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Daddyjt

Mark’s movie corner.

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For this weekend’s offering, I’m going to share one of my top 5 all-time favorite films (and that’s a very exclusive list!) - Cameron Crow’s 2000 film, Almost Famous.

 

First and foremost, if you are in any way a fan of ‘70s rock, this film is a MUST SEE.  It is the story of the real-life events of Cameron Crow as a young teen writing for Rolling Stone magazine while touring with The Alman Brothers (Though in the film, he tours with the fictitious band Stillwater).  Crow knew early in his film career he wanted to make this film.  He and his wife (Nancy Wilson of Heart) wrote the Stillwater songs on their honeymoon.

 

The film is a wonderful coming of age story, set against the backdrop of the ‘70s rock scene. There are incredibly touching moments, great humor, and unequivocally the best soundtrack of any movie I’ve seen. All of the acting performances are top notch, but the performances of both Francis McDormand and Philip Seymour Hoffman are truly fantastic.

 

if you have the option, the “Bootleg” version is highly preferable, as the extended scenes really add to the overall film. 

 

 

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For this weekend’s selection, I offer a clever and intriguing “heist” film, appropriately titled Heist (not The Heist, or American Heist - Just Heist).  This is a heist film that does not rely on shootouts, pulse-pounding building climes, or helicopter stunts to move the story along. It relies on clever planning, slight of hand twists and superb acting to deliver the goods (pun).

 

This film is stacked with memorable performances - Delroy Lindo, Danny Devito, Rebecca Pidgeon, Sam Rockwell, Ricky Jay, and of course Gene Hackman.  I can’t discuss too much without giving anything away, but if you like a good Heist movie, this one is well worth your time:-)

 

 

B7179FA7-92D7-45A3-999D-2029F5EB8530.jpeg

 

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While the intention of this thread is to highlight great, but somewhat unknown movies, I feel compelled to issue a warning about a recent “off the beaten path” film that I saw yesterday.  The film is called  The Lighthouse, and It is billed as a terrifying psychological thriller starring Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson, and is receiving rave reviews from critics and viewers alike (92% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics, 70% from audiences).

 

 

The film is shot in a narrow 4:3 ratio, and is in black and white. These two factors made me feel cramped and unsettled from the get go - a great way to start a horror/thriller.  Unfortunately, that’s about as close as it came.  I will say that the film is masterfully shot - the textures and contrast in the black and white presentation are rich and well controlled, and the cinematography is outstanding.  Shot selection and framing are superb, and perspective is used fluently to communicate with the viewer.

 

The big miss, and the reason I encourage you to avoid this film, is the story (or lack thereof). This is one of those films that I really think people don’t understand, yet are reluctant to admit they don’t understand, so they go the other way, and rave about it.  They extol it’s virtues of “mysticism” and “deeper meaning”, all the while hoping no one calls their bluff.  This in turn causes more people to jump on the bandwagon, for fear of being left on the outside, and not “getting it”. Well I most certainly did NOT get it, and I’ll freely admit it. I was so confused, I went on line after, thinking I must have missed something big in the film.  Nope. If you read the reviews and comments, it’s clear that no one really “gets it”.  I did find a description that sums my own feelings up pretty well:

 

023E2030-5463-49A9-AD5E-C05B79F6C7F6.thumb.jpeg.3621be4cc30189027acd94e404e825d3.jpeg

 

 

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I saw The Lighthouse a few weeks ago with my wife and we were both thoroughly underwhelmed. This one and Ad Astra were disappointing.

 

 

However, If you love Jim Carrey at his overacting best... Lemony Snickets a series of Unfortunate Events. Very stylistic set pieces and comedic genius. Very enjoyable for the whole family!

 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0339291/videoplayer/vi513147161

Edited by DrummerJuice
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1 hour ago, Daddyjt said:

The big miss, and the reason I encourage you to avoid this film, is the story (or lack thereof). This is one of those films that I really think people don’t understand, yet are reluctant to admit they don’t understand, so they go the other way, and rave about it.  They extol it’s virtues of “mysticism” and “deeper meaning”, all the while hoping no one calls their bluff.  This in turn causes more people to jump on the bandwagon, for fear of being left on the outside, and not “getting it”. Well I most certainly did NOT get it, and I’ll freely admit it. I was so confused, I went on line after, thinking I must have missed something big in the film.  Nope. If you read the reviews and comments, it’s clear that no one really “gets it”.  I did find a description that sums my own feelings up pretty well:

 

Are you saying "the emperor has no clothes?" :D 

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This is not, by any means, a cinematic masterpiece. However, it is AMAZING to look at the cast and try to comprehend how Tim Burton managed to get them all together. It's a fun watch and I always end up watching it if I stumble upon it while channel surfing.

 

 

 

Jack Nicholson as President James Dale / Art Land
Glenn Close as First Lady Marsha Dale
Annette Bening as Barbara Land
Pierce Brosnan as Professor Donald Kessler
Danny DeVito as Rude Gambler
Martin Short as Press Secretary Jerry Ross
Sarah Jessica Parker as Nathalie Lake
Michael J. Fox as Jason Stone
Rod Steiger as General Decker
Tom Jones as himself
Lukas Haas as Richie Norris
Natalie Portman as Taffy Dale
Jim Brown as Byron Williams
Lisa Marie as Martian Girl
Sylvia Sidney as Florence Norris
Christina Applegate as Sharona
Joe Don Baker as Mr. Norris
Pam Grier as Louise Williams
Paul Winfield as General Casey
Jack Black as Billy-Glenn Norris
Brian Haley as Mitch
O-Lan Jones as Sue-Ann Norris
Jerzy Skolimowski as Dr. Zeigler
Ray J as Cedric Williams
Brandon Hammond as Neville Williams
Frank Welker as the voice of the Martians

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Ah, this looks like some fun.

 

I submit The Raid 2: Berendal

 

This Indonesian film is firmly rooted in martial arts and organized crime yet utterly better than anything Hollywood could offer. Enter Silat master Iko Uwais who has most recently found fame in Mile 22 and one of those endless star wars films. But before that he made several films in his native Indonesia. This guy makes Bruce Lee look dated.

 

 

The-Raid-2-Movie-Poster-400x600.jpg

 

Taut, intense fight scenes directed by Gareth Evans like the one linked below are staples of the story, but as good as this one is, the best is yet to come.

 

Track down The Raid 2: Berendal and stream it, buy it, whatever. You'll be glad you did.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8QsSqqX2yk&frags=pl%2Cwn

 

Spoiler

 

 

Edited by weitrhino
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7 hours ago, B-Man said:

This is not, by any means, a cinematic masterpiece. However, it is AMAZING to look at the cast and try to comprehend how Tim Burton managed to get them all together. It's a fun watch and I always end up watching it if I stumble upon it while channel surfing.

 

 

 

 

Great ensemble cast; looks like they had a bunch of fun, and gave somebody an idea:

 

Using sound waves to destroy cancer | Christine Gibbons | TEDxDetroit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKh2XFmsUx4

Edited by RichP714

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