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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 12:13 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20613 Location: New York City
Syd wrote:
billyweeds wrote:
gromit--Not a weak year. "West Side Story," "The Power of the Dog," and "Don't Look Up" all qualify as great films. LAST year was a weak year.


If that's all you can come up with, it's a weak year.


Different strokes for different folks.The new "West Side Story" is on my all-time top-ten list.
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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 12:13 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20613 Location: New York City
I've been playing catch-up with some of the Oscar hopefuls I hadn't seen yet. "Licorice Pizza" has become my #4 movie of the year, just under "West Side Story," "The Power of the Dog," and "Don't Look Up." And now my Best Actress choice has changed. Saw "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," and Jessica Chastain delivers such a brilliant, layered, and complex performance that she now eclipses the former favorites Lady Gaga and Kristen Stewart. Chastain finds the truth behind the publicly caricatured Tammy Faye Bakker and makes us love her, flaws and all. Andrew Garfield as Jim Bakker is likewise pretty fantastic, much better here than in his nominated performance for "tick, tick...BOOM!" And Jerry Falwell, in the masterful hands of Vincent D'Onofrio, becomes an all-time screen villain. The movie? Not as good overall, a little superficial and undeveloped in general, but the acting more than makes up for it.
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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 12:14 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20613 Location: New York City
I've always run hot and cold with the films of Paul Thomas Anderson. "Boogie Nights" (1997) is one of my top ten films of all time, and "Inherent Vice" (2014) would probably land on my ten-worst list if I had managed to make it through the first unwatchable half hour. I adore "Phantom Thread" (2017) and abhor "The Master" (2012). So it was with some trepidation that I approached "Licorice Pizza," the current Oscar nominee for Best Picture, for which Bradley Cooper has also been nominated for best supporting actor by SAG.

Well, first of all, let's dispense with the Cooper nomination, which is still another black mark against the SAG nominators. Cooper is perfectly fine in the role of Jon Peters, the disgusting celebrity hairdresser and boyfriend of Barbra Streisand (the movie is set in Hollywood 1973). But his cameo role lasts approximately three minutes of screen time and is actually not nearly as effective as the similarly brief performances of Harriet Sansom Harris and Joseph Cross, but Harris and Cross don't have the status of Cooper as a "star." It's absolutely ridiculous.

On to the film itself. It's not my favorite Anderson movie (that will probably always remain "Boogie Nights"), but it's charming and sweet and resonant, as a twenty-something woman slowly but surely realizes she actually loves the sometimes obnoxious, thoroughly adolescent, but remarkably charismatic teenager she thinks is too young for her. Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman are terrific in the leads and they are supported by a powerhouse supporting cast including the aforementioned Bradley Cooper, Harriet Sansom Harris, Joseph Cross, and--wait for it--Leonardo DiCaprio's dad. PTA directs with a "Boogie Nights"-style flair. I quite loved this movie.
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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 12:20 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20613 Location: New York City
inlareviewer wrote:
IALP is one of the great unsung fillums


And IMO Bogart's and Grahame's double career peak.


Last edited by billyweeds on Mon Feb 14, 2022 6:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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gromit
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 2:01 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8977 Location: Shanghai
Enjoyed the fist half of The Ricardos. It's a smart screenplay, with good dialogue, interesting backstage doings and power relationships. It takes a little getting used to that the characters don't look much like their real life counterparts, but more suggest them. I liked that in the Tv show clips the characters look very close to the familiar originals. Thus telling us that what we think we know about them is the product of makeup and artifice. And behind the scenes, the actors don't really look or more importantly act the way we expect from the show.

I quite like the pacing. And the dual crises are interesting, especially as they are so period specific, making us reflect on social pressures and mores. So far, on ob board.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 4:50 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8977 Location: Shanghai
Being the Ricardos worked for me. While we know the rather silly characters of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, the film fleshes out how they are behind-the-scenes tough business people and take the business of comedy seriously. The talent and powers behind DesiLu Productions. Their real marriage a far cry from the happy zany romance enacted in the sitcom. I liked the poignant message that the only home Lucille Ball managed was the fake one on the Tv set.


In many ways, the film is a parallel to Mank. Both offer behind the scenes looks at how a visual art classic was made. I just thought that Ricardos was more artful and pulled you in and didn't rush things. Whereas all the witty dialogue in Mank came too fast and felt like speechifying and directly from the screenplay. In Ricardos, I'm not sure the talking heads from their later years added anything much, and the film was a bit overlong, but they weren't distracting or a problem for me. I found myself being engaged with the Ricardos and outside of Mank.

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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 7:37 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20613 Location: New York City
Sorry, gromit. Nicoie Kidman's horrible imitation of "Lucy Ricardo" alone makes "Being the Ricardos" a misfire.
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gromit
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 9:49 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8977 Location: Shanghai
I thought her Lucy imitation was pretty spot on.
It was the off-set scenes where I frequently had to remind myself that Kidman and Bardem were supposed to be Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

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inlareviewer
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 9:27 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
Apart from everything else, the jaw-dropper for me in Being The Ricardos was the flashback to Lucy getting The Big Street -- which she spoke at length about in the class I took from her at CSUN in 1981, but that's another story, never mind, anyway -- and going on about how Rita Hayworth had a scheduling conflict and Judy Holliday turned it down -- when (a) Harry Cohn would never have let Rita out of contract to Columbia to work at RKO, she was never up for Big Street; (b) Judy Holliday was still a member of the Revuers and not yet a star at that time the movie was made; (c) Barbara Stanwyck was Damon Runyon's first choice for the role, which is documented; and (d) if I who know not really that much know this, then surely Aaron Sorkin who knows lots knows this. I get that they were telescoping a lot of stuff, but that was just sloppy and emblematic of what to me misfired about the picture. Ultimately, the whole thing felt more about Mr. Sorkin and especially co-exec producers Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill and Desi Arnaz Jr than anything.

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inlareviewer
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 10:15 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
billyweeds wrote:
inlareviewer wrote:
IALP is one of the great unsung fillums


And IMO Bogart's and Grahame's double career peak.


Kinda sorta.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 11:58 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8977 Location: Shanghai
At the same time I picked up Being the Ricardos, I snagged a copy of Dance, Girl, Dance -- so it was a nice mini-jolt when that was mentioned in the Ricardos.

I don't know much about Big Street, but I just watched the trailer and it looks pretty silly in a fake tough way. Big Street is on TCM tonight (Wed 3:30AM EST). So that'd be just past midnight for the West Coast (12:30AM Tuesday night bleeding into Wednesday).

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inlareviewer
Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2022 12:39 am Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
billyweeds wrote:
I've been playing catch-up with some of the Oscar hopefuls I hadn't seen yet. "Licorice Pizza" has become my #4 movie of the year, just under "West Side Story," "The Power of the Dog," and "Don't Look Up." And now my Best Actress choice has changed. Saw "The Eyes of Tammy Faye," and Jessica Chastain delivers such a brilliant, layered, and complex performance that she now eclipses the former favorites Lady Gaga and Kristen Stewart. Chastain finds the truth behind the publicly caricatured Tammy Faye Bakker and makes us love her, flaws and all. Andrew Garfield as Jim Bakker is likewise pretty fantastic, much better here than in his nominated performance for "tick, tick...BOOM!" And Jerry Falwell, in the masterful hands of Vincent D'Onofrio, becomes an all-time screen villain. The movie? Not as good overall, a little superficial and undeveloped in general, but the acting more than makes up for it.

My #4 Prima Donna of the year, after Ms. Stewart, Ms. Thompson, and La Belle PenÚlope.


Last edited by inlareviewer on Tue Mar 08, 2022 11:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

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gromit
Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2022 7:50 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8977 Location: Shanghai
I really disliked tick, tick ... Boom. Awful music. Annoying whiny overprivileged characters. I didn't like the actors. And then just when I was sure I hated it, the film guilt tripped me for doing so by having a slew of the main characters friends start dying from HIV.

I'm not the right audience for this, as I generally don't like musicals. But I can enjoy some such as La La Land (terrific choreography) or Romance & Cigarettes. But writing a song about Sugar is about the epitome of music I dislike -- a string of wordy tuneless poorly structured "music". Again, I don't like Broadway musicals, and a film about a guy trying to create a rock musical had no interest for me.

I thought the one female singer with the ugly bangs had a nice voice. And I appreciated how the fluid camera movement tried to make the rather limited action and movement seem dynamic. But the whole project was way too needy and look-at-me for my taste. Wasn't sure I'd make it through, and really a relief when the film ended and I could escape that music.

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bartist
Posted: Wed Feb 16, 2022 1:14 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6850 Location: Black Hills
What a sourpuss!

Seriously, joking aside, I can see that loving musical theater might be a prerequisite for this sort of movie. I didn't find it as good as it was hyped to me, but did enjoy the dramatization of the artist's struggle and self doubts. I happen to like musicals, so that helped. My main crit would be that it seemed ephemeral, i.e. the music numbers didn't stay with me.

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billyweeds
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2022 6:51 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20613 Location: New York City
bartist wrote:
What a sourpuss!

Seriously, joking aside, I can see that loving musical theater might be a prerequisite for this sort of movie. I didn't find it as good as it was hyped to me, but did enjoy the dramatization of the artist's struggle and self doubts. I happen to like musicals, so that helped. My main crit would be that it seemed ephemeral, i.e. the music numbers didn't stay with me.


Is it possible to love musicals and still hate "tick, tick...BOOM!"? The answer is an unqualified "yes."
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