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Syd
Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 3:03 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12531 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
gromit wrote:
I vaguely remember hearing about it a while back.
Will try to find it.
Do any of the extras help clarify the relationships?
Or maybe the viewer is supposed to be immersed in one big sloppy extended family.



I recorded it off TCM, so probably a more user friendly recording exists.

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Syd
Posted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:49 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12531 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
duplicate post.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:49 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
2010: The Year We Make Contact is pretty much a dull slog.
If you take your time and think about it, you can see the interesting concept that Arthur C. Clarke came up with. Jupiter is about to graduate from gas giant into a star. And it has its own mini-solar system and within that Europa is poised to be the mini-Earth. Kind of a cool premise.

Unfortunately it gets larded down with Roy Scheider trying to be macho and hip; Cold War drama centered around a new Cuban Missile Crisis in Honduras; and a trio of the worst US astronauts possible.

Scheider is supposed to be a brilliant aerospace engineer, with a young accomplished marine biologist wife with a dolphin swimming pool in their living room. All ready your bs-meter should be warming up. Then great scientist Scheider, based on really nothing, is convinced that the monolith near Jupiter is intelligent and guiding events (and despite NASA having a smaller monolith from the moon which seems do to nothing). It's all gut feeling with Scheider, just the way scientists are trained to behave.

The engineer astronaut is afraid of heights and not brave and apparently received zero training. And the other astronaut is the IT tech who built HAL and no one trusts. Quite a team of idiots, and they have to deal with a crew of Russkies, which has limited to no pay-off. The vo narration was lazy and useless.

I don't think there was anything I liked about the film except the skeleton premise, which I largely had to tease out and understand on my own, and Strauss' Zarathustra anthem, which they simply swiped from the first film.
Otherwise the sound design was irritating, with lots of repetitive grating noises and sirens and such.


Last edited by gromit on Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:52 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Syd
Posted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:25 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12531 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
The monolith on the Moon was built to signal the one orbiting Jupiter that we had achieved space travel. I don't remember it having any other purpose. Maybe it also warped Heywood Floyd's mind since he was standing next to it when it signaled.

It could have been worse. He could have started building models of Devil's Tower out of mashed potatoes.

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gromit
Posted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:08 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
Scheider's character spends a lot of time starting sentences with:

"What if ..."
&
"I know it sounds crazy but ..."

He's more of a conspiracy theorist than a scientist.

They do show moments where he gets to act smart (reading and understanding data very quickly) and where he's right (don't send a manned pod to the monolith). To try to persuade us that he knows what he's doing and is right.

But just the way he leaps to conclusions without the use of facts or careful inferences is silly and annoying.

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gromit
Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
bartist wrote:
A beautiful homage to Wm Carlos Wms, an eloquent slice of life in the week of a bus driver (played by Adam Driver, which is the sort of odd synchronicity that the whole film is laced with) and poet. Seasoned with humor (the Brussells sprouts pie scene, with the kind and diplomatic husband, got belly laughs here) (ditto the lovelorn actor in the bar) and the sort of realism that illuminates quotidian moments. And, like a flaw in nice leather, one or two spectacularly implausible events to provoke thought without causing any fatal ejection from the flow of the narrative. "Paterson" gets my vote. I didn't know both Ginsberg and Williams were from that town. The concept of twins, of dualities, seems deeply ingrained in the film - the twins that Laura dreams of birthing, two poets, two comedians (Abbot and Costello), and sets of grown identical twins everywhere you look. Will probably watch this film again, in a couple years, with great pleasure.

Cellphone holdouts will love it. "I don't want to be on a leash."

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Befade
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:35 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3637 Location: AZ
I love Jim Jarmucsh films. His latest film The Dead Donít Die has wonderful DEADpan humor with Adam Driver from Paterson and Bill Murray from Broken Flowers. They play cops who attempt to deal with a zombie outbreak in a small town.

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gromit
Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:44 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
I find Jarmusch very hit or miss.
His vampire movie was a total snooze. And I didn't like the hitman film at all either. That would be Only Lovers Left Alive & Limits of Control, respectively. So Paterson was a real nice surprise.
I don't have much interest in The Dead Don't Die, but I suppose that could change.

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gromit
Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:26 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
Get On Up, a 2014 James Brown biopic. I was a little reluctant to pick this up, but it turned out to be a fun, energetic, interesting film. They scramble his life chronology, but handle this in a pretty effective manner. Apparently the film was on the drawing board since 2000 and the budget went from a bloated $70M down to $30M. Given that troubled history, it's impressive the film is this good.

I consider myself a fairly big James Brown fan, and was aware of many details of his life, and have watched many a bad film just to catch the Godfather's performance. Chad Boseman does a mighty fine job imitating Soul Brother #1. Kind of uncanny how he got the voice down. And then that really helps sell the lip-syncing to genuine James Brown recordings.

I liked the in-jokes they tossed around. During a childhood dirtbomb fight, one of James' friends gets slightly injured, and James Brown says Get on up. On a music Tv show, newly arrived in America Rolling Stones bump James Brown from the headlining slot. And Dan Akroyd consoles James by saying the Rolling Stones will be forgotten in a year, calling them "instant has-beens." Akroyd of course was in a number of films with James Brown -- Dr. Detroit and 2 Blues Bros. outings.

And there is some good humor here and there. The opening scene where a very high, older James Brown violates a few laws is a nice mixture of tense drama -- he's ranting with a shotgun among an insurance seminar -- and humor (both the bathroom discussion and when he accidentally blasts a hole in the ceiling, he says "Good God ..."). There's a good moment when James is brought to King Records and is recording Please, Please, Please and owner Syd Nathan keeps asking Where's the song? , noting there's no chorus and doubting anyone wants to hear some "unfortunate Negro pleading over and over." I laughed out loud at that line.

I appreciated that they tried to delve into his complicated relationship with Bobby Byrd. Not all of the childhood scenes were necessary or effective. I would have shown a performance by Lyn Collins and Marva Whitney, which could both show how James Brown could be generous and help other performers, while still be dominant and controlling. It'd provide a musical change, while also touching a little on Brown's People Records, which few probably remember/know about.

There's also a scene of James and his wife dressed in Santa outfits. Which was an op to play at least a snippet of one of his Xmas songs. James Brown recorded a lot of Christmas songs, such as Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto. I also would have shown when disco was taking over, how James simply billed himself as the original disco man and kept churning out music.

They kept the focus on the music mostly. But never showed where James Brown got his inspiration from or how he came up with a song. Even at his first gig with the Famous Flames, James Brown is playing piano, and we have no idea where/how he learned to do such.

Anyway, I enjoyed this. Mainly for the lead performance, the recreation of the time and place, the music and the energy.


Last edited by gromit on Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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bartist
Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6431
gromit wrote:
bartist wrote:
A beautiful homage to Wm Carlos Wms, an eloquent slice of life in the week of a bus driver (played by Adam Driver, which is the sort of odd synchronicity that the whole film is laced with) and poet. Seasoned with humor (the Brussells sprouts pie scene, with the kind and diplomatic husband, got belly laughs here) (ditto the lovelorn actor in the bar) and the sort of realism that illuminates quotidian moments. And, like a flaw in nice leather, one or two spectacularly implausible events to provoke thought without causing any fatal ejection from the flow of the narrative. "Paterson" gets my vote. I didn't know both Ginsberg and Williams were from that town. The concept of twins, of dualities, seems deeply ingrained in the film - the twins that Laura dreams of birthing, two poets, two comedians (Abbot and Costello), and sets of grown identical twins everywhere you look. Will probably watch this film again, in a couple years, with great pleasure.

Cellphone holdouts will love it. "I don't want to be on a leash."


OK, archives aren't a terrible idea! And it's kind of you to repost, G. Though I still think of my stuff as pretty ephemeral. But if you and Syd are having success with mining the ol Taos Lode, then I will shelve my cyber nihilism and support in any way I can. And will check out Get On Up.

And The Dead Don't Die. Wait, haven't I seen Murray in another Zombie movie? Emma Thompson, Woody Harrelson?

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gromit
Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:56 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
I would think I'd be a bit of a tough audience for a James Brown biopic, but maybe it helps that I go into biopics with limited expectations.

One other moment the film missed. We briefly see James Brown in jail. And I remembered a favorite quote from a prison interview.

The Godfather said something along the lines of:
'When I wake up in the morning, I'm still James Brown. I look in the mirror and I'm James Brown. I'm James Brown 24 hours a day, and they can't take that away from me."

I would have slipped that into the film.
I thought of that when Mike Tyson was in jail.

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gromit
Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:02 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8591 Location: Shanghai
Mussolini: The Untold Story. I found this a real curiosity. Apparently it was a 6 hour tv-mini-series, but I have just 2 hours or whatever of it.

George C. Scott as Mussolini. Lee Grant as his wife. Nobody acts or looks or sounds the least bit Italian. Kind of weird. It's as though Mussolini was an American, or British dictator. At least with the creeping fascism these days in the USofTrump, it seemed they might have a point.

It was fairly hard to get past the casting choices and the decision to make it very Anglo. Then the film mostly focuses on il Duce's family and family life. Which also seemed strange. [Apparently it was based on writings form Mussolini's eldest son who became a priest...] I really got to wondering who the audience for this was. And the fact that it was a Tv movie makes about the most sense.

Most of the script is clumsy, and everyone so miscast, that it's bad yet almost fascinating as an artifact in misguidedness. Maybe things pick up in the other episodes. But there were a heap of awful scenes, plodding direction and scripting, and unintentional comedy in what I saw. At least George C. Scott became somewhat more credible as he got dressed up in military unis and other good costumes. I found this a weird effort all around.

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Syd
Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:48 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12531 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
The James Brown biopic sounds like something I would like so I've put it in my Netflix Queue. Aretha Franklin's "Amazing Grace", too, which I was hoping would show up in theaters here.

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Syd
Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:56 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12531 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Before Night Falls: Great film biography of Reinaldo Arenas, a famed Cuban writer whom I'd never heard of, who found himself on the wrong side of Castro's Cuba because he was (1) gay and (2) a writer and poet whose writings were mostly banned in his own country, so he arranged to smuggle them out. The scenes in Cuba are mostly riveting, with Javier Bardem brilliant as Reinaldo. The coda in New York is an anticlimax, but I guess if you are going to tell the rest of his life, you have to tell the end, too.

If you know people who wax enthusiastic about Communist Cuba, you should introduce them to this movie as an example of how very bad it could get.

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Befade
Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:45 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3637 Location: AZ
Who on earth waxes enthusiastically about Cuba? (Maybe the Canadians who like to go to the beaches.). Have you been there? Youíre lucky if you can buy a few pieces of toilet paper or have a toilet seat to sit on. Why are doctors driving cabs? Why are lawyers starting restaurants in their own homes? Where is the beautiful old architecture in Havana being maintained?

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