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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:52 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20490 Location: New York City
bartist wrote:
Beauty can be a distraction sometimes (I had to bail on GoT after six episodes because I had trouble following any dialog spoken while Emilia Clarke was in the frame), so it's up to a good actor to overcome that and draw you into the character as a person. Robbie was excellent in OUATIH and her looks fit the part. Putting her in a bubble bath in TBS, however, seems to have not worked for some viewers. Heh.

We plan to see Bombshell, but it was only here for the two weeks we were gone, so it'll be on small screen. The Loudest Voice in the Room is a great title, instantly makes me want to see it.

ps: JK about Emilia Clarke, and it's impressive that she had a nearly fatal aneurysm when she was 24, right before shooting started on GoT, and managed a lot of scenes while in a state of crushing exhaustion. I think she wrote about it in NY Mag a while back. I bailed on Thrones because it's just not my thang. But I would watch her read a phonebook.


Robbie actually changed her look in "I, Tonya," in which she deliberately deglamorized. Of course the ultimate deglamorization was Charlize Theron's in "Monster," where the scrumptious Theron became obese and hard-to-look-at serial killer Aileen Wuornos--and won an Oscar for her extraordinary performance.


Last edited by billyweeds on Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Befade
Posted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 5:25 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3661 Location: AZ
I really liked The Loudest Voice in the Room. Told me everything I needed to know about Roger Ailes. I canít find a good reason to see Bombshell.

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gromit
Posted: Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:20 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8686 Location: Shanghai
There's a 2019 film Destroyer in which Nicole Kidman deglams to play an undercover cop. I don't know anything bout it except that summary and the cover in which she looks tough and unappealing. Not sure why anyone thought to cast Kidman as a cop in an action-drama, but I guess that's what you do to get your film made.

Being John Malkovich has Cameron Diaz ugly up with a truly terrible frizzy hairdo. They went an interesting route by casting Catherine Keener as the sexy one and Diaz in a frumpy housewife role.

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billyweeds
Posted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 11:12 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20490 Location: New York City
gromit wrote:
There's a 2019 film Destroyer in which Nicole Kidman deglams to play an undercover cop. I don't know anything bout it except that summary and the cover in which she looks tough and unappealing. Not sure why anyone thought to cast Kidman as a cop in an action-drama, but I guess that's what you do to get your film made.

Being John Malkovich has Cameron Diaz ugly up with a truly terrible frizzy hairdo. They went an interesting route by casting Catherine Keener as the sexy one and Diaz in a frumpy housewife role.


Loathed "Destroyer" and disliked BJM although it was interesting. In both the deglamorization added immeasurably to my loathing and dislike respectively.
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billyweeds
Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:41 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20490 Location: New York City
Watched the 1954 "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" again and was gobsmacked anew by the genius of Michael Kidd's choreography and...everything else about this classic and unique movie musical. The astonishing dancing of Jacques d'Amboise, Tommy Rall, Russ Tamblyn, Matt Mattox, and Marc Platt, the beauty of Julie Newmar (then Newmeyer), the amazing songs by Johnny Mercer and Gene de Paul, and the ability of stars Jane Powell and Howard Keel to reach beyond their sometimes mannered vocal skills to create valid characters make this a joy from start to finish.

I had the incredible luck to interview both Mercer and Kidd in their own L.A. homes for a book by my friend John Lahr. Mercer was wonderfully hospitable and Kidd was ineffably, hysterically funny and outspoken, opinionated as all get-out. I still remember those 1973 encounters as if they happened yesterday.
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gromit
Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:02 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8686 Location: Shanghai
Toy Stories 1 & 2 on B2B nights.

The original works quite well, good characters, voices, clever jokes, a bit more action than I recalled. And it gets into a bit of twisted stuff with Sid and the deformed toys he creates.

It's all charming in a way. But the logic throws me. All toys are sentient, feel pain and such, yet just fake being inert? Makes little sense. Do they need to eat? How do they think and move if they are plastic and without brains? Guess it doesn't stand up too much thought.

Anyway the original is quite good. Though I got a little tired of Tom Hanks.

TS2 is kind of dull. The new addition toy characters -- the Round Up gang, the Barbies, Wheezy -- aren't interesting. The new/extra Buzz Lightyear starts off good, has potential but then just fizzles. There's a lot of action and a lot of talking. Too much of both. Woody's dilemma isn't interesting. And his changes of mind unconvincing. And surprisingly almost all of the little throwaway jokes are uninspired and unfunny. It's not a bad film, but just seems like auto-pilot. Especially noticeable watching the two films back to back.

I can't recall if I ever saw TS3. Probably. But the disc wasn't with the others.

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billyweeds
Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:53 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20490 Location: New York City
TS2 has the best song in any TS episode or, in fact, in most Disney movies. "When She Loved Me" is guaranteed to make me collapse in a puddle of tears, any time, anywhere. Not a fan of TS movies, but that song makes me favor 2. Its loss of the Oscar to a lame Phil Collins tune is an utter travesty.
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bartist
Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:26 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6527
Collins won? I had a child of prime viewing age in 1999 and I don't think we ever bothered to see Tarzan. Toy Story 1&2 we did see, and I remember nothing of it, except blurry memories of the lead characters. I am sure they ate something, the toys, because they defecated tiny bits of plastic which are presently killing all marine life.

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billyweeds
Posted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:34 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20490 Location: New York City
bartist wrote:
Collins won? I had a child of prime viewing age in 1999 and I don't think we ever bothered to see Tarzan. Toy Story 1&2 we did see, and I remember nothing of it, except blurry memories of the lead characters. I am sure they ate something, the toys, because they defecated tiny bits of plastic which are presently killing all marine life.


You are a master of dark comedy.
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bartist
Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:25 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6527
Thanks! I have to credit Gromit for broaching the subject of toy digestion.

Finally saw citizenfour. However you see Snowden, spy or whistleblower, this certainly gives you a sense of him as a person of conscience who cares about our democratic institutions. I find it interesting that Russia is still providing safe harbor for him, though his main project these days is promoting and running the Freedom of the Press foundation.

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bartist
Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:58 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6527
Halfway through Gaslight. Dear god this is a grim story, albeit very well done. It reminds of the actual meaning of the verb derived from the title, as opposed to the way many people misuse it these days (to just mean obfuscation). A stellar ensemble, but hard to watch - I really want to toss Charles Boyer into a rathole and mislay the key. Angela Lansbury also skilfully makes your flesh crawl.

Hope y'all have a peaceful MLK Day.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:10 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8686 Location: Shanghai
Had an interesting double bill.
Watched Chasing Amy a few nights ago.
A film I always enjoy. A lot of good humor. The relationships feels genuine.
I really like the climax when Holden tries to deal with his issues and sort things out in his relationships, and then chooses the stupidest method possible for reconciling things. At that moment, you can really see why he's friends with Banky. The music is really good in the film. I like the song Joey Lauren Adams sings in the bar. In the end credits I noticed Annette Peacock and realized Kevin Smith was aware of her a decade or more before I was. The sweet Silent Bob monologue which leads to the bittersweet ending.
The only thing I don't like is all the yelling. The Banky character is often set at a holler. That wears on me. I don't like yelling.

Then tonight watched Saturday Night Fever. In both films, the protag is a young male who enters a relationship with a girl that causes him confusion, difficulty with his male friends, and ultimately striking out on his own without the girl or his old friends to try to find himself. There's also the obvious comparison of a young Travolta to a young Affleck. Both films use a lot of music to set the tone, and involve an arty subculture (comic books in Chasing Amy; disco dancing in SNF). Both min characters are the leaders in their group, see themselves as reasonable fellows, and then run into an identity crisis that flummoxes them. Both have aNY/NJ vibe, and a gritty ordinary people feel about them.

I wouldn't doubt Saturday Night Fever influenced Kevin Smith in some ways. It was a pretty major film, with a years long cultural impact that was tough to escape. Unfortunately, SNF came out in December 1977 and I went to approximately 5000 bar mitzvahs in 1978, in which the music, dancing and clothes were all infected.

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Syd
Posted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:26 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12585 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
saw "The Shop on Main Street," a pretty famous film that won an Oscar for Czechoslovakia (and now Slovakia) back in 1965; "Closely Watched Trains" did it for Czechoslovakia (the Czech Republic) in 1968. I don't think "The Shop on Main Street" really works, though it's compelling. It veers 80 minutes in from a semi-repulsive comedy to a tragedy where our protagonist's actions make less and less sense. I appreciate that we have these films about the Holocaust, and this presents an aspect I hadn't considered.

You know, I haven't actually described the film. Our protagonist is a carpenter whose brother is in with the Nazis (I assume he was executed in 1945). Our protagonist is appointed the Aryan owner of a failing Jewish business, run by an elderly and senile Jewish widow. He tries to protect her and alternately surrender her and after a while you wish he'd make up his mind. Tragedy ensues.

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gromit
Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 2:48 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8686 Location: Shanghai
Failing, senile, semi-repulsive... wish he'd make up his mind.
I can see you weren't fully engaged.

I think the genius of the film is to show how the fascist/Nazi program slowly infects one village. Moreover, it burrows down to one family, and then even mostly to two people, caught on opposite sides of history. it's that micro-examination of hate and politics and fate that is compelling.

It is a black comedy/ low level farce for the most part. The main character starts off with the requisite greed and self-interest that oil the machinery of totalitarianism. But he doesn't have the necessary ruthlessness after he gets involved in the system at a low level. The protag gets caught further into petty fascism without being able to commit. he's really apolitical but the system doesn't allow for that anymore. One of the core tenets of fascism and communism is to politicize everything, compromise everyone, ensure compliance and control.

The central drama is a weak man who is unable to take a moral stand, but is also too weak to resist. His indecision and ambivalence -- he wants the benefits of fascism with none of the inconvenience -- is the heart of the film.

I think it's a masterful film which personalizes the fascist movement, shows how ordinary people get coopted, dramatizes the slow drip of evil. It's one thing to conceive of a master plan of domination, it's another to get local people to implement it at the village level.

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gromit
Posted: Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:24 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8686 Location: Shanghai
Forgot what a clunker The Postman Always Rings Twice is. Maybe it's saving grace is it moves fast enough that it's hard to catch all the shortcuts and flaws in the plot. My guess is they tried to cram a lot of the book into the film, so they rush everything. The legal mumbo jumbo and court proceedings are unrealistic, and it's amusing how a murder case is wrapped up in 2 days and maybe 4 minutes total of court time. The acting is often exaggerated and stereotyped. Maybe that's the best Lana Turner can do, but Garfield is capable of better. They both have a few moments. And sometimes the exaggerated glaring is kind of amusing and effective. About the most interesting thing is how the romance goes hot-and-cold so quickly. Their dislike for each other is more interesting and convincing then the romance.

This is a film I always forget completely and never recall what the title has to do with anything (hint: not much).

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