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Old 09-30-2006, 09:10 PM   #1661
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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - probably the best "death of the West" Westerns I've seen. Everything in this movie is great, from both an entertainment perspective and an intellectual one.

Some Like it Hot - if I didn't like Dr Strangelove so damn much I'd say this could be making a run for the best comedy, along with Annie Hall. So much subtle, yet at the same time blatant, sexuality. This is my first Marilyn Monroe viewing experience and she was just as sexy and funny as I've always heard. She nearly steals the movie from the outrageous Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis.
My goodness, your taste is frightfully good. Those are probably my top 3 comedies as well. Or at least all 3 would be in my Top 5 or 10.

And, of course, Liberty Valance is excellent.
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Old 10-08-2006, 12:51 PM   #1662
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The Departed

This film was just crammed full of big names. A Martin Scorcese movie, Jack Nicholson as a crime boss, Leo Decaprio and Matt Damon as 2 cops, Alec Baldwin, Mark Whalberg, Martin Sheen etc

Leo and Matt 2 cops, one deep undercover with Jack and the other a cop on the take.

In reality it's a remake-ish of "Infernal Affairs" a Hong Kong action movie from a few years ago translated into Irish Cops and Gangsters in Boton.

As you would expect Jack Nicholas steals the show, Hamming it up as the baddie who is a complete psycho.

I loved it. It was cool and I was completely shocked by some parts of the ending and baffled by one bit *spoilers*
Spoiler:
What was in the envelope Leo gave the doctor
*spoilers*
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:06 PM   #1663
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Been waiting for The Island to hit DTV. It's finally here this month, but going out to movies won't happen here.
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:06 PM   #1664
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God I want to see that, too (The Departed, I mean). I'm so effing behind!
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Old 10-08-2006, 01:17 PM   #1665
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The Departed
In reality it's a remake-ish of "Infernal Affairs" a Hong Kong action movie from a few years ago translated into Irish Cops and Gangsters in Boton.
I actually watched Infernal Affairs for the first time last night, sort of in preparation for seeing The Departed next week. A very enjoyable film. Sort of reminded me of Heat, in that you have two protagonists who you sympathize with and don't really want to see either of them go down, yet you know they're going to come to blows at some point down the line.

Anyway, the buzz surrounding The Departed has so far been very positive (supposedly Scorsese's best film since Goodfellas?) so yeah I'm really looking forward to it.
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:31 PM   #1666
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The Departed

This film was just crammed full of big names. A Martin Scorcese movie, Jack Nicholson as a crime boss, Leo Decaprio and Matt Damon as 2 cops, Alec Baldwin, Mark Whalberg, Martin Sheen etc

Leo and Matt 2 cops, one deep undercover with Jack and the other a cop on the take.

In reality it's a remake-ish of "Infernal Affairs" a Hong Kong action movie from a few years ago translated into Irish Cops and Gangsters in Boton.
I wonder if the original had the strap-on(NSFW-Rated R)*?







* I've not seen the movie yet, only heard about it.

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Old 10-13-2006, 06:33 PM   #1667
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Let's see...

Double Indemnity - fuckin' loved it. I've actually decided to write my first film analysis paper on it, and my interpretation should prove pretty interesting. If anyone that's seen the movie wants to read my basic laid-out rant-thoughts and maybe give some opinions PM me or something.

Fatal Attraction - It had so much potential. The first two acts are really intelligent, compelling, and not just narratively speaking. Some wonderful moments and characterization that would have been best kept if the makers had left it ambiguous. That is, it becomes not only encouraged but necessary to feel sympathetic to Douglas and ill-will towards Close by the end even though it was apparent they were setting up a more nuanced relationship that left the "villain" open to interpretation...which would have been more interesting. The last part feels like a totally different movie. The original ending was better, much much better.

Borat - Hilarious. The best part about the Borat segment was always how absolutely terrifying it is, seeing how people are so inherantly condescending of Borat or Jews or whatever even while trying to maintain the appearance of "tolerance." This is no exception; hilarious and poignant at the same time. One fascinating part of it was trying to discern what was staged and what was documentary...as sometiems it is hard to tell.

Blow-Up - Wow. Visually stunning to say the least. Also quite fascinating. I guess the theme is that reality is no constant, as it seems Thomas became so engrossed with his craft that he imagined a whole scenario to challenge himself and feed his ego. Will require a second viewing.

The Science of Sleep - Just got back from this. What a mind-explosion. After walking out of the theater I had the vague impression that I no longer existed, as I had when I walked into the theater at least. Perhaps the most abstractly stimulating movie I've ever seen...meaning that it never really stimulated my body, but in fact seemed to encourage a separation of my mind from the body....the easiest and most obvious way to describe the sensation is dreaming, while awake. Plenty of other movies have dealt with this same feeling (my favorite being Eyes Wide Shut, of course), but this is the only one I can think of that actually succeeded in making me feel like I was a part of the dream. Gondry is a master of the consciousness, able to create images that actually feel and behave like the thought process. On a further note, I found the movie rather depressing.
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Old 10-14-2006, 12:30 PM   #1668
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The Departed - wow, I'm probably exaggerating as I just got out of this a little while ago, but boy did this floor me. This was simply, to shed any intellectual assholism, an engrossing flick. I had sweaty palms the entire damn time and everything a cell phone went off I jumped. What a good movie! Actors and writing at the top of their game, and Scorsese seems to be in the right spot again after the disappointing Gangs of New York and pretty good Aviator; this is his territory, and nobody does it as stylishly or as competently as he does.

If this doesn't get some major Academy Award noms I just give up...which actually happened a couple years ago, but who's counting. I'm thinking he will finally get a Best Director award for this...Best Picture will probably go to that Eastwood movie everyone will forget in a few years, whatever its name is.
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Old 10-14-2006, 01:04 PM   #1669
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Was at The Departed yesterday, but had to leave after the first half-hour. Sister was taken to the ER, so will either pay to see it AGAIN, or wait til Dad gets it on Netflix, and lets me borrow it...damn shame, it had a really twisted-looking plot.
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Old 10-14-2006, 02:21 PM   #1670
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I've seen 5 films in a row at the airplane to kill some time (12 hours to be exact), and I don't remember any of them. They were that bad. Oh yeah, I do remember X-Men, because it had the lamest special effect with the Golden Gate bridge, that just cried "Overdone".

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Old 10-14-2006, 02:47 PM   #1671
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I liked the Departed, but after giving the viewing a little space, I feel like the Departed is really only a glorified action movie. I wish it could have been more intimate and grittier. Instead it plays in the same vein as Gangs of New York as an epic Hollywood movie, which is fine. It's just a movie that you see, enjoy, and leave at the door.

I'm looking forward to the coming weekend. It's going to be a great day for film buffs: The Prestige by Christopher Nolan, Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, and Flags of Our Fathers by Clint Eastwood all coming out.

Which ones are you planning on seeing?

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Old 10-14-2006, 03:08 PM   #1672
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Big Fish

I was expecting this film to carry slightly more of a message, but it was nicely filmed and well acted (though the choice of two British actors to play the American lead was amusing). Worth watching, but not Burton's best.
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Old 10-14-2006, 03:49 PM   #1673
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Was at The Departed yesterday, but had to leave after the first half-hour. Sister was taken to the ER, so will either pay to see it AGAIN, or wait til Dad gets it on Netflix, and lets me borrow it...damn shame, it had a really twisted-looking plot.
You left The Departed...for that?

I kid, I kid...sucks about your sister, man.

Quote:
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I liked the Departed, but after giving the viewing a little space, I feel like the Departed is really only a glorified action movie. I wish it could have been more intimate and grittier. Instead it plays in the same vein as Gangs of New York as an epic Hollywood movie, which is fine. It's just a movie that you see, enjoy, and leave at the door.
Perhaps I will come to the same conclusion, but I severely doubt it. This movie was far too intelligent (writing, visuals, staging, audio, editing) to be simply a "glorified action movie." There were little things I haven't seen before on this scale, particularly in the editing and the sound (abruptly stopping the music with a scene change or the appearance of a cell phone, for instance). There were some interesting issues: communication without seeing or hearing, the idea of "family," the prevalence of headshots, the mirroring of the two protagonists/antagonists...whatever. I dunno, while it was enjoyable in a mainstream way, it was clearly more than a run-of-the-mill action movie to me.

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I'm looking forward to the coming weekend. It's going to be a great day for film buffs: The Prestige by Christopher Nolan, Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, and Flags of Our Fathers by Clint Eastwood all coming out.

Which ones are you planning on seeing?
All of them eventually. Probably won't get to see any during the weekend itself because I have a paper (my first film paper!) due that week.
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Old 10-14-2006, 04:22 PM   #1674
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You left The Departed...for that?

Well, against my better judgement, I didn't meet Dad there in my own car, I had him pick me up at my apartment, as it was on the way...the joke of it was, she was released to go home less than 15 minutes after he arrived at the hospital, and would've been willing to wait...*sigh*. Only got as far as the scene they show in all the ads, where Nicholson smashed his arm into the table.
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Old 10-14-2006, 06:26 PM   #1675
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Hah, right about then is when it starts getting interesting...
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Old 10-14-2006, 08:15 PM   #1676
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Well, Fiddlesticks!!
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:42 PM   #1677
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Perhaps I will come to the same conclusion, but I severely doubt it. This movie was far too intelligent (writing, visuals, staging, audio, editing) to be simply a "glorified action movie." There were little things I haven't seen before on this scale, particularly in the editing and the sound (abruptly stopping the music with a scene change or the appearance of a cell phone, for instance). There were some interesting issues: communication without seeing or hearing, the idea of "family," the prevalence of headshots, the mirroring of the two protagonists/antagonists...whatever. I dunno, while it was enjoyable in a mainstream way, it was clearly more than a run-of-the-mill action movie to me.
It is certainly more than a run-of-the-mill action movie. This is not your cookie-cutter fill-in-the-blanks action hero sort of movie. It is Scorcese, which means that it is thoughtful and perhaps technically innovative. Also, Scorcese knows how to handle all of his star power, which is also impressive. However, the movie relies on its action to hold the attention of the viewer. After no longer being in the immediate grip of the movie, I personally feel like there is not much left to consider. You can read into the movie however you like. If you're looking, you'll find some way to look deeper. The drama of the story certainly had elements to keep me interested while in the theater, and for some maybe, those elements are further food for thought. It's a damn good script, for instance, there's no denying that.

But I sincerely doubt whether I would revisit this film for any other reason than for social entertainment. This is what a good action movie is for me: fun and done. The film felt empty in many ways. The film is violent, but its not much of a social commentary. The film is narratively-driven, but there is not much here emotionally. We identify with Leo or Damon as far as their Hollywood personas can take us, but not much further. As I say, the script is great, but the dialogue is pinned onto their personas. I watch this movie because I like Jack, I always Alec Baldwin, and Matt Damon is back sporting the Boston accent. This is all great, and I get exactly what I want, but I'm not surprised at the result, I don't become invested in the characters, and narrative-driven movies that don't get the viewer hooked on the characters are usually missing something. But maybe there was more there for you than there was for me, which I'm willing to accept.

But let me say this, people are not going to remember the Departed in the same breath as Raging Bull, Mean Streets, or even Goodfellas when they think of Scorcese years down the line. The difference is that Scorcese had his finger on something there - he had some magic back then - that is missing now from his recent films. I'm not sure what it is, but I can certainly feel it. There was some kind of emotional intensity running underneath those films that has since been washed out. The intensity had a space of its own, and made the films seem like they were important for some reason. I'm speaking very generally because I'm not quite sure what did it for me in those films that the Departed didn't do. Suffice it to say that I feel like all of the intensity in the Departed is directed toward the pull of the script, rather than toward something greater, something deeper in Scorcese's voice coming through. So, for me, its just a good action movie.

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Old 10-15-2006, 05:34 AM   #1678
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My feelings on The Departed are mixed. I agree that it's certainly no Raging Bull, Goodfellas, or even Casino. Part of what upsets me are the changes made from the original film. None of them were for the better.

Spoiler:
1. The love triangle was weak. It stretched believablility to the breaking point, for me. They set it up as well as they could, really. Still, it's something that should have been ruled out after the very first screenplay draft.

2. The Damon character in the original film was changed by his experiences. He began to feel the guilt and see the error in his ways. There was more in the original film about how both of these guys change, for better or worse. In The Departed, Damon is just a black and white "bad guy" all the way through.

3. The Damon character in the original gets away with it. He doesn't get his head blown off by Mark Wahlberg, heh. Scorsese really went for the Hollywood ending there. In a sense it's nice to see the bad guy get it in the end, but it's also far more predictable. Sometimes the bad guys don't get caught, and I like the original ending more.

4. As much as I love Jack Nicholson, he was just too much in this film. Over-the-top for sure. This role was smaller in the original film, and it didn't suffer at all for it.
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Old 10-15-2006, 06:55 AM   #1679
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Spoilers ahead, but I don't feel like making one big giant spoiler blurb so just don't read this post if you plan on seeing it.

I don't really think it's fair to compare a remake to its original, just as it isn't fair to compare a movie to its original book form if the screenplay was adapted. In both cases the director/writer reimagine the original material in their own way and thus I think it's more respectful to treat the new vision on its own merits.

I do see what you're saying with the love triangle and the ending. For the triangle, I too thought it tested the boundaries of reality a little bit, but in the context of this story I thought it made perfect sense. The two men could just have easily become the same person if their childhoods had played out differently--the are essentially mirror images of each other, with Farmiga split down the middle by said mirror (if that makes any sense). As for the end, I thought it was going to end at that Third Man moment when Farmiga walks past Damon without acknowledging him, which would have been just as perfect as the real end. For me both men had to suffer, they were both destined to suffer if one was. I think it would have been cheap if Damon had simply "gotten away" with it, because then that would make him a perfect example of the Socratetian perfectly unjust man feeding his beast and lion and enfeebling his man with no consequence to offset it; it's an incomplete character (and one that doesn't exist), which might work in children's movies and action movies but I would have been pissed if Damon didn't learn his lesson. So with that in mind I thought the Third Man ending could have worked because it implied his life was hollow after that, but his death makes more sense to me because it was how DiCaprio also died, and also in a very similar way (opening elevator, opening hotel door). I'm perfectly fine with how it ended.

Terrabin--I agree with you in that the film does have excellent writing and that it might be the "main attraction" so to say, but as I said earlier I don't think that's all there is. The technical aspects of it are also topnotch, from the photography (little things like how Nicholson's face was covered in shadows the for pretty much the entire opening, for instance), to the editing (frenetic but still rhythmic, perfectly balancing the two protagonists), to the sound (musical interludes, interruptions, cell phones). I didn't think it was empty at all. Movies don't really need social commentary to be deep but even so it showed how in one way or another both the police and the underworld are corrupt. Also, I didn't find it lacking emotion at all, considering how complex both Damon and DiCaprio's characters were and their relationships with the Farmiga character. I don't like comparing this movie to Scorsese's masterpieces because it again doesn't seem fair; it's a considerable improvement over his recent movies and that in itself is something to congratulate, I say. But I probably can't convince you to see the movie in a way that disagrees with your sensibilities, so I'll just let it rest that I found more to like in the movie than you did, I suppose. Even though I disagree with you, your reply was very eloquent and that's cool.
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Old 10-15-2006, 10:35 AM   #1680
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For the triangle, I too thought it tested the boundaries of reality a little bit, but in the context of this story I thought it made perfect sense. The two men could just have easily become the same person if their childhoods had played out differently--the are essentially mirror images of each other, with Farmiga split down the middle by said mirror (if that makes any sense).
Makes perfect sense and a nice little fairy tale, but it's still not very believable that the same woman falls for both men, who just happen to be moles (one for the cops, one for the criminals) hunting for each other, in a city with as many men as Boston to choose from.

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I think it would have been cheap if Damon had simply "gotten away" with it, because then that would make him a perfect example of the Socratetian perfectly unjust man feeding his beast and lion and enfeebling his man with no consequence to offset it; it's an incomplete character (and one that doesn't exist), which might work in children's movies and action movies but I would have been pissed if Damon didn't learn his lesson.
Sorry... For me it's precisely the children's movies and action movies where the bad guys are required to "learn their lesson". In movies about real life, bad men don't always see the error of their ways or get punished for it. Nor do they always go on leading a "hollow life" if those other things don't happen. Now, that worked brilliantly in The Godfather Part II where it ended on Michael sitting on the bench, an empty shell of a man who had just ordered the death of his own brother. But while it works in that story, it doesn't work in every story. It doesn't make a villain an incomplete character simply because he outwits everyone else, gets away with it, and possibly doesn't even feel any regret.
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