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MovieMeditation’s Diary Reviews // “Come and meditate with me!”

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A B C D... haha took me a second to realize that. Great stuff . I was seriously thinking wow there's three l words in a row then three m ones

Love Baraka. Neiba nominated it for the Docs HOF and it ended up finishing very high on my list.
Hehe, it was fun but frustrating. A great little challenge for myself, to make it coherent and relevant but with the alphabet all in order. Also, I tried to get at least three words out of each letter and I tried my best to keep it at adjectives and norms - using the various letters - and only minimalistic use of conjunctions and such to bind it together.

You saw the a, b, c's, but did you see the one, two, threes?..

MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... viewing day count
235 .......................... 272

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September 29th

—— 1992 ——
B A R A K A
—— documentary ——



Learn your A, B, Cs and how to count to one, two, tree
and you will learn what Baraka is and what it can be...


Baraka is an amazing atypical adventure, with beautiful broad backgrounds of characteristic cultural cornerstones. Different and daring depictions and endlessly expressive elegance forms a fundamentally fantastic film. With a gripping and gasping guidance through honest, haunting and heartbreaking imagery, we interplay intelligently with a jaw-dropping and jarring juxtaposition or a king-sized kabbalistic kaleidoscope of loneliness, lucrativeness and life.

A masterful and metaphysical movie that nourishes without nursing nature, opting to overcome omission by painting a pretty painful picture, while proving a point and provoking a few people; with a question of quality over quantity. Both radical rightness and religious righteousness smash silently and seamlessly together, taking the terms of thinking out of uniformity and into the unanswered universe of uncertainty. All vicious vendettas vanish in the wilderness of our world and will whitewash all xenophobia in xenomorphs and xenogenesis alike, with only you, the youth and your zealous mind standing between zero and a zillion years; all the way from Christ to cohesive science and from little cells to entire cities... We are the world and Baraka is the spirit within it...

And of course, one might say that this movie focuses too much on steady and silent pictures of trees instead of talking and teaching us about the world. But there is something for everyone to learn here, and only five minutes into this film you are completely caught up by it, and when it ends you are surprised it wasn't one of those less than sixty-minute wildlife episodes on BBC... Shot on seventy millimeter and with more a lot than eighty days to travel the world, Ron Fricke has captured ninety minutes of pure cinema magic, which will feel new and exciting even ten or twenty years from now... Baraka is forever eternal...






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I took a little more room for being creative, but it's there...

It helped that the movie was really spiritual and such, so I didn't have to do the ABC stuff close to a plot.

Thanks for reading it, Camo. I appreciate it a lot!



Master of My Domain
Anybody read my review for Baraka?
The first few lines could be easily used for blurbs of dubious merit found on posters and trailers. That means I'm jealous of your vocabulary. Good stuff.
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Letterboxd Profile: https://letterboxd.com/GatsbyG/



Master of My Domain
Oh and I just noticed the alphabetical and numeral order.



Anybody read my review for Baraka?

Yes, and I'm one who "might say that this movie focuses too much on steady and silent pictures of trees instead of talking and teaching us about the world". I liked the images, but they just felt kind of useless without knowing anything about them. I can find images all over the 'net. It would have been nice to know what I was looking at while watching Baraka.



But I didn't notice the alphabetical and numeral stuff until it was pointed out.
I guess that's only a good thing. and after all, who particularly looks for something like that anyways

I went all the way with it here, but still my reviews are often filled with stuff like that. It makes it more fun and challenging to write. I enjoy same-latter symmetry and different syllables in my reviews. I love creating a flow and a tempo in the review and I love creating small hints of stuff, like that of a numeral order, or just relevant parrallels and wordplay.

Once I wanted to create a write-up in my Cinema Review thread, where I would go over all the little things I do when I write, how I write, how long it takes etc, but I never ended up doing it...



MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... viewing day count
236 .......................... 274

__________________________


October 1st

—— 1977 ——
THE RESCUERS
—— animation ——
DISNEY CLASSIC no.23

REWATCH
Wolfgang Reiterman rides the waves of success
in this wonderful little rescue flick, fittingly called ‘The Rescuers’


The film centers around two courageous mice who set out on a mission to save a little girl from two “diamond delusional” and utter insane individuals. So you can get an idea of their insanity, let us take an example: if you ask a wealthy woman if she “carries crocodile”, this usually refers to the figurative manner of fashion in which one of your clothing’s is covered in crocodile skin. However, the lady in this movie is a lot more literal, meaning that she is in fact carrying around two giant crocodiles on a leach…

She also threatens the little girl whenever she won’t listen to her and even forces her down a dangerous cave to dig out diamonds for her egocentric mind. And this is where the two little mice make their way into the story – they have to rescue the little girl from the hands of this lunatic. With ‘The Rescuers’, Disney shows us all that size doesn’t matter, which can mean one thing to children and another for grownups, but let us not get ahead here. The core may be carried out by a classic theme, but the conception of it all feels entirely new. I also feel like all the elements blend extremely well together here and even though this is a childhood favorite I still adore it to this day and definitely still dub it as a good animated adventure overall.



Already by the first few minutes we are properly presented with what turns out to be the main plot that sets it all in motion. It opens out of nowhere with a little girl running to the edge of an eerie river boat, tossing a message in a bottle with a cry for help into the river. What follows is one of Disney’s most visually elegant and emotionally investing opening sequences ever, which totally took me by surprise this time around. Disney brings their brush strokes to new layers of brilliance, telling a continuous story in a motionless manner, delivering beautiful broad backgrounds, which really let the audience dwell in the beauty of aesthetically different art. The backgrounds are roughly hand painted on clear-view canvasses, which truly brings out the heartbreaking although uplifting song playing suitably during this sequence. I think Disney told the course of time really well here, showing us how far this little bottle of hope has travelled before it finally ended up in the hands of the Rescue Aid Society.

For those who don’t know, The Rescue Aid Society is a global gathering of geographically diverse mice, who all come together in order to help those in need. Miss Bianca is the Hungarian representative and willingly volunteers to take on this dangerous task together with one courageous companion. Out of all the choices in the entire world, quite literally, she insists instead on the helping hand of the stammering janitor, Bernard, to accompany her on this mission. Not only does this distinctive duo go together like mice and milk (hint, not that good at first glance), but despite their differences they are definitely a match made in mice heaven. The two are good characters, but the screen presence is largely due to the combination of great character animation and amazing voice casting. The latter appears extremely authentic and believable throughout, while the former is done so well that I can relentlessly relate to Bernard and wholeheartedly adore the charming Bianca. I’m not even joking here; Miss Bianca is in all seriousness one of the sexiest characters ever created by Disney – give me some of that mouse to mouth action!



What really makes this movie work though, is mainly the distinctive atmosphere throughout, which moves in a calm but carefully evolving tempo, having sudden eruptions of dark and dramatic tension combined with affecting and adventurous action. Within its core the story is warm and pleasant, but holds a darker and more dangerous exterior. We feel the scale of the world as well as their mission and Disney does a great job at seamlessly transitioning between the two, delivering both the big exhilarating moments as well as the smaller and more intimidate interactions – especially the romance between the two progresses nicely and naturally, feeling surprisingly subtle at times – and I love when this is accompanied by the beautiful track ‘Tomorrow Is Another Day” playing as they travel with Orville Airlines to the bayou.

I also love the sharp focus on each and every character, which furthermore feels more inventive than earlier works from the studio. The characters are few but their characteristics are many and while Disney duplicates previous successes and recycle a few formulas it never feels tiresome. The main villain, Medusa, is perhaps closest in character to that of Cruella de Vil from ‘101 Dalmatiants’ with her ominous obsession, crazy personality and aggressive driving, but Medusa is still very much her own and one of the most well rounded villains of Disney’s classic catalogue. Her signature swamp mobile is also one of the coolest creations from the studio and the husbands’ obsession with fireworks makes for a fun and fiery finale.



Overall, ‘The Rescuers’ is about going against the stream and achieving the impossible, but as a film, it really catches the current at just the right instances and flows nicely forward, freeing itself from formality and finding a new path for some old premises. I really adore this film, but I’m not necessarily clinching on nostalgia, since I have seen the film a few times since way back when and I don’t hold it as the masterpiece I used to spot. Nevertheless, there is something about this film that is very unlike any other Disney film and it is always a pleasant revisit.




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Great review mate . I've always thought Down Under was the better film, even when i rewatched both about two or three years ago i felt the same, but your review has made me want to watch this again. I know more than likely i'll still think Down Under is better still i really like how much you really like this film.



Great review mate . I've always thought Down Under was the better film, even when i rewatched both about two or three years ago i felt the same, but your review has made me want to watch this again. I know more than likely i'll still think Down Under is better still i really like how much you really like this film.
Thank you, Camo, that means a lot.

I feel like the review turned out slightly messy, although it was nice to really get around the movie. I still like this a lot more than Down Under, but the latter definitely ain't bad at all. I still quite like it. Review will come in the future.



Can't wait!

And after reading the comments at the top of the page i'm happy to learn i was the first one who caught on or at least mentioned the abc's. I did miss the 123's though. just read that response now.



MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... viewing day count
237 .......................... 274

__________________________


October 1st

—— 2015 ——
M A G G I E
—— drama ——



Here comes a zombie movie with a more serious approach...
and a less aggressive attitude...


'Maggie' is mostly a post-apocalyptic drama driven by genuine feelings and the bond of a family. It holds a slow pace and a simple storyline, which are two things that may become problematic. This movie kind of moves beside the edge of boredom, but never dies down completely and the positive change in genre formalities and acting abilities is enough to keep me interested. Arnold Schwarzenegger brings out his best performance in years, where he really challenges his past goofy charisma by playing on subtle emotions and with a great restraint. I even see hints of a better performance in there, but he still walks away as a winner without exploding into excessive overacting and given his past it may be wise to keep things casual. Abigail Breslin was good as well, but there is no doubt that this is Arnold's movie or at least the main reason for actually watching it...

The previously mentioned restraint may have worked for Arnold, but as a movie, I feel like it misses some proper bite. Every time it appears like we come to a climax or a scene of importance, it kind of just dies down instead of proving the guts of the general story being set up. I see so much potential in this film, but everything just mangles around on this weird middle ground, like if the film had a cinematic midlife crisis and not knowing what to do and when to do it. It doesn't feel entirely comfortable in whatever direction it goes and instead chooses to go halfway in every direction throughout. There are definitely deeper layers of family drama than what comes forward, there is beautiful symbolism, which never truly gets to shine and there is hints of even deeper metaphors for diseases or drug problems, but they never become more than a pleasurable independent parallel. The ending is somehow beautiful but hardly stays with you, since the film fails to completely convince you and drag you deep enough within the simple storyline.

'Maggie' is a zombie film that wants to show its guts rather than waste them on the floor, but the slow burning and somewhat bleak approach is as much a cure as it is an infection for the film. I don't know if it has brains, but there is definitely heart in there, which compensates for what isn’t a bad story but simply an uneven execution. The director does seem in control and while he might not be flogging a dead horse, he still tries to keep something alive, which feels closer to a coffin than a concept of clear success - meaning that I already buried it deep in the back of my mind, because although the concept was courageous it never stayed in your body nor brain like it should have. In the end, I still admire the attempt and the small hints of something greater, but I'm pretty sure this is a zombie flick that will stay dead in my memory and I have no plans of ever resurrecting it with a revisit in the future, but if ever, it would be for Arnold and Arnold alone… it’s just a shame the movie doesn't compliment his dedication and craftsmanship here…


+

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Master of My Domain
Seems like Arnie is still struggling to find himself a career revival in an age that isn't really meant for him. Kinda sad, hope he finds at least a couple of films that suit him. He did seem to have fun in The Last Stand.



Seems like Arnie is still struggling to find himself a career revival in an age that isn't really meant for him. Kinda sad, hope he finds at least a couple of films that suit him. He did seem to have fun in The Last Stand.
Yeah, he hasn't truly found has path yet and seems to live purely on nostalgia - taking part in every coming Terminator sequel and every other revival of his old films, like Predator, or reciting one-liners in Expendables...

Maggie was a nice change and he even did the movie entirely for free... I would love to see more serious-Arnold in the future.



Maggie is not a movie I ever plan on watching. This review does strengthen a few of my suspicions, but honestly I'd rather not even waste time thinking about it.



Thank you both for commenting, I appreciate the time you took to read and reply. It means everything, just know that!

And yeah, Zotis, Maggie you can easily go without watching. Unless you are a huge Arnold fan I don't see a reason to seek it out.
Thanks for the comment on my Baraka review - that was fun but not easy.

Reviews for Gold Rush, Insidious 3 and Cannibal Holocaust coming up next...



I watched Maggie a faw days ago and it was great. It's a new take on the zombie films and I think it executed it really well.



Welcome to the human race...
I watched Maggie last year and called it the best film Schwarzenegger's done since leaving office, though it admittedly doesn't have much in the way of competition (plus I still haven't seen Sabotage or Expendables 3 so that's still a loose judgment). That review sounds a lot like mine but I gave it an extra popcorn box.
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Iro is to reviews as Kubrick is to films.



I watched Maggie last year and called it the best film Schwarzenegger's done since leaving office, though it admittedly doesn't have much in the way of competition (plus I still haven't seen Sabotage or Expendables 3 so that's still a loose judgment). That review sounds a lot like mine but I gave it an extra popcorn box.
I don't think I have read yours, I'll check it out.

If I ever see it again it might go to that full 3/5, but it had much more potential than it fulfilled, unfortunately. But yes, definitely the best he's done since leaving office...



MovieMeditation presents...
HIS FILM DIARY 2015
total movie count ........... viewing day count
238 .......................... 274

__________________________


October 1st

—— 1942 ——
T H E
G O L D
R U S H

—— comedy ——


REWATCH
Dancing bread rolls
and shoe string pasta...


A couple of years ago, Charlie Chaplin made my viewing habits take a turn for the better, when he singlehandedly made me time travel back a few decades and all the way out of the color spectrum to witness the greatness of silent cinema in its prime. I had previously been bestowed with black and white films before Chaplin, but the many muted movies of the past were presently a product of my future. Obviously, I knew who Chaplin was, what he eventually became and which films he helped to inspire, but even if I might have seen some scenes here and there, the eventual deeper dive was one I never took; as an evolving film fanatic I felt like that was a territory terribly embarrassing not to have experienced. With that in mind, I took a cinematic trip through the legendary legacy of the bowler hat bearing, big shoe wearing little tramp – a fellow known for his tiny and later misunderstood mustache (screw you, Hitler), as well as the many curious cane swings he made on his way...

'The Gold Rush' wasn't my first Chaplin and this isn't my first watch either, but since I almost always seek out a movie as it was originally intended, I saw the 1925 cut of the film before the later 1942 version. However, I do tend to choose the directorial definitive version over an otherwise original cut, but something about monologing a silent movie made little sense to me at the time – at least for a first watch of this feature. But an eventual revisit had to happen, which was a great excuse for experiencing Chaplin chatting about Chaplin and his enchanting encounters on a search for gold. Throughout the Chaplin takeover in my home, I kept seeking out more of his works and of course I had heard about the great reputation of 'The Gold Rush'. But unfortunately, I didn't strike gold with my own inspection and the supposedly comedic rush was instead replaced by a greater rush to get it over with. But of course, things weren’t all bad, although I was admittedly a little bit bored and the comedic scenes bothered me rather than benefitted my viewing experience. Some of it was really good and imaginative, but I didn't find it nearly as funny nor heartfelt as some of Chaplin’s other efforts. So will the newer and narrated version win me over?

Chaplin chopped off a good twenty minutes of the film, removing loose subplots and less substantial scenes that wasn't all that relevant to the core plot or the current person of Chaplin himself. In my opinion, Chaplin changed the movie for the better, but I'm not here to tell you how one or the other is terrible or better, I still have deep respect for the original cut and both have a certain charm of their own. But for me, the 1942 version worked wonders and the added narration suited the film to great success. At first I was skeptical, and when the film started I still wasn't quite sure how to feel about it, but as it moved along everything became more interesting and I got even more invested in the story. Somehow almost all the gags worked better this time around and scenes like the iconic table dance sequence and the exciting house tipping set piece were still as wonderful as ever. Also, the shorter length kept the runtime from running out of breath and make me exhausted along the way, which made my interest peak without ever dropping down.



'The Gold Rush' does seem like a golden era for our little fellow, since his character and those around him seem more substantial and authentic than earlier. The ongoing struggle of The Tramp in his search for gold, his exhausting fight for shelter and survival, the horrible table dinner heartbreak, the happy and wealthy change of things and the eventual encounter at the end – everything seem to be coming together nicely here. Chaplin takes his little tramp through a surprisingly elaborate character arc, which takes the tramp out of the trash and into a quality setting. I'm not saying the past was trash, but what came before was Chaplin – admittedly being a genius at it – acting clumsy and getting caught up in countless catastrophes. That said, Chaplin definitely liked to leave audiences with a bit more, but in 'The Gold Rush' I feel like the character really came full circle. Just like his bowler hat, he became a well-rounded character with a nice and fitting curve, eventually ending up on top of things. Charlie Chaplin really did strike gold with this one, but even though it isn't the gold mine I expected, it is still a nice little treasure, which might turn out to have more value in the future… reply value that is.




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