Author Topic: What was the last movie you watched?  (Read 1581800 times)

0 Members and 3 Guests are viewing this topic.

MightyJack

  • Guest
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12525 on: March 28, 2013, 12:53:14 AM »
Tristana (1970)
Got my BD in this week and have been spending time with the movie and the extras for the past few days.

Storywise it's about an older man named Don Lope (Fernando Rey) who seduces his young ward Tristana (Catherine Deneuve) -- who eventually revolts against him and has her revenge. But of course this being a Luis Buñuel film, it's about a lot more than that. And while complete understanding of the story is nigh impossible (the director always kept things obscure and offered few black and white situations), it can only be truly appreciated if one understands a bit of Spanish politics, the era of social unrest and uncertainty Buñuel set the film in, and of the patriarchal system that informs the characters and their actions.

It offers a few of the surrealistic touches he's known for (one being the dream sequence - with Don Lope's disembodied head being used as a bell ringer) but lacks the giddy audacity and black humor of his greater works. Buñuel also uses the strange tactic of 'telling' rather than "showing", which gives the film an overall aloofness.

The camerawork offers some highlights. Buñuel traditionally uses limited edits, and relies heavily on wide shots that linger and allow scenes to gestate. There is one interesting shot - during the first sexual encounter: The director follows his characters into the bedroom -framing them within. The door closes and he pans the camera around to another open bedroom door, effectively re-framing the scene and the actors without use of editing.

The release comes from Cohen and uses the same transfer Criterion had for their laserdisc. It looks great. Audio is in Spanish with English subs. I don't know why the French dub was not included.

Extras included a commentary track from critic Kent Smith and actress Deneuve, which is more a Q&A reflection, with few technical details provided. For that there is a 30 minute examination of the film, its themes and whatnot by Peter William Evans. There's also an alternate ending (which is not as good and was rightly changed).

And there is a great little booklet with essays and diary excerpts.

Overall, while I wouldn't rank Tristana among the uppermost greats from the director. It is nonetheless an outstanding feature and I'm happy with the purchase.



Edit: Sorry for getting long winded with this. Bunuel does that to me.  ;)

« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 02:52:21 AM by George Harrison »


Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

  • The FBI Pays Me to Surf
  • *
  • Posts: 2096
  • Liked: 1204
  • keeping an eye on the sammich since 1993
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12526 on: March 29, 2013, 08:07:48 PM »
Watching Star Wars on Blu Ray haven' seen it ssince it was in theaters in the 90's.  Good times, and young Harrison Ford still turns me on
Opticians are easy on the eyes


Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

  • The FBI Pays Me to Surf
  • *
  • Posts: 2096
  • Liked: 1204
  • keeping an eye on the sammich since 1993
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12527 on: March 29, 2013, 09:06:29 PM »
Harrison Ford turns you on too?
Opticians are easy on the eyes


Offline Charles Castle

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 877
  • Liked: 526
  • I crap bigger than this movie.
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12528 on: March 29, 2013, 10:19:05 PM »
Tristana (1970)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
This is a fantastic write up. I haven't seen Tristana for a great many years, but I remember enjoying staring at Catherine Deneuve. Thanks for sharing.

I've got a copy of That Obscure Object of Desire sitting on the shelf which I've been meaning to watch for awhile. This is good motivation.
You know, if the space man puma thing turns out to be the correct religion, I for one will be very surprised.


Offline Charles Castle

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 877
  • Liked: 526
  • I crap bigger than this movie.
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12529 on: March 29, 2013, 10:21:02 PM »
They vary wildly, but William Hjortsberg's novel, Falling Angel, and the movie version by Alan Parker, retitled Angel Heart (1987) for the big screen, share one thing in common: they take the familiar generic tropes of both the hard boiled detective story and the horror story and push them to a stylistic limit. This is a step beyond expressionism--the film movement that influenced the styles of both the horror movie and film noir--it's over the line into the baroque. The rococo, even. The movie is so drenched in style that it almost doesn't need a story and for a long period it seems like the one it has is a dead end anyway. Parker is one of those directors who doesn't do subtle.

The plot here follows low-rent private detective Harry Angel into the underworld, searching for a vanished musician named Johnny Favorite who is in the debt of Louis Cypher, Harry's sinister client. Angel tracks Favorite to a mental hospital where his doctor has been covering up his absence for a decade, then to New Orleans, where Harry comes face to face with a voodoo cult and with some fairly unpleasant facts about himself. The whole thing plays out like one of those hard boiled mysteries where things go from bad to worse in short order, but unlike, say, a Chandler mystery or a Ross McDonald mystery, Harry is no white knight. This literalizes the downward spiral of Jim Thompson or David Goodis and superimposes it over the romantic hard boiled story. And then it jumps out of hard boiled all together in favor of the horror story.

At the time this was filmed, Mickey Rourke was at the peak of his career. He was still very handsome, if in a disreputable and disheveled sort of way. He always looks like he just fell out of bed after a bender the night before in this movie. He's also populated his portrayal of Harry Angel with a lot of method actor-y tics, though this all serves a function in the movie. Angel doesn't have the steely resolve of Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe. He's essentially weak. This comes across in the performance. This is in stark contrast to Robert De Niro's Louis Cypher, who is calm, soft spoken, and implacable. Part of the impression De Niro makes in this film stems from the visual design of the character: his beard, his long hair slicked back, his long and polished fingernails, his choice of expensive black suits, his jewelry, all of this provide hints about him. One side effect is that it all makes him look a little bit like Martin Scorsese and I wonder if that's deliberate.

A lot of ink (Among other things. Hey! Come on, its funny! *throws confetti*) was spilled at the time about Lisa Bonet's role in this movie, coming as it did during her stint on The Cosby Show. I don't know that this film helped or hurt her career. I don't know that she went much of anywhere after this, which is a pity, but she's good here in a difficult role. Like Angel and Cypher, her Epiphany Proudfoot is another character name that's loaded with significance, a fact sometimes obscured by the display of her naked flesh. The supporting cast is loaded with interesting faces, including musician Brownie McGhee and the evergreen Charlotte Rampling. It's a good ensemble.

Parker fractures the narrative in the best tradition of film noir. He omits key pieces of information until the exegesis at the end, but he films it in such a way as to elide them. He's not cheating, really, so much as he's engaging in cinematic legerdemain. It's all right there if the viewer cares to infer it (and if the viewer is apt to decode the hints that litter the movie). Parker also intercuts the film with ominous symbols. The fan is the most prevalent, and there are shots of ceiling fans and table fans and box fans through out the movie, representing, I presume, wheels within wheels, or perhaps are favored for the light and dark patterns of shadows they cast. Wheels also figure into the film's other symbolic leitmotif, a descending elevator that torments Harry's dreams. It's all overcooked; that much is a given. But does it work? I think the key to that is whether or not the audience is hip to what's going on and whether or not this is a house of cards built on a single plot point. Does this hold together for a viewer who already knows what's happening? Or is this a one trick pony once you know the punch line. That, I cannot say. I've seen Angel Heart more than once, and sometimes I'll groove on the style or I'll get annoyed with Rourke's performance, and sometimes I'll fast-forward to the scenes with De Niro. This is a movie where the mood of the viewer is sometimes just as important as the mood generated by the film.
You know, if the space man puma thing turns out to be the correct religion, I for one will be very surprised.


MightyJack

  • Guest
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12530 on: March 30, 2013, 03:29:22 AM »
^I read the book, long before they made the film.

I normally don’t play the Ellery Queen game when I read. I just let a mystery unfold. But during Fallen Angel, just before Harry figured it out, the light bulb went off in my head and I laughed and thought, “How the hell didn't you see it before? Louis Cypher, it’s right in front of you!” I remember the book being one of those that lingers long after your finished with it. I recall setting it down and just sitting there for a while, thinking about it. I liked the movie okay, but it would have been hard pressed to match the impact of the novel.


And the quote function doesn't seem to be working for me. But thanks for your kind comment on the Tristana write up. Whenever I watch a Buñuel I get the uncontrollable urge (Devo reference intended) to talk or discuss it with someone. Though he’s a tricky to write about as you run the risk of slipping into reductionism, which does the film no service. And you don’t want to get too serious and somber… Buñuel was pretty funny too. I remember watching L’Age d’Or and at times laughing harder than I do during certain ‘so called‘ comedies.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 03:39:02 AM by George Harrison »


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Not Quite Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11759
  • Liked: 2657
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12531 on: March 30, 2013, 09:06:03 AM »
Zero Dark Thirty

 The more I think about it the less I like it.  Lots of real events amalgamated together to try and make the story more interesting, as if this story needed that.

 My biggest complaint is all the personalities are "off", from the CIA leaders to the seal team members.  Most of the characters have a little too much "reality TV" personality to them.

 The raid was OK except for all the talking, guess they didn't have the guts to do it silently.  I think it would have been way more cool to see a team working like clockwork using only hand signals.


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Not Quite Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11759
  • Liked: 2657
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12532 on: March 30, 2013, 10:01:37 AM »
  That has me thinking of movies like Patton and even Apollo 13, they are fictionalized versions of events but they stick to the real story pretty well, not making up characters or connecting events that never had a connection.  The artistic license was in the dialog between the characters, not the events themselves (for example the scene where the guys in Apollo 13 get into the big argument in the LEM never happened).

 I can imagine if they did Patton today they would have him secretly meet Rommel at some point.   ::)


Offline Relaxing Dragon

  • Bilbo Baggins Balladeer
  • ******
  • Posts: 4200
  • Liked: 1218
  • I raise my eyebrow at you, sir.
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12533 on: March 30, 2013, 10:09:40 AM »
Well, in Zero Dark Thirty's defense, it's not as though a lot of the info of what actually happened is (or ever will be) available to the public. To say nothing of whatever personal bias was in the sources they did get their info from.

I was just thinking about United 93 the other day as well, in the sense that I just really, really, really don't want to see it. It's sort of an anomaly there, because I usually go for the movies-based-on-difficult/harrowing-true-events, even the modern ones (I dig pretty much all the War on Terror movies, and, may I say, absolutely adored Zero Dark Thirty). But United 93 seems to strike that one chord where it's a bit too close to home, and so not something I can fully detach myself from. Which in theory shouldn't make any sense, since I was just one of the billions whose only interaction with the events of 9/11 was watching TV after school (6th grade, for those looking to feel old). And yet somehow... I dunno how to put it, actually. Just isn't something I want to sit down and watch unfold for two hours.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 11:43:19 AM by Relaxing Dragon »


Offline MartyS (Gromit)

  • Not Quite Legend
  • *****
  • Posts: 11759
  • Liked: 2657
  • Weirdies!
    • My homepage
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12534 on: March 30, 2013, 10:35:12 AM »
 I don't have any interest in watching the United 93 movies either, or the ones about the people in the towers.  I've watched lots of documentaries and it's hard enough listening to the audio recordings. 


Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

  • The FBI Pays Me to Surf
  • *
  • Posts: 2096
  • Liked: 1204
  • keeping an eye on the sammich since 1993
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12535 on: March 30, 2013, 10:41:52 AM »
Angel Heart was one of those "naughty" movies that my mom wouldn't let me watch, and I've been meaning to catch it for years.

Maybe I can get it cheap on amazon
Opticians are easy on the eyes


Offline Lembach

  • Ephialtes
  • *****
  • Posts: 7036
  • Liked: 8272
  • Hormel Batch Master
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12536 on: March 30, 2013, 03:15:47 PM »
"Argo". I despise the 70s and movies that take place in them. However, I consoled myself with the fact that it was close enough to the 80s to watch and I really enjoyed it despite all the stupid huge glasses, lank damp hairstyles, brown clothes, handlebar mustaches, and wide ties. Very good action packed movie. Very tense. I'm really very shocked Aflek made it, to be honest.


Offline Nunyerbiz

  • Mayor of Nilbog
  • *****
  • Posts: 3400
  • Liked: 953
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12537 on: March 31, 2013, 12:10:35 AM »
Identity Thief

It's the slightly dim-witted, not as attractive offspring of Midnight Run and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. So even if you've never seen this movie before... you've seen this movie before...  and it was better the last time around. That said, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy work well enough together... it's a shame they were saddled with pretty weak material.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

I liked this one more than I had any legitimate reason to... It's another pretty dim-witted script... formulaic, predictable, etc... But dammit if the actors didn't make it worth the ride.  Carell is the master of the oblivious yet likable asshole and he's in solid form here.  Jim Carrey is as obnoxious as ever, but in small supporting doses, he delivers the goods and never overwhelms.... and if you need a scene or two stolen then hire Alan Arkin for a bit role. I wouldn't recommend that anybody rushes out to see it in the theater, it's squarely a rental property... but I'll be watching it again once it hits Netflix.

Also, it's directed by this guy...
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

and I don't know why... but that earned it an additional cool point....


Offline Mrs. Dick Courier

  • The FBI Pays Me to Surf
  • *
  • Posts: 2096
  • Liked: 1204
  • keeping an eye on the sammich since 1993
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12538 on: March 31, 2013, 02:07:15 AM »
I'll wait for the dvd of Burt W but it looks good and it has Steve Bucemi (or however you spell it) who is awesome.  And I will stick by Jim Carrey no matter what.  Been a fan of his since Once Bitten

And I agree coolness point for being directed by that city boy
Opticians are easy on the eyes


Offline Charles Castle

  • Big Montana
  • *****
  • Posts: 877
  • Liked: 526
  • I crap bigger than this movie.
Re: What was the last movie you watched?
« Reply #12539 on: March 31, 2013, 04:29:44 PM »
Angel Heart was one of those "naughty" movies that my mom wouldn't let me watch, and I've been meaning to catch it for years.
I am certain it was on my Mom's naughty list, but with the lure of Denise Cosby nude it would have taken a lot more firepower than Mom had to keep me away.
You know, if the space man puma thing turns out to be the correct religion, I for one will be very surprised.