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billyweeds
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2022 6:54 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20613 Location: New York City
"Nightmare Alley," the new Guillermo del Toro version, is gorgeous to look at but is dramatically inferior to the 1947 black-and-white movie starring Tyrone Power. Just for starters, people keep telling Stan, the leading character, that he's startlingly handsome. And with Tyrone Power in the role, there was no problem. Power was not the screen's greatest actor, but he was arguably the most best-looking one. Bradley Cooper is a decent specimen but no Adonis. But aside from that, del Toro punches everything home with undue over-emphasis.

The cynical, depressing story of a carnival worker's rise and fall is a grabber, but in Edmund Goulding's previous version, a film noir to its fingertips. you felt the grime and the grit even though it wasn't as finely detailed as it is in the new film. And the acting was better in the original. Cate Blanchett is a great actor but here she overdoes it, with the aid of too much makeup. The forgotten Helen Walker did a better job in the old movie. Likewise, Joan Blondell's terrific performance went Toni Collette's workmanlike turn one better, and Coleen Gray did the same vis-a-vis Rooney Mara.

But comparisons aside, this new version is certainly not a bad film. It just seems, when all is said and done, unnecessary.
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Syd
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2022 10:05 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12772 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Syd wrote:
Watching "The Power of the Dog" on Netflix. Lots of powerful emotions running through this one.


Not sure on this one. I grew really disturbed when Phil started trying to befriend Peter, but it went a different direction than I was expecting. Probably the best movie of the year, and Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons would be great winners (as would Kodi Smit-McPhee, but I prefer Plemons' subtlety). Don't think Kirsten Dunst should win it, which means she probably will. I'm guessing this is our Best Picture and Director, and I wouldn't be bothered at all. Not a pleasant movie, and occasionally I got echoes of other, better, movies, but it was very good.

It took me a while to realize it, but what happened to "In the Heights?" I thought it was an Oscar contender, but it disappeared. Perhaps ineligible? Also thought "The Sparks Brothers" should have been up for Best Documentary.

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inlareviewer
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2022 10:38 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
Syd wrote:
Syd wrote:
Watching "The Power of the Dog" on Netflix. Lots of powerful emotions running through this one.


Not sure on this one. I grew really disturbed when Phil started trying to befriend Peter, but it went a different direction than I was expecting. Probably the best movie of the year, and Cumberbatch and Jesse Plemons would be great winners (as would Kodi Smit-McPhee, but I prefer Plemons' subtlety). Don't think Kirsten Dunst should win it, which means she probably will. I'm guessing this is our Best Picture and Director, and I wouldn't be bothered at all. Not a pleasant movie, and occasionally I got echoes of other, better, movies, but it was very good.

It took me a while to realize it, but what happened to "In the Heights?" I thought it was an Oscar contender, but it disappeared. Perhaps ineligible? Also thought "The Sparks Brothers" should have been up for Best Documentary.


Ariana DeBose will almost certainly win Best Supphose Actress. Agree about Mr. Plemons' subtlety. He and Kodi may well split the vote and let my pal Troy Kotsur make Oscar history (though Kodi is still The One To Beat). Ms. Campion will win Best Director. Best Picture is still up in the air, despite, or because of, the prognosticators going for TPOTD, though it's certainly the ordained front-runner. "In The Heights" was totally eligible, it fell prey to early release/COVID-theatre-emptying aspects, and that's a pity, because it was a lovely fillum, and Olga Merediz's Abuela should have been a contendah. But so then should have been "Mass," and "Passing," and "C'mon C'mon." Ah, AMPAS.

And, heavens, how I miss the Blanches...

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Syd
Posted: Thu Feb 17, 2022 10:51 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12772 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
I wasn't serious about Kirsten Dunst. It's Ariana DeBose all the way.

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gromit
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2022 2:07 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8977 Location: Shanghai
Don't Look Up had some promise and I kept trying to be on board. But the astronomer tandem started getting repetitious and going nowhere. Then the rest of the satire was pretty silly and like an extended SNL sketch. Jonah Hill was awful (role and delivery). Streep annoying. The music star romance pointless. Really wore out its welcome for me. And actually I have 1/3 or 1/4 to finish it tonight. Seemed a rather hasty project, perhaps to cash in on Trumphobia before (or after) he lost.

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inlareviewer
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2022 10:31 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
Syd wrote:
I wasn't serious about Kirsten Dunst. It's Ariana DeBose all the way.
Whew. Am so dense sometimes. Yes, quite agree. Kirsten is fine, very subtle, in TPOTD, but she isn't exactly electrifying, whereas Ariana most assuredly incinerates the screen. Plus, there's the history-making factor. Anita Redux for the win.

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Syd
Posted: Fri Feb 18, 2022 11:02 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12772 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
By the way, I was teasing Billy earlier, but it was a pretty good year, with a lot more than three films worth nominating. I have "The Power of the Dog," West Side Story," "In the Heights," Dune," "The Sparks Brothers," "Raya and the Last Dragon," and "Encanto," which is good considering how seldom I went to the theatre this year. "The Power of the Dog" was the only one of those I streamed.

I've yet to finish "Summer of Soul." It seemed that every time I got interested in a performance, they'd interrupt to tell us how significant it was. It was like watching the human interest segments at the Olympics.

My least favorite. "The Green Knight." I came to really hate it.

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inlareviewer
Posted: Wed Feb 23, 2022 2:43 am Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
Am watching Spencer again, and totally get why it's got so many "Huh?" responses, but am besotted. Princess Diana hit Kristen Stewart with the Vanessa Redgrave stick. Transcendent, translucent, beyond praise. Just saying. Only Ms. Cruz and Ms. Thompson rival her at being felt through the screen from inside without obvious technique or externals. Astonishing. If the Blanches were still in play.....

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Befade
Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2022 1:07 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3770 Location: AZ
My favorites were Parallel Mothers and Drive my Car. Those were films that moved me. Never thought I could manage watching a 3 hour film but Drive got more attention from me than any of the others.

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inlareviewer
Posted: Sun Feb 27, 2022 1:59 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
Befade wrote:
My favorites were Parallel Mothers and Drive my Car. Those were films that moved me. Never thought I could manage watching a 3 hour film but Drive got more attention from me than any of the others.
"Drive My Car" is #4 on my list, and "Parallel Mothers," currently at #8, may well move up to #6. Beautifully executed, wonderfully performed fillums that drew me in without dropping me, and then some.

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Befade
Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 4:02 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3770 Location: AZ
Inla….you’ll have to post your list again. What was better than Drive my Car?

For sure the worst nominee was The Ricardos😠

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inlareviewer
Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2022 7:40 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
Befade wrote:
Inla….you’ll have to post your list again. What was better than Drive my Car?

For sure the worst nominee was The Ricardos😠


Not so much best or better, in that my in-house film-going was spotty at best during 2021, only picking up when streamers were available, so the initial laundry list kept getting shuffled, and we are, after all, like Porchey before us, mathematically dyslexic. That said, from a purely subjective viewpoint, the totality of films seen by degree of personal taste, initial impact and/or lingering aftereffect:

Summer of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
West Side Story
Flee
Drive My Car
Belfast
Parallel Mothers
Mass
The Power of The Dog
Passing
Spencer
The Worst Person in The World
Attica
CODA
tick, tick...BOOM!
The French Dispatch
Pig
The Tragedy of Macbeth
The Mitchells vs. The Machines
King Richard
Luca
A Hero
In The Heights
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Encanto
The Lost Daughter
Don't Look Up
Nightmare Alley
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Being The Ricardos


and, in an ineffable, inescapable, inevitable class entirely its own, Annette.

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Befade
Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2022 4:20 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 3770 Location: AZ
I want to see The Worst Person in the World. I’ve been watching the directors earlier films: Thelma and Louder than Bombs. He tends to go deep into the various components of his character’s personality.

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inlareviewer
Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2022 9:30 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
Befade wrote:
I want to see The Worst Person in the World. I’ve been watching the directors earlier films: Thelma and Louder than Bombs. He tends to go deep into the various components of his character’s personality.

That was certainly the case w/the new fillum, and had we caught it earlier, it would probably be higher on the list., and I may still reshuffle. It's quite remarkable. Very unhackneyed, unpredictable and wholly integral, and Renate Reinsve joins Ms. Stewart, Ms. Cruz, Ms. Thompson and Ms. Chastain as inla's Prima Donna of the year.


Last edited by inlareviewer on Tue Mar 08, 2022 11:51 pm; edited 2 times in total

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inlareviewer
Posted: Tue Mar 08, 2022 9:30 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 05 Jul 2004 Posts: 1949 Location: Lawrence, KS
Deleted inadvertent double-post

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