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Serious Movie Discussion | Page 20

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Bullitt68, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. chickenluver Bookmobile Driver

    chickenluver
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    I'm not clear on this myself. It's actually been a while since I've seen this, so I'm going to watch the movie again this week and post some more extensive thoughts.
    Do you mean the historical context of the films themselves or the subject matter of the films?

    In either case I don't think you have to worry. No prior knowledge needed for Parajanov imo. His films are like poems, just put one on and let it wash over you.
    Still waiting on those Pre-Code era Bette Davis recommendations.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  2. Bullitt68 Senior Moderator

    Bullitt68
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    Because I love you and because you love Barry Lyndon: Check out The Cabin in the Cotton (Davis in a pre-femme fatale type role), Three on a Match (a very different type of "women's film" than what would become standard fare in the years to come), 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (more for Spencer Tracy than Davis but still), Ex-Lady (the title should be enough), Jimmy the Gent (Cagney and Davis, enough said), and Of Human Bondage (not a very good movie IMO but it's Davis' first beast mode performance and that alone makes it worth it).
     
    #382
  3. chickenluver Bookmobile Driver

    chickenluver
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    [​IMG]

    Awesome, thanks a million.

    I've actually seen Of Human Bondage. I agree not a great movie, but Davis was very good and I'm a Leslie Howard fan as well so I enjoyed it. 20,000 Years in Sing Sing sounds great.

    Also 3 early Michael Curtiz films?

    [​IMG]
     
    #383
  4. Flemmy Stardust King of Lea

    Flemmy Stardust
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    Don't worry man. Jannetty didn't need the Rockers...he had Journey

    [​IMG]

    He sure did.

    Even weirder is that the only way you'd see that picture is if you bought the magazine.
     
    #384
  5. ufcfan4 Can't Andle The Riddum

    ufcfan4
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    hahah Journey.

    It always impressed me that Sweet Chin Music typically looked as good as it did. Probably not the easiest move to make look convincing but it very often did.
     
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  6. fingercuffs Plutonium Belt

    fingercuffs
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    New but I LOVE Shannon. I'm SO happy he got a nod, he won't win but I love it.
     
    #386
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  7. fingercuffs Plutonium Belt

    fingercuffs
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    I used to know Ruth from a NI programme and I'll never watch that film she's up for because I'll cry too much but she was damned good in Love/Hate.
     
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  8. fingercuffs Plutonium Belt

    fingercuffs
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    I'll never watch be able to watch Loving because I'll cry too much but I think she's already doing a beautiful job just from the trailers.
     
    #388
  9. Bubzeh Green Belt

    Bubzeh
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    Manchester by the Sea. Amazing.
     
    #389
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  10. DynamicLoosener Grass Fed Free Range Dolce Belt

    DynamicLoosener
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    i just watched Pacific Rim 3 more times. Isn't this the definition of insanity?
     
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  11. R.I.P. KMS Black Belt

    R.I.P. KMS
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    Watched this Friday night with the wife.. we both really liked it as well.. solid 7.5/10 for me. In the top 5 movies of 2016 I've watched.

    Watched The Magnificent 7 with the gf yesterday afternoon, not on the same level of Arrival but entertaining at the very least. I'd give it a generous 6/10...
     
    #391
  12. chickenluver Bookmobile Driver

    chickenluver
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    Watched a couple Shaw Brothers'

    The Kid with the Golden Arm I liked a lot. I feel like in this movie they just wanted to create a bunch of characters. We had the axe-wielding brothers, the proud warrior and his lady, the drunken master, the five members of the gang, Iron Feet, and even the Seven Hooks gang, although those guys were rather indistinct.

    The fights were good, particularly the scene where the axe brothers died. I also liked every scene with the drunken master a lot. He actually had some good lines too. Like a lot of these movies there are a few scenes of them standing around reciting lines in what sounds to me like a rather stiff manner. Not very memorable but no big deal really.

    Generally I've liked Cheh Chang's earlier stuff from the late 60s early 70s more than the late 70s early 80s Venom Mob era. This one is probably my favorite of the Venom Mob films so far.

    Also watched Heroes of the East. Gordon Liu is always a favorite. His role here was interesting in that he didn't seem to be a great fighter. It was never indicated that he was a standout student at his school. He even said himself he wasn't especially good didn't he? Furthermore, he practiced and learned some new techniques, but it wasn't like one of those movies where the star goes from not being able to fight to being one of the best, 36th Chamber being a great example. He was certainly portrayed as have a good moral character, but I think the idea was to present him as a normal young man who practices martial arts. I guess this is kind of contradicted by him being able to beat all these supposed masters, but whatever.

    Most unique about this film was that it avoided demonizing the Japanese. They definitely poked fun at them, and I guess Ninjutsu was demonized to an extent. That being said, as far as I know poison and other devious tactics have for a long time been considered dishonorable in wuxia mythology, not because of any anti-Japanese feeling. His wife even told him "You don't know it's history"

    In this movie multiple Japanese styles and weapons were treated respectfully...even if it did sort of imply at the end that Chinese are more moralistic than Japanese, or at least that the nature and spirit of their martial arts are. It also presented a positive image of a Japanese/Chinese marriage. Of course the rivalry due to their differences in style was an obstacle, but I'd say the spirit of the whole film was one of rivalry rather than the usual enmity, which I'd say is a positive change.

    Seeing the various weapons and styles of both cultures was really cool. Much less silly than a lot of films that try to show foreign disciplines.

    And finally, Ninjutsu has got to be my least favorite style I've seen presented in any of these films. What a ugly style. Disguises, traps, running and hiding in the water? Booooo. So ****ing lame. It worked well here as the final boss fight, but I'm not in any hurry to watch any Ninja centered movies.
     
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  13. europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

    europe1
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    Hey I was going to feature that one on my next mega-post! You sir are sneakier than Iron Feet himself! And twice as trecherous!

    Yeah I thought it was really fun too. A classical Shaw Brothers production.


    There were some funny lines in this one. "You were hit by the Sand Palm strike. That's one of the three most poisonous palm strikes in the world!"

    Like, seriously, one of the three most poisonous plam strikes in the world? Just the fact that there are more than one seems funny to me. Let alone that there are three which are so instantly recognizable and well-known.:D

    Or when it's revealed that they've dug a freaking tunnel under the room where they store the gold. The floor just suddenly caves in and the bandits are off to steal it. It's so hilariously outlandish.:D Or Copper Heads death. He salutes and then just collapses.:p

    He was probably the most dignified drunken master I can think of. Usually they are so buffoonish but he mostly just acted wry and somewhat rude. More rougish than anything. Rather refreshing I must say.

    Well they were basically mooks for the slaughter.

    ... and have them fight each other. Yeah a whole chunk of the entire genre can be boiled down to that desire.:D


    While I like Heroes of the East, I rank it fairly low in comparison to what are popularly considered other all-time Hong Kong greats like One-Armed Swordsman or Invincible Pole Arm Fighter.

    I think the idea behind this lies in something those old masters at the dojo said. They talked about how Japan only has one style for each of their various disciplines while China has a great multitude of them. The versatility and ingenuity of Chinese martial arts enabled him to win -- since he could tailor-make himself for each situation. He wasn't the best unarmed fighter around -- but the drunken master style was so confusing that the karate guy didn't know what to do. The nunchaku could never win due to the lenght of the three-section staff. And so on.

    I would be a bit more harsh on the movie than you. Yeah with these sort of flicks the demonization of the Japanese can be really outlandish (my favorite is in One-Armed Boxer where the Japanese are literally vampires<45>). Normally they are potrayed as the worst of bullies. But the moralistic slant is really thorough in this film. All the Japanese masters are implicitly okay with underhanded and devious methods to win -- and they are presented as narrow-minded and militaristic, both in their martial arts and their way of life (one mirroing the other). Worst may be the judoka who just crashes Gordon's crib and demands a duel at midnight. Yeah there is this theme of co-existance and respecting ones cultural differences, but with the heavy moral slant that sort of falls by the wayside. I mean, the whole theme is pretty mitigated when you're simultaniously saying "my culture > your culture."

    But yeah, considering what else is out there, I suppose it was progressive.:p Duel to the Death from 1983 would be another film that has a more respectable attitude towards the Japanese -- though even there it's somewhat slanted.

    The whole "damn young people" angle from the two fathers was pretty interesting to get too.

    I actually really liked those early drama scenes. So he marries this beautiful Japanese babe and the very next morning she's casually karate-kicking his entire backyard asunder, acting totally nonchalant about it as well.:D That's just hilarious to me -- and my greatest nightmare at the same time. Their love-hate rivalry from there on was really funny. It's a tad sad that she falls by the wayside once the duels start.

    Yeah, one of my problems with Heroes of the East is really that they start with the most interesting battle and from then-on it's a steady slope downwards, hitting the nadir with the ninjutsu battle. The whole "crab style" hullabaloo was downright eye-rolling, especially when contrasted with the early kinetic stuff like the sword duel or the spear match.



    Now I might as well talk about the second Chang Cheh film I was going to write about in the mega-post, I watched Masked Avengers from 1981. It was really good! A bit more uneven than Kid with the Golden Arm but still a classy Shaw Brothers picture.

    I really liked the cultish aspects of the villains. They weren't just a band of brigands or assassins, they had strange rites and rituals of their own, alien customs to which every member of their order had to give himself. The fight scenes where just awesome too. They made good work of those tridents. That ending where every leader of the Masked Avengers are lowered onto the ground one-by-oned was definitively like something out of a 90's beat-em' up game.:D

    But Jesus... I had no idea who anyone was in this film!<45> I know that is sort of a semi-regular criticism of chopsake films, especially from westerners, but this picture was downright head-scratching! Almost no-one gets a proper character introduction and literally everyone has the same hairstyle on display. And it's an ensamble piece where you're never tied down to one character.

    This film was freakishly grim though. The Masked Avengers are just slaughtering everyone! They hold blood-drinking rituals, violate maidens en-masse, torture and maim their captives, and impale anyone they see with their blasted tridents. I've never seen so many people get penetrated with poles outside a porno! But since the drama is so pedestrian and we known almost none of the characters it feels strangly toothless. Or maybe not toothless... you definitively get this quirky sensation that this is some grim shit going on. But since you almost never have any emotions for the characters it all feels strangly disconnected. The expection obviously being that jokester whom befriends the waiter.
     
    #393
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  14. Caveat Is this real life?

    Caveat
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    Manchester by the Sea finally playing locally. Tonight's the night.

    If I get out to Moonlight and La La Land before Oscar night I'll have seen a good number of the best picture nominees ahead of time for once.
     
    #394
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  15. Bubzeh Green Belt

    Bubzeh
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    1 - Hacksaw Ridge
    2 - Manchester by the Sea
    3 - La La Land

    Those are how I rank them. Hacksaw Ridge is insane... Mel Gibson becoming a GOAT.
     
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  16. Caveat Is this real life?

    Caveat
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    So let me just exhale after seeing Manchester...

    Whoooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (how you type an exhale anyway?)

    Not what I expected at all. I went in with nearly no preparation expecting to cry like a little girl (even the previews were torturous) but I actually found the best description of the tragedy in Manchester to be numb. Like it was presented clearly and unequivocally, yet functionally, as if the hard-hitting drama just wasn't the point. And having said that I think the necessity of that sort of dull functionality was a recurring motif, with Lee's job, Patrick's routine, and the general procedure of the film and the characters in it carrying them all onward (like the sea!). But somehow, and it would take me probably about 4-5 re-watches to figure out exactly how, they managed to present that brute functionality in a way that was totally endearing. From the completely unexpected and almost disturbingly organic humour to the slightest of gestures toward the acknowledgement of meaning (notice where this was overt it was completely out of place and uncomfortable), this film was downright lovable in a way that totally snuck up on me.

    I've having a hard time explaining how it felt. It's sort of similar to when I watched Forrest Gump for the first time (no idea if that comparison makes any sense) in terms of the combination of emotional exhaustion and amusement, but within a so much more local, relate-able environment. And though it did feel long at no point did I feel like I wanted it to stop - as I could sense the final scenes bringing everything to a close I wanted so badly to keep moving forward with these characters, to find that enjoyment and place with them in their community, and to express some kind of respect for their lives despite the lack of outward sophistication. It felt honourable, for lack of a better word.

    I'd say it hit me like a ton of bricks because I'm so stunned but it was more like a ton of feathers. Pleasant feathers. I might go see it again.

    @Ricky13 make sense of this please, I don't know what I'm doing. And that soundtrack? Bizarre.
     
    #396
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  17. Rimbaud82 The owls are not what they seem

    Rimbaud82
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    Watched Arrival last night, pretty damn good. Refreshing to see a sci-fi film like this that actually attempts to grapple with some interesting themes - the nature of human language and it's effects on our thinking, the difficulty in communicating with alien life, miscommunication amongst other humans and so on...a lot of it had to do with the tone and presentation of the film, Villenueve did an excellent job of creating suspense and most important of all, a sense of mystery. Even though alien contact is hardly a new idea, the scene where the characters first approach the alien spaceship really did feel extremely mysterious, obviously it's not on the same level but it felt reminiscent of this...



    Thought the idea of China and Russia as a bunch of irrational warmongers was a bit stereotypical...but I guess it serves the purpose of the story.

    Seemed like they managed to crack the alien language a little fast as well, but for the sake of story-telling they needed to speed up the process and not have it drag on for years I suppose haha. Also found the concept of being able to view time non-linearly once you learn their language a little far fetched, but that view of time generally is really interesting. One thing I did note, though maybe it's purely a coincidence is how similar the alien language looked to the Zen Buddhist symbol/practice of ensō, which represents complete enlightenment and the bypassing of the intellect:

    [​IMG]
     
    #397
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  18. Rimbaud82 The owls are not what they seem

    Rimbaud82
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    The Ballad of Narayama (1958)
    [​IMG]

    Watched this earlier and I thought it was brilliant. An excellently crafted re-telling of an old Japanese folk tale (though based on a book) about the legendary practice of obasute. When they turn 70 elderly members of a remote village where food is scarce are carried to the summit of Mount Narayama and left to die as a form of euthanasia and as an offering to the mountain God. The film explores the human relationships with this practice, particularly between the main character Orin and her widower son. It was a very beautiful film, both in terms of the plot and the visuals. For a film that came out in 1958 it looked stunning, largely because the colours are so vibrant. It reminded me of Black Narcissus which used a similar approach to the filming. The majority of it was filmed on carefully designed sets and while you can obviously tell they aren't real, they also don't look 'fake', but more like a piece of theatre come to life. I read that traditional Japanese theatre (Kabuki) was a big influence which makes a lot of sense. There was one very strange, and somewhat annoying, thing where a singer would narrate things on the screen (like how the characters were feeling and so on). It wasn't so much the telling itself that was inherently that was annoying but just the weird (to my Western ears) singing style. I assume that must come from the Kabuki Theatre. It also has a very laborious pace generally, but the end of the film is worth it.

    I see that there is an adaption of the same story from the 1980s so I will have to watch that at some point as well.
     
    #398
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  19. europe1 It´s a nice peninsula to Asia

    europe1
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    I have concluded that the word MEGA-AWESOME was invented to describe John Woo's wuxia-flick Last Hurrah for Chivalry. The goddamn fightscenes in that movie were off the chart as were the heroic bloodshed, buddy-cop melodrama-stylings of it. I'm going to rewatch it promptly just to make sure that it really was as badass as I thought it was.:D


    I just thought it was hilarious that the Chinese communicated with the aliens by teaching them how to play mahjong. Like, seriously, aliens make landfall on your domains and you're go-to instinct is to challanbge them to a game of mahjong?<45>

    Man I was trying to do some epic-length response to this before realizing that it's way out of my league.:D But I warmed quite quickly to the idea. Learning new words for things make you assess and interpret the world diffrently. Sort of like how people who know many different words for the various shades of a colour are able to identify said shades much more proficient (or just able to identify them at all) than people who don't know those words. Just the fact of knowing a word for those things means that you're able to identify them.

    I think I read some study a while ago about the language of certain primitive tribes that didn't have a a clear-cut word for the concept of "future". They could understand cyclical changes (the changing of seasons, death and birth, etc), because they had words for those things and experience with them. However, trying to explain something that could happen in the future that wasn't related to some seasonal change proved very difficult for them to grasp -- as if the very concept was something they were not conscious of, something they didn't even understand could exist. Sadly, my google-fu proves unable to produce this study.

    That's sort of how I contextualized the whole "words" into "time" thing. New words awakens alertness to natural phenomenons that you weren't able to decipher before.

    But hey, it's sci-fi.


    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Rimbaud82 The owls are not what they seem

    Rimbaud82
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    Oh I completely forgot about that bit, yeah thought that was ridiculous as well haha

    Yeah the "hey, it's sc-fi" is the way I shrugged it off, but you could certainly be right. I am actually reading an outstanding book at the minute that deals, among other things, with the relationship between the natural world, human language and human perception. It talks a lot about indigenous tribes and it touches on that idea a lot, that those tribes perceive time much differently, more cyclically and more attuned to the present with less of an idea of past and future. Although I don't think it's solely language that leads to this different perception, it is an interesting idea. Though it seems to me that there is a difference between perceiving the concept of time in a different manner and actively being able to view time non-linearly in terms of seeing the future, but ultimately it is, as you say, sci-fi so it's not as if it ruined my appreciation of the film :)
     
    #400
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