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The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame IV

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cricket's Avatar
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Those Northeast prices give me heartburn just looking at them.
The apartment looks nice, but yikes to the price. If it was me I'd be staying in a van down by the river
No way in hell I'd pay 3500 a month for an apartment. That's insanity
Mine is 2795, not sure why apt K is so much more as it's the same size. Then it's $60 per month each dog, but I wrote a letter claiming them as emotional support animals and had my therapist friend email it from her account



Mine is 2795, not sure why apt K is so much more as it's the same size.

Then it's $60 per month each dog, but I wrote a letter claiming them as emotional support animals and had my therapist friend email it from her account
I like that!

Question, is that apartment like a temp thing as you find another house? or are you planning on living there long term?



Well, I just finished watching An Autumn Afternoon, so all I need is to write my final review and I'm done.
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movies can be okay...
Sweet Smell of Success (1957) directed by Alexander Mackendrick



Even though Burt Lancaster's face is all over the posters and is probably the more recognized figure out of this film, Tony Curtis carries the movie for me. He delivers the best performance out of the bunch. His character is charismatic and tricky and just so interesting to follow, especially when he hops around from place to place cleverly orchestrating devious plans and shenanigans to get what he wants. He's also nuanced enough to have a conscience and moral limits, but that sweet smell of success always hypnotizes him to turn the other cheek and just go along with whatever wrongdoing. He's in practice just as evil as J.J. but is clearly not malicious and infinitely more entertaining to watch. So let's talk about J.J. (Lancaster's character) for a sec. I didn't find him to be enjoyable at all. He has no charisma and simply comes off as creepy, which begs the question of how he got into the position of power he's in while being so unlikeable. Add to that the fact that he's extremely controlling of his sister's dating life, without us getting any backstory or explanation as to why, to the point where it comes off as incestual. And if that's what they were going for, I would've loved for the film to boldly push the boundaries in that direction instead of having it be so vague that it's unrecognizable and unsubstantiated. In this case it is also very important for me to get some sort of motive out of J.J. because his character had nothing for me to latch onto, and that made him super uninteresting, so anything that could've added to his character would've definitely helped.

To finish off with my problems with the film, the stakes overall were way too low for me to care about the main conflict, especially when most of the people involved in it are vanilla cakes. J.J., his sister, and her boyfriend all have nothing to show or write home about, they were all boring to me. Also, did anyone think the ending was weird as ****? First of all, who phoned Sidney? I'm pretty sure J.J. did, but the fact that it was an "urgent" call yet he wasn't already in his house waiting and the way the film was building things up as if to expect a twist all made me believe otherwise. But the weirdest part was Lancaster's reaction to Sidney "touching" his sister. You would think that J.J. would have enough trust in Sid by now to know he has more sense than ever crossing that line, so not only was his reaction nonsensical, but it also put him in a corner that would immediately expose him to his sister (not that it wasn't obvious already), and you'd think he would at least care about that. I really still can't tell if J.J. was just acting about with his ludicrous reaction or if he's genuinely that psychotic over his sister, it's not made clear at all, because he then calls Kello and sells Sid out even further while his sister is literally in the next room which should undoubtedly fully expose that he was behind everything, so again...for such a calculated and successful man he sure becomes a complete mess unnecessarily.

On the other hand, there's a lot of other stuff I loved about the movie, the cinematography being one of them. I mean holy hell the mise-en-scŤne in this film is unbeatable. The dialogue is sharp and impeccable, but it also feels a little too overstuffed at times because it's non-stop quotable line after quotable line. And as I've already stated, the most enjoyable elements were just watching Tony Curtis moving around New York city, finessing people and executing his devilish plans.
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"A film has to be a dialogue, not a monologue ó a dialogue to provoke in the viewer his own thoughts, his own feelings. And if a film is a dialogue, then itís a good film; if itís not a dialogue, itís a bad film."
- Michael "Gloomy Old Fart" Haneke



AN AUTUMN AFTERNOON
(1962, Ozu)



"In the end, we spend our lives alone... all alone."

An Autumn Afternoon follows Shūhei Hirayama (Chishū Ryū), an aging widower torn between his parental duty of arranging a marriage for her daughter, Michiko (Shima Iwash!ta) and her desire to remain with him and take care of him and her younger brother. If it sounds similar to other film, that's because there are several parallelisms between this film and Ozu's own Late Spring, which I saw in December last year.

On that film, however, the focus is mostly on the character of the daughter, whereas here, Ozu decides to focus on the father. This is my third Ozu film within less than a year, and it's just another evidence of how well he can craft compelling and moving stories from seemingly mundane family occurrences, which he does with great writing and excellent performances.

Just as he has done in the other Ozu films I've seen, Ryū does a great job of transmitting the inner dilemma within Hirayama. His performances are not flashy, but there's such a calming aura in his delivery and presence, and you can see the genuine care for his children in his performance. Iwash!ta's role isn't as meatier as Setsuko Hara's were, but she does a great job with the moments she gets.

I won't deny that there is a certain element of "been there, done that" to the film, since it pretty much follows the same beats as Late Spring, but coming 13 years after that film, it's interesting to see tinges of "evolution" and "growth" in how men and women, fathers and children interact. Just like with Late Spring, I have some very minor issues with the notion of an "arranged marriage", but that's not on Ozu, but the culture itself. Still, I like how Hirayama doesn't force things on his daughter as he's setting things up ("I'm not insisting on this other man. If you don't like him, you can say so") which, again, shows some degree of growth in the country's overall culture and Ozu himself.

I'm still wondering why Ozu invested so much time into the whole "golf clubs" issue. Maybe I missed something, but I feel like he could've nipped most of that and it would've felt tighter. I also feel that this film didn't pack as much of an emotional punch as the other films of his I've seen. Maybe it's because of its similarities to Late Spring, or maybe it's because I feel it kinda lacked a more defining and climatic moment towards its last act, but I still found myself moved by it.

I just realized after watching this that Ozu never married, and that he lived all of his life with his mother, dying from cancer two years after her. This adds a bit more weight to the film, as far as being his final film but also in how it approaches the subject of loneliness, particularly as you get older. Some of the characters reiterate the point that I quoted above, but also warning not to end up "lonely and sad". Regardless of what we do, we spend our lives alone. The other part's on us.

Grade:



@cricket, remind me of the rules. I just need to send you my list ranked from 1-10 (best to worst) and that's it, right?



@cricket, remind me of the rules. I just need to send you my list ranked from 1-10 (best to worst) and that's it, right?
My choice for you goes first then the rest doesn't matter to me

*We send Cricket by PM, our ranked voting list, from best to worst as you mentioned.



My choice for you goes first then the rest doesn't matter to me
If only I knew who sent what



*Thanks



Thursday Next's Avatar
I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Wendy and Lucy (2008)

This one was surprisingly quite hard to get hold of - had to buy it off ebay in the end.

It's an extremely low key drama about a woman just passing through a town loses her dog after her car breaks down and she gets arrested for shoplifting. I don't really like either misery dramas or sad films about animals, so I was a little wary going into this but it wasn't particularly sentimental or heavy handed. Although there definitely is drama and tension, it's so low key overall that it doesn't feel manipulative.

I have mixed feelings about Kelly Reichardt films. They're a very definite style, and I do appreciate them in some ways, but they don't always completely work for me. There's something about the mumbly, at times amateurish, acting and lack of a script that is sometimes more annoying than achieving realism, and there's almost always an ending that leaves you wondering where the ending is. In some ways this was similar to Nomadland - but I think Nomadland did the things that were similar much better.

Michelle Williams was good as Wendy. I was struck how much Michelle Williams in this resembled Jesse Eisenberg in Night Moves - I don't know if it is something about the direction that required the same mannerisms.

I think this is probably the best of Reichardt's films that I have seen.



Thursday Next's Avatar
I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

Man on Wire (2008)


So this was an interesting experiment where I had already seen the drama and now I'm going back to watch the documentary. It's a good film on it's merits of filmmaking, the reenactments are solid the score is really strong and Phillippe Petite is incredibly charismatic. But yeah this was just a rehash of the film I had already saw so it didn't really work for me..it was just kinda a slough something to get over with. Some stories can be told multiple times others lose most of the impact on a second telling and this is the sort of story that loses it's impact on second telling.
I think you're probably right about the story losing its impact, so it probably really depends on which version you watch first. I liked the doc, but I've put off watching the movie version for just that reason, feeling like it would just be a rehash. I think I will watch it sometime when enough time has passed since I saw the doc that I've forgotten some details.



I haven't seen The Walk, but one of the things I admire the most about Man on Wire is that there is no actual footage of it, and still, James Marsh managed to create an extremely engaging and tense atmosphere and sustain it through most of the duration of the documentary. I think the heist-like vibe to it really helps to sell it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Grizzly Man (2005)

Sam Egli: We have a saying "He never scared the Horses".

A Documentary by Werner Herzog about an amateur Bear enthusiast, Timothy Treadwell who spent some thirteen summers in the wild of Alaska filming and interacting with grizzly bears and red foxes only to be eventually eaten by a rogue, starving, old bear that, unlike the group of bears he had known for the past decade simply saw him as food.
A fate he had danced around and known could very well be his final outcome. With his love for the area and his almost child-like awe, admiration, and blind love for the one true place he found a sense of belonging.

Along with Timothy's passionate ravings and personal insights of equally insecure and egotistical self-proclamation, Herzog, whose own view of Nature is a more realistic one brings a balancing rod that delves into Timothy's Child of Nature dogma sans scientific practicalities and long-term effects of what he believed as his Life's Work.
Interviewing friends, parents, Nature Preserve Officials, the Coroner, and the helicopter pilot that flew him out and eventually found his and his girlfriend's corpses.

After viewing this rather interesting and well-paced Documentary I am unsure if I could easily dismiss Treadwell as a foolish child-man playing chances or simply someone of great passion and love, drunk with the joy of leaving civilization behind in the face of the enchantment of the wildness for all its Beauty and for all of it's Danger.

A VERY solid recommendation and VERY worthy of its 21 Awards.
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What makes Grizzly Man a little hard for me, in retrospect, is the fact that Treadwell was clearly dealing with some mental health issues. (See: the meltdown over the bee).

Watching footage, used without consent of the person in the footage, of someone with mental health problems just makes me a bit wibbly. I do get that his family allowed the use of the footage, that they wanted his story shared, and I appreciate the decision not to directly use any of the footage of his death.

I probably need to revisit it at some point. My response was very positive when I first watched it.