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Old 01.24.2014, 11:04 AM   #17861
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^^^ (boom tish etc)
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Old 01.24.2014, 11:08 AM   #17862
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i put 12 years a slave in my netflix quee cuz there's no decent movie houses near me. it predicts 5 stars! see you in 3-6 months.

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ps- netflix sez there's a 1984 version directed by gordon parks!!
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Old 01.24.2014, 11:42 AM   #17863
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OSCARS

They're fun if you don't take them too seriously. Actually, a pretty good bunch this year.

12 Years a Slave-Haven't seen. See above for discussion.
American Hustle-Christian Bale AND Bradley Cooper?? No the fuck thank you. (Actually, this looks fun in an ARGO sort of way. Still.)

Captain Phillips- Thought it was racist the Somali pirates were black. Kidding. Don't fuck with USA!

Gravity- Epic but intimate. Neat.

Her- Manages to be original, thought-provoking and pretty tedious. I had to bump up the playback speed on this. Still, glad it exists.

Nebraska- I dunno. Not a huge Payne fan. Acting is great.

Philomena- Good. Not enough of Steve Coogan's ass, so I have to say Alpha Papa was better.

The Wolf of Wall Street- Sum not equal to parts. A number of great scenes, but even after three hours I thought, "That's it?" If Casino is a poor man's Goodfellas, this is the poor man's Casino.

Blue Jasmine and Inside Llewyn Davis not nominated? Weird.

And evollove's Oscar goes to:

 


DALLAS BUYER'S CLUB

I know. I'm as surprised as anyone. I assumed it would be a sappy Hollywood tear-jerker. It's not. At all.

SPOILER ALERT: A few characters have HIV/AIDS. So I figure there's got to be a scene where the character is dying in a hospital bed and in a weak voice gives a life-affirming speech while a dramatic orchestra plays on the soundtrack. This scene is NOT in the movie.

Also, there's a court battle in the plot. But no prolonged court room scene with high drama and lovely speeches. It's over in about thirty seconds.

Basically, this film is not at all what I thought it would be. It moves toward cliche, then quickly veers in another, more honest direction. Matthew McConaughey is clearly going to win, as he should.

I pre-judged this movie. Thought it was going to suck in 99 different ways. (Look at that poster. A slab of cheese.) I was so wrong. Best film of the bunch.
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Old 01.24.2014, 02:08 PM   #17864
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Finally got round to seeing Fassbinder's debut feature film, and it's overall pretty impressive stuff. Fassbinder himself stars as Franz, a small-time criminal who finds himself being compelled to join a local gang. The film follows Franz as he and his associates, including fellow criminal Bruno (Ulli Lommel) goes through various scenarios, including the killing of a revenge-fuelled Turkish man. The police are on their tail on this one (and on other crimes the pair have been fingered for as well), and the film climaxes in a planned armed robbery which goes wrong, leading to the death of Bruno after being shot by the police. Franz ends up escpaing with his girfriend Joanna (Hanna Schygulla), and here the film ends.
Filmed in black and white, "Love Is Colder Than Death" initially has a stagey feel to it, but soon opens up as Franz and co wander through the environs of an un-named Bavarian town. Faasbinder spends an inordinate amount of time smoking and snarling at all and sundry, and this with his leather biker jacket, kicks off the public image that he had through much of his career. Ulli Lommel acquits himself well (and dresses in a style remisicent of Hunter S Thompson in his "Fear and Loathing..." era). Hanna Schygulla doesn't have that many lines, but looks striking and delivers a much-needed female presence to the film. The direction itself is competent and functional, but there are hints to what would later develop into Fassbinder's trademark style (use of slow camera pans, "still" images on film etc).
As a debut feature entry into the emerging New German Cinema, this is definitely an important film, I reckon. I have some rather large gaps in my Fassbinder film viewing, and this has certainly whetted my appetite to check out more of his output this year. Very much recommended if you're interested in post-war German cinema.
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Old 01.25.2014, 09:00 PM   #17865
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Lamberto Bava's poor sequel to his own "Demons". Not even a script (co-written by Dario Argento) helps matters at all. Not a film I can recommend, really. For Lamberto Bava completists only.
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Old 01.25.2014, 11:47 PM   #17866
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"Chafed Elbows" by Robert Downey Sr
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Old 01.26.2014, 07:28 AM   #17867
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The Manchurian Candidate remake with Denzel, a bit rough around the edges, but decent.
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Old 01.26.2014, 01:26 PM   #17868
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Great, great film based on the lives of a soul DJ based in the Dalston area in 1977. Fine action/plot, a class soundtrack, accurate portrayal of gay characters, and a piece of social history in itself. Never a boring moment, either. Definitely recommended if this sounds like it floats your boat.
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Old 01.26.2014, 02:12 PM   #17869
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what comes first,
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Old 01.26.2014, 05:52 PM   #17870
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MellySingsDoom
 


Great, great film based on the lives of a soul DJ based in the Dalston area in 1977. Fine action/plot, a class soundtrack, accurate portrayal of gay characters, and a piece of social history in itself. Never a boring moment, either. Definitely recommended if this sounds like it floats your boat.

Sorry but while it's heart might be in the right place, that's a bloody awful film. A cliche ridden embarrassment.
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Old 01.26.2014, 06:09 PM   #17871
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
Sorry but while it's heart might be in the right place, that's a bloody awful film. A cliche ridden embarrassment.

Heh heh - been a while since we disagreed on a film, eh? Fair enough to you - personally, I found it enjoyable stuff, though certainly don't expect you to like everything I do! Be interested to know your take on it, if you have a spare moment.

Talking of seriously bad films, someone on FB tried to talk up Jesus Franco's "Bloody Moon" as being a decent giallo effort. I remember that one as being an absolutely godawful trainwreck, with some of the worst special effects I've ever seen. I think I lent it to you, and you referred to it as "Bloody Awful"!

PS. Just about to watch Claude Chabrol's "The Breach" - have you seen that one at all?
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Old 01.26.2014, 06:39 PM   #17872
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I just think Isaac Julien was so busy shoe horning good causes into the thing that he forgot to make a watchable film. The acting's no better than you'd find in a 'serious' bit of kids tv and the politics seem no more real than those massive 'community' murals you used to find on the sides of run down housing estates. YSR is testament to a period when British cinema seemed to be run by social workers rather than filmmakers.
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Old 01.26.2014, 08:38 PM   #17873
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
I just think Isaac Julien was so busy shoe horning good causes into the thing that he forgot to make a watchable film. The acting's no better than you'd find in a 'serious' bit of kids tv and the politics seem no more real than those massive 'community' murals you used to find on the sides of run down housing estates. YSR is testament to a period when British cinema seemed to be run by social workers rather than filmmakers.

Definitely some interesting thoughts there - to be honest, I haven't seen that much Brit cinema of this period, so I should check out some more to see where you're coming from on this. Agreed that the acting ain't exactly A1 level stuff, but it didn't come across as that particularly awful to me. As for the politics - well, I did have a good laugh when one of the characters turned out to be an SWP member (they get everywhere, don't they?), and will concede that the "NF News" bit was a tad shoehorned in, though I still think the gay stuff was overall sensible and even-handed. I'm trying to think of other films that had the "worthy" thing going on which I've seen, and nothing's coming up so far - it'll probably come to me once I wake up in a few hours time (wait a sec - would Godard's "La Chinoise" count as "worthy", or is that a different beast altogether?).

Anyway, ta muchly for your take on it - always appreciate your views on film business and stuff.
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Old 01.27.2014, 04:44 AM   #17874
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Overall pretty impressive stuff by Claude Chabrol - a decent story, some good performances, and pretty-well paced. My criticisms of it is that it could have lost 15-20 mins of running time to tighten up the flow of the film, the ending is slighty daft, and the plot seems to veer off at tangents at times. But all in all, good work by Mr Chabrol. Will check out his "L'Enfer" in due course.
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Old 01.27.2014, 11:53 AM   #17875
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MellySingsDoom
Definitely some interesting thoughts there - to be honest, I haven't seen that much Brit cinema of this period, so I should check out some more to see where you're coming from on this. Agreed that the acting ain't exactly A1 level stuff, but it didn't come across as that particularly awful to me. As for the politics - well, I did have a good laugh when one of the characters turned out to be an SWP member (they get everywhere, don't they?), and will concede that the "NF News" bit was a tad shoehorned in, though I still think the gay stuff was overall sensible and even-handed. I'm trying to think of other films that had the "worthy" thing going on which I've seen, and nothing's coming up so far - it'll probably come to me once I wake up in a few hours time (wait a sec - would Godard's "La Chinoise" count as "worthy", or is that a different beast altogether?).

Anyway, ta muchly for your take on it - always appreciate your views on film business and stuff.

The difference with Godard is that you don't have to share his politics to enjoy or at least appreciate his films - although it obviously helps and I do think his films declined the more explicitly political they became. There are obviously great political filmmakers though (Eisenstein? Pasolini? Bunuel? Loach? Fassbinder?) but above all else they were great filmmakers full stop. I like some of Isaac Julien's short independent stuff but when it comes to features I just don't think he has a clue. It's telling that after YSR he went straight back to the independent/gallery scene and hasn't tried to make a feature film since. Thank fuck.

Some better politically oriented Brit stuff from that period would be (for me anyway) something like Letter to Brezhnev but the best stuff seemed to be more TV based: Edge of Darkness, Our Friends in the North, A Very British Coup, Boys From the Black Stuff, Made in Britain, etc.
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Old 01.27.2014, 11:55 AM   #17876
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Originally Posted by demonrail666
The difference with Godard is that you don't have to share his politics to enjoy or at least appreciate his films - although it obviously helps and I do think his films declined the more explicitly political they became. There are obviously great political filmmakers though (Eisenstein? Pasolini? Bunuel? Fassbinder?) but above all else they were great filmmakers full stop. I like some of Isaac Julien's short independent stuff but when it comes to feature films I just don't think he has a clue. It's telling that after YSR he went straight back to the independent/gallery scene and hasn't tried to make a feature film since. Thank fuck.

maybe it's the way these people get funding. here if you want money from PBS you have to touch all these fucking "points" or whatever. ugh!
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Old 01.27.2014, 12:00 PM   #17877
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demonrail666
The difference with Godard is that you don't have to share his politics to enjoy or at least appreciate his films - although it obviously helps and I do think his films declined the more explicitly political they became. There are obviously great political filmmakers though (Eisenstein? Pasolini? Bunuel? Fassbinder?) but above all else they were great filmmakers full stop. I like some of Isaac Julien's short independent stuff but when it comes to feature films I just don't think he has a clue. It's telling that after YSR he went straight back to the independent/gallery scene and hasn't tried to make a feature film since. Thank fuck.

Didn't realise that Julien didn't make another feature after YSR - well, I never. Think I'll defo check out some of his shorts though. And yep, agree w/you on the political film-makers you cite. I'd also throw in Costa-Gavras ("Z") too. Re. Godard, I love loads of his pre-explicity political stuff, and even "La Chinoise" has its charms to me as well, even if I think the nutty Maoist stuff therein is completely daft. I do remember coming away from the "British Sounds" doc though thinking he missed a trick there - what could have been a v interesting politically-themed doc was a bit of a misfire to me in the end. A real shame, that.

PS. Your "thank fuck" comment made me chuckle

EDIT: Just seen the addition to your last post - not seen "Letter To Breznev", as it goes, but have seen much of the TV stuff you cite (especially love "Boys From The Black Stuff).
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Old 01.27.2014, 12:22 PM   #17878
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British Sounds fluctuates between brilliant and boring in roughly equal measures. But I like the fact that it's so confrontational and almost encourages you to walk out. YSR's far too nice for its own good, like an episode of Desmonds directed by Tom Robinson.

Quote:
Originally Posted by !@#$%!
maybe it's the way these people get funding. here if you want money from PBS you have to touch all these fucking "points" or whatever. ugh!

That's probably true in this case. The bulk of the money for that film was put up by Channel 4 which at that time liked to see itself as a champion of all things marginal. I'm sure there were meetings held during production as to whether room could be found for a black dyslexic lesbian vegan. For better or worse, it's no wonder the country quickly turned to the Happy Mondays and Men Behaving Badly as an antidote to it all.
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Old 01.27.2014, 12:39 PM   #17879
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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   #17880
demonrail666
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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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