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Thread: Film Buffery

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Murder by Death
    I watched that on TV with my mother and sister several years ago.
    My mom fell asleep 3/4 of the way through. (She can get to sleep
    only when she wants to stay awake. Sound familiar?) Upon learning
    that she missed the ending, she asked who dunnit. My sister and I
    could only laugh and tell her we had no way of answering such a
    question -- it just wasn't possible. I suspect that people who are
    addicted to soap operas have a need to find out how things turn
    out "in the end". Maybe they could just read the last page of all
    those big novels they'd otherwise never get to.

    This wasn't at all intended -- it's a moderately freaky coincidence --
    but that reminded me that just a few weeks ago, Doctor Zhivago
    was on TV while I was at my parents' home, and I watched it with
    them. I'd never seen it before. My mom fell asleep. Doctor Zhivago
    is the only novel that I know she has read. I think she read it before
    the movie was made. I had no idea that it was a soap opera.

    Without the soap, of course. They used real snow. (Well, I'm not
    sure about inside the country house, but outside, for sure.)

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    Without the soap, of course. They used real snow.
    FYI, the "soap" in "soap opera" has nothing to do with fake snow. Those programs were called "soap operas" when they were on the radio, after all.

    The name came from the inordinate number of soap commercials they aired (which, of course, came from the inordinate number of housewives amongst the audience).
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

  3. #33
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    Okay, I was going to ask, then decided not to, but Sean changed my mind
    again: What would be a better term than "soap opera" to refer to that genre?
    I hope there is something better than "melodrama".

    I also happened to see Gone With the Wind for the first time (or at least a
    big chunk of it. It came on and nobody turned it off, so I watched even
    though I had no intention of doing so. Surprise! Another soap opera! One
    soap opera set in the American Civil War, the other in the Russian Revolution.

    At least I saw enough of GWtW to learn that Rhett Butler was a good guy
    (never knew that before) and what is meant when someone is referred to
    as having a personality like Scarlett O'Hara (as in Divine Secrets of the
    Ya-Ya Sisterhood
    ).

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    How old were you when you saw it? It might be one of those things that you have to experience at the right time. I saw it aged about 22 and I was blown away by it. I read Catcher In The Rye when I was about 42 and was bored to tears by it. Had the ages been swapped, I might have loved Salinger and hated Lynch.
    That could certainly be the case. I just have to overcome my aversion and watch it again. This is harder than it sounds.

  5. #35
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    Well, I hated the Salinger at seventeen myself. Most of my class was going on about how great it was and how it changed their lives, and I thought, "Gods, I can't stand that Holden Caulfield twit." One of my classmates later told me that he'd felt the same way, but he hadn't wanted to go against the rest of the class. I, as I'm sure you can imagine, didn't worry about it.

    I saw about ten minutes of Eraserhead when I was in high school and haven't seen any of it since. (The people I was babysitting for came home.) Still, the library does have it, so I'll probably be getting to it some time in the next six months or so. I can't really say if I would've liked it or not. I'm fond of David Lynch, though you kind of have to reset your brain to watch most of his stuff. My sister's then-boyfriend adored it, I know, and he showed me the Cocteau and various other things, so I mostly trust his taste. To this day, I think of movies as things he would like, even though I haven't heard from him in something like ten years.

    I'm watching Fellini's Amarcord right now, and all I can think is, "Those boys are really obnoxious; are we supposed to be on their side?" Still, it's well-filmed. There's a shot of a wheat field right now that's lovely, even if what's going on isn't, particularly. Maybe that's how Fellini works; it's the first movie of his that I've ever seen.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  6. #36
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    Fellini has great films. I'm not sure whether I'd recommend the Satyricon (an "easy" film, but with some shocking scenes) or Juliet of the Spirits (a more psychological film).

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Musashi View Post
    That could certainly be the case. I just have to overcome my aversion and watch it again. This is harder than it sounds.
    Thanks for the reply, Musashi, but an actual answer to the question would be interesting...

  8. #38
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    I think Amarcord is supposed to be memory fragments, we're not supposed to be on anyones side since it's just something that happened, possibly with no reason for remembering any specific memory other than random association.
    I could be wrong, as I have only read about it.

    Fellini is one of those directors who have made lots of movies I want to see, but I never got around to most of them, Satyricon is one I've seen and remember enjoying, as I have a strong liking for the absurd.
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  9. #39
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    Fellini's too much hard work. I watch movies to escape.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Fellini's too much hard work. I watch movies to escape.
    Rather depends on how you like to escape, I guess. The moment with the peacock flying in the snow was lovely. I also agree that it is clearly not intended to have much in the way of plot, but I did quite like it--despite never really liking anyone in it.

    I'm almost always watching something-or-other when I'm posting. (Currently season one of Rocky and Bullwinkle, but close enough.) I generally go through a dozen or more movies a week, minimum. It's only challenging to watch and post at the same time if there are subtitles; it takes me much longer to get through the board that way.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  11. #41
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    Gillianren

    Rotten Tomatoes has no alphabetical list of movies reviewed? I can't find one. Could some geek arrange for the computer to make one?
    Have you reviewed the French/Polish trio of films , Bleu, Blanc, Rouge ?
    Or the recent English, Death at the Funeral?
    Polansky's Frantic ?
    The low-budget Go! ?

  12. #42
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    I saw 2001 when I was a kid. I was enchanted. Seeing it as an adult was incredibly boring.

    Perhaps that's why I enjoyed Transformers, because it has as much action in your average 5-second clip as 2001 did during the entire movie.

    But way too much action for my taste. Definately experienced sensory overload on that one...

    I liked 2010 much better. Better storyline, plot, pace, acting, etc.

  13. #43
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    Gillian - you've got quite the collection of reviews there. I'm impressed.

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Gillian - you've got quite the collection of reviews there. I'm impressed.
    You're impressed ? I AM AMAZED !!!

    Hats off to you Gillianren !!!

  15. #45
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    2001 was shown in high-def just the other day on one of the cable channels. I hadn't seen it in ages, and I fell in love with it all over again.

    It was the first movie I ever saw more than once in the theater (in Cinerama, no less, on its first release). I was around 15 when it came out, saw it first with my parents, then went back the next day to see it again on my own. It was fascinating, amazing, ambiguous, and challenging. It was the first time I saw a movie that really made me think.

    Even today, I don't think there's been another movie like it. It's a shame it had the time line so wrong, though. Where's my moon base and commercial passenger service to orbit?

    By the way, the new high-def print was great visually, but they really need to do some work on restoring the sound track. There's no bottom end, and believe me there should be (especially on the Also Sprach Zarathustra theme, with its 20-foot organ pipe notes).

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by toejam View Post
    Rotten Tomatoes has no alphabetical list of movies reviewed? I can't find one. Could some geek arrange for the computer to make one?
    The site itself? I have no idea. I would imagine it's for the same reason that IMDB doesn't do a list of the movies on its site, either. They both have perfectly workable search functions. If you mean my journal, as I said, go to Ratings, then click Title, and the results will sort into alphabetical order. (Tediously, it doesn't leave off articles as it should, so the two longest sections will inevitably be "a" and "t.") Either way, I have no control over site design other than picking my preferred skin for my own journal and a few other similarly basic layout decisions, again for my own journal.

    Have you reviewed the French/Polish trio of films , Bleu, Blanc, Rouge ?
    Or the recent English, Death at the Funeral?
    Polansky's Frantic ?
    The low-budget Go! ?
    I don't think the library has the first one, or if it does, it has them under something other than the expected. I may add them to my Netflix list. I haven't done Death at a Funeral; the library definitely doesn't have it, as I'm in the middle of the dead/deadly/death movies right now, and it isn't there. I haven't done Frantic--I haven't done much Polanski at all--but I'll get to it sooner or later, provided the library has it or I remember to add it to my Netflix. Go! is in my Netflix queue (I love that word!), but so are about 200 other things, so it'll be a while.

    The thing is, a movie or three a day adds up after a while. I promise you that I've watched far more movies than that 650 or so in the years since I started the journal. I only started the one a day thing after Graham went away on leave. It gives me a definite structure to my days, and as I've said, I love watching movies. I love reading, too, probably more, but I go through movies faster. After all, it's hard to get through a Stephen King or an adult nonfiction book in the two hours or less that most movies take.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  17. #47
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    Thanks Gillian. Just read your post at #27 too. Guess should read things before asking. Thanks for taking the time to reply to a dummy !!

    Bleu etc is cute, minor or even crowd characters in Bleu become main characters In Blanc and so on to Rouge. But each film stands on its own as a completely independent work. ie Blanc & Rouge are not sequels to Bleu.

    Frantic I thought was one of the best films I have ever seen (i am not much of a filmgoer) Saw it three times & enjoyed it for a different reason each time. The only other film that did this for me was A Fish Called Wanda.

    Go! is an absolute scream if you have a sick sense of humour like mine. Same goes for the much more polished & very English Death at the Funeral.
    Last edited by toejam; 2008-Mar-15 at 06:15 PM.

  18. #48
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    I took a peek at your reviews, and noticed you have a section for musicals. You should see Chicago, if you haven't already.

  19. #49
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    Recently re-watched The Last Mimzy. It starts out super-good and compelling, but the end is only average-good. They don't really explain what the Tibetan symbols, Intel chip or palm-reading features have to do with the scientist in the future. Other that that, it was a very good movie.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disinfo Agent View Post
    I took a peek at your reviews, and noticed you have a section for musicals. You should see Chicago, if you haven't already.
    Ha! I own it, and have for years. Which is actually kind of why I don't have a review of it posted yet. Pretty much what causes that is that I watch so many new movies. However, there are exceptions. I was just in the mood for Casablanca one day and not really anything else, so I watched Casablanca, which not only have I owned for years but I'm pretty sure my mother owns. And, of course, Graham and I have pretty different taste in movies, so every once in a while, we agree to watch a movie we own that we both like so I can do my review on it, even if I've owned it since before we got together. However, with movies I've just bought, the only way I don't do a review the day I buy it, or within the next few days, is if I saw it in the theatre and reviewed it then.

    What do other people think about commentary tracks? I think Rob Reiner shouldn't be allowed to do one on his own--he never seems to know what to say--and that Roger Ebert should be allowed to do as many as he likes. I actually put Beyond the Valley of the Dolls on my Netflix queue for the express purpose of listening to his commentary. I didn't actually watch the movie without it.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    What do other people think about commentary tracks? I think Rob Reiner shouldn't be allowed to do one on his own--he never seems to know what to say--and that Roger Ebert should be allowed to do as many as he likes. I actually put Beyond the Valley of the Dolls on my Netflix queue for the express purpose of listening to his commentary. I didn't actually watch the movie without it.
    Commentary tracks? You mean the director - or whoever - babbling while the movie runs? If that's what it is, can't say I'd go for that.

    The exception being MST3K, of course.

  22. #52
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    I love commentary! That's why I buy DVDs- if I just want the movie, I can wait for them to show it on TV.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  23. #53
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    This weekend, Clare and I got around to two Part 3s: Shrek and Pirates of the Caribyawn.

    In the first Shrek, Shrek was wiping his bottom with the fairy tales we all knew and loved - and that was great. By the second Shrek, he was the very fairy tale he'd been wiping his bottom with in the first film, but there were a few laughs along the way. With the third Shrek, there were not many laughs along the way. Time to flush that toilet.

    The first Pirates was good entertainment, but nowhere near as special as it thought it was. Those Monkey Island fans among us enjoyed spotting the references, but the film was overlong, with tedious extended battles between mortals and the undead. The second film was not as interesting and not as funny as it thought it was. The three-way swordfight and the waterwheel managed to epitomise the concept of tedium - I felt like screaming, "Move on!" at the screen.

    The third film is pretty much entirely without merit. Watching Depp do the swagger walk and that thing with the eyes is really not very entertaining once you realise it's all the same old stuff - and it really doesn't help when he looks bored himself. The film also assumes that audiences will remember the events of the second film, which I certainly didn't - I had vague recollection of Davy Jones' heart, but let's face it, the second film didn't exactly make a lasting impression.

    Some of the camerawork was great, but most of the time it was poor CGI and, frankly, one of the most poorly conceived stories to make it to screen in a very long time.

    To make up for it, we watched the film version of The Haunting (of Hill House). Lovely atmosphere, and quite scary despite being nearly 50 years old and rewatched several times.

    Also saw a clip from Night of the Living Dead on some programme about the greatest ever chase scenes. It reminded me, yet again, that much as I love Romero-inspired movies and other spin-offs (28 Days Later, the Dawn of the Dead remake), you really cannot compete with Romero's early work.

    Also... I have developed a severe aversion to film commentaries. I have sat through too many mediocre (or just plain bad) films or TV programmes, only to listen to the production team congratulating themselves on creating something comparable to the Sistine Chapel. For one such example, much as I adore the Silent Hill games, the movie was, on the whole, poor. Yet if you listen to the commentary, you'd think they'd outshone Citizen Kane.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    The first Pirates was good entertainment, but nowhere near as special as it thought it was. Those Monkey Island fans among us enjoyed spotting the references, but the film was overlong, with tedious extended battles between mortals and the undead.
    I was the only person in the theatre where I saw it who laughed at the ride references.

    The third film is pretty much entirely without merit. Watching Depp do the swagger walk and that thing with the eyes is really not very entertaining once you realise it's all the same old stuff - and it really doesn't help when he looks bored himself. The film also assumes that audiences will remember the events of the second film, which I certainly didn't - I had vague recollection of Davy Jones' heart, but let's face it, the second film didn't exactly make a lasting impression.
    Most of the people I know agree with you, there, but I'm afraid I can't. (For one thing, Johnny Depp is far from bored with the character; he wants to make a fourth one so he can play with the concept some more.) I do think some of the battles went on a bit, because, as we've established, I'm just generally not interested in that sort of thing. However, I thought there was some interesting philosophical content. The nature of life and death and God and Hell, in fact. But I haven't been able to convince anyone of that.

    Also... I have developed a severe aversion to film commentaries. I have sat through too many mediocre (or just plain bad) films or TV programmes, only to listen to the production team congratulating themselves on creating something comparable to the Sistine Chapel. For one such example, much as I adore the Silent Hill games, the movie was, on the whole, poor. Yet if you listen to the commentary, you'd think they'd outshone Citizen Kane.
    Ah, this is why I choose carefully which commentaries I listen to. (Obviously, I don't play the commentary track every time I watch the movie, either.) I can't stand Kirsten Dunst trying to sound like she knows what's going on. (This is the woman who thought they should kill Spider-Man.) The guy who played Tom Sawyer in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen just makes me angry. But the technical commentary track for Dogma is a really interesting exploration of both how the movie was made and the thought processes behind the script, and the track on UHF is awfully funny as well as being informative. I don't bother with commentary tracks on movies I wouldn't want to see a second time, and there have been ones I thought would be interesting that were just painful.

    On a good film with a good commentary track (Roger Ebert on Casablanca or Citizen Kane, for example), it's almost like reading a mini book about the film. On a bad one--either film or track--the only option is to turn it off in order to salvage brain cells.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Recently re-watched The Last Mimzy. It starts out super-good and compelling, but the end is only average-good. They don't really explain what the Tibetan symbols, Intel chip or palm-reading features have to do with the scientist in the future. Other that that, it was a very good movie.
    I liked Mimsy Were The Borogroves, so I'll probably have a hard time watching the film. (The story had no Tibetan/brand name symbols.)
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  26. #56
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    It's an okay movie besides that. They just don't explain all the mysteries at the end, which is what glued you to the screen for the rest of the movie. You want to see how it all ties together and then... they don't tell you.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  27. #57
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    I watched Gone Baby Gone last night and have to say that, more than any other film I've seen recently, this one really depressed me.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    Okay, I was going to ask, then decided not to, but Sean changed my mind
    again: What would be a better term than "soap opera" to refer to that genre?
    I hope there is something better than "melodrama".
    I understand that those who create the shows like to refer to them as "daytime dramas." How that works with the so-called "prime-time soaps," I don't know.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    The first Pirates was good entertainment, but nowhere near as special as it thought it was. Those Monkey Island fans among us enjoyed spotting the references, but the film was overlong, with tedious extended battles between mortals and the undead.
    That was the reason I could never get into the first movie. I could never understand the point of pitched sword battles with people who can't be killed.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    That was the reason I could never get into the first movie. I could never understand the point of pitched sword battles with people who can't be killed.
    Perhaps it's reasonable to engage in such a battle when the alternative is to be slaughtered by said undead warriors.

    Though perhaps the best option of all is Brave Sir Robin's... "When danger reared its ugly head, he bravely turned his tail and fled. Sing ho! for brave Sir Robin!"

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