Heaven: At the Movies

12346»

Comments

  • Belisarius wrote: »

    Yeah, that was fun and very well done.
  • The First Purge

    I saw this a few months back, so my recollection of the plot is rather sketchy. Here is the wiki article.
    This film bears a somewhat interesting relationship to the previous three. The idea of the government managing the purge from behind the scenes, in order to eliminate the poor and racial minorities from society, is non-existant in the first film(where we are meant to understand the killings are a free-for-all), then revealed at the end of the second film, and form the essential basis for the plot in the third. However, in The First Purge, which takes place before the other three, it is shown that guiding the slaughter to kill poor people was the sole point of the purges right from the get-go.

    Is it mischevious on my part to point out that the writers seem to be pulling a fast one one the audience? It's almost as if they became increasingly frustrated with having to work within the parameters of the original idea, though personally, I think the more challenging thing for a writer would be to try and do that.

    Other than that, in my estimation, the ranking of the series, with the best listed first, is...

    The Purge: Election Year (third in the series)

    The Purge (first)

    The First Purge (fourth)

    The Purge: Anarchy (second)
    As you can probably surmise from my ranking, I don't neccessarily object to the increasingly politicized tone of the films, I just kind of question the way it was introduced into the series.


  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Oh, just to clarify, the link in my opening paragraph goes to the wiki article about the film. The stuff behind the spoiler warning in the next paragraph is by me.
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    I watched this last night while waiting for Les Mis to start. Anyone else seen it? It's like I was constantly turning over two pages at once, little morality tales that just end up with someone dead and that's that. The trials of Jean Valjean seemed positively comical after that.

    Mind you seeing a limbless Dudley Dursley recite Ozymandias was pretty bizarre.
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    Cold War.
    Has been described as a Polish Casablanca , in that it features a doomed romance set against a background of world events - in this case the partition of Europe into East and West in the 1950s. Great cinematography in moody black and white to suit the era, and also some good music (the lovers are both musicians) , and good acting behind the subtitles.

    I reckon this one will be in the running for some kind of award as "best foreign film".

    Incidentally, many Australians, including my wife and I are going to the air-conditioned cinema quite a lot these weeks, as the temperature reaches 38 degrees outside.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Green Book

    Saw this a few weeks back, before the Golden Globes and ensuing media attention. I guess it pretty much follows the usual pattern for racial-reconciliation movies set in the deep south during the Jim Crow era, and is open to the same criticisms(eg. white-messiah complex). This one strives for some complexity by having the black character, a classical musician of high-class bearing and little connection to African-American pop culture,
    deliver a somewhat overwrought speech along the lines of "If I'm not black and I'm not white, then what the hell am I?!". While standing in a thuderstorm and getting soaked.

    On the plus side, the main actors do a pretty credible job, and Viggo Mortensen especially disappears into the role of a streetwise, blue-collar Italian-American from NYC. Kudos as well for not short-changing the existence of racism in the northern USA, though I suppose that aspect of it might have been a little perfunctory.
  • I saw Roma on Netflix. It's a wonderful, although flawed, film about decent, but flawed, people. I know it's got a lot of criticism for not being a complete portrayal of class and racial politics in Mexico, but surely that's inevitable, especially for such a personal film. Cuarón's earlier Y Tu Mamá También has protagonists who are entitled, oblivious, jerks (at least most of the time), which allows it to seem more critical of their middle class lives. That wouldn't work in Roma, which requires that we sympathize with the family at its center.

    Anyway, I love pretty much everything I've seen by Cuarón, so I'm hoping to dig through his back catalogue.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited January 14
    Sweet Smell Of Success

    Late 1950s noir, co-scripted by Clifford Odets(the model for the playwright in Barton Fink), set in the seamy world of the New York glitterati. Tony Curtis plays a sleazy publicity agent embroiled in an evil gossip columnist's plot to break up the romantic relationship between the columnist's sister and her jazz singer boyfriend.

    Burt Lancaster plays the columnist, and while I'm not overly familiar with his work(I think I've only seen one over thing with him, and I don't remember it at all), I suspect that in this film, he was playing against type? His character is a narcissistic monster with barely disguised incestuous longings for his own sister, and a somewhat creepy haircut. I think he normally played likable, handsome gents?

    Anyway, he does a good job, as does Tony Curtis. The latter comes off as somewhat sympathetic in the beginning, struggling to keep his agency afloat, though it quickly becomes clear there are few moral boundaries he will observe in pursuing this end.

    With the caveat that I'm not someone who watches a lot of films made before 1960s, and am even less of an authority on film noir, I'd say this one is pretty good.
    Also, as someone who generally prefers nighttime to daytime, I appreciated that this is set almost entirely at night, only switching to daytime at the end, to symbolize the sister's triumph over the schemes of her evil brother and his morally compromised henchman.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Hmm, on second thought, maybe it's more the glasses that make him look creepy.
  • BelisariusBelisarius Admin Emeritus
    stetson wrote: »

    Burt Lancaster plays the columnist, and while I'm not overly familiar with his work(I think I've only seen one over thing with him, and I don't remember it at all), I suspect that in this film, he was playing against type? His character is a narcissistic monster with barely disguised incestuous longings for his own sister, and a somewhat creepy haircut. I think he normally played likable, handsome gents?

    Pretty much that or characters who finally get redeemed at the end.
    (Unlike in the novel.)
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited January 14
    Belisarius wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »

    Burt Lancaster plays the columnist, and while I'm not overly familiar with his work(I think I've only seen one over thing with him, and I don't remember it at all), I suspect that in this film, he was playing against type? His character is a narcissistic monster with barely disguised incestuous longings for his own sister, and a somewhat creepy haircut. I think he normally played likable, handsome gents?

    Pretty much that or characters who finally get redeemed at the end.
    (Unlike in the novel.)

    Thanks. I only read the first couple of pages of that novel, but I gather that particular writer is pretty cynical.
    Not surprising that Hollywood would especially put a redemptive ending on that, given the general taboo against anti-religious themes in their films. Even Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, a few years back, needed to have Morgan Freeman mention God is in his otherwsie straightforward Darwinistic explanation as to why the invasion failed. Pretty sure H.G. Wells didn't include that.




  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Even Spielberg's War Of The Worlds, a few years back, needed to have Morgan Freeman mention God is in his otherwsie straightforward Darwinistic explanation as to why the invasion failed. Pretty sure H.G. Wells didn't include that.
    Actually, Hollywood didn't tamper as much as you might think. The last lines of the movie were:
    From the moment the invaders arrived, breathed our air, ate and drank, they were doomed. They were undone, destroyed, after all of man's weapons and devices had failed, by the tiniest creatures that God in his wisdom put upon this earth. By the toll of a billion deaths, man had earned his immunity, his right to survive among this planet's infinite organisms. And that right is ours against all challenges. For neither do men live nor die in vain.
    By contrast, the novel includes the following (albeit, not as last lines):
    In another moment I had scrambled up the earthen rampart and stood upon its crest, and the interior of the redoubt was below me. A mighty space it was, with gigantic machines here and there within it, huge mounds of material and strange shelter places. And scattered about it, some in their overturned war-machines, some in the now rigid handling-machines, and a dozen of them stark and silent and laid in a row, were the Martians—dead!—slain by the putrefactive and disease bacteria against which their systems were unprepared; slain as the red weed was being slain; slain, after all man’s devices had failed, by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.

    For so it had come about, as indeed I and many men might have foreseen had not terror and disaster blinded our minds. These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things—taken toll of our prehuman ancestors since life began here. But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle, and to many—those that cause putrefaction in dead matter, for instance—our living frames are altogether immune. But there are no bacteria in Mars, and directly these invaders arrived, directly they drank and fed, our microscopic allies began to work their overthrow. Already when I watched them they were irrevocably doomed, dying and rotting even as they went to and fro. It was inevitable. By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited January 15
    Well, thank you very much for the correction.

    I'm kind of assuming that H.G. Wells put that line in as a sop to Christian sentiment, or maybe just as a rhetorical device(like eg. saying "God help us!" when something bad happens), but even so, if the line is actually there, I can't fault Hollyood for including it.

    (Great film, by the way. I think it's my favorite alien encounter movie, including at least one other WOTW adaptation It's kind of neat that, after how many decades of the theme being done in however many permutations, including by Spielberg himself, he decided to go straight back to the Ur-text for a fresh reading. For the record, I don't think this point is entirely original to me.)

    Anyway, trying to regain my posture here(ah-hem), at the denoument of the movie Compulsion, about the Leopold and Loeb case, Clarence Darrow is portrayed as expressing a possible belief in God, against the steadfast atheism of the two killers.

    Begins at 1:42:00

    Even if Darrow did say something like that at some point in his life, to put it at that particular place in the film is pretty misleading.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    In keeping with the rest of the annual threads, this discussion is being closed and will be moved to Limbo, and discussion of movies we're watching in 2019 can be continued on the new thread.
This discussion has been closed.