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Miller's Crossing.....what a great flick

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Miller's Crossing.....what a great flick

Old 04-14-05, 06:25 PM
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Miller's Crossing.....what a great flick

"Put one in the Brain!!!"

I remember I was about 15 or 16 when I saw previews for this film on the old school pay-per-view channels. I remember saying to myself "that looks like a good movie" but of course, I never got around to watching it.

I finally watched this film about 2 nights ago and I was pissed at myself for not catching this sooner. It's not that I would ever pass on a Cohen Brothers flick, I just totally forgot about it.

It's just a solid film all around and still holds up more than strong today. The acting, story, and especailly score all blend perfectly and while it may be a little slow, you'll never lose interest for one second.

I just had to start a thread to praise this film, I was so blown away by it and will be watching it many more times.

Highly recommended............what did you think?

Old 04-14-05, 06:30 PM
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It is a really awesome film.
Old 04-14-05, 06:49 PM
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It's quite well regarded by many of us.
Old 04-14-05, 10:05 PM
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I think it's the Coens best film ... and that's saying a lot.
Old 04-14-05, 10:15 PM
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i like it.
Old 04-15-05, 12:04 AM
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Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling...

Excellent film.
Old 04-15-05, 08:50 AM
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Great film indeed. Not my favorite Coen movie though.
Old 04-15-05, 08:55 AM
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Great movie. I saw it for the first time about two and a half years ago and was pissed at myself for not seeing it sooner.
Old 04-15-05, 09:08 AM
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Ranks as my favorite Coen Bros. film.
Old 04-15-05, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by conscience
Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling...
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side

"The old man's still an artist with a Thompson."
Old 04-15-05, 10:28 AM
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The Coens' masterpiece. If this were the only film they ever made they would deserve to be called great filmmakers.
Old 04-15-05, 10:34 AM
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I love the movie, but it does fall into the "style over substance" trap that the Coens sometimes visit. Lots of stereotyped characters, needless plot twisting for the sake of honoring the genre and dialogue that comes off as too polished and too witty.

It's like "Usual Suspects": perfection from a technical point of view but no real heart.
Old 04-15-05, 11:38 AM
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Fantastic movie. I may be slayed for this but I put this ahead of the Godfather films in terms of favorite gangster movie.
Old 04-15-05, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by thematahara
Fantastic movie. I may be slayed for this but I put this ahead of the Godfather films in terms of favorite gangster movie.
I put it (and Once Upon a Time in America) right up there with the Godfathers.
Old 04-15-05, 02:35 PM
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What's the rumpus?
Old 04-15-05, 02:42 PM
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Plot: Tom Reagan is right-hand man to Leo, a prohibition-era crime boss. When a feud breaks out between Leo and rival boss Johnny Caspar, Tom does his best to keep the peace. However, he is increasingly pulled into their feud, and becomes a pawn in their war of ambushes and shifting allegiances. But perhaps Tom is more in control of his fate, and the fate of their city's criminal underworld, than either Leo or Johnny Caspar could ever have imagined. In a situation where nothing is as it seems, we're left questioning Tom's motives, and wondering whether or not he's actually as cold as he appears.

Comments: Miller's Crossing is a very solid piece of work from the Coen brothers. If the film is imperfect in a number of ways, it is so with a flair and panache that's bound to leave any viewer respectful of the effort. The Coens bring to life an era long lost, even if they fail to do so with remarkable accuracy. Everything in the film is dramatized...too much so, in fact. And there you have my biggest complaint with a film that many tout as a masterpiece.

You see, as opposed to creating an accurate portrayal of the criminal underworld in the 1930s, the Coens ended up creating an aggrandized, cinematic adaptation of this early-century gangster life. In this respect, I think they failed. However, what a marvelous failure it was. Sure, the characters speak in an inaccurate sort of prose, unbecoming of anybody in the criminal underworld. The dialogue is well written, but at the same time, it's obviously written. Still, it still manages to leave the viewer satisfied, even if not convinced. The same goes for the settings, the clothing, and nearly every other aspect of the film. It's all overly-dramatized, but appealing nonetheless.

That's not to say that the film was wholly inhuman. It manages to thrive whenever Albert Finney is onscreen, due mostly to the remarkably natural performance he musters up. His performance enabled me to look past the inaccuracies, and fall into the film as if it were reality. Finney, a 5-time Oscar nominee, may not be at his best here...but he comes damn close. John Turturro is equally impressive, and the rest of the cast (including Gabriel Byrne and Marcia Gay Harden) all manage to turn in performances that are quite commendable.

The plot seems forced at times, effortless at others, and at some points, wholly gripping. This is another movie that will appeal nearly anybody, even if for completely different reasons. Film fanatics will scoff at the editing mistakes and the implausible dialogue and settings, but will be able to appreciate the beautiful cinematography and directorial vision. At the same time, both cineophiles and casual moviegoers alike will enjoy the film for what it is, an overly dramatized effort that is, at it's core, extremely entertaining. In that respect, Miller's Crossing excels. This may not be the masterpiece many make it out to be...but that's not to say that it isn't a very enjoyable piece of work.

JP's Rating: 8.0/10
IMDB.com Rating: 7.9/10
Old 04-15-05, 02:49 PM
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I don't think the film was a failure in any way. I can't possibly believe the Coens intended the characters, the dialogue, or the plot to be anything but heavily stylized. Every film they did through The Man Who Wasn't There had unrealistically extreme characters and dialogue. Miller's Crossing was no different.
Old 04-15-05, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
I don't think the film was a failure in any way. I can't possibly believe the Coens intended the characters, the dialogue, or the plot to be anything but heavily stylized. Every film they did through The Man Who Wasn't There had unrealistically extreme characters and dialogue. Miller's Crossing was no different.
Fargo had unrealistically extreme characters and dialogue?

Look, my point is this: the film, on some level, seemed to be constantly aware of itself. In short, it tried too hard to do something different with the gangster genre. This wouldn't be a bad thing, except for not only did it tend to stray from it's subject matter when attempting to do this, but at times it came off as nothing more than forced style over substance. The overall feel of the movie often doesn't fit the characters anymore than their clothing, their lavish offices, or their dialogue. To say it's on the same level as the Godfather is cinematic blasphemy. But that's just my opinion.

-JP
Old 04-15-05, 03:10 PM
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"Ethics..."
Old 04-15-05, 03:16 PM
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this is my favorite movie of all time. i watch it whenever i'm feeling blue because just listening to the language and the characters inspires me.
i really hope they do a SE of this dvd someday.
Old 04-15-05, 03:19 PM
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I'd double-dip on a SE.

-JP
Old 04-15-05, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by NatrlBornThrllr
Fargo had unrealistically extreme characters and dialogue?
I've never been to Minnesota, but based on people I know who are from that part of the country, yes, those characters are caricatures, don't you know...
Look, my point is this: the film, on some level, seemed to be constantly aware of itself. In short, it tried too hard to do something different with the gangster genre. This wouldn't be a bad thing, except for not only did it tend to stray from it's subject matter when attempting to do this, but at times it came off as nothing more than forced style over substance. The overall feel of the movie often doesn't fit the characters anymore than their clothing, their lavish offices, or their dialogue. To say it's on the same level as the Godfather is cinematic blasphemy. But that's just my opinion.
It really depends on how you feel about cinema that's self aware or not. I happen to like it quite a bit, hence my love for the French New Wave films of Godard, et. al. Now, if you think the characters in The Godfather are any more realistic you're just kidding yourself. The only difference is that, in Miller's Crossing, they're winking at us through the screen, but in The Godfather they take themselves seriously.
Old 04-15-05, 04:11 PM
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The Godfather is deeply grounded in Italian heritage. That's one of the reasons why it's such an acclaimed picture, it's honesty and faithfulness to it's subject matter. Granted, every film is going to be dramatized to an extent...otherwise you'd simply be watching a documentary. But if you think The Godfather isn't coated in a touch of reality that Miller's Crossing is lacking, then I don't know what to say.

You're right, though, it does come down to an appreciation of self-aware cinema. Personally, I prefer films that flow naturally, and don't come off as having tried too hard. Different strokes..

-JP
Old 04-15-05, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by NatrlBornThrllr
Fargo had unrealistically extreme characters and dialogue?

Look, my point is this: the film, on some level, seemed to be constantly aware of itself. In short, it tried too hard to do something different with the gangster genre. This wouldn't be a bad thing, except for not only did it tend to stray from it's subject matter when attempting to do this, but at times it came off as nothing more than forced style over substance. The overall feel of the movie often doesn't fit the characters anymore than their clothing, their lavish offices, or their dialogue. To say it's on the same level as the Godfather is cinematic blasphemy. But that's just my opinion.

-JP
IMO, Miller's Crossing is a much better film than any Godfather film. The opera like stylings of the Godfather are what stand out most in those films and I must say, It's way overdone and a little out there. I also think there is too much ridiculous character depth, so much to the point that it's clear some of the actors try too hard and come off as well.....acting.

Miller's Crossing is a simple story in an amazing setting and while there is a lot of style, I don't think it hinders the films flow or overall image I think it works perfectly.

But as always, to each his own.
Old 04-15-05, 06:54 PM
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It's the worst Coen Bros. film of the lot for me. This is mainly because it's set during Prohibition (always a turn off for me) and employs Gabriel Byrne and Albert Finney (who I can only enjoy watching when I am 100% convinced that they were well cast for the character). However, I also found the plot unnecessarily contrived and uninvolving. It just held no interest for me.

Nevertheless, John Turturro kept me watching. He has some great scenes in this (particulary in the woods). But what has stopped me ever getting rid of this DVD from my collection is Barry Sonnenfeld's cinematography. It's absolutely incredible - I just totally adore it.

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