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What have you watched recently? 3D!

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  • #2


    Earlier this evening, in the interests of research, I tried to watch "The Writing on the Wall" aka "Nous étions tous des Noms d'Arbres" (1983) written and directed by the late Armand Gatti. Judging from his Wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armand_Gatti he would have been better off making a film about his own fascinating life.

    The film is set in a Community Workshop (?) in Derry during the Hunger Strike of 1981 and the cast consists entirely of amateurs and mostly teenagers at that. It is completely off-the-wall stuff, with woeful dialogue, sound effects from Star Trek and lacks any sort of plot. I lasted for almost 50 minutes of the 148 minutes on offer - including nodding off for a little while - before realising that life is too short to subject myself to this sort of tripe. Unsurprisingly the film never made it to VHS or DVD and must surely rank as one of the worst Irish films ever made - right up there with the mystical martial arts film "Fatal Deviation" (1998). The whole film is available on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHLNlnD0h64

    0/10 from me - so don't say that you haven't been warned. :D


  • #2


    Moonlight. Beautifully directed, shot, edited, written - and the acting is superb...

    But I just found it too depressing. There wasn't any hope - it just left me feeling really sad.


  • #2


    'Amadeus'

    W.A. Mozart gets a decidedly Hollywood treatment in Milos Foreman's lushly made film about the great 18th Century composer. Based solely on Peter Shafer's play 'Amadeus', it has very little to do with the actual man as he existed and contents itself with an engaging fiction, that sets the vile court composer of Joseph II, Antonio Salieri, against the "giggling, dirty minded creature" that is Mozart.

    Salieri (a brilliant F. Murray Abraham), is portrayed here as a bitter and nasty man, whose regret and failures have twisted him against everything, including his god. The catalyst for this bitterness is the discovery of his own "mediocrity" in the face Mozart's genius and against this contest he plots the downfall of the better composer.

    Mozart, is embodied as an extremely flawed individual whose command of "his music" cannot stop him from his own destruction. Fuelled by a rock'n'roll lifestyle of excess, enabled by alcoholism and an irresponsible attitude to everything that isn't his work, he easily succumbs to Salieri's devious plan.

    All of this is complete nonsense, of course. There was never any real animosity between Salieri and Mozart, despite a tame professional rivalry, and while there is some record his, for the times, excessive lifestyle (coupled with a fondness for toilet humour), Tom Hulce's "Wolfy" is a figment of Shafer's imagination. But, none of that matters as 'Amadeus' is a great story in its own right.

    Engaging from beginning to end, 'Amadeus' faces down stiff competition to remain one of the best pictures of the 1980's (in fact, it won Best Picture in 1984). It contains a fantastic attention to detail, reproducing the lavish and ludicrous costumes of the period and the decision to shoot the film in Czechoslovakia lends the visuals a wholly believable realism.

    The only downfall of the film, if you can call it that, is the fact that everyone is A. speaking English and B. in a jarring American accent. But after a short period, that ceases to be a bother and the uniformly good acting renders it even less important. Everybody still feels genuine, despite their modern tongue and mannerisms. Even Jeffery Jones' comic relief and completely made up Joseph II maintains a certain credibility.

    Sprinkled throughout, of course, is Mozart's music, but it takes a strangely appropriate back seat for the most part, and thus allows the story to stand front and centre. But, there's enough there to give the viewer an idea as to what made the great man such a household name.


    9/10


  • #2


    Amadeus is one of my favourites of all time.


  • #2


    A belting film, must watch it again sometime soon.


  • #2


    Tony EH wrote: »
    'Amadeus'

    it has very little to do with the actual man as he existed and contents itself with an engaging fiction,

    9/10

    Watched this a few months ago myself, stunning piece of work. I choose to believe everything in the film though because its a much more interesting perspective to have on Mozart! In fact my vision about Beethoven is also essentially fully derived from Immortal Beloved which I watched recently. Not quite as lavish as Amadeus but just as interesting and well acted


  • #2


    Watched Adrift on Saturday. Really enjoyed the film and would recommend it if you've not seen it.


  • #2


    Tony EH wrote:
    Red Road'

    Andrea Arnold's treacle paced suspense plays out interestingly, if infuriating at times, as the viewer isn't in on why the main character, Jackie (a brilliant Kate Dickie), is doing what she's doing and you are often left wondering why she's putting herself in so much potential peril throughout the film. The reveal at the end let's you know why. Jackie works for a surveillance company that uses Britain's myriad of CCTV street cameras to observe the streets of Glasgow and she sees, one day, a man who she takes a special, and dangerous, interest in.

    'Red Road' is rough, nasty and real, even though the events are extraordinary to most people. I'm not sure if it works in its entirety and there's a sense of unnecessary explicitness about a particular scene, but it's a relatively absorbing watch.




    Grim stuff - but I like grim



    Pacing was infuriating alright. Could have easily lopped 20/30 mins off it. Certainly worth a watch


  • #2


    The Other Side of the Wind, a film by Orson Welles that took almost fifty years to get released. I watch a documentary about it a few weeks back and its mad how the film was being made.

    It's quite an interesting concept: a film-within-a-film of an ageing director struggling to complete and sell a film as he celebrates his birthday. There's a lot so suggest that it's something of an autobiographical story.

    It is an interesting film but there are some parts that are a bit off. The score is something I found to be quite odd as it was made in the 70's but it comes off as quite dated, considering it's been released this year. Some of the acting is off and forced while the film has an uneven look as it was shot at different times over the space of a few year and you can tell. There are parts that feel like its all over the place.

    Overall, it's interesting but something of a mess.


  • #2


    Just throwing an old dot here to get the notifications


  • #2


    They Look Like People. Very good psychological thriller. Acieves its psychological thrills while doing things a little differently than usual.

    Bitter Lake. Excelent Adam Curtis docimentary examining Saudi Arabia's relationship with the USA, the origins and recent propagation of the Jihadi type of islam, and how we're generally manipulated into being dazed and passive.


  • #2


    Bad Times at the El Royale - very enjoyable alot going on in it

    The.Sisters.Brothers - pretty slow and crap imo.


  • #2


    I've been in a not-so-serious mood recently, so I watched RED and RED 2 on consecutive days. No-brainers, basically e.g. in RED 2 I couldn't see any motivation behind the bad guy's plot, except perhaps some annoyance at how he had been treated. Oh well.

    Following up on the discussion of Eyes Wide Shut on the other thread - I also think I need to watch it again, since I've also read this article about what was going on between Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman at the time and its relationship to Scientology. A quick summary is that Nicole had taken a few Scientology courses, but her reaction was "meh" - it didn't do anything for her and she didn't mind saying so. Then she and Tom spent over a year in England filming Eyes Wide Shut, where it was harder for the Church of Scientology to control Tom, and there was a chance that he could have left too. If he had been forced to choose between the CoS and Nicole, he might just have chosen Nicole - they really were that much in love, it seems. But once back in the USA, the CoS could sink their claws in again, and they tapped her phone looking for evidence to use against her. By 2001 the marriage was over, and the Church of Scientology had their golden goose back in the fold.


  • #2


    First Reformed

    A protestant minister (Ethan Hawke), wrestling with his own faith and self-destructiveness, tries to help a mentally unstable environmental activist who is projecting his internal despair onto a crisis-ridden world. Another "God's lonely man" story from the writer of Taxi Driver, which it has many parallels with. Hawke gives one of the best performances of his career in a bleak and daring film that does a good job of updating Schrader's favourite themes for the modern era of liberal apocalypticism.


  • #2


    Mary Poppins Returns at the cinema this evening. It was very good.


  • #2


    Ghostbusters - 2016 5/10. Some decent fx & some nice cameo's from the original cast but that's about it really.


  • #2


    Anyone know is the new Johnny Depp film City of Lies coming to the cinema or has it been released already?


  • #2


    fin12 wrote: »
    Anyone know is the new Johnny Depp film City of Lies coming to the cinema or has it been released already?
    From Wikipedia...

    In August 2018, the film was pulled from the schedule reportedly due to an ongoing lawsuit involving Depp and the film's location manager; no replacement date was announced. Later that same month, on August 23, 2018, reports surfaced that Depp's legal trouble was used as a scapegoat, and the film in fact may be being suppressed by the Los Angeles Police Department, who is implicated in the film, or other various players who do not want the film released. On August 29, 2018, another lawsuit was filed by Bank Leumi for owed millions of unpaid guarantees caused by pulling the film from release.


  • #2


    'The Food of the Gods'

    Wonderfully bad horror film from 1976, starring Marjoe Gortner, Ida Lupino and Ralph Meeker that sees "god" provide a substance from the Earth that allows the offspring of anything that eats it to grow to a gigantic size...and subsequently develop a taste for humans too.

    A film that I mistakenly remember from my childhood as "The Giant Rats", you can probably guess which animal features as the main antagonist in the, ostensibly H.G. Wells inspired, story. And feature they do, in some fantastically cheap special effects, that can be awful, charming and, in some cases, quaintly effective.

    Produced by AIP, it's amazing to think that this piece of junk netted a tidy profit for them. But, it probably had a lot to do with the post-Jaws audience looking for some eco-terror monster to sate the appetite that Bruce initiated a year earlier.

    Of course, and you probably don't need to be told this, 'The Food of the Gods' isn't fit to lick the boots of 'Jaws', despite being made on the back of that film's success. But it's not entirely without its own entertainment value irrespective of its, to be polite, uneven special effects and some pretty laughable dialogue.

    4/10


  • #2


    Harry Potter and the Philsopher's Stone (2001)
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)


    My wife got the DVD boxset, so we're going through all the 'main' films, start to finish; never actually watched them all in sequence, so it's fascinating to watch the growth - both literal and metaphorical - of this series.

    These first two films though - yikes. Considering where the series ended up, with its dire threat and grim, desaturated palettes, it's jarring to watch parts one and two and know they exist in the same timeline.

    They're both ... actually, a bit rubbish really. Saggy, bloated and overlong. I can see the individual elements that later informed future films and the direction of the overall story, but Chris Columbus got things off to a really ropey start.


  • #2


    pixelburp wrote: »
    Harry Potter and the Philsopher's Stone (2001)
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)


    My wife got the DVD boxset, so we're going through all the 'main' films, start to finish; never actually watched them all in sequence, so it's fascinating to watch the growth - both literal and metaphorical - of this series.

    These first two films though - yikes. Considering where the series ended up, with its dire threat and grim, desaturated palettes, it's jarring to watch parts one and two and know they exist in the same timeline.

    They're both ... actually, a bit rubbish really. Saggy, bloated and overlong. I can see the individual elements that later informed future films and the direction of the overall story, but Chris Columbus got things off to a really ropey start.

    I think all the Harry Potter films are good except for the fifth one, The Philosophers stone, that’s an awful film.


  • #2


    Free Solo

    A documentary about Alex Honnold, who wanted to be the first person to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without any ropes or safety gear.

    I’m not much of a documentary fan but I saw this yesterday in the Lighthouse cinema and was very impressed by it.

    Honnold was charismatic and driven and probably a little crazy as I would imagine most of these free solo climbers are. Being only one slip away from falling thousands of feet must require some kind of death wish.

    The footage was mainly stunning and vertigo inducing and it’s rare for a documentary to demand to be seen on a big screen.


  • #2


    I watched two parts of Lord of the Rings... 'Fellowship of the Ring' and 'The Two Towers'.

    Unfortunately I can't warm to the franchise. The plot is a bit slow and repetitive.

    Moneyball was a good film on Christmas Eve.


  • #2


    Bird Box last night. Very enjoyable. Cracking performance from Sandra Bullock.


  • #2


    Gremlins 1984 Dir Joe Dante.

    This seasonal creature feature went up against Ghostbusters and came off second best at the box office but was still a big hit. I prefer it myself as it's just full of typical Dante humour and film/culture reference points for film nerds aficionados of film. The tone at time surprisingly dark/edgy esp "mom" clutching a carving knife on her killing spree. The stair-lift gag is still laugh out loud hilarious while Mogwai Gizmo is just the cutest thing in history.


  • #2


    I'd love to show that to my niece and nephew (10 and 12) but that Santa story is the only reason I can't (I know it was 15s originally, but it's barely PG now by modern standards).


  • #2


    I watched the 2 Scooby Doo movies a couple days ago. They're just stupidly entertaining fun. I won't deny enjoying them.


  • #2


    pixelburp wrote: »
    Harry Potter and the Philsopher's Stone (2001)
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)


    My wife got the DVD boxset, so we're going through all the 'main' films, start to finish; never actually watched them all in sequence, so it's fascinating to watch the growth - both literal and metaphorical - of this series.

    These first two films though - yikes. Considering where the series ended up, with its dire threat and grim, desaturated palettes, it's jarring to watch parts one and two and know they exist in the same timeline.

    They're both ... actually, a bit rubbish really. Saggy, bloated and overlong. I can see the individual elements that later informed future films and the direction of the overall story, but Chris Columbus got things off to a really ropey start.

    Agree. Though, in fairness, the first two books were fairly ropey too, IMO.


  • #2


    First Reformed

    A protestant minister (Ethan Hawke), wrestling with his own faith and self-destructiveness, tries to help a mentally unstable environmental activist who is projecting his internal despair onto a crisis-ridden world. Another "God's lonely man" story from the writer of Taxi Driver, which it has many parallels with. Hawke gives one of the best performances of his career in a bleak and daring film that does a good job of updating Schrader's favourite themes for the modern era of liberal apocalypticism.

    I enjoyed it also, the ending especially was very moving.

    I watched Thunder Road the other day. Its about a police officer whose live starts to fall apart after his mother dies. The opening is him eulogising his mum by dancing at the funeral. Despair follows in his work and personal life.

    I found it moving and at times amusing, others online think its pretty light hearted which I disagree with but ah well.

    Overall feedback has been really solid, 96% on rt last time I checked.

    Only 90 mins long either so if you hate it you don't have to suffer that long.

    Only criticism is the trailer does not really capture the vibe of the film that well.


  • #2


    Bumblebee at the cinema this evening. I thought it was brilliant.


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