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Polls / Re: Disney Songs Battle Royale: Hercules
« Last post by Sam the Cinema Snob on Today at 09:46:48 PM »
I feel like Alan Menken doesn't get out from the shadow of Howard Ashman's death until Enchanted.
Polls / Re: Cannes 2016 Best Movies - In Competition
« Last post by Totoro on Today at 09:31:58 PM »
American Honey (A)
Paterson (A)
Toni Erdmann (B+)
Loving (B+)
The Salesman (B+)
I, Daniel Blake (B+)
Elle (B-)
The Handmaiden (C-)
Julieta (C-)
The Neon Demon (D)
Graduation (D)

Palm: American Honey
Grand Prix: Paterson
Jury: Toni Erdmann

Lead Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Lead Actor: Joel Edgerton, Loving

Screenplay: I, Daniel Blake
Director: The Salesman

Directors / Re: Farhadi, Asghar
« Last post by Totoro on Today at 09:29:45 PM »
A Separation (A)
The Salesman (B+)
The Past (C)

Kind of befuddled by the bizarre backlash directed at THE SALESMAN by core cinephiles. I need to finish his filmography. I'm sure now that THE PAST was just a hiccup.
Movie Talk (Spoiler Edition) / Re: The Salesman
« Last post by Totoro on Today at 09:27:03 PM »
So, help me out here, Filmspotters.  I understand that there is deliberate ambiguity about the attack in the shower.  But the following questions occur to me.  How did the attacker get that cut on his foot?  Did he take his shoes and socks off?  Why did he leave the cash?  Are we to believe that this was a sexual assault? But that old guy hardly would have had the strength or stamina for that, would he? And was there really time for that before the husband came home?  How could the attacker have forgotten his car keys and his cell phone?  Wouldn't the wife have at least been able to recall that her attacker was an old man? 

Thanks for any input.

He also left money. That was a line at the end. He wasn't seeing a mistress, the woman that previously lived there was a hooker.
Marathons / Re: One Chapter At A Time - The Dark Knight Trilogy
« Last post by 1SO on Today at 09:23:53 PM »

The Dark Knight - Why They Call Him The Joker
"I heard he wears makeup."
"Yeah, to scare people. You know, war paint."

So let's try to get into why this sequence works so well, and it begins with the blue-tinted Warner Bros. logo set to percussive instrumentation - I hesitate to call it score - by James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer, which is low and ominous. This is soon joined by the sound of a ticking stopwatch that plays over the first minute. Where the first image last time was a sky of bats, here it's a screen of blue flame with the Batman logo at the center.

The first actual image is a wide establishing shot of Gotham City, with enough time to take in how refreshing it is to not be on a soundstage full of giant statues and sculptures. There's no hint that one of the windows is about to blow out, beginning the scene properly. I always try to figure out which window it's going to be. I still get it wrong. It's a small explosion, but the timing of it makes more of an impact than any of Michael Bay's epic fireballs of destruction. The same device that blasted the window then fires a zipline across the roof. Already we are in Batman's world of cool toys.

While Nolan has anchored Batman to reality like never before, there's a wonderful comic book sound to the voice acting of the robbers. The faces underneath can't possibly match the images conjured in the mind, which look closer to characters from Sin City. So the comic inspires reality and reality inspires a graphic novel look.

"That's funny, it didn't dial out to 911. It was tying to reach a private number."

The robbers move like clockwork, but already there's something off to cue the audience. The Bank Manager is someone we know, not just any character actor but William Fichtner, which means he's going to be important. This strategy plays out as the movie plays on and we realize Nolan has cast a number of familiar faces in parts smaller than we're used to seeing them play, like Michael Jai White later on. It goes to elevate Gotham's status among fictional big cities and the complex web of people who inhabit it.

The next wrinkle comes when one of the robbers kills his partner, indicating that this isn't a group that normally work together and we probably haven't seen the last thinning of the group.
Rating: * * * * *
Marathons / Re: 1945 Retrospots: Discovery Project
« Last post by 1SO on Today at 08:39:00 PM »

Back to Bataan
"I send out a hundred men, they find nothing.
I send out ten men, they don't come back."

There are a number of mini-marathons one could do within the 1945 Retrospots. One of those would be the four films by John Wayne, two westerns and two war films. The other war film is They Were Expendable, directed by John Ford with all the expected trimmings. This one comes from Edward Dmytryk, who also helmed the noir Cornered in 1945. On the surface this is your typical John Wayne pro-war propaganda film, but there is a lot of interest going on just underneath.

The story is generally about the local Philippine resistance to the Japanese as they throw in with the U.S. Army. It's a very loose plot with narration to patch things together, but this actually works in its favor, allowing for many different small stories, like the incident with the school that resists Japanese occupation or the soldier played by Anthony Quinn whose woman has become the mouthpiece of the enemy's anti-american radio broadcasts. There's a scene early on where we meet some actual POWs from this period of the war, their names posted on screen as they go marching by. As a fan of story, I'm inclined to say it hampers narrative momentum, but by itself it's an extraordinary inclusion and the film is smart to not waste such an opportunity.

The framing is occasionally powerful and the lighting by Nicholas Musuraca (Cat People, Out of the Past) makes excellent use of the shadowy jungle. Nobody dives into a foxhole like John Wayne, but the film doesn't push his star power. Wayne is more than happy to play support to the excellent cast surrounding the film, be that the schoolteacher played by Beulah Bondi, old pal Paul Fix as comic relief, child actor Ducky Louie (who makes a strong impression as the American-loving Maximo), a brief appearance by Lawrence Tierney and the might of Anthony Quinn, one of those rare actors who has to try really hard to be less than stellar.
Rating: * * * - Good, #20 out of 74 for 1945

FYC: Best Cinematography
Other Possible Nominations: Best Ensemble, Best Hidden Gem
Chances that somebody else will watch this: 55%
Books / Re: Currently Reading (2017 Edition)
« Last post by saltine on Today at 06:55:56 PM »
A Light in August by William Faulkner
Movie Games / Re: Predict the 2017 Oscar Winners...
« Last post by philip918 on Today at 06:52:40 PM »
Best Picture

Best Director
Barry Jenkins

Best Actor
Casey Affleck

Best Actress
Emma Stone

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis

Best Original Screenplay
La La Land

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Animated Feature

Best Foreign Language Film
Toni Erdmann

Best Documentary
OJ: Made in America

Best Documentary Short
4.1 Miles

Best Live Action Short

Best Animated Short

Best Original Score
La La Land

Best Original Song
How Far I'll Go

Best Sound Editing
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Mixing
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Production Design
La La Land

Best Cinematography
Bradford Young

Best Makeup
Star Trek Beyond

Best Costume Design

Best Film Editing

Best Visual Effects
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (I don't think most members will realize nearly everything in The Jungle Book is digital)
Television & Sports / Re: MLB 2017
« Last post by colonel_mexico on Today at 05:05:05 PM »
Agreed, when else will you see a position player get in there and pitch a few?  Those times testify to the great athletic prowess of these men of summertime, going from a career of playing the infield to throwing strikes in the early morning hours of an epic baseball fantasy.  Putting men on 2nd is ridiculous, hopefully this will not come to pass.
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