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Old 01.27.2014, 12:39 PM   #17721
MellySingsDoom
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A documentary covering the history of the cocaine trade within Miami, and the attendant "drug wars", during the late 1970's, up to the end of the 1980's. What I was hoping to be a serious, sober look at the cocaine industry turns out to be nothing of the sort - starting out with gun pornography, this documentary wheels outs much-repeated cliches and tropes (including some rather racist commentary upon the Colombian and Cuban population of Miami), and seems to revel in death and murder (there are many gruesome still photos of murder victims featured throughout)

There are little actual insights from the law enforcement agencies and "experts" (no surprise there then), and those involved in the cocaine trade themselves seem to spend much time talking about the "good old days". Police corruption and political campaign financing is touched upon momentarily, but never followed up, and the documentary peddles the nonsense that Miami was "crime free" before the cocaine wars kicked in. George Bush Senior is shown in his "war on drugs" mode, which the documentary considers to be a "success", and other minor-league politicos get to air their views without being challenged once.

The last hour of the documentary spends much time upon the life of Medellin Cartel member Griselda Blanco, but even this gives no real insights into her control, power and influence within Miami and beyond - all we hear is that she had expensive tastes, was a lesbian (shock horror!), and was not averse to having rivals bumped off. The rest of the running time involves various small-fry gangsters and hitmen talking about their activities, and how they ended up being caught and imprisoned.

The documentary itself has a distinctive made-for-TV feel to it, and at 2 hours in length, is way overlong; the running time could easily have been cut by at least 30 minutes. There's absolutely no comment made on the impact of the cocaine trade on Miami's Latino population - all we're told is that the Latinos are essentially "bad" people, and that's your lot. There's also zero comment on the effect/impact of the cocaine trade within Colombia itself.

"Cocaine Cowboys" seems to possess all the accuracy and insight of your average "Mondo" film, and says nothing at all about how the influx of cocaine affected a major American city. In fact, the only thing to note on this documentary is that the incidental music was done by Jan Hammer, composer of the "Miami Vice" theme tune...and you'd probably get a more accurate idea of the drug trade by watching an episode of said TV programme!

An uninformative, slanted and cliched documentary, then. Doubtlessly there are other drug-related documentaries out there which offer far more in scope and information. Seek them out instead, and avoid this pile of nonsense. Not recommended at all.
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Old 01.27.2014, 01:49 PM   #17722
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I have a perverse fascination with that whole 80s Miami thing. I read as much about it as I can (including the book the doc was based on) and can say that as far as the truth goes it's about as close as you'll get. The problem is everyone involved has a massive agenda, either to stay out of jail, to boost their ego or to simply stay alive. And you really can't gloss over the Colombian thing. Not to say people like Jon Robrts weren't violent but once the cartels started to get properly involved the violence did simply go off the scale. Shootings in shopping malls, etc. You should read the book it's based on. The author questions the validity of a lot of the stories he's told but even he eventually can't deny that it was horrible, but also utterly glamorous. It's hard not to turn Miami in the 80s into gun porn. The police would never talk about it because they were knee deep in it all themselves and from what I've read about Griselda, the doc actually under-plays a lot of it.

 


This is the book you want to read. It's what the doc was based on but more focused on Roberts (it's basically his memoir). It gets repetitive towards the end as it does just become a paranoid sequence of killing and fucking but I do believe that for people like Roberts, that was what it was like. And the first third, which talks about him in Vietnam and which barely makes the doc at all is I guarantee one of the most flat out crazy things you'll ever read - even if you don't end up believing a word of it.
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Old 01.27.2014, 02:06 PM   #17723
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
I have a perverse fascination with that whole 80s Miami thing. I read as much about it as I can (including the book the doc was based on) and can say that as far as the truth goes it's about as close as you'll get. The problem is everyone involved has a massive agenda, either to stay out of jail, to boost their ego or to simply stay alive. And you really can't gloss over the Colombian thing. Not to say people like Jon Robrts weren't violent but once the cartels started to get properly involved the violence did simply go off the scale. Shootings in shopping malls, etc. You should read the book it's based on. The author questions the validity of a lot of the stories he's told but even he eventually can't deny that it was horrible, but also utterly glamorous. It's hard not to turn Miami in the 80s into gun porn. The police would never talk about it because they were knee deep in it all themselves and from what I've read about Griselda, the doc actually under-plays a lot of it.




 


This is the book you want to read. It's what the doc was based on but more focused on Roberts (it's basically his memoir). It gets repetitive towards the end as it does just become a paranoid sequence of killing and fucking but I do believe that for people like Roberts, that was what it was like. And the first third, which talks about him in Vietnam and which barely makes the doc at all is I guarantee one of the most flat out crazy things you'll ever read - even if you don't end up believing a word of it.

Thanks for the book recommend - that looks really interesting, will see if I can order that online tonight (EDIT - just ordered it from Amazon UK)

Agree with you on what you say on the Miami/Colomiba drug wars thing - "Cocaine Cowboys" could have really gone into that into great detail, but for whatever reason, chose to skim the surface and not dig any deeper. Griselda is a fascinating/gruesome figure, for sure, and you'd think that spending so much time on her, the doc would have provided some real info there - but again, the doc skims the surface and treats her like some sort of "mystery" figure.

(EDIT - missed the bit where you said you've already seen the doc - whoops! Sorry about that)
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Old 01.27.2014, 03:36 PM   #17724
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I've seen it and I love it but, as I said, I'm fascinated with everything related to that subject so I was always going to. And compared to the book, the doc is, if anything, really toned down. A lot of it's fabricated but enough isn't for it to be a total mindfuck.

The problem for the film is that because it could never really go into some of the violence it kind of had to focus more on exotic characters like Griselda and the glamourous lifestyles. It's all in the book too but more as a backdrop to the more brutal stuff. The problem with the gun porn argument is that that's how people like Roberts saw it and pretty much lived it. Same with the glamour. To underplay it would've been to pretend that they weren't leading playboy lifestyles, which they were. For a time anyway.

Same with the issue of the cartels. The film (and the book) isn't really about them. It's really about some young American upstarts who pioneered the drug trade in Miami prior to their arrival so it's not really fair to criticise it for not dealing with a topic it's only tangentially about. There was definitely violence before the cartels got involved but its a historical fact that once the likes of Carlos Lehder got involved it escalated out of all control, but that's really when the story of people like Jon Roberts and Mickey Munday sort of ends. There's plenty of books and docs about the cartels. This tells another story where they're really not at the centre. If you want to get more into that stuff, Simon Strong's book Whitewash is far better, and there's countless docs on people like Lehder and Escobar.

There's a sequel to Cocaine Cowboys that's pretty much all about Griselda. It's not as good as the first one but obviously goes into lots more details about her. But it seems much more tailored to a kind of gangsta-rap friendly audience than the original was.

Cocaine Cowboys II: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx_M3_FBUTY

Hunting Escobar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwuud6vwkhw
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Old 01.27.2014, 05:08 PM   #17725
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There's a Cocaine Cowboys II?? Ye gods! (Have saved that onto my "to view" list on YouTube, & ditto w/"Hunting Escobar").

The cartels stuff you mention sounds completely insane/psycho - will defo have to look more into that. Have added "White Wash" to my Amazon wishlist - will buy it once I've bought and read "American Desperado".

And on this: "The film (and the book) isn't really about them. It's really about some young American upstarts who pioneered the drug trade in Miami prior to their arrival so it's not really fair to criticise it for not dealing with a topic it's only tangentially about." - I hadn't factored in the cartels stuff, so I think that's fair comment, even if, on balance, I still personally feel that "CC" is highly flawed. But as you say, there is plenty on this subject to get your teeth into.
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Old 01.27.2014, 05:34 PM   #17726
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The Caine Mutiny

I tried watching On The Road, but even Kristen Stewarts nipples couldn't get me through it...
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Old 01.28.2014, 02:19 PM   #17727
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Excellent interview with Joaquim Pheonix, discussing HER and more:

http://www.npr.org/programs/fresh-ai...ate=2014-01-21
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Old 01.28.2014, 02:26 PM   #17728
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Originally Posted by tesla69
Kristen Stewarts nipples

i like her face a bit, but i think she's a terrible actress

AM I WRONG?
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Old 01.28.2014, 02:32 PM   #17729
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i like her face a bit, but i think she's a terrible actress

AM I WRONG?

Did you see Adventureland? It's with Kristin, before she got big. I remember thinking how much I liked her and how I wanted to keep an eye on her future projects. Boy, was I wrong.

She's no longer a real actress. She's just "Kristin Stewart" the celebrity/product. Good or bad doesn't matter. She shows up in a movie and you either go, "She's cool" or "She's annoying" and that's about it.

All that said, I'd enjoy seeing her nipples.
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Old 01.28.2014, 02:36 PM   #17730
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evollove
Did you see Adventureland? It's with Kristin, before she got big. I remember thinking how much I liked her and how I wanted to keep an eye on her future projects. Boy, was I wrong.

She's no longer a real actress. She's just "Kristin Stewart" the celebrity/product. Good or bad doesn't matter. She shows up in a movie and you either go, "She's cool" or "She's annoying" and that's about it.

All that said, I'd enjoy seeing her nipples.

adventureland…. yes yes. with zuckerberg? sure! and that snl guy. that was fun, if a bit of a cliché ending. i liked her character, and i liked her face, but she was pretty wooden though, as i recall.
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Old 01.29.2014, 01:15 PM   #17731
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An excellent atmospheric horror effort from Wise, and a film where Hammer-style theatrics are ignored in place of psychological tension and dread. Great performances from the cast, and the black and white cinematography looks fantastic. Perhaps slightly overlong (this one hits the 2 hour mark), "The Haunting" nevertheless is a stellar example of 60's horror at its finest. In fact, it comes close to being as seminal and powerful as "Carnival Of Souls" at points, so you know that this is an exemplary one. If you're into your horror stuff, this comes very highly recommended indeed.
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Old 01.29.2014, 01:57 PM   #17732
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evollove
Did you see Adventureland? It's with Kristin, before she got big. I remember thinking how much I liked her and how I wanted to keep an eye on her future projects. Boy, was I wrong. She's no longer a real actress. She's just "Kristin Stewart" the celebrity/product. Good or bad doesn't matter. She shows up in a movie and you either go, "She's cool" or "She's annoying" and that's about it.
.



Why? She was never an actress to begin with. She can't act when it comes to delivering lines, she is one of those "faces" actors, who makes faces, pantomimes, and expressive gestures. Essentially movies just pan in an out of her facial expressions.

Quote:
All that said, I'd enjoy seeing her nipples.

Meh, chalky white girl nipples are a dime a dozen, I'd be more interested in Kristen Bell yo! Damn. Years ago I watched every single damned episode of Veronica Mars religiously, rushing home from University classes and never missing a new episode for both seasons, until the honeymoon was over and I realized the acting and production was fine, but realistically I just had a huge school boy crush on Kristen Bell.

https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/i...yI5JKD8yXz3lUV
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Old 01.29.2014, 03:21 PM   #17733
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MellySingsDoom
 


An excellent atmospheric horror effort from Wise, and a film where Hammer-style theatrics are ignored in place of psychological tension and dread. Great performances from the cast, and the black and white cinematography looks fantastic. Perhaps slightly overlong (this one hits the 2 hour mark), "The Haunting" nevertheless is a stellar example of 60's horror at its finest. In fact, it comes close to being as seminal and powerful as "Carnival Of Souls" at points, so you know that this is an exemplary one. If you're into your horror stuff, this comes very highly recommended indeed.

Totally agree. One of the few horror films (along with Carnival of Souls and a handful of others) that's actually frightening.
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Old 01.29.2014, 03:41 PM   #17734
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Death Wish IV.. and just for demonrail, I hated every damned minute of it, but I watched at least half an hour just out of crass spite!
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Old 01.29.2014, 04:06 PM   #17735
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philistine
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Old 01.29.2014, 04:08 PM   #17736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
philistine

Yes, that was definitely a Philistine movie, the first one was decent enough, but by the III or IV sequel it become not only redundant but Bronson's character devolved into a caricature of the first one.
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Old 01.29.2014, 05:57 PM   #17737
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In this case I'd obviously have to agree. I like the first one and II has a decent sleazy quality but the rot was setting in even then. III was awful though and I'm not sure I even bothered with the 4th one. But Bronson was a has-been by then. The difference is for you he's a never-was. So you're still a philistine.
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Old 01.30.2014, 03:08 AM   #17738
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blue jasmine
august: osage county
dallas buyers club
so far the latter has been my fav in all aspects.


gonna look for the cocaine cowboys today. thanks.
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Old 01.31.2014, 01:13 PM   #17739
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All round decent effort from Joel and Ethan Coen in their latest film, in which folk singer/guitarist (Oscar Isaac) navigates the early 60's Greenwich Village scene, and one by one burns his bridges as he struggles to get gigs, gets a female folk singer (Carey Mulligan) pregnant, and surfs from couch to couch as he attempts to establish himself as a folk musician. An ill-fated trip to Chicago sees him sharing a car with a heroin-using jazz pianist (John Goodman), and eventually he decides to rejoin the merchant navy, but even this doesn't work out for him. Thje film ends as Issac's set at a folk club is followed by that of a somewhat well-known emerging protest-folk musician, and Isaac (after taking another beating) sees his life going absolutely nowhere.

Oscar Isaac acquits himself well as the dissolute musician who just can't seem to get anywhere. Carey Mulligan is striking and mean-mouthed at the same time, and John Goodman's role is brief but still convinving. The plot moves along at a fair old pace, and there are one of two laugh out loud moments amongst the more sombre scenes of the film. The folk music soundtrack is overall fairly decent, and the film looks very good - Greenwich Village of the time being evoked pretty well. There's a long-running meme about a runaway cat, and Garrett Hedlund's short role as a near-silent, chain smoking beat poet is certainly textbook Coen territory.

So, "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a nice addtion to the Coen oeuvre, and worth seeing, even if folk music doesn't particularly interest you. One slight issue, however: in the recording seesion scene, an electric guitar can clearly be heard on the soundtrack, even though the scene in question has acoustic guitars only. A bit early to be citing Dylan's electric period, methinks!
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Old 01.31.2014, 02:17 PM   #17740
ilduclo
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I disagree about Carrie Mulligan, I thought she was non convincing and also thought the John Goodman role was pretty gratuitous. The driver, who I thought was supposed to be Neal Cassidy was great, as was the sister and the club owner in Chicago. One of my favorites in a while. I also saw a few not correct for the period objects and styles, but it was all in all pretty accurately done. Left the movie house with a good feeling. A good antidote movie for either the reality is tremendously awful movies or the alternative, life is just grand and love is in the air fakiness out of Hollywuud.
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