Citizen Rules...Cinemaesque Chat-n-Review

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Phantom Thread (2017)
...
A couple of years ago I watched Phantom Thread, my reaction was one of ambivalence. I suppose that's because like many people who don't warm to a movie my expectations weren't met. That's the problem with expectations they're often quite different than what one encounters. Thus disappointment is the result. Movies don't necessarily follow a specific formula, but the movie watcher has been dialed into the conventional story telling concept that's used in most movies.

Phantom Thread utilizes a much more subtle approach with sustained moments of low key tension as a means of achieving it's story. One then might decide that there wasn't much going on in the film, and that's what I thought on my first watch.

This time around a rewatch made me appreciate the moments the film exist in. It suggest underpinnings that aren't always forefront, nor do they need to be. The impression is more important than the whole...

Daniel Day Lewis was superbly cast here as was Vicky Krieps as his strong willed muse and Lesley Manville as his stalwart sister. I loved how the film took it's time and meandered in it's world of 1950s haute couture.

Yeah, I thought this was a superb production in almost every sense. They had to go artsy at the end however. I simply didn't believe that a man of Reynolds Woodcock's temperament would ever submit to.... well, the way it ended. It was almost as if the ending was for some other movie..

~Doc



Yeah, I thought this was a superb production in almost every sense. They had to go artsy at the end however. I simply didn't believe that a man of Reynolds Woodcock's temperament would ever submit to.... well, the way it ended. It was almost as if the ending was for some other movie..

~Doc
Yup, I'm in totally agreement with you on this, especially on the ending. I don't know why so many movies have to go over the top for the last scene? I guess the majority of movie goers prefer it that way...but not me.



Yeah, I thought this was a superb production in almost every sense. They had to go artsy at the end however. I simply didn't believe that a man of Reynolds Woodcock's temperament would ever submit to.... well, the way it ended. It was almost as if the ending was for some other movie..

~Doc
Yup, I'm in totally agreement with you on this, especially on the ending. I don't know why so many movies have to go over the top for the last scene? I guess the majority of movie goers prefer it that way...but not me.
I call this the Peckinpah effect. He really liked to go all out on his endings. Tarantino seems to have picked up the torch.



I call this the Peckinpah effect. He really liked to go all out on his endings. Tarantino seems to have picked up the torch.
I've seen a few Peckinpah films..but it's been long enough that I can't really comment on the endings. Well, maybe one of his films will end up in an HoF someday



I’m sure you’ve seen The Wild Bunch, but also watch Bring me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, and Straw Dogs
Only The Wild Bunch out of those three and I really didn't like it a lot, but it was still good and I should check it out again.



It didn't match the period piece set decor. Seriously I noticed the fridge seemed out of place during the movie.
Did it have a period? Or was it generic (timeless)?
I know there were some vintage automobiles... but I'm not sure if even all the detectives were contemporaries (at least the originals that these characters were spoofing) ...close, but I'd have to research that (perhaps I'll follow up on that at some point and post the results here if that's okay). Of course, Sherlock Holmes who only shows up in a deleted scene at the end predates all the others.

Also, I'm wondering if that refrigerator might actually be an upright freezer (which might be present in the kitchen of a mansion for meat and such), still, that doesn't change the fact that even if it's a freezer that it has a relatively modern look. Can't say I ever noticed it before your post.



From IMDB Trivia (Murder By Death - 1976):
All of the detectives in this movie are parodies of the work of three authors: Dashiell Hammett, whose Nick Charles and Sam Spade were the basis for Dick Charleston and Sam Diamond, respectively; Dame Agatha Christie, whose Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple inspired Milo Perrier and Miss Marbles; Earl Derr Biggers, whose Charlie Chan was the basis for Inspector Sidney Wang and his son.

Hercule Poirot - 1920
Charlie Chan - 1925
Miss Marple - 1927
Sam Spade - 1930
Nick & Nora Charles - 1934

So yeah, I guess we could say they were contemporaries (except for Holmes, of course: 1887) and assume the setting was in the mid to late 1930's? Unless there were anachronisms in the film that would defy that like technology (or modern styles of such like the refrigerator), mentions of events like wars, etc.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
From IMDB Trivia (Murder By Death - 1976):
All of the detectives in this movie are parodies of the work of three authors: Dashiell Hammett, whose Nick Charles and Sam Spade were the basis for Dick Charleston and Sam Diamond, respectively; Dame Agatha Christie, whose Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple inspired Milo Perrier and Miss Marbles; Earl Derr Biggers, whose Charlie Chan was the basis for Inspector Sidney Wang and his son.

Hercule Poirot - 1920
Charlie Chan - 1925
Miss Marple - 1927
Sam Spade - 1930
Nick & Nora Charles - 1934

So yeah, I guess we could say they were contemporaries (except for Holmes, of course: 1887) and assume the setting was in the mid to late 1930's? Unless there were anachronisms in the film that would defy that like technology (or modern styles of such like the refrigerator), mentions of events like wars, etc.
Don't rooms completely move/change in this house? It wouldn't be too far fetched that the guy made his own fridge
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From IMDB Trivia (Murder By Death - 1976):
...
Hercule Poirot - 1920
Charlie Chan - 1925
Miss Marple - 1927
Sam Spade - 1930
Nick & Nora Charles - 1934

So yeah, I guess we could say they were contemporaries (except for Holmes, of course: 1887) and assume the setting was in the mid to late 1930's? Unless there were anachronisms in the film that would defy that like technology (or modern styles of such like the refrigerator), mentions of events like wars, etc.
Actually, although the Holmes stories were written by A. Conan Doyle between 1886 and 1927, the public was mostly aware of Sherlock Holmes via the 5 British Holmes movies starring Arthur Wontner from 1931-37, and the very popular Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce films from 1939-46. So the setting of the 1930s for "Murder" is pretty close.



Did it have a period? Or was it generic (timeless)?
I thought it was suppose to take place before the mid 20th century, but don't think it directly said. For me it's more about the fridge looking quite contemporary when everything else in the set looked much older.


Also, I'm wondering if that refrigerator might actually be an upright freezer (which might be present in the kitchen of a mansion for meat and such), still, that doesn't change the fact that even if it's a freezer that it has a relatively modern look. Can't say I ever noticed it before your post.
Good call it's an upright freezer. I often notice set pieces.



Wow this thread is popping now!
2.5 for Monsters, Inc...
Oh well, at least you liked it more than the Squid and the Whale lol. That damn Purell!
Monsters, Inc is one of those movies that if I rated it purely objectively and not based on how much I liked it...my rating then would be more like 3.5




The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Director: Andrew Dominik
Writers: Andrew Dominik (screenplay), Ron Hansen (novel)
Cast: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Sam Rockwell


"Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader."

This is film making as art...

I loved the choice of slow story telling combined with the documentary style of voice over narration. It's an effective way of telling the tale of the assassination, as it felt very personal. I liked the way the point of view was from Robert Ford and not Jesse James. This kept Jesse James as an enigma, and that's how the film presented him as, a man of mystery.

The look of the film is pure artistry, the colors are de-saturated to give a vintage look and feel to the film. Backing that up is slow camera movement with long scene takes and smooth scene transitions that often focus on scenery to allow the viewer time to digest what they've just seen, before going into the next scene.

One of the most amazing things about this movie was the use of blurred (out of focus) panels on the sides of some of the shots...like in the photo I used above. I've been noticing this trend on still photography in the last couple of years, but never had seen this done in a movie before. This film might be the genesis for that movement...The blurred edges aren't just ascetics, they work to focus attention on the subject in the center of the frame, while ignoring the information on the edges that have been blurred. I think that's so cool!

OMG! The spoken dialogue between the characters was perfect vernacular for the 1880s. Not many movies get this common man's language & style of speaking correctly. Notice there's no F bombs and when they talk sex talk, they use phrases and terms that would be common in the 1880's, but not today. The scriptwriter deserves an Oscar!

Generally I'm not a huge fan of Brad Pitt but he was perfect here as the quiet, yet sometimes animated, dark and enigmatic man of violence...who's also a caring family man. Pitt extruded this hidden dangerous streak that scarred the hell out of his men. I believed he was dangerous so it worked.

Cassey Affleck was amazing in this. The movie is told from his perspective and damn he deserved an Oscar too. I thought he was great in Manchester by the Sea but I liked his performance here even better. He's so good at letting the audience inside his head, that I felt like I was in his shoes. He's so natural and real on screen. The rest of the cast was exceptional and kudos goes to the director for keeping all the performances in balance with the subtle style of the film.

The Assassination of Jesse James is one of the most perfect films I've seen.



I never had any desire to see this film until I read your review.
Thanks Gideon, that means a lot to me. It's a very humanistic storytelling movie...and that's something I think we both like in movies.




Broadcast News (1987)

Director: James L. Brooks
Writer: James L. Brooks
Cast: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance


"Take two rival television reporters: one handsome, one talented, both male. Add one Producer, female. Mix well, and watch the sparks fly"

I kinda liked it and was interested at first, but wholly crap was Holly Hunter annoying! Ugh, talk about a wrong casting choice, she ruined what could've been a good movie.

Broadcast News starts off as a would-be savvy news room comedy drama, from the same writer that gave us the Mary Tyler Moore show. Only one problem...Holly Hunter! I read that this movie was specifically written with Debra Winger in mind to play the head of the news production team. Debra would've been good in this. I don't know what Holly was trying to do with her performance? I guess she was suppose to be super high energy and driven to perfection. But she came off like some sort of nutcase who just drank way too much caffeine. I swear all I could do is watch to see how fidgety she was...and was she fidgety or what!

Then in the middle of the film it ends up loosing it's perspective as it tries to become a rom com. The romance part didn't work at all and didn't met the expectations of a more serious drama comedy about the troubles behind the evening news show.