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Christ, man, this is the first one I've even heard of! Except Paths of glory. Just goes to show how limited my knowledge is...Just when I think I have a respectable knowledge and watching experience, something like this happens. I didn't even see Mark here. Is it POSSIBLE he hasn't seen them all?!

'The Deerhunter' (1978)


This movie often features in the "Greatest ever" war movies or some such list. I do feel it is a movie worth watching but also feel it is overrated. The main reason for this is the pacing. It feels so disjointed. The first act is over an hour long, in which we learn all about their current, working class lives. Then within 5 minutes of the second act, our heroes have been to war and been captured. It just felt like Michael Cimino didn't have the budget to film the war scenes he wanted so the entire 2nd act was rushed.

Obviously you can't ignore the iconic, horrifying scenes that the movie is infamous for, or the acting by Walken and de Niro. But I think overall I'd give it 7/10 due to the long winded 1st act and slightly bizarre pacing. Good but not great.
Anyway, I love this. Deeply emotional etc. Beautiful film. And the score. My nam fave is The Killing Fields however. The Bridge on the river Kwai as my fave war.

My only objection would be that it drives too much on pathos. So, i agree a bit. It's a bit overrated.

I don't know if you're right about the budget, but didn't he make the biggest flop in history? I think it's even in the Guinness book of records! Heaven's gate, what's it called?

i also think Christopher overshadowed Robert here. And speaking of overrated, I'm not gonna invite trouble by saying Robert is overrated, i love him, but I also feel there are better actors, like Alec Guinness, Kevin Spacey, Sean Penn, Ewan McGregor, James Dean, Christopher Lee, Gene Hackman, Jack Lemmon, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Christian Bale etc.

I love The Deer Hunter, I'd certainly never argue against anyone saying it's drawn out in places but personally I have no issue with the brevity or lack of war scenes as those salient to the human drama that unfolds are all in place and the war serving as both backdrop and context is enough for me without it potentially distracting from that story.
I agree 100%.

Yes, I think the movie is strong enough in the right places to be considered a good movie, but I was just surprised by how quickly we were thrust into the harrowing war scenes after such a long drawn out first act.
Maybe the point is to show horrors of war without actually showing war itself?



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Christ, man, this is the first one I've even heard of! Except Paths of glory. Just goes to show how limited my knowledge is...Just when I think I have a respectable knowledge and watching experience, something like this happens. I didn't even see Mark here. Is it POSSIBLE he hasn't seen them all?!



Anyway, I love this. Deeply emotional etc. Beautiful film. And the score. My nam fave is The Killing Fields however. The Bridge on the river Kwai as my fave war.

My only objection would be that it drives too much on pathos. So, i agree a bit. It's a bit overrated.

I don't know if you're right about the budget, but didn't he make the biggest flop in history? I think it's even in the Guinness book of records! Heaven's gate, what's it called?

i also think Christopher overshadowed Robert here. And speaking of overrated, I'm not gonna invite trouble by saying Robert is overrated, i love him, but I also feel there are better actors, like Alec Guinness, Kevin Spacey, Sean Penn, Ewan McGregor, James Dean, Christopher Lee, Gene Hackman, Jack Lemmon, Marlon Brando, Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Christian Bale etc.



I agree 100%.



Maybe the point is to show horrors of war without actually showing war itself?
I agree on some points, especially the last bit but I'm really not sure Ewan McGegor is a better actor than Robert de Niro!



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'Dunkirk' (2017)


Possible spoilers ahead

Very well scored, very well shot, Rylance is a beast in it. Emotional ending. Brannagh is quite good and I loved how the timelines overlapped and then came together.

2 things bothered me:

-The mole timeline seems quite far away from the other 2 timelines in order for them to catch up with each other, unless I misread it.

-Cillian Murphy's character doesn't have much say, other than in the pleasure boat timeline. I would have liked to see him more in the mole timeline to understand his character, instead we just get this isolated look at his shellshocked self. I get that this was what Nolan was going for. To make the point that in this war, death comes from anywhere and can strike anyone no matter what their part. I just thought he didn't quite nail it as far as Murphy's character goes.

All in all though, incredibly entertaining and well Directed. 8/10



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'A Ghost Story' (2017)



David Lowery's latest feels like a film that will be revered in 10 to 15 years time. I enjoyed 2013's 'Ain't them bodies Saints' - but this is a whole new ballgame. It's a complex, ambitious, minimalist almost 'art-house mystery drama' take on the human condition, existentialism and lets us realise that we are each a tiny pinprick of the bigger picture.

It does deal in death and grief, as you might expect. But the overall message is more along the lines of a love story, but not in the traditional sense. The way Lowery expands on the relationship between man and his surroundings and man and woman is breathtaking and just left me totally overcome with emotion towards the end of the film.

This movie will divide opinions. There will be those that think it's experimental, pretentious nonsense. But if you let it take you for a ride, and let it give you an experience rather than a traditional narrative, then it won't disappoint. Overall I'd describe it as a "rumination on the enormity of life, love and time". It's an abstract viewpoint. A visual poem. Plus, some of the photography is mesmerising, and the score by Daniel Hart is absolutely perfect for setting the tone. It's also shot in a square aspect ratio that gives you the sense that we are watching a very personal interpretation.

At the theatre I was in, 3 people walked out. One can only assume they were after some throwaway fright flick. They missed the film of 2017.




Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
I'm really hoping this is better than Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Pete's Dragon and St. Nick. I can tell you obviously did.
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I'm really hoping this is better than Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Pete's Dragon and St. Nick. I can tell you obviously did.
Yeah let me know you're thoughts on it. It's a totally different film. I've not seen St. Nick though.



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Barbara (2012)


Set in 1980s Germany, a languid tale of a woman who leads a pretty miserable existence. Explores themes of forbidden love, the stasi, pre unification troubles, paranoia and mental health etc. It didn’t match the heights of ‘The Lives of Others’ and instead resembled ‘The Marriage of Maria Braun’ in terms of stunted dialogue, lack of score etc. It’s a solid movie but it didn’t tug at my emotions as much as it could have, save for the finale. The performances though, were absolutely top drawer. Nina Hoss was just supreme as the lead role.




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‘Shot Caller’ (2017)


Watched this movie on a whim. There are a few good performances along with some graphic violence. The premise is a mix of Scarface, A Prophet and Breaking Bad, so it is a touch derivative. What ruined it slightly was the constant force feeding of information to let us know what is happening, this culminated in one scene towards the end that literally told us the plot as if read out of a book it was based on. It’s not too bad for a Saturday night popcorn film but there are brutal prison scenes throughout.




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‘Talk to Her’ (2002)


Recurring themes of maternity, sex, gender from Pedro Almodovar. But done very very well. The relationship between the two men I found massively engaging. There was an almost symmetrical way that the story was told between them, and some of the camera shots were lovely. I’m on a mission to explore Almodovar’s movies and this didn’t disappoint.




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‘Frantz’ (2017)


I’d heard some good things about Francoi Ozon’s World War 1 drama, but nothing prepared me for how good the movie is. How a 22 year old can play the female lead as well as this makes my mind boggle, it was an outstanding performance from Paula Beer.

The movie centres around a foreigner that arrives at a small German town after the war, and what unfolds is a beautiful tale of love and loss. Peace, death, jealousy and grief are also all doled out in the 2 hours as well as some stunning looking photography, some monochrome, some not.

Great, great film




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'About Elly' (2009)


A Very compelling synopsis of Iranian culture mixed in with the deceit and mistrust it can sometimes presumably cause. Just as good as his follow up 'A Separation', perhaps even better - and as with most of Farhadi's films, he really gets the best out of his cast. He is a masterful story teller.




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'The King of Comedy' - Martin Scorsese



Strangely, I watched this shortly before Jerry Lewis' death. Never seen it before. I really enjoyed the balance of desperate black humour and tension, especially towards the end. Pupkin is a great character, and Sandra Bernhard and Lewis were very fine support. I wouldn't say it's one of Scorsese's best, but it's still very watchable.




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'Una' (2016)



Enjoyable but disjointed. Nice premise, 2 great leads and nicely supported by Riz Ahmed. But in the end there are too many "that would never happens".




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'Beatriz at Dinner' (2017)


Director Miguel Arteta has given us a take on modern America here. There's plenty of them about, but this one is a pretty brutal portrayal of the helplessness and frustration felt by so many at this point in time. I'm not sure I've seen Salma Hayek give a performance like this before. At times, her personality in this film is so secluded it's almost creepy. I would guess that is what the film-makers are going for to convey this sense of futile anger that so many of us feel on an almost daily basis.

The premise of the movie isn't original - poor foreign born woman rallies against entitled white folk. But the way in which it unfolds outside of the first 5 minutes and the last 5 minutes, in a chamber piece style tone is very, very well done.

The message of uncertainty at the film's conclusion is actually quite terrifying. And the movie will probably split audiences on account of there being very few payoffs. But it's a hugely gripping journey while it lasts, and Hayek is ably supported by John Lithgow and Connie Britton who take turns in seeing who can be the vilest character on screen. There are cliches involved when it comes to getting us to this point, but I'm unsure how the writers would have made us hate these characters this much if they weren't included. There's an undercurrent of resentment and animosity in this film, understandably. Whether it is justified will be a matter of hindsight I expect.

I'd probably give this a 7.8 out of 10. But 4 popcorns out of 5 will suffice.




You can't win an argument just by being right!
Hmpfff I might have to start stalking your movie ratings, Scarlet. All of those hve just gone on my list.



You can't win an argument just by being right!
I would be honoured
nd I've only seen the last page so far. Going to bookmark your review thread. *stalker alert*



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'The 400 Blows'


Yes, I'd never seen it before, and I am ashamed. I can see why it is seen as a sort of milestone in cinema. The way it is shot is quite lovely. It looks like it was made about 25 years after it actually was. The final scene of Antoine running to the beach is a thing of beauty. His performance in the whole thing is quite remarkable, more like that of a seasoned actor than a youngster. The other shots wandering through streets, putting the rubbish out, cameras on ceilings and inside of fairground rides are also very cleverly done.

I can only imagine how much filmmakers must have been inspired by this at the time. Truffaut was obviously a pioneer. I will try to seek out the follow ups to this film.




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'The Fountain' (2006)


A beautiful lament on mortality. Darren Aronofsky's an absolute master at getting inside the psyche and exploring how the human brain copes with adversity. This film has gone straight into my top 100, despite having a few flaws. The sheer audacity of telling a tale that interweaves present day, pre civilization and years into the future is to be admired. I'm certain that in time, this film will be revered in the same way that some of Tarkovsky and Kubrick's films are now. And the score from Clint Mansell is beyond perfect.

8.5/10