Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Groucho’s Movie Challenge: Week 2

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Groucho’s Movie Challenge: Week 2

Old 03-18-04, 10:07 AM
  #51  
Senior Member
 
Bobby Shalom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 855
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good excuse to finally watch Tokyo Story.

I had that weird gnawing sensation that I was supposed to love it because it was on all these critics top 10 list of all time best movies. And I needed to just let it happen for me.

Excellent!

Really grew on me in the hours after it was over.
Old 03-18-04, 10:29 AM
  #52  
Moderator
 
Giles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 33,604
Received 14 Likes on 10 Posts
Blind Shaft (Mang jing)
Hong Kong
2003
Dir. Li Yang
(Landmark E Street Cinema: 3/17/04)

Yang’s debut film is an astonishing yet simple tale of murder for extortion by two Chinese men employed at various illegal coal mines. For such a bizarre setting, the tone and nature of the film borders on being both a drama and a thriller – as the two men’s predictament is complicated by the introduction of a sixteen year old, whom they plan on murdering. The film plays on the notion that the two leads are essentially the film’s antagonists and what future decisions and actions the men will make. Back story is purposefully vague, which might be frustrating for some viewers, but undermines the course of events the two will face. Acting from the three actors (Qiang Li, Baoqiang Wang, and Shuagnbao Wang) are both subtle and highly naturalistic enhancing the cultural landscape the characters inhabit.
Old 03-18-04, 09:23 PM
  #53  
DVD Talk Legend
 
cultshock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: True North Strong & Free
Posts: 15,799
Received 355 Likes on 260 Posts
Ok, my film was So Close. I finally got around to watching my Columbia disc of this Corey Yuen film which stars Shu Qi, Vicki Zhao and Karen Mok. If you like the HK "girls with guns genre", this is a nice updating of those types of films from the late 1980s. Shu Qi was gorgeous as usual and this was her strongest film role that I have seen (a big difference from her "kidnapped girl victim" in The Transporter ). Her opening shoot out scene and the big martial arts/gun play scene at the end with Vicki and Karen were worth the price of admission for me, but to be honest, parts of the middle section of the film dragged a bit. The "golden age" of HK films is sadly in the past, but this film does capture some of that old spirit, and overall I thought it was pretty good (but not great).

The DVD has a choice of Mandarin, Cantonese or English soundtracks. I choose the Mandarin track, as I believe the film was shot sync sound in primarily that language (by the leads at least). At any rate, this is the only track where you will hear Shu Qi and Vicki Zhao's actual voices (Karen Mok's real voice is on both Chinese tracks). I sampled the Cantonese track, but it didn't sound as good (it sounded more "canned"). The English track, on the other hand, I avoided like the plague.

Last edited by cultshock; 03-18-04 at 09:26 PM.
Old 03-19-04, 01:38 AM
  #54  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Dark City
Posts: 4,218
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Watched my Das Boot Superbit tonight. Great, great movie. The tension just builds and builds until you don't think you can take anymore and then it builds some more until finally....BAM! The DTS track was booming too. Every Depth Charge just rocked my apartment. Awesome. Bring on Week 3.
Old 03-19-04, 02:50 AM
  #55  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
funkyryno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,314
Received 175 Likes on 98 Posts
Aagh, I still need to finish the first week's challenge. I'm getting behind.
Old 03-19-04, 07:10 AM
  #56  
Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 71,383
Received 116 Likes on 78 Posts
My film was Onibaba (1964). It's a Japanese movie about peasants who survive by murdering Samurai and selling their belongings. It started out fairly strong, with some beautiful black and white photography, but by the end I felt disatisfied, mostly due to the languid pacing and the meandering plot.

There was a lot sex, violence, and gratuitous nudity. More than one would expect for a 1964 film.
Old 03-19-04, 08:22 AM
  #57  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,227
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Got another one, saw it last night as part of the European Union film festival:

Haute Tension (2003) from France

Or, in English, "High Tension". Another fitting title would be Pure Exploitation. Really, I haven't seen a slasher flick this good for years. No exposition, no subplots, no tortured background stories, just one night in hell for two girls, one abducted by a psychopath, the other (her lover) racing to save her. Quality kills abound and it becomes all too clear that the director Alexandre Aja doesn't give a shit. He's just trying to crank up the tension, and he does it with characters that aren't stupid, characters that have to make split-second decisions. It's a nightmare on film, complete with unceasing gore and blood. There's a lot of influence from American horror films and thrillers, only streamlined. In fact, after watching this I want to see Mel Gibson's little film to see if it can match the mutilation factor.

This is a kind of film that will get the director branded as misogynist, manipulator, sexist, derivative, cheater, etc. But that's not the point of this film; it's an exercise, like the title, in tension. It's Grand Guignol (I love that phrase) par excellance.

Looks like it will get shown here in the States, possibly edited. Keep a look out for it and make sure it's uncut.
Old 03-19-04, 08:45 AM
  #58  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: America!
Posts: 33,887
Received 155 Likes on 112 Posts
Last night, as part of the Lars von Trier retrospective at the Wexner Center, I caught Medea, based on the unrealized script by Carl Theodor Dreyer. This was an interesting movie, shot on video in 1987. I'm not as familiar with the original Euripedes tale as I should (I know the story, basically, but haven't actually read it...), but my understanding is that Dreyer's script is a somewhat loose adaptation. How much von Trier loosened it further I don't know. Anyway, in terms of mise en scene, this was marvelous. Von Trier was heavily in his 'juxtaposition of two objects out of scale' phase at this point, and his slightly avant garde use of the video medium complemented this very well.

I'll probably get to those Chabrols this weekend...
Old 03-19-04, 09:57 AM
  #59  
Moderator
 
Giles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 33,604
Received 14 Likes on 10 Posts
Originally posted by Groucho
My film was Onibaba (1964). It's a Japanese movie about peasants who survive by murdering Samurai and selling their belongings. It started out fairly strong, with some beautiful black and white photography, but by the end I felt disatisfied, mostly due to the languid pacing and the meandering plot.

There was a lot sex, violence, and gratuitous nudity. More than one would expect for a 1964 film.
my co-worker was raving about this film last weekend, add another film to my on-going list of films to watch and/or buy. Was this a theatrical print, cable or the new Criterion DVD?

Originally posted by sundog
Got another one, saw it last night as part of the European Union film festival:

Haute Tension (2003) from France

Or, in English, "High Tension". Another fitting title would be Pure Exploitation. Really, I haven't seen a slasher flick this good for years. No exposition, no subplots, no tortured background stories, just one night in hell for two girls, one abducted by a psychopath, the other (her lover) racing to save her. Quality kills abound and it becomes all too clear that the director Alexandre Aja doesn't give a shit. He's just trying to crank up the tension, and he does it with characters that aren't stupid, characters that have to make split-second decisions. It's a nightmare on film, complete with unceasing gore and blood. There's a lot of influence from American horror films and thrillers, only streamlined. In fact, after watching this I want to see Mel Gibson's little film to see if it can match the mutilation factor.

This is a kind of film that will get the director branded as misogynist, manipulator, sexist, derivative, cheater, etc. But that's not the point of this film; it's an exercise, like the title, in tension. It's Grand Guignol (I love that phrase) par excellance.

Looks like it will get shown here in the States, possibly edited. Keep a look out for it and make sure it's uncut.
according to the MPAA website the films been already rated NC-17, as to whether or not Lions Gate will accept this rating and release it as such is another story, their track record for releasing NC-17 films (i.e, Rules of Attraction) is dodgy

Last edited by Giles; 03-19-04 at 10:00 AM.
Old 03-19-04, 10:02 AM
  #60  
Moderator
Thread Starter
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 71,383
Received 116 Likes on 78 Posts
Originally posted by Giles
my co-worker was raving about this film last weekend, add another film to my on-going list of films to watch and/or buy. Was this a theatrical print, cable or the new Criterion DVD?
I caught it on IFC. The picture quality was excellent, so I'm guessing it was the same transfer as the Criterion.
Old 03-19-04, 11:47 AM
  #61  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,227
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by Giles
according to the MPAA website the films been already rated NC-17, as to whether or not Lions Gate will accept this rating and release it as such is another story, their track record for releasing NC-17 films (i.e, Rules of Attraction) is dodgy
But they did release Irreversible as NC-17. Though that limited the number theaters a lot. In fact I remember when I saw Noe's film last year at the same festival and the Lions Gate logo came up. And though none of the gore in Haute Tension can match that one early scene in Irreversible I did enjoy it much more (both can be quite troubling in themes and content, but the superficiality and excitement of Haute Tension takes the cake).
Old 03-19-04, 12:49 PM
  #62  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: America!
Posts: 33,887
Received 155 Likes on 112 Posts
Groucho - a suggestion for a future week (actually, two weeks):

Over a two week period, watch a film and its remake, preferably, where the remake is a different language/country.

Examples:

Seven Samurai - The Magnificent Seven
Yojimbo - A Fistful of Dollars (throw in Last Man Standing and/or Miller's Crossing as a bonus!)
La Femme Infidele - Unfaithful

and so forth...
Old 03-19-04, 12:59 PM
  #63  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Chicago, IL,
Posts: 6,935
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by wendersfan
Groucho - a suggestion for a future week (actually, two weeks):

Over a two week period, watch a film and its remake, preferably, where the remake is a different language/country.

Examples:

Seven Samurai - The Magnificent Seven
Yojimbo - A Fistful of Dollars (throw in Last Man Standing and/or Miller's Crossing as a bonus!)
La Femme Infidele - Unfaithful

and so forth...
Hell, any original/remake would be good too. Like the 60 Time Machine and the 2002 Time Machine.
Old 03-20-04, 04:21 PM
  #64  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Rypro 525's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: a frikin hellhole
Posts: 28,264
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
well, i have two choices, Suicide club (r rated version) or the princess and the warrior (director and star of run lola run). someone help me out and pick which one to watch tonight.
Old 03-20-04, 09:14 PM
  #65  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,170
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Just finished watching Chungking Express. Didn't love the first story, but fell head over heels in love with the 2nd story. ***/****. Would have gotten ****/**** if i wasn't kind of let down with the first story.
Old 03-20-04, 09:25 PM
  #66  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: America!
Posts: 33,887
Received 155 Likes on 112 Posts
Originally posted by deadlax
Just finished watching Chungking Express. Didn't love the first story, but fell head over heels in love with the 2nd story. ***/****. Would have gotten ****/**** if i wasn't kind of let down with the first story.
I agree that the Tony Leung/Faye Wang story is more appealing, but I love both stories. The whole movie grows on you with repeated viewings, and how could you not love the bit about the cop jogging when he's sad so he doesn't have enough water left to cry?

I'm guessing you'll never hear "California Dreaming" without thinking about this movie from now on.
Old 03-20-04, 09:32 PM
  #67  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Decatur, GA
Posts: 2,170
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally posted by wendersfan
I agree that the Tony Leung/Faye Wang story is more appealing, but I love both stories. The whole movie grows on you with repeated viewings, and how could you not love the bit about the cop jogging when he's sad so he doesn't have enough water left to cry?

I just didn't understand the importance of the drug dealer/contract killer role. Unless it had something to do with desperation I totally missed the boat on it.
Old 03-20-04, 10:20 PM
  #68  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: America!
Posts: 33,887
Received 155 Likes on 112 Posts
Originally posted by deadlax
I just didn't understand the importance of the drug dealer/contract killer role. Unless it had something to do with desperation I totally missed the boat on it.
Apparently it was an homage to Gena Rowlands' character in A Woman Under the Influence. It was also Brigitte Lin's final performance, but I don't know if there's any significance to that fact.
Old 03-20-04, 10:46 PM
  #69  
DVD Talk Hero
 
JasonF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 41,725
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally posted by Rypro 525
well, i have two choices, Suicide club (r rated version) or the princess and the warrior (director and star of run lola run). someone help me out and pick which one to watch tonight.
Coincidently, my movie was Lola Rennt (which was released in the U.S. as Run Lola Run). Interesting movie. It was a lot more expressionistic (for lack of a better word) than Hollywood movies -- for example, at the begining, when Lola is trying to decide who to ask for help, the camera spins around her 6 or 7 times as she runs through all the people she knows. As she thinks of them, we cut away for a dozen frames or so (just enough to register) to each person before she finally decides she's going to ask her father for help. I just can't imagine any Hollywood director doing something like that (or doing a dozen other things Tykwer did throughout the film).

Anyway, it was an interesting movie. On the surface, it just seems to be a movie about how random life is, and how a sequence of events can start the same way, but have a profoundly different outcome for what seems to be no reason at all. Lola has to get 100,000 Deutschemarks and rendezvous with her boyfriend within 20 minutes. We see this same 20 minutes 3 times, and each time the first thing that changes is a split-second encounter in the hallway with a man and a dog. From there, vast changes occur -- changes that don't seem to follow from the different encounter.

Dig a little deeper, though, and the movie seems to have a strong anti-capitalist streak. Even though money is the driving factor, it's treated as disposable -- abandoned on a subway, thrown in a garbage bag, tossed around. Armed robbery is not presented as an immoral option, and the closing line of the film displays casual disregard for a huge sum of money.

Anyway, a very enjoyable movie. Bring on Week 3, Groucho!
Old 03-21-04, 04:01 AM
  #70  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Damfino's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 6,418
Received 23 Likes on 20 Posts
Le Corbeau (The Raven) (France 1943)

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot (Wages of Fear, Diabolique, Quai des Orfevres)

Cast:
Dr. Remy Germaine: Pierre Fresnay (Grand Illusion)
Denise Saillens: Ginette Leclerc
Laura Vorzet: Micheline Francy

Sometimes the environment in which a movie is produced can be just as intriguing as the movie itself. Le Corbeau is such a film. During the Nazi occupation of France, movies were still produced but by a German company and content was closely watched. For more on this period of French history seek out the documentary The Sorrow and the Pity.

Dr. Remy Germaine is a physician in a small French town who has come under attack by a massive number of poison pen letters that are signed by "Le Corbeau" (The Raven). The letters accuse him and other people in the town of various immoral and illegal acts. We will quickly learn that the doctor is involved in a love triangle with a patient and the wife of a psychiatrist. The two women also have sisters that are aware of the affairs. All of these people are suspects and the story is just getting started.

Almost every character in the movie isn't exactly honest or innocent (even Dr. Germaine isn't exactly who he claims to be)and that adds to the confusion of solving this mystery. Solving the mystery becomes such an obsession that at one point 18 suspects are sequestered in a school room to have their handwriting analyzed!

Back to the real world: This movie ran afoul of the Germans and wasn't shown in occupied France because they relied on collaborators to inform on the resistance and this movie carries a message regarding the harm caused by gossip. After the war, Clouzot was accused of being a collaborator and the movie was banned.

Fortunately Clouzot made movies again including a personal favorite of mine, Wages of Fear. Le Corbeau is another excellent thriller from an under-appreciated film maker.

--

I am anxiously waiting for week 3 of the Movie Challenge!

Last edited by Damfino; 03-21-04 at 04:03 AM.
Old 03-21-04, 01:16 PM
  #71  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: You have moved into a dark place. It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
Posts: 4,533
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I watch subtitled foreign films all the time, so 0 for 2 on an actual "challenge."

But my foreign film this week is Bergman's "Scenes From a Marriage."
Old 03-21-04, 08:54 PM
  #72  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 573
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just watched "Aparajito" (1957). I had seen "Pather Panchali" last year, so the challenge gave me a good reason to continue the trilogy, and I hope to finish it soon. I loved the score by Ravi Shankar, and I thought the film had a sweet, sad quality.
Old 03-21-04, 10:12 PM
  #73  
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Findlay, OH
Posts: 128
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I watched Alexander Nevsky tonight and was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. The battle scenes were very impressive for a movie that was made 65 years ago. The acting was pretty good all around even though it was a little over done at times. Prince Alexander standing with a fist on each hip when he first comes on screen at the beginning of the movie reminded me of something i'd only see as a parody of a hero character.

Now i'll have to check out Ivan the Terrible Parts 1 and 2.
Old 03-21-04, 10:21 PM
  #74  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Rypro 525's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: a frikin hellhole
Posts: 28,264
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Jisatsu circle (aka suicide club) Japan(2002)
Directed by
Shion Sono
*** out of ****
very good and original movie. I'm only taking points off because the movie is a little unsettiling and disturbing. i gasped in horror when the girls all held hands together and jumped into a train
Old 03-22-04, 11:37 AM
  #75  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Dark City
Posts: 4,218
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I hope Week 3's challange is documentary, as i'm going to a screening of The Battle of Algiers tomorrow.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.