Recently viewed films

This is for all non-EC or peripheral-EC topics. We all know how much we love talking about 'The Man' but sometimes we have other interests.
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Jack of All Parades
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:52 am

"The 33" last evening with Ms. Lisa. Directed by Patricia Riggen and staring Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips and Gabrielle Byrne. It is a fact based story about a near mining disaster back in 2010 that most of the world witnessed on television that is told on the screen in a narrative that allows the story to retain a semblance of suspense. It works best when it is underground-claustrophobic and ominous. It took 69 days to free them. This depiction of that effort holds one's interest for all 69 of them. That is an accomplishment in itself. Most disturbing is that not a single survivor was compensated for their ordeal nor was the mining company legally held responsible for the gross violations of safety they put these men under. Some things never change..........

https://youtu.be/hOoIBOYqHyw
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Tim(e) » Tue Mar 15, 2016 7:28 pm

I rarely get to the movies, so most of my film viewing is on delay until they become available on BluRay. I have a few that go on regular rotation now, including Intouchable, The Extravagent Voyage of the Young and Prodigious T S Spivett, St Vincent, any number of Wes Anderson films and Birdman (which in some ways I prefer to The Revenant).

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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:14 pm

"Steve Jobs" last evening with Ms. Lisa, directed by Danny Boyle and with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin. Flat out I do not like this guy. I do not admire him. That colors my take on this movie. It is a bit of a mess. Boyle's hyper kinetic style of story telling clashes with the control and order that Jobs so valued. Michael Fassbender gives a strong, vibrant performance as Jobs, catching his ego and heightened sense of self. His performance is equally matched by Kate Winslett as his partner Joanne Hoffman and handler. She is the only one who can shame Jobs and keep him somewhat human. This is a man who was not a designer, a coder or an engineer and yet it is his persona that is held in high esteem among millennials. I just cannot cozy up to to his cold rationalism. I find him a 'brilliant' marketer and visionary who is equally despicable. His betrayal of friends, alienation of allies and abuse of loved ones leaves me cold.

https://youtu.be/w6UAT0lsjMI
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:10 pm

"Carol" directed by Todd Haynes with a screenplay by Phyllis Nagy and starring Cate Blanchette and Roony Mara from the 1951 novel by Patricia Highsmith, "The Price of Salt". Like he did in "Velvet Goldmine", Haynes catches a period in exquisite detail. His images are lush and quite often dreamlike in their fluidity. The acting by the two leads is top notch- their character's interior emotions flicker constantly across their faces and from their eyes or with furtive physical contact. It is the early 50s and their sexuality is anathema. This is a strong presentation of repression and its price. Not a cautionary tale but one that celebrates the complexity of human emotions.

https://youtu.be/kECQwBOkltY
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:54 pm

"Spectre" the other evening with Ms. Lisa directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig in his fourth and weakest go round as 007. This franchise has run its course for me. Outside of the opening one single track sequence that takes place in Mexico City and captures what has always been enjoyable in this franchise-pure audacious visual movie-making- there is little to recommend in this movie. It is boring and tiring in its predictability- shoot, throw a punch, take a punch, kill someone, make something blow up- then repeat ad nausea. I am done with this 'ghost' of a franchise.

https://youtu.be/7GqClqvlObY
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:02 pm

"Burnt" directed by John Wells the other evening with Ms. Lisa and starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Bruhl and a mostly underused stellar support cast including Omar Cy, Uma Thurman, Emma Thompson and Alicia Vikander. Cooper's Adam Jones is a one man wrecking crew mostly doing damage to himself and those immediately around him. He is a former 2 Star Michelin chef who sabotaged his career and disappeared winding up shucking one million oysters as penance in New Orleans. Now he is back, just as cocky, and looking to earn a 3rd star with Michelin. This redemption story is vapid, unfortunately, and under-cooked[ I could not resist]. It only really comes alive in kitchen scenes that seem to catch the energy and intensity that I have always imagined fills a top-notch chef's kitchen. The preparation is colorful and nicely captured. The human story is stale and predictable. I was hoping for more.

https://youtu.be/IiGJlUVQDGk
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:46 am

No refs to Spotlight here? Somewhat old school, but a cracking film telling a powerful story. Well done from start to finish.

Also enjoyed Hail, Caesar! though it's pretty lightweight stuff. As ever, they realise it perfectly and with a stellar cast. Clooney is perfect as a Buzz Lightyearesque dimwit lead actor who spends the entire scene in his swords and sandals Roman gear. It's the little details in Coen bros films that are often the most telling and satisfying. No exception here.

Haven't seen either The Witch or High Rise yet, but would like to see both. British films of quality and interest, one reads/hears.
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:21 am

Otis- you anticipated me by one evening and I could not agree with you more:

"Spotlight" directed by Tom McCarthy last evening with Ms. Lisa. A focused, capable movie about a sickening subject- the systematic abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests in the Boston Diocese[as well as the greater world] over decades and perhaps centuries and the equally sickening attempt to cover that abuse up by the powers that be in both the secular[including the very same Boston Globe] and clerical worlds. This movie is a who dun-it that for the first time for me shows how good journalism is done- getting your facts right, doing the grunt work and wearing down shoe leather going door to door to confirm facts and witnesses. It may seem dull but the pacing of this movie is exquisite as you watch these editors and reporters dig and dig, culling through documents and talking with people to get it right. The cast, as an ensemble, is perfect. I particularly would single out Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton and Liev Schieber. Ruffalo's and Schieber's characters are the moral compass of this story. One watches the action on the screen with a welling of genuine moral outrage-just as it builds within the staff of the Boston Globe breaking this story. It is the best movie about what a newspaper does well that I have ever seen.

https://youtu.be/tb_WgKDqPsE

I, too, have my eye on The Witch and the new bio-pics about Hank Williams and Miles Davis and Chet Baker.
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Sun Mar 27, 2016 6:26 am

Glad you dug it too.

Is it just me that finds Chet Baker remarkably uninteresting? I like his solo on Shipbuilding well enough, but I don't go for his singing at all and I couldn't stomach Let's Get Lost, the film. In fact the opening scene had me reaching for fast forward, which I applied to reduce an interminable 2.5 hours to c. 0.25! I was hoping there might be something about Elvis, but if there was, I fast forwarded through it.

I found the refs to him in UM&DI interesting enough, in relation to the above song, but that's enough for me. What's your view as our resident jazzophile? (Talking of which, I've been listening to some nice contemporary jazz transcriptions inc. Brad Mehldau doing Paranoid Android, very good.)

A good Miles Davis film would be a quite different prospect.
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:51 am

Otis- Chet Baker has never been a big listen for me. Extremely overrated and too much of a 'one-note' player and as you say no singer I go to regularly. I guess he was easy on the eyes for women and they all wanted to mother him until drugs and violence ravaged his physical appearance. I only have one album by him-Chet Baker with Strings. I am a sucker for that vogue of decades ago where jazz players were pared with a string orchestra in lush arrangements-ala Charlie Parker with Strings, etc. The melody on a good many of those records has always appealed to me. What has caught my interest about this Baker film is the performance of Ethan Hawke. From what I have read, he has supposedly captured the desperation of a performer who is struggling for decades to hold onto the one thing, in this case playing a style of trumpet, that gives his life any meaning. The junkie artist is a cliche-but I am interested in this desperate need to hold onto this identity as a player. Why EC used him on Shipbuilding has always eluded me. Too many first rate players out there above Chet.

The Davis movie should be a hoot- it is more about the person- the 'persona'- and the action takes place when he is full blown in one of his extended periods where he has left music all together- in this case the late 70's. Don Cheadle plays him and also directs the movie. I have seen clips and it has greatly piqued my interest.
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:11 am

Good to know you're no great Chet enthusiast. Ethan Hawke was excellent in Boyhood (love that scene with Wilco's Hate It Here in the car as he explains the words to his son!), and I can easily see him as Chet. I am more interested in the film now. The Miles one does sound really interesting, especially as to why that period. Presumably there will be flashbacks. Will it take us forward too to the period You're under Arrest and Tutu?
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:32 am

Otis- this interview with Mr. Cheadle should answer some of your questions,particularly as to why that period is portrayed:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/movie ... n%2Fmovies
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:06 am

Good link and interesting all round, you've got me wanting to see it. Well done Cheadle for being original about it. Interesting too that he was 'destined' to play the part.
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Mar 31, 2016 11:50 am

Otis, I hope this further whets your appetite for the new Miles bio-pic- it sure boosted my already considerable interest.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainmen ... ic/475560/
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:36 pm

"The Danish Girl" directed by Tom Hooper and starring Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander, Mathias Schoenaerts and Ben Winshawe. The story of one of the first transgender pioneering cases recorded back in the mid 20's. The action takes place in Copenhagen. Einar and Gerda Wegener are a seemingly happily married couple, demonstrating a seeming warmth of friendship with the fire of sexual attraction. They are successful artists and live and play in a bohemian community that is thriving. But surfaces are misleading. Awakened by a seemingly innocent experimentation with gender reversal, Einar is overtaken by his real persona, buried within him, his alter-ego Lily. Once the bottle is opened, Einar cannot come back and Lily takes possession of his being. He is fortunate that he has as strong and loving of a wife as he does in Gerda. This movie is really a moving portrait of two people devoted to one another, less a real study of a transgendered challenged man. Vikander is the one to watch here. She gives Gerda a warmth, vivacity and loving quality that exudes from her face, her eyes and her voice. Redmayne is a showly actor-all angles and contortions. You never really get beyond the physical outline of his character to see the pain and confusion and fear of a person hidden in his consciousness. The direction is too stiff and fussy.

https://youtu.be/zQfdx4QafnQ
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Otis Westinghouse » Thu Mar 31, 2016 6:17 pm

Jack of All Parades wrote:Otis, I hope this further whets your appetite for the new Miles bio-pic- it sure boosted my already considerable interest.

Indeed, and also confirmed that it is the only one of the two I will seek out! The fact that the Baker film is described as not a film about music but about heroin addiction just confirms all the fears I might have had about it and also the sense that Baker is given a significance way out of proportion to his musical relevance or interest due to his profile as wayward smackhead. Yawn!
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:50 am

Otis- Here you go - the review from today's New York Times....I am all in.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/01/movie ... davis.html
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:51 am

"Creed" directed by Ryan Coogler and co-written with Aaron Covington last evening with Ms. Lisa. As he did in "Fruitvale Station", a few years back, he has made memorable characters come alive on the screen. He has taken the 'Rocky' story, mirrored it in fitting ways, and given it a re-vitalizing jolt while at the same time holding to the original's strength of story about loss and how one grows, moves on and learns from that experience. Coogler likes to juxtapose characters on the screen and have them riff off of one another- his movie is filled with ghosts. That is best demonstrated in a scene where Rocky and Donnie are mirrored in Rocky's restaurant as they stand in front of a photo taken in the ring of a climatic fight between Rocky and Apollo Creed- the past is in the present, ever present even as it recedes. So much of this movie does this exceptionally well as Coogler uses the original Rocky story to frame and contextualize his smart update and reboot. Sylvestor Stallone, when given a rich role, can act. He should have won the best -supporting Oscar this year. Michael B Jordan confirms that his performance in "Fruitvalle Station" was no fluke. He is someone I will watch regularly. The protests this year about non-inclusion at the Academy Awards had merit- this movie proves that. An exceptional fight movie but more so an exceptional human story. I loved Stallone in this one. His battered mug and every-man persona wears well- that second accent of those iconic steps in Philadelphia is something to watch.

https://youtu.be/fCBzWLVQgk8
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:46 am

"Youth" last evening, written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. His latest entry into the decline of Western values genre of film. No where near as entertaining as his previous movie "The Great Beauty" even with the presence of Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel and a mid-film jolt by no other than Jane Fonda. It is an old age buddy movie that takes place in a Swiss Sanitarium with action that readily recalls "The Magic Mountain"-it is European decadence-Fellini's 'sick souls'. But it is labored, languid and too full of a melancholia that feels arch. The movie is beautiful to look at; the music is striking but it is a weak effort to display what happens to us as we age. What is that cliche? Oh yeah- 'youth is wasted on the young'.

https://youtu.be/-T7CM4di_0c
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby verbal gymnastics » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:05 pm

Zootropolis (Zootopia in the US).

Another great Pixar movie. Good fun with some great characters and enough to keep the grown ups happy!

It's a nice story and well worth seeing. It's also lovely when me and my 8 year old are laughing at the same thing!
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:18 pm

verbal gymnastics wrote:Zootropolis (Zootopia in the US).

Another great Pixar movie. Good fun with some great characters and enough to keep the grown ups happy!

It's a nice story and well worth seeing. It's also lovely when me and my 8 year old are laughing at the same thing!


My nieces enjoyed that movie, too. No young ones at home anymore so our days of seeing such films are limited.....

Legend- written and directed by Brian Helgeland last evening with Ms. Lisa. It stars Tom Hardy playing both Kray twin brothers, Ronnie and Reggie, the 60's East End thugs who terrorized London and who had a brief run at celebrity during their reign of terror. It is a 'star' turn and Hardy does a credible job of fleshing out the two distinct personalities. The movie is also visually lovely to watch-except when the screen erupts in violence. The problem is there is too little that redeems these two brothers-they are morally vacant. My daughter describes this kind of film as 'porn violence'. She is right. The scariest element of the movie is their mother who appears behind a mask of blandness that hides a character who knows all too well what her son's are up to around the city. She reminds me of the maternal character in White Heat who controlled the James Cagney character- 'Ma'. She is truly scary. Besides Hardy's yeoman work playing the brothers there is little I would recommend about this movie.

https://youtu.be/yI3v6KfR9Mw
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby verbal gymnastics » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:49 pm

Jack of All Parades wrote:
verbal gymnastics wrote:Zootropolis (Zootopia in the US).

Another great Pixar movie. Good fun with some great characters and enough to keep the grown ups happy!

It's a nice story and well worth seeing. It's also lovely when me and my 8 year old are laughing at the same thing!


My nieces enjoyed that movie, too. No young ones at home anymore so our days of seeing such films are limited.....


You don't need to have young people with you to enjoy this.
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:31 am

To cap off an evening of celebration with Ms. Lisa last evening as we celebrated her birthday-the new 'masterpiece' written and directed by Quentin Tarantino-"The Hateful Eight'- just the tonic to finish the evening's celebrations. Three plus hours of Mr. Tarantino's unique take on the American Myth and its favorite tropes of violence and race. This movie is an epic vision of America confined to the space of roughly one room. It is also a telling dissection of our favorite tropes. Stylish, sly, clever and most often too close to the hidden truths we shy away from. A new star is born in one Walton Goggin as Chris Mannix the newly elected sheriff of Red Rock, Wyoming. The point of view shifts, flashbacks and forward shifts are dazzling and the dialogue is scintillating and exhilarating in its verbal onrush throughout the film. No director handles words and their power better. Tarantino is in full command of his directorial arsenal throughout this film- even shooting it gloriously in full 70mm stock. The score by Ennio Morricone is memorable. This is Lean, Hitchcock, Peckinpah, Ford and Pinter rolled into one technicolor bonanza. I was not expecting this.

https://youtu.be/PeHHXQfeWoM
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:28 pm

"Crimson Peak" last evening with Ms. Lisa, directed and written by Guillermo del Toro with his characteristic charm, vision and over-indulgence. Tom Hiddleston as Sir Thomas Sharpe, a down at his heels English aristocrat, his sister, Lady Edith Sharpe, played by Jessica Chastain and Edith Cushing, played by Mia Wasikowska, are typical romantic, Gothic characters. Haunted by ghosts, the past, nature and passing eras, these characters are mixed into a high style thriller that is part romance, part ghost story, part thriller, part soap opera. A melange that is less for all its parts. It is definitely not a horror movie. Doors creak, spirits materialize, shadows linger and nature's darker side pervade this movie-if you suspend credulity and just luxuriate in the atmosphere it is entertaining for most of its near two hour running time.

https://youtu.be/oquZifON8Eg
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Re: Recently viewed films

Postby Jack of All Parades » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:51 pm

"The Lady in the Van" last evening starring Maggie Smith and directed by Nicolas Hytner and written by Alan Bennet from his play. The story is Bennet's real life involvement with a homeless woman, Ms. Shepherd, played by Dame Smith who squatted on his property with Bennet's permission starting in 1972 and for fifteen years beyond that living in his driveway in her broken down van in gentrifying Camden Town to the embarrassment of many of his well-heeled neighbors. It is a story about the age old need for the elderly and homeless to be given attention even if they are intrusive and self-absorbed like this character. It plays on the notion of liberal guilt with some skill and there is a lovely cameo by James Corden who clearly sees through the manipulations of Ms. Shepherd. The story seems reasonably free of cheap sentimentality till it falters at the end with some theatrics that are campy and corny and totally out of place. But, the real reason to watch this movie is Dame Smith as she evocatively catches the indignities that age and mental illness can bring upon the aging.

https://youtu.be/47T0HORY9gs
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