Movies Seen in 2010

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Starbreaker, Jan 1, 2010.

  1. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yup.
     
  2. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Sherlock Holmes [B-]
    Men in Black [A]
    Up in the Air [A]
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture [D+]
    I'm Not There [A]
    Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009) [D-]
    American Violet
    Inglourious Basterds [A]
    Death at a Funeral [B ]

    Since the remake is coming soon, I figured I would see the original. Not an oustanding comedy that I plan on returning to again and again, but it was absolutely worth seeing.

    And, to JacksonArcher, was too. :p
     
  3. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Now I know how Jay Leno feels like. :(

    Also, in regards to my thoughts on Inglourious Basterds: This is going to sound preachy but I had a problem with a movie that so gleefully plunged into the depths of violence without any regard whatsoever to the ethical consequences. Yes, I understand Inglourious Basterds was a revenge fantasy, but I couldn't help but cringe and question the existence of such a film that would promote violence in such a one-sided fashion. It seemed oddly masochistic. Inglourious Basterds, anyway, deals with a tragic aspect of history. Yes, I can take away that it is a film, with a fictionalized take on historical events. Regardless, by mercilessly killing the Nazi's, it makes the Basterds no more better than the individuals they swore to exterminate (i.e., the Nazi's).
     
  4. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd say it actually addresses and is more conscious of those ethical consequences than pretty much any cartoonish film that casts the Nazis as bad guys.

    The ethical logic of the film is willing to permit a wide range of people to be Nazis, even possibly sympathetic people - a young German kid who just wants to go back to his mother; a guy flushed over the birth of his child (and his rowdy pals), and of course, Daniel Bruehl, probably the most boyishly affable German actor around, the star of Goodbye Lenin! himself. There's even a little honour in the German soldier interrogated near the start of the movie, who says he got his medals for heroism.

    Alright, so Bruehl is eventually revealed to be a bastard, but otherwise the film is pushing the bounds of what it means to be a Nazi, humanizing the Nazis... and still finding it entirely satisfying to go and crush their skulls. It's actually following through the premise of films like Indiana Jones to their logical conclusion: If you are a Nazi, then against you all is permitted. Given the utter and despicable savagery of the regime there's just about nothing you can do to a Nazi that gosh darn it isn't the right thing to do.

    It manages to be self-conscious but also gleefully liberated in that sadism. It even gives us the whole thing in reverse, proving Hitler is evil because he's gleefully cackling while watching Americans get slaughtered in a movie.

    It also helps, mind, that I am a very strong advocate of black comedy. Killing the family man is always an excellent punchline to me, but I recognise I'm not everybody.
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Sherlock Holmes [B-]
    Men in Black [A]
    Up in the Air [A]
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture [D+]
    I'm Not There [A]
    Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009) [D-]
    American Violet
    Inglourious Basterds [A]
    Death at a Funeral [B ]
    A Serious Man [A]

    The Coen brothers deliver another movie that's one of the best of the year. I have no idea what to make of the prologue, nor the ending, but watching this man's life so completely fall apart was utterly hilarious, and often, oddly touching.
     
  6. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sure, but the film does little to give any depth to any of the Basterds. They are caricatures, driven only by their pure and unadulterated hatred for Nazi's and Germans alike. Which is why they are no better than the Nazi's. They gleefully exterminate the Nazi's with as much relish as the Nazi's would exterminate a Jew. So how does that make them better? Yes, the film sparingly humanizes some individual Nazi soldiers, but it gives barely any character development or humanization to any of the Basterds themselves, making them hollow and vapid.

    Furthermore, it would have been nice if perhaps one of the characters eventually had some type of emotional epiphany for senselessly killing so many people without a single thought or hesitation. It would have added depth and humanized some of the Basterds a bit, but no, there is no second's thought or any sign of remorse or hesitancy. They are stock standard, one-dimensional characters and they are boring and listless because of it.

    Then again, it follows the norm of a Quentin Tarantino movie. Excessive violence with no regard for human life. Hell, even as a film about people kicking the crap out of Nazi's there was actually not that much Nazi killing. So it sort of failed in the one way it may have succeeded.
     
  7. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's a provocative film and it draws strong reactions and provides good fodder for debate. Bear in mind that the film, as with much of Tarantino's work, is metatextual. It's not just a revenge fantasy within the framework of the story, but an assault aimed at shredding the mystique of Nazi imagery.

    Film critic Kim Morgan (an interesting writer who really should have a higher profile) named the film as one of the best of 2009 and wrote the following:

     
  8. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I saw the prologue in A Serious Man as an encapsulation of the whole movie. Good luck can be misfortune, you can try to reason out the logic of what happened and understand it - perhaps with recourse to religious beliefs - but you have no idea if that's right or not. Life is a confusing Jewish fable.

    The end, well; that continuing escalation of inexplicable events that is the human condition trudges on. All told, though, one of the best damn movies I saw last year.

    So is everybody, more or less (I think Daniel Bruehl and Christoph Waltz's characters were the best developed in the film, but that may be due to the actors).

    Because! They're killing Nazis. The Nazis are killing Jews. It's a hat game. Nazis are evil, it's okay to apply the Nazi's punishment to themselves, and it's okay because precisely they were doing that to Jews. And, again, unlike any other Hollywood film on the subject, at least Inglorious recognizes the unpleasantness of that logic. Indiana Jones just coasts over this stuff with a John Williams soundtrack.

    The film also takes the interesting stance of revelling in the violence without overly valorizing the Basterds also - they're stereotypical Americans, all thick accents, incomprehension of European languages, and not so much as a wet eye is expected whenever any of them die in the final cacophony of the movie. Shosanna is similar - she's tightly restrained, cool as hell, but never milked for sympathy. The emotional tone is just so, slick, detached, impersonal, stylish, which allows it to be a gleeful yet conscious revenge fantasy.

    Any emotional epiphany of any kind would ruin the film, as it is a cartoon - look also at the British, who are all basically movie war stereotypes and upper crust accents, as divorced from reality as one can be.
     
  9. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're looking for Ed Zwick moments in a Tarantino film, JA, and it wouldn't work at all.
     
  10. chrisspringob

    chrisspringob Commodore Commodore

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    The Road
    Downfall
    500 Days of Summer

    All were good, though The Road is really really depressing.
     
  11. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    An adept comparison since he directed Defiance, another Nazi-themed film. I rather enjoyed it, even though Inglourious Basterds exhibited better craftsmanship. Despite my numerous problems with that movie, it has some of the best sequences featured in a movie of last year, including the prologue with Hans Landa questioning the dairy farmer, which was Hitchcockian in its slow, progressive build of suspense.
     
  12. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    But the film's not really about the Basterds; for most of the movie, in fact, they're not in it.
     
  13. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, another point which I touch upon. For a movie about Nazi killing there's sparsely any Nazi killing. So even on that level it fails.
     
  14. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's more about people talking about killing than it is about killing.

    This is Tarantino, after all.
     
  15. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Another reason why I don't like Tarantino. Film is a visual medium. That's why there's the adage "Show, don't tell".
     
  16. Out Of My Vulcan Mind

    Out Of My Vulcan Mind Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If the Nazi killing was more frequent then the scenes of Nazi killing wouldn't pack as much punch as they do. And Tarantino is one of the most gifted directors around in terms of mise en scène. His visuals are impeccable. And when you add his flair for dialogue into the mix it's a potent combination.
     
  17. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Indeed. There doesn't feel like there is a single wasted moment in the film.

    We don't need to dwell on the Basterds any more than the film does, and the scenes we do get are plenty amusing. The film isn't just about Nazi killing and the Basterds, they're merely one part of a rather elaborately woven plot.

    I do think the advertising for the movie was a little deceptive in that regard. I went in expecting a kind of Seven Jewish American Samurai slay Nazis sort of movie; but I did love what I got.
     
  18. CaptainCanada

    CaptainCanada Admiral Admiral

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    That's not really the story he's telling, hence, why he doesn't centre on it. The trailers certainly present the film that way (probably because it's the most marketable angle and the only plotline that has characters talking without subtitles).
    Some parts of Part 4 I thought were a bit flabby; I'd have cut most of the scene with the British officers talking about the operation. I've gone back and forth on the bar scene between whether it's overlong or pretty much perfect; I lean toward the latter.
     
  19. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Eh, I liked that bit because of all the silly British-ness of it, and, obviously, as a fake-out (it's implying that these guys and any of this will have relevance later), but yes, not the best scene in the film.

    I think it's overlongingly perfect.
     
  20. JacksonArcher

    JacksonArcher Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I like Pulp Fiction and to a degree Kill Bill. I wanted to like Inglourious Basterds. I even like black comedy. I guess I'm just defunct.
     

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