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2 minutes ago, Ran said:

To be fair, this was probably what Eggers and Sjón were going for but the test screenings and studio notes led to it being made more commercial and "entertaining". See the New Yorker profile for evidence of that, but here's a choice quote:

 

Yeah thats a big shame. I think this movie has a budget 10x what hes used to. With that comes a lot more studio interference and a requirement for it to make more money. Unfortunately it will be mean even less chance of us getting more movies like this.

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59 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Yeah thats a big shame. I think this movie has a budget 10x what hes used to. With that comes a lot more studio interference and a requirement for it to make more money. Unfortunately it will be mean even less chance of us getting more movies like this.

There is a place for movies like this, but I don't think big budget is it. This needs smaller budget, less expectations and pressure from industry. I knew going into it that it wasn't a typical action/adventure movie but I still didn't like some of what they did in the last 30 min or so.

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15 hours ago, Ran said:

Just finished watching Stephen Graham in  Boiling Point, a 90 minute, single-take film (genuine single-take, no hidden cuts) about the head chef at an upscale London restaurant. I imagine it's popular with foodies and veterans of working kitchens, and I have to say it's pretty captivating as the camera weaves around following different members of the staff and various issues -- past and present -- are skillfully hinted at over the course of the film. Graham is terrific. The film reminds me a little bit of Locke, the Tom Hardy drama from a decade ago, maybe in part due to Graham's Scouse accent having some similitary to Hardy's Welsh accent in that film, but also because they're both just good. 

I went to watch this last week but they'd taken it off 'free with Prime' so I gave it a miss. I was too slow. :(

Started watched The Informer instead which I have almost finished and which is brilliant. :blink:

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Back to say that I have finished The Informer and I thought it was excellent. It is a BBC series (only six eps) but I watched it on Netflix so you have no excuse not to see it. It is about an undercover cop* who works in CT running assets. A number of different but related dramas unfold concurrently. Paddy Considine is great. Apart from coming off unexpectedly flat in some of the most emotional scenes. I found the whole thing gripping and easy to become emotionally invested in.

*I reckon maybe this was written around the time of the whole Spy Cops thing in the UK. As in, when those stories broke a few years back, not when they actually happened which was in the 1980s and 90's I think. If you're curious you can probably google 'spy cops' if you want and find out another reason to hate cops. 

 

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Finished Snowpiercer S3 last night and there was a pretty significant drop in quality.  The pacing was WAY off with just a shit-ton of stuff happening in the last two episodes.  I was laughing with how much crap they just shoved into the end.  And I know the premise is kind of crazy to start, but the first season made it work and had sub-plots that made sense.  There were just too many jump-the-shark moments that it was hard to ignore.  Then there's the last scene where something just happened, but I had no idea why I should care about it.  Maybe I was too excited for it, but this season was super disappointing.

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Robert Palmer's Deep Blues (1991), in a newly remastered edition, followed by an in-depth conversation with filmmaker Robert Mugge.

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Deep Blues is a classic of blues filmography.  In it, Robert Palmer, author of the book Deep Blues, takes the viewer to juke joints, roadhouses, front porches, and other spots in or near Greenville, Clarksdale, Bentonia, Holly Springs, Lexington, and Memphis (which, despite being in Tennessee, is basically the commercial capital of Mississippi). It captures for posterity close-up, well-miked performances in situ by a roster of blues musicians who were almost entirely unknown outside the region at the time: R. L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Big Jack Johnson, Roosevelt “Booba” Barnes, Jack Owens, Bud Spires, Booker T. Laury, Lonnie Pitchford, Frank Frost, Sam Carr, Napolean Strickland, and DJ Early “The Soul Man” Wright. It was executive produced by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics, who put up the money for it and appears briefly. Shot on film, with high-quality sound recording, Deep Blues is known among connoisseurs for the quality of its audio.

 

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Posted (edited)

Watched Breaking Away for the first time, winner of the 1979 Academy Award for original screenplay and Golden Globe for best film. It features a young, very handsome Dennis Quaid, as well as Jackie Earle Haley just a few years after Bad News Bears.

It tells the story of a group of townies in Bloomington, Indiana, three of them who feel they are reaching dead ends in their lives in Bloomington, Indiana (the University of Indiana figures prominently, as does the adversarial relationship between the townies [or 'cutters', as they are fictionally called; in fact locals are/were called 'stonies', but the film changed it because it was thought to be to close to 'stoner'] and the students.) But the fourth in the group is the central figure of the film, a dreamer named Dave who is utterly enamored with cycling and, specifically, Italy's then-dominant cyclists. He takes it to the point of absurdity: listening to Italian operas at home, learning Italian and using Italian phrases and mock-Italian accent and phrasing, singing arias as he cycles, and even pretending to be a foreign exchange student when he bumps into an attractive Indiana student. Suffice it to say, his used car salesman father (and former quarry worker, hence 'cutter') is very unhappy with his son's ways, and that's part of the tension of the film.

It's a curious film to me, looking at it now. There's a touching earnestness to the whole thing, but it is also rather goofy... and Wikipedia tells me that, indeed, even in 1979 the critics who loved it admitted they embraced it in part because of its goofy charm, so it was recognized. My guess? It was an antidote to the darkness of late 70s cinema, so the fact that it was so earnest and optimistic was a virtue, and its silliness (Dave really is something of a caricature of a teenager) was accepted as the price of that virtue. 

Also watched Booksmart, Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, taking the formula of the raunchy teenage buddy comedy (think Superbad) and turning it on its head by focusing on our protagonists, two very liberal young women, one an over-achiever, the other an out (but virgin) lesbian as they're on the verge of graduation. They become obsessed with cutting loose and attending one big pre-graduation party, and hijinks ensue. The two leads, Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever, bring their characters to life and are quite funny. This is not usually a genre of film I watch a lot, but I heard a lot of praise for it when it was released and saw it crop up on HBO Max, so figured I'd give it a try. Worth the time.

It's not flawless, I must admit. There's a very conspicuous class thing going on that is not examined, namely that while the two girls appear to be middle class(ish), every one else seems to be wealthy (some absurdly so; it's a plot point), and it's never really engaged with. 

Edited by Ran
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I watched Everything, Everywhere All At Once which I really enjoyed. It starts off relatively slowly but the pace keeps building up and the plot keeps getting wilder as it goes along. It had some of the funniest scenes I've seen in a film recently as well as some inventive action sequences. I thought Michelle Yeoh was great at switching between a multitude of roles and Ke Huy Quan was also excellent (especially considering that it's his almost his first film role since Temple of Doom and The Goonies).

Some bits I particularly liked:

Spoiler

The Universe where they were rocks talking to each other.

Racacoonie.

The 2001 scene from the hot dog fingers Universe.

The disconcerting fake end credits halfway through the film.

The cinema I was in putting goggly eyes on some of the posters in the lobby outside, such as Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

 

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I can't remember a movie that left me with a tired face from smiling as much as Everything, Everywhere All At Once. I love it so hard. Michelle Yeoh is utterly incredible in the role, as is Shortround (Gadget). It was completely inventive but wasn't just zany for the sake of it, and it had a real human down the earth touch that I thought was fantastic.

So few movies in my life have made me stand up with excitement because they just felt so original or different, like they had their own voice, Being John Malkovich being one, but this one is going to stick with me. 

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17 hours ago, Ran said:

Watched Breaking Away for the first time, winner of the 1979 Academy Award for original screenplay and Golden Globe for best film. It features a young, very handsome Dennis Quaid, as well as Jackie Earle Haley just a few years after Bad News Bears.

 

I remember watching this in the 80's and enjoying it. It was quite different from other movies and definitely a different topic for me since cycling to me was a bmx to my friends and back!

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16 hours ago, Zorral said:

BTW for Derry Girls lovers, the Guardian today has up the most laudatory, celebratory review and assessment of the final season and the final Finale.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2022/may/18/derry-girls-finale-review-absolutely-cracker

 

It was pretty fucking awesome. 

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I finished The Shield and have to say I quite liked it. The first season and maybe part of season 2 were pretty weak, actors kind of shaky but it got better as it went on. It felt like Kurt Sutter from Sons of Anarchy for sure, with the try to do good but it never works out theme. I did like the ending in that everyone pays for their sins. Definitely worth a watch. 

Spoiler

I got thrown off a little. I thought Dutch was going to develop into a serial killer, nope.  I thought the end would be Shane and Vic killing each other and then while dying laughing about old times.  They did a good job destroying any image Vic may have had for himself as the good guy by parading him through the barn and then making him stand by while Ronnie was arrested. Then his dream job of course ends up being his own type of prison, desk and paper work while not knowing where his family was. 

Side note, I don't think I have ever watched an American basic cable tv show with so much naked ass, swearing and racist language. FX was pushing the limits for sure.

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16 hours ago, williamjm said:

I watched Everything, Everywhere All At Once which I really enjoyed. It starts off relatively slowly but the pace keeps building up and the plot keeps getting wilder as it goes along. It had some of the funniest scenes I've seen in a film recently as well as some inventive action sequences. I thought Michelle Yeoh was great at switching between a multitude of roles and Ke Huy Quan was also excellent (especially considering that it's his almost his first film role since Temple of Doom and The Goonies).

Some bits I particularly liked:

  Hide contents

The Universe where they were rocks talking to each other.

Racacoonie.

The 2001 scene from the hot dog fingers Universe.

The disconcerting fake end credits halfway through the film.

The cinema I was in putting goggly eyes on some of the posters in the lobby outside, such as Tom Cruise in Top Gun.

 

Spoiler

You forgot butt plug awards.

 

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20 hours ago, Zorral said:

BTW for Derry Girls lovers, the Guardian today has up the most laudatory, celebratory review and assessment of the final season and the final Finale.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2022/may/18/derry-girls-finale-review-absolutely-cracker

 

I saw the first episode last night and will slowly work my way through it over the next couple of days :D 

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21 hours ago, Zorral said:

BTW for Derry Girls lovers, the Guardian today has up the most laudatory, celebratory review and assessment of the final season and the final Finale.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2022/may/18/derry-girls-finale-review-absolutely-cracker

 

I saw most of S3 last week when I visited my parents in Ireland after a business trip to London.  But I only saw four or five episodes — however many had been released at that point — so I’ll have to wait to actually finish the season.  I don’t know how long will be the lag time with Netflix.

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22 hours ago, Ran said:

Watched Breaking Away for the first time, winner of the 1979 Academy Award for original screenplay and Golden Globe for best film. It features a young, very handsome Dennis Quaid, as well as Jackie Earle Haley just a few years after Bad News Bears.

I haven’t thought of this in years but your description immediately evoked a lot of memories.  I saw it as a teenager in the 90’s, when it was already a dated, hokey film.  But it was good.  One of those odd films you that you happen across rather than plan to watch, but stands out as different.

Is it my imagination or was townies vs privileged students a more common film theme in the 70s and 80s?  Considering how the US is now  politically and culturally polarized along educational lines, I’m surprised that it doesn’t seem to be addressed so directly now.  Probably because the townies now are seen as (and perhaps often actually are) MAGA-FoxNews shouty types rather than underprivileged underdogs to root for.  

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20 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

Is it my imagination or was townies vs privileged students a more common film theme in the 70s and 80s?

I think you may be right. Last example I can think of, off hand, is Good Will Hunting, and before that... School Daze, maybe?

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Saw episode 2 of Derry Girls just now :D I love the humor, mostly as it is provided by Sister Michael and Father Peter this episode. What makes Derry Girls so special is also on full display, because it just has a lot of heart

Spoiler

I think the episodes' resolution is the perfect illustration of the show's appeal. For starters, there is the gag of the musical number. James in full drag, the rivals disappointed, Father Peter and Sister Michael somewhat impressed and everyone just loving it. That's a good show of the energy and humor this show has.

They then follow it up with the argument about the "affair" of Erin's mother that turns out to be her considering to start a degree at University. It is at that moment that the brilliance of this show shines as after that realization Erin acts like a super entitled brat ("I wanted to be the first person of our family to go to university, thanks for stealing my thunder ma." is probably the funniest expression of unreasonable teenage drama I have ever come across) and Jerry steals the show by immediately throwing his support behind his wife. 

What a class act that Jerry, total scene stealer there.

 

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