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It’s A Classic Rope-A-Dope
Klute sounds like my kind of movie. Not sure why I don't know it. I have a watch list a mile long right now but I will add it.
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Letterboxd



Completely agree with everything you said about Klute. It's a good film and the story is truly intriguing in the first two acts, but the ending is not satifying enough to make it a great one.
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Cobpyth's Movie Log ~ 2019



I didn't like Dawn quite as much as Rise, but it's still a good, entertaining, fun summer blockbuster. I've seen the remake of Total Recall, which was glossy and shiny and forgettable, but I've yet to see the original. Klute was one of many 70's movies I had planned on watching before submitting my list, but simply ran out of time and never got around to watching.

Anyways, I thoroughly enjoy reading your reviews, so keep 'em coming!
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Shoot Klute. That's my first impression. My second is "Shoot, Klute."
I have no idea what you're on about, Mark

I didn't like Dawn quite as much as Rise, but it's still a good, entertaining, fun summer blockbuster. I've seen the remake of Total Recall, which was glossy and shiny and forgettable, but I've yet to see the original. Klute was one of many 70's movies I had planned on watching before submitting my list, but simply ran out of time and never got around to watching.

Anyways, I thoroughly enjoy reading your reviews, so keep 'em coming!
I think I probably like Dawn slightly more, but it's close, there's not much in it. Hopefully the next film progresses the series a bit more. Thanks for the kinds words too, and everyone else so far



"One of the most fascinating performances of all time"? Have you gone mad, man. Overrated dullness. Not bad or anything, just meh.
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5-time MoFo Award winner.



"One of the most fascinating performances of all time"? Have you gone mad, man. Overrated dullness. Not bad or anything, just meh.
Jane Fonda's performance is great though, definitely deserving of an Oscar for me.



Gone Girl

David Fincher, 2014



Anyone who has seen Gone Girl will know that it is incredibly difficult to review the film without giving away major plot details and spoiling the film for others. Going into the film I had seen a couple of trailers, knew the general idea and had heard a few comments regarding the films tone and quality, but nothing prepared me for what I thought was a fantastic two and a half hours, filled with so many fresh and often hilarious surprises.

David Fincher is a perfect match for the films mysterious plot, especially in the first half of the film which is filled with dark, edge of your seat moments as we are introduced to the two central characters, to Nick (Affleck) who narrates from the present day as his wife has gone missing, and from Amy (Pike) who tells her story in flashback form as she tells of her troubled relationship from a diary she keeps, detailing how her marriage turned from exciting love to a living nightmare, living in fear of her husband.

It soon becomes clear that all is not what it seems. I have read some pretty harsh comments regarding the character of Nick, but from the start I felt real empathy for him in a difficult situation. Whilst Amy paints him out to be some sort of psychopathic monster, I think that from the first minute he comes across as much more innocent, he may be stupid, say and do the wrong things, but is this a man capable of murdering his wife? The two conflicting stories just do not add up, Amy says Nick is an abusive (both emotionally and physically) husband who wastes her money and makes her life a misery, whilst Nick seems genuinely clueless to the allegations surrounding him, he claims that identity fraud has taken place and that he has not been spending Amy’s money, that he has never hit her and so on.

SPOILERS AHEAD – DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM

When the twist comes about half way (reminding me of the classic noir, Laura), it becomes much clearer about what type of characters we are dealing with. The hunt for Amy becomes much more needed for Nick who faces an uphill battle to save himself after being torn apart in terms of his public image.

I must say, that from the start I suspected that the characters would turn out to be like how they are, the writing makes subtle hints at a much darker, controlling side to Amy who sees herself as above people and blames Nick for a series of problems with her life. He may be a bit of an a*shole, he is guilty of having an affair with one of his students, but he does not deserve what he gets. Amy is a completely different monster, one of the scariest film villains in recent history, there is evil in her smile, a volatile unpredictability about her which sends shivers down your spine. Pike is absolutely brilliant as a psychopath who will go to extreme lengths to get what she wants. A certain scene with Neil Patrick Harris is particularly brilliant and dark.

END OF SPOILERS

One of the most surprising things about the film is just how funny it is. The audience I was with in the cinema was laughing all the way through the film. A lot of the humour is sick and twisted, but it really is hilarious. The last half an hour is particularly funny, but there are many great moments throughout. The opening line about Nick cracking his wife’s skull sets the tone for the dark comedy that is present throughout. The biggest laughs probably came from Tyler Perry’s character’s comment about their “f*cked up marriage”, and a certain moment when Nick utters (I believe it was) “you f*cking b*tch”.

Rosamund Pike aside, who for me, absolutely steals the show and must at least be nominated for an Oscar, there are great performances all round. Admittedly, I am not the biggest Ben Affleck fan, but here he is perfect, he suits a laid back a*shole, and I think in many ways he is quite relatable and human. Tyler Perry (who upon researching, seems like a very odd choice) is great and often very funny as Nick’s lawyer and so I Neil Patrick Harris as Amy’s creepy stalker.

From a technical viewpoint, as with all Fincher films that I have seen, the film is a pleasure to watch. The first half is darker (in terms of actual look) than the second as dark mystery and comedy are balanced together. The score is quite subdued at times, but always very powerful and effective. Many people have mentioned how the film feels like a noir, and the first half certainly does seem to evoke certain elements in its storytelling style, the whole thing feels very pulpy and fun, the second half can perhaps be compared to something like Basic Instinct, and there are clear nods to certain thriller/horrors such as Psycho and Play Misty For Me.

Gone Girl is a film I would definitely recommend going to the cinema to see if you can. It was a great experience for me and although some people have complained about certain plot elements, it is a great ride that is very fresh and creative; it is scary, funny and extremely enjoyable.

This is the ultimate anti-date movie, if you are going to the film with your partner, you wont be proposing to them soon after.

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Great review! I avoided reading the spoilers which is hard for me to do. Glad you liked Affleck in this, as he is an actor I like, even though I don't think he's the greatest(maybe it's a Boston thing). I can't wait to see this.



Fury

David Ayer, 2014



Remember in Inglourious Basterds, where the Third Reich come together to watch the latest Joseph Goebbels production, "Nation's Pride"? Think of that film, Nazi propaganda that sees it's 'hero' Frederick Voller against-the-odds defeat over a hundred of his enemies whilst being trapped in a 'bird's nest', then replace Voller with five American soldiers, and their enemies into Nazis, and you pretty much have Fury.

A one note film with the simplest of plots, I am struggling to understand just why this has been met with a largely positive reaction from both audiences and critics. If you simply want to see two hours of Americans killing Germans, you might get something out of this, but if you want anything else, you'll be disappointing. The film lacks (almost) any kind of morality or human balance that make the most powerful war pieces so fascinating and aside from Logan Lerman's young character, each other member of the tank 'Fury' are lazily constructed caricatures that give you no reason to empathise or feel any kind of emotion towards, in fact, for most of the part they are quite despicable.

When the film does hint at something more than being a relentless and barbaric slaughter picture, the moments feel out of place, too little and too late. Brad Pitt's character hints at something more, but we never get to see it. I have heard many praise the dynamics of the members of Fury, but I can tell you for sure I would not like to spend time around these men. The films self serious tone makes the comedy hard to take, and quite frankly, insulting rather than fun. These characters act like they are just that - characters, and their 'coolness', their machismo personalities, make them painful to bear.

Killing Nazi's, drinking alcohol and f*cking women is all these characters seem to care about, it's all they are on screen to do. If it is supposed to be a buddy movie, it fails. As the film drives towards its conclusion, the ending becomes fully predictable long before it occurs. Then, probably just about the two hour mark, a scene takes place that feels so empty, a cop out that goes against the entire movie, that makes you sit there and shake your head in disbelief.

As for the positives? In terms of cinematography and the production of the film as a whole, everything is top notch, it looks like a quality and very well made war film, it is just a shame the content does not match up. Shia LaBeouf is not as irritating as you might expect him to be, probably because of the other also unlikable characters. And the end credit sequence, a strange red coloured montage of what looks like archived war footage (again, strangely out of place) is quite enjoyable.

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Daniel I do agree with you in a lot of your review. The final set piece was unbelievable
WARNING: "spoilers" spoilers below
why did those marching German soldiers take so bloody long to reach the crossroads when Norman had only run across a couple of fields to get back to the tank!

But..there's something that makes me think we're supposed to be seeing this whole film through the eyes of Wardaddy. You say you wouldn't want to spend time around these men, but they're probably the sort of comrades you actually would want in a war. Their humour has naturally become hard and cold blooded just as it probably would after their experiences. These are men who've served close on six years fighting the Nazis in several campaigns on a few different continents so I think we have to see these men as absolutely inured to suffering otherwise how could they go on?
Anyway, unbelievable set pieces aside, I saw the film to be about the camaraderie that's necessary for soldiers to be able to get through so many years of death and destruction, but it was a simplistic way of going about it maybe.



Maybe it's because of my own politic beliefs that could probably be described as left wing and 'anti-war' that I didn't enjoy it.

At least in Saving Private Ryan, even though there were dislikable characters, they served a purpose for me, contrasting with Jeremy Davies' character to offer some sort of moral standing to the film. In this film the German's are all treated as if they are monsters, and there is no humanity involved at all, which is why I was so irritated by the ending.

I definitely agree about the set pieces, as I mention, from a technical viewpoint the film is great.

Also, about the last battle scene. I'm sure when they look out the tank and see the soldier's are outside, that it is still light, then it suddenly goes completely dark, that was a bit silly.



Daniel my own political beliefs are left wing pacifist, and they have been for 50 years but there's no doubt that WW2 of all wars could be considered as a 'just war' . I'm not defending the film, which is simplistic on a lot of levels, but I think if we're looking as if through the eyes of the tank crew then the German soldiers were all Nazis , the propaganda would have them think so as that's how wars are won.
The scene with the German ladies in their house was I guess giving us a certain humanity . Brad Pitt was a gentleman in that scene showing up his compatriots thuggish behaviour , but when it comes down to it the one act of most kindness was committed by a German after all.
Yeah I said about the darkness too, but my son reckoned it was supposed to be the smoke bombs but it seemed a bit too dark for that!



Great review of GONE GIRL , but you are making me reconsider the idea of seeing FURY



Great review of GONE GIRL , but you are making me reconsider the idea of seeing FURY
Thanks. But you should go and see it, I wouldn't like to be responsible for a person missing out on a film they could love. Others have clearly enjoyed it and so far on this forum I seem to definitely be in the minority



Shame

Steve McQueen, 2011



Michael Fassbender is Brandon, a man with a well paid job that affords him a very nice New York City apartment. He’s a man who can pull any woman he likes just by looking at them. It sounds like his life is great, doesn’t it? Apparently not…

When his sister moves in having now where else to stay his life suddenly turns to turmoil. I am not exactly sure why. One of his work colleagues, who is married yet goes out with Brandon as they attempt to pick up girls, ends up sleeping with his sister which infuriates him. I am not exactly sure why he gets so angry, and it seemed silly to let his friend get so close to him in the first place. It all seems strange since the moment Carey Mulligan enters the film, in fact. None of it felt real to me, each bizarre scene that occurs seems to do so simply for us to see Michael Fassbender showing an emotional reaction of some sort, whether is be him being upset, angry, or more often than not: both.

This event leads Brandon into complete breakdown, he attempts to completely change his lifestyle, and go from sex to a real relationship. His character seems completely crazy and without reason a lot of the time. Okay, it might be a strong performance in terms of convoying emotion and in terms of what he gives physically, but there is absolutely no reason to care for his character. His relationship with his sister feels extremely incestuous and silly; he seems to get extremely angry over nothing when it comes to her.

Steve McQueen seems to know all the artistic tricks in the book. Whether it is an extended long take of Brandon purposely running from right to left of the screen (to convoy negativity) to classic music, Brandon walking around full frontal, or Carey Mulligan singing for what felt like half the film, every scene seems so purposefully constructed and pretentious, without reason other than to say “look at me and my great artistic film!”.

By the end of the film nothing has really been achieved, we know nothing that we did not know about these characters at the start of the film and their ‘issues’ which are expanded way beyond any sort of reality that you just can not take the film seriously. The film tackles nothing new, and takes simple ideas and stretches them beyond belief. It is ninety minutes of Michael Fassbender showing us he can pull of a few extreme emotions, that is about it.

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Remember in Inglourious Basterds, where the Third Reich come together to watch the latest Joseph Goebbels production, "Nation's Pride"? Think of that film, Nazi propaganda that sees it's 'hero' Frederick Voller against-the-odds defeat over a hundred of his enemies whilst being trapped in a 'bird's nest', then replace Voller with five American soldiers, and their enemies into Nazis, and you pretty much have Fury.
Interesting. I made the exact same observation to my friends after watching the film (and especially the final scene).

I do think the film is a little more nuanced and complicated than you seem to think it is (even though your criticisms are pretty valid) and I thought the battle scenes (especially the one with the Tiger tank) looked fantastic, so therefore I enjoyed it a little bit more than you did.



Interesting. I made the exact same observation to my friends after watching the film (and especially the final scene).
Great minds think alike

I do think the film is a little more nuanced and complicated than you seem to think it is (even though your criticisms are pretty valid) and I thought the battle scenes (especially the one with the Tiger tank) looked fantastic, so therefore I enjoyed it a little bit more than you did.
Yeah I definitely think the battle scenes and the look of the film in general are worth of a couple of popcorns, so especially if you enjoy war battle scenes, you will enjoy it at least a bit. I went with my housemate and he liked the film. My review my seem a bit harsh, but my rating is down the middle as to not completely write it off, I do think that the ending seemed like a bit of a cop out and irritated me given the lack of humanity that came before it.