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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 2:24:21 PM   
swordsandsandals


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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 8521
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 2:35:47 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
Screen One – A Question of Attribution (Schlesinger, 1991)
 
A Question of Attribution is partly about Sir Antony Blunt – keeper of the Queen's Pictures and a Russian spy, exposed in 1979. The story of the Cambridge Spies seems to hold a special interest for writers and conspiracy theorists alike and it is one that Bennett has visited on more than one occasion.  It is unsurprising that for Bennett, author of The Uncommon Reader, the gestation of this play began by imagining what conversations might have taken place between Blunt and the Queen.

Bennett hits upon the rather brilliant device of using a painting, originally attributed to Titian, as a key metaphor for the unfolding story, providing a source of fascination for Blunt and in describing it to the secret serviceman Chubb he is more honest about the situation than at any time during the more formal questioning. The allegory is obvious – beginning with two clear figures, although now a 'fake', examination produces a 3rd, then a 4th and then an X-Ray shows a stronger figure behind them all – an unknown '5th man'.
 
The idea of what a fake or a forgery is, and whether it makes it any less real or important – whether it still retains value is core to the theme of the piece. Blunt's defence that forgeries are part of their time in discussion with the Queen takes on an added poignancy as we see picture after picture of misjudged youth. This conflux of ideas and twisting of words 'would you like to see my x-rays' produces one of Bennett's greatest works.
 
Bennett is often seen as somewhat cosy now he is considered a national treasure, but that is to fail to appreciate the incisive, cutting nature of his work, the clarity of the characters he draws and the genuine consideration of ideas. He's superbly served here by possibly James Fox's greatest performance as the elusive Blunt whose clearest show of emotion is the gradual dawning that, perhaps, the Queen is asking something entirely different than she might appear to be. The shock and the finely controlled pain are quite beautifully down. Now performed theatrically, surely you can't see that level of response? On the other side he has two challengers – the Queen herself, Prunella Scales, giving us a brisk intelligent performance and, again, this is clearly the same person Bennett returns to in Reader. And David Calder as the abrasive Chubb, gradually seduced by the art while having to take an increasingly hard-line stance with Blunt's seeming obfuscation.
 
Attribution is a joy to watch with dialogue that sings in a way few other playwrights can manage. Now released on BBC DVD, I urge everyone to look it out.
 
These 2 films make a curiously similarly structured double bill - start off with the ships commissioning, a film that uses sailors in different ranks to tell the tale with the middle guy losing someone at home, the sinking and the impact, the fetishising of the ship etc. But it is clear that In Which We Serve was wartime propaganda and didn't attempt to be remotely as realist as the adaptation of Monsarrat's novel, with dialogue more artificial and more time spent at home. But destroyer verses convoy protection? Cruel Sea wins hands down.
 
The Cruel Sea (Frend, 1953)
 
It's perfectly obvious that this was a post-war film about WWII – no film during the war would start off by introducing us to new officers straight from too short a period of training and without a clue, before heading off to war. It wouldn't do moral much good.
 
The war film was a highly successful genre in the 1950s in terms of box office. With the UK's place in the world plummeting and the Empire falling apart, even those few short years after a war with an unambiguous enemy that we won had great nostalgia value. Most didn't do as well critically but The Cruel Sea was deservedly one of the few that did, as well as being top earner at the UK box office in the year of release.
 
The film follows the convoys in the North Atlantic by focussing on one of the ships that protects them. Starting off with its commission, it takes a quite realist approach to life on board the ship and in the convoy. There are moments of real tension as the U Boats track them through harsh seas and on board ship as a martinet first lieutenant serves to bond the new sub-lieuts into a team. The ship itself is anthropomorphised as a woman protecting them all. Most interestingly, the story covers some very morally difficult decisions taken by the captain – the lives of the many over the lives of the few, with the key one followed by a lovely scene with some of his fellow captains whom the ship had saved.
 
The film is scripted by Eric Ambler who as an author wrote some great thrillers but on screen tended to script films about the sea and seemed to quite like sinking ships. Most takes board in the ship with the best scenes being between the subs (including Donald Sinden and Denholm Eliott) and with Jack Hawkins giving one of his best performances as ship captain. There are some forays on short to provide some love interests for the main characters and to remind the audience of what was going on at home when it visits the homelife of one of the lower ranking sailors on board.
 
One of the best war films of the 50s but oddly one of the lesser known ones, The Cruel Sea is one of the best naval films ever made with a title as apt as any you'll see.

In Which We Serve (Coward/Lean,1942)
 
This Coward/Lean collaboration pretty much marked the start of the 'People's War'. Although there was still the odd film with the heroic upper-class officer in charge of dim oiks, the propaganda value of 'we're all in it together', at a difficult time before the war turned in our favour, was clear and a deliberate motive behind the film. Although a war film, the bulk of it is the story of the sailor' lives back home.
 
With full official backing, Coward's script tells the story of the destroyer HMS Torin from launch to quick sinking, and then flashes back to the lives back home of the survivors drifting in a life raft. The film focuses on Captain Coward, the chief petty officer and a young rating. I've seen criticisms of the film that focus on Coward's upper class view of commoners but I'm not sure they get the point – films where other classes and other ranks were given equal prominence and shown as integral parts of the overall effort were really quite new and until the Foreman Went to France, virtually unknown. So while Coward can't help his accent or change the way he plays the captain, the film has to be taken based on what it is clearly trying to do – the recognition of former colleagues at the commencement speech, the meeting between 'shipmates' on the train when Coward bumps into Mills.
 
Acting honours at home rest with Joyce Carey as CPO Bernard Mile's wife, with Miles himself among the best on ship, given one of the more emotional moments in the film when he receives second-hand news from John Mills's letter from home.
 
With talent released by the War Office and official help, the opening scenes showing the construction of the ship were actually filmed by the recently deceased director Ronald Neame, with voiceover from Leslie Howard.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 4/8/2010 4:49:07 PM >


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to swordsandsandals)
Post #: 8522
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 4:39:28 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet
Cool, I've got that Bennett one to watch. Did I mention that I went to see him the other week? It was a really great night. On a spying note, have you seen Another Country? I haven't, by the way, but it looks good. The review of In Which We Serve is very informative, though it doesn't say whether you like the movie. Do you? Lots of questions today. Here's a review:
 


*SPOILERS FOR CITIZEN KANE*
Hellzapoppin' (H.C. Potter, 1941)
- This screen translation of the biggest Broadway hit of the '30s mocks Hollywood convention, then bows to it anyway, burdening the gag-heavy script with a needless romantic strand and going overboard with the musical interludes. Which is a pity, since the opening 15 minutes are perhaps the most joyously anarchic in Golden Age comedy - truly the free-for-all promised in the title song, where "anything can happen and it probably will". We begin with a snatch of a glossy production number, before a lever is pulled and the glamorous chorines are cast down a water slide and into Hell. As these lost souls are prodded up the bum with tridents (the pointy things beloved of demons, not the submarine-based nuclear deterrents), our stars pull up in a taxi. "That’s the first taxi driver who went strictly where I told him to go," Chic Johnson laments. The driver gets out. He is a midget. Johnson shoots the taxi with a blunderbuss, then asks the projectionist to run back the film. He does. Johnson shoots the taxi again, at which point it turns into a horse and the cabbie rides away. Enjoying it so far? Good.

We pull back and we're in a film studio, the quips flying thick and fast as Johnson and Ole Olsen bicker with 'director' Richard Lane and meek screenwriter Elisha Cook, Jr. about the direction their movie should take. As they walk from set to set, their costumes changing seamlessly, there's a deliriously silly photography gag, followed by one about Citizen Kane ("I thought they burned that thing," Johnson mutters, looking at a sledge). Watching clips from the picture Lane is pitching to them, the stars initially offer their own commentary, before arriving in the film-within-a-film. It's at that point that the interest-free plot kicks in - a tedious love triangle - and the laugh-rate slows, despite the best efforts of Martha Raye and Mischa Auer. That's not to say there isn't still plenty to enjoy - the 'Stinky Miller' segment, in which the cast implore a member of the audience to go home to his mother, the staggering Lindy Hop dance sequence, an old man repeatedly trying to deliver a tree - just that there's generally a couple of duff jokes for every inspired diversion, and more than that during the putting-in-a-show climax. The bear's funny, though. And Frankenstein's Monster. All in all, Hellzapoppin' isn't consistent or self-confident enough to match peak Marx Bros fare like Duck Soup or A Night at the Opera, but it's admirably off-the-wall, with a delightful distaste for the fourth wall and much else to revel in despite the faint feeling of an opportunity missed. (3)


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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 8523
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 4:48:17 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: rick_7

Cool, I've got that Bennett one to watch. Did I mention that I went to see him the other week? It was a really great night.




I've seen Another Country. Interesting - although I don't think it's either got a great lead or brilliantly written. Competent. That said, I've not seen it for well over a decade

I think In Which We Serve is a decent watch, but it's so deliberate at what it does and I'm not entirely sure Coward casting himself was the best idea. But Bernard Miles/Joyce Carey I like. I've ranked it higher before but when you watch it in a double bill with Cruel Sea, with the screams coming up the comms from down below, In Which We Serve comes a very distant second.

I'm surprised I've had no protests from a certain quarter that I managed to do the blurb/review for Attribution without mentioning Mr Palmer

< Message edited by elab49 -- 4/8/2010 4:49:55 PM >


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to rick_7)
Post #: 8524
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 5:10:10 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I'm surprised I've had no protests from a certain quarter that I managed to do the blurb/review for Attribution without mentioning Mr Palmer


Just more evidence of how wrong you can be.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 8525
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 6:06:16 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
The weakest film has the longest review - typical. Catching up...

2. The Apartment (1960, Wilder)
Well, you know the score. A fantastic mix of comedy, drama, romance, and satire, brilliantly acted by all involved. The ending's just as moving this time around. Probably not in my all-time top 10, but top 20 for sure. 10

47. Toy Story 3 (2010, Unkrich)
In many ways a re-tread of the first two, and some characters were even more annoying this time around (Jessie, Rex, and Mrs Potatohead, despite my deep admiration for the voice actors involved). On the other hand, it's hilariously hilarious when it comes to Ken and Buzz, and that ending floors. The cinema experience inflates as usual - this is no top or 2nd tier Pixar, but it's still lovely. 8
PS. What the fuck is wrong with Andy? 17 and considering taking a toy to college?

50. Two for the Road (1967, Donen)
Lovely. Hepburn is dazzling in perhaps her finest role, Finney is just as good, the script is nigh on perfect, and the rapid editing combined with the good cinematography and an amazing score make this a nice stylistic experience. The only complaint, perhaps, is that it's too obvious in places (the American family is too broadly drawn and the bit at the beginning where he forgets the name of his daughter is a bit over-the-top), but most of the other slapstick fits into the drama perfectly. 8

84. I tre volti della paura [Black Sabbath] (1963, Bava)
Much better than the other 1963 Bava film I've seen. The first part is brilliantly ironic, the second has a fantastic air of inevitability, and the third one is a slow burner. Visually striking with its zooms and colourful lighting. The acting and the characters motivations certainly aren't air-tight, but this is a triumph of atmosphere. And not just that, it's self-reflexive and there are certain repetitions that may be conscious on Bava's part and would create a bit of "substance". Very good indeed. 8

109. Le beau Serge [Handsome Serge] (1958, Chabrol)
First French New Wave feature, apparently, but no real echoes with what FNW says to me (despite Brialy’s presence and the in-joke). Much more ‘classic’ than Truffaut’s or Godard’s debuts. Also, close to nothing of Chabrol’s apparent Hitchcock influences to be seen here – it seems to be more influenced by Hollywood melodramas (particularly the ending) and Italian neo-realism. On its own merits, however, it’s pretty good. The small town characters are drawn well, the acting is uniformly solid. The style is also good, the relatively long takes work well. It’s quite poignant but also uneven. Hoping for more from his other features, but it deserves an 8

122. 4 luni, 3 saptamâni si 2 zile [4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days] (2007, Mungiu)
My first Romanian film, and not my cup of tea, to be honest. I liked the opening in the dorm, which managed to put me right into the setting, but as the film went on, I thought the misery at hand was a bit contrived. Fantastic cinematography though, very effective use of long, claustrophobic takes. Good acting, too. Tales from the Golden Age sounds more up my alley, as does 12:08 East of Bucharest, if we're talking other Romanian films. 7

151. Jokôsei: tenshi no harawata [Angel Guts: High School Co-Ed] (1978, Sone)
Warped stuff. Worse than something like A Clockwork Orange and much more down-to-earth in its style than that film. Certainly not something I'd want to watch again, but it's well-made and striking in parts. Despite the amazing line "I hope we all die" and the pretty great ending, not the best pinku film, I hope. 7

162. Match Point (2005, Allen)
slight spoilers
Woody, you disappoint me. If I didn't know this was your film, I probably wouldn't be able to tell (though I might have enjoyed it more, since there wouldn't be the let-down factor involved). Since you think this is your best film, you have bad taste in your own movies. If this was regarded as a return to form for you, I shudder to think how bad the films before that must have been. Why am I so harsh? Well:
Rhys-Myers creepy/clunky performance, lack of humour, the grating opera soundtrack, the unnatural-sounding dialogue, the banal portrayal of British life, and while I liked the irony of the twist the message about luck is rammed home too much through characters exclaiming "lucky!". Mortimer goes from being slightly awkward to full-on annoying. It's certainly very pretty, even though Allen's sense of location doesn't apply here. The murder scene is quite well made though, ScarJo is certainly captivating, and Goode is great. . Perhaps VCB is better than this, after all, in that film, ScarJo's character has sex with Penelope Cruz and not with some guy with creepy eyes... Good ending, mind. 6

Shorts:

26. Day & Night (2010, Newton) {6 mins}
Very nice concept, pleasing animation, the big screen adds to it, as always. Disagree that it's a weaker Pixar short, it's on par with Partly Cloudy for me and way better than stuff like Boundin' and Jack-Jack's Attack. 8

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to Beetlejuice!)
Post #: 8526
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 6:08:24 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

PS. What the fuck is wrong with Andy? 17 and considering taking a toy to college?


Isn't there a teenage boy (and 20s boy and 30s boy etc etc) get out clause when it comes to 'action figures' where they pretend they aren't actually toys?

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 8527
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 6:12:05 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Yeah, but Andy doesn't look like a geek, and if he wants to take action figures, why not take Buzz as well?

< Message edited by Miles Messervy 007 -- 4/8/2010 6:13:08 PM >


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quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 8528
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 6:13:47 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
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Ah - but there is a difference between a kids cartoon created solely to sell toys and classic shows with unexpectedly valuable merchandising. Buzz was ten a penny. Woody was rare.

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Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 8529
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 6:14:58 PM   
swordsandsandals


Posts: 12571
Joined: 6/1/2006
From: A magical forest
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

PS. What the fuck is wrong with Andy? 17 and considering taking a toy to college?


Isn't there a teenage boy (and 20s boy and 30s boy etc etc) get out clause when it comes to 'action figures' where they pretend they aren't actually toys?


Miles, not everyone is a heartless cock who would rather try and look cool than embrace their history or childhood.

< Message edited by swordsandsandals -- 4/8/2010 6:15:51 PM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rawlinson

Swords is right about everything.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

Swords smells like bum.



(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 8530
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 8:15:16 PM   
rick_7


Posts: 6151
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: The internet
quote:

ORIGINAL: swordsandsandals

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

PS. What the fuck is wrong with Andy? 17 and considering taking a toy to college?


Isn't there a teenage boy (and 20s boy and 30s boy etc etc) get out clause when it comes to 'action figures' where they pretend they aren't actually toys?


Miles, not everyone is a heartless cock who would rather try and look cool than embrace their history or childhood.



Post of the century.


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(in reply to swordsandsandals)
Post #: 8531
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 8:33:52 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Poor Miles, doesn't post in ages and on his return he gets called a heartless cock. 

(in reply to rick_7)
Post #: 8532
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 8:57:58 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Ages? I was gone for like 4 days. You miss me that much? Besides, I know I'm not cool, but I haven't played with toys since I was about 4.

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 8533
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 9:26:32 PM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
That's like 6 months in internet time though.

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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 9:53:37 PM   
Epiphany Demon


Posts: 6497
Joined: 14/11/2007
17. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009, GBR/USA)

Closely linked with Where The Wild Things are - year of release, acclaimed indie director and adaption of a revered children's book spring to mind - , Fantastic Mr. Fox is a different animal, if you'll excuse the pun. It's a sharply witty and idiosyncratic take on a fantastic novel, and - just like WTWTA manages to feel fresh and unique despite its well known roots. The voice cast are great, with Clooney and Michael Gambon the best of them, and director Anderson weaves his trademark quirks on a film that I was very pleasantly surprised by. As it says, fantastic.

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Post #: 8535
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 10:19:00 PM   
swordsandsandals


Posts: 12571
Joined: 6/1/2006
From: A magical forest

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

Poor Miles, doesn't post in ages and on his return he gets called a heartless cock. 


My apologies... We're glad to have you back Miles.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rawlinson

Swords is right about everything.



quote:

ORIGINAL: Hood_Man

Swords smells like bum.



(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 8536
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 10:45:30 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

Ages? I was gone for like 4 days. You miss me that much? Besides, I know I'm not cool, but I haven't played with toys since I was about 4.


I think the bliss just makes it seem like longer.

And I call lies on the 4 years old bit.

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 8537
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 4/8/2010 11:10:12 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
I have seen The Killer Inside Me, the one starring Affleck, Alba and Hudson and directed by Winterbottom, and I have to say, I liked it, really did. Yet I would never call it a great film. It is a very interesting film but also that also meanders in the last 40 minutes. It has excellent performances (Alba is shockingly great), but probably (which I think is intended), all characters that are not the truly creepy Lou Ford (played with calm and confidence by the excellent Affleck) are kept at bay and we grow no connection to them. It might also suggest that we are seeing it all from Ford's perspective and we have a skewed view (what the asylum and the entire ending do make me doubt if what we have seen is real, and that the women enjoying sexual arousal from beatings might be his idea and not the film or even female's idea) or maybe that it is all real, but there is not much to suggest that most of it is spurious. It features an excellent soundtrack and some great cinematography, and Winterbottom's direction is stylish, but a meandering, possibly misogynistic and somewhat cold script can let it down. It's too good a film to be dismissed, too flawed a film to be called great. It's one truly interesting mess. 4/5

< Message edited by Deviation -- 5/8/2010 1:48:59 AM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 8538
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 1:30:32 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007
47. Toy Story 3 (2010, Unkrich)
In many ways a re-tread of the first two, and some characters were even more annoying this time around (Jessie, Rex, and Mrs Potatohead, despite my deep admiration for the voice actors involved). On the other hand, it's hilariously hilarious when it comes to Ken and Buzz, and that ending floors. The cinema experience inflates as usual - this is no top or 2nd tier Pixar, but it's still lovely. 8
PS. What the fuck is wrong with Andy? 17 and considering taking a toy to college?


I don't really get the accusations of Toy Story 3 being a straight retread - some elements return, but unlike in Toy Story 2, where they just returned and kind of did very little with them (BUZZZZZ), here there's actually enough ingenuity in how the wield the callbacks and repeated plot elements to make it feel fresh for me.

Also, you're a goddamned monster. Looking around my room now, I have an old mini-Ooglie, a flipping Yoda toy, a plush Garfield and a plush Stormtrooper (which I bought this year) sitting around. If I could bring my majestic Lego to uni, I fucking would've, as well. Toys are cool. We don't play with them, but they're cool. Maybe you'll understand when you get to our age.

quote:


162. Match Point (2005, Allen)
Perhaps VCB is better than this, after all, in that film, ScarJo's character has sex with Penelope Cruz and not with some guy with creepy eyes... Good ending, mind. 6


I take it you would've marked it up if ScarJo and Emily Mortimer made out.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 8539
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 1:32:25 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
He's right though, the ending is by far the best thing.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 8540
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 1:44:43 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

I have seen The Killer Inside Me, the one starring Affleck, Alba and Hudson and directed by Winterbottom, and I have to say, I liked it, really did. Yet I would never call it a great film. It is a very interesting film but also that also meanders in the last 40 minutes. It has excellent performances (Alba is shockingly great), but probably (which I think is intended), all characters that are not the truly creepy Lou Ford (played with calm and confidence by the excellent Affleck) are kept at bay and we grow no connection to them. It might also suggest that we are seeing it all from Ford's perspective and we have a skewed view (what the asylum and the entire ending do make me doubt that what we have seen, the women enjoying sexual arousal from beating might be his idea and not the film or even female's idea) or maybe that it is all real, but there is not much to suggest that most of it is spurious. It features an excellent soundtrack and some great cinematography, and Winterbottom's direction is stylish, but a meandering, possibly misogynistic and somewhat cold script can let it down. It's too good a film to be dismissed, too flawed a film to be called great. It's one truly interesting mess. 4/5



I'm dubious on the misogynistic accusations - I guess you could argue Winterbottom's direction may skew that way, because of the way he lingers on the violence against women in comparison to that against men, but the film is taken entirely from Ford's perspective and there's no way that either Thompson nor Winterbottom intend for Ford to be taken as a positive figure - indeed, the graphic nature of the violence he inflicts, particularly upon the women, casts them purely in a sympathetic light and solidifies Ford's monstrous nature. On top of that, one could argue that the women engaging in consensual sadomasochistic behaviour is misogynistic, but that's to imply that sadomasochism is inherently misogynistic, and I don't think that's a fair assertion - the women may get pleasure out of it, but that's not portrayed as a bad thing and they're certainly not willingly doing it because they want to sate Ford's horrific power complex.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 8541
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 2:00:19 AM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
I will agree with that. It was more my surprise that every woman that Lou Ford is seen with in the film (and the three he was closest with) all seem to enjoy the sadomasochistic behavior, while no other male character in the film (that is Ford of course) seems to be into such behavior. I don't believe the film in itself is misogynistic but having all female characters presented in the film enjoy it did seem a bit dubious.

I don't have a problem with the most of the men being killed off-screen, since whether Ford truly killed them or if they died of other circumstances is what keeps the film interesting in its more plodding moments.

*Also Two Spoilerific Questions*

What is Bill Pullman exactly? I imagine he was his lawyer. And could some of the film be a fantasy? There is that bit in the asylum involving the photographs that stuck me as rather fantastical.

*END SPOILERIFIC QUESTIONS*

Oh, and those opening credits is amazing.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 8542
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 2:12:57 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

I will agree with that. It was more my surprise that every woman that Lou Ford is seen with in the film (and the three he was closest with) all seem to enjoy the sadomasochistic behavior, while no other male character in the film (that is Ford of course) seems to be into such behavior. I don't believe the film in itself is misogynistic but having all female characters presented in the film enjoy it did seem a bit dubious.


SPOILERS AHEAD

Well, it's a film from Lou's point of view, and Lou's not gay, so I doubt we'd be explicitly seeing that kind of behaviour. I think we can imply, from the scars on the backside of Lou's mother, though, that it's a practice that runs in the family - indeed, the abuse Lou subjected the girl to when he was a kid seemed to go unchecked, and his brother even came out and saw it. On top of that, the majority of the men in the film are portrayed as dishonest, thick as pigshit or downright ignorant, so it's not exactly an unbalanced point of view. Everyone's got secrets.

I don't have a problem with the most of the men being killed off-screen, since whether Ford truly killed them or if they died of other circumstances is what keeps the film interesting in its more plodding moments.

quote:

*Also Two Spoilerific Questions*

What is Bill Pullman exactly? I imagine he was his lawyer. And could some of the film be a fantasy? There is that bit in the asylum involving the photographs that stuck me as rather fantastical.

*END SPOILERIFIC QUESTIONS*


SPOILERS

There's a theory that everything after the slideshow is a dream, which makes sense - Alba surviving some time after they said she was dead, Pullman pulling Ford out of the hospital with no real legal justification, the hyperstylised finale, Ford assigning everyone their character and then remarking to Hank, "Don't talk, I haven't given you any lines". There's also the possibility of it just getting really metafictional, though - as I remarked in my review, Ford seems to become increasingly aware of his status as a character without any logical machinations and spurred on by a set of whims wholly alien to him, but he gives in to them anyway.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 8543
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 2:16:14 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
33. Black Sun (2005; Gary Tarn)

Review here

http://www.empireonline.com/forum/tm.asp?m=2645709&mpage=8

133. Chewin' the Fat Live (2000)

Stage-show adapted from the great Scottish sketch series. Mostly shows from the series but with some new stuff mixed in. Highlight is Ronald Villier's Roman sketch. Any show that ends with an audience sing-along to His Majesty's Home for the Blind (You can sneak in and feel them, they really don't mind) has to have been a good night out. 

(in reply to GoodBadGroovy)
Post #: 8544
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 6:59:41 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

I don't really get the accusations of Toy Story 3 being a straight retread - some elements return, but unlike in Toy Story 2, where they just returned and kind of did very little with them (BUZZZZZ), here there's actually enough ingenuity in how the wield the callbacks and repeated plot elements to make it feel fresh for me.



So it's OK to criticise Toy Story 2 then, but not part 3?

Spoilers for TS 2/3

Buzz with identity issues, Jesse's abandonment and reinvigoration when owned, Stinky Pete, cynicism and the route that got him there? I think 'retread' is really more apt than 'some elements return'.

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 8545
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 9:37:00 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
SPOILER WARNING FOR THE TOY STORY SERIES

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

I don't really get the accusations of Toy Story 3 being a straight retread - some elements return, but unlike in Toy Story 2, where they just returned and kind of did very little with them (BUZZZZZ), here there's actually enough ingenuity in how the wield the callbacks and repeated plot elements to make it feel fresh for me.



So it's OK to criticise Toy Story 2 then, but not part 3?


That's exactly what I'm saying.

No joke.

quote:


Spoilers for TS 2/3

Buzz with identity issues,


This is the one I had most in mind, and I think it's far better done here than in TS2, which felt more like going back to it for the sake of going back to it - here it had a distinct narrative function in contributing to the brilliant prison break routine, and Latin Buzz was genuinely hilarious. In TS2 it was just "lol look here's another one just like the other one".

quote:

Jesse's abandonment and reinvigoration when owned,


That's surely a character trait, though, rather than a plot element? Jessie's anxiety about being abandoned again is voiced constantly during TS2, it's only natural for it to arise when there is actually a real threat of abandonment. To not have that would be to deny a basic part of Jessie's character and history.

quote:

Stinky Pete, cynicism and the route that got him there?


I guess you could assert Lotso is a retread of Stinky Pete. I find Lotso a lot more interesting and fleshed out, though, so I can forgive it - and again, the prison warden dynamic adds an extra level to it; Lotso's not just averse to making a connection, he's made it his life's work to ensure that connection is never fulfilled. The Daisy sequence was devastating. Also, Ned Beatty > Kelsey Grammar, and then there's the whole Stinky Pete not really getting a punishment that fitted the crime of having the same anxieties Jessie did and just being more assertive in his stance.

quote:

I think 'retread' is really more apt than 'some elements return'.


Really? Because you've listed three 'elements', one of which is an active character trait. I'm more inclined to go with the latter if that's the best you can do.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 8546
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 10:06:04 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
Shepherd of the Hills (Hathaway, 1941)

An old man turns up in the Ozarks hoping to form a relationship with the son he's never seen. Unfortunately the son has been brought up with the sole desire to kill the man who deserted his now long-dead mother.

The above doesn't constitute a spoiler – every shot Hathaway makes the second Wayne and Carey are in the same room makes it clear the audience are supposed to know what is going on. Based on a book apparently so popular that a play from it shows regularly around where it was based, the key change is making Carey the grandfather rather than the father. In terms of the film, it clearly works better that way.

The problem is that the story seems to be treating inbreeding and silly superstition as some kind of cultural heritage to respect. The no doubt authentic dialogue (in this way I thought it was quite an unusual film) is barely comprehensible as English at times.

This is not one of the films where Wayne tends to acting but sticks to his slightly leaning and constipated look for the most part. But Carey and, even though her character talks nonsense most of the time, Betty Field are very good with Beulah Bondi giving us one of her more common characters for the most part until, rather unexpectedly, after being instrumental in a death she presents a picture of such deep grief it seems out of place in a mere potboiler. The concentration with which Hathaway silently sticks with her drawn out final acts is exceptional.

Not a great film but an interesting one with some performances more than good enough to carry you along. And, in case Rick hasn't come across it, he'll be pleased to know Marjorie Main's upper arms are covered at all times.

Assault on Precinct 13 (Richet, 2005)

I think my husband is better at film-watching than me. He can more easily divorce the claimed concept to judge the actual film. He managed it with Sherlock Holmes (ignore the pointless character names and he thought, with a lot of faults, it was watchable enough) and then with this, which he thought wasn't bad. Obviously bog all to do with Precinct 13. But not bad.

But there I have the problem. I can't stand the bankrupt creativity that tries to piggy back on an existing audience by nicking stuff wholesale but fundamentally not getting things. So Richet et al throw out the nihilistic take on a siege situation and turn it into a banal cop corruption story that heads out into the snow, not remotely understanding why Assault has such a hold on viewers decades letter. And absolutely nothing to do with the original film at all. It's really quite infuriating.

For my part on the film itself? Mediocre. Fishburne does Fishburne perfectly well, Byrne is barely used. Hawke is in full wimpy bumfluff mode, so not remotely believable as action man and DiMatteo is OK but no Leigh. Bello must have been stuck for money taking that role – dimwit but a psychiatrist who makes comments about screwing her patients and flounces about hysterically? Ouch.

And how the hell did the truck end up there anyway? Original, it was on the way out to the prison through a reasonable residential area, fair enough. But this seemed to be taking a bunch of prisoners out to the woods. Very odd.

Never Apologise – A Personal Visit With Lindsay Anderson (Kaplan, 2007)

Rather than a doc, which I thought this was, it was actually a Malcolm McDowell one-man show with the focus being his relationship with Anderson, starting with his audition for If….

McDowell reveals himself to be a quite wonderful story teller and completely comfortable on the stage. The anecdotes are often self-deprecating (he talks about walking into the room and seeing this beautiful girl. A glance at his script tells him he has to kiss her and he throws himself almost violently into it. And then stands in shock as she rears back and thumps him. Telling the same story later from the notes of the writer at the audition he quotes – typical bloody actor, only read his own lines).

His account of Anderson is admiring, seems honest and full of fond recollection of a very definite personality. Anderson's likes (for the poetic Ford), and dismissals (Olivier? That ham?  - after McDowell tries something in a scene he saw Olivier do on stage the night before). He talks of Anderson giving him an education in film. Name 2 Jean Arthur movies he might say. McDowell – well, he was in ….What?!?  came the reply. And then Anderson would drag him off to the South Bank to show him films and educate him, on top of what he learned from the way Anderson approached his own work.

McDowell talks about the actors he admires as well. Finney, whose work encouraged him to act. Harris in This Sporting Life in one of cinema's great performances. And Alan Bates, who features in later anecdotes including an outing on his tendency to scarves! And it would appear that McDowell is certainly a source for the Gielgud quote on Caligula about never seeing so much cock in his life -  Gielgud stayed with McDowell during his time on the shoot. Or the tale of Anderson and Schlesinger exchanging waspish insults at lunch.

An interesting take on one of Britain's most interesting directors from an actor who never quite got the roles but clearly had fond memories of the man who gave him some of his best ones.

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 8547
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 10:12:48 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54599
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

SPOILER WARNING FOR THE TOY STORY SERIES

Really? Because you've listed three 'elements', one of which is an active character trait. I'm more inclined to go with the latter if that's the best you can do.



SPOILER WARNING FOR THE TOY STORY SERIES

But aren't they the basic themes for the 2nd film, abandonment and not fulfulling your function as a toy, simply shown as a retread for the remaining cast in the second? I thought they were.

We start with Wheezy - abandoned on the shelf, then discarded in a garage sale.
We get Jesse's story of abandonment. Not the character trait, but the story. So the entire theme of how to handle being abandoned by your child is dealt with, and we have the end with Jesse and Bullseye adopted by another family. Just like Toy Story 3.
We get Stinky Pete laying out the whole scenario repeatedly, to be dealt with by Woody 'when the time comes', but we've already seen the 'time come' for Jesse.

Abandonment and moving on seems pretty much what TS2 is about. The Buzz/father storyline is even one. Oh, and then that's what TS3 is about. Again.

Lotso? The reason I didn't take to him and thought it was amazingly obvious what the character was was a) it was Stinky Pete all over again (genuinely, so clearly it's such an obvious connection to me it was impacting on my viewing the second film) and, secondly, I was thinking - where the frak is Bigwig? I prefer this when bunnies do it. Because, again, since Lotso was so obvious the scenario was as well.

I wonder if Watership Down is on youtube. I really feel like watching it just now.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 5/8/2010 10:14:32 AM >


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 8548
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 10:34:44 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

SPOILER WARNING FOR THE TOY STORY SERIES

But aren't they the basic themes for the 2nd film, abandonment and not fulfulling your function as a toy, simply shown as a retread for the remaining cast in the second? I thought they were.

We start with Wheezy - abandoned on the shelf, then discarded in a garage sale.
We get Jesse's story of abandonment. Not the character trait, but the story. So the entire theme of how to handle being abandoned by your child is dealt with, and we have the end with Jesse and Bullseye adopted by another family. Just like Toy Story 3.
We get Stinky Pete laying out the whole scenario repeatedly, to be dealt with by Woody 'when the time comes', but we've already seen the 'time come' for Jesse.

Abandonment and moving on seems pretty much what TS2 is about. The Buzz/father storyline is even one. Oh, and then that's what TS3 is about. Again.


REQUISITE SPOILER WARNING

See, here's the thing, though, and sit down, because this may blow your mind - I think Toy Story 3 does this better. I think it does it so much better that it really doesn't bother me that it's dealing with similar themes, and that it stops being a retread because it actually examines these themes in a more indepth and heartfelt manner. The coming of age and moving on themes are dealt with in a cursory manner and with remarkable inconsistency in Toy Story 2 - as I said, Stinky Pete is made to suffer because he shares Jessie's anxieties but is more proactive about preventing them from occurring to him again, and the theme is frequently secondary to Buzz and the gang making goofs or rehashing narrative beats from the original film. Pete's words about it happening to Woody just like it happened to Jessie and himself is a warning, and we're seeing the warning ring eerily true here, and more importantly, we're seeing the themes that warning is coupled with expanded - the pain of moving on from something you're so attached to, both in the toys and in Andy (giving it an actual human element, rather than just portraying people as heartless binners of toys - something sorely missing from any examination of this theme in the sequel); the hollowness of not making that connection and not finding love in what you do; the damage it does to someone when they don't move on and allow themselves to dwell on the problems of the past; the need for meaningful connections in our existence. It echoes the themes of TS2, yes; it also echoes a key theme of Up, but I'm not going to hold it against it if it's done well, and it is - it's done so much better than it did was in TS2, and much better than in Up. I think that allows it to transcend being accused of being a 'retread', because there's a genuine expansion and deeper investigation of the themes on offer here.

quote:

Lotso? The reason I didn't take to him and thought it was amazingly obvious what the character was was a) it was Stinky Pete all over again (genuinely, so clearly it's such an obvious connection to me it was impacting on my viewing the second film) and, secondly, I was thinking - where the frak is Bigwig? I prefer this when bunnies do it. Because, again, since Lotso was so obvious the scenario was as well.

I wonder if Watership Down is on youtube. I really feel like watching it just now.


Sounds like you'd be more in favour of Hoodwinked.

But seriously, Lotso is crazy fleshed out in comparison to Pete, problems with the way Pete is treated in the film notwithstanding.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 8549
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 5/8/2010 10:37:48 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77818
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
I'm going to have so many posts to read in this thread when I finally see TS3

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 8550
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