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Old April 10 2010, 06:30 PM   #451
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Welles had certainly gained weight by 1958, but not to the excess of his later life. He's wearing a fat suit and make-up in Touch of Evil. There's actually an amusing anecdote where everyone on set was telling Welles how good he looked, while he was wearing the fat suit.

The desk clerk you mention is played by Dennis Weaver, no? I think his character mostly (or perhaps totally, I don't know) came from the studio's mandated re-shoots done without Welles, but on the other hand he seemed to like some of these scenes, since he asks for them to be included in his long memo about how the film should have been re-edited.

Which version did you see, btw?
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Old April 10 2010, 08:42 PM   #452
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The 1998 version based on Welles' memo.
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Old April 10 2010, 10:25 PM   #453
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Okay--that's probably the best version, judging from what I've read online. But it isn't, of course, Welles' original version, since he approved of some of the studio changes made after he turned in his cut.

I know the memo is on at least some of the DVDs of the film. It would be interesting to read sometime when I have a moment to cruise through 58 pages...
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Old April 11 2010, 04:04 AM   #454
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

53. Woman of the Year (B-)

This is the first of the Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn collaborations (there would be eight more over the years), originally released in January of 1942. It got Hepburn another of her Oscar nominations, and the Oscar for Original Screenplay for Michael Kanin (whose brother cowrote Adam's Rib, which was my movie #) and Ring Lardner Jr. (he of the blacklist). As a film, it's...ehh. It takes some interesting detours from rom-com formula, such as having the leads get married about a third of the way through. The chemistry between Tracy and Hepburn is evident. It's a bit on the long side (around two hours).

There are a couple of aspects of the film that haven't aged especially well. Firstly, it's sort of awkwardly positioned on the feminist scale. Hepburn's playing her typical feminist heroine: she's an important, well-connected journalist, heavily involved in important international issues (we're told she had a one-on-one conversation with Churchill in London, she chairs a committee on Greek refugee children, she's voted Woman of the Year). Her suitor/husband is a sports journalist, and after getting married he finds she's rarely got much time or consideration for him; to at least some extent, she's not a "woman" at all. When trying to win him back, she attempts to cook breakfast, which she proves totally inept at - Tracy's character pulls a last minute save here by declaring that she's now going overboard in the other direction and that he's not interested in her being either Tess Harding or Mrs. Sam Craig ("Tess Harding-Craig", as he puts it). That in and of itself is pretty forward for the period, but the overall thrust of the movie is a bit awkward (at the same time, it's nice to see a romantic comedy where it's the woman who fucks things up and has to make amends).

The other is also a product of the film's production period. It was released in January 1942, meaning it was filmed some time in 1941; as such, the America we see here isn't at war, but the big fight is very much underway overseas (Tess' office even has a big map of Europe clearly demarcating the extent of Axis territory). Tess is, as I said, an internationalist; Sam really couldn't seem to care much at all about it (he doesn't even know what Vichy is). On their wedding night, they're visited by an old acquaintance of Tess', a Yugoslavian diplomat who has just escaped from a "concentration camp" (a term that obviously had less horrific connotations at the time) and has rushed to see her - Sam (and the film) treat him and his entourage as comic intruders. It feels kind of bizarre.
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Old April 11 2010, 06:18 AM   #455
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Hot Tub Time Machine

Fantastic!
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Old April 11 2010, 09:27 AM   #456
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

I saw The Greatest, which would be a questionable title if the movie sucked, but fortunately I was really taken by the film. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Carey Mulligan, Johnny Simmons and Aaron Johnson, The Greatest is a subtle and poignant look at grief and how we all grieve in different and unique ways.

The plot follows young lovers Bennett (Johnson) and Rose (Mulligan) who lose their virginity one night when later on Bennett tragically loses his life in a car accident. This isn't a spoiler, since this is the basis of the film. The rest of the film follows the family unit of Allen (Brosnan), Grace (Sarandon) and younger kid brother Ryan (Simmons). Allen is the stoic father, unable to show emotion. Grace is the inconsolable mother, whose grief is intense. Ryan is the drug addled brother, torn by the death of his brother, whom we gather had a significant but perhaps negative affect on his life (or so we're initially led to believe).

Enter Rose, who shows up at their doorstep announcing to the grieving family that she is pregnant with Bennett's child. The family reacts in different ways -- Allen, being the consummate gentlemen and leader of the house, takes Rose in and in a strange inexplicably poignant way ends up bonding with her. Grace is more indifferent, if completely disinterested in helping out Rose or learning anything about her. She doesn't care about Rose's child. She wants her own child back.

Rose's explanation for moving in with them is that she has no place to go, but what we gather based on Rose's interaction with the family is that she barely knew Bennett, and wishes to know more about the dead father of her unborn child. It's a very strange but affecting dynamic that brews amongst the household, and makes for some very compelling scenes, such as one where they all have dinner together and a slew of awkward moments arise.

The Greatest portrays an emotionally intricate portrait of a family that is unsure of how to cope given the loss of someone very close in their lives. It examines the difficulty of grief and how there are no easy answers. Everyone reacts in their own way. Ryan, who appears emotionally detached throughout most of the film, is forced to come to terms with his emotions in an unfortunate but natural way. Furthermore, the characters grow and transform right before our eyes. There are no big revelations, or melodramatic shockers, but quiet, introverted conflict. The Greatest deals with repressed baggage, and how we internalize things we don't want to confront, and how eventually those feelings will manifest and find a way to externalize themselves sooner or later. It's also about the relationships in our lives, and how we are each significant to each other, whether we realize it or not.
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Old April 11 2010, 09:38 PM   #457
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Twelve Angry Men (original, and only true film version) 10/10
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix 8/10
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Old April 12 2010, 12:56 AM   #458
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

64. Notes on a Scandal [A-]
65. Shutter Island [B-]
66. Gosford Park [A]
67. The Third Man [A]
68. Fantastic Planet [A]
69. Pandorum [C]
70. Trancers [D-]
71. D-Tox [F]
72. Whatever it Takes (2010) [B-]
73. Mystic River [A-]
74. 2012 [D]
75. The Fog of War [A]
76. The Octagon [F]
77. Leprechaun In The Hood [C-]
78. Ninja Assassin [D]
79. Modern Times [A]
80. Full Frontal [B-]
81. Dazed and Confused [B ]
82. Sherlock Holmes [B-]
83. From Russia with Love [B+]

This is probably my favorite Bond film with Connery in the role. It retains the almost primal version of the character shown in Dr. No (witness Bond's rough fights with two villains near the end), but also introduces Q and a few other elements that would become standards of the series. The gadget, a tricked out briefcase, is still simple enough to be believable. SPECTRE's plot is straightforward (pit Russia against MI6 in order to steal a Lektor device) and the identity of Blofield hasn't been demolished of dramatic possibilities by endless recasting yet. Bond even still has his girlfriend from the last movie (alas, any sense of a private life for the character will be dropped in the next installment).

Robert Shaw is an inspired choice to play Grant, and absolutely perfect until he opens his mouth. Alas, his voice doesn't quite project the menace of his eyes and body language, but it's a small complaint. The Istanbul Station Chief is probably the most developed and sympathetic secondary character in the series until Mathis 20 films later, and when Bond discovers his death it's an honestly sad moment.
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Old April 12 2010, 05:01 AM   #459
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

Watched Seraphim Falls on DVD last night...it was Not. Good. at all.

Stupid previously viewed blind buy....
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Old April 12 2010, 05:23 AM   #460
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

64. Notes on a Scandal [A-]
65. Shutter Island [B-]
66. Gosford Park [A]
67. The Third Man [A]
68. Fantastic Planet [A]
69. Pandorum [C]
70. Trancers [D-]
71. D-Tox [F]
72. Whatever it Takes (2010) [B-]
73. Mystic River [A-]
74. 2012 [D]
75. The Fog of War [A]
76. The Octagon [F]
77. Leprechaun In The Hood [C-]
78. Ninja Assassin [D]
79. Modern Times [A]
80. Full Frontal [B-]
81. Dazed and Confused [B ]
82. Sherlock Holmes [B-]
83. From Russia with Love [B+]
84. Dr. Strangelove [A]

(Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

This dark comedy by Kubrick is brilliant, hilarious, and well-crafted. It's not the first time I've seen it, and, really, what more can be said about it that hasn't already been said? I was particularly keyed in on the sexual subtext of the film, and boy, is it everywhere.
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Old April 12 2010, 07:28 PM   #461
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

54. Bringing Up Baby (B)

This deeply disquieting screwball comedy is often considered a classic of the genre. Directed by Howard Hawks and starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, I wanted to like this going in, but I had serious issues with the Hepburn character which really impeded by enjoyment of the film (and, unlike the earlier Woman of the Year, it's not a matter of outdated gender roles or anything). The story is about Dr. David Huxley (Grant, who's usually suave, but here plays a nerd), a museum worker trying to convince a rich woman to donate a million dollars to the museum; in the process of golfing with her lawyer, he runs across Susan (Hepburn). Susan proceeds to, basically, destroy his life through a mixture of near-sociopathic insensitivity and her fixation on getting him for herself despite knowing that he's engaged to be married (even contriving reasons to keep him occupied on his wedding day). All this is supposed to be riotously funny (and there are many very amusing and clever parts), but this woman is just disturbing. Someone check her into a mental hospital right now.
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Old April 12 2010, 07:35 PM   #462
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

od0_ital wrote: View Post
Watched Seraphim Falls on DVD last night...it was Not. Good. at all.

Stupid previously viewed blind buy....
I liked the first half of this movie... but it's not a good Western by modern standards.
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Old April 13 2010, 09:29 PM   #463
Harvey
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

64. Notes on a Scandal [A-]
65. Shutter Island [B-]
66. Gosford Park [A]
67. The Third Man [A]
68. Fantastic Planet [A]
69. Pandorum [C]
70. Trancers [D-]
71. D-Tox [F]
72. Whatever it Takes (2010) [B-]
73. Mystic River [A-]
74. 2012 [D]
75. The Fog of War [A]
76. The Octagon [F]
77. Leprechaun In The Hood [C-]
78. Ninja Assassin [D]
79. Modern Times [A]
80. Full Frontal [B-]
81. Dazed and Confused [B ]
82. Sherlock Holmes [B-]
83. From Russia with Love [B+]
84. Dr. Strangelove [A]
85. Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train [C+]

Zinn is a fascinating figure, but this documentary falls a little flat at times. I'd rather hear Zinn describe his life than hear Matt Damon read from his various books. I think the film spends too much time with the latter, but, then again, the filmmakers scored Matt Damon, so it's understandable that he's such a big part of it. There's a strong emphasis on Zinn's activities as a protester, and although these are interesting, there's probably a protest speech too many. Still, it doesn't make a bad introduction to a very interesting man who wrote a number of influential books in his time.
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Old April 14 2010, 09:02 PM   #464
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

64. Notes on a Scandal [A-]
65. Shutter Island [B-]
66. Gosford Park [A]
67. The Third Man [A]
68. Fantastic Planet [A]
69. Pandorum [C]
70. Trancers [D-]
71. D-Tox [F]
72. Whatever it Takes (2010) [B-]
73. Mystic River [A-]
74. 2012 [D]
75. The Fog of War [A]
76. The Octagon [F]
77. Leprechaun In The Hood [C-]
78. Ninja Assassin [D]
79. Modern Times [A]
80. Full Frontal [B-]
81. Dazed and Confused [B ]
82. Sherlock Holmes [B-]
83. From Russia with Love [B+]
84. Dr. Strangelove [A]
85. Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train [C+]
86. The Graduate [A]
87. Return to Me [C]

The Graduate -- I've heard a few younger posters on this board (and by younger, I mean my age, early 20s) who don't like this film. I can't understand why. Hoffman is brilliant as the incredibly awkward Benjamin Braddock, and Nichols' use of long takes occasionally interrupted by quick edits perfectly emphasizes this point. Does Benjamin's romance with Elaine happen a little quickly? Possibly, but it doesn't bother me a whole lot. The music is perfect (and probably even better over time...the lyrics to 'Mrs. Robinson' are held off for so long that when they're finally spoken as Benjamin emerges from a tunnel it's quite a release (I'll ignore the sexual implications of that for now ).

Return to Me -- I saw the second half of this film on television a few years ago, and always meant to see the rest of it. Not only does it have David Duchovny, who I will watch in anything, but it has a nice cast of supporting players and Duchovny and Minnie Driver have some genuine chemistry. Alas, the first half of the film takes itself much too seriously. The film is best when it plays it's hand with lightness, and it manages that best in the second half when it's not so caught up in tragedy.
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Last edited by Harvey; April 15 2010 at 12:25 AM.
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Old April 16 2010, 03:02 AM   #465
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Re: Movies Seen in 2010

The African Queen. Everything about it is terrific. This is the movie Bogie won his one Oscar for - very much deserved.
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