Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit
(1988)

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Gary K. Wolf(novel), Jeffrey Price(screenplay)
Cast: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy
Genre: Animation-Live Action, Adventure, Comedy

About: A down and out, toon-hating, boozen detective, Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) is Roger Rabbit's (voice by Charles Fleischer) only hope of beating a framed-up murder rap. The suspects include Roger Rabbit's voluminous & voluptuous wife, Jessica Rabbit (voice by Kathleen Turner). Into the mix comes the mysterious and dangerous Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) who takes a twisted pleasure in dipping toons in a deadly toxic solution.



Review: Who Framed Roger Rabbit is the most innovative animated movie ever made. In 1988 it was the most expensive movie ever made...and one of the longest to make too. It took 7months for principal photography(filming of live actors), another month of blue screen work...and an excruciating 14 months in post production to do the complicated animation work.

Unlike previous attempt at live action intermixed with animation, this movie went to great lengths to teach the live actors how to do pantomime so that when a human picks up a toon, it looks like he's lifting weight and not just air.



Many of the live props in the hands of the toons were shot with robotic controlled arms, then latter the animation was layered over top of it. A prime example of that is Baby Herman and his real cigar. Which moves realistically as it's a real prop shot on film and being controlled remotely.

To make it so the humans had eye contact with the toons an initial blocking scene was filmed with rubber dolls standing for the toons. Then the eye path could be checked and corrected so that humans and toons look like they're really interacting. And it works! It's easy to believe what you're seeing is true.

Bob Hoskins was the perfect choice for detective Eddie Valant, he looked the part and his annoyance at the outrageous Roger Rabbit made the movie all the more humorous.




A big shout out, to Joanna Cassidy and Christopher Lloyd, both who helped make the movie a truly fine stand out film.

I enjoyed the nod to Film Noir, circa 1947 where Hollywood meets Disney and Looney Tunes. It's totally cool to a film buff to see Jessica Rabbit patterned in the style of Rita Hayworth (Mrs. Orson) and sporting a Veronica Lake peek-a-boo hairdo. Even more fun was seeing all the old cartoon characters from Disney and Warner Bros together on the big screen for the one and only time. And just as important is the animation is drawn in the original style of the 1940s...and voiced by many of the original vocal artist, including legendary Mel Blanc.

I really enjoyed this, it was well done, entertaining, fun, with great sets and lots of neat movie related stuff in the background.

+

, this scene gets me everytime I watch the movie, a very fun movie to watch If I may add
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You do know that the guy in the picture is Orson, yes?

Come to think of it, Citizen Rules currently looks a little like Vince Vaughn (although I never would have made the connection previously)!
I hope not, but yeah that might be true



I hope not, but yeah that might be true
Now, because of the recent posts, I'm looking at your most recent avatar and seeing Vince Vaughn. As said, before this I never would have thought the two looked remotely alike (except for maybe the shapes of their heads).




Schindler's List
(Spielberg 1993)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Thomas Keneally (novel), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
Cast: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Kingsley


"In German-occupied Poland during World War II, industrialist Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazis."

That's the real Auschwitz death camp that Spielberg used in the film as seen in that screen shot. I don't even have to look that up as I instantly recognized that distinctive building with the train tracks running right threw the middle of it. And the cement ramp that takes the poor souls down to the showers, that was real too. Auschwitz must have been a hauntingly eerie place for the cast & crew to work in as so many humans were gassed to death in the showers...Then cremated in giant furnaces that ran non-stop. It's mind boggling that the holocaust could have ever happened, and yet it did happen...Spielberg pays the victims & the heroes their due respect with his film Schindler's List.

Spielberg gets kicked around a lot here at MoFo. Gawd knows I've taken pot shots at Spielberg for his big budget blockbusters with their syrupy sentimentalism and feel good moments...But damn if Spielberg didn't step away from his usual fare and instead gives us a pictorial history in film form of the events that led to Oscar Schindler saving so many Jews from certain death. The film is almost void of Spielberg's trademark 'tugging at the heart strings moments' and instead he made a film that's very European feeling in form and look. The story is presented like a French New Wave film where the narrative isn't as important as the symbolism and visuals are. It's not a typical Spielberg film at all and for stepping outside of his usual film making style I respect him.





Late Spring (Ozu 1949)
Banshun (original title)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
Writers: Kazuo Hirotsu (novel), Kôgo Noda (screenplay)
Cast: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka
Genre: Drama
Language: Japanese

"Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father."

Slow, sentimentalism...and I loved it...this is my kind of film! CR

Rarely am I moved emotionally by a film. I can enjoy a movie but it's not often that a film actually touches me emotionally...Late Spring did just that it profoundly touched me.

I found the film to be very humanly realistic. While I could understand the feelings the father had, it was Setsuku Hara as the daughter who wanted to go on living her life with her father that touched me the most. Setsuku was so good in relaying her emotions that I could image just how she felt about her decision to stay in a safe place with her father who loved her. I could also understand her apprehension about going out into the world and marrying a near complete stranger. Her happiness was infectious and her sadness palatable. Setusku was utterly charming in this!


I just love that photo and the feeling of unbridled happiness as Norkio is yet to move away from the safe life she has has known, her joy is abundantly clear.

I'm impressed by the way the director filmed this. Ozu's technique makes everything seem so personal in his film, like we're part of the household and are watching the quiet moments of life unfold before our eyes. Nothing feels rushed or contrived, it all flows so effortlessly as Ozu takes his time. It feels like time could stand still and Noriko could stay forever in the safety of her childhood home. I loved the way Ozu filmed not only the actors, especially the lovely Setsuku, but also the way he filmed the scenes...Ozu often gives us a view from afar or a view from a low angle, which makes the people seem so familiar like we're in the room with them.

I appreciated the script too, especially in the polite way two people would argue with their back and forth conversations: yes you would, no I wouldn't...yes you would. If I recall that dialogue style was repeated three times in the film, which imparts a feeling that life and people are tied together in a commonality that spans generations.




Le Samouraï (1967)
Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Writers: Jean-Pierre Melville, Georges Pellegrin
Cast: Alain Delon, François Périer, Nathalie Delon
Genre: Suspense Drama
Language: French

I absolutely loved this film. I was engaged, engrossed and encapsulated by it for its entire run time. Not one false step in this movie. There's nothing I would've changed about it...and rarely do I not find at least some issue with a film...but not here!

Le Samourai is everything I could want in a movie watching experience. I loved it's slow, still approach and it's solid determination. Even it's lack of narrative information was a plus, as watching the events unfold in almost real time was rewarding for me. It was like I was along for the ride and was waiting to see what would befall our unlikely protagonist next. The director skillfully builds sympathy for an otherwise unsavory character and he does this without dipping into the cliche bargain bin of director's tricks. I'm impressed with Melville's film making instincts!

I read online that Le Samourai has influenced a lot of film makers and their movies. That's not surprising as the style and story narrative are quite unique and striking.



But...am I the only one who sees a striking similarity between Le Samourai (1967) and This Gun for Hire (1942) starring Alan Ladd as an emotionless hitman with no friends except his cat. Just look at that photo I used above. No that's not Alain Delon/Jef Costell that's Allan Ladd with the same cold, distant look in his eyes. Both men look remarkable alike. The narrative of both films are very similar, as is the modus operandi for both characters. As far as I know Alan Ladd's portrayal of an emotionless, loner hitman was unique at the time and not a character trope.

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Nice review! I agree with all of your points (Late Spring is my 5th favorite film of all time).

And yeah, it's one of the few films which emotionally moved me on such a deep level. I love how it's able to build up emotional tension between Noriko and her father, saving the heartbreak for later instead of releasing it as the film rolls along. It makes the final act hit really hard every time I watch it.

Like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, I sometimes forget how great both these films are only to be blown away by them all over again when I rewatch them.



Nice review! I agree with all of your points (Late Spring is my 5th favorite film of all time).

And yeah, it's one of the few films which emotionally moved me on such a deep level. I love how it's able to build up emotional tension between Noriko and her father, saving the heartbreak for later instead of releasing it as the film rolls along. It makes the final act hit really hard every time I watch it.

Like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, I sometimes forget how great both these films are only to be blown away by them all over again when I rewatch them.
Thanks! All of the last three films I reviewed were in the 23rd HoF. OMG that HoF had so many great films in it! I still have more from that HoF to add to my review thread.



Thanks! All of the last three films I reviewed were in the 23rd HoF. OMG that HoF had so many great films in it! I still have more from that HoF to add to my review thread.
Though I missed the 23rd HoF, I'm enjoying the 24th one quite a lot. Though I've only seen a few movies from it so far, I'm looking forward to several of them.

(p.s. make sure to put Vampyr at the top of your ballot after you finish )




Jojo Rabbit
(Taika Waititi, 2019)

Who knew Hitler could be so fun! At least when Taika Waititi plays him! Oh sure he doesn't look like the Fuhrer, but realism isn't what we really want here. We want to see the lighter side of Nazism while have a good laugh at the Third Reich.

Did this movie go to far? Hell no! There ain't nothing offensive here, it ain't that kind of movie. I mean have people forgotten TV's Hogan's Heros, where Allied prisoners in a Nazi prison camp were played just for laughs and the Nazis were sillier than snot...Or what about Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, which gave us funny Nazis while showing the world the dangers of a dictatorship way back in 1940.

No, Taika isn't the first to cover this subject in this way...BUT in this day and age he deserves all sorts of credits for having balls enough to make Jojo Rabbit!

Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! Especially the first 20 minutes...I don't think I've laughed more at a movie than in the first act of Jojo Rabbit. I do wish the film would've kept the same tone instead it gets more serious with the Jewish girl under the stairs, and that in and of itself worked, but it's old hat and has been done before.

I knew before the film ended that we had to be clearly shown that the Nazis were bad, but I mean come on we already knew that. In fact if the viewer is paying attention we can see just how nutty the ideology of the Nazis really are. I mean they're training 10 year old boys to fight, how daft is that?

Roman Griffin Davis was just perfect as the 10 year old, would be Nazi, who can't even kill a little bunny (and I don't blame him either!). He was really good here. I don't even care that he had an English accent he was perfect in his role and well this is a satire comedy.

Sam Rockwell, nailed it! I loved his sympathetic one eyed Nazi character who acts as a mentor to young Jojo. The last scene he was in was so well done that it makes me want to watch Moon again. Oh BTW those aren't Americans who are machine gunning the captive Nazis, hope you all knew that.

Scarlett Johansson, she was great as the loving but tough German mom. I wish she had more screen time and I don't think she needed to come to such an ending...

BTW hope everyone also knows that the vast majority of Germans during WWII were NOT Nazis and that includes the German Army too.






Al-Mummia (1969)
AKA: The Night of Counting Years
Director: Chadi Abdel Salam
Writer: Chadi Abdel Salam
Cast: Ahmed Marei, Ahmad Hegazi, Nadia Lutfi
Genre: Drama
Language: Arabic


"An Upper-Egyptian clan robs a cache of mummies and sells the artifacts on the illicit antiquities black market. After a conflict within the clan, one of its members goes to the police, helping the Antiquities Service find the cache."

This film was cursed! I swear it was...I started watching it on Memorial day night when a huge freakish wind storm came up out of nowhere and the lights blinked, then...off goes the power and all was dark. For two days we were without power as the outside air filled with smoke from nearby fires. All very scary too as the fires were so close.

Then after the power came back on, I started watching my video file of the movie, only this time the sub titles ran out at the 45 minute mark. Not being able to understand Arabic, I tried the next night to watch it on Youtube on my TV. Did I mention my TV doesn't like Youtube?...After watching about 15 minutes the stream ended with an error....OK, so I just now managed to watch the end of Al-Mummia on my computer. I hate watching movies on my computer and so never do it.

With all that said, I think this is a very cool movie as it's something I've never heard of before and it's very meditative. It reminded me of a Tarkovsky movie in the way the camera lingered and took it's time on the beauty of emptiness that made up the Egyptian desert. The score too reminded me of something from Tarkovsky. A very effective score!

I of course love history and knew of this remarkable find of a cache of mummies stashed in a mountain cave, as I seen a documentary on it before. But I didn't know there was so much turmoil between the mountain people and the city people over the find of the mummies. For me it was hard not to view the mountain people as the antagonist as smashing a Pharaonic mummy is sacrilege!

I really wish this had a Criterion restoration as I think it's beautiful filmed and effective in it's seductive simpleness and the quality of the Youtube video was lacking.

Did I spell Pharaonic right? My browser thinks not.





The Fisher King (1991)
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Richard LaGravenese
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant
Genre: Drama Comedy


"A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake."

That screenshot from the Chinese restaurant was my favorite scene. I loved the set design there too with its gorgeous blue and red Chinese motif as a backdrop. The last hour of the film when the Amanda Plummer story line came into focus was more to my liking than the first hour. The first hour was a bit hectic and truth be told I'm not a big fan of Robin Williams. I had hoped Williams might be more restrained in this but he often went into his famous long improvs. While he was really good at improv and stream of consciousness monologues, I had a hard time connecting to his character. I know he would've been very capable of delivering some serious, heart felt drama like other skilled comedians have done if he was reined in some. Perhaps it's Terry Gilliam's indulgences in allowing so much improvisational scenes...sometimes those work and at other times they are distracting from the theme of the movie.

Jeff Bridges was fine here, I never think of him as a great actor but he's always reliable. Some of my favorite scenes were in the video store, gosh I loved looking at that store with all those old VHS tapes on display. I thought Mercedes Ruehl was a stand out, she was especially good during the emotional conflict scenes with Bridges. Mercedes definitely made the most out of her air time.

I wasn't too deeply ingrained into the movie's story but I found things to like. Besides all the aforementioned stuff I just mused over...I have to give a big shout out to the super cool New York City shooting locations.

-




Jojo Rabbit
(Taika Waititi, 2019)

Who knew Hitler could be so fun! At least when Taika Waititi plays him! Oh sure he doesn't look like the Fuhrer, but realism isn't what we really want here. We want to see the lighter side of Nazism while have a good laugh at the Third Reich.

Did this movie go to far? Hell no! There ain't nothing offensive here, it ain't that kind of movie. I mean have people forgotten TV's Hogan's Heros, where Allied prisoners in a Nazi prison camp were played just for laughs and the Nazis were sillier than snot...Or what about Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator, which gave us funny Nazis while showing the world the dangers of a dictatorship way back in 1940.

No, Taika isn't the first to cover this subject in this way...BUT in this day and age he deserves all sorts of credits for having balls enough to make Jojo Rabbit!

Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie! Especially the first 20 minutes...I don't think I've laughed more at a movie than in the first act of Jojo Rabbit. I do wish the film would've kept the same tone instead it gets more serious with the Jewish girl under the stairs, and that in and of itself worked, but it's old hat and has been done before.

I knew before the film ended that we had to be clearly shown that the Nazis were bad, but I mean come on we already knew that. In fact if the viewer is paying attention we can see just how nutty the ideology of the Nazis really are. I mean they're training 10 year old boys to fight, how daft is that?

Roman Griffin Davis was just perfect as the 10 year old, would be Nazi, who can't even kill a little bunny (and I don't blame him either!). He was really good here. I don't even care that he had an English accent he was perfect in his role and well this is a satire comedy.

Sam Rockwell, nailed it! I loved his sympathetic one eyed Nazi character who acts as a mentor to young Jojo. The last scene he was in was so well done that it makes me want to watch Moon again. Oh BTW those aren't Americans who are machine gunning the captive Nazis, hope you all knew that.

Scarlett Johansson, she was great as the loving but tough German mom. I wish she had more screen time and I don't think she needed to come to such an ending...

BTW hope everyone also knows that the vast majority of Germans during WWII were NOT Nazis and that includes the German Army too.


Very pleased that you watched this and I agree with just about everything you said and rated it the same you did. Sam Rockwell did nail it.




The Fisher King (1991)
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Richard LaGravenese
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant
Genre: Drama Comedy

aforementioned stuff I just mused over...I have to give a big shout out to the super cool New York City shooting locations.

-
We're worlds apart on this movie, but I enjoyed reading your review anyway.



We're worlds apart on this movie, but I enjoyed reading your review anyway.
I'm just not a fan of Robin Williams. So far I haven't liked him in anything that I've seen him in. Maybe One Hour Photo will be something I like.



Ha, he does look like Vince Vaughn a bit.
I never thought of it until I read this but, facially. there is a bit of a resemblance between Orson Welles and Vince Vaughn:






I never thought of it until I read this but, facially. there is a bit of a resemblance between Orson Welles and Vince Vaughn:
I really see it in Rules's latest avatar - where Orson is resting his face in his hand!