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TV & Media Non-Trek television, movies, books, music, etc.

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Old January 8 2012, 04:41 AM   #46
Saul
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

5. The passion of Joan of Arc
6. Godzilla Vs MechaGodzilla 2002
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Old January 8 2012, 02:15 PM   #47
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

CaptainCanada wrote: View Post
In fact, I suspect the cut scenes showed the unwashed masses not to be so darkly impulsed, which would mean that Soderbergh made the movie a little worse than it had to be! In other words, the director as auteur was just the guy who fucked up something. This is creativity?
That assumption has no basis whatsoever.
A suspicion is not an assumption. You can't change the meanings of words just because you want to be argumentative. The suspicion is justified by Cotillard's character's reaction to learning that the vaccines released were placebo, along with the classroom scene. The judgment is that leaving this subplot undeveloped mildly detracts from the movie in any event. And if the suspicion was correct, it amplified a thematic flaw in the movie as well. I was taking Harvey's word that it was Soderbergh who excised the rest of the Cotillard subplot.

Re Soderbergh's style, it is obvious glancing at imdb that I've not seen much of his work (and also forgot he did Traffic.) Thus any stylistic signatures remain more or less unknown to me. Horizontal lighting, rapid shifts in perspective, a preference for midrange shots, a static camera in dialogue, moving camera in midscene, musical montage, whatever elements of Soderbergh's distinctive style might be are still eluding me.

Worst of all, I suppose, I still think monarchism is for nitwits.
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Old January 8 2012, 09:38 PM   #48
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

stj wrote: View Post
In fact, I suspect the cut scenes showed the unwashed masses not to be so darkly impulsed, which would mean that Soderbergh made the movie a little worse than it had to be! In other words, the director as auteur was just the guy who fucked up something. This is creativity?
I have no idea what the cut scenes contained (or when, for that matter, they occurred during the movie); I only know they were excised. The effort you go to to contort this information into your rage against film directors is amusing, though. Suspect away!

You might find this short article by the movie's screenwriter of interest.

Giving the most power to the person who has the least creative contribution I think explains one of the fundamental problems with Hollywood's creative process. And yes, I do think there's a creatively flawed process at work.
I agree, movie producers and studio executives offer a lot of interference with the creative process.

The funny thing is, the real issue may be the belief that Contagion is a bad movie, and Traffic is a good one.
I thought Contagion was a good, if not great, thriller. Traffic was a silly mess. The critics don't agree with me, though -- they liked both films. Here, posters almost all seemed to like it. So, what are you talking about?

---

1. Holy Rollers (B-)
2. The Kids Are All Right (B)
3. History of the World, Part 1 (C-)
4. Blazing Saddles (A+)


Two Mel Brooks films; the first on Blu-Ray, the second on DVD. History is, I think, an attempt to do a Life of Brian-like historical comedy (indeed, most of the film is set during the Roman period, despite its wider ambitions), but it doesn't quite succeed. Certainly, there are moments of individual brilliance, like "The Inquisition," a sharp musical number that is darkly comedic, but on the whole, the jokes are delivered at too slow a pace to compare to the Python movie.

Blazing Saddles is much more successful. A lot of film histories credit it with destroying the Western film genre, and although this is a gross exaggeration, I can see why historians might leap to that conclusion. The movie does perform an excellent job pointing out the conventions of many a Western (and by pointing out, I mean to say, poking fun at without reprieve). Honestly, it's just a damned funny movie, from beginning to end. I haven't seen every film by Mel Brooks, but I've seen enough to stand by a claim that this is his best movie by a wide margin.

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Old January 9 2012, 02:28 PM   #49
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

7, A touch of Zen
8. Goddess
9. The God of Gamblers
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Old January 9 2012, 04:00 PM   #50
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

1. My Week With Marilyn (B-)
2. Fantasia 2000 (B+)
3. Blade Runner (B)

This is one of the landmarks of the sci-fi genre and hugely influential on an aesthetic level (and watching it you can easily imagine how remarkable this vision of the future would have looked in 1982). However, three decades later, the aesthetics have become standard, and the story is not really that interesting. Rutger Hauer is the most compelling aspect of the film by far.

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Old January 9 2012, 05:52 PM   #51
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

Yes, Burns' defense of the importance of the actors' creative contribution was quite interesting. And it explains something I think about how some directors who were or are actors can feel more comfortable allowing actors to contribute creatively. If you thought this was supporting the case for the director as the primary creative force, you are quite mistaken.

Your belief that someone must be enraged in order to reject conventional wisdom is really quite shocking. How positively reactionary.
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Old January 9 2012, 07:12 PM   #52
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

Your adamant conviction that the one person who is involved in and supervises every aspect of production is not generally the primary creative influence is impressive.
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Old January 9 2012, 08:35 PM   #53
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

3. The Tree of Life - C+. I really enjoyed the first 1/3rd of this movie but the overt religious message (or what I took to be a religious message) had really turned me off by the end of it. The second half of the movie which showed in excruciating detail the particular dysfunctions of the narrator and his family was just really strange and off-putting to me.
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Old January 9 2012, 09:18 PM   #54
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

3. Bride of Frankenstein

Finally managed to watch another of the old Universal monster movies. Like the others I have seen, the ideas here are great (they use a lot of stuff from the novel that didn't make it into the first film), but the execution is not always the best (case in point: it was a great moment when the monster cried "We belong dead!", but that the castle had a self-destruct lever was silly).
Doctor Pretorious was creepy and I was surprised how little we saw of the Bride.
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Old January 9 2012, 10:05 PM   #55
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

stj wrote: View Post
If you thought this was supporting the case for the director as the primary creative force, you are quite mistaken.
I said it would be of interest, not that it would support any alleged auteurist stance of mine. And although I've pointed this out before, I am not, for the record, an auteurist. I simply find that your stance, which not only rejects the director as the film's author, but rejects that the director has almost any creative input, is not supported by any observation of Hollywood film production past or present.

Your belief that someone must be enraged in order to reject conventional wisdom is really quite shocking. How positively reactionary.
It's the only explanation I can find for your fanatic devotion to an untenable position. Auteurism, by the way, is hardly conventional wisdom; it's been out of favor in cinema and media studies since the early 1980s.

CaptainCanada wrote:
3. Blade Runner (B)

This is one of the landmarks of the sci-fi genre and hugely influential on an aesthetic level (and watching it you can easily imagine how remarkable this vision of the future would have looked in 1982). However, three decades later, the aesthetics have become standard, and the story is not really that interesting. Rutger Hauer is the most compelling aspect of the film by far.
I'm curious, which version did you see?
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Old January 9 2012, 10:35 PM   #56
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

Harvey wrote: View Post
I'm curious, which version did you see?
"The Final Cut" on Blu-ray.
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Old January 9 2012, 11:10 PM   #57
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

Ah, okay. That's easily the best version of the film out there, although the rough work print version is interesting to see (The theatrical and international versions are basically the same, inferior movie with the voice over, and the director's cut is essentially a less refined version of The Final Cut). I definitely like the movie more than you do, but I can understand the muted response.

By the way, if you haven't seen "Dangerous Days," the 3.5 hour making-of feature on the movie, budget the time. It's well worth it.
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Old January 9 2012, 11:40 PM   #58
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

It'd be nice to be able to view everything from the perspective that audiences originally saw it.
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Old January 10 2012, 12:18 AM   #59
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

1. Morning Glory (2010) ✭✭✭ 1/2
2. Special (2005) ✭✭✭
3. No Strings Attached (2011) ✭✭✭
4. Trust (2010) ✭✭✭ 1/2
5. TiMER (2009) ✭✭✭
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Old January 10 2012, 05:33 AM   #60
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Re: Movies Seen in 2012

1. War Horse (B-)
2. The Woman in the Window (A-)

A fine old film noir from 1944, featuring the same principal cast as the more famous Scarlet Street, made the following year. Edward G. Robinson plays a university professor whose wife and son have gone away on a trip. After admiring the portrait of a woman in a shop window, he is surprised to meet the artist's model, played by Joan Bennett. An innocent evening together entangles the two of them in murder, a cover-up, and blackmail at the hands of a crooked ex-cop, played by Dan Duryea. The Woman in the Window is lighter in tone than Scarlet Street (which is one of the bleakest, most nihilistic noirs ever made) but just as entertaining.


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