ScarletLion's Movie Log

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the samoan lawyer's Avatar
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I liked Blue Ruin more than I liked Green Room. But that's just because I prefer movies in the ilk of Blue Ruin. Both were very watchable. I've not seen 'Murder Party', which he also produced and starred in with Saulnier directing. I'm not convinced it's my thing.

Like you, I preferred Blue Ruin to Green Room. In fact, I thought Green Room was pretty disappointing. Not seen Murder Party either but its on the watchlist.
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'4.1 miles' (2016)

Directed by Daphne Matziaraki




A harrowing, heartbreaking, disturbing 22 minute short focusing on the captain of the coastguard ship on a Greek Island who gets continually called out to save the lives of thousands of Syrian and Afghan Migrants coming across from Turkey on poorly constructed vessels. There is little closure here. It's just a slice of life type short on the continuing humanitarian scandal we occasionally get to hear about.



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Scarlet, have you watched The White Helmets (2016)? Think you'd really like it.
I've been trying to get a copy. I don't have Netflix at the moment. I did a bit of research on that and apparently the white helmets are not seen in the same light by some Syrians as they are portrayed in the film. That's putting it mildly.






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'What Maisie Knew'



Didn't click with me this really. I appreciated the tone of the film and the performances were ok. But I think it would have been better with more working class families or set as a miserable British film. The good looking characters were moving from high rise millionaire appartments to idylic beach houses and travelling the world in between. It seems made for some sort of middle class audience. I'm quite shocked it's rated on IMDB so highly. 6/10 at the most.



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'The Salesman' (2016)


This movie has had a lot of praise recently, so I was interested to see if it lived up to the hype. Asghar Farhadi places us in the lives of a contemporary Iranian couple who go through an ordeal which forces them to make a few important decisions. The film therefore explores elements of morality, fate, death and 'karmic balance' for want of a better phrase. It is also about marriage breakdown, and the different roles of men and women in society. Farhadi masterfully manages to make us question each of these roles and what we really should be perceiving in each of our own societies. The backdrop of both the school and the play engineers these thoughts into our minds, and I'm not sure there is a better Director out there at doing these types of unsettling psychological real life pieces.

It's an interesting revenge tale that intertwines Arthur Miller's play 'Death of a Salesman' with a similar real life quandry, and the resemblance of the play and the movie's plot is familiar, but not so similar that it causes the movie to lose focus. The performances, as with most of Farhadi's films are tremendous. The lead couple are absolutely captivating, and deserve all the praise they get. It was noticeable that the cast is also not too large. There are only a few characters which helps to create a little claustrophobic world.

There were similarities in tone and atmosphere to Farhadi's 'A Separation' which is no bad thing. Unsettling sequences, lack of score, eerie silences, drab buildings all help to make sure we are transported to the environment that the couple face.

The film's pacing is also a plus, and the tension just builds and builds into the climax that Farhadi uses very well to make his point. If I had to point out one flaw it was that the set of their play looked vastly expensively assembled considering it was an amateur dramatic production but that would be missing the point a bit.

I'd recommend this film to anyone who enjoys suspenseful, analogy driven dramas. Farhadi is a gem of a director.



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'Hard Eight' (1996)


This is a peach of a movie. There's no other way of saying it. Paul Thomas Anderson's first ever movie feels like it should be his fifth or sixth. His camera movement, tracking shots, close ups etc are all brilliantly done and the film overall feels like a neatly done Scorsese / Cohen Brothers collaboration. Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly and Gwyneth Paltrow were all excellent and helped to create a mix of naivety, mishap and tragedy.


Some Directors take years to learn their craft, others are just born with it and PTA demonstrates his freakish talent right out of the blocks in this one.

The film has also not dated. It feels like it could have been made in the last few years.

Excellent. 8.3/10



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'Carancho' (2010)


This movie packs a punch. The second act lacked a tiny bit of go forward, but you realise that, by the amazingly powerful 3rd act - it was just setting us up for the punch. And it was a knockout blow.

I've never seen Ricardo Darin star in a bad movie. I'm sure there are some, but they're not on my radar. This isn't considered Pablo Trapero's best movie by a long shot, so I'm now on the lookout for more. 8/10



Must be doin sumthin right
'Hard Eight' (1996)

This is a peach of a movie. There's no other way of saying it. Paul Thomas Anderson's first ever movie feels like it should be his fifth or sixth. His camera movement, tracking shots, close ups etc are all brilliantly done and the film overall feels like a neatly done Scorsese / Cohen Brothers collaboration. Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly and Gwyneth Paltrow were all excellent and helped to create a mix of naivety, mishap and tragedy.

Some Directors take years to learn their craft, others are just born with it and PTA demonstrates his freakish talent right out of the blocks in this one.
Agreed with all this. Despite never not feeling like some ripoff artist whippersnapper's audition movie, it's still irresistibly assured and confident and compelling enough that all you can do is throw up your hands and give the guy millions of dollars to make a porn movie. Best scene is the opening diner conversation; which feels like the whole reason he made the movie in the first place



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'Eden' (2012)


I don't think I've ever seen a movie that has disturbed me so much yet has so little graphic illustration on screen. There are zero sex scenes, and very little violence, yet the entire film is conducted in a version of hell that is so real, the normal person can only guess at what it would have been like.

WARNING: "spoils" spoilers below
It's based on the true story of Chong Kim who is abducted and used as part of a human trafficking and sex slave ring.
The real life travails of Chong Kim, are too disturbing to document here. She has an essay that I may one day read but haven't had the guts to yet. Here's the link:

http://www.survivorarchivesproject.c...ong-n-kim.html

This film adapts her story and does it very well, thanks to Megan Griffiths direction. The lead is played by Jamie Cheung and she does a great job. The horror and unspeakable crimes that her captors inflict make you wonder what the level of human being below scumbag is.

Unfortunately, the movie suffers from an average script and some below average performances (Beau Bridges is pretty woeful as the sherriff). But it's one of those movies that I'd recommend despite giving only a 6 or 6.5 out of 10.



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Nice review Scarlet. I've not seen it yet so I've bumped it up the watch list.
Have you got a movie log thread? I'd be interested in reading it if you have. If not. start one!



I've seen Eden, it was a made for TV movie. I feel like I've seen a few movies like that but they're usually exploitive. I thought it was pretty solid.



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Actually from what I'm seeing now it wasn't a made for TV movie. I saw it on TV and I swear that's how it was advertised.
Yeah the production values are slightly higher than a made for tv movie. It's worth watching just to see what unspeakable crimes some people are capable of.



the samoan lawyer's Avatar
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Have you got a movie log thread? I'd be interested in reading it if you have. If not. start one!

I keep threatening to do a movie log or a top 100 but I just cant get the time. I only really get on here during a break at work, hence why I don't post much but maybe some day I'll get a countdown going.



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'Lilya-4-Ever' (2002)


WARNING: "spolier" spoilers below
I watched this not knowing the film's content at all, and seeing as 'Eden' was the last film I saw, it was a complete coincidence that the films resembled each other so much. Therefore I decided to put this in a spoiler just incase. The similarities end at the subject content however.


This movie is something else. I think it will take me days, if not, weeks to digest what I've just seen. It's realism on another scale. Beautiful, heartbreaking cinema. I expect many people will call this movie' miserable', but for me it is completely the opposite. It made me think that there is a message of hope and faith in there. It's easy to label this purely a film about the criminal elements explored. But it is way more than that.

It's gone straight into my top 100.

9/10



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Meh, not a fan of the second half of Lilya 4-Ever at all which is a shame as the first half was nicely made. Sorry.
I guess it's not for everybody but I found it gut wrenchingly brilliant.