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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:59 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

The Matrix held a lot of symbolism and subtext for its then-closeted trans creators. Right down to the word "trans" (for transmission) bookending the film, along with the ending zoom toward the words "System Failure," with a whole world inbetween the "M" and "F." It's a very personal story about becoming your own hero and the person you were meant to be, which is why it was such a success (and why the sequels struggled to tell as compelling a story). The Wachowskis continue to do unusual, interesting work. ... -narrative

Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:26 pm
by JustinHoskie
"Well, 'A Star is Born' is a very simple story that can be endlessly updated and reinterpreted. Fame and celebrity is ever evolving and changing (Since Barbra's version, paparazzis, the internet, social media, and the 24 hour news cycle have all been introduced, which has drastically altered fame and celebrity), so it makes sense that Esther Blodgett's is a story Hollywood keeps coming back too, again and again."

Thus ends the standard, copypasta comment I wrote for this bit of news, for both the Judy Garland fans and musical fans I know aren't particularly happy. ... 201804358/

Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:59 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Young Frankenstein. The Producers. Blazing Saddles. Gene Wilder gave some of the best comedic performances ever seen onscreen. Soulful, with a calm covering a mania underneath. Gone now. So it goes.

Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:17 am
by Garrett Gilchrist
"A television series titled Black Bart was produced for CBS based on Bergman's original story for Blazing Saddles. It featured Louis Gossett, Jr. as Bart and Steve Landesberg as his drunkard sidekick, a former Confederate officer named "Reb Jordan". Other cast members included Millie Slavin and Noble Willingham. Bergman is listed as the sole creator.

Four seasons of Black Bart were created, but only the pilot episode was ever aired; CBS aired it once on April 4, 1975. The pilot episode featured guest appearances by Gerrit Graham and Brooke Adams and was written by Michael Elias and Rich Eustis. Elias and Eutis later created and executive produced the ABC sitcom Head of the Class (1986-1991).

Interviewed in 1996, Steve Landesberg said Black Bart "was like a joke... We did the pilot, and CBS dumped it at the end of the 1975 season in April or May on a Friday. We thought it was done, then CBS tells us to come back and film six more episodes. And then another six. Six episodes each season, when an order was usually for 24 or 26. I was on Barney Miller by that point, and we'd film during the winter break when all other TV shows were on hiatus. And they never aired any of them. It was like a sick joke. If I wasn't under contract I would have walked, but they were paying me so I can't complain.”

In 1989, Louis Gossett, Jr. told Entertainment Tonight, "CBS and Warner Bros. made a deal... The deal was that CBS would get to air Blazing Saddles, and any sequels from the movie, in exchange for co-producing a TV show. At the time Warners wanted to make Blazing Saddles into a comedy series of films, a new one coming out every year or so. They wanted to use the model that the Brits had for the Carry On films. But [Mel] Brooks had a clause in his contract that said Warner had to keep producing Blazing Saddles stories, in the movies or TV, or they'd lose the rights to make sequels. The TV show was a way to keep the rights. They didn't have to air it, just keep producing it. So for four years I spent my winter on a soundstage being paid to be in show that would never see the light of day, just so Warners could keep the sequel rights to Blazing Saddles. By 1979 they finally figured out the market had changed and they weren't going to make any sequels, so we were cancelled, if a show that never was supposed to air can be cancelled."

Mel Brooks addressed the existence of the Black Bart series in 2005: "My lawyers, bless their souls, came to me and said, 'Warner Bros. is going to try and take away your control of the movie. Let's put in a crazy condition that says they can't do any sequels unless they make it right away or make a TV show out of it within six months.' Which is brilliant. They couldn’t make a sequel in six months, and the movie was too vulgar to be a TV show. Now it would air in family hour if that was still a thing. So the lawyers put that in, never thinking they’d make a TV show... In 1977, three years later, Warner Bros comes to me and says they want to make another Blazing Saddles, and I say, 'No. You don't have the right to do that.' They say, 'Yes we do, we've been making a TV series and still control the rights.' What TV series? I haven't seen a TV show. They take me onto the lot, into a projection booth, and show me three episodes. My lawyers never thought to put in language that said they had to air the damn thing, only that they had to make it. Oy gevalt! Well, management changed and they never did Blazing Saddles 2, and as far as I know they’re still making that stupid show to this day.""

Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:35 am
by filmfan94
Mosfilm is currently restoring Sergei Bondarchuk's 70mm adaptation of War and Peace. Here is a very rough translation of the included article from Google Translate:
"Mosfilm" is engaged in restoration of films " War and Peace " and " Liberation"

Specialists film concern "Mosfilm" is currently engaged in the restoration of such films as "War and Peace " by Sergei Bondarchuk and "Liberation" Yuri Ozerov, told a news conference on Monday, Deputy General Director Igor kinokontserna Bogdasarov.

"We are always in the production of a few pictures, is now much work. " War and Peace "and" Liberation " And she and the other was shot in the large-format film "- said Bogdasarov, adding that recently experts have completed work on the film " Ordinary Miracle " by Mark Zakharov, " Assa " Sergei Soloviev, " Autumn Marathon " George Danelia and " Uncle Vanya " Andrey Konchalovsky.

General Director of Cinema Concern Karen Shakhnazarov stressed that restoration is a complex process that requires a lot of effort and special technical solutions . Currently the studio experts have restored about 70 films.

"It's a very long case, we can not put it on stream. You can digitize and restoration - it's hard. If this is not done, then the picture will inevitably be lost," - said Shakhnazarov.

According to him, " War and Peace " literally had to be saved as no more negatives of this film in Russia and kontrnegativ found seven years ago , was in a terrible state . Now experts are engaged in a deep restoration.

Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 4:45 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

Marvel's Captain America: Civil War is now being released on home formats.

There's a lot here where Marvel makes it look easy, when really it would have been easy to screw it up. Certainly a better story than the comic book "Civil War."

Everyone is given time to shine. Black Panther is great, and the new take on Spider-man actually feels fresh after five previous films. The Vision in a sweater might as well be the casually comic-book moment all of these films were building to.

Bucky spent a lot of time as the tortured victim and villain, with the previous Cap film asking whether the "real" Bucky was even still in there. This film settles that casually, without dwelling on it. Bucky is paired with the Falcon, where the two can just banter and be sidekick heroes, understudies for Cap. The "real" Bucky is back like muscle memory kicking in - and it's taken so casually as part of the action that audiences aren't even thinking about it.

At this point Marvel and the Russos are juggling a dozen plus heroes and making it work. I can't seem to care about Sharon Carter though.

Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:23 pm
by psychedelicpiper
@filmfan94 Thanks so much for your post. I'm a major fan of Sergei Bondarchuk's "War and Peace", and feel it's absolutely ridiculous that this film is not on Blu-ray. The current Ruscico DVD leaves much to be desired. I really appreciate your update. So glad they have finally gotten to work on the restoration. Can't wait to see the results.

Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:36 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
70mm restoration is a big task. It's a shame that these Soviet classics have been overlooked so far. They deserve care and attention.

Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:31 am
by Garrett Gilchrist ...

Here's the "other" Beauty and the Beast film coming out. Looks unusual, and intriguing. This is a French film so it's hard not to think of the famous 1946 film. (Which also, of course, inspired Disney.) The Beast's look also recalls, somehow, the 1987 TV series with Ron Perlman.

Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Posted: Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:40 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Ghostbusters (2016)

I didn't see the theatrical but I've now seen the extended. I hope I didn't miss anything. I hear there are some joke replacements. There are a lot of scenes present which I'm surprised aren't in the theatrical, as they seem fairly important to the storytelling.

I liked it overall and would recommend it. The first half is a choppy mess full of bad improv. Maybe the most amateurish big-budget film I've seen. The second half is more of an effects film and holds together better.

The story structure of the first half is solid but the storytelling is absolutely inept. The camera angles are all over the place, the pacing is nonsense, the editing is choppy with characters hopping all around the room, and the dialogue is inane improvised babble which isn't funny and fails to tell the story or make the characters into anything but actresses killing time. There's nothing grounding it. The actual scenes and what they're about are fine, but they're shot and edited in an awkward improv way rather than written and played straightforwardly. The storytelling falls apart.

When they get on with it being an effects film, and it stops being just a mess, there's nothing to complain about. So by the end you've watched a good Ghostbusters film. I blame Paul Feig because of course I do, although I've seen other films in which the first 30 minutes is cut like a trailer and that can be due to executive meddling, to wanting to get on with the story quicker. Having seen other Paul Feig movies, though, I think he's just like this. Shooting improv which doesn't cut together.

Kate McKinnon is amazing throughout, and the film's saving grace early on. Really a breakout character who doesn't put a foot wrong. She's always doing something interesting and her line reads are always surprising. (Although as the film's comic relief, I get the feeling she'd fall completely flat in more serious scenes. The film never tests that though, beyond a quick speech at the end which comes off awkwardly.) The worst thing I can say is that the character isn't overtly gay enough.

Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, despite their pedigree as comedic actresses, do little to distinguish themselves. A lot of wasted time early on on material which isn't funny and isn't played serious enough either. There was an opportunity to do something great with their scenes early on and the film blows it big time. Wiig does better later in more serious, grounded scenes, and I get the same vibe from McCarthy. At the very least their friendship is credible and nearly works at the heart of the film. Their brand of half-assed improv also plays better later, when they're taking the air out of big effects scenes. The film fails to build up to that, starting out with big ghost effects moments that a normal person would react to with a lot more shock than our characters do.

Leslie Jones is fine - the comedic potential of her character is very clear, and so is how she would react to any situation. Given that, the film doesn't give her enough to say that's actually funny. She does okay, as a more restrained version of her real-life persona.

Villain Neil Casey is pretty good. So is Chris Hemsworth as Kevin. Other minor characters are trying too hard to be funny, and all of the original-cast cameos take you out of the film.

The music is fine, often referencing the Ghostbusters theme song, but they don't reference the classic Elmer Bernstein score to the original, or its other songs. The new score can only seem inferior by comparison.

I'm sure there is a much more coherent film to be mined from the footage they shot here - using a lot less improv material and sticking with only what works - but Paul Feig has a specific vision of what is and isn't funny, and he's wrong. It's a mixed bag overall. You could write a script based on the final cut of this movie and have them stick to it and do it right, and it'd be twice the film it is.

And yes, they actually changed the title to "Ghostbusters: Answer the Call" at the end. It's still "Ghostbusters" up front, without the logo, and with only a burst of the theme song rather than a full montage. A big missed opportunity in editing, as is most of the film to be honest.

Overall though, it's worth seeing. About half of it lives up to what a Ghostbusters film should be in 2016.