All 9 entries tagged Movie

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August 23, 2007

Match Point

I’ve watched a few (mainly mediocre) films recently, but one that caught my eye was Match Point. Actually this is a lie, Woody Allen caught my attention. The film received a lot of buzz stateside, but wasn’t so well received in europe. Its worth comparing for example, Bradshaw’s review with that of Ebert.

Unfortunately I’m more inclined to align myself with Bradshaw’s opinion of the film. Its necessary at this point to echo his desire for a new period of brilliant Allen cinema, I really enjoyed the various Allen films I’ve seen, most notably Annie hall, Manhatten, Hannah and her Sisters and Crimes and Misdemeanors. The big difference between them and Match Point is that the former stand out at the viewer with their stylish dialogue and complementary look. Allen used to be a small scale experimentalist, sometimes this worked (opening sequence of Manhatten) sometimes this didn’t (John Carradine’s dialogue from EYAW2KAS). Either way it was unique, of interest to the viewer, and most importantly endearing.

It was a strong film, well acted, good characterisation etc. But one has to expect more of Woody Allen, especially in the dialogue department. In his classic films he managed to produce ‘overly-clever’ conversations without causing one to question the believability of the characters involved. Part of this comes down to his well calculated ‘artist uber-nerd’ image, but equally important was that the viewer was so interested in the phrase that had just been uttered that they didn’t have time to consider whether it was viable for a normal person to perform the uttering. The idea that there is more luck in people’s lives than we are willing to admit is frankly tedious and unimaginative, even if it may contain more than a grain of truth.

I remain optimistic that we will see another great Woody Allen film, but this is probably more a hope than an expectation.


May 18, 2007

Trivia

Writing about web page http://imdb.com/title/tt0349903/trivia

Spoilers: don’t read on if you care about the end to Ocean’s 12.

IMDB notes:

“In the scene while the crew is brainstorming the first heist attempt, Reuben asks Danny and the crew, “Anybody remember that scene in Miller’s Crossing when John Turturro begs for his life?” George Clooney (Danny Ocean) co-starred with John Torturro in “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”(2000).”

They completely ignore that Albert FInney is in both films. Ahh well…


April 17, 2007

Satan's Tango

Movie image
Title:
Satantango
Rating:
5 out of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I don’t really do reviews, which is probably why I’ve never written on my blog. But I suspect any thoughts commenting on the film in question could be considered a review, so I’m going to claim this as such. (Note to self don’t self-contradict in the opener)

Other-disclaimer: minor spoilers, nothing you need not know before you watch.

So I got round to watching Satantango on Sunday evening. No mean really – its a 7 hour film, so finding the time in one block to actually watch it is a worthy achievement in itself. That patting you’re hearing is my hand on my back. Many films have had people comment on the nature of the effect that they impose upon their audience, however, I doubt many of them are related to the length.

This is an important point because the thing that struck me most about Satantango wasn’t its story or characters, despite the former being interesting and the latter all well developed. The real impact comes from the aura of complete cynicism towards both mankind and the nature of politics that emanates from this film.

The bulk of the film’s plot revolves around a the political machinations of a group of villagers attempting to get away from their qualid lives. This tale is extolled in two components: the first one critiques individualism, the second collectivism. Neither comes off lightly. Nor do the villagers, who are portrayed, as in the opening scene, as a group of cattle desirous of direction and control.

Within the context of broad daylight after a sunny Tuesday – one can question these assertions that Bela Tarr puts forward. Whilst watching the film, however, one’s cognitive abilities are suppressed by his stark cinematography, dark narrative, and stress inducing runtime. Here one realises the power of the cinema – the power to manipulate one’s view of humanity.

Interesting to note at this juncture the narrative of the two films most often cited in connection Satantango. Gus Van Saint’s Jerry and Elephant – the former about two two youngsters without food in the desert and the latter about a high school murder (coincidentally topical). Perhaps its not just the extended takes and discordant background noise that are referenced.

At this point its worth admitting that I do value the aesthetic and visceral elements of cinema as much as the more intellectually stimulating. I proffer this a reason for my liking of Cronenberg’s blood baths and Woo’s vacuous, but elementally beautiful slow motion set pieces. Even on this level Satantango fails to disappoint. The extensive scenes of characters, and animals, simply walking around being tracked by the long camera shoots are ofe not on this front, particularly when the character has ‘the wind at their backs’.


September 11, 2006

Leadership? 2

So, the question is …

Which fictional Character would make the best Labour Leader?

1. The Terminator

Noted for being tough on immigrants (from the Future, role on South Park esque, “They took our jobs”, “De der dee derp” quotes), tough on crime, and a definite moderniser of the human form. Perhaps his biggest political risk is his pro ‘Going back in time and killing large swathes of people’ policy. Something that has been caught on camera more than once. The bookies rate him as a strong candidate for leadership mainly due to his tenacious nature, as symbolised by his trademark catchphrase, “I’ll be back” which he utters whenever he looses some form of election.

2. Dorothy Michaels

Thats right, the female character that Dustin Hoffman dresses up as in Tootsie. I hadn’t forgetten about her, have you? Since hearing Mr. Blair’s recent speech about political cross dressing, those political manipulators extraordinaire at Newscorp have putting their thinking caps on. Unfortunately no one at Sky News has a high enough IQ to understand metaphors, so this is what they have come up with. By and large unpopular with the electorate, a recent poll suggests that the three sentences people most associate with her are, “Who the hell is that?”, “Is that Dustin Hoffman, he’s really let himself go!” and “Pervert!” May stand a chance at winning the election due to the media power of the Murdoch empire, won’t get the oppotunity to since she has no hope at the leadership contest.

3. Colonel Walter E. Kurtz

An experienced war veteran who died over 25 years ago. Kurtz has potential as the strongman that the Labour party desires and is seen as more ‘human’ than the Terminator. In a strange move, a lot of anti-war protestors seem to be backing him, since they seem to interpret his expression, “The horror, the horror” as a response to the Iraq war, rather than Cherie Blair’s face.

4. Lion-O

The final candidate is on the list is a thundercat, just to break the white male/robot/cross-dresser stereotype that been established. Lion-O’s ability to use the Eye of thundera to give him Sight-beyond-sight is seen as a strength, in light of the war of terror. Some privacy advocates believe that legal curbs should be put on its usage, however. Despite strong support amongst Labour back benchers there is cabinet opposition, due to the belief that Mumra ‘The everliving’ might strike down on the Labour party with all his/her/its? wrath. A recent poll also suggested that his political advisor, Snarf. didn’t go down well with party members, some labelling his repeated use of the word, Snarf as ‘stupid’.


August 14, 2006

Walken 2008

Writing about web page http://www.walken2008.com/index.html

One of the Actors I left out of my prevous blog entry was Christopher Walken, he is awesome in the same vein as Rutger Hauer. Even his trivia is awesome – IMDB claim that he, "Worked briefly as a lion tamer in a circus at age 15." He is also standing for President! Thats right – he intends to stand in 2008, probably as an independant. Even though he has no platform his website says some sensible things. The FAQ also claims that he will be making some supporter clothing availible in the future. Even though I have doubt that he will loose the election running as an independant I intend to try to obtain some of this promotional clothing in the future. Its also a bit of a shame that they don't mention the film McBain – thats got to be a vote winner. I also like some of the quotes, though I am not sure how they win votes, eg:

"I've made movies nobody will ever see,
I've made movies that even I have never seen


August 02, 2006

Yet Another Blog Entry

Well I've only posted one sentence in the last month, I could argue that this is because I have done nothing in the last month, but my blog has never been about me anyhow. So here it is, my amusing make–up–for–not–posting entry:

Awesome Film Stars

So, if you were making a movie – who would you put in it? Most directors tend to have preferred actors, some even recurring characters – who would you put in? Eagerly awaiting for some AFAS members to complain. (AFAS = All Films Are Shit) Here's my list of general awesomeness:

1. Dennis Hopper

Do I even need to justify this? He's a good actor, been a part of some classic films, has a great look.

2. Rutger Hauer

The first of the Verhoeven pair– wonderfully stylised look, always seems a bit though he is about to kill someone. A cult figure – the kind of person to get excited about when you see him on screen.

3. Michael Ironside

He is the classic 80s action film bad guy, just listen to the titles of some of the films he's been in: Extreme Prejudice, Probable Cause, Major Payne, Killer Image, Mindfield, Dead Awake, Captive. These are the kind of titles that make you want to watch a film, even though you know its awful. And this is before we account for his being in both Starship Troppers and Total Recall … and his ringtone in Desperate Housewives is the theme to the Blue's Brothers. My God – its popular culture mayhem! Anyhow – if he just kills people and shouts names like 'Hauser' it makes me happy.

4. Brian Blessed

Just look at him! His face is amazing – it can fit like three normal faces inside of it. He could eat babies and the court would give the task of massing models as community service. He's a national treasure worth preserving. If anyone ever plays me in a film (It'll never happen, I know) it MUST be him.

I might post some more later, the list is potentially very long…


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