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Author Topic: "Not the art of scholars but of illiterates." (new movie thread)  (Read 32399 times)
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #325 on: Aug 25, 2009, 04:30:58 PM »

How a Britpop documentary could be made in the 21st century and fail to acknowledge that, finally, YES, Blur was the superior band in that stupid "battle" is beyond me. Because they were.

Oh man, you don't really think there's a consensus around this, do you? I know plenty of people who will rep for Oasis over Blur all the livelong day.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #326 on: Aug 25, 2009, 04:41:34 PM »

Last night I saw "Kinsey," the movie starring Liam Neeson as the famous sex doctor, Alfred Kinsey. I know a lot about the history of sex in the later part of the 20th century, but truthfully, most of what I know comes after Kinsey's groundbreaking work. A lot of what I know about was directly inspired by Kinsey, in fact. So I know why this guy's important, but I didn't really know that much about him or what he did. For that reason, I really enjoyed this film, both because it was well put together and featured some really great acting by Neeson, Laura Linney, and Peter Sarsgaard, among others, but also because there was a lot here that I didn't know. I kind of hate a lot of biopics simply because I tend to be a well-informed person and am usually watching them going "OK, now this is gonna happen. Now this other thing is gonna happen." Or, worse, I'm watching them going, "That's not what happened at all, that's apocryphal and was debunked 15 years ago. And they're completely leaving out this really important episode, and that really important character." Maybe if I knew more about Alfred Kinsey, his life, and his work, I would have had the same response to this movie, but as it is I didn't. They really took some risks with some of the things they portrayed, and I appreciated that, because this story wouldn't have worked with a lot of euphemisms and suggestions about things that aren't shown. Some parts of it were surprisingly moving, as well. I appreciated that the filmmakers took the time to make clear that sex isn't just a magic playground of human impulses, that there are people's feelings involved with the sexual act, sometimes to an inextricable extent, and that there are some things that people do in order to get off that are, to put it mildly, morally dubious. I wasn't expecting that nuanced of a take on the subject, and was pleasantly surprised.

I don't know if I'd recommend this movie to people who know a lot about its subject matter, as they might find themselves caught up in the same sort of nitpickery that I tend to engage in when watching biopics of, say, The Doors or whoever, but for those who don't know too much about Kinsey and his work, I think it's essential watching. This is stuff people should know and understand, if only so that we can guard against things getting back to the horrible place they were in in the pre-Kinsey era. And this version of the story is entertaining, easy to understand, and effective.
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davy
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« Reply #327 on: Aug 25, 2009, 06:22:43 PM »

How a Britpop documentary could be made in the 21st century and fail to acknowledge that, finally, YES, Blur was the superior band in that stupid "battle" is beyond me. Because they were.

Oh man, you don't really think there's a consensus around this, do you? I know plenty of people who will rep for Oasis over Blur all the livelong day.

But they probably aren't the type of people who make Britpop documentaries, are they?
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Maaik
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« Reply #328 on: Aug 25, 2009, 06:30:29 PM »

Oi!  Fook you!
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #329 on: Aug 25, 2009, 09:09:13 PM »

How a Britpop documentary could be made in the 21st century and fail to acknowledge that, finally, YES, Blur was the superior band in that stupid "battle" is beyond me. Because they were.

Oh man, you don't really think there's a consensus around this, do you? I know plenty of people who will rep for Oasis over Blur all the livelong day.

But they probably aren't the type of people who make Britpop documentaries, are they?

Haha nice implied judgment about the difference between Blur and Oasis fans.
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donblood
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« Reply #330 on: Aug 25, 2009, 11:28:53 PM »

maybe he meant the type of people that make good Britpop documentaries

huh Andrew did you think of that?
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #331 on: Aug 26, 2009, 12:42:37 AM »

That'd be an even stronger implied judgment actually.

[For the record I can tell you are being sarcastic but I can't respond in kind]
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auto-da-fey
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« Reply #332 on: Aug 26, 2009, 07:29:44 AM »

I don't know if I'd recommend this movie to people who know a lot about its subject matter, as they might find themselves caught up in the same sort of nitpickery that I tend to engage in when watching biopics of, say, The Doors or whoever,

I actually think it's the rare historical and/or biopic that does work for a studiously-informed audience. I think I even recall a positive review in the Journal of American History or some other leading scholarly journal.

Between this and Gods and Monsters, Bill Condon has really won my respect. I had no idea until I just IMDB'd him that he made Dreamgirls, but now I'm slightly interested in that for the first time.
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Anne the Man
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« Reply #333 on: Aug 26, 2009, 08:24:22 AM »

I saw District 9 tonight. I really liked the doco style it was done in at the start, but then it divulged into action-film style. I know music is meant to put you in the film, but it really took me out of it; it made me remember that it was a movie, as opposed to in Children of Men or Out of the Blue which both felt harrowingly real precisely due to lack of music. I think it could've captured the brutality of the military a bit better, like have people shoot quickly rather'n gloating about it etc. I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't like it so much, though it was still enjoyable.
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alistarr*
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« Reply #334 on: Aug 26, 2009, 08:27:36 AM »

not that many people were going to, but nobody watch knowing, okay? you've been warned.

don't worry about me though - i managed to balance out my nick cage hit rate by watching ghost rider too, which was aces.
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Anne the Man
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« Reply #335 on: Aug 26, 2009, 08:51:43 AM »

Really? Knowing sounded hilarious. Did you go in with other expectations?
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Nick Ink
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« Reply #336 on: Aug 26, 2009, 09:14:00 AM »

not that many people were going to, but nobody watch knowing, okay? you've been warned.

I watched that 'cos davy said it was good! He lied!
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alistarr*
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« Reply #337 on: Aug 26, 2009, 09:34:41 AM »

Really? Knowing sounded hilarious. Did you go in with other expectations?

i think you and i are on the same page as to expectations for it prior to viewing, and the first half hour or more did seem like it was setting up for at least a mid-level quality Nick Cage Movie climax, but it all fell apart rather disastrously in the second half. i can forgive the spooky men, the scientists who don't know science, the mathematicians who don't understand numbers, the way nobody explained their thinking to anyone else, the trite backstory, the stupidly obvious reveal of what the numbers eventually meant and any number of similar things in a movie like this, but in the end i will forever remember it not as the pleasant distraction that it was in the first half but as the obnoxious and deeply disappointing movie it becomes in the second half; a film that pretends to be about faith and family but is in fact about idiocy, bad science and some kind of badly-explained take on a humanity whose innate desire is not to be free but to be led. the sheer arrogance of this kind of summer B-movie thinking it has anything of value to say about the subjects it tackles, of it thinking it is somehow more worthy or better than other summer B-movies and therefore doesn't have to worry about logical plotting or a satisfying conclusion, is a topic i'll not waste my breath dissecting, because i've already wasted plenty of words on the simple fact that it basically isn't particularly exciting most of the way through and then at the end it lands on a conclusion that would (i like to think) make anyone with half an ounce of brain in their skull feel vaguely ill at the notion that someone exists who could have wanted to film that.

[/rant]
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Chet
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« Reply #338 on: Aug 26, 2009, 09:41:32 AM »

That reminds me of Number 13 staring Jim Carey. Did anyone else have the displeasure of seeing that? Probably the worst movie I have ever paid money to see.
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alistarr*
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« Reply #339 on: Aug 26, 2009, 09:41:57 AM »

i mean you know at the end of sunshine where the awesome insane guy wants to purge the universe with god's holy fire? this film basically is populated by a bunch of people who are like that guy except substituting his insanity for passivity, his certainty for "umm, hmm, i guess i feel vaguely unhappy" and his awesomeness for sitting around hugging their dads while the world burns, not because they want that but because oh well that's just the way it is.

actually it's just struck me that perhaps this film was a blazing critique of global economic and environmental policy, and i've been stupid to only spot it now because i assumed the simpering religiosity of the whole endeavour was actually sincere, while at the same time knowing deep down that nobody could be retarded enough to actually think like that.
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alistarr*
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« Reply #340 on: Aug 26, 2009, 09:43:20 AM »

That reminds me of Number 13 staring Jim Carey. Did anyone else have the displeasure of seeing that? Probably the worst movie I have ever made money to see.

you know, if i hadn't got lost midway through my rant i was going to finish up with "biggest and most offensive waste of my time since the number 23" (which i assume is the movie you meant).
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Chet
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« Reply #341 on: Aug 26, 2009, 09:44:38 AM »

That reminds me of Number 13 staring Jim Carey. Did anyone else have the displeasure of seeing that? Probably the worst movie I have ever made money to see.

you know, if i hadn't got lost midway through my rant i was going to finish up with "biggest and most offensive waste of my time since the number 23" (which i assume is the movie you meant).
Oh yeah. That one. I actually went to the cinema to see that and everything. I went as far as to stand and give an ironic applause as the credits rolled.
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auto-da-fey
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« Reply #342 on: Aug 26, 2009, 09:45:17 AM »

we went out to see Inglourious Basterds last night, but failed to get in, alas.

instead, watched Frontier(s), which milly nailed:

frontiers is not really worth it. it's a european tcm, with skinheads instead of rednecks.

although I'd add that it also contains half-assed stabs at political relevance (it opens with the French riots and then goes into a Nazi story, etc.) and an out-of-leftfield 80s-style machine-gun shootout at the end. it was kind of fun to watch, but mostly because of G's occasional squeals, not so much for the movie itself.

edison, I'm curious: how do these horror-renaissance films play in France? they're big cult faves over here, but I can't tell how much of that is based on the subtitle-factor (making them seem more deep or profound than Saw/Hostel/Rob Zombie movies)--I do think Inside and Martyrs are superior to most American horror films, but Frontier(s) and High Tension very much not.
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alistarr*
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« Reply #343 on: Aug 26, 2009, 09:48:16 AM »

That reminds me of Number 13 staring Jim Carey. Did anyone else have the displeasure of seeing that? Probably the worst movie I have ever made money to see.

you know, if i hadn't got lost midway through my rant i was going to finish up with "biggest and most offensive waste of my time since the number 23" (which i assume is the movie you meant).
Oh yeah. That one. I actually went to the cinema to see that and everything. I went as far as to stand and give an ironic applause as the credits rolled.

yeah, we saw it at the cinema too. it was bad.
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das kranke Tier
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« Reply #344 on: Aug 26, 2009, 10:31:44 AM »

Watched Sunshine Cleaning last night and thoroughly enjoyed it!  If you liked Little Miss Sunshine, you'll dig for sure.
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davy
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« Reply #345 on: Aug 26, 2009, 11:10:32 AM »

not that many people were going to, but nobody watch knowing, okay? you've been warned.

I watched that 'cos davy said it was good! He lied!

Whoa, hey now. I believe what I said was "I enjoyed it." I know as well as anybody that this is in no way the same thing as saying "It is good."

I'm a true philistine when it comes to cinema.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #346 on: Aug 26, 2009, 11:17:19 AM »

Hah, now I'm thinking of "The Squid And the Whale."

"Dad, what's a philistine?"
"Someone who doesn't like books, or interesting films."
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davy
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« Reply #347 on: Aug 26, 2009, 11:22:45 AM »

I like some interesting films, but it is by no means the rule. "High-brow" movies generally just piss me off for some reason.
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auto-da-fey
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« Reply #348 on: Aug 27, 2009, 02:23:06 PM »

goddamn, I am hating Duck like I haven't hated a movie in recent months. I almost turned it off in the first ten minutes, when the late-period Leonard Cohen song over the opening credits, which featured cloying snapshots of a family-photo album with textual inscriptions to set up the story, was followed immediately with an Eels song, in that forced, over-soundtracked way that stifles any emotional response whatsoever on my part. Since then, it's been Phillip Baker Hall, who ought to be embarrassed, getting evicted from his apartment and having conversations with a duck he picked up in a park. This film has the precise look, feel, and substance of some dead-by-midseason NBC series that tackles serious social issues but with a glimmer of humor and hope. I hate it.

I hate it, but I'll probably suffer through the remaining 40 minutes, because I'm an idiot, a masochist, or both.
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auto-da-fey
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« Reply #349 on: Aug 27, 2009, 03:04:53 PM »

so now Phillip Baker Hall is homeless and walking on Hollywood Boulevard, where he takes the duck into a manicure place and the Vietnamese lady working there says "Oooh, I never see pet duck before" and offers it a free cleaning, tells him he can use the bathroom, and says of America, "I come here to make better life." "I'll never forget you," PBH tells the Noble Immigrant Lady before leaving.

I can't tell if this is more ridiculous than it is offensive. Not having seen Friends with Money, this is what I'd imagine some of the characters to make if they made films.
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