Heaven: At the Movies

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Comments

  • Stetson wrote:

    Usually, I dislike caper flicks, since while I know that criminal occupations like jewel-thief are real, they seem to belong in the same romanticized quasi-reality as pirates and cowboys, whereas I like my crime movies well-grounded in social realism.

    Pangolin responds:

    If you like crime in the context of social realism, I highly recommend the Pusher trilogy, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher, Pusher 2: With Blood on My Hands, and Pusher 3: I Am The Angel of Death) (1996-2005). As a bonus, in Pusher you see a young Mads Mikkelsen (best known in the anglosphere as Le Chiffre in Casino Royale). Pusher 3 has a darkly comic dimension which is absent from the other two.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Pangolin:

    Thanks for the recommendation.
  • P3 brings to mind the tagline for The Hit (Terence Stamp, John Hurt, Tim Roth): Even bad guys have bad days.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Ruth wrote: »
    Just got home from seeing "First Reformed" -- I cannot recommend this film highly enough. It is dark, austere, beautiful, shocking. Ethan Hawke gives the best performance of his life, the cinematography is stunning, and the crisis of faith and existence at the center of this movie is worthy of Dostoevsky.

    Ditto. This is an incredible film, well worth your time.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited June 2018
    P3 brings to mind the tagline for The Hit (Terence Stamp, John Hurt, Tim Roth): Even bad guys have bad days.

    Saw that years ago. I still think of it from time to time, when I speculate about
    how I will react to my own death.
    As I recall, the reactions of the two characters at the end are
    the polar opposite of how we have been led to expect they'd react
    .

  • "The Songkeepers", a documentary about the Central Australian Aboriginal Women's Choir, which goes on tour in Germany, singing the hymns their ancestors were taught by Lutheran missionaries. The twist is that those missionaries worked with indigenous people at that time to translate the hymns into the local indigenous languages. So The Songkeepers are "taking the gospel back" to German Lutherans, but in Western Arranta and Pitjatjantjara.

    That probably makes the film sound incredibly worthy and perhaps rather dull. It was actually incredibly uplifting and very funny in parts. Highly recommended, if you come across it.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    It's so frustrating to see recommendations here, then find that these movies aren't available here. I hope to see both "The Song Keepers" and "First Reformed". Thanks for sharing these with us!
  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    The Happy Prince https://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com/2018/06/23/the-happy-prince/ about Osacar Wilde after his prison sentence.
  • I saw First Reformed yesterday, and hope to see it again this coming week. Very adult stuff (in the good sense), and a bit distressing (in the good sense).

    I saw Disobedience today (sort of a lesbian love story in the context of the Orthodox Jewish community in London). Good, but I wouldn't strenuously go out of your way to see it.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    A few months back, I watched Columbus, about the intersection of two peoples' lives in and around the architecture of the titular city(Indiana, not Ohio). Thoughtful, slice-of-life drama set in tranquil surroundings with a slight hint of darkness.

    I don't think I'm in any hurry to see it again, but I suspect a lot of shippies might find it engaging.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Sicario: Day Of The Soladad

    Sequel to the 2015 original. Carries over some of the grtitiness and social commentary, but with a cheezier plotline involving US agents trying to start a cartel war in Mexico by staging a false-flag kidnapping, under the assumption that this will naturally lead to the cartels wiping each other out(bit of a leap, I'd say). If this is your kind of thing, and you can suspend disbelief for a couple of hours, you will likely be adequately entertained.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    delete

  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    Freak Show about an incredibly camp youth bullied at school.
  • Leo wrote: »
    Freak Show about an incredibly camp youth bullied at school.

    I saw that! Alex Lawther is an amazing young actor (see, e.g his episode of "Black Mirror," as well as "The End of the F***ing World," "Departure/Départure," and "Goodbye Christopher Robin" as well as his breakout role in "The Imitation Game"). Sadly, I'm not sure the script of "Freak Show" is good enough to give him much to work with.

    Speaking of movies about LGBT youth, I just watched "Alex Strangelove" on Netflix. The main character is absolutely adorable, and very honestly portrayed with flaws and all, although again the script is rather weak when it comes to anything other than the personality of the main character.

    On a different note, I just re-watched "Judgement at Nuremberg" for the first time in probably sixteen or more years. It's I'm not sure any film I've seen does a better job on making one really think about questions of complicity in the Holocaust. Even though lots of other Holocaust films have been made in the intervening 57 years, this is the one I think I'll use in my classroom.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate

    On a different note, I just re-watched "Judgement at Nuremberg" for the first time in probably sixteen or more years. It's I'm not sure any film I've seen does a better job on making one really think about questions of complicity in the Holocaust. Even though lots of other Holocaust films have been made in the intervening 57 years, this is the one I think I'll use in my classroom.

    Is that the one where the defense lawyer scores a point by getting a witness to read out the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote about how sterilization is justified because "three generations of idiots is enough"?

    While I agree that Holmes deserves pretty much any trashing he gets, I don't think the quote was really applicable in that particular case, since the Nazis did a bit more to the disbaled than just sterilize them.

  • edited July 2018
    stetson wrote: »

    On a different note, I just re-watched "Judgement at Nuremberg" for the first time in probably sixteen or more years. It's I'm not sure any film I've seen does a better job on making one really think about questions of complicity in the Holocaust. Even though lots of other Holocaust films have been made in the intervening 57 years, this is the one I think I'll use in my classroom.

    Is that the one where the defense lawyer scores a point by getting a witness to read out the Oliver Wendell Holmes quote about how sterilization is justified because "three generations of idiots is enough"?

    While I agree that Holmes deserves pretty much any trashing he gets, I don't think the quote was really applicable in that particular case, since the Nazis did a bit more to the disbaled than just sterilize them.

    It is. Although you're right historically, the specific legal case before the (fictional, although reality-based) court involves forced sterilization, not murder. Anyway, it's part of his wider point that there were many non-Germans who could be blamed for both the ideological underpinnings of the Third Reich and its successes. He makes a very strong case for this, which is acknowledged within the film, also bringing up the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Reichskonkordat, and business relationships between American and German industrial firms in the 1930s.

    Maximilian Schell won a well-deserved Oscar for his portrayal of the counsel for the defense. The role, as written, could be played as a sleazy and amoral attorney who will say anything to "win" the case, but Schnell wisely plays the role as an honorable and thoughtful man. His summing up has a great deal of important truth to it, even though his client is
    absolutely and egregiously guilty on all counts.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Thanks for the broader context. I've only seen a few scenes from the film, so it's good to get the blanks filled in.

    Yeah, as I recall, there's a scene where the lawyer explains to the Nazi judge why he's defending him, and his contempt for the man's current moral status is clear(he admired him as a law student, which is why he took the case.)

    I also thought it was a BIT of a flimsy set-up to show the ostensibly anti-Nazi witness make such a big deal about having refused to wear the swastika when he was a judge,
    only to get gotcha-ed by the defense lawyer into admitting that he had signed some declaration of allegiance to the party. Signing the oath of allegiance would surely be the more serious transgression, and the witness should have seen that rebuttal coming from a mile away.

    I'm not trying to be overly critical, those are just the scenes I remember, and what I thought about them.
  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    Leo wrote: »
    Freak Show about an incredibly camp youth bullied at school.

    Forgot the link https://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/freak-show/
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Going to Europe and back, I saw several films, not exactly first run though. Crazy Heart, about an old country singer who finds love, loses it, recovers from alcoholism and finds redemption writing for a younger country singer. Logan, an anti-hero, not sure if he is supposed to be of the justice league. Very violent. Black Panther, not exactly what I expected but did portray women and men in equal roles SW: Last of the Jedi, the last film for Carri Fisher. The Mark Hamilton character finally killed off. Hope they continue the story with the next couple of generations Our Brand is Crisis, a Sandra Bolluck and Billy Bob Thornton movie that really did not go anywhere when it was released. Starts out light-hearted but becomes quite serious toward the end. Also watched several TV shows, mostly documentaries.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Logan, an anti-hero, not sure if he is supposed to be of the justice league. Very violent.

    Well, the Justice League is DC, whereas Wolverine is Marvel, so no, he's not in the Justice League.

    I believe he IS part of the X-Men. But I think Logan was supposed to be more-or-less a standalone film. Others here are probably better versed than I am on this.
  • ArachnidinElmetArachnidinElmet Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Yes, Stetson, Wolverine is part of the X-Men and, as played by Hugh Jackman, was in the first five of those films, plus two (substandard) ones of his own, with this as the last in the trilogy. Patrick Stewart reprises Charles Xavier in Logan.

    IMO, a stonkingly good film, but as Gramps49 said, very violent and in a way not common in superhero films.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Jeff, who lives at home

    Light comedy about a stoner/slacker seeking mystical omens in everyday life, and the effect this has on his immediate family. Dialogue and acting are pretty good, but at 82 minutes long, the overall story has a somewhat truncated feel. It does end with
    a clearly delineated climax,
    though this feels a little bit tacked-on.

    Also, while the main character does indeed live at home, that's a known fact to almost all the major characters, so there isn't a lot of discussion of it, and no place where he is identified to someone by that status, as implied by the title. One gets the impression that the script started out being more about his slackerishness, but ended up veering in a different direction.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Moana

    I think this has been reviewed a few times on these threads, though I won't be looking through the old posts. Suffice to say that there are probably people here better qualified to judge this than I am, given that feature-length animation is a genre I tend not to watch that much.

    I guess it was pretty much what I would expect from a Disney princess flick that was trying to avoid the usual criticisms aimed at Disney princess flicks. I'll admit I found the hero-journey somewhat moving, in the way that those things usually are, if they're done well.
  • british scripwriters
  • british scripwriters
    why are the above named so bad at writing filmscripts . the latest case in point Mary shelley (born Somers point London) starring Elle Fanning (born Conyers Georgia) as Mary Shelley. And please not that old chestnut need an American actor/actress to sell film to USA. If the script is any good the film will sell itself.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    And please not that old chestnut need an American actor/actress to sell film to USA. If the script is any good the film will sell itself.

    You would think so(Harry Potter etc), but I can think of quite a few cases where an American actor, playing an American character, turns up in a film, with their presence scarcely justified by anything in the plot. Julianne Moore as the immigration activist in Children Of Men, for example, or Philp Seymour Hoffman as the American DJ in The Boat That Rocked.

    (Okay, I suppose there might have been American DJs working on British pirate radio in the 60s, and left-wing Americans working underground in some future British dystopia. but I'm pretty sure those actors were just put in for trans-Atlantic name recognition.)

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Restless. Romantic drama about a Haroldish young man who meets a charmingly offbeat young woman while crashing funerals, and the romance that ensues.

    Usually, I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to Gus Van Sant, but this time around, the quirkiness and social-marginalia seemed a little phoned in. The woman bordered on Manic Pixie Dream Girl, though I suppose the main guy would have to be somewhat more uptight for that trope to really be in play.

    Probably a good date movie, if you're trying to impress someone with how sensitive you are. Other than that, not going to be breathtakingly original for anyone who has seen any number of similar films. I'm giving it a 6.5, and that's probably only because it's Gus.
  • stetson wrote: »
    And please not that old chestnut need an American actor/actress to sell film to USA. If the script is any good the film will sell itself.

    You would think so(Harry Potter etc), but I can think of quite a few cases where an American actor, playing an American character, turns up in a film, with their presence scarcely justified by anything in the plot. Julianne Moore as the immigration activist in Children Of Men, for example, or Philp Seymour Hoffman as the American DJ in The Boat That Rocked.

    (Okay, I suppose there might have been American DJs working on British pirate radio in the 60s, and left-wing Americans working underground in some future British dystopia. but I'm pretty sure those actors were just put in for trans-Atlantic name recognition.)

    And Andie MacDowell was the worst bit of Four Weddings and a Funeral, which was otherwise about as good a romantic comedy as I can imagine (I'm not a huge fan of the genre).
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    And please not that old chestnut need an American actor/actress to sell film to USA. If the script is any good the film will sell itself.

    You would think so(Harry Potter etc), but I can think of quite a few cases where an American actor, playing an American character, turns up in a film, with their presence scarcely justified by anything in the plot. Julianne Moore as the immigration activist in Children Of Men, for example, or Philp Seymour Hoffman as the American DJ in The Boat That Rocked.

    (Okay, I suppose there might have been American DJs working on British pirate radio in the 60s, and left-wing Americans working underground in some future British dystopia. but I'm pretty sure those actors were just put in for trans-Atlantic name recognition.)

    And Andie MacDowell was the worst bit of Four Weddings and a Funeral, which was otherwise about as good a romantic comedy as I can imagine (I'm not a huge fan of the genre).

    I've mentioned this before, but having both Laura Linney AND her brother living as permanent residents in London in Love, Actually seemed REALLY forced. Long-term expatriation is a pretty specialized preference, and the chances of two siblings doing it together are pretty remote. Especially given that one of them had an ongoing history of mental problems.

    And you could tell that the screenwriters knew that, given the way Liney says something like "Yeah, moving over here has been a challenge", as if to acknowedge the audience's incredulity.

    (That said, I do know at least one pair of siblings who have lived in Korea for years now. No mental problems as far as I know, however.)

  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    I just saw the classic movie High Society (the musical version of The Philadelphia Story, with Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and Louis Armstrong). Very cute, but my leftist heart rebelled at the "pity the rich who are having to board up their mansions because of taxes" lines. And the pass that the philandering father gets from everyone.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    jedijudy wrote: »
    It's so frustrating to see recommendations here, then find that these movies aren't available here. I hope to see both "The Song Keepers" and "First Reformed". Thanks for sharing these with us!

    I have the same problem here. We mostly only get huge blockbusters, and if smaller, more interesting films come at all, it's blink-and-you-miss them. "First Reformed" and "The Happy Prince" are both ones I really want to see, but as with "The Death of Stalin" earlier this year, it's unlikely I'll see them till they're on Netflix or something similar, because they won't come to my hometown cinema.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    We went to see The a Happy Prince a few days ago. I'm not sure what I thought of it. It was OK, no more. It came across a bit as a vanity project for Rupert Everett. He was very good in the part, mind you. Considering the subject matter, I found it emotionally unengaging.

    The photography was a bit tricksy for me.

    Yeah, I suppose it was OK.

    MMM
  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    Everrett is his very own vanity project.
  • Read at empire online that there is going to be a remake of the Bruce Lee classic Enter the dragon. I saw this when it originally came out in 1973 at the local cinema in my home town. It is the only time my life I had ever seen this cinema packed no empty seats at all. Why can they not just leave some films alone. I for one will not go to see the remake. Also someone called david leitch is thinking of directing it.
  • The other Boleyn girl more unnecessary americans in a british film. Anne Boleyn born at Hever castle Kent played by Natalie Portman born Jerusalem. And Mary Boleyn born Bickling hall Norfolk played Scarlet Johannson born New York.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    I did manage to see two of the films on my "that'll never come here" list while in England -- "First Reformed" and "The Happy Prince."

    First Reformed is the most interesting, thoughtful exploration of faith, doubt and despair that I think I've ever seen in the movies, marred by what I thought was a deeply flawed ending. I'd love to talk about it with anyone who's seen it.

    I can see why some people, like MMM above, thought The Happy Prince was only so-so, but I'm a sucker for anything Wilde-related so I found it fascinating. I loved what a complex and flawed portrait of the dying Wilde it produced -- definitely not hagiography at all, but still sympathetic.
  • LeoLeo Shipmate
    Apostasy - about Jehovah's Witnesses disfellowshipping someone
  • LeoLeo Shipmate
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Just saw The Incredibles 2 yesterday. It's very cute, and fun, I don't know if it was worth the 14 year wait since the first one, but it is a worthy sequel.
  • It was wet, stormy and horrible on Saturday. So we went to the cinema.

    We came out cheered up and singing.....almost dancing.....but with arthritis!

    What did we see (you may sneer, but it worked its magic on us) .............................
    "Mama Mia, Here we Go Again."

    So if you are feeling miserable and want a well acted, well choreographed and well sung, feel good film.............................and it only cost us £4 a seat!
  • Gracious RebelGracious Rebel Shipmate
    edited July 2018
    Saw both 'First Reformed' and 'Mamma Mia' this week. Two films so different you can hardly even consider them together in one sentence or mindset. It is of course a testament to the versatility of Amanda Seyfried that she starred in both of them.

    The Mamma Mia film was of course LOADS of fun, a real feed good extravaganza, just like its predecessor. Could watch it time and time again, and I probably will.

    First Reformed - well what can I say? Powerful, disturbing, moving, thought provoking, but ultimately definitely NOT something I ever want to revisit. My partner thought it was a load of rubbish though, so I think this could be a film that has a very different effect on regular churchgoers to the population as a whole.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    I went to see Eighth Grade. OMG. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Maybe we didn't have all the electronic paraphernalia, but we sure had the mean girls, the manipulative boys, the self pep talks, the extremely awkward moments when you just wanted to sink through the floor, never to be seen again. And the belief that your parents couldn't possibly understand.

    This is a good film.
  • I've been house sitting, and family have a number of almost first run movie channels, so I've been catching up on films that I had missed. Just a few of the highlights...

    Jackie - interesting insights into the relationships of the principals, very strong performances, and I liked the structure.

    Valerian and the City of Thousand Planets - saw it on a Saturday afternoon on which I was very much in the mood for a space opera. It's from a French graphic novel series, and directed by Luc Besson. It bears his unmistakeable visual style, quite wonky, it was fun identifying the visual quotations, and has a surprising cast (e.g., Clive Owen, Rihanna, and an absolutely manic Ethan Hawke as a space pimp).

    John McCain: For Whom The Bell Tolls - the documentary drifts toward hagiography occasionally, but I found it very interesting, and would certainly recommend it for the political junkie.

    The Normal Heart - Larry Kramer's play about the early days of the AIDS crisis and the founding of the GMHC. It really is first class polemic rather than great drama, but it's worth it see the fine cast at work (Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Joe Mantello, Jim Parsons, Julia Roberts, et al.).

    Call me By Your Name - I'd seen it in the cinema, but not only does it bear rewatching, I actually like it more. Yes, it's a gay love story, but it's also about the flow of time: It seems to stand still, but it doesn't - there is transition, all things end, and there are time symbols throughout the film. It's more sophisticated as a film than for which I initially gave it credit.
  • Trudy wrote: »
    I can see why some people, like MMM above, thought The Happy Prince was only so-so, but I'm a sucker for anything Wilde-related so I found it fascinating. I loved what a complex and flawed portrait of the dying Wilde it produced -- definitely not hagiography at all, but still sympathetic.
    We saw this at the cinema. I am also a fan of Oscar and I loved the film - it had me almost in tears, and I ordered a copy of the dvd pretty much as soon as we got home :smiley:

    Yesterday I watched Arrival online, a sci-fi film that film critic Mark Kermode mentioned in his current TV series. It was a fascinating movie, and dealt with aspects of time, memory and loss as well as aliens. Worth a look.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    Just saw The Incredibles 2 yesterday. It's very cute, and fun, I don't know if it was worth the 14 year wait since the first one, but it is a worthy sequel.

    I liked it too, but I can't say it really added much to the original premise. Which maybe it wasn't obligated to.

    The whole battle-of-the-sexes thing(ie. dad feeling insecure about staying home while mom goes out to work) sorta jived with the early-60s Jet Age aesthetic, it almost seemed like a Flintstones plot. Not sure if that was the point, or if the writers just couldn't come up with anything more current.

  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    I wonder why you would think I'm not a fan of Oscar Wilde, Trudy and Pine Marten? I just thought it was a so- so film that didn't engage emotionally at all.

    Continuing the Oscar Wilde theme, but a tangent from films, we have been to all the plays in this year's Oscar Wilde season at the Vaudeville theatre in London (A Woman of No Importance, Lady Winderemere's Fan, An Ideal Husband and The Importance of Being Earnest) and thought they were all generally not much more than OK, with some highlights.

    Perhaps I'm just hard to please.

    MMM
  • Sorry, MMM, I was snipping the quote from Trudy - I didn't get from that quote the sense that either of us thought you were not a fan.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that either. I'm sure there are lots of Wilde fans who didn't like the film; what I meant to indicate was that I'm fairly easily satisfied with anything Wilde-related, so I wasn't as critical of the film as I might have been if I didn't care for the subject. But I can see how for a different viewer, the same interest in Wilde might actually make them MORE critical of the film. All a part of how we all respond differently to any work of art.
  • We just saw Incredibles 2 yesterday as well, and I enjoyed it too, apart from the 8 yr old girl* jumping into my lap in a certain fight scene.
    I don't think it needed to add more to the premise, just flesh it out a little for some of the characters. I liked the way that Mr Inc in the first movie was being wanted instead of hiding, and then moved to being wanted as a Dad instead of being a superhero.
    Being a slave to the screen is a fairly current issue, as is media spin affecting politics.

    *my 8 yr old, i hasten to add
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