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Thread: What is the last movie you saw? and rate it.

  1. #7126
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    "A Star is Born" (the new one) is written by, directed by, and stars Bradley Cooper. Cooper plays a handsome (he's good at that part) country rock star who "discovers" Lady Gaga vamping up "La Vie en Rose" in a drag night club. He spots her talent and nurtures both it and their budding romance. Unfortunately, he is also an alcoholic and drug addict, and as her career skyrockets, his plummets. IN one scene, he desires Gaga to find her own authentic voice,and sing the songs she has written herself. "You must tell YOUR story," he pontificates.

    This seems strange,considering that in Cooper's first attempt at directing and screenwriting, he is trotting out a movie that has been made at least four times previously. The first two were non-musicals back in the '30s -- and then none less than Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand took on the Gaga role. Lady Gaga is an excellent actress -- unsurprising, since all of her pop songs involve her performing a "role". However, none of the songs are memorable; Cooper's pop star is typically untalented; and the movie is (like it's predecessors) a downer. Gaga's "La Vie en Rose" reminds the viewer of the difference between real talent (thank you Edith Piaf) and over-the-top vamping at a drag club. In addition, I missed the Harold Arlen / Ira Gershwin songs of the Garland version, including "The Man that Got Away".

    ON the positive side, Lady Gaga is believable as a pop star -- and she looks so ordinary in blue jeans that her transformation to pop star is very well done. Bradley Cooper lacks the edginess of James Mason in the Garland version -- his addictions are portrayed as a sort of victimhood from an unhappy childhood, as if his alcoholism resembled lung cancer developed from his parents' second hand smoke. The first hour of the film is good -- as Gaga's star ascends. The descent, not so much.

    I also saw "The Green Book" last night. It stars Vigo Mortensen and and Mahershala Ali, and recounts the story of a pianist who hires an Italian goodfella to drive him on a concert tour through the South (it's 1962). Predictably, they end up liking each other, and Mortenson ends up being horrified by segregation. The movie cheats, a bit. Just as Sidney Portier was an M.D. in "The Man who Came to Dinner", Ali's character is a world-class pianist, a PhD., talks without the hint of any African-American accent, and, to boot, is gay. So much for white fear about black men molesting (or attracting) their women!

    Nonetheless, the movie is good fun. Such films live or die by the charisma of the two stars, and Mortensen and Ali pull off their somewhat hackneyed roles very well.
    Last edited by Ecurb; 11-28-2018 at 10:06 PM.

  2. #7127
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    Barry Jenkins new movie suffers from some of the same flaws that “Moonlight” did, but lacks the virtues. It also suffers from my notion that if Beal Street could talk, it would say, “I support a ban on studded tires.”

    The movie revolves around a romance between a beautiful young black girl and her equally beautiful lover who is languishing in prison for a crime he didn't commit. The problem: as in “Moonlight”, the lovers aren't particularly interesting. They seldom even speak, preferring to stare moon-eyed at each other.

    In addition, the movie “cheats”. The cop whose lies put Fonnie in jail is a more evil version of Joffery from “Game of Thrones” (I'll grant it's a minor role, but still).

    The minor characters are fun: the girl's mother is loving and feisty; the boy's mother is a wicked and judgmental church-lady When she's on screen, hackneyed as her role is, at least the movie comes alive. Her scene is the most enjoyable in the movie.

    The movie is well-filmed: the leads are beautiful, the scenes well-shot. But it drags. At one point, Fonnie's trial got delayed, and I turned to my friend and whispered, “Uh oh. This might take forever.”

  3. #7128
    All are at the crossroads qimissung's Avatar
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    Those are good reviews, Ecurb.

    I saw "Cold War" recently and loved it. The two leads are good, particularly the female, although I cannot remember her name. It takes place in Poland after WWII and is a good depiction of life in eastern Europe after the war. The male lead finally tires of life under the Soviets and leaves. His love is able to join him later, but finds she cannot adapt to the diminishment of their lives and talents in a foreign land (in this case, France). She returns home, but as we all know, you can't go home again.
    "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its' own reason for existing." ~ Albert Einstein
    "Remember, no matter where you go, there you are." Buckaroo Bonzai
    "Some people say I done alright for a girl." Melanie Safka

  4. #7129
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    I liked "Cold War", too, gimissung. It's a little like "A Star is Born", in that it's a "downer" musical. Still, the photography (in black and white) is gorgeous, as are the two lead actors. I liked the songs better than "Star's", too. In some of the reviews I read, the relationship of the two stars was called "steamy". I think this is mere shorthand, meaning the stars are beautiful. The relationship is actually underdeveloped and it's a bit difficult to understand the obsession (other than on a physical level).

    I also saw the 5 Oscar Nominated short live action films recently. It would be difficult to imagine a more unpleasant evening. The first movie -- "Fauve" -- is about two boys who go into an open pit mine. One of them gets caught in a sink hole and dies. The visuals are very well done, but the story is manipulative and silly. The relationship between the boys is established with them competing with each other. It's supposed to be youthful and masculine, but it made me think that these kids are jerks. Also, the surviving boy's reaction to the tragedy is not credible.

    The second movie was "Madre". It's an excellent idea for a tense story. A mother gets a phone call from her 6-year-old boy. He's on a beach. His father (from whom the mother is separated) has disappeared, and the boy is all alone, and doesn't know where he is. Nice set up. Eventually, a man shows up who (what are the odds?) turns out to be a child molester. What a way to ruin a nice idea, by trying to manipulate the audience into an emotional response!

    The third movie is "Marguerite", about an old woman who receives in home nursing care from a woman who turns out to be married to a woman. This prompts the lady to regret that she had never explored her own sexuality. OK -- nothing wrong with that -- but the movie is a snooze.

    The next, "Detainment", is about the famous case in England (I forget where) in which two 10-year-old boys kidnap a two-year-old and murder him. It's reasonably well done, and at least has the excuse of recounting a true story, but it's not much fun.

    The finale, "Skin", is about a racist, skinhead family. Its set-up is well done. The father and son like each other. The obese mother seems realistic. Then the father gets offended when a black man smiles at his son, and (with his buddies) beats the man senseless. So far, so good. Seeking vengeance, the black man and his friends kidnap the father, take him to a tattoo parlor and (get this!) dye his skin black. When he tries to return home, his panicked son shoots him. This has to be the stupidest ending of an Oscar nominated film in the history of these misguided awards. Yuck!!!!
    Last edited by Ecurb; 02-20-2019 at 08:55 PM.

  5. #7130
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    The other Oscar favorite that I was unfortunate enough to see recently is "The Favorite". It's the story of a love triangle between Queen Anne, the Duchess of Marlborough, and Emma Stone (whose name in the movie I can't remember). Apparently, Oscar voters like it because it's irreverent and the sexual politicking is homosexual. Sexual politicking can make for good movies ("Dangerous Liaisons", etc.). However, such movies need to involve some wit and humor to entertain. The supposedly funny scenes in "The Favorite" include Emma Stone getting pushed out of a carriage into the mud (ha! ha! She's wearing beautiful period clothing and she gets all muddy!). The audience with which I saw the movie also laughed when characters used the word "c*nt". HA! HO! HE! Old fashioned society women talking dirty. What could be more funny? Well, in my opinion, practically anything. None of this offended me -- it just wasn't funny or entertaining.

  6. #7131
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    "Never Look Away" is a new film directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. You know he's a great director as soon as you see his name, redolent of Germanic nobility. Also, his previous film, "The Lives of Others" was one of the best movies I've seen in the last ten years.

    "Never Look Away" is more sprawling and less tense (except in places) than "The Lives of Others", but that merely means it's still one of the best movies of the year. The movie is set in East Germany, beginning in 1937 and moving until 1961 (by which time the characters have moved to the West). It involves an artist, his family, his love interest and a Nazi doctor who moves adroitly from his SS membership to ingratiating himself with the Communists to running hospitals in West Germany. He has a talent for self-interest.

    The first half of the movie (in which the main character is first a young boy and then a teenager) is tense and dramatic (wartime, after all). The second half is more focused on art and the protagonist's career. Some scenes stick in the viewer's mind --like the start of part three with our hero climbing a tree surrounded by long, golden grass. The plot is convoluted and occasionally a bit much to take, but it doesn't ruin the movie because it is so well done. Each scene is shot with care and precision. The actor who played the stage director in "Loves of Others" plays the eugenically inclined doctor in this movie, and he's superb. Highly recommended.

  7. #7132
    Ecurb Ecurb's Avatar
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    "Ash is the Purest White" is a Chinese film directed by Jia Zhanngke, a director admired by film fans,but with whom I was unfamiliar. It's the story of a woman from a remote town who lives on the fringes of legality with her boyfriend Jin. When Jin is attacked by thugs, Quiao (the woman) takes his illegal gun out of the car and fires it in the air, scaring away the assailants, but ending up in prison for 5 years (because she refuses to rat out her boyfriend).

    When she gets out, Jin has moved on and has a new girlfriend, Quiao moves back to her hometown. Later, Jin shows up. He has had a stroke and is disabled.
    Jin's pride, and Quiao's strength comprise the essence of the movie. Jin asks Quiao if she hates him. "No." Do you love me? "No. I have no feelings for you one way or another."

    "Then why are you helping me?"

    "You have left the (some Chinese word I can't remember,meaning the minor league mafia). In it, we talk about righteousness."

    The movie is about the crowded, ambitious, fast-paced yet old-fashioned life of a huge, diverse country, as well as about two people. Very good.

  8. #7133
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    Hi,
    the last movie I saw: Homeless to Harvard
    I loved it so much it's 10/10.










    Dafont 192.168.l.l FileHippo
    Last edited by shiba28; 04-16-2019 at 03:37 PM.

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