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carrobin
Posted: Tue May 04, 2021 2:51 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 7783 Location: NYC
I was disappointed that "Victim" wasn't on the TCM Oscars list. But it was good to see "The Year of Living Dangerously" again. When we had it for our film class, the final reel didn't make it to the theater--our professor had to tell us what happened. And since we didn't see the credits, he also told us that Billy was Linda Hunt. That was a surprise ending, for us.
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bartist
Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 9:11 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6759 Location: Black Hills
Russell Crowe is past his peak period as an actor, so it was fun to revisit some of his movies from the oughts and be reminded of his talent for sympathetic characters who make choices you wouldn't. State of Play is a good political thriller, and Crowe captured both the integrity and the vanity of journalism. The Last Three Days is a fun romp through implausible schemes and misdirection and Crowe somehow makes me believe a high school lit teacher can channel his inner Liam Neeson. Your disbelief isn't suspended but rather sent to another room where you can hear it muttering and snickering while it's largely ignored. I would love to see Crowe come back and do some more thrillers like these.

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billyweeds
Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 9:15 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20598 Location: New York City
bartist wrote:
Russell Crowe is past his peak period as an actor, so it was fun to revisit some of his movies from the oughts and be reminded of his talent for sympathetic characters who make choices you wouldn't. State of Play is a good political thriller, and Crowe captured both the integrity and the vanity of journalism. The Last Three Days is a fun romp through implausible schemes and misdirection and Crowe somehow makes me believe a high school lit teacher can channel his inner Liam Neeson. Your disbelief isn't suspended but rather sent to another room where you can hear it muttering and snickering while it's largely ignored. I would love to see Crowe come back and do some more thrillers like these.


Wish I could agree on either of these movies, but "The Last Three Days" was way too long for its own good and a bit pretentiously structured IMO. As for "State of Play," just NO. You're right about Crowe being past his peak. For me the low point (not having seen the reportedly unwatchable "Unhinged") is his bellowing in "Les Miz."
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bartist
Posted: Wed May 12, 2021 11:49 am Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6759 Location: Black Hills
I think I might know why people hated State of Play. The hateable part is epitomized by the scene where Crowe finally has the story and he sits there typing it, unruffled, while a bunch of journalists watch him as if he's the High Priest-Guru of Journalism and this is a Moment. Then he lets the pretty reporter hit the SEND button, because, ya know, teamwork. I've been in actual newsrooms, and it made me erupt in laughs of the belly variety. IOW, the pretentious stuff amused me, while the overall thriller narrative I enjoyed. The pretentious/fantasy stuff I took as a commentary on the vanities of journalists.

Unhinged, yes, yuck. It had a hilarious synopsis which described Crowe as a "mentally unstable stranger." The actual film is about a raging scenery-binge-eating lunatic who kills people, sets them on fire, then goes and finds more people suitable for killing and setting on fire. Then he gets really pissed off. Sprinkle in the same number of car crashes as you might sprinkle jimmies (or sprinkles, to all you non-ex-New Englanders) on ice cream, and voila. Yes, it's rather unsubtle.
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bartist
Posted: Sat May 22, 2021 3:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6759 Location: Black Hills
whiskeypriest wrote:
Running through a few movies...

Hachi: A Dog's Tale. A semi-true movie that teaches us the important life lesson that, when someone you love dies, you should spend the rest of your life pointlessly mourning them and pining after them and ignoring the fact of their death, to the extent of ignoring the other people in your life who care about or even love you, ignoring also even your own comfort. I am not sure that this is the point the movie intended to make, mind you. It is certainly not the point my wife got. She went through about 15 tissues watching it. But then, she needs three tissues to get through the Stations of the Cross, so...


Finally saw this. I have to wonder if the original Japanese version made more emotional sense. My reaction was similar to WP's (who wrote the above in 2014). I also found Richard Gere's death scene stagey and weird. Overall, it seemed like a 20 minute short feature (professor dies, his beloved Akita keeps waiting for him at the train station for the next ten years, awwww) padded out to 90 so we can marinate in the pathos and cuteness. Was also unclear about the way the dog, as a puppy, was shipped from Japan to Rhode Island...if the puppy crate came by air from overseas, would you then transfer it to Amtrak?? Wouldn't UPS or some other ground service take it from Logan?

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grace
Posted: Mon May 24, 2021 8:33 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Nov 2005 Posts: 3205
I'm pretty sure UPS doesn't take most animals - maybe some fish, chicks for ag use on an overnight basis, etc. I use them frequently at work; and based on how they handle our merchandise, I would never trust them with anything I love or value, and certainly not a live critter. Amtrak may not be much better, but I'm unaware of their dirty laundry.
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bartist
Posted: Wed May 26, 2021 8:48 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6759 Location: Black Hills
I was nitpicking. If Hachi had appeared in Richard Gere's life by parachuting into his lap, it wouldn't have hurt the movie at all.

Nice to hear from you. Sorry to hear of your job woes (or if not woes, the "ridiculous" you alluded to in the other thread)

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grace
Posted: Thu May 27, 2021 8:28 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Nov 2005 Posts: 3205
Serves me right for reading so literally (but I know my shipping!). Thanks, just working for a certifiable person, not recommended.
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bartist
Posted: Sun May 30, 2021 4:53 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6759 Location: Black Hills
"Fractured" is a watchable 2019 Netflix release, which follows the standard blueprint of the gaslighting movie, where a distraught person seems to have lost friend or family member and people are claiming to have never seen the missing person(s). A variation on the theme saves it from total triteness, and Sam Worthington radiates distress and inner turbulence, dialed up to 11. Indeed, I think it's fair warning to say that his performance occasionally veers into squirm-inducing excess. (somewhat like another Australian actor I could mention) Actually, I can easily picture Crowe having been offered the role, maybe ten years ago.

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knox
Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:04 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1233 Location: St. Louis
One thing to say about Hachi ADT: People in suburban CT or RI (whichever), don't let their dogs out of the yard so their dogs can work through grief down at the railyard for ten years. Also, not to be indelicate, but given Hachi's reaction to Gere's death, wouldn't someone in the family have thought to simply bring him to the funeral and let him see the reality of his master's corpse?
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knox
Posted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 12:04 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1233 Location: St. Louis
Guess that was two things.
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knox
Posted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:11 am Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1233 Location: St. Louis
Crowe took his Hollywood hiatus because he was disgruntled that Denzel won for Training Day when he should have gotten the statue for ABM. IIRC, he was making noises that he got a Best Actor for the wrong movie (Gladiator) and ABM was his best work. There was the usual criticism of AMPAS that they too easily awarded moneymaker performances over best performances.

Basically, Crowe got too much ego in the game.
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knox
Posted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:42 am Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1233 Location: St. Louis
bartist wrote:
"Fractured" is a watchable 2019 Netflix release, which follows the standard blueprint of the gaslighting movie, where a distraught person seems to have lost friend or family member and people are claiming to have never seen the missing person(s). A variation on the theme saves it from total triteness, and Sam Worthington radiates distress and inner turbulence, dialed up to 11. Indeed, I think it's fair warning to say that his performance occasionally veers into squirm-inducing excess. (somewhat like another Australian actor I could mention) Actually, I can easily picture Crowe having been offered the role, maybe ten years ago.


A better variation on the Gaslighting theme is the Liam Neeson pic, "Unknown. " Keeps you guessing, and good supportings from Diane Kruger, January Jones, and Bruno Ganz. SPOILER POSSIBLE And, a couple years before The Americans premieres, Frank Langella does a little audition for his spymaster role in that series, in "Unknown." END SPOILER.
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gromit
Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:07 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8900 Location: Shanghai
Watched Rabbit Hole for the 3rd or 4th time.
Terrific film with very good performances.
I like how the minor characters are fleshed out and have distinct personalities and motivations.

I think there's an interesting subtext of Kidman's character not comfortable with who she is or where she's come from. She was trying to have it all and be a responsible adult and a success and then ... an accident causes it all to crash down. I like the slow reveal of the plot, which sucks us in like an undertow.

On this watch, I was more aware of the film's origin as a play in a few monologue scenes in the house. But I like the way they expanded things with the comic book and some scenes inside cars. And now that I think of it, we see a lot of car scenes, and it's significant that Miles Teller takes the bus to/from school. The only time we see him in a car he's riding off to the prom in slow motion in a convertible, which eerily invokes JFK. And I don't think I'm off-base with that connection as in the bowling scene, Kidman's mother talks about the Kennedy family and their fates. It's a weirdly jarring moment, both evoking Teller's surprise at seeing Kidman in her car breaking down, and perhaps Kidman associating a car ride with death for a boy (and there's of course weird currents of her being maternal towards Teller, as as replacement of sorts for her loss).

I hope people have seen Rabbit Hole. One of my favorite films of the 21st C.

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bartist
Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2021 5:54 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 27 Apr 2010 Posts: 6759 Location: Black Hills
It's a painful and acute observation of human nature, which I found some hard going the first time. But very rewarding. I'm not a Kidman fan, but a couple films like RH make me think she's spectacular. A lot of solid cliches found in this subgenre (the dead child subgenre) are tossed aside, and we get all the messy conflicted crap of real life. It deserves high praise. Must see again. I'd like to see if your JFK connection rings true for me.

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