Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Postby filmfan94 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:47 am

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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:06 pm

;)
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:07 am

Get Out deserved Best Picture.

Shape of Water would have been my second choice.

Both achieve perfectly what the director set out to do, but Get Out is haunting, has more to say and will stand out as a classic for some time.

That being said, Shape of Water is still a meaningfully political film in its own right, focusing on a mute woman in the 60s who has always been overlooked and not seen as fully human. It's why she bonds with a gay artist, a black custodian, the creature, even the Russian who feels betrayed by both sides -- they're all outsiders, who conspire against the white-guy villain who would rather see the creature dead.

I found Lady Bird a bit baffling. Its scenes are short and seem to end arbitrarily, and it focuses on being realistic and relatable with events that may or may not actually be relatable for you. They weren't for me - it might as well have been science fiction, watching a Catholic schoolgirl feud with a mother who apparently loves her but can't express it in any way. I've seen people say this was their exact childhood, so I guess that's that. It wasn't mine. The film at least has something to say about class, and the uniquely fragile nature of teenagers, and as a coming-of-age film it is eventually very emotional. It leaves you wanting more, which you can't say about other films on the ballot.

Three Billboards is interesting but a bit tone deaf in today's political climate - a bleakly Irish film starring some unflattering American archetypes, which doesn't make much real-world sense, but boasts strong performances all round, and an interestingly grey morality. Although one wonders if this is really how the rest of the world sees Americans now. It's like the meme of the American breakfast including a gun. The American actors give it more depth than the script deserves.

I, Tonya deserved more notice than it got. Great, well-observed performances ground a clever, darkly funny film which almost makes Tonya Harding likeable, while outlining the personality issues that made her a magnet for disaster.

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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:17 pm

A Wrinkle In Time is a movie made of candy. Colorful, incoherent nonsense that may delight children but left me cold, as I kept trying to make sense out of anything that was happening, without success.

It's not bad exactly, but seems to be aimed at a Disney Channel audience. Lower your expectations accordingly.

(MORE, AFTER EMBARGO LIFTED:)

Girls younger than 16 or so might love it, as it's all about positively empowering the young lead and teaching her to love herself, but there's very little to it beyond that. It's less "Lord of the Rings" than "Shark Boy and Lava Girl." As our self-hating Mary Sue, 14 year old Storm Reid doesn't really have the acting chops to make sense of the outlandish situations she's put in. She says the lines and does her best, but her non-verbal acting isn't enough to tie it all together. She also gets a white love interest straight out of "Non Threatening Boys" magazine. That's 15-year-old Levi Miller, and if you're younger than 16 and still capable of finding a teenage boy dreamy then you'll get along with the camerawork in this film.

It's wish fulfillment fantasy for its young lead Meg, with young actors whose acting ability the film has drastically overestimated. In particular the child actor playing Charles Wallace is asked to play a head-in-the-clouds boy genius, and then an evil genius. That would tax an adult actor, but to ask all this of an 8 year old is asking for trouble. The results are theatrical and incomprehensible, and would absolutely have worked in an animated film rather than a live-action one.

Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon play celestial beings who seem always to be playing by arbitrary rules the film has just come up with. It must have worked better in print. Oprah attempts to lend gravitas to these situations but becomes one of many characters who've just met Meg but feel the need to tell her how amazing and special and wonderful she is. Reese Witherspoon instead spends the film insulting Meg. She is trying, but failing, to be whimsical, while the camera points in barely the correct direction. This film would have worked better if it had a real sense of whimsy. And Witherspoon's character would also have worked better in a live-action film, or if she played it more Mary Poppins than Giselle. At least Mary Poppins can seem businesslike in adult company.

Mindy Kaling, for some reason, is the only one who seems fully aware of what movie she's in. She does some good non-verbal acting, but is saddled with the worst lines, as her character can usually only quote others (including the musical Hamilton). The choice of quotes, and of name-dropped "genius" heroes like Einstein, Bono and Van Halen (!) means that this comes off as a very "white" movie despite its diverse cast. There is a brief segment, explained (I'm told) much better in the book, which makes horror out of the conformity of 1950s suburbia. This is such a worn out cliche in 2018 that its use here is staggering - and irrelevant to anyone in the target audience.

It's not clear how the kids can fly around and get knocked around hundreds of feet in the air and crash down without breaking every bone in their teenage bodies, but that's either an alien world or a CGI movie for you. There's not much of that at least, so it never gets too exciting.

Zach Galifianakis plays a minor good guy, a guru who makes everyone stand on one foot or something. Michael Pena plays a minor, devilish bad guy, basically a charming cameo sure to disappoint those who've read the book.

Four years earlier Chris Pine's father character stepped into some curtains and vanished into another world. This is supposed to be something Meg has to forgive him for, like he chose to be an absent father buried in his work during that time, and not, you know, trapped in some kind of nightmare world. It's another, unearned excuse to drag out the old cliche that a working father needs to spend more time with his kids, presumably in 1960s suburbia. This is explained to us by Hollywood, an industry which expects everyone to work long hours and never see their families.

Chris Pine and Gugu Mbatha-Raw are, as you'd expect, sexy and charismatic as the parents, in relatively small roles, and make the most of it, even though Pine's great scientific breakthrough is never explained beyond, "Hey, what if you could travel to distant dimensions with just the power of your mind? Hey, why are you laughing?" At the very least, it's the sexy Star Trek/Doctor Who crossover no one asked for until now. (Captain Kirk/Tish Jones!)

It's a science fiction fantasy with no science and precious little fantasy. I haven't read the book, but judging from Wikipedia they've skipped over various interesting creatures, worlds and fantasy situations in favor of just turning the color up real high in situations you can get here on Earth. A grassy field? Never seen that before. A beach? 60s suburbia that looks like a movie set? A white movie set? A red and yellow and purple movie set?

There's not much fantasy here beyond the three ladies showing up in overdesigned costumes to talk to Meg. I expect they could have done that without travelling across the universe, and we never really get the sense of travel to distant worlds or that this is much more than a play done to raise Meg's self-esteem.

Young girls who can relate to Meg may love it, as the film could function as a play performed for their benefit, to raise their self esteem, personally.

For me, I never felt that they set up Meg's life on earth very well, or very believably, and the film gets much less grounded from there so there was never much to hold on to. It's a film best experienced by those who aren't paying attention, and don't need to pay much attention to what's going on. It's colors and gowns and sparkles.

I wouldn't call it a bad film, but I came into the film with expectations that the film didn't try to meet.

There is a good, catchy soundtrack, and the film often makes time to remind you of that fact.

Ava Duvernay previously directed Selma, which showed the flaws and human side of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a grounded, realistic film and more successful than this fantasy, which has a lot of sparkle but not a lot of substance. There's stuff to like here. It's a pleasant, positive, affirming fantasy for young girls, with a more diverse cast than you usually see in this sort of thing. Its heart is in the right place, but its head is cotton candy.
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Postby filmfan94 » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:00 pm

The Other Side of the Wind is finally in a locked edit and undergoing visual and audio restoration.

http://www.wellesnet.com/update-other-side-wind/

EDIT: Michel Legrand has been hired to write the score for the film.

http://variety.com/2018/music/news/osca ... 202730460/
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Postby filmfan94 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:44 am

Gary Barber is no longer CEO of MGM. Maybe now we can get some proper restorations for the United Artists catalogue (and not just The Alamo).


https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ ... gm-1095794
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:56 pm

Hmmmm.
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:32 pm

(Talking on Facebook about The Polar Express, Beowulf, Disney's A Christmas Carol, Mars Needs Mom, and Tintin.)

It's not just the eyes, the entirety of these films are a hideous disaster. It's called the Uncanny Valley. We know too well what real human beings and reality looks like, so when a film tries to copy reality without any real things in it, we only see what's different and what falls short about the imitation, and the results can be terrifying and unpleasant. Certainly ugly and video game-y. It also begs the question of why these aren't simply live action films.

It's an insult to animated film directors, who could have lent some real style to these productions and made them wonderful. These are live action filmmakers fucking around and directing this as they would a live action film, and expecting the FX team to anonymously make up the gap.

Why not make an animated film, from an animation director? Mars Needs Moms was based on the work of a very well known artist, but the film shows no sign of his style.

I think it was Art Babbitt who said that using animation merely to imitate and rotoscope live action (as Bakshi did) was like driving a 747 jet around a parking lot.

As effects improve we'll reach a point where these films will actually work, and that will be unfortunate.

(Upcoming examples: characters in Ready Player One and Alita: Battle Angel.)
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Re: Movie Thread: The Dissection Room

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:07 am

From now on when we talk about the dark entry in a movie series, we don't say it's The Empire Strikes Back. We say Infinity War.


Stuff in the trailers but not in the film (I don't think?)

Team Captain America and Team Wakanda charging with Hulk. (Hulk's storyline rewritten late in the game maybe?)

Thanos: "This does put a smile on my face."

Tony Stark: (Annoyed at Starlord) "Wow." (And Peter Parker's reaction shot?)

Shot of Guardians with Starlord smirking and Mantis waving at Thor.

Tony: "Tell me his name again" and Peter "made up names" are closeups in the trailers.

Cap stepping out of the shadows has a different background I think.

Nat and Bruce shots from first trailer, appearing to share a moment in Wakanda. Bruce standing next to Hulkbuster hand.

I don't recall the scene of Nat riding on Wakandan transport either, but might be forgetting.
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