ScarletLion's Movie Log

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It was me who mentioned it . Yeah, i thought it was pretty good. Was bleak as hell but i usually really like bleak British films. Arnold is great, i've liked everything she's done. Fish Tanks would be my least favourite but i still like it; haven't seen her Wuthering Heights.

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It was me who mentioned it . Yeah, i thought it was pretty good. Was bleak as hell but i usually really like bleak British films. Arnold is great, i've liked everything she's done. Fish Tanks would be my least favourite but i still like it; haven't seen her Wuthering Heights.
Excellent. We seem to have the same taste in British films. Have you seen the excellent 'The Selfish Giant' ?

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Never heard of it. It looks good, will try and see it soon.
I absolutely loved it. I think you will enjoy it too. It has a very Ken Loach feel to it.

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'Under the Shadow' (2016)

I'd heard great things about this, with some movie critics even calling it the best film of 2016. It wasn't. Don't get me wrong it's not a bad film. It is very well made and the two female leads are extremely convincing. Where I had trouble was:

WARNING: "slight" spoilers below
-The sheer amount of metaphors for terror/oppression that we are getting. The missile, the crack in the roof, the book, the garage door, her dead mother, the husband, the doll, the djinn ghost, the mute kid, the door slamming, the tape on the windows, the locked drawer etc etc etc

They all jumble up in to one big metaphor of oppression and terror that she experiences. Which is fine but it was just too overbearing.

Maybe I over-analysed this movie in looking for one single thing that was driving her to have a breakdown, when it was all of the things she was experiencing in her life. I'm not sure, but it just felt muddled and I felt that Babadook was a better movie of this kind of subject. Disappointed 6/10

'American History X'

I've always been keen to watch this as it's highly rated. Edward Norton's performance stood out as extremely strong and brought back memories of the excellent 'Primal Fear'. Even Furlong was convincing (not an actor I particularly admire). The message was quite clearly spelled out at the end as we read Danny's paper. And that is...... hate doesn't work.

As I was watching it, it became quite clear that:

1) It is a very important film and I can imagine that the reason it's held up so well is that the message is so vital to take on board in order to make society stand up and realise what society should be, and that no matter what "justification" there appears at the time, violence just breeds violence.

2) Unfortunately, the message hasn't got through and the implications of the character's actions still mirror everyday life. I'm sure I don't need to rant anymore about the films moral and how it relates to current affairs, so I won't.

The transformation / 'rehabilitation' of Derek Vinyard was fascinating to watch. I think it all begins when he sees the hypocritical nature of the skinheads in prison (buying drugs from the very people they are supposed to despise) - showing that the neo-nazi bravado is just a sham.

I have 1 question:
WARNING: "Question" spoilers below
The character of 'Lamont' - the black prison inmate that leads to Derek's transformation - How much influence does he really have? And does he have any connection with the 'crips' (the black gang that eventually kill Derek's younger brother?

I thought it was an extremely good watch; although the early basketball scene had the completely wrong tone (felt like something out of Rocky when it needed to be more sinister). So there were minor flaws but overall I'd say it's a movie everyone should have on their lists. It would probably make my Top 100.


Best movie ever right here nice review buddy Ed Norton performance is out of this world

For the spoiler: Nope he is not with the gang.
''Haters are my favourite. I've built an empire with the bricks they've thrown at me... Keep On Hating''
- CM Punk

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Best movie ever right here nice review buddy Ed Norton performance is out of this world

For the spoiler: Nope he is not with the gang.
Thanks for that. I always wondered why you were called Derek Vinyard, then within like 5 minutes of this movie starting I was like "Oh that's why the poster on MOFO is called Derek Vinyard". I am now at peace.

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'The French Connection' (1971)

Another classic. I really liked this. It felt very real, as if I was taking a tour of New York City with some cops. And some of the shots were lovely to look at. There were flaws, the biggest one was the scene in the underground car park where Roy Scheider's character literally bumps into the criminal Sal Bocca and exchanges words - I thought at the time Scheider was a dirty cop. That scene was a bit muddled. But the rest of it, wow it was brilliantly edited and acted. Gene Hackman is a bona fide hollywood legend.

The way Freakdin creates a mystery within a mystery is also great. He leaves us with little tantalysing images of French advertsiments, French logos, and the "word connection" etc I expect he was having fun with us, but I enjoyed his shennanigans.

All in all a really enjoyable cops and robbers turn with little Hollywood sentimentalism or cliches to be seen.


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'Other People' (2016)

This is a movie that deals with alot of common themes; family life, difficult news, dealing with sexuality, life and death. And it does them quite well. Jesse Plemmons is rather good as the main character, and Molly Shannon is excellent as the mum. It was very funny in 2 or 3 places but the constant product placement got on my nerves - maybe that's how the movie was financed, but every 5 minutes there was a mention of pepsi, jc penney or applebee's etc It will not break any cinematic moulds but is ok for a gentle nights movie viewing.

6.9 cup cakes out of 10.

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'The Horseman' (2008)

I saw this mentioned in another thread and thought it looked worth visiting. It was a violent and gritty revenge flick but in all honesty too far fetched. Basically like a more dramatic, less cheesy Australian version of Commando. Disappointing 5/10

'Margaret' (2011)

I was keen to look at a couple more Kenneth Lonergan movies after enjoying 'Manchester by the Sea' so much. It's long and slow (150 mins) and half way through I did wonder where it was going, consequently it does ebb and flow.. Having said that, on reflection after completing the film it is actually a pretty interesting character driven piece that explores personality dynamics in families and guilt and closure. Anna Pacquin does an amazing turn as the awkward teen, if a little hystrionic at times, and it's far more than a coming of age story.

Jeannie Berlin is also very good as Emily the deceased's friend, although is only marginally more neurotic than the rest of the characters.

I will say that it has one of the most powerfully beautiful endings I've seen in a long time. Lonergan sure knows how to captivate an audience.

I stuck with it and it delivered. 8/10

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I've not seen Margaret but like you, after watching and loving Manchester by the Sea, its definitely piqued my interest. Glad you enjoyed it.
Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

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'Paterson' (2016)

I'v not seen many Jim Jarmusch films. Dead Man was ok but here's always something ethereal and dream like about them. Paterson is the same in that it meanders along with repetitive scenes, dialogue and features. I enjoyed the overall premise, and the notion that anyone can be a poet or an artist if they have it in them.Some of the characters were almost Lynchian and some of the shots were like a Terrence Mallick movie.

I felt a little frustrated though that it took 2 hours to get to this. Maybe it was because I expected the themes (Twins, black and white, waterfalls) to link up in some way. I guess that's for us to work out. Maybe it means that there is a ying to your yang if you look hard enough or that there is a perfect version of you in there somewhere if you let it out. All in all, I wasn't 100% sure what the deeper meaning of it all meant. Maybe that's my error though.

A nice dreamy movie but I'm not sure it hit the high notes 6.5/10

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'The Fits' (2015)

A very impressive debut from Anna Rose Holmer. I watched this on a recommendation of a friend and I have to say I thought it was excellent. Especially from a first time feature length film-maker.

It is a coming of age story but developed as an abstract like tale. There are large parts with no dialogue and no music. What little score there is features creepy, unsettling sounds yet we are centered on a community hub for youths and a dance troupe. It all makes for compelling viewing with a fantastically filmed ending. The young lady who plays the lead is also surely destined for greater things (Royalty Hightower).

This film won't be for everybody. It tells it's story in unusual ways. But I recommend it. 8/10

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'Rififi' (1955)

Jules Dassin's 1950s Noir thriller is set in Paris and right from the outset, we are transported into this dark world of "hoods" where loveable rogues and femme fatales dance, drink smoke and plot cunning plans to rob jewelers and banks.

The film centres around Tony, Jo and Mario who plot to commit the perfect crime. The first and third acts are the human, emotional elements where we see families, lost lovers, loneliness and regret. This, in turn, explains why the characters act like they do. But what is remarkable about this film is the second act that features the heist scene. During this scene, we hear creaks, screwdrivers, drills, sighs, coughs, knocks, footsteps; but there is not a word spoken, nor a hint of music for around half an hour (a quarter of the film's running time). This scene where we see the characters carry out their cunning plan is surely one of the most tense, daring and captivating scenes in noir cinema. It's a huge compliment to Dassin's craft that an audience can remain so hypnotized and charmed by this eerily gratifying sequence, the likes of which are few and far between in today's cinema.

The amount of films that seem to have directly benefited from Rififi are endless. It reminded me of Reservoir Dogs, The Killing, The Sting, Ocean's Eleven and perhaps even HEAT and Mission Impossible. That should be enough to note how inspirational and influential this movie is.

The main message may be an often repeated one, which seems to be that crime doesn't pay, but the way in which it is told (not least from Jo's wife who claims that Jo's poverty stricken friends who didn't turn to crime are the real tough guys) sets it apart from others. The fact that it doesn't follow the glorification of crime that other heist / noir movies can sometimes do is also a huge bonus.

There are flaws. It may have borrowed certain aspects from 'The Asphalt Jungle', and the editing in some scenes is far from perfect, with some scenes cutting rather abruptly, but surely we can forgive that for a film that is over 60 years old.

Rififi is a must see.