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November film thread

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As recommended to me elsewhere by SuperstarDJ of this parish, as he has noticed my 2020 obsession with Deborah Kerr:

Separate Tables (1958)

An absolutely stunning film adapted from Terence Rattigan's play. And yes it is very "stagey", basically people talking in a few rooms in a small residential hotel. 
It's so good, I watched it at home on a Thursday and then, when visiting parents as a journey-breaker overnight stop-off on a long drive, I persuaded them to watch it with me on the Friday.

As with many plays, there is some compression of time but it works OK, It's a wonderfully efficiently written snapshot of hypocrisy, changing times, tolerance, defiance, etc. One of Deborah Kerr's 6 Oscar nominations was for this, she never won but at least David Niven and Wendy Hiller were awarded. 

I won't go into plot details but suffice to say that somehow the act of a character deciding to finish eating a poached egg breakfast, somehow is more impactful and powerful than any number of Avengers turning to dust at the end of Infinity War!

8.5/10 and I look forward to watching it again soon with director Delbert Mann's audio commentary over it. 

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 Tom V 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Watched "Richard Jewell". OK but a bit workmanlike, excellent work from lead actor though.

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 aln 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I've watched quite a lot of Mission Impossible films recently. They're ridiculous, but good fun. Tom Cruise runs a lot in them. He runs really hard and quite fast. Actually, I've seen quite a lot of Tom Cruise films recently. I'm pretty sure he runs in most of them. Is there a Tom Cruise film where he doesn't run? 

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In reply to aln:

>  Is there a Tom Cruise film where he doesn't run? 

Born on the Fourth of July? Maybe he is shown running in early scenes so Oliver Stone can do his usual subtle "look at the impact that this incident has had on this character" thing. 

Post edited at 22:25
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In reply to aln:

Incidentally I thought the most recent one, Fallout, was the best so far. It's rare that I'll think that about the sixth film in a franchise. 

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In reply to aln:

>  Is there a Tom Cruise film where he doesn't run? 

Tropic Thunder, Young Guns 2, probably Magnolia, probably Austin Powers: Goldmember, probably Taps, probably Endless Love, and I don't remember him running in Top Gun or Rain Man. I realise your question was you being "funny" and not an actual question, of course. 

Post edited at 22:32
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 aln 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> >  Is there a Tom Cruise film where he doesn't run? 

> Born on the Fourth of July? Maybe he is shown running in early scenes so Oliver Stone can do his usual subtle "look at the impact that this incident has had on this character" thing. 

Ooh... Good call. I haven't seen that, dunno. 

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 Tom V 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

He doesn't run in Tropic Thunder but he dances sublimely.....

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 aln 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I haven't seen that either! Man, I really need to catch up on my Tom Cruise. 

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 waitout 01 Nov 2020
In reply to aln:

It's his only film where for moments he isn't Tom Cruise.

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 aln 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Tropic Thunder, Young Guns 2, probably Magnolia, probably Austin Powers: Goldmember, probably Taps, probably Endless Love, and I don't remember him running in Top Gun or Rain Man. I realise your question was you being "funny" and not an actual question, of course. 

I'm being "funny"? Have you watched all those films? I bet he runs in Top Gun, runs about the stage in Magnolia. He's always f*cking running, he gives good run. 

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 aln 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Incidentally I thought the most recent one, Fallout, was the best so far. It's rare that I'll think that about the sixth film in a franchise. 

Hmm, which one was that? Am I right in thinking there's going to be another? 

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 waitout 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Rewatched Inglourious Basterds, satisfying war porn.

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 aln 01 Nov 2020
In reply to waitout:

> It's his only film where for moments he isn't Tom Cruise.

Which one? 

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In reply to aln:

where I say “probably”, it means I haven’t seen the film. Sorry, that’s not clear or obvious, I realise now 

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In reply to waitout:

> Rewatched Inglourious Basterds, satisfying war porn.

I wanted to watch that last night whilst visiting my Dad, but the bloody disc wasn’t in the DVD box! 

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In reply to aln:

Fallout is the one with the epic HALO jump, Henry Cavill and Vanessa Kirby and Viola Davis, and the helicopter chase in the Himalaya at the end. And a superb long central sequence in Paris (starting with the HALO jump, then toilet fight, extraction of Vanessa Kirby, and recapture of Sean Harris) . 

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In reply to aln:

>  Am I right in thinking there's going to be another? 

It is in production right now, they were shooting in Oxfordshire in the summer and there will be something involving steam trains 

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 aln 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Fallout is the one with the epic HALO jump, Henry Cavill and Vanessa Kirby and Viola Davis, and the helicopter chase in the Himalaya at the end. And a superb long central sequence in Paris (starting with the HALO jump, then toilet fight, extraction of Vanessa Kirby, and recapture of Sean Harris) . 

Aye that was good. Henry Cavill doing his frown thing. Sean Harris is great, I love him. 

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In reply to aln:

Harris in A Lonely Place to Die is amazing. He’s also very good in his two Mission: Impossible films 

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 aln 01 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Harris in A Lonely Place to Die is amazing.

I watched that this year and had mixed feelings. The ridiculous, 'there's only one way of escape which involves doing this stupid thing' kinda scenes, when they could just walk round the back, were stupid. But overall I enjoyed it. But he is good in it. 

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In reply to aln:

Do you remember before the film was out, there was loads of buzz being posted ON THE UKC FORUMS about how it looked like it was going to be a proper good adventure film with accurate climbing and so on, because the publicity stated that the writer/director team had “climbed” The Matterhorn as preparation and quoted them as saying “we don’t want that Cliffhanger nonsense”? Then I was the first to see it and reported that there was about 6 minutes of climbing and 80% of it was ludicrous and inaccurate and just plain wrong?

I thought the film improved when they got into town, and that pub scene where Harris virtually justifies being a psychopathic mercenary, is genius 

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 waitout 02 Nov 2020
In reply to aln:

> Which one? 

Born on the 4th

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 waitout 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> I wanted to watch that last night whilst visiting my Dad, but the bloody disc wasn’t in the DVD box! 

It strikes me as that kind of film. I like it. I like the mash up of European dialogue-driven scenes and Dirty Dozen-type blockbuster stuff, I think it's a cool blend.

You'd see much more into it than I do. I get some of the references and tributes, but you have a broader spectrum of films to draw from. Note to self to see more spaghetti westerns and euro warries. 

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 Tom V 02 Nov 2020
In reply to aln:

Never seen Harris in a feature film. What's his diction like?

Saw "Invisible Man" the other day. 

Very well made thriller.

Post edited at 08:28
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 aln 02 Nov 2020
In reply to waitout:

I watched that earlier this year and thought it was poor. It had some moments of tension, like in the cinema near the end. But it seemed like it didn't know what it wanted to be, and a lot of it was boring. It felt like Tarantino 'doing Tarantino'. 

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 Iamgregp 02 Nov 2020
In reply to aln:

>  I'm pretty sure he runs in most of them. Is there a Tom Cruise film where he doesn't run? 

Magnolia & Tropic Thunder are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head...

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 rj_townsend 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I watched a new Netflix film called The Trial of the Chicago Seven, which was very good. It wasn't an event that I'd been aware of and was well worth watching.

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 aln 02 Nov 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> Never seen Harris in a feature film. What's his diction like?

Can't say I noticed. Why do you ask? 

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 Tom V 02 Nov 2020
In reply to aln:

I get the impression that if you are a sound engineer he's not easy to work with. Most of the criticisms levelled at Jamaica Inn on BBC a couple of years ago were about poor sound quality and  indistinct dialogue. Some of the technicians on set have since admitted that Harris's attempt at a West country accent gave them serious recording problems and even post production tweaking couldn't clear up the "mumbling" that the series became notorious for.

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In reply to Tom V:

I may be misremembering and/or biased just cos I like him and the scene, but I recall that his pub dialogue scene in A Lonely Place to Die was really clear. Maybe was just really drawn in and concentrating 

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 waitout 03 Nov 2020
In reply to aln:

> It felt like Tarantino 'doing Tarantino'. 

Yes, though that's every Tarantino I've seen and kind of what I like about his films.

I can see how it'd be boring and undecided. To my eye he's simply picked genres he likes and done his version of them then stack them together. I like the erosion of normal narratives and flow in flow as the usual bores me. Dining Table euro dramas I also like, so the versions he's done I found entertaining, that major plot moves take place with strategy rather than action. Watching Waltz act more than made them work.

I admit the cinema stuff I thought was the weak link, the foray into wartime romance didn't hold my attention.

Killing fascists is a guilty pleasure I will always have a soft spot for.

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

As we've  just had Halloween Ive watched two sppoky films over the last two evenings, Hereditary and The Witch. Despite the general consensus, and Mr Kermode, I thought Hereditary was the better, the spookier and the more unsettling. I didn't find the same with The Witch and that ending, really?!

Hereditary 8 ouf 10

The Witch 5 out of 10

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In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

The VVitch and Hereditary are both somewhat undone by their final 5 minutes! 

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 nufkin 03 Nov 2020
In reply to aln:

>  He's always f*cking running, he gives good run.

After watching the Family Guy episode where they explain why, it's hard not to giggle when seeing his running scenes now

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 aln 03 Nov 2020
In reply to nufkin:

> After watching the Family Guy episode where they explain why, it's hard not to giggle when seeing his running scenes now

I haven't seen that, I'll need to have a look for it. 

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Abigail's Party (the BBC "Play for Today" presentation from 1978; I am not sure if other versions exist)

Can't remember if I've seen this - Mike Leigh's calling card, basically - decades ago. If I have, I was probably too young to appreciate it. 

Watching it last night, it struck me that it's almost like a horror film  
The Good Life meets The Exterminating Angel!

Fist-chewingly trainwreck stuff, I actually did bite fingers with anxiety at one point, anticipating the next bit of cringe and glowering. 

Absolute masterpiece. 

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 Tom V 10 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

It's a masterpiece, the Demis Roussos dance is superb.

Only equalled by Nuts in May, where Steadman's  Candice Marie is almost a polar opposite to Bev.

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Mike Leigh is in a class all of his own for his type of movie. One of the first directors ever? to start purely by improvising (certainly in his earlier films). I think Bleak Moments was his calling card. He came to see my final year film at film school in 1975 and was encouragingly complimentary. I can never remember exactly which titles relate to which movies, but I think my favourites were Abigail's Party, Nuts in May, Secrets and Lies, Vera Drake and Happy-go-lucky. I thought Topsy-Turvy was a definite miss, and Mr Turner also weak. Peterloo I thought was good/underrated.

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In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

I have missed quite a lot of his post-Secrets and Lies output. Actually when I think about it, there's a fair bit of his output that I've missed. 

Of what I've seen, "Naked" is the masterpiece. One of the bleakest studies of human nature ever. And despite Leigh's famed "improv workshop" approach, and David Thewlis' long meandering rambles, it was at the time his most tightly scripted, heavily rehearsed film. 

I also have a soft spot for Life is Sweet. 

What's interesting about both films, for me at least, is my own response to certain characters, as I've aged. When young, I (and peers) thought Johnny from Naked was some sort of anti-hero. Growing up, you see that he is very pretentious, doesn't really know what he's rambling about, and is 100% sociopathic. As for Aubrey in Life is Sweet, he's changed in my perception, from buffoon-like comic relief, to actually an imaginative and ambitious bold entrepreneur. 

I do feel that Leigh has a slightly sneering approach to his caricatured characters sometimes

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Re. last point. Agreed. It can seem like an easy way out. I think you could also say with most of his films is that they're quite uneven, with their very good and not nearly so good moments. (But please don't ask me to give you examples )

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In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

thanks for your input Gordon 

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 toddles 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I watched Capernaum last night on Amazon Prime, it's about a little boy struggling to survive in the slums of Beirut, he is such a good actor.

It's very bleak but memorable.

Also recommend Clive Davis The Soundtrack of our Lives on Netflix, it's about a US music mogul whose career covers the 1960s up until the present day.

He is still creative director of Sony music aged 87.

His skill is finding talented people and getting the right material for them to be very successful.

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In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Peterloo I thought was good/underrated.

I agree: I think Peterloo is right up there with his best and it's very interesting to see him painting on such an epic canvas. (Painting metaphor deliberate as some of the internal lighting seemed straight out of Josiah Wright of Derby to me.) I'm a big Leigh fan and this is one of my favourites - but you need to enjoy rhetoric. There's a long build up to the massacre but when it finally comes it's appropriately (and terribly) climactic. I know you're not a fan of numerical scores but I think I gave it 9/10 when I reviewed it on here. 

Edit to add: Plenty of sneering at the Prince Regent - and quite right too!

Post edited at 13:15
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 Jonny 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

A few I've seen recently that were excellent:

  • Wind River (Taylor Sheridan, 2017)
  • Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017)
  • The Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)
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 buzby 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Doctor sleep, found it so good i actually watched it two nights in a row. its a sequel to Stephen kings The Shining but a very different and imo better movie. well worth a watch but a long one at 2 and a half hours.

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 Tom V 11 Nov 2020
In reply to buzby:

Got to admit that I've never actually watched The Shining  so is the film a standalone or do I need to rectify that first ?

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 buzby 11 Nov 2020
In reply to Tom V:

you could watch it as a standalone as it explains a lot of the previous film but i would take the time to watch the shining first to appreciate a lot of the references in the sequel.

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In reply to Tom V:

The Shining, 6.5/10

Dr Sleep would benefit from having actually seen The Shining but to be honest if you have a nodding acquaintance with the familiar pop culture awareness of The Shining you’ll manage OK. To me Doctor Sleep came across more as The Lost Boys done correctly, with some The Shining stuff very clumsily bolted on to it . It was a difficult one to score meaningfully because of the The Shining shadow lurking over it. It passed the time, didn’t do much “wrong”, a bit overlong and silly at times but passable. Arguably worth it for one performance in particular from a relatively minor supporting player 

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 Hat Dude 12 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Carol Reed's all time classic, "The Third Man"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Man

Anton Karas' memorable  theme to this jumped into my mind earlier when I heard the statement by the UK Deputy Chief Medical Officer that the Covid-19 vaccine should be given to those most in need, not  the wealthy. At the heart of the film is criminality involving the new wonder drug of the time, Penicillin.

Incredible  cinematography, atmosphere and one of the best movie speeches; with Orson Welles at his best despite relatively small screen time.

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Korean film Parasite last night, very good. Great build to a bonkers denouement. Amazon. It’s not a medical drama btw, multi award winner and a stealthy cinema hit when we still had them.

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 Offwidth 12 Nov 2020
 Euge 12 Nov 2020
In reply to buzby:

> Doctor sleep, found it so good i actually watched it two nights in a row. its a sequel to Stephen kings The Shining but a very different and imo better movie. well worth a watch but a long one at 2 and a half hours.

The film is very interesting as it serves as a sequel to both the book and the film of The Shining. In the Dr. Sleep book Mr. King ignores the events in the (The Shining) movie as there are some differences. However, the Dr. Sleep movie addresses the movie delightfully. 

Hope that makes sense

Euge

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 dabble 12 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I watched 1917 last night, a thoroughly good watch. The long shots are fantastic, suspenseful without being nerve wracking and technically brilliant. The main characters are likable and I found myself becoming very invested in them. It didn't feel like a two hour film.

After listening to Dan Carlins Hardcore History series on the First World War I thought the depiction of trench life and the affects it has on the individuals involved was done well. There wasn't as much grot as I would have imagined but they need the steadycam operator to be able to move around as well I suppose.

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Abigail's Party (the BBC "Play for Today" presentation from 1978; I am not sure if other versions exist)

After the cringe-inducing "fun" of Abigail's Party on Monday, I fell down a rabbit hole deeper into more dramatic social realism and picked one of Ken Loach's lesser known works "It's A Free World" (2008)

I am warming to Loach after wrongly dismissing a lot of his output as being too "black and white" (some pundit/wag described watching a Loach film as "like being hit over the head for two hours with a massive left wing cartoon frying pan" and unfortunately it stuck with me). 
 "I, Daniel Blake" changed my mind and I have a lot of catching up to do. 

It's A Free World shows the typical Loach "downward spiral" that well intentioned people can end up in, very quickly. Basically - employment agency worker loses her job, sets up her own employment agency, soon finds that to make ends meet she has to recruit illegal immigrants, and it all goes horribly downhill from there. 

Very well shot and acted. Not much fun. 


I decided to go for a hat trick of bleak social realism on Wednesday, with everyone's favourite laughalong Belgians The Dardenne Brothers, with "The Kid with a Bike" which by their standards is quite upbeat and jolly although there is a moment toward the end that feels like it's all gone a bit "extreme Dardennes Brothers". 

Again, nice stuff but I think that's it for this week and I should watch a Bond movie or superhero film tonight  

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 Offwidth 13 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Who knew Brazilian acid western was a thing? Bacurau is a superb film, part celebration of outlaw village life, part horror, part spaghetti western. Highly recommended. I've watched a lot of films for the first time over Halloween and this is the only stand-out and is head and shoulders above anything else.

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

Post edited at 23:43
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In reply to Offwidth:

Ah acid Westerns. Have you seen Blueberry starring Vincent Cassel, Juliette Lewis and a supporting cast that looks like acid was involved in the casting process? 

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 jethro kiernan 14 Nov 2020
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 DerwentDiluted 14 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Just watched Capernaum, not even aware of it previously. Incredible.  Absolutely incredible.

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 DerwentDiluted 14 Nov 2020
In reply to dabble:

Yeah, I'm a WW1 nerd and was looking forward to pulling this apart. But I was disappointed. Apart from a few topographical things, like there are no waterfalls near Arras,  the trenches are straight, and the early April attacks north and east of Arras took place in heavy snowfall, it is remarkably accurate.  The pretext was a bit flimsy though, any unit that size would not be incommunicado, messages dropped from planes would have done the job. 

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In reply to DerwentDiluted:

did you not have an issue with the time condensing in a film that heavily sold itself as a “one take real time” story?

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 ripper 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Well I've just watched I'm Thinking of Ending Things on Netflix. Excuse my French but what the f*cking f*ck

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In reply to ripper:

Is that good or bad?

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 DerwentDiluted 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> did you not have an issue with the time condensing in a film that heavily sold itself as a “one take real time” story?

Ah, my post was self edited before I posted it, i somehow deleted the second half of a sentence it should have read 'apart from a few topographical things and things explained by the exigencies of it being a film''.  This is my standard caveat for inaccuracies such as the heavy gun battery they encounter coming out of the tunnels. They were supposed to be 15cm heavy kanon, and would have been several miles behind no mans land, not just behind the front line. But. Its a film. WW1 trenches in films are always too wide, too straight and too deep. But they need to fit a film crew in so....  The most accurate WW1 film in my opinion is a French one, 'Verdun visions d' histoire' which was filmed on the actual battlefield in 1928 using all original equipment and veterans as actors.  A lot of the footage and stills from this film are used in documentaries and books as actual images. One of the most famous is below, and when you watch the film, the 'corpse' (very realistic as it is in the 'pugilist' position) top right, can be seen to quickly wipe debris from his face!


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 ripper 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Is that good or bad?

I still have no idea. Great performances but really no clue about what was going on or what, if anything, it was supposed to mean. 

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 dabble 15 Nov 2020
In reply to ripper:

Read the first two paragraphs of the plot on wiki, wtf indeed! 

It's going on the list.

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 ripper 15 Nov 2020
In reply to dabble:

If you think the start sounds weird, just wait till you get to the last act!

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In reply to Blue Straggler:

Watched 'Dark Waters' last night (Amazon Prime). Based on a true story, where a corporate lawyer is approached by a farmer from his home town whose cattle are all dying horribly.

Not a barrel of laughs, but shocking in how it shows DuPont knowingly poisoning the workforce, locals and pretty much anyone else for decades.

Non stick pans and DWR coatings on outdoor gear will never be the same again.

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 Offwidth 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I've not heard of that. In contrast to the stupidity of attacking  Brazilian outllaw villages is not to enrage Cage. I watched the gruesome Mandy last night. Not sure I can quite recommend it but the use of colour and sound was impressive and the biker bad guys were nightmare characters and even Cage was better than normal. Not at all surprised the critical reception was much better than that of the audience.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/mandy_2018

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In reply to Offwidth:

> not to enrage Cage. I watched the gruesome Mandy last night. 

I watched the deliriously fun and rather underappreciated Snake Eyes last Thursday and I have Drive Angry put to one side to watch soon (more for the sake of Amber Heard tbh, as I dimly recall a superb early scene of her driving and singing along to Peaches’ “F**k The Pain Away” which alone is worth the price of admission 😃

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In reply to Ridge:

Yes, Dark Waters was excellent and far better than I had expected (although it was hard to work out how old Mark Ruffalo was supposed to be!) 

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 Offwidth 15 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Stylish and madcap and it makes an interesting change that the villain is exposed to the audience early. I agree its underrated.

I quite like Cage even in bad movies but he has made some fabulous films between those less good ones. It's like he doesn't care.

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In reply to aln:

> I've watched quite a lot of Mission Impossible films recently. They're ridiculous, but good fun. Tom Cruise runs a lot in them. He runs really hard and quite fast. Actually, I've seen quite a lot of Tom Cruise films recently. I'm pretty sure he runs in most of them. Is there a Tom Cruise film where he doesn't run? 

How has nobody mentioned Interview With The Vampire? 

and I haven’t seen them but probably Vanilla Sky and very likely Eyes Wide Shut won’t have major Tom Cruise running scenes 

Post edited at 00:47
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 Offwidth 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

A delightful road movie which gently meanders through the bleakness of various themes.... in particular modern America, family, greed and old age.... with gentle humour without becoming over sentimental. It's so good after a while I forgot it was in black and white. Despite the colour bleached out of the life of Bruce Dern's character, you can still see clearly what is going on.

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

Post edited at 11:09
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In reply to Offwidth:

Watch "About Schmidt" if you liked Nebraska

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 Offwidth 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Have done and would agree with your point... I saw it before we started these threads. A Straight Story is another good companion piece.

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In reply to Offwidth:

The Straight Story is the obvious comparison point for Nebraska but unsurprisingly About Schmidt shares a lot more of the "feel" of it. 

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In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

A Mike Leigh that I forgot to mention, was "Another Year" which I have raved about previously on these forums. It's very clever because he seems to recognise his slightly "sneery" attitude and use it to his advantage by projecting it onto the two central characters, something I almost didn't notice during my first viewing. 

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 Offwidth 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

You might Indeed say A Straight Story is a lot more straight

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In reply to ripper:

> Well I've just watched I'm Thinking of Ending Things on Netflix. Excuse my French but what the f*cking f*ck

It was very strange, enthralling at times, but ultimately too surreal for my tastes. I'd enjoyed Kaufman's screenplays, directed by others, such as Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the spotless Mind, but this was on another level.

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In reply to The New NickB:

Sorry, I thought 'Being John Malkovich' was one on the most self-indulgent wastes of screen time in movie history.

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The Captive Heart. Second World War POW drama/melodrama. Effective if a little contrived in one of its four main stories. Similar structure to In Which We Serve, although on a different timescale. Good old fashioned "stiff upper lip" stuff. Quite enjoyable even if four stories was one too many and it veered into soap opera territory sometimes. 

Star 80. Well it's a Bob Fosse film so, unsurprisingly a tad flashy, lurid and tacky, but he chose the subject matter brilliantly - a flashy, lurid and tacky world. Basically a dramatised (and according to some, rather too heavily fictionalised) version of the tragic Dorothy Stratten story. It was a lot better than I expected; even the awful score during the first half gave way to much more suitable music in the final 30 minutes, and the performances were really strong, especially Eric Roberts who makes us somewhat understand a totally sleazy and despicable character. Also big respect to Fosse and Mariel Hemingway for managing to make it in no way titillating despite the subject matter. 

The Tenth Man. Obscure late 1980s film adaptation (with a "made for TV" look to it, despite nice location shooting) of an obscure Graham Greene story that, plot wise, should have been called The Third Man but he'd already used that title. More Second World War prison stuff (just at the start) as cowardly loner Anthony Hopkins buys a man to replace him in front of a firing squad, and then follows a typical Graham Greene narrative of having no real place in the world, lots of guilt, and some inevitable doom. I saw this more than thirty years ago on television and it then became so obscure that I almost thought I'd imagined it, but apparently it has been available for at least ten years now so I picked up a cheap DVD and the whole thing was actually a hell of a lot better than I remembered. Features a young Kristin Scott Thomas getting in some early practice for her current common typecasting as a hard-faced bitter shrew One of Hopkins' finest hours, but the whole thing is stolen by Derek Jacobi. 
Some leaps of faith required at times, for plot contrivances of the "well WHY would they do THAT?" kind, but overall excellent. 

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 ripper 22 Nov 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Sorry, I thought 'Being John Malkovich' was one on the most self-indulgent wastes of screen time in movie history.

Probably give I'm Thinking of Ending Things a wide swerve then Gordon!

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In reply to ripper:

> Probably give I'm Thinking of Ending Things a wide swerve then Gordon!

And Synecdoche, New York. 

And Anomalisa. 

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 waitout 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

A Futile and Stupid Gesture. Docu drama comedy about one of the founders of National Lampoon. A decent insight into a big part of modern American Culture and some smart elements in it. Anyone thinking the Americans don't get sarcasm or irony is misinformed.

Sadly PJ O'Rourke barely gets a mention.

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 Tom V 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Hillbilly Elegy.

I'm not sure what to make of this film. 

I feel that i have just watched one of those mundane American dramas which populate Channel 5 's listings but this one had the bonus of some quality acting injected into it.

Main character roles are very good, special mention to the lad who plays the young JD, but Adams (looking like Kirsty McColl's double in some scenes) is absolutely outstanding.

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In reply to Tom V:

Did it have a similar feel/tone to The Devil All The Time, which you praised and which I didn't like? It sort of looks like it might do. 
I think I am about to put Netflix on hold for a while, I'm really not using it much. All this fancy new content can wait. My last film was the 1955 The End of the Affair (yes, even more Deborah Kerr), on VHS, taped off daytime C4 in 2001 by the looks of it! Complete with a bloody awful advert for the AA who were offering finance or possibly a credit card, featuring a young Olivia Colman. 

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 Tom V 24 Nov 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

No, this film has practically no sense of plot about it at all, just an interwoven series of incidents from 2 or 3 periods in the life of the boy/man  depicting the dysfunctional nature of his family and the tone hadn't really got the gritty quality of the other film or, say, Winter's Bone. Very little of the hillbilly about it all, it could have been set almost anywhere in a working class US neighbourhood.

But worth watching for Amy Adams at her best.

Post edited at 23:48
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 Offwidth 25 Nov 2020
In reply to Tom V:

I was incredibly impressed by Mangrove, the first film in the Small Axe series from Steve McQueen, currently running on the beeb. A horrific but compelling tale of police racism and the famous resulting court case, and a superb piece of cinema.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p08vxt33/small-axe

There are other comments on the TV thread

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/culture_bunker/november_december_tv_thread-727663

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In reply to DerwentDiluted:

> it should have read 'apart from a few topographical things and things explained by the exigencies of it being a film''.  This is my standard caveat for inaccuracies such as the heavy gun battery they encounter coming out of the tunnels. They were supposed to be 15cm heavy kanon, and would have been several miles behind no mans land, not just behind the front line. But. Its a film. WW1 trenches in films are always too wide, too straight and too deep. 

I wrote and then lost a reply to this the other night. I know nothing of the historical accuracy, equipment etc. When I spoke of the timing in 1917 I was addressing this (here is a copy-paste from my January review):

"the film is 2 hours long, Blake and Schofield have to travel, iirc, 9 miles. From the lighting it appears to start at midday. By the time they are at a burning building it looks maybe late afternoon. A dusk scene in town. Then a proper time break of unknown length [Schofield unconscious], and it is pitch black. I thought this was maybe midnight but after around 30 minutes of screentime, it is broad daylight again. with a sun apparently so bright and hot that it can completely dry off a heavy woolen coat that's been immersed in a cold river (a previous poster mentioned this). Again, fine if it is meant to be presented as fantasy (and maybe it is, given that our protagonist has the self-healing powers of Wolverine from the X-Men). "

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 Tom V 23:00 Sun
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Waiting for the Barbarians.

Beautiful cinematography and Rylance as good as ever.

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 Offwidth 23:40 Mon
In reply to Tom V:

The latest Small Axe film by Steve McQueen, Red White and Blue, is also excellent. Based on Leroy Logan's early career it deals with the racial tensions in the late 79s and a pioneering officer who wanted change, knowing the racism he would face (an impressive leading performance from John Boyega).

 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000pzmb

https://www.digitalspy.com/tv/a34803661/leroy-logan-now/

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 Offwidth 23:40 Tue
In reply to Offwidth:

Two nights in a row with recommendations. This time Sweet Country: a grown-up 'Western' set in the early 20th century Aussie outback. Really interesting visuals and although slightly lacking in character depth at times, a compelling tale.

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/sweet_country_2018

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In reply to Offwidth:

It’s December. Have a smiley face 😃

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