleveland, a legendary gospel singer himself, who also accompanies Aretha on piano and backing vocals.  Recorded over two nights this film showcases the incredible talents of Aretha Franklin with no bells or whistles, just a straightforward 90 minutes of music.  The no frills attitude is reflected in the very simple way this was filmed.  There are no fancy techniques here, this film is all about showcasing the Queen of Soul, not the talents of the director.  

I'm not a religious person at all, and going into this I didn't know how much I would enjoy nothing but gospel music for the length of the film, she doesn't sing any of her classic pop songs like Respect or Think, but I was entranced and constantly moved to tears throughout.  This hasn't made me a believer, but it does show the incredible power of music to touch the soul and bring comfort and light to your darkest days.  This is an incredibly cathartic film, as the end credits rolled I was exhausted, physically drained, but I felt so good.  

This is the best concert film I've ever seen, showcasing the powerful yet tender voice of one of the best, arguably the greatest, singer to ever live.  Watch this film and be moved (if you aren't then you have no soul) 10/10

 

This is also the 100th film I've watched this year, staying ahead of my target of watching at least one every other day, so here's a quick top ten of the best of that 100.

10. Rashomon (1950)

9. Satantango (1994)

8. 12 Angry Men (1957)

7. Amazing Grace (2018)

6. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)

5. Sleuth (1972)

4. Nights of Cabiria (1957)

3. The King of Comedy (1982)

2. Parasite (2019)

1. The Lighthouse (2019)

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Die große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner (The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner)

dir. Werner Herzog/1974/45m

1,624. The Great Ecstasy of the Woodcarver Steiner (1974) - Paperblog

Four years before Christopher Reeve donned the iconic red cape and made you believe that a man can fly in Richard Donner's “Superman”, Werner Herzog showed us the same thing but without the aid of special effects or spandex in his documentary short, The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner.  Made for German television, this film focuses on carpenter-by-trade Walter Steiner, an unassuming, lanky young Swiss man, who is also the most naturally gifted ski-jumper in the world.  
Silver medal winner at the 1972 Winter Olympics, this film follows him as he competes at an event at Planica, Yugoslavia (now Slovenia) where he outclasses his competition with relative ease.  

But perhaps ease isn't the right word.  On one jump he nearly clears the landing ramp entirely, coming down hard *n the flat, hard-packed snow with violent force at over 100kph after so effortlessly and gracefully flying through the air just seconds before.  This is a man who pushed the boundaries of his sport so far that it became dangerous for him, and this was in the days where ski-jumpers didn't wear helmets, just natty little knitted caps to keep out the cold.  After one such jump, where he smacks his head into the ground with car-crash force, we see him bloodied and unstable on his feet.  Concussed, he has to be told a simple bit of information five times before his memory can retain it.  In this state he returned to the top of the ramp ready to jump again.  He needed to get straight back on the horse.  He needed to fly.  

This is an obsession that attracts Herzog.  Whether in documentaries like Grizzly Man, or films like Fitzcarraldo, he is drawn to men with singular visions, his obsession with them mirroring their obsession with whatever it is they're obsessed with.  In this case it is the total freedom of flying.  Herzog's singular focus on Steiner is evident from the fact that we hardly see any of the other competitors in the film, don't hear them talked about.  This is true of Steiner too.  When he speaks it isn't about the competition, or his competitors.  They aren't important to him.  All that's important is the jump, or rather the flight.  

Steiner calls what he does “ski-flying” rather that ski-jumping, and when you see the slow-motion footage of him arrowing through the clear blue skies, totally calm and relaxed with the world, you understand why.  This man soars.  In these slow-motion montages we never see Steiner landing.  To Steiner, and Herzog, the landing is unimportant.  If anything it's a disappointment, this burden of gravity.  It's all about the flight, and when you see Steiner up there you can almost see him thinking to himself “this time I'm not coming down, this is where I really fly.”  

As good as he is at his sport, Steiner never comes across as arrogant.  When he speaks it is thoughtful and soft.  When he complains about the event organisers not listening to him you don't hear a self-centred athlete, you hear a man reasonably concerned with his safety.  Even when he voluntarily chooses to start a jump from lower down the ramp than everyone else because he fears totally overshooting the landing you can tell that it isn't arrogance, he just knows how good he is and what he can do.  Herzog knows it too.  When he talks to Steiner you can see him trying to contain his fanboy glee and it is absolutley charming.  This is one of the first films where Herzog appears in front of the camera, and you can tell, as he appears rather stilted and uncomfortable.  When we see him he is usually stood totally still, talking into the camera like any regular sports journalist reporting on the event.  His voiceover narration lacks emotion.  This is a far cry from the attention loving showman that he would become, even now he appears in the Star Wars series “The Mandalorian” as The Client.

The music in this film, by German band Topol Vuh, a longtime collaborator of Herzog's, when set to the beautiful slow-motion footage of Steiner soaring through the sky, elevates the film to another level, turning it into a visual poem, almost dreamlike in its airy, synthy way, which is fascinating to watch because we've all dreamed of flying and here it is, in documentary form.  The reality of a dream.  The film ends with Steiner telling a story about a raven he used to feed when he was a child, one who couldn't fly.  He eventually had to shoot the bird because the other ravens were abusing it.  “It was torture seeing him harried by his own kind.”  Maybe we're seeing into the soul of this man here.  Maybe he feels like he will be worthless if he can't fly.  But of course he can fly.  Werner Herzog showed it to me.  He showed me that a man can fly, and I believe him. 9/10

 

 

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Watched Da 5 Bloods (2020), have no idea what score I'm going to give it. There is so much great, good, mediocre, and bad in it. I think a lot of the 5/5 scores its been getting are emotional scores. Yes, I think it had a potential to be a 10/5 but was fumbled by what I can only assume was a rush to get this out for Netflix Studios to maximize on some of the relevancy, but for me the film suffered in parts because of that...anyways I will write a review but first I have to Max Manus review, but I do want someone else to watch "Da 5 Bloods" and give me their opinion ,@LimeGreenLegend ?

Edited by Con
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Abizaga

Good Fellas. It was an amazing flick. I have heard so many good things aboit it and I wasn't dissappointed. It was a cool view into a wiseguy who could never be made into a made man and how he got there. The characters were great, the way they depict the mob puts me right in the mood for it, and the music choice was fantastic.

10/10.

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GeezeZone 

My forum dedicated to all things 90s and 2000s nostalgia be it internet culture, memes, tv shows, movies or games!

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1 hour ago, Abizaga said:

Good Fellas. It was an amazing flick. I have heard so many good things aboit it and I wasn't dissappointed. It was a cool view into a wiseguy who could never be made into a made man and how he got there. The characters were great, the way they depict the mob puts me right in the mood for it, and the music choice was fantastic.

10/10.

If you've not seen Casino and The Irishman you should check them out.  They make a really good unofficial trilogy with Goodfellas.

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Abizaga
16 minutes ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

If you've not seen Casino and The Irishman you should check them out.  They make a really good unofficial trilogy with Goodfellas.

Its funny you mention that. Casino is actually the next movie I plan to watch. I'm really excited. Sadly thats in a few weeks since my roomates and I swap choices.

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GeezeZone 

My forum dedicated to all things 90s and 2000s nostalgia be it internet culture, memes, tv shows, movies or games!

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Det Sjunde Inseglet (The Seventh Seal)

dir. Ingmar Bergman/1957/1h33m

The Seventh Seal (1957) Movie Poster – My Hot Posters

"And when the Lamb had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven."

The Seventh Seal is a historical fantasy from Swedish director Ingmar Bergman starring his longtime collaborator, Max von Sydow, as a knight returning from the crusades, Antonius Block.  The film opens with Block stranded on a rocky, desolate shore as if he has just been washed up there.  This could be limbo, a place for lost and tormented souls, a place for Block who seems to have lost his faith, the very thing he went out to fight for.  On the shore he meets Death (Bengt Ekerot), a now iconic figure, pale-faced and clad in all black.  He is there to claim Block's soul, inferring that he may be dead already, but Block wants to visit his home and see his wife before he dies so he challenges Death to a game of chess in an effort to buy some time.  This game doesn't happen all at once, it is started on the beach and picked up at intervals throughout his journey, showing that Death is just behind him at all times, ready and waiting.  On his journey he also tries to find god, but is met with only silence.  "Faith is a torment, did you know that? It is like loving someone who is out there in the darkness but never appears, no matter how loudly you call."  This heavenly silence is the main theme of the film.  How can there be a god when all Block has known is death and pain and suffering?  Even on his return home he finds the lands riddled with the plague, a black Death.

A counterpoint to Block's existential crisis of faith is his squire, Jöns (Gunnar Björnstrand) who seems to not share his master's torment, and is more cynical.  In one scene he berates a painter in a church who is creating a fresco depicting the Dance of Death, the Danse Macabre.  He feels the painter is just fuelling the religious madness that led to the crusades in the first place, that led to so much death.  Block and his squire make up a great double-act showing two sides of the same coin, Block is trying to find god, his squire is trying to ignore god.  On their journey they meet a group of travelling actors, including the married couple Mia and Jof (Bibi Andersson and Nils Poppe) which could be read as Mary and Joseph.  They seem to represent humanity as a whole, innocent and ignorant, just trying to make the best life they can for themselves and their infant child.  Block sees them as his chance at redemption, eventually saving them from Death, counting that as his one good deed before he is claimed.  

Before watching this I expected it to be deep and thought-provoking, which it is.  What I didn't expect was just how funny it is.  Bergman has seemed to have captured all aspects of life, tragedy and comedy, life and death, the agony and the ecstasy.  He shows us all sides of human nature, like he is holding a mirror up to the world.  His direction lives up to his lofty ideas, the beautiful black and white photography symbolising life and death, the blocking and shot composition perfectly capturing the characters like they are in the medieval artwork that so influenced the film.  The score is beautifully complimentary, using period instruments and monastic chanting to put us in the world of medieval Europe.  

This is an absolute masterpiece of cinema that has influenced so much that came after it, from operas and "serious" cinema, to Monty Python and Bill and Ted 10/10

 

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pete_95973

Watched Open Range with Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall and Annette Bening last night. 
 

Really beautiful scenery and great yet simple story about open range cattle drivers in 1882. Has a lot of old fashion western elements in it with the better aspects of modern movie making. Well worth the watch. 8 out of 10 stars from me. 

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21 minutes ago, pete_95973 said:

Watched Open Range with Kevin Costner, Robert Duvall and Annette Bening last night. 
 

Really beautiful scenery and great yet simple story about open range cattle drivers in 1882. Has a lot of old fashion western elements in it with the better aspects of modern movie making. Well worth the watch. 8 out of 10 stars from me. 

Fantastic film.  Often overlooked when great modern westerns are talked about because Costner became a joke in the 90s with The Postman and Waterworld, which I think are both great films also.

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A quick trio of three very different animated films.

La Planète Sauvage (Fantastic Planet)

dir. René Laloux/1973/1h12m

Fantastic Planet (1973) | Fantastic Planet Wikia | Fandom

Fantastic Planet (lit. translation of original title The Wild Planet) is a French allegorical sci-fi film written and directed by René Laloux.  The story concerns an alien planet called Ygam inhabited by blue bipedal beings called Draags.  The planet is also home to human like creatures called Oms who are the size of insects compared to the Draags, and are treated like such.  Some are kept and domesticated like pets for the amusement of Draag children, but mostly they are treated as pests with mass exterminations being commonplace.  The film opens with a female Om being tormented and tortured by Draag children, like human children pulling the wings off of flies, leading to her death.  She leaves behind an infant child who is taken in by the sympathetic Draag child Tiwa who takes him in, naming him Terr.  Over time, Terr becomes intelligent thanks to the learning devices used by Draags, a kind of telepathic headband, and when Tiwa hits puberty and loses interest in him, he manages to escape with the device, finds a colony of Oms and teaches them using the device.  This leads to a revolt, with the Oms killing a Draag and replicating their technology to build rockets to take them to Ygam's moon, The Wild Planet.  

The animation in this film is both beautiful and cheap looking.  The design of the planet and all of the creatures are incredibly imaginative, and the calm, pastel colour palette adds an hypnotic, trance-like feel to the film, which matches with the soundtrack and sound design.  But you can also see the budget restraints in the way it was animated.  The movements are all stiff and stilted, like they only animated every other frame, lending a robotic quality to the characters.  This actually fits the Draags, but I would have likes to have seen the Oms as more animated, showing a difference between the two races.  

The story, an allegory for both racism and animal welfare, is a simple enough one, but often becomes obfuscated by the surreal imagery, and the short run time makes it feel as if the film is rushing through some parts.  For example, I would have liked to have seen more of the actual Wild Planet, but that is all covered in about five minutes.  It also feels like Terr becomes leader of the Oms in an afternoon.  Apart from that, I enjoyed this film quite a bit, and found myself entranced by the other-worldliness of Ygam, which at times reminded me of planets I've seen in No Man's Sky.  8/10

 

=======================================================

Paprika

dir. Satoshi Kon/2006/1h30m

Amazon.com: Paprika POSTER Movie (27 x 40 Inches - 69cm x 102cm ...

Paprika is a surreal Japanese sci-fi thriller from Satoshi Kon, and was a huge inspiration for Christopher Nolan's Inception (he basically stole the concept).  The story centres on a group of psychologists who use a device called the DC Mini to view and even enter their patient's dreams in order to treat them.  This device is stolen, and people start to go comatose, joining a mad parade in the dreamworld, which threatens to break into the real world and destroy everything. There is also a subplot about a detective receiving treatment after he is involved in a traumatic case, getting tangled up with the theft of the dream device.  I would try to go into more detail, but this was hard to follow, but in the most enjoyable way possible.

Like Fantastic Planet, the imagination in this film is breathtaking.  The scenes in the dreamworld are so vibrant and capture the feeling of dreams so well, switching from lighthearted fantasy to disturbing and dark as the plot progresses.  The animation is so crisp and vibrant that it almost felt like an assault on the senses.  This is also true of the fantastic synth-pop soundtrack that really propels the film forward.  Watching it, I felt like I was experiencing a rollercoaster for the senses.  

The main theme seems to be the danger of reliance on technology, and how damaging it is to live in a fantasy world, ignoring reality.  That could be wrong, seeing as how the film is so fast paced and the plot is so convoluted that I totally missed the point, but that's what I got out of it.  If you're a fan of trippy sci-fi then you should definitely check this out because a little bit of paprika spices everything up 8/10

 

===============================================================

La Tortue Rouge (The Red Turtle)

dir. Michaël Dudok de Wit/2016/1h21m

The Red Turtle - Beautifully animated, the story is told without ...

The Red Turtle is a French/Japanese film from Michaël Dudok de Wit about a man who is stranded on a desert island, having to learn to survive away from civilisation.  While trying to escape on a raft he encounters a giant red turtle, and his violent interaction with this turtle turns fantastical and totally changes his life, and how he views the island.  I won't go any further because I didn't see the plot twist coming, and I was totally enraptured by the events that followed.  Being a Ghibli co-production you can be assured that the animation is absolutely gorgeous.  The characters move with a real fluidity, and design of the characters, and the island itself, is crisp and clean, with a real storybook feeling to them.  This film is also dialogue-free, so every emotion has to be conveyed by the animation, and it is done beautifully.  You don't know this man's name, you never hear him speak, but you feel real empathy for him that lasts the entire run time. 

What's most amazing about this film is that it manages to encompass the entirety of the human experience in less than an hour and a half, with no dialogue.  Every emotion and state is covered in this film, despair, hope, anger, violence, love, creation and destruction.  The quality of the animation is totally responsible for this.  They have infused every character, and I'm talking about the animals he encounters on the island, with so much life and personality.  There are a group of crabs (whats the plural of crab?) who act as the comic relief.  Not in the same way as Sebastian from The Little Mermaid, they don't sing or dance, but they have a life of their own that feels real and natural in this world.  This is true of everything in this film, it all feels real and grounded in the world presented to us despite the fact that the film turns into a fantasy when he encounters the turtle.

This is the best animated film I've seen in ages and deserves a place alongside Ghibli's most revered works like Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro.  If you watch any of the films in this post, watch this one and immerse yourself in a better world 9.5/10

 

 

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LimeGreenLegend

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

dir. David Dobkin/2020/2h3m

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga TV Poster - IMP Awards

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a comedy directed by David Dobkin, and it is a classic underdog story set amongst the pomp and circumstance of the Eurovision Song Contest.  It stars Will Ferrell (who also co-wrote) and Rachel McAdams as Lars and Sigrit, who harbour dreams of competing at the Eurovision Song Contest, representing their native Iceland, as the duo Fire Saga.  It also stars Pierce Brosnan as Lars's disapproving but very handsome father, Dan Stevens as the over the top Russian entrant, and features cameos from Graham Norton and several past singers from the actual contest.  I think your enjoyment of this film will correlate with how you view the Eurovision Song Contest.  If you hate that kind of over the top, campy, flashy, brash style that is associated with the contest then you probably won't like this.  If you're a fan of the contest then you will love this as it authentically captures the look, sound, style and spirit of legendary event.  

For me, the best thing about the film is the music.  Every tune is either a catchy, cheesy Euro-pop banger infused with Ferrell's absurd sense of humour (Volcano Man, Ja Ja Ding d*ng, Lion of Love), or a song that actually sounds like it could have won the contest in the past (Double Trouble, and especially the brilliant My Hometown, which actually moved me to tears).  The visuals that accompany these songs match perfectly, either through the music-video styled dreams of Lars or the staging of the actual contest itself.  A particular highlight is the medley of past Eurovision and pop songs that is sung by a host of guest singers from the contest and is filmed like a number from a musical, which really makes it stand out.

I'm not the biggest Ferrell fan but I quite liked him in this, he dials back his manbaby antics a bit and it really helps sell the more serious parts of the film without detracting from the funny stuff.  McAdams is brilliant in this, and really puts in more effort than this film deserves.  She shows a huge range in this, one minute acting all childlike while talking to elfs, by the end of the film delivering an incredibly moving and emotional speech that feels like something from an Oscar nominated drama.  Brosnan is hilarious as Lars's dad, getting huge laughs from me every time he was on screen with how blunt he is with his son.  

The one big negative I have is the length.  This film is just over two hours long and really doesn't need to be.  You could easily lose 20 minutes from this, but it's a gorgeous looking film, the Icelandic scenes particularly are beautiful, so at least the flab is nice to look at.  Another minor mark in the con section is that the basic plot is lifted from arguably the best episode of the show Father Ted, which covered the basics of this film in about 25 minutes, but apart from that this is a fun and entertaining film and one of Ferrell's best in a good few years. 7/10

 

 

 

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CatManDoza
1 minute ago, LimeGreenLegend said:

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

dir. David Dobkin/2020/2h3m

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga TV Poster - IMP Awards

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a comedy directed by David Dobkin, and it is a classic underdog story set amongst the pomp and circumstance of the Eurovision Song Contest.  It stars Will Ferrell (who also co-wrote) and Rachel McAdams as Lars and Sigrit, who harbour dreams of competing at the Eurovision Song Contest, representing their native Iceland, as the duo Fire Saga.  It also stars Pierce Brosnan as Lars's disapproving but very handsome father, Dan Stevens as the over the top Russian entrant, and features cameos from Graham Norton and several past singers from the actual contest.  I think your enjoyment of this film will correlate with how you view the Eurovision Song Contest.  If you hate that kind of over the top, campy, flashy, brash style that is associated with the contest then you probably won't like this.  If you're a fan of the contest then you will love this as it authentically captures the look, sound, style and spirit of legendary event.  

For me, the best thing about the film is the music.  Every tune is either a catchy, cheesy Euro-pop banger infused with Ferrell's absurd sense of humour (Volcano Man, Ja Ja Ding d*ng, Lion of Love), or a song that actually sounds like it could have won the contest in the past (Double Trouble, and especially the brilliant My Hometown, which actually moved me to tears).  The visuals that accompany these songs match perfectly, either through the music-video styled dreams of Lars or the staging of the actual contest itself.  A particular highlight is the medley of past Eurovision and pop songs that is sung by a host of guest singers from the contest and is filmed like a number from a musical, which really makes it stand out.

I'm not the biggest Ferrell fan but I quite liked him in this, he dials back his manbaby antics a bit and it really helps sell the more serious parts of the film without detracting from the funny stuff.  McAdams is brilliant in this, and really puts in more effort than this film deserves.  She shows a huge range in this, one minute acting all childlike while talking to elfs, by the end of the film delivering an incredibly moving and emotional speech that feels like something from an Oscar nominated drama.  Brosnan is hilarious as Lars's dad, getting huge laughs from me every time he was on screen with how blunt he is with his son.  

The one big negative I have is the length.  This film is just over two hours long and really doesn't need to be.  You could easily lose 20 minutes from this, but it's a gorgeous looking film, the Icelandic scenes particularly are beautiful, so at least the flab is nice to look at.  Another minor mark in the con section is that the basic plot is lifted from arguably the best episode of the show Father Ted, which covered the basics of this film in about 25 minutes, but apart from that this is a fun and entertaining film and one of Ferrell's best in a good few years. 7/10

 

 

 

I was wondering if it bore any similarites to that Father Ted episode (you're right, it is the best episode). Will no doubt give it a watch at some point whne I have an early night.

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