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When you said it's closer to Rear Window than Psycho, I had to chuckle because I didn't care for Rear Window all that much either.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, to be clear I totally get what De Palma was going for in that movie, I just didn't like the execution. I think I rated it in this thread when I saw it, and someone asked "why so low?", so I briefly tried to explain.
Understood. Maybe paranoia thrillers arenít your speed. Have you seen the Conversation, Klute or All the Presidentís Men by chance?



The Hall of Infamy

Lust for Frankenstein (1998) -


I don't have much of any experience with evaluating these kinds of films (one could criticize the film for excessive nudity, but that's kind of the point of the subgenre), so I'll do my best at reviewing it. Its story wasn't the easiest to follow and the poor quality of the dialogue didn't help much, but I think I got the gist of what was going on. To get what I enjoyed out of the way, I liked the use of colored filters for several sequences, a few shots which obscured the actors in shadows worked pretty well, and the soundtrack was nice as well. Overall though, I was deeply unengaged with the film. I got that Moira had to lure victims for the monster to kill, but this premise grew thin rather quickly and that the film seemed half an hour longer than it needed to be didn't help much. So yeah, story was kind of just whatever, but the style made up for this to a degree as this is the kind of bizarre, risk-taking film that's hard for me to hate. Also, in spite of what I said about the story, I did enjoy the final scene with Moira's former husband as a confirmation that she had lost interest in him (I have no idea what was going on after that though). So yeah, I don't have a lot to say for this one, but I'm curious to hear what some other people have to say about it.



Understood. Maybe paranoia thrillers arenít your speed. Have you seen the Conversation, Klute or All the Presidentís Men by chance?
Seen and loved All the President's Men, I think I posted my brief impressions on here. Great movie.


I really need to see the Conversation again to refresh my memory, haven't seen that movie in ages.



Seen and loved All the President's Men, I think I posted my brief impressions on here. Great movie.


I really need to see the Conversation again to refresh my memory, haven't seen that movie in ages.
Interesting! I was betting you wouldnít dig ATPM either. Agreed on it being great. Pakula also did Klute so you may want to check it out. Those two and Parallax View, which I havenít seen, form his ďParanoia Trilogy.Ē

I LOVE the Conversation. I think it belongs right alongside The The Godfather and Apocalypse Now as Coppolaís finest.



Interesting! I was betting you wouldnít dig ATPM either. Agreed on it being great. Pakula also did Klute so you may want to check it out. Those two and Parallax View, which I havenít seen, form his ďParanoia Trilogy.Ē

I LOVE the Conversation. I think it belongs right alongside The The Godfather and Apocalypse Now as Coppolaís finest.
Thanks. I love the themes of paranoia and mystery in movies. The investigative element and the gradual buildup of paranoia in ATPM are truly engrossing.



Thanks. I love the themes of paranoia and mystery in movies. The investigative element and the gradual buildup of paranoia in ATPM are truly engrossing.
Absolutely. I think DePalma was at least partially inspired by ATPM when making Blow Out. I consider both him and Pakula to be the masters of the split diopter (honorable mention to John Carpenter).

If you check out Klute or rewatch the Conversation, I hope I catch your thoughts on here. May even inspire a rewatch of my own.





Babel, 2006

In an intertwined set of tales spanning Morocco, Mexico, the United States, and Japan, incidents such as the shooting of an American tourist, a wedding, a fraught border crossing, a police investigation, and themes of parents/children, communication, and international relations combine and overlap.

This film has been vaguely on my radar for ages, as I remember very well it's release and the general acclaim that it got. I'm glad to have finally checked it out.

Movies with interconnected narratives can be a mixed bag. They require a certain kind of suspension of disbelief about the choices that characters make or events that happen to them coinciding with outlandish or improbable things also happening to other characters in a very short span of time. Maybe what was most interesting to me about Babel was the way that it managed to at once feel "realistic" and grounded while at the same time being pretty overt in some of its style and artistry.

Once I noticed the similarity of certain visual moments, I started seeing them everywhere. Now, that could just be a kind of visual confirmation bias---seeing what I expected to see. But I just kept seeing mirrors of gestures: an adult helping a child eat a tortilla, a woman helping another woman to draw smoke from a pipe. The framing of characters holding one another.

And while there's a very handheld look to most of the filming, the use of color and space is really strong. Again, the film seems to switch effortlessly between moments that almost feel documentary---like a stop at the border---to moments that are unabashedly cinematic.

The different sequences each have their own feel, and it might just be down to personal taste which a viewer thinks is the strongest. Brad Pitt's face was heavily used in promoting the film, and he and Cate Blanchett are half of the center of the Morocco section as an American couple on holiday, still reeling from the SIDS death of their baby. I thought that they both gave good performances, managing to pull you in with their desperation even as they alienate with multiple ugly Americanisms. (Some of these are not entirely in their control--such as the immediate declaration by the US that they were victims of a terrorist attack---but their lack of gratitude to the many people who try to help them or, you know, serve them food is very off-putting.)

I thought that Adriana Barraza--as a woman who has been living and working illegally in the US for 16 years, and makes the mistake of taking the children with her to Mexico for her son's wedding--gave my favorite performance of the film. Her kindness and wariness feel like they go all the way down to the bone. Despite what she's done for her own family and for the family she works for, when push comes to shove no one is really on her side.

Style-wise, I really enjoyed the sequences in Japan. Rinko Kikuchi plays a young woman whose feelings of alienation and not-belonging related to her deafness are taken to a fever pitch by the stress of the recent death of her mother. My favorite moment of the film is one in which Chieko is partying at a wild club with friends and a group of boys. She has a huge smile plastered on her face until the moment she sees her best friend making out with the guy Chieko has a crush on. In that instant, we see how the club goes from being intoxicating to oppressive and claustrophobic. Yes, there's interest to be had in the way that the sound cuts out or booms as we move in and out of Chieko's point of view, but it's the look on Kikuchi's face that really sells the moment.

My only challenge with this film was a bit of what I mentioned above: just a lot of people making really stupid decisions that end up being all connected. While it mostly worked, at times it strained credulity just a bit too much.




My only challenge with this film was a bit of what I mentioned above: just a lot of people making really stupid decisions that end up being all connected. While it mostly worked, at times it strained credulity just a bit too much.

This was precisely my issue with the film and is what firmly placed it as my least favorite from Inarritu. The strengths are still there but it made it hard to engage with on the level he asked. I love everything else from him though.



Victim of The Night
I was disappointed with Blow Out. I found Dressed to Kill to be scarier, more suspenseful, and just overall a more interesting watch for me personally.
I agree that it's scarier.



Victim of The Night
Understood. Maybe paranoia thrillers arenít your speed. Have you seen the Conversation, Klute or All the Presidentís Men by chance?
I know you didn't ask me but I love Klute.


(Though the title makes very little sense to me given the film.)



11 Foreign Language movies to go

By http://www.impawards.com/2008/yes_man.html, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18499039

Yes Man - (2008)

Okay, so Yes Man was a bit rubbishy, but one I remember going to see with a close friend at the movies and enjoying then - so it must have been the atmosphere and good company that saved me from wiping that natural memory chip. Jim Carrey is now just a caricature of his previous rubber-faced self, and at the end of that whole phase of his career - so his performance during the 'wacky' portions falls down flat. The film has an interesting premise, with character Carl (Carrey) going to a seminar and being convinced to say 'yes' to absolutely everything thrown his way - thereby creating a more fulfilling life for himself (before he'd been reluctant to get out and do things.) Bradley Cooper, starring as one of Carl's friends, had yet to really break through - but The Hangover was only a year away, and after that he became as big, if not bigger, than Carrey. The formula is really stale - this reeks of the same template for comedies since the 80s, with all those familiar beats and no interesting deviation. The fun Zooey Deschanel stars as the love interest, and thankfully she does have a fully fleshed-out character to inhabit - even if there's no sign of her on the film's poster.

6/10
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My movie ratings often go up or down a point or two after more reflection, research and rewatches.

Latest Review : Anomalisa (2015)



I know you didn't ask me but I love Klute.


(Though the title makes very little sense to me given the film.)
I guess Klute is just a more unique name than Bree or Daniels? Follows the convention of naming flicks after the investigator? (Marlow, Shaft, etc)



I guess Klute is just a more unique name than Bree or Daniels? Follows the convention of naming flicks after the investigator? (Marlow, Shaft, etc)
They should have also named her Klute. There, solved your problem.



Victim of The Night

Well.
That was a helluva thing.

I went to this movie this afternoon with some friends and realized just before walking in that I had the wrong Tilda Swinton movie and had no idea what I was about to walk into. I had never even heard of this and when the film started the only thing I knew was the title.
The movie I was expecting was the new George Miller film about Tilda Swinton getting three wishes from Idris Elba's djinn, 3,000 Years Of Longing.
This is not that film.

This is the new Jury Prize-winning film from Uncle Boonmee director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, aka, Joe. And what a film it is.
I won't tell you what the film is about partly because it would ruin it but more so because I cannot. I can only tell you what interpretation I most strongly came away with and that I could be completely wrong and that another of several possible interpretations may be right or they may both be right or they may all be right. Or wrong. But probably right.
What I can tell you is that the level of genius at work in this film has to be seen - and perhaps most importantly heard - to be fully understood. What Joe does here is compose extremely careful shots and lets his actors work in them while the sound design influences you in ways that are sometimes unnerving, sometimes beautiful, sometimes agitating, sometimes tranquil, but always living rent-free in your head. The first comparison to that particular aspect of the film to jump to my mind is Berberian Sound Studio but Memoria is better at it and is a better film as well.
And Swinton proves to be one of the world's greats yet again with a performance that is hard to describe because it is so real and so necessary to the film. I can't think of another actor who could have done it or who even would have.

I could go on and on about this film. We did, for literally half an hour, standing in the rain outside the theater like idiots rather than go our separate ways without unpacking and talking through some of this film - there is far too much to cover in half an hour. But each of us felt we had seen something special and unique and were a bit dazzled by it.
I don't know that the film is for everyone, it asks a lot of its audience, but if you're up for it, I can't recommend this enough to someone who loves film.



Victim of The Night
I guess Klute is just a more unique name than Bree or Daniels? Follows the convention of naming flicks after the investigator? (Marlow, Shaft, etc)
Yes, but I just didn't feel like he was the main character, or the character on which the story turned either for that matter, as Marlow or Shaft might be, and so naming it for him just left me a bit puzzled.



Yes, but I just didn't feel like he was the main character, or the character on which the story turned either for that matter, as Marlow or Shaft might be, and so naming it for him just left me a bit puzzled.
Itís possible that the original script/edit of the film was more Klute centric but they realized how great of a character/performance they were getting from Fonda and changed the focus to mirror that.

Thereís a million things that go into every decision of a movie even something as seemingly simple as the title.

Couldíve just been that marketing showed naming a mystery after the detective has a higher probability of selling tickets than naming it after the woman. Tons of sexist choices have been similarly justified by execs.




Well.
That was a helluva thing.

I went to this movie this afternoon with some friends and realized just before walking in that I had the wrong Tilda Swinton movie and had no idea what I was about to walk into. I had never even heard of this and when the film started the only thing I knew was the title.
The movie I was expecting was the new George Miller film about Tilda Swinton getting three wishes from Idris Elba's djinn, 3,000 Years Of Longing.
This is not that film.

This is the new Jury Prize-winning film from Uncle Boonmee director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, aka, Joe. And what a film it is.
I won't tell you what the film is about partly because it would ruin it but more so because I cannot. I can only tell you what interpretation I most strongly came away with and that I could be completely wrong and that another of several possible interpretations may be right or they may both be right or they may all be right. Or wrong. But probably right.
What I can tell you is that the level of genius at work in this film has to be seen - and perhaps most importantly heard - to be fully understood. What Joe does here is compose extremely careful shots and lets his actors work in them while the sound design influences you in ways that are sometimes unnerving, sometimes beautiful, sometimes agitating, sometimes tranquil, but always living rent-free in your head. The first comparison to that particular aspect of the film to jump to my mind is Berberian Sound Studio but Memoria is better at it and is a better film as well.
And Swinton proves to be one of the world's greats yet again with a performance that is hard to describe because it is so real and so necessary to the film. I can't think of another actor who could have done it or who even would have.

I could go on and on about this film. We did, for literally half an hour, standing in the rain outside the theater like idiots rather than go our separate ways without unpacking and talking through some of this film - there is far too much to cover in half an hour. But each o us felt we had seen something special and unique and were a bit dazzled by it.
I don't know that the film is for everyone, it asks a lot of its audience, but if you're up for it, I can't recommend this enough to someone who loves film.
An absolute masterpiece and one of the most deeply philosophical, existentialist films Iíve ever seen. More of pleasure to think about than watch, though itís as hypnotic an experience Iíve seen since 2001 or Tree of Life.



This was precisely my issue with the film and is what firmly placed it as my least favorite from Inarritu. The strengths are still there but it made it hard to engage with on the level he asked. I love everything else from him though.
I think that it almost pulls it off, in sort of cosmic domino sense.

And I do think that there's something interesting about the idea of how different people are treated when they experience an extreme circumstance.



I think that it almost pulls it off, in sort of cosmic domino sense.

And I do think that there's something interesting about the idea of how different people are treated when they experience an extreme circumstance.
I agree it almost pulls it off and the ideas are strong. But the execution makes it all feelÖ Less affecting? I canít even argue that their poor decisions are unrealistic but like a slasher film, my empathy and sympathy gets stretched to its limit by idiot plots. As a writer, I get especially irked when the stupid choices seem to only exist to get to the intended consequence and effect. I much prefer characters that make intelligent choices and the world screws them over regardless.