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Return Of The Film Corner Thread

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If you want to see a really fun, uplifting and wonderfully clever independent comedy, look no further...

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I haven't smiled so much watching a movie in ages.  It's basically a John Hughes-style teen fantasy film transplanted from the the upper-middle-class suburbs to the gang-ridden neighborhoods of L.A. suburb Inglewood.  Almost everything about this movie works; from the incredibly impressive young cast, to the energetic direction, the throw-back 90s hip-hop soundtrack and the social commentary effortlessly woven into the story.  It's funny and charming and ultimately has a lot to say, without beating you over the head with it.  At the end I wanted to stand up and cheer...and I was alone in my apartment so that might have been a tad awkward.   Narrated (and co-produced) by Forrest Whitaker.  

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On 2016/5/18 at 9:44 AM, Shawn said:

Hush (Mike Flanagan, 2016)  

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What on the surface is basically just your standard "woman alone in a cabin being terrorized by a maniac" is here made unique and fresh by director Mike Flanagan (Oculus).  The unique twist here is the central character is deaf, but she's no victim.  What follows is tense 80 minute game of cat & mouse, very well acted and stylishly directed.  The lead actress is impressive, she's also the co-writer and is married to the director, they came up with the concept of the movie over a dinner-date.  Flanagan has a way of taking very simple concepts and elevating them beyond their usual limitations, a gift that bodes well for the future.  

 

 

 

 

The set up seems to be straight from how to make a horror film for Dummies and at first glance seems quite groanworthy and hardly worth the bother.

That would be a mistake. The film is a well made, convincingly acted and compulsively watchable little thriller that delivers in style.

With this and the excellent Oculus, Flanagan is a director whose future films will definitely be on my watch list.

Thanks for the heads up, Shawn.

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Quite a different role for John Gallagher Jr. following The Newsroom and West Wing as well!  He's quite effective and I also really liked Kate Siegel as the "definitely not a victim".  Flanagan proves here that even the simplest, most well-worn story ideas can still be effective when delivered with conviction and a sense of style. 

 

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The Big Combo - Joseph H. Lewis (1955)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/714FYEYPNDL._SY445_.gif

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I was very taken by this Chilean film.

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Probably the best of the Pablo Larrain Pinochet era trilogy.

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Zootopia - Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush (2016)

http://blogs-images.forbes.com/scottmendelson/files/2016/03/zootopiaposter1.jpg

 

Delightful, vibrantly witty classic.

The most appealing, on the button animation since Ratatouille.

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Nice Guys - disappointing considering the good reviews.

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Reviews are just subjective opinions certain people get paid for.  :) 

 

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2 hours ago, Shawn said:

Reviews are just subjective opinions certain people get paid for.  :) 

 

Great line!

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5 hours ago, medjuck said:

Great line!

Yes, yes - I know. But sometimes consensus helps when there's so much to see & so little time.

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Saw High Rise on Saturday.  I liked some aspects of it.  Other aspects were messy or even incoherent.  I totally lost why they broke into an apartment on the 27th floor when none of the characters (at least that I recall) lived there.  It was pretty astounding that one can of paint covered a two or three room apartment and so evenly considering the walls were raw concrete ...  ;)  I think that they did do a reasonable job of capturing the tone of the book.  Now whether the book was actually such a stone-cold classic that it needed to be made into a movie is another question.

Anyway, just a huge number of films coming up at TIFF - a combined Hitchcock/Truffaut retrospective and an Eric Rohmer retrospective through the summer and early fall.  I'll have to pick and choose, trying to focus on films that aren't easily available or that I really, really want to see.

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Saw "The Nice Guys"  on Saturday, with Russell Crowe (his belly as big as a house) as a down on his luck professional enforcer and Ryan Gosling as a somewhat addled and also down on his luck PI in 1977 LA. Very funny at best, though perhaps without the follow through one hoped for; probably they were setting up a sequel. Best line almost had me on the floor. Won't say what the line is in order not to spoil it for others.

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Gone Girl - David Fincher (2014)

https://images-eu.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41NELW%2BtrsL._AC_UL320_SR224,320_.jpg

Great direction.

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Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son of a Bitch (documentary, 2011)

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Excellent documentary of rock icon Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister of Hawkwind and Motorhead.  The filmmakers followed him around for 3 years and got a wealth of great footage and many insightful interviews with his peers and admirers.  I think even people unfamiliar with the music would find it entertaining.

 

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Classic Tarkovsky movie this afternoon. Recognizably brilliant, but a bit heavy for my filmic digestion, if you know what I mean. ^_^

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The Witch (Robert Eggars, 2016)

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Another fine entry in the growing "Art-House Horror" genre, which critics love and only about 45% of the audience gets.   This literal, slow-burn tale of religious paranoia and the supernatural in New England sometime around the Salem witch trials is quite the experience.  The attention to period detail is absolute, even to the point where I had to turn the subtitles on to grasp the old-English verse and the heavy accents.  I can't really describe much without giving away some of the more delicious twists and turns, suffice it to say that this is a very unique and intelligent horror yarn, adapted from folk tales and actual accounts of "witchcraft" in New England during this era.  There are some disturbing images and the tone is almost unrelentingly bleak but it leaves a lot to your imagination, which just makes it far creepier.   

 

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Hollywoodland - Allen Coulter (2006)

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Deadline At Dawn - Harold Clurman (1946)

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/60/Deadline_at_Dawn_movie_poster.JPG

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Best known for introducing what has become the theme song of Tinseltown, "Hooray For Hollywood".  It was the first time I'd ever seen this film, so I was surprised to learn this song isn't even performed in Hollywood, but rather in St. Louis as Benny Goodman and his band bid bon voyage to a saxophonist (Dick Powell) who has been signed to a Hollywood contract.  After the socko start of that opening number, the film has nowhere else to go but down, and that it does at a far too leisurely pace.  The story is hokey with a waitress who is the spitting image of a tempermental movie star taking her place at a film premier and Dick Powell's character falling in love with her, but  . . . well, who cares?  Of main interest for some jazz fans will be the two numbers performed by Benny Goodman -- one, with the full band including Gene Krupa and Harry James (and I think Jess Stacy in the background on the piano), a condensed version of "Sing, Sing, Sing".  This is followed immediately by a BG Quartet number which could have been easily edited out in theaters disinclined to show this integrated musical group back in those days.  There's more Louella Parsons than you'd ever want to see.  Hugh Herbert was kind of a one note comedian, but he is used sparingly and usually adds some much needed life to his scenes.  Edgar Kennedy got last billing on the poster, but no one could do suppressed rage funnier than he could.  His scenes were some of the best, IMO.

I wonder why Johnnie Davis did not become a bigger star.  His is the principal voice heard singing "Hooray For Hollywood", so he gained his bit of immortality through that.  He was clearly a bit of a ham based upon his performance here, but not in an off-putting fashion.  He had a good singing voice and it seems like he should have had a pretty solid future as a film and recording artist.

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The_Daughter_%282015_film%29_POSTER.jpg

Impressive Australian reworking of Ibsen's The Wild Duck.

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Anomalisa - Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman (2016)

https://www.jbhifi.com.au/FileLibrary/ProductResources/Images/171378-L-LO.jpg

Strange head trip on the inability to find meaning in relationships.

It got under my skin enough to warrant a second viewing, and suspect I'll watch it again quite soon.

Frances Ha - Noah Baumbach (2012)

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I liked this when I first saw it and like it even more the second time.

Fantastic Mr Fox - Wes Anderson (2009)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51BigL8PxcL._SY300_.jpg

Love it.

 

 

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Mon-Roi-600x451.png

Totally panned by Bradshaw who gave it one star. Of course, it turned out to be quite acceptable.

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The Case Of The Three Sided Dream - documentary on Roland Kirk

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Once Upon A Time In America - Sergio Leone (1984)

http://dl9fvu4r30qs1.cloudfront.net/7f/e8/1b176e574819a3409639ec6669d2/once-upon-a-time-in-america-blu-ray-cover-skip-crop.jpg

 

A great film that I've seen many times. The additional scenes are of very poor visual quality and add little to the film, in fact they disrupt the flow. 

Worth a look but I think the previous version minus the ' lost footage' is more enjoyable.

Incidentally the BR is disappointing in general, with a flat, slightly washed out look. Probably because of the quality of the original source rather than a technical muck up.

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