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What did you watch this week?
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Danny Baldwin
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 1354
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: 09.14.2003 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant I was writing a review and reading the posts on the board, in between completing sentences (so, I was basically not paying any attention). Laughing
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The Third M?n
Studio Exec


Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 575
Location: Chasing Stef around post-war Vienna

PostPosted: 09.14.2003 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, okay then. No problemo.

What review is it, by the way?
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Danny Baldwin
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PostPosted: 09.14.2003 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matchstick Men. I'm just finishing up now.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 2341
Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 09.15.2003 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

9/8 - 9/14

Only two:

The Magdalene Sisters (Mullan, 2003). Mullan doesn't even attempt to mask his point-of-view, which might be why so many found it contemptible. I prefer to read it as an attack on totalitarianism and puritanical hysteria of all kinds, not merely religious. I deeply responded to the visual style and the performances, and Mullan's direction swings for the fences--this is a commanding mix of activism, realism, melodrama, opera.

Once Upon a Time in Mexico. To my mind, not even close to the narrative thrust of El Mariachi nor the mythmaking poetics of Desperado. It may be more ambitious, but not nearly as successful: None of the many plot strands are remotely interesting, not even as excess or parody. (Are Banderas and Hayek in this movie? They don't register in the least.) Superficial, repetitive, tedious, suspenseless, and borderline incoherent--and the occasionally nifty visuals don't make up for it. There's simply nothing at stake (not even Rodriguez's reputation as a storyteller). The only thing I liked at all was Johnny Depp; when he was on screen, I perked up. I'd love to see a sequel about the Blind Gunfighter; his final scenes reminded me of Zatoichi. [Actually, during the movie I was much more entertained by thinking about how much screening Magdalene Sisters an hour earlier affected my response to this one, than I was by the movie itself.]

Eric
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beltmann
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PostPosted: 09.15.2003 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Matt, I really like Mahkmalbaf. Check out my review of Kandahar.

What did you think of it?

Eric
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the night watchman
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PostPosted: 09.15.2003 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Third M?n wrote:


What did you think of King's novel? I'm a big fan of his.


I liked the novel Carrie quite a bit, but it's probably been around ten years since I've read it.
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 09.15.2003 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Kandahar" was my first experience with Makhmalbaf. I'd like to find some more by him - it was certainly an interesting and fresh film - but I found it more valuable as a cultural document than as an exercise in storytelling. There are two stunning scenes I won't forget, though: the one where the amputees are hobbling/running through the desert after the parachuted fake limbs; and the one in the doctor's office where he and the main character are separated by a sheet with a single hole in it, as is the tradition. I found the stilted English performances stiff, but that's probably to be expected from unprofessional actors who don't speak English as their first language. Culturally it's indispensable; cinematically there are weak stretches (the scene at the makeshift hospital was unnecessarily plodding, I thought) but it's always interesting.
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Mark Dujsik
Director


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 09.15.2003 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

9/8 - 9/14

Cabin Fever (Roth, 2003)

Johnny English (Howitt, 2003)

Once Upon a Time in Mexico (Rodriguez, 2003)

Yet another slow week. I'm thinking about throwing a movie in while I get some no-thinking-involved homework done, but I'll count whatever it is next week.

This week I have to be sure to watch The Limey and Zero Effect again for a project that Michael knows about.
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The Third M?n
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Joined: 09 Sep 2003
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Location: Chasing Stef around post-war Vienna

PostPosted: 09.15.2003 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw The Maltese Falcon last night. Loved it (*****/*****). Huston's debut is the cornerstone by which every other noir should be measured. Humphrey Bogart is stunning and the cinematography is a stand out too: shadows are ever-present throughout the film and light and darkness are skillfully contrasted. The music's excellent and the supporting cast are remarkable. A masterpiece.
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The Third M?n
Studio Exec


Joined: 09 Sep 2003
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Location: Chasing Stef around post-war Vienna

PostPosted: 09.15.2003 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, I may watch Paths of Glory on DVD tonight. What do you guys think of the film?
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matt header
Studio Exec


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PostPosted: 09.15.2003 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Kubrick, and "Paths of Glory" is one of my favorites by him, and it's also my favorite Kirk Douglas performance. It was early in Kubrick's career, meaning he wasn't quite as sardonic, subversive, and twisted yet (for better or for worse); I think you'll like it. Straightforward, powerful antiwar film.
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 09.15.2003 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt header wrote:
"Kandahar" was my first experience with Makhmalbaf. I'd like to find some more by him - it was certainly an interesting and fresh film - but I found it more valuable as a cultural document than as an exercise in storytelling. There are two stunning scenes I won't forget, though: the one where the amputees are hobbling/running through the desert after the parachuted fake limbs; and the one in the doctor's office where he and the main character are separated by a sheet with a single hole in it, as is the tradition. I found the stilted English performances stiff, but that's probably to be expected from unprofessional actors who don't speak English as their first language. Culturally it's indispensable; cinematically there are weak stretches (the scene at the makeshift hospital was unnecessarily plodding, I thought) but it's always interesting.


I'm not sure plot has much to do with Kandahar, both in terms of Mahkmalbaf's intent, and our response to it. I agree that there are weaknesses (especially technical), but considering the circumstances in which M. was forced to make the picture, they are easy to forgive. (I can't bring myself to criticize the hiccups in a movie that wouldn't have been made otherwise; similarly I can't complain about technical flaws--it's too much like assessing a film's budget rather than its ideas.) You're absolutely right that its cultural contribution outweighs its "narrative" contribution, although I'd argue that its most significant contribution is political (especially in terms of the moral obligations of humans rather than governments).

I think the two scenes you cited are also the two that made the strongest impression on me. I might also include the scenes where the boys are being taught to use weapons, and a caravan of women share a tube of lipstick, despite being covered by burqas.

Eric
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beltmann
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
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Location: West Bend, WI

PostPosted: 09.15.2003 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Third M?n wrote:
Also, I may watch Paths of Glory on DVD tonight. What do you guys think of the film?


A masterpiece. Perhaps my favorite Kubrick. (It's hard to say for sure, since I haven't seen it, as well as several other Kubricks, for many years.)

Eric
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The Third M?n
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Location: Chasing Stef around post-war Vienna

PostPosted: 09.15.2003 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael B. Scrutchin wrote:
[*] Lawrence of Arabia (Lean, 1962)

And I waited so long to see this because...?



Because of THIS!!!

Come on, please don't tell me you didn't like it...

*Cough*here'smyreviewoflawrenceofarabia*Cough*



While watching Lawrence of Arabia I didn?t feel as though I was watching a film. Surely, I thought, this must be poetry. The way director David Lean handles the material, with so much delicacy and care, is as incredible as it is odd. He gives the film such a slow pace, such subtlety and power, which makes it all the more unique. The film is without a doubt an astonishing cinematic achievement, a film that, after 41 years, is still able to amaze and enthral. A timeless classic, Lawrence of Arabia proves to be one of the most epic pictures to have ever been put on celluloid. It is grand in every sense, awesome and brilliantly realised; a film for the ages that is impossible to forget.

It stars Peter O?Toole in one of the most fantastic debuts in film history as T.E. Lawrence, who, while working on the staff of British Intelligence in Cairo in 1916, earns a post on a mission sent to establish contact with Prince Feisal (Alec Guinness), leader of the Arab revolt and ally of the British against the German-sponsored Turks in WWI. Impressed by Lawrence's knowledge of their culture, the prince allows the young officer to join his staff, and Lawrence quickly earns the Arabs' respect after he executes acts of extraordinary heroism. As the Englishman's genius for guerrilla warfare becomes evident, he assumes the role of de facto leader of the Arab revolt, uniting the heretofore warring tribes into a very effective weapon. But the chaos of war also unleashes the repressed officer's powerful need for self-abasement and mortification of the flesh.

Brushing over the 3-hour and a half mark, the film may be sometimes hard to watch because of its length, but personally, I found it a pleasure to watch. It?s at all times engaging and compelling, and always holds the interest of the viewer. The cinematography is one of the best and most beautiful I have ever witnessed, perfectly capturing the intense heat and dryness of the desert, it combines images of spellbinding landscapes and contains some of the most inventive transitions in film history; from a burning match to a red-bathed scene of a sunset is one of the many examples. There are many unforgettable scenes in the film such as the blowing up of the train or the conquering of Acaba.

In terms of pure grandeur, power, sweep and emotion very few films come close to Lawrence of Arabia. It is a film that proudly can rival any other because of its ambition and deserved critical praise. Because of this, or rather, as a result of this, the fact that David Lean is one of the greatest and most successful directors of all time can be confirmed. With both intelligence and experience he gives the film such scope and immense proportions that it becomes very hard to think that other directors could?ve accomplished such a challenging project. Even today, in the 21st century, in a time where CGI has become more important than other film factors, remaking such film would be almost impossible. David Lean?s vision is wonderfully mesmerising and his love for filmmaking is ever-present and almost palpable every shot. With confidence and inspiration, he gives the film his own and particular feel, turning it into a magical experience and rapidly convincing us that this is one of the finest works of cinematic brilliance to ever illuminate the big screen.

Rarely has this film been equaled and I can easily see why. The awe-inspiring battle sequences still look amazing forty years later and the stellar performances, featuring Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Jose Ferrer and Omar Sharif are simply great and very convincing. However, it is Peter O?Toole who steals the show with one of his earliest film roles. He can be enigmatic, arrogant, mad, heroic, all these at the same time, portraying T.E. Lawrence in a semi perfect way and showing us his emotions and feelings with incredible ease. It comes as a surprise to find out that he didn?t end up winning the Academy Award for which he got nominated that year. Apart from that, the beautiful score by Maurice Jarre suits the mood of the film incredibly well and is very haunting. Magnificent.

Seldom has a film been able to fascinate me as much as this one. Simply put, it?s an unrepeatable gem that I will love and love forever. The sheer magnificence and bravura of it all is breathtaking and its ability to enthrall and captivate is as good as it is rare. Winner of 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, Lawrence of Arabia is an engrossing film, a legendary story; one of the most unforgettable productions of all time. A miracle of a movie.

Cherish it.



It's one of my favorite films of all time!
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mfritschel
Cinematographer


Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 143
Location: Port Washington, WI

PostPosted: 09.16.2003 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally found time to watch at least three movies this week, sadly I just got a new job and in about three weeks I feel that movie watching will become even more limited. Anway for last week I managed to watch:

Hero (Zhang Yimou)

Matchstick Men (Ridley Scott)

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (George Clooney)

"Hero" was probably my favorite, but I also really like "Confessions", as far as "Matchstick Men" goes the sappy, feel good ending really sucked, plus the movie glorified the horrible nature of con men, but did make a return and show the true side of it in the end, and also in a very "Rain Man" like humor thread drew all of its playfullness by poking fun on obsessive complusive behavior.
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