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Methuen
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 4:55 pm
Posts: 1481
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:21 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Wonder Woman 84 - I've seen worse movies than this but I just couldn't bring myself to give a shit about anything in it. Despite all the hoopla going on in it, nothing seemed to hold much weight. It was way overlong and mostly just felt like vague rehashes of plot from other stories from over the years. Not that I expect every big blockbuster superhero film to go avant garde, but man was I bored.


I sat through the first one last night - felt exactly the same; it was very prettily made, some good effects before the third act cartoon sequence, some really nice niche historical stuff (gas masks for horses and so on) - but yeah, didn't really care what happened to anyone in it. Could've summarised it as 'generic arseholes are foiled by a couple of impossibly well groomed people'.
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olvs
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:39 am
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:45 am 
 

Dredd.
Great film of the lawman in action and this time the helmet stays on.
If only it had a larger budget!
8/10

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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3083
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 12:26 pm 
 

MANK. Okay, guys. I have a lot to say, and it ain't good.

*cracks knuckles*

I'll get this out of the way first, great cinematography. And there is nothing innately wrong with the acting. But holy mother of god, I haven't seen a more self-righteous, bloated, pretentious film in a long time. (And disclaimer, I admittedly LOVE Pretentious films. But this was SO fucking contrived.)

First off, I consider myself a cinephile, and even *I* didn't get many of the references/characters. It moves too fucking fast, which I guess is a blessing because I couldn't imagine it being any longer than it already is. I can't imagine ANYONE enjoying this that isn't a complete film historian geek. The only people who remember who the fuck Josef von Sternberg is, are people who collect Criterion films (guilty) and film students. If you don't know who he, or dozens of other Hollywood figures from the 30's are, well, too bad, you don't get to understand those scenes (which truly don't matter anyway, it's all fluff.)

And then, we arrive at the political undertones of the film relating to the 1934 California election between Frank Merriam and Upton Sinclair, freshly piled with the EPIC movement and communist vs. socialist commentary. Which is fine, if you're watching a political film, and not a film that is SUPPOSED TO BE (and billed as) about the production of the screenplay for Citizen Kane.

The dialogue is fast-paced to minic the style of filmmaking from the late 30's and early 40's, it's like "His Girl Friday" on steroids. I honestly had to turn the subtitles on at one point because they were speaking so fast, I was missing one-liners that truly didn't matter anyway. People like to shit on the film "The Artist" for being forced and lame, but I can assure you this is MUCH worse. At least The Artist was entertaining.

The only scene in the film I truly enjoyed was the climax. Spoiler below:

Spoiler: show
When Mank drunkenly pitches the entire idea for Citizen Kane at a dinner party before vomiting all over the floor


On top of all this, numerous account online claim the film isn't accurate in many storylines/timelines. People have lauded the sound mix, because Fincher even made the entire audio track vintage (going as far as to mix it in 5.1, but only using the back speakers for slight echo to mimic the sound of an old theatre), but honestly, I buy restorations of old films BECAUSE their audio has been adjusted to make the film more enjoyable to watch.

And I used to love Fincher as a teenager. I loved The Game, and Fight Club, and Seven, and even Zodiac and Benjamin Button. I'm just surprised anyone will still work with him knowing that he LITERALLY captures 200 takes of a single scene sometimes. The irony of this film going straight to Netflix is amazing. Even without the pandemic, Fincher had signed an exclusive deal, so besides the limited theatre run, it was headed there anyway.

And WATCH - this has a very good chance of winning Best Picture. Which would be the biggest public display of masturbation in the history of art. If they gave the big one to The Artist, best believe they will give it to this.

/rant. Man alive. I did not enjoy that film.

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Jonpo
Hyperc6l6mb6wler

Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:05 am
Posts: 7636
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 5:43 pm 
 

Vivarium tickled my fancy last night. Tension is my favorite flavor of "horror" and this one delivered for me. It was deeply uncomfortable, off-putting. It also descended several layers further into madness than I ever expected.
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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:05 am
Posts: 35
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:03 pm 
 

jimbies wrote:
The only people who remember who the fuck Josef von Sternberg is, are people who collect Criterion films (guilty) and film students. If you don't know who he, or dozens of other Hollywood figures from the 30's are, well, too bad, you don't get to understand those scenes.


Don't you think that would inspire people to check out who Josef Von Sternberg is? He's one of my favorites, so if a film namedrops him and possibly gets people who don't know who he is to check him out, I'd say that's a positive.

I'm not gonna watch Mank as I think it looks stupid, but it seems like you're angry at the film because you didn't understand it. So? Do you want to understand it, or not? If you do, just do a little research. It's easier than it seems. If not, move on.

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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3083
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:22 pm 
 

No, I understood it just fine (for the most part. I didn't catch all the quick references, and like I said, the American politics from 1930 went over my head a little bit.) However, I am a very firm believer in art being mostly autonomous, meaning I shouldn't need to do a pile of research before or after a film to understand it. Obviously, sequels/series/prequels are an exception, and I wouldn't have tried to watch a film whose synopsis mentioned Citizen Kane without seeing Citizen Kane, but I am always turned off when to understand a film you need to study or do research before or after.

Some of the great films taught me about subjects I knew nothing about, with no need to read/study further.

I own three JvS films and enjoy his work. I am a huge fan of 1930's american cinema. I just did not like the execution of this film at all.

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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:05 am
Posts: 35
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:26 am 
 

jimbies wrote:
However, I am a very firm believer in art being mostly autonomous, meaning I shouldn't need to do a pile of research before or after a film to understand it. Obviously, sequels/series/prequels are an exception, and I wouldn't have tried to watch a film whose synopsis mentioned Citizen Kane without seeing Citizen Kane, but I am always turned off when to understand a film you need to study or do research before or after.


I'm not saying you need to do a pile of research for a film, just a little bit if there's something that went over your head. Personally, if I strongly dislike a film, it's usually never because I didn't get a reference or understand something. If I don't like the film and don't want to get the reference, I don't dwell on it and move on. If I do like the film, I go "I wonder what that part was all about" and look it up to try and understand it more. I'm not trying to say that I doubt you disliked Mank, but it sounds to me like the references that eluded you aren't the reason why it hit a sore spot.

And anyways, do you need to understand a movie to enjoy it? I know it can help if you understand it, but I'm never bothered if I don't understand a film, whether it's the narrative I don't understand or its substance.

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acid_bukkake
SAD!

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:45 am
Posts: 1825
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:28 am 
 

He's outright saying that it isn't the references but that the references even exist, that the self-masturbatory nature of those references left a sour taste in his mouth and he enjoys the JvS films being referenced.
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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:05 am
Posts: 35
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:37 am 
 

acid_bukkake wrote:
He's outright saying that it isn't the references but that the references even exist, that the self-masturbatory nature of those references left a sour taste in his mouth and he enjoys the JvS films being referenced.


Okay! He enjoys Von Sternberg, good for him! I'm not doubting that! I just don't see how a reference can be self-masturbatory since it's by definition guiding your attention to another thing.

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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3083
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 11:36 am 
 

KeeperOfTheMissingLink wrote:
And anyways, do you need to understand a movie to enjoy it? I know it can help if you understand it, but I'm never bothered if I don't understand a film, whether it's the narrative I don't understand or its substance.


No. There are countless avant-garde/experimental films I absolutely love without fully grasping the directors vision. Numerous Hollis Frampton films, there are many films from the Czech new wave of the 60s I didn't fully "get" due to not knowing the political climate of Czechoslovakia at the time. I absolutely adore The Color Of Pomegranates for what it is, without fully knowing much about the life/writings of Sayat-Nova. Hell, even some David Lynch films went completely over my head with the first few watches. There are many, many others that I don't feel like listing.

KeeperOfTheMissingLink wrote:
acid_bukkake wrote:
He's outright saying that it isn't the references but that the references even exist, that the self-masturbatory nature of those references left a sour taste in his mouth and he enjoys the JvS films being referenced.


Okay! He enjoys Von Sternberg, good for him! I'm not doubting that! I just don't see how a reference can be self-masturbatory since it's by definition guiding your attention to another thing.


First off, I said the act of public masturbation would come if the Academy gave it Best Picture. Not in and of the film itself. To which I said it was self-righteous and bloated.

It's self-righteous because the film itself is ABOUT filmmaking and Hollywood, and comes across (to me) as 100% Oscar-bait. If this was a film specifically about the California election of 1934 of Upton Sinclair vs. Frank Merriam, full of electoral and political references and I didn't understand it, I may have found it boring (to me), or uninteresting, but not pure self-righteous filmmaking. Fincher MADE A FILM ABOUT MAKING A FILM and loaded it full of obscure, quick moving references about Hollywood studio.

You can make a film about making a film and have it not be self-righteous award-bait. There are many. Day For Night, Tropic Thunder, 8 1/2, Sullivan's Travels.

Mank seems like it was made for people that want to show how "great" they are as a cinephile. I can't remember the last time I watched a movie that I felt was TRYING SO HARD. Everything felt contrived.

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REQUIEM
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 3:58 pm
Posts: 223
Location: Croatia
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 1:22 pm 
 

MikeyC wrote:
Unsure if it even counts as a movie, but I watched Death to 2020 on Netflix, that little special thing they had on with Sam Jackson and Hugh Grant. It was a comedic look back at the events of 2020. I liked it. A good round-out of a very unique year that was.
i liked it as well. lisa kudrow's character was great.

however, i dislike their decision to ignore most of the world while making the movie.

what about north korea, belarus, venezuela, hong kong, the philippines? no news from africa whatsoever? damn shame!

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olvs
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:39 am
Posts: 4
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 4:12 pm 
 

Watched Greenland last night
Another apocalyptic movie. Enjoyable - 8/10

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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:05 am
Posts: 35
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:01 pm 
 

jimbies wrote:
There are countless avant-garde/experimental films I absolutely love without fully grasping the directors vision. Numerous Hollis Frampton films, there are many films from the Czech new wave of the 60s I didn't fully "get" due to not knowing the political climate of Czechoslovakia at the time. I absolutely adore The Color Of Pomegranates for what it is, without fully knowing much about the life/writings of Sayat-Nova. Hell, even some David Lynch films went completely over my head with the first few watches. There are many, many others that I don't feel like listing.


That's a good answer. Color of Pomegranates is one of my all-time favorites, and I like Czech New Wave films like Dasies, The Joke, Report on the Party and the Guests and Zorn's Lemma by Frampton, so I'm familiar with all those name-drops. The reason I was pushing you is that based on the films you've mentioned watching in this forum, we seemed to have similar tastes. I understood based on your criticisms of Mank that your issue was that the references eluded you, which surprised me since I figured that wouldn't be an issue for you. Now, I think I understand your issues with the film.

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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3083
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:15 pm 
 

Hey, it's all good. Nothing wrong with discussion. You have some good taste.

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stickyshooZ
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:29 am
Posts: 1365
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:23 am 
 

Slater922 wrote:
stickyshooZ wrote:
Over the Christmas break I re-watched Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. These movies still hold up incredibly well and I forgot just how fucking funny Daniel Stern is in these. He and Joe Pesci have great chemistry as well.

I never really liked the second movie since it's just like the first movie, but it just so happens to take place in NYC. Culkin's acting was sorta downgraded in this one as well, though Pesci and Stern still had some of the best moments in the film.

I have a lot of nostalgia for the second one because in a lot of ways Kevin's situation kind of encapsulates the fantasy of a lot of children: being able to do whatever you want - with no adult to tell you "no" - in a huge city like NY and with nearly unlimited cash supply. The first movie will still always be the better one, but goddamn I can't help but love both of them.
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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3083
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:49 am 
 

Da 5 Bloods.

I had read NOTHING about it going in, so I was slightly surprised at how much action/war there was in it. I thought I was signing up for a drama film with some "flashback" scenes of war. Anyway, the acting is phenomenal, and for the film being close to 3 hours long, it flew by. It's entertaining to say the least. Not sure I'd ever watch it again, but absolutely worth seeing. I actually liked it more than BlacKKKlansman.

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REQUIEM
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2003 3:58 pm
Posts: 223
Location: Croatia
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:48 pm 
 

"da 5 bloods" was a contrived piece of shit that i had to turn off 20 minutes in. the amount of blm propaganda was too much, even coming from spike lee.
my 2 cents.

ma rainey's black bottom. i like blues. i like movies where the whole plot happens in 1 room. when you put those 2 things together, it's hard for me to be disappointed. chadwick boseman was fantastic as the young trumpeteer and viola davis is never bad. here she played a bitchy diva flawlessly. the ending was probably a bit too much on the nose, but it still made sense having in mind what transpired in the 1st half of the film.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:58 pm
Posts: 29058
Location: Where the dead rule the night
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:51 pm 
 

"Da 5 Bloods" was phenomenal - a lot to take in due to the length but yeah I loved it. The amount of twists and turns you get, plus the character development and just the generally unconventional, idiosyncratic way it was told - it was really something to behold. Definitely liked it more than BlacKKKlansman myself.
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Khan Vozdig
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:39 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Hungary
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 3:40 pm 
 

I've recently started binge watching the Roger Corman directed " Poe Cycle " films starring Vincent Price aka one of my all time favorite actors ...

It's admittedly rather lightweight stuff as far as the overall scariness aspect of horror goes , particularly by today's standards , yet it nonetheless remains one of my favorite series of films .


I'm considering moving on to Clive Barker flicks next , though that remains to be seen .

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YesIam
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:44 am
Posts: 198
Location: Kenya
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:58 am 
 

Khan Vozdig wrote:
I've recently started binge watching the Roger Corman directed " Poe Cycle " films starring Vincent Price aka one of my all time favorite actors ...

It's admittedly rather lightweight stuff as far as the overall scariness aspect of horror goes , particularly by today's standards , yet it nonetheless remains one of my favorite series of films .


With the exception of The Raven, which I find rather weak, this remains one of my favorite film series ever and I think all the others are absolutely brilliant. Vincent Price is, as with you, one of my favorite actors ever and all the film looks like a billion bucks, despite being made on rather low budgets. I love me some Roger Corman b-movie fun and all that, but these movies are the highlight of his career and it truly showcases his actual skill as a director. Few movies are more beautiful to look at than these IMO. Atmospheric, haunting and gorgeous movies, topped with beautiful campyness.

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Khan Vozdig
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:39 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Hungary
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2021 11:53 pm 
 

YesIam wrote:
Khan Vozdig wrote:
I've recently started binge watching the Roger Corman directed " Poe Cycle " films starring Vincent Price aka one of my all time favorite actors ...

It's admittedly rather lightweight stuff as far as the overall scariness aspect of horror goes , particularly by today's standards , yet it nonetheless remains one of my favorite series of films .


With the exception of The Raven, which I find rather weak, this remains one of my favorite film series ever and I think all the others are absolutely brilliant. Vincent Price is, as with you, one of my favorite actors ever and all the film looks like a billion bucks, despite being made on rather low budgets. I love me some Roger Corman b-movie fun and all that, but these movies are the highlight of his career and it truly showcases his actual skill as a director. Few movies are more beautiful to look at than these IMO. Atmospheric, haunting and gorgeous movies, topped with beautiful campyness.


Yup I agree that The Raven is the weakest film of the bunch and for me personally I'd say that The Masque of the Red Death is the best of the bunch , with The Haunted Palace and The Pit and the Pendulum being tied at second place .

I also agree that the scenery/atmosphere of the films is out of this world and FWIW it's those two factors that are the main selling points for me ( besides of course Price's unforgettable acting ) as opposed to the strength of the plot and other typical film critic criteria .

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Face_your_fear_79
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:18 am
Posts: 403
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 4:24 am 
 

Good Will Hunting.

Awful, nauseating, egotistical, pretentious, amateurish. With God-Like Intelligence and Wisdom, Will Hunting's character is established as he mops the school floor. Without wringing the mop or placing a warning sign for slippery surface, Will carelessly slops water toward several students. If he was so intelligent, it seems to me that he would be able to mop a floor correctly. This is truly a horrible movie on many levels. How does he know everything? We don't see him reading and amassing his encyclopedic knowledge. It appears that Matt Damon spends more time grooming his cute hair-do than perusing mathematics tomes at the library. Ben Affleck was terrible..he is truly a bad actor. Robin Williams was the only bright spot in this black hole of a movie. The award Good Will Hunting should have received was the Golden Turkey Award.

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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3083
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:10 am 
 

Pieces Of A Woman.

Very polarized on this one. Of course, the entire thing is overshadowed by PieceOfShit Shia, but that aside, I watched it for Vanessa Kirby's performance, which is being lauded as one of the best of the year.

Opening sequence (which is over 30 minutes long, with no cut) gave me an extreme amount of anxiety. I actually thought to myself, "if this goes on much longer, I'm not sure I can watch this film". After the first act, I found it a little disjointed and clunky. A lot of subtext/subplots/themes that are grazed upon, but never fully explored. A lot of weird relationship dynamics that don'’t ever become completely clear.

The film has an ending almost as intense as it's first 30 minutes, and the acting is mostly superb, but the film itself isn't something I'd revisit. Worth seeing once for Kirby's performance.

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YesIam
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:44 am
Posts: 198
Location: Kenya
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:33 am 
 

Khan Vozdig wrote:
Yup I agree that The Raven is the weakest film of the bunch and for me personally I'd say that The Masque of the Red Death is the best of the bunch , with The Haunted Palace and The Pit and the Pendulum being tied at second place .

I also agree that the scenery/atmosphere of the films is out of this world and FWIW it's those two factors that are the main selling points for me ( besides of course Price's unforgettable acting ) as opposed to the strength of the plot and other typical film critic criteria .


I am not quite sure which one's my favorite, but House of Usher, Pit and the Pendulum, The Haunted Palace and The Masque of the Red Death are the best of the lot, and more or less equal to my eyes.


I mostly use same criteria for all horror movies. I look for a combination of two of these: atmosphere, blood/gore, suspense and humor, and if it succeed at mixing two of those elements in a good way I am sure getting very pleased. I'm a simple man when it comes to horror and action movies.

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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3083
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:22 am 
 

Chimes At Midnight.

I knew what I was getting into watching a 2 hour film made by Orson Welles, based on a Shakespeare taking place in the 1400's. While I didn't full grasp a lot of the historic value of the film, Orson's character of Falstaff is pretty comical. Not sure I'd ever watch it again, but if you like historical films or Shakespeare, it's worth seeing.

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Smalley
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:06 am
Posts: 882
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:59 am 
 

Just wrote a review of Michael Mann's Heat:

Image

Don't get attached to anything you aren't willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.

Spoiler: show
"A Los Angeles crime saga"; its tagline certainly doesn't pull any punches when it comes to setting the hype high for the film to come, but Michael Mann's Heat ultimately ends up justifying most of those lofty expectations, as Mann draws inspiration from both real life and from his previous films (including his 1989 TV movie LA Takedown, which served as the basis for this film) in order to create a sort of grand culmination of his career up to this point, pairing an excellent screenplay, a cast of Hollywood legends, and a sleek, stylish aesthetic in order to bring a unexpectedly expansive scope to a familar genre, creating one of his best films, and what can only be described as a true crime epic in the end.

Heat primarily tells the story of two men; Neil McCauley (portrayed by Robert De Niro), a high class armed thief looking to take down the biggest score of his "career" with his crew (while also avoiding a return trip to prison at all costs), and Vincent Hanna (played by Al Pacino), the LAPD detective chasing him, who is willing to sacrifice everything in order to catch McCauley, even as his personal life collapses all around him as his obsessive pursuit winds ever on. The two men's stories create a strong central dynamic through the sheer force of the screen icons portraying them, finally acting face-to-face with each other after a tantalizing close brush in the second Godfather (including a now infamous face-to-face conversation in the kind of all-night diner that Mann obsesses over), as they serve as mirror images of the other on their respective sides of the law, right down to the way that McCauley's newly-formed romance passes Hanna's crumbling marriage on a parallel track, and, even though they inevitably end up being enemies by nature, the two still can't help but share a respect for the other for their mutual professionalism, just like we can't choose one of them to truly "root" for here, so evenly spread are the film's sympathies for both of them.

However, while they would be enough to center an entire film around on their own, Heat's story isn't content to merely focus on just them, as Mann's screenplay widens its scope to also develop their personal lives, and their (often troubled) relationships with their associates, families, and lovers, weaving a multi-webbed tapestry of a crime drama that's just as much about the drama as it is the crime, with its well-written, emotionally insightful dialogue letting us know exactly what makes the characters tick. And, while the film is held back slightly by the occasional sense of bloat, with a few too many characters and sub-plots feeling crammed in, Heat's broader vision still ends up working in its for the most part, fully immersing us in its vivid LA underworld for nearly 3 hours straight, portraying each and every side of the city of angels, from shabby shacktowns to literal glass houses on the rolling hills above, to the point that the city itself is basically its own character here.

Finally, Heat impresses through its sheer overall style, as Mann paints the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles as a veritable sea of urban lights, with its immaculate, steely blue pallete and moody Elliot Goldenthal score creating an almost dream-like vibe to its imagery, which contrasts nicely with the film's insistence on a tactile sense of realism otherwise, as Mann engages in another familiar element of his films, that of the elite, professional criminal who's so good that you can't help but admire him, as the film takes joy in meticulously laying out the step-by-step intricacies of each heist, culminating in a spectacular centerpiece shootout that turns LA into a literal warzone, as the deafening sound of automatic weapons boom throughout the streets, with the thrills not coming from any truly unrealistic stuntwork, but from the sheer intensity that such an incident brings with it (which would see a terrifying echo in real life just a couple of years later with the North Hollywood shootout). All in all, this is one of the strongest efforts from one of the best directors working today, and ultimately well worth its lengthy runtime, so all I have to ask you now is, can you feel the Heat, coming roaring your way? Because I know I can.


Final Score: 8.5
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Khan Vozdig
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:39 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Hungary
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:42 pm 
 

YesIam wrote:
Khan Vozdig wrote:
Yup I agree that The Raven is the weakest film of the bunch and for me personally I'd say that The Masque of the Red Death is the best of the bunch , with The Haunted Palace and The Pit and the Pendulum being tied at second place .

I also agree that the scenery/atmosphere of the films is out of this world and FWIW it's those two factors that are the main selling points for me ( besides of course Price's unforgettable acting ) as opposed to the strength of the plot and other typical film critic criteria .


I am not quite sure which one's my favorite, but House of Usher, Pit and the Pendulum, The Haunted Palace and The Masque of the Red Death are the best of the lot, and more or less equal to my eyes.


I mostly use same criteria for all horror movies. I look for a combination of two of these: atmosphere, blood/gore, suspense and humor, and if it succeed at mixing two of those elements in a good way I am sure getting very pleased. I'm a simple man when it comes to horror and action movies.


House of Usher is also one of the better films in this cycle IMHO , while The Tomb of Ligeia /Tales of Terror/The Premature Burial are not as good , though still much better than decent .

I don't really use any particular criteria to judge horror movies ( or any other type of art really ) , but what has always really sold me on these flicks was ( besides Price's acting ) their atmosphere and scenery which few ( if any ) of the other horror films I'm familiar with come close to having .

I'm also a big fan of Price's other lesser known films , like Bloodbath at the House of Death , but I think I'll leave delving into typing about those flicks in another post . :wink:

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jimbies
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:22 am 
 

Cold Water.

French film from 1994. I really like Olivier Assayas's films Personal Shopper and Clouds Of Sils Maria, but this was my first time watching which I guess would be considered a "back catalog" film from his earlier days. Some great camera work in this, and the acting is quite good, parts of it made me nostalgic for that rebellious period of my life, and the "party" scene was really great, but I found the story dragged a little bit without any real development.

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Khan Vozdig
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 5:08 pm 
 

jimbies wrote:
Cold Water.

French film from 1994. I really like Olivier Assayas's films Personal Shopper and Clouds Of Sils Maria, but this was my first time watching which I guess would be considered a "back catalog" film from his earlier days. Some great camera work in this, and the acting is quite good, parts of it made me nostalgic for that rebellious period of my life, and the "party" scene was really great, but I found the story dragged a little bit without any real development.


Speaking of Assayas , I'm a big fan of his Carlos the Jackal miniseries and I also think that last year's Wasp Network was also a decent ( albeit rather jumbled ) effort as well .

FWIW I think that more politically charged Cold War era to present day flicks concerning terrorism , espionage , and all other interlocking elements should be made with a heavy emphasis on pure unfiltered historical accuracy .

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GTog
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:21 pm 
 

Watched The Old Guard on Netflix. Charlize Theron vehicle where she plays an immortal warrior who's been around for thousands of years fighting the good fight. There are others too. I wasn't expecting much more than a generic action flick, but I found it enjoyable. I wished for more flashback scenes showing her throughout the centuries, not that it would have added anything, but it would've been neat. When you find yourself wishing for more movie, that's a good movie.
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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 1:44 am 
 

I haven't seen Cold Water yet, but I watched a bunch of Assayas' films when they were playing on Mubi around last year. I kind of see him the same way I view Steven Soderbergh in that, they have a unique perspectives, but they're not always consistent. I did like Demonlover quite a bit.

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jimbies
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:16 am 
 

Hmm, yeah, I never thought of a comparison to Steven Soderbergh before. I haven't seen Demonlover, but I will add it to my list.

Recovering from minor surgery yesterday, so I decided to finally watch a long one that has been on my list for a while. The French film from 1945 "Children of Paradise", which is widely regarded as one of the greatest French films ever made. While I'm not sure I would even place it in my top 10 from the country, it really is quite good. For a film of its length, it didn't drag at all. Some of the theatre scenes probably could have been cut down, but they all served a purpose to the narrative. I don't know much about the historical characters the main 4 men were based on, but it seems like the writer of the script had a very vast knowledge of the particulars of their personalities.

After that, I watched Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for the first time. It was the only Fincher film I'd never seen. I was entertained during it, however, I'm not sure I actually liked it much. I guess I am just REALLY not into unrealistic action based films. I found parts of it completely unnecessary like
Spoiler: show
Craig and Rooney's characters could have developed a dynamic WITHOUT them sleeping together. Seemed very cheap, like a way to get more people to watch
. As much as I was entertained by a badass character like Lizabeth, I just can't really connect with action/thrillers like this. That's not saying it wasn't good, it just wasn't really for me.

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KeeperOfTheMissingLink
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:01 pm 
 

jimbies wrote:
Hmm, yeah, I never thought of a comparison to Steven Soderbergh before. I haven't seen Demonlover, but I will add it to my list.


They do kind of have that clinical style to their films, which is where I mostly draw the comparisons to. I haven't seen Clouds of Sils Maria or Personal Shopper, but I've been curious about them. And also Irma Vep since it has the connection with Les Vampires.

jimbies wrote:
After that, I watched Girl With The Dragon Tattoo for the first time. It was the only Fincher film I'd never seen. I was entertained during it, however, I'm not sure I actually liked it much. I guess I am just REALLY not into unrealistic action based films. I found parts of it completely unnecessary like
Spoiler: show
Craig and Rooney's characters could have developed a dynamic WITHOUT them sleeping together. Seemed very cheap, like a way to get more people to watch
. As much as I was entertained by a badass character like Lizabeth, I just can't really connect with action/thrillers like this. That's not saying it wasn't good, it just wasn't really for me.


Funnily enough, next to Zodiac, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is my second favorite Fincher. I think its well-suited for his maximalist delivery of information overload. I saw one person say that in some of Fincher's latter procedural works, the investigative struggle isn't the lack of information, but the abundance of such, and I personally find that more entertaining than the rote clue-by-clue detective story of Se7en.
Spoiler: show
And if it changes your opinion on the matter the characters sleep together in the original film.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:14 pm 
 

Fincher's Girl with the Dragon Tattoo I remember being almost identical to the old Swedish one so it barely matters which you pick. I liked that story a lot years ago. Not sure how well it'd hold up... I do remember a lot of graphic abuse scenes. Se7en is still my favorite from Fincher and one of my all time favorites. But Zodiac is close too.

Been watching some random stuff to pass the time...

Portrait of a Lady on Fire - A real quiet subtle romance. Very artful. Lots of shots of the beach and very minimalist dialogue that builds up over time. I liked the sort of restrained rebelliousness this movie had, showing the progression of this relationship in the constraints of the barbaric puritanism of that time period. Amazing acting, too.

The Beach Bum - Matthew McConaghuey stars in a rambling treatise about a degenerate weirdo who has to write a book to get his family fortune back. This was jarring at first, but over time you get into it. It's just a weird, absurd piece of film about a dude fucking around and it has a sort of cadence and rhythm to it that I found enjoyable and slightly hypnotic. If you're into the kind of Hunter S. Thompson or Doug Stanhope style "just go live on the edge" kind of stories I like, this is a lot of fun.

Lisa and the Devil - I started watching some old Mario Bava films on Shudder. This one was fucking wild and amazing and surreal. Everything is coated in dreamlike haze and the story moves along in bizarre fashions. The story about a girl who stumbles into a crazy nobleman's castle is what it is, but Bava does it up with such aplomb and strangeness that it's like a drug. A masterwork of psychological horror.

A Bay of Blood - A prototypical slasher, this thing does exactly what you expect... the kills are gruesome and the story is a knot of plot twists and scheming for political reasons. Some quite gorgeous scenery and shots here as per usual from Bava. The story didn't interest much by the end but it was entertaining for what it was - so really it has all the weaknesses later slashers would, and all the strengths.

Anything for Jackson - A decent possession/kidnapping horror flick on Shudder. Two old people kidnap a pregnant woman to bring back their dead grandson. This has some pretty fun scares in it and the acting isn't bad. Not gonna blow you away but a friend and I enjoyed it to pass the time.
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jimbies
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:29 am 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Portrait of a Lady on Fire - A real quiet subtle romance. Very artful. Lots of shots of the beach and very minimalist dialogue that builds up over time. I liked the sort of restrained rebelliousness this movie had, showing the progression of this relationship in the constraints of the barbaric puritanism of that time period. Amazing acting, too.


This is one of the best films I've seen in the last 5 years. Great pick.

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Smalley
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:48 am 
 

KeeperOfTheMissingLink wrote:
Funnily enough, next to Zodiac, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is my second favorite Fincher. I think its well-suited for his maximalist delivery of information overload. I saw one person say that in some of Fincher's latter procedural works, the investigative struggle isn't the lack of information, but the abundance of such, and I personally find that more entertaining than the rote clue-by-clue detective story of Se7en.
Glad to see another fellow fan of Zodiac here (since it's currently my favorite FIncher), as well as someone else who thinks Se7en is overrated; I mean, it has the style of a great movie, but not the substance, and the combination of its super-grim tone with the gimmicky premise made me feel like I was watching a feature length version of this at times:



Plus, it helped popularize that awful trend of replacing letters with numbers in movie titles; that's worse than any of the sins, man!
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jimbies
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:00 am 
 

Watched a couple yesterday:

Brute Force:
Prison drama from the mid 40's. There is only so much you can do with a Prison film, I suppose. So many of them are the same. Burt Lancaster is really good in this, and I think for its time, it's overly violent. But yeah, what can you do with a prison film? It's a break-out film with a sadistic warden. How many of them have you seen?

I'm Thinking Of Ending Things:
Okay, wow. Where to even start with this? First of, I do really like Charlie Kaufman's work. I LOVE Anomalisa and Adaptation. I love the work he did on Being John Malkovich. I'm a little bit cooler on Synecdoche, New York, and due to nostalgic/emotional connection reasons, it's hard for me to revisit Eternal Sunshine.
I feel like I absolutely loved the first half of this film, and it kind of lost me a bit in the second half. Super creepy, unsettling vibe for the first car ride/inside the parent's house scenes. But yeah, I'm right in the middle on this. Part of me thinks it gets completely cooked/bizarre just for the sake of being a Charlie Kaufman film (granted, I have not read the source material), and another part of me thinks there might be a lot of subtext that will come out with repeated viewing. Some of the hints given in the first part of the film are obvious, but I still may have missed some stuff.

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Empyreal
The Final Frontier

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:36 am 
 

jimbies wrote:

I'm Thinking Of Ending Things:
Okay, wow. Where to even start with this? First of, I do really like Charlie Kaufman's work. I LOVE Anomalisa and Adaptation. I love the work he did on Being John Malkovich. I'm a little bit cooler on Synecdoche, New York, and due to nostalgic/emotional connection reasons, it's hard for me to revisit Eternal Sunshine.
I feel like I absolutely loved the first half of this film, and it kind of lost me a bit in the second half. Super creepy, unsettling vibe for the first car ride/inside the parent's house scenes. But yeah, I'm right in the middle on this. Part of me thinks it gets completely cooked/bizarre just for the sake of being a Charlie Kaufman film (granted, I have not read the source material), and another part of me thinks there might be a lot of subtext that will come out with repeated viewing. Some of the hints given in the first part of the film are obvious, but I still may have missed some stuff.


This was a weird one for me because I really loved the first three quarters or so, all of the weird psycho-horror-drama stuff with the shifting perspectives and dreamlike logic. That was all great.

Spoiler: show
But the end kinda spoiled it for me; not only was it totally different in tone but the message mostly seemed to be 'look at the poor white dude' and it didn't resonate with me at all - felt actually pretty lame and ho-hum. Not nearly on the level of Adaptation or Synecdoche, or Eternal Sunshine, all of which I loved and which felt more complex, more fully-realized as themes.
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BastardHead
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:46 am 
 

jimbies wrote:
I'm Thinking Of Ending Things:
Okay, wow. Where to even start with this? First of, I do really like Charlie Kaufman's work. I LOVE Anomalisa and Adaptation. I love the work he did on Being John Malkovich. I'm a little bit cooler on Synecdoche, New York, and due to nostalgic/emotional connection reasons, it's hard for me to revisit Eternal Sunshine.
I feel like I absolutely loved the first half of this film, and it kind of lost me a bit in the second half. Super creepy, unsettling vibe for the first car ride/inside the parent's house scenes. But yeah, I'm right in the middle on this. Part of me thinks it gets completely cooked/bizarre just for the sake of being a Charlie Kaufman film (granted, I have not read the source material), and another part of me thinks there might be a lot of subtext that will come out with repeated viewing. Some of the hints given in the first part of the film are obvious, but I still may have missed some stuff.


I've read the book but haven't seen the movie, and so far you're the third person I know who has seen the movie but not read the book and all three of you have said the same thing I did: Starts off good, dinner scene is a highlight, gets weird for the sake of it afterwards, ending sucks (you didn't say this part but two outta three ain't bad). The book is indeed different, but not in any really substantial way.

Spoiler: show
The book is more overtly horror than the film apparently is, the dinner scene is the best part as well but it's less mindscrew (names and jobs changing mid conversation, etc) and more just monumentally tense and awkward in a "holy shit get me out of this room" way, and apparently the climax in the high school is totally different but ultimately irrelevant because it hits the same plot beats eventually. It sounds like the film avoided being Red Herring: The Musical like the book was, because holy shit there are so many weird and/or supernatural elements that are given backstory to explain that they've been following The Girlfriend throughout her life that are just randomly dropped halfway. The tall man, the constant phone calls with identical voicemails, the creepy drawings in the basement, etc. It drove me up the fuckin wall with how many times I'd realize I've gone a hundred pages before realizing a plot element had been dropped and wouldn't be coming back. The author himself even said that loads of the weirdest and spookiest parts were thrown in just to scare the reader and had no greater significance beyond trying to confuse you. And to tie it all off, the ultimate resolution is one of my top two most despised storytelling tropes.

So yeah, I think the book was a mess but from what I've been able to gather, the film is pretty comparable in quality because the changes Kaufman made were pretty evenly split between better and worse.
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jimbies
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:39 pm 
 

Sounds about right. Thanks for the quick review of the book, BH. I'm not sure I would have gone to read it after seeing the film (I hardly EVER do a film before a book, for obvious reasons).

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