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Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

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Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi » November 19th, 2014, 1:04 pm

Aka Rate That Movie Part IV. Formerly titled Rate That Movie 34DD.
Everything on this post is strictly the opinion and only the opinion of Buscemi.

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Re: Rate That Movie 34DD

Postby numbersix » November 19th, 2014, 6:52 pm

Hmmm, on second thoughts the name of this thread certainly isn't going to win over any new members, particularly those of the opposite sex.

Might as well kick this off...

The Dirties: 7/10
There's life in the found-footage genre yet. In this case we get a sort of psychological thriller/drama about two high-school buddies obsessed with movies. Bullied badly, for their video class they decide to make a referential movie about two guys taking out bullies in their school It frightens their teacher and casues the students to mock them even more. For their next idea, they consider faking a school shootout and filming it. What makes this film stand out is that in most found footage films you never buy the characters and what they say, but here they are pitch perfect movie nerds, spouting off references and not quite dealing with their situation. Their lives veer apart as one begins to integrate with school society more while the other falls back into his own world. It's not shown who is filming them the whole time (though there's one reference), but the performances and writing are so convincing.

The film builds to an unnerving climax, although the end-point felt a little half-baked. Regardless, this is a fascinating look at violence, media, and revenge, and sits as a strong companion to Van Sant's Elephant (and just might be the better film).
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi » November 19th, 2014, 9:40 pm

I renamed it Movies Never Sleep as Chien liked the name. I personally liked 4-DD but added an homage to The Naked Gun 33 1/3 by making it 34DD.

Seeing how there was a bit of a problem with it, I went with the other popular choice.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Chienfantome » November 20th, 2014, 4:58 am

Good move, Boosch ;)

I don't think I had heard about "The Dirties" up until now. It sounds interesting.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby transformers2 » November 20th, 2014, 10:12 pm

Some thoughts on films I've seen over the past week or so
Birdman 8/10
As far as technical filmmaking goes, Birdman is the gold standard. The cinematography makes it seem like the entire movie was filmed in one continuous shot and the audio mix is more reminiscent of a live theater production than a film. It was surely excruciating for everyone involved in the production to make the film seem so natural, but that effort pays off big time as Birdman sets a new bar for behind-the-camera wizardy in Hollywood. The acting is equally impressive with Michael Keaton perfectly capturing the desperation and psychosis of a washed-up actor who is desperate to get back into the spotlight in the present day after starring in a string of hit superhero films in the early '90s. The parallels between Keaton and his character Riggan Thomson's career are obvious (Keaton played Batman in the first two Batman films directed by Tim Burton and has been reduced to nothing but supporting roles since then) and Keaton brings every ounce of pain from his real-life acting struggles to this character. Edward Norton and Emma Stone are just as impressive in supporting roles. Norton plays a celebrated yet wildly arrogant Broadway actor who is brought in at the last minute to star in Riggan's comeback play. Norton hasn't had a role this juicy in years and he absolutely kills it here as a character who, just like Norton himself, is full of hubris and an absolute pain in the ass to work with. Stone is easily the biggest surprise in the whole film as Sam, Riggan's recovering drug addict daughter. Stone has never tackled a role like this before and she more than rises to the occasion with an understated yet powerful performance. Where Birdman kind of hits a wall is with its narrative. It tries to cover way too much different ground in a relatively short amount of time and as a result, a lot of the subplots that don't involve Riggan's battle with his inner demons are poorly developed. While the uneven storyline and obnoxiously ambiguous ending prevent Birdman from amounting to the masterpiece it strives to be, it's still a technically-dazzling and brilliantly-acted film that is essential viewing for anyone out there that considers themselves a film nerd.


Interstellar 4/10
For the first time in a long time, Christopher Nolan failed to deliver. Nolan's latest film, Interstellar, plays out more like a tedious science lesson than a sci-fi blockbuster. The theories on wormholes and time warps may be sound and scientifically accurate, but it's not even remotely interesting to watch these characters have seemingly endless conservations about them for at least half of the film's nearly three hour runtime. The human drama isn't that much more compelling as Nolan centers the film around a father (Matthew McConaughey)/daughter (played by Jessica Chastian, Mackenzie Foy and Ellen Burstyn over various stages of the film) in relationship and how gaps in the time space continuum can't ruin their deep love for one another. The two main themes of Interstellar converge in a ridiculous, inorganic way in the final act and it brings the already heavily-flawed space adventure down to earth at warp speed. The movie is visually-stunning and McConaughey and Chastain turn in solid performances, but that isn't nearly to overlook how hollow and dull this film is overall. If you love science or modern tributes to 2001: A Space Odyssey then Interstellar is your wet dream. If those things don't excite you, Interstellar is a joyless slog to sit through. Seriously Nolan, you're much better than plodding crap like this.

Whiplash 9.5/10
All I had to say about Whiplash once the credits rolled was wow. On paper, Whiplash doesn't sound like anything special. The film focuses on a young jazz drumming prodigy (Miles Teller) at the Shaffer Conservatory of Music in New York City who falls under the tutelage of a respected but band instructor (J.K. Simmons) who pushes him to the brink both physically and mentally. What makes Whiplash stand out is the fact that it plays out more like a thriller than a coming-of-age music drama. The scenes between Teller's Andrew and Simmons' Terance Fletcher are chock-full of tension and suspense. Simmons, who turns in a Oscar-worthy performance, is largely responsible for setting the film's tense tone. Watching the beyond intimidating Fletcher break down his students with insults was equally amusing and horrifying. There are brief glimpses of kindness to his character, but he mostly piles on the intensity and throws human decency to the side in an attempt to make his band the most disciplined and precise in the country. This is the role that longtime character actor Simmons needed to finally get a shot at being a leading man. While Simmons is the undeniable standout, Teller manages to turn another quality performance to add to his impressive and rapidly-growing resume. Teller is able to play the role of a kid who has sacrificed his social life and mental/physical well-being to be the best drummer possible with an incredibly level of authenticity and heart. Not only does Teller deliver as an actor, he also shows off some impressive chops on the drums. Just about every drum beat in the film- including the lengthy solo at end of the film- was played by Teller himself, which only adds to the film's remarkable realism and heavy emotional payoff. Don't let the unconventional subject matter turn you off, Whiplash is an absolutely brilliant crowd-pleaser of a film that demands to be seen by the masses.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi » November 22nd, 2014, 5:45 pm

Beyond the Lights ***/****

How is Gugu Mbatha-Raw not a star yet? Her performance as Noni, a troubled R&B star (think Rihanna with elements of Adele thrown in) who is saved from a suicide attempt and is forced to confront the cost of fame while falling in love with the cop who saved her, is a powerhouse performance. She carries this movie and carries it very well. If more people saw it, she would be getting Oscar nomination talks right now. She's that good. Nate Parker (as the cop), Minnie Driver (as Noni's mother/manager) and Danny Glover (as the cop's father) do well in support and the script has a nice old-fashioned romance feel to it while also being a good criticism of the music industry. The soundtrack of R&B and soul tracks is also nicely assembled and helps the film flow well.

I'm not surprised that reviews have been so strong but it deserved better pre-release awareness (I came into this film knowing almost nothing about it). Maybe it will find an audience on home video or Netflix.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 23rd, 2014, 6:46 pm

Winter Sleep: 7/10
It may take its time (it's over 3 hours long), but Ceylan's Palme D'Or winning film is a powerful and brilliantly detailed film about a wealthy man's arrogance despite his best attempts to be moral and dignified as he separates his daily life from his role as a landlord. His sense of self is gradually rocked through his relations with his young wife (who judges him but also is happy to be a bleeding-heart liberal), his desperate tenants, his sour sister, etc. Taking down the pretentious rich isn't exactly something new (every second French film pretty much does the same) but the genius is in the writing of the individual scenes, where the pull and tug of individual power plays out so well. Ceylan's last film reminded me of Tarkovsky's best work, and this film resembles some of the brilliance of Bergman's intense claustrophobic stories.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Chienfantome » November 24th, 2014, 4:55 am

Glad to see you loved "Whiplash", Tranny. Such an amazing film.
I pretty much agree with you on Winter Sleep Six. What I preferred in it is the ability of Ceylan to build long sequences. It's amazing for such a long film to have so few scenes, but each of them really enticing thanks to the writing and direction of Ceylan.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Chienfantome » November 24th, 2014, 11:13 am

Tusk
Alright, this enters my 2014 Top 3 of the most WTF films I have seen this year, alongside Godard's Adieu au Langage and Kim Ki-duk's Moebius. What the heck went through Kevin Smith's mind ? The film is just a big joke. Really. One day he tripped about imagining the most ridiculous premise, and then found the money to shoot it. Justin Long plays a podcaster who travels to Canada to meet a guy who killed himself in the meantime. So he wonders around looking for an interesting thing to report, when he stumbles upon an ad that intrigues him, left by an old man who says he's got lots of exciting and unique stories to tell. It turns out it's a trap, and the old man (Michael Parks) has another thing in mind.
At first I thought it would be a horror film. It kind of is, but not really. The film clearly is more of a comedy not taking anything seriously. Johnny Depp appears midway through the film, disguised and almost unrecognizable as a bizarre French Canadian detective. Kevin Smith is actually shooting right now a spinoff of Tusk, centered on the French Canadian detective.
I honestly don't know what to think of Tusk. In a way, it's hilarious that Smith made such a crazy film, and at the same time, the film is so ridiculous. I can't even give it a grade.

Love is Strange
Ira Sachs's latest is in my eyes is best of what I've seen from him (Forty Sahdes of Blue and Keep the Lights On). John Lithgow and Alfred Molina portray a a couple who, after 40 years of partnership, decide to get married. After they do, Molina loses his job, and the couple must find a temporary place to live because they can't afford their Manhattan appartment anymore.
It's a great film from Sachs, who depicts the complexity of human relationships, when you start living with friends or families and discover them under a new angle. It's a delicate, smart and sometimes poetic look at life, family, marriage and friendship. It's quite moving too. A very fine film. 7.5/10

Han Gong-ju
One of the Korean films I selected for the Paris Korean Film Festival this year, and it was actually the very first film I watched this year, months ago, to prepare the festival. And after watching it, a screener of low definition of my TV, I felt I had probably seen the best Korean film I would see all year. It turned out, there would be a few more just as great, but it is, indeed one of the best Korean films I've seen this year. It was just released in theaters in France so I went to watch it for the first time in cinema (I had only seen it on small screen). Martin Scorsese praised the film when he gave it the Best Film Prize, as head of Jury, at the Marrakech Film Festival last year.
It's the kind of film you shouldn't know too much about beforehand, so it doesn't lessen its impact on you. Let me just say it's about a high school girl transferred to a new high school in the middle of the year because of something that happened in her previous school. She must start over in a new neighborhood and a new house.
Han Gong-ju is the name of the girl, and it's one of the most powerful films I have seen all year. It delves into many problems troubling Korean society, with a real sense of narration and direction. The film left me shocked and emotional. And it's a first feature film. What a remarkable first foray into feature films. 8.5/10
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby numbersix » November 27th, 2014, 10:02 am

The Drop: 5/10
The most Catholic Guilt movie I've seen in years. The theme seems to be "if you feel guilty than you will be redeemed". It may work for the lads in the Vatican, but it doesn't add up in this strange thriller. Firstly, there's Tom Hardy's character. Is he quiet or does he just have a mental disorder. At times he's calculating and smart, and other times ridiculously naive. He spends most of the movie moping around, which makes his potential relationship with Naomi Rapace's character a little flat (particularly towards the end when she hangs out with Schoenaerts' character). Gandolfini was okay but as a last film it was far from a powerful swan song. It's a grim, plodding film with the plot feeling contrived rather than natural. Performances make it watchable, but there's not much else to it.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi » November 27th, 2014, 2:05 pm

numbersix wrote:Is he quiet or does he just have a mental disorder..


I think that's just Hardy's inability to do a decent American accent (also see Lawless).
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby BanksIsDaFuture » November 27th, 2014, 2:33 pm

numbersix wrote: Is he quiet or does he just have a mental disorder. At times he's calculating and smart, and other times ridiculously naive.


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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby JohnErle » November 28th, 2014, 7:21 pm

The Theory Of Everything - 7/10

A straight-forward, predictable biopic, which would have been instantly forgotten if not for the excellent lead performances. Eddie Redmayne is outstanding in a very challenging role, and his uncanny resemblance to the real Hawking helps immensely, but Felicity Jones is also excellent as Hawking's love interest. There are things that happen in this movie that should have been emotionally devastating for the audience, but I remained coolly detached the whole time, and like all biopics there's a bit too much story here to be told in a two-hour movie, so what we get barely skims the surface, and the movie never even attempts to hide the fact that it's a blatant hagiography, not only of Hawking but his wife. Even when their marriage is crumbling and they both fall in love with other people, no one is to blame and no one gets overly upset, so the lack of conflict and the saintliness of everyone involved makes it all rather hard to swallow.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby JohnErle » November 29th, 2014, 3:02 pm

The Babadook - 8/10

This is a remarkably confident debut feature from an actress turned director, Jennifer Kent, although she made a short film in 2005 called Monster with an identical synopsis, so it sounds like she spent nearly ten years building up this movie, and it shows. It owes a lot to Roman Polanski, Tim Burton, and Guillermo Del Toro while never quite rising to the levels of those masters, but it terms of pure atmosphere it's easily the scariest horror film of the year, and the best I've seen since The Conjuring. It makes incredible use of sound, the horror imagery is mostly effective and chilling, and the Babadook pop-up book, which they're taking pre-orders for on Facebook, is an impressive piece of design work. The scene where the book returns with its blank pages now filled in is the best scene in the movie.

The trailer gave the impression that the Babadook could be a manifestation of either the mother's imagination, or her son's, and a better movie wouldn't have answered that question until very near the end, but Kent's script makes the mistake of revealing its hand too soon, and after that point a bit of repetition sets in, with multiple variations of essentially the same scene. I'm not sure I liked the ending either, but there's so much to love about The Babadook that I still recommend it to anyone with an interest in horror for grown-ups.
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Re: Rate That Movie Part IV: Movies Never Sleep

Postby Buscemi » November 29th, 2014, 6:29 pm

The Theory of Everything ***.5/****

I understand John's complaints that there isn't any conflict but wouldn't Hawking's battle with ALS be the main conflict of the story? Anyway, this is a very beautiful movie about science and beating the odds with an Oscar-quality performance by Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking. In his performance, Redmayne serves as both an actor and a contortionist in the ways he punishes his body on-screen to match Hawking's (apparently, his movements permanently changed the structure of his spine after production ended). Felicity Jones does well in support as his love who has to witness the deterioration of his body as the two become parents themselves. James Marsh, better known as a documentary filmmaker, keeps viewers interested and despite some of the scientific elements perhaps being hard to follow, he manages to break through without pandering.

Anyway, it's something that people should take the time to see and it's nice that it is finding a mainstream audience.
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