The Last Movie You Watched...and Your Thoughts!


#342

My checklist of easy-to-find robbery movies is almost done! Just Heat, the 1969 Italian Job, and mayyyyyyyyyyyybe Point Break (if I feel like I can suffer through that amount of dudebro). After that, I can start digging for treasure in the bargain bin, and there’s always treasure in a bargain bin!

But first, Guy Ritchie’s beloved crimedy:

Snatch (2000)

This film is a mess…I mean that very lovingly, for there’s a lot to love here, but you just have to accept that the plot is all over the place. Snatch has 4 consecutive stories, FOUR! Each of them involves its own little cast of 3-6 characters and intersects at some point during the movie. You’re going to need to see this twice in order to piece together the actual flow of events, and I do think that’s a problem.

However, Ritchie’s scene work is undeniable; the characters are genuine, the dialog is amazing, and every scene is dripping with gleeful gallows-humor. It’s Britcom meets The Sopranos, and that combination is potent. There’s also a lot of highly characteristic cinematography with crazy close-ups, unflattering angles, and long handheld sections. It’s jarring and very reminiscent of a very particular era of art-film, but it’s also done very well, and I like that overtly ugly style anyway!

Even though the overall film might be served by having a clearer focus, every scene is so delightful on its own that the movie manages to come together in the end. A wacky mix of naturalistic drama and Blackadder banter, this movie earns its place in the pantheon of crime classics. Confusing…but an absolute pleasure.


#343

Oh yes, this movie has a real cult following here in Hungary. The general public tends to like these kinds of films. I love the fact that Vinnie Jones was an international football player for Wales before his acting career, I wouldn’t have wanted to play against him in a million years, he’s too frightening :smiley:

I never could take Brad Pitt seriously as a roma, he was so over the top, and he was so white, so different from a real one, that’s what made him funny though, he was perfect for his character, he just wasn’t anything like a roma, like casting Scottish people as Egyptians :smiley: Someone from Hollywood could never really understand the social implication of portraying them this way, you could never in a hundred years call something “Gypsy danger” in Hungary (like the name of a mech in Pacific Rim), no wonder it wasn’t translated even in the dubbed Hungarian version :smiley: Just like we don’t really have any ounce of guilt towards African Americans apart from human decency and empathy, Hungary was basically occupied around the time the colonists settled in the new continent in the 16th century and was only freed in 1989!


#344

My educational background isn’t in film, it’s religious studies and anthropology, and one of my professors did her PhD on Roma/Croat relations. It is for this reason and this reason alone that I understand anything about the Roma and their history. America doesn’t have a Roma population, so we still use the racist term “Gypsy” in polite conversation…one of my friends has a cat named Gypsy, and any woman with a free spirit is described as a ‘Gypsy’. I’ve tried to explain that this is a population that has been abused for 1000 years (maybe more?), and we probably shouldn’t be so nonchalant about making fun of them, but Americans can have trouble believing there’s actually an entire world out there (I love my country and its people, but I do not know why so many of us take pride in not knowing things).

Anyway, all that to say: I totally agree that Brad Pitt was not the best choice to portray a Roma, but - then again - he was probably the best choice to sell movie tickets. I’m constantly bothered by the choice to hire some Canadian to do a ‘Russian accent’ when there are 200 Russian speaking actors in line to do a better job.


#345

I just came out of a sneak preview screening of Wakefield, starring Bryan Cranston.
It was absolutely mesmerizing and left me heart a pounding as the credits rolled.

What if you were to do something silly to escape the drag of everyday life for a moment, but then you deem there is logic in what you do and you decide to commit to it? How far could you let it go? What is too far? And what if you cross that line? can you get back?

Definitely worth seeing!


#346

Huhh, that’s really interesting, what was it that gravitated her towards that particular topic for her PhD?

Gypsy is an interesting beast, there are many examples where it is still used to portray something positive, like “cigány zene” which is gypsy music, we have the “Száz Tagú Cigányzenekar” which is the name of the “100-member Gypsy Orchestra” and we have a famous dish evolved from them called cigánypecsenye which is in the everyday conversation without ill intent, but you can know in an instant who’s using the word the wrong way. But racism pretty much is still ingrained into our culture and the issue has more than a 100 very difficult problems that would need good education to solve in time, not the current bad system. Yeah, and that’s the same issue here, Hungary has the worst percentage of English speakers in the EU, these don’t care if there’s an outside world or not, just this past month I was furious about Hungarian cinemas not playing Wonder Woman and the new Spider-man in English with subtitles AT ALL, only the dubbed version, so I have to postpone writing about those until the Bluray releases I guess.

Actually Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Thro… Shadows portrayed them pretty decently, at least for that period in time, and Noomi Rapace, while being Swedish has actually some roma blood in her, but the thing that helped the most is that Hans Zimmer had actually gone to Slovakia to some small village to play and record music with actual random home musicians, so it’s surprisingly authentic for a big Hollywood blockbuster production.

But if any of you are interested in that culture and that type of music, I recommend Emil Kusturica’s Black Cat White Cat, a Serbian Roma feelgood-gangster comedy, I guess now that I’m mentioning it I might write a bigger, more profound write-up of it for this topic :smiley:


#347

I just watched “The Village” which is sort of a suspense movie. The plot is crazy and cool and throughout the movie, the way the director withheld information in situations where information should be vital but showed just enough to advance the plot was so crazy, I’m sort of scatterbrained right now. :slight_smile: This movie is a great example of how pure cinematography (I hope I spelled that right) can develop suspense. The ending also blew my mind but you will have to see the movie to find out. :wink:


#348

There’s a special sauce and flavour profile named after them here, most commonly found as a “zigeuner schnitzel” (gypsy schnitzel) ((which is delicious!!))


#349

the last movie was wonder woman… felt a little bit disappointed with the story line, didnt see much of what i expected based on the comic. love the color grading the vfx got childish along the way… but a great movie though


#350

well, he is the best choice to sell movie tickets, i mean, it all boils down to business… the best seller take the role.


#351

hmm, very interesting…


#352

The Village was a huge flop when it came out, and I’ve never exactly understood why. I saw it in the theater while the rest of my family went to a sappy holiday movie, and I really enjoyed myself.

The twist is a little bit of a buzzkill, and the ending (while a huge surprise) is a bit weak because of it. But the rest of the movie is really atmospheric and works really well…it works so well as a traditional monster movie that I wrote a screenplay on the premise of “It’s The Village but the twist is there’s no twist.”


#353

Takers (2010)

OK, so it’s junk…there’s gun porn, car porn, slow-motion explosions, and half the cast is made up of rappers…but I had so much fun watching it that I cannot in good conscience say too many bad things about this glorious dung-heap. Don’t get me wrong, it is maximum-level stupid, and Idris Elba is wayyyyy too much actor for the material. But it’s done with such an innocent, ridiculous flare that you don’t worry whether it’s bad, you just stick to the edge of your seat and stay there from beginning to end.

The next time you’re in the mood for a shot of testosterone, this is a great choice…plenty of style and even a little bit of substance. You’ll have fun, and it’s less predictable than James Bond.


#354

Is that Matthew Perry second from the left?

Edit: Never mind, it’s definitely not him.

Sounds like this is a good pre-watch for The Dark Tower movie release on August 4th.


#355

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Although it’s certainly not bad, this film suffers from having no real audience. It was marketed as a sort of exploitation movie by picking suggestive lines for the trailer, and advertising Megan Fox’s boobs as the great selling point…but - as a T&A movie - it simply fails. This thing is PG-13, so anyone who’s in it for sex and violence is going to be sorely disappointed. It’s actually a high school drama with a horror sub-theme, and, as that, it’s pretty good. But I’m not really sure what audience could really love this poor thing. It’s too tame to be a horror classic and too gross for the Dawson’s Creek audience.

The story is about childhood best friends who begin growing apart in high school (John Hughs drama), and then one of them is transformed into a flesh-eating succubus (horror). There’s some really bad dialog and they try too hard to squeeze every last drop out of the G rated sexual material. But, at the end of the day, the story works, there are some clever moments, and - if you ever wanted to see Pretty in Pink superglued to Species, you’ve found your new favorite movie!

However, I’ll always be a little bit miffed that I can’t write the song “Jennifer’s Body” into a screenplay without conjuring images of this film…the song belongs in a scarier movie.


#356

Charley Varrick (1973)

A somewhat obscure but highly influential crime drama, Varrick is one of these puzzle piece movies: Once you’ve seen it, you start to find it in tons of other (more famous) films. Breaking Bad uses both the same setting and the same semi-humorous but deadly-serious tone, and Pulp Fiction quotes it directly on the matter of ‘a blowtorch and a pair of pliers’. They may be somewhat quiet about it, but the cult of Charley Varrick has been lurking between the lines for decades.

We open with a bank robbery in which a small gang happens upon $700,000 in freshly laundered mob money. Half the bandits (including Mrs. Varrick) die in the robbery, leaving only Charley and a drunk side-kick to defend their take from cops and robbers alike. It’s a genuinely cool little movie and a serious milestone for that freakish niche between gritty crime drama and black humor…that niche occupied by the Cohen Brothers - for example - which has been winning awards since the early 90s.

There’s a tacked-on sex scene with no story context, and the character’s ‘reasons’ for getting himself into the final fight sequence don’t make sense, but this one’s a gem. If you’re a fan of anything Tarantino, Cohen, or Vince Gilligan (which has to be everybody at this point), you owe it to yourself to dig this one up.


#357

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

You know this movie…it’s got a longer shadow than any other rom-com out there, and, even if you haven’t seen it, you know it’s good. So, yes, brass tacks, the thing is good, and if you’re wondering whether you should see it, you should.

When Harry Met Sally is a film about growing up…but the adult kind - the kind you do in your twenties and thirties. It’s a film about the way your expectations and beliefs change over time, and ways in which you are always yourself but never the same person. There’s a sub-plot about how men are from planet fart and women are from planet ice cream, but I ignore that crap and watch the characters. The screenwriting is well known (and deserves to be), the acting is more than competent, and the whole thing comes together in a way that makes it just plain unassailable.

Classics sometimes have trouble living up to their own reputations, but this one doesn’t…it does what it says on the box. Go rent it.


#358

One of my favorite films. I need to watch this again.


#359

DUNKIRK.

You could assume this is just another movie showered by Nolanites, but in my opinion, it’s near perfect. Paired with some of this year’s most beautiful cinematography, an amazing Hans Zimmer score, realistic action, and almost 2 hours of pure suspense I’m actually putting this as one of Nolan’s best movies. Sure, I don’t think it topped Inception or The Dark Knight, but it definitely was a lot better than Interstellar. Not that I didn’t like Interstellar, I loved it, but this was just another level.

I’m honestly really impressed. With the practical effects, barely any dialogue… but still good performances from all of the cast, I was just blown away. Just go watch it in theaters, biggest screen possible. All the dog fights to the smallest events are just amazing to look at. Visually and sound wise, I give this movie an A+. Storywise, I give an A, it’s a simple plot, but the way it’s told in could be confusing for some, but it’s not a biggie.

In conclusion, this is Christopher Nolan at his prime, just go see it (go see in 70mm if youre lucky!)


#360

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

This film frustrates me…because it wants so badly to be a good movie, and it tries so bloody hard, but the story alternates between telling you useless information, telling you cryptic information, and pretending the romance is something worth getting excited about. The main issue is completely plot-based: The underlying story is fascinating, but the story they tell you isn’t worth a damn until the last 20 minutes when they ‘reveal’ what’s been happening.

The problem isn’t that there’s a major plot twist, it’s that the twist IS the plot: They expect you to remain interested in a series of tangentially-connected VFX sequences for two full hours before they bother telling you why any of these things matter to anyone in the universe.

I’ve always felt a little bit of cult movie shame over the fact that I don’t like The Fifth Element (1997), but this movie reminded me why: Luc Besson is one of these ‘grand vision’ guys who creates top-shelf storyboards for bottom-bin stories. And - no matter how much great animation you can produce - you still have to tell a decent story…just ask The Thief and the Cobbler (1967-2010)


#361

The marketing team is trying very hard for this movie as well. I always consider it a bad sign when the marketing team tries to shove a movie down the throats of the public. P.S. Have you seen Lucy? I’d be interested to know what you think about that film, made by the same guy.