/ August film thread

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Offwidth 05 Aug 2019

An amazing documentary that is a must for those interested in film making (and obviously for Kubrick fans) and almost amounts to a human sacrifice in terms of dedication and work ethic.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/filmworker

2
Blue Straggler 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Ashamed to say that right now I have only my forgotten review of Luc Besson's "Anna" to write, and also Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw 



(I did watch a French film at home on Saturday though, and a Coen Brothers sleeper on Sunday, so it's not all daftness)

Offwidth 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Another life dedicated to cinema eh

Blue Straggler 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Look I've got 4 hours of Apocalypse Now: Final Bum Numbing cut coming up!

Gordon Stainforth 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

> Another life dedicated to cinema eh

Exactly that.

Offwidth 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Have you seen the film?... I'd be very interested on you 'take' on matters as someone who was there. I knew a bit about Leon before but never grasped the complexity of their relationship and just how much he lived such multiple roles (normally carried out by a number of producers, editors etc) alongside work across all past films;  and then his self imposed 'curation' responsibilities after Stanley's death. It seemed to me an amazing portrait of interacting obsessiveness in art.

Gordon Stainforth 06 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Yes I have. I must be very careful what I say here (because I could say a lot): Leon was a great, gentle guy who, given that huge initial break by Stanley, allowed Stanley to rule/dominate his life ... I think ... 

Separate point: art done genuinely and properly is of necessity 'obsessive'.

Duncan Bourne 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

I enjoyed Pikachu pokemon detective, well it had Ryan Reynolds in it.

Which raises certain conflicts within me a) it is pokemon and under any other circumstance I wouldn't even give it the time of day, but b) it's got Ryan Reynolds in it.

I have similar conflicts about Dumbo which I have not seen.

a) it is a Disney live action cash in, but b) it's by Tim Burton and I really like Tim Burton

Blue Straggler 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

I saw Dumbo (2019) and didn’t think much of it at all. No prejudices against Disney love action nor for or against Tim Burton. It was simply unengaging and overlong. Nice enough performances but the characters all seemed a muddle - the “bad guy” didn’t seem a bad guy and as nice as she looks, there was too much emphasis on the Eva Green character who felt fairly minor in the story.

John Gresty 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

I recently saw 'Gwen' set in N. Wales and had a decent cast so we thought that it was worth a punt. If I hadn't been stuck in the middle of a row I would have walked out, a woman at the end of our row did leave. Should have gone to the brass band concert instead.

There was a Q&A with the director afterwards, we left before that started mainly to stop me slagging him off. 

A nasty film, totally unnecessary violence towards women, couldn't believe someone actually applauded at the end of the film.

John

Blue Straggler 07 Aug 2019
In reply to John Gresty:

I tend to avoid anything that has anything to do with Maxine Peake. She is talented for sure, but just seems to want to saturate middle-brow culture and she's fallen into the "familiarity breeds contempt" hole, unfortunately. 

 

graeme jackson 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Eagerly awaiting your Hobbs and Shaw review.  Son wants me to go see it with him.

nufkin 07 Aug 2019
In reply to graeme jackson:

>  Eagerly awaiting your Hobbs and Shaw review

Ditto - I can't help but wonder if they manage to shine light on any facets of the human condition that remain unexplored by the previous eight Fast 'n' Furiouses

nufkin 07 Aug 2019

Plus I can't help but translate the title to 'Hobbes & Calvin' in my head - with Dwane Johnson as the grounded tiger to Jason Statham's hyperactive six-year-old

Blue Straggler 07 Aug 2019
In reply to graeme jackson:

> Eagerly awaiting your Hobbs and Shaw review.  Son wants me to go see it with him.

It was enjoyable actually. Very much so in the beginning, it was brutally efficient in a "show don't tell" kind of way in the opening scene, then the rest of it is proper "does what it says on the tin" stuff as long as you've seen the trailer and have a faint idea of the franchise. It has a sense of just how ludicrous it is, just stopping short of winking at the camera. It felt like Bond/Mission Impossible done as a near spoof and as an archetypal "mismatched bickering buddies" comedy. Vanessa Kirby was a surprising, and excellent, bit of casting (though her accent is a bit all over the place). Franchise aficionados may be annoyed by some retconning but honestly do these things matter? Helen Mirren is once again an embarrassment. 
Laws of physics and common sense are shattered (but if you've always wanted to see a wrestler hand hold a loose chain to stop a helicopter from flying, this is the film for you!)

My one criticism is that despite the sheer spectacle of it all, none of the action set pieces really stick in the memory. The two shots I remember most are some product placement for Greggs, and an overhead of Kirby's stunt double running and jumping across some containers in a warehouse. 
In its favour, even at 2h15m and even as predictable as these things are, it never really gets boring....and during the bad guy's comeuppance I was inwardly cheering just like a 10-year-old watching Rocky beat Drago in Rocky IV. That's got to be good - the film got me involved. 
6/10 on my system but 8/10 for enjoyment. 

Offwidth 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Another recommended documentary

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/uncle_howard

A film about the art house film maker Howard Brookner in the heart of the late 70s and 80s 'New Tork scene' based on a rediscovered archive. Life affirming and sad at the same time.

Blue Straggler 07 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Is New Tork a typo or was that a scene and if the latter, what was it (the Rotten Tomatoes synopsis does not mention it)?

Offwidth 08 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Typo.. my eyesight is crap these days.

Offwidth 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Misread your post and forgot to answer the other question. The film includes a long series of famous NY names that he worked with, across the arts. It's also witness to the carnage of the early days of AIDS that amongst the many also took his brief but very bright life. I'd have thought it was a must for you. A film about films about film, writers and directors alongside big names trying to creatively break moulds in cinema and the arts.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Brookner

Post edited at 12:14
Blue Straggler 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Thanks, I get to the arthaus increasingly rarely these days but this looks fun

Blue Straggler 09 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> No prejudices against Disney love action 

i saw this weird autocorrect aggressively apply itself and definitely made an effort to amend it before posting, so clearly there is some higher-purpose agenda going on here! 

Stichtplate 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Look I've got 4 hours of Apocalypse Now: Final Bum Numbing cut coming up!

Just booked an imax ticket for Tuesday. 47 minutes of that runtime is the Q&A they’re showing after the film. Thank Christ, cos I’m up for work at 5:30 the next morning, 12 hour shift then date night with the Mrs: Once upon a time in Hollywood at 2 hours 45 minutes... then back up at 5:30 for another 12 hour shift.

Been looking forward to both films for ages but I’m going to be drinking an awful lot of coffee.

Blue Straggler 10 Aug 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Thanks, I was not sure what the Q&A would be all about but glad to hear it is afterward. I actually don't like Steven Soderbergh, he's made only about 2 films that I properly enjoyed all the way through (ok I haven't seen them ALL) and seems to hold himself in very high regard, so I might skip that! I can't imagine there is much more to be said about Apocalypse Now, that hasn't been told a million times. 

Blue Straggler 13 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

In contrast to my previous outing, I bring you Pedro Almodovar's "Pain and Glory"

I am no aficionado of Almodovar, I believe Live Flesh is the most recent offering of his that I've seen (can't remember if I saw Volver, and even that is about 15 years old now!). He's one of those directors/auteurs that I am simply very aware of without having seen much of his work, like (say) Fellini. 
And Fellini gives a nice segue into this, as "Pain and Glory" is some sort of semi-autobiographical work, albeit with all names changed and presenting itself as a fictional drama/study. 

And as a film, it's "neither here nor there". It's always hard to sympathise with the woes of an internationally successful movie person (probably why Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere" was a bomb), and the first half of this 2 hour film unfolds in a predictable formulaic way as we see Antonio Banderas playing a retired reclusive lonely director, trying to reconnect with his past a little bit via a single film, plus bucolic flashbacks to some episodes from childhood. It's all a bit obvious. 

The second half really picks up dramatically though, with the arrival of a former lover and some rather touching scenes with his ageing mother, but it's too little too late, then there is a final shot that seems to think it's really really clever and fourth-wall-breaking but actually just doesn't work at all. 

All that said, I'll give this 7/10 because it is at least watchable, it's beautifully shot and the performances are very good. I just expected a bit more "zing" from Almodovar. 

Andy Clarke 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: 9.5/10.  For me, one of Tarantino's best movies and since I regard the man as a cinematic genius I have to say I think this is a masterpiece. Its nostalgic recreation of late 60's Los Angeles is gorgeous in its shimmering light, its painstaking period detail and its lovingly crafted soundtrack. It centres on the relationship  between Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), a fading actor struggling to come to terms with his decline and his stunt double, gofer and only real friend Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). I can't think of a pairing that has been able to play with so much charisma, talent and male beauty since Newman and Redford. This relationship unfolds over a leisurely first couple of hours the episodic nature of which I found highly enjoyable. There are plenty of cinematic references and jokes to enjoy (and foot fetishists won't be disappointed). Fact and fiction are woven together throughout this, most significantly in sequences featuring Rick's neighbour, the real-life Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie. One of the things I most love about Tarantino is his ability to show how popular culture brings deep meaning to people's lives and although Robbie may not get that much screen time, she certainly makes the most of it to communicate the magical power of art to transform life. The final 30 minutes or so shifts into a very different gear, with the action taking place on the 8th of August, 1969, when of course a pregnant Tate and her house guests were murdered by the Manson gang. It's suspenseful, violent, expectation-defying and transformative - a marvellous piece of story-telling.

Blue Straggler 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Thanks Andy, great review, no spoilers, lays out your position, and is reassuring. DiCaprio was the best thing about Django Unchained and it looks like for once there is no “Christoph-Waltz-or-similar” role in this one. Will see on Fri, Sun or next Weds 

Stichtplate 14 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Can't really add to that beyond saying I've not enjoyed a Tarantino film so much since Pulp Fiction. DiCaprio and especially Pitt were superb and I'm slightly ashamed to say that the final 30 minutes had me roaring with laughter.

Blue Straggler 16 Aug 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

Did you enjoy Apocalypse Now: Final Cut?
Did you stay for the Q&A?

Stichtplate 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Yeah, loved the film. My second time seeing it on the big screen (Redux, when that came out, was first) and like so many films of that era, the big screen is where it belongs. Remastered sound was excellent. Only big change from Redux that I noticed was the cut second scene with the Playboy girls. Never thought the scene worked, or even made sense in Redux, so an improvement rather than a loss IMO. Didn't stay for the Q&A but I would have been interested in Coppola's take on the film 40 years on. 'Heart's of Darkness: A film makers apocalypse' is a great doc on the making of AN, well worth seeking out if you've not already seen it.

So what did you reckon, Original, Redux or Final Cut? And did you stay for Q&A, any revelations?

Tom V 17 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

"Shoplifters" . Weird subject though very touching in places. Puzzled as to why it won the Palme D'Or but that's nothing new with me.

Pefa 19 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Once apon a time in Hollywood was very boring,2 hours a 40 mins too long and tried to make a wife murderer out to be cool which is a thing of his. I don't know why I went to see another Tarantino film tbh as the only good thing he has done was Django.De Caprio's acting however was OK. 

Post edited at 00:01
1
Blue Straggler 19 Aug 2019
In reply to Stichtplate:

The sound was just astonishing, they did a lot of work on it for the IMAX surround. And the picture restoration was also unbelievable. I saw the 4K restoration of GoodFellas and it just seemed to enhance grain and show how bad peoples' skin was in 1990  

Seemed to me, also, that the main difference from Redux was the removal of the second scene with the Playboy bunnies, but that does not account for 15 minutes of running time (plus I think some dialogue scenes in Final Cut were longer. There must have a few other bits trimmed. 

I hadn't seen it all the way through, since seeing Redux in the cinema in 2001...so I was astonished at how well I seem to know the film  

But on the big screen you got to notice and appreciate a lot of detail. I've always said Sheen's performance has been underrated and this really stood out this time. He says a lot with few words, especially the way he regards Kilgore. Related to that, I never had such a big problem with the second meeting with the Bunnies. The stealing of Kilgore's board was good move for Willard, to try to create a bit of camaraderie between himself (Army) and the boat crew (Navy). In the original theatrical cut, he's just a bit of a driven hard-arse. So the second meeting with the Bunnies seemed a bit more like him "giving the boys some R&R". But I only saw that scene once, 18 years ago. Maybe it is too jarring. The calls for it being misogynistic are, I think, a little out of place - but that's another discussion. 

When they reach Kurtz's compound the film becomes more difficult to judge, simply because the production aspects are so well known to anyone with more than a passing interest in film. Whenever Hopper or Brando are speaking, I can't help but wince for the sake of Coppola's sanity!

It's interesting that yet again, they don't show the final air strike and total destruction. Is it still meant to be ambiguous as to whether it was called in?

HB1 19 Aug 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> "Shoplifters" . Weird subject though very touching in places. 

A lovely film. Odd though - I agree!

Andy Clarke 19 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Blinded by the Light: 6.5/10. A very watchable feelgood movie, following the struggles of Javed, a teenage Muslim growing up in 1980's Luton, whose desire to become a writer brings him into conflict with his traditional Pakistani father. There's plenty of good period detail in outrageous hair, enormous shoulder pads and pretty dire chart music. If you didn't live through it like I did it you can't imagine the pain us survivors feel. However, Javed unexpectedly finds inspiration and solace in the glorious music of Springsteen. (The film is based on the book Greetings from Bury Park by journalist and real-life superfan Sarfraz Manzoor.) The plot doesn't deliver any other real surprises but it works efficiently to engineer some suitably moving - though inevitably somewhat sentimental - resolutions. I thought it carried the most emotional punch when it dealt with the sickening racism the Pakistani families encounter. For those who don't remember, this was the heyday of the National Front and Rock Against Racism. (And for those who think that's all confined to the past, good luck with that.) Finally, the soundtrack is of course marvellous. Although the action takes place in the Tunnel of Love period (a sadly underrated album) most of the music is drawn from the succession of masterpieces from Born to Born. Stay to watch the credits and enjoy the bonus of a new track from rock's greatest poet of blue collar lives and broken dreams.

Post edited at 19:06
Offwidth 20 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Sounds interesting. 

In total contrast was this strange movie: a cross between a 60s kids comic book caper and a Mad Max movie. Michael Ironside the villain, yet again, but perfectly cast this time. It's low budget, very silly and took a while to get going but had some really good ideas and lots of knowing nods for reverential fans of bargain basement post-apocalyptic SciFi..... all with an early Peter Jackson feel about it.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/turbo_kid

Blue Straggler 21 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

On DVD I watched Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960) on Sunday, my first viewing. 
I realise that it was bold and interesting in 1960, and perhaps "honest", but its premise is somewhat queasy today. In the first hour you can't even have any sympathy for the supposedly likeable protagonist. The second hour, it warms up a bit but there's only one vaguely interesting character (Shirley MacLaine's) in the entire thing. I say this as a fan of Wilder, Lemmon etc. 

The Wild Scallion 21 Aug 2019
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: 9.5/10.  For me, one of Tarantino's best movies and since I regard the man as a cinematic genius I have to say I think this is a masterpiece. Its nostalgic recreation of late 60's Los Angeles is gorgeous in its shimmering light, its painstaking period detail and its lovingly crafted soundtrack. It centres on the relationship  between Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), a fading actor struggling to come to terms with his decline and his stunt double, gofer and only real friend Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). I can't think of a pairing that has been able to play with so much charisma, talent and male beauty since Newman and Redford. This relationship unfolds over a leisurely first couple of hours the episodic nature of which I found highly enjoyable. There are plenty of cinematic references and jokes to enjoy (and foot fetishists won't be disappointed). Fact and fiction are woven together throughout this, most significantly in sequences featuring Rick's neighbour, the real-life Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie. One of the things I most love about Tarantino is his ability to show how popular culture brings deep meaning to people's lives and although Robbie may not get that much screen time, she certainly makes the most of it to communicate the magical power of art to transform life. The final 30 minutes or so shifts into a very different gear, with the action taking place on the 8th of August, 1969, when of course a pregnant Tate and her house guests were murdered by the Manson gang. It's suspenseful, violent, expectation-defying and transformative - a marvellous piece of story-telling.

+ 1 

I'm loved this film . Watched it tonight myself.

nufkin 22 Aug 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

>  Loved this film

I enjoyed it too, but was a little unsure how to take the ending (perhaps stop reading, for those who haven't seen it yet) - was it an alternate take on reality, a la Inglourious Basterds and the Hitler liquidation, or are we left to assume that the apparently happy last scene is soon to be shattered by the actual events?

Or maybe it doesn't matter either way

The Wild Scallion 22 Aug 2019
In reply to nufkin:

> I enjoyed it too, but was a little unsure how to take the ending (perhaps stop reading, for those who haven't seen it yet) - was it an alternate take on reality, a la Inglourious Basterds and the Hitler liquidation, or are we left to assume that the apparently happy last scene is soon to be shattered by the actual events?

It was a complete reimagining of the events.  

An alternative universe if you will. 

Tarantino wish fulfilment .

I thought that was clear at the end.  But I'm well versed in the Manson family murders and events that night. 

Cliff is the man .  

nufkin 22 Aug 2019
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

>  I thought that was clear at the end.  But I'm well versed in the Manson family murders and events that night.

I'm not especially, beyond knowing they happened - I assumed Charles Manson was present, and since he wasn't in the film I wondered if maybe the real events were to come later, and if the audience's knowledge of this was supposed to add poignancy to the final shot. 

But for the purposes of the story as Tarantino presents it I'll happily accept that Cliff was an unforeseen factor - and that he is indeed the man

The Wild Scallion 22 Aug 2019
In reply to nufkin:

> I'm not especially, beyond knowing they happened - I assumed Charles Manson was present, and since he wasn't in the film I wondered if maybe the real events were to come later, and if the audience's knowledge of this was supposed to add poignancy to the final shot. 

> But for the purposes of the story as Tarantino presents it I'll happily accept that Cliff was an unforeseen factor - and that he is indeed the man

Randomly if you like weird , really weird  , wft is going on weird.  I can recommend a series of books that are very eye opening.  And do cover a lot of the Manson territory as well as much much more.  

Check out 

Sinister Forces - The Nine: Volume 1: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft (Paperback) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/098418581X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_8xSxDb63DSE5F

Brilliant and very well researched.  

It's weighty and book one of three. So a lot of reading.

Its not conspiracy , or made up , it's actually seriously real .  

Blue Straggler 28 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Apocalypse Now: Final Cut
Once Upon A Time in Hollywood
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

are my three most recent cinema screenings in August. 

I am too tired to do reviews.

Offwidth 28 Aug 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/viceroys_house

A reasonable telling of the Indian partition, worth watching for those who are unfamiliar; dedicted to the one million who died as a result of the politics of the period. A bit sentimental and rather defensive towards the Mountbattens and shies away too much from depicting the carnage.

Blue Straggler 28 Aug 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

I was subjected to the trailer for this one quite a few times when it was new. Looked mediocre. Your comments echo what I predicted from the trailer. There are quite a few period dramas around these days, which show promise but which pull their punches. 

Blue Straggler 02 Sep 2019
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Apocalypse Now: Final Cut

> Once Upon A Time in Hollywood

> Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

> are my three most recent cinema screenings in August. 

> I am too tired to do reviews.

ditto The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and The Informer

In reply to Blue Straggler:

Disney love action is surely a gift to anyone after a name for a new route

Tom V 02 Sep 2019
In reply to Offwidth:

Watched Under the Tree which was branded as Icelandic dark comedy and found it short in the amusement stakes, reminding me that the Nordic film about the snowplough driver was also supposed to be a comedy. Maybe it's a SAD thing.

alan moore 02 Sep 2019
In reply to Tom V:

> that the Nordic film about the snowplough driver was also supposed to be a comedy. 

"In Order of disappearance"? That was funny in the same way as Tarantino films are funny; you only laugh deep down dark inside.

" Hunt for the Wilderpeople" was a very funny New Zealand comedy. (Very like an Australian comedy but with more rain)

Tom V 02 Sep 2019
In reply to alan moore:

I can enjoy black humour : the TV series based on Get Shorty was one of the funniest things I've seen in years and yet scarily gruesome in places. Maybe I just don't get Scandi style laughs ( though Saga did produce a few smiles when she was around). 


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