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    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2013
    reexamine our cinematic tastes

    He said of the ear cutting scene in Reservoir Dogs that that was his intention - that you got to enjoy the bastard comedy, his song and dance - and then something horrible happened. But you don't see it; the camera pans away to make the moment more effective.

    I think anything else is just blood and guts "fun" for him; no different than a Michael Bay explosion.
    • CommentTimeJan 30th 2013
    Funny... I just happened to get to see Django last night. I'm terrible about getting to the movies regularly but I enjoy Tarantino so when I got a chance to pick what to see that's where I went. To me this whole examination of Tarantino, the back and forth, and the wide range in appreciation is part of the interest I have in his movies. He does make flawed films...but flawed films that I typically enjoy.

    Interestingly, @Ben G, in college I wrote an entire paper on Pulp fiction and how Tarantino's statement is that violence breeds violence until it just goes off the rails. (I haven't gotten to see Bastards but I will at some point; so I didn't read your spoiler - and thanks for hiding it!)

    @Mags - Reservoir Dogs! Tim Roth with an American accent which I thought was natural!!

    It's hard to pinpoint what I like about Tarantino/Django outside of the conversation. The musical choices were occasionally so jarring that I couldn't hate them because they just shocked me. The sudden tight closeups of the major characters kept bringing me back to stylistic choices over artistic ones which made it all work when it the whole thing comes down to two guys being super badass. Oddly, though, I actually usually like DiCaprio but felt that half of his performance - the first major scene - was not so great, that he was just filling out the space and making faces...but then he settled in for me, or I settled and worked out where he was coming from. I don't know exactly know. Like I said, I'm in the camp that likes DiCaprio as a talented actor.

    I'm in awe of Samuel Jackson and hope someone asked him about prep work and how he found in himself what he needed to play Steven, because it couldn't have been easy.

    LOVED Christoph Waltz. LOVED HIM. Very much enjoyed Jamie Foxx though I think sometimes he struggled (artistically) between being a superhero and being a guy riddled with fury and pain.

    Recently also watched Life of Pi because @Magnulus wanted to and who's going to turn down a pretty Norwegian inviting you to see a movie you know nothing about? I rather enjoyed it and gave me a lot of food for thought as comes to mysteries, stories (narratives) and religion. I think I'll get the DVD when it comes out and show it to my dad.

    Let's see... I think the only other film I watched this month was Les Miserables. I wasn't expecting much and I wasn't disappointed. It was a grand spectacle, so the big screen is the right place to check it out. Everyone is right on praising the shit out of Anne Hathaway and condemning Russell Crowe (though why anyone is surprised that Crowe didn't really bother with acting is beyond me). Left out of the cheers is Samantha Barks as Eponine. Granted she's been playing Eponine for five years so she had better have it down, but damn did that girl break my heart...and I was expecting it!!

    When I was in high school Les Mis was the huge monster Broadway hit. I never got to see it but I saw video of several parts of the performance and freaking EVERY girl thought they were Eponine. I learned the song "On My Own" in high school, not for choir, not because I had the soundtrack, but just by listening to girls in the hallway in in class because it was fucking inescapable. So it was ...a strange kind of pleasure to find I could recall all the words when I was in the theatre. (Yes I can be very obnoxious to sit next to sometimes. I try not to be. But occasionally fail.)

    The revolutionary lads were well done, though I must say I had trouble keeping them all straight in my head. I didn't see the original but I did read the book way back when...the streamlining for the sake of musical got me all confused on who was who.

    In the end though... it's merely alright. Because I enjoy musicals, but quickly outgrew spectacle like Les Miz in favor of Sondheim and Assassins or Into the Woods (or, ok, Sweeney Todd, though don't get me started on what a disappointment that movie was)... and once I got to college and discovered Brecht, well screw it. Threepenny Opera trumps all.
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2013
    I get a little bit the comments about Django going from slave to baddass, but honestly, so what? The protagonist of a Western is going to be a baddass no matter what. Check out High Noon. Gary Cooper's character spends most of the movie trying to get the townspeople to help save his ass and then refuse. So he goes ahead and kills the bad guys anyway (with an assist from his screen wife). How does this guy who spends the whole movie going "Help me or I'll die!" suddenly gain the mojo? Because that's how these movies work.

    How does Django, a slave who'd probably never touched a gun before the first time he shot one, become an expert gunfighter? I dunno. How do John Wayne's and Clint Eastwood's characters? Why is Django so capable? Because he's a black Rooster Cogburn or Josey Wales and that's good enough for me.
    • CommentTimeJan 31st 2013
    He was also training with a skilled gunman for a period of several months. I don't see why it'd be hard to believe he'd become proficient.
  1.  (10949.5)
    I saw Haneke's Amour last night for the first time as my, now, local cinema wanted to show it again because they thought it 'one of the most important pieces of cinema from 2012...if not of the last 50 years' and goddam were they right.

    I'm typing up a blog post on it because the whole thing rings in my head as one of the most poignant, beautiful, and unrelenting depictions of the true nature of being human, being dignified, and being honestly loving since Beckett.

    Fuck it, I'll tell you now - I think that if Beckett had lived to make more films and began to understand the nature of filmmaking properly, he would have made this film.

    {ETA} I forgot to mention, Sony have made the entire screenplay *free* to download though I've only found the English version so far. That's here.
  2.  (10949.6)
    First off, I haven't seen Django yet.

    My personal understanding of Tarantnino is that his movies are made in a state of tension between a consuming love of goofy genre movie violence, but with an adult understanding of what violence really is, and what it really does to a person. Characters are killed off or wounded with comedic timing on a regular basis, like they would in a shlochy genre film, but Tarantino doesn't let the viewer get off that easily. He forces you to look at the corpse, or watch the character die, and it's generally not very pleasant.
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2013 edited
    Iron Man 3 - Extended Super Bowl Spot

    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeFeb 3rd 2013
    I went to see "Les Miserables," mostly to satisfy some relatives who saw it and enjoyed it. (I recommend films to them all of the time, and felt obligated.)

    The first two thirds or so weren't bad. After what I assumed was the climax -- the barricades -- things just kind of dragged. Painful sentimental stuff.

    But I felt justified in seeing the film because I finally got to hear, and comprehend in-context, the song "Master of the House." See, I lived on Long Island until fifteen years ago. TV there ran ads for the "Les Mis" musical for its whole run. The ad featured a few seconds of "Master of the House," sung a big to quick to really pick up lyrics. They made a joke of this in an excellent episode of "Seinfeld." . . . "Master of the House, La-la-la-la-la!"
    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2013
    I want to see THIS

    just because it looks like badass popcorn cheeze. Deep ongoing food for thought... I think not... medieval ratchetpunk action flick? Absolutely.
  3.  (10949.10)
    Did anyone see the new Pacific Rim images today?:

    • CommentTimeFeb 4th 2013
    Badass popcorn cheeze... yus! Especially when I remember to bring along my flask of liquid good times. }:>

    And Pacific Rim - you know as soon as someone called it Godzilla versus mecha I was all over it!!
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2013
    I thought Hansel and Gretel looked absolutely idiotic from the posters. The trailer looks like fun, though, and as the director is Norwegian I find that I'm almost honour-bound to watch it, though I haven't gotten around to watching Kill Buljo or Dead Snow yet. He grew up in the same small town I went to study for a year.
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2013
    "Dead Snow" was good fun that didn't take itself too seriously. Not what I expect from Norway.
    • CommentTimeFeb 5th 2013
    See, I enjoyed Django. For me, there was a clear distinction between two types of violence. There was the silly, blood-dripping-off-the-walls violence, which I think was absolutely meant to be crowd pleasing and excessive and fun. Then there was the other type of violence, which I found genuinely grim and harrowing - again, just as I think was intended. I also enjoyed every performance in it, particularly Samuel L Jackson as Steven. It felt clear to me that he'd driven himself mad with what he'd become, to the extent that the rage and the conflict just came steaming out of his eyes.
  4.  (10949.15)
    Watching Tyrannosaur on Film 4. Just confirming my opinion that Olivia Colman is one of England's best actresses.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013
    Agreed. She's lovely.

    Got round to watching This is England the other night. Shane Meadows' portrayal of small-town thuggery really gives me the willies. Love it.

    Recently saw The Sessions. I'd recommend it because the plot is pretty unique but it didn't provoke a whole lot of emotion from me.
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013
    She's good in Doctor Who, too. I'd love to see her play an outright villain in something.

    Speaking of things Shane Meadows/Paddy Consadine related - Dead Man's Shoes put the willies up me something good. I thought the film was excellent, but have no desire to watch it again. Brrr...
  5.  (10949.18)
    @Curb that scene where she comforts her husband. Yes, I could see her playing a villain.

    Dead Man's Shoes is one of my favourite films, and introduced me to Bonnie 'Prince' Billy.
  6.  (10949.19)
    Thanks to personal connections, I caught a screening of "Jobs," the biopic starring Ashton Kutcher as the late Steve Jobs. I certainly didn't feel restless watching the film, especially given my lack of familiarity with both Jobs' life and the history of Silicon Valley. Kutcher's performance was convincing enough that the opening sequence in which Jobs unveiled the iPod made me wonder if this was actual footage from Apple. Otherwise, the film basically fell into the category of The Visionary Asshole Who Changed The World.

    Kutcher himself showed up after the screening to answer some questions and have his picture taken with audience members. I'm afraid my reaction to his presence was a "meh."
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2013
    "I'm afraid my reaction to his presence was a "meh."" Somehow I think your "afraid" was sarcastic.