Movies III

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NorthReport
Movies III

Time for a new movie thread.  Has anyone seen this movie?   There will be no Oscar Awards for The Reader nor for Kate Winslet's role in it.  Kate Winslet's Oscar chances hit by The Reader Nazi accusation

 

Kate Winslet's chances of Oscar glory are being hit by an orchestrated campaign to dismiss her film The Reader as an apologia for Nazi Germany.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/oscars/4624573/Kate-Winslets-Oscar-chances-hit-by-The-Reader-Nazi-accusation.html

500_Apples

Is that really how oscar nominations work?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Speaking of Kate Winslet, I just watched her (and Cameron Diaz, Jack Black, and Jude Law) in The Holiday, a gorgeous film. I was tired and exhausted after shovelling snow and digging out my skidoo all afternoon, so I wanted something relatively quiet.

Fidel

I wore myself out chipping ice out of the box of the truck and hauling four sheets of drywall home. Haven't seen a good movie in a long time. I thought Jude Law was good in, The Incredible Mr Ripley and Enemy at the Gates. That one where he was a vampire was kinda good.

al-Qa'bong

The Reader?

 

There's a funny/weird movie called La Lectrice starring Miou-Miou.  It has some inspiring Beethoven in the soundtrack.

 

If I recall correctly, Miou-Miou has sex with a client while reading a book to him.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Right America: Feeling Wronged (2008). What a horrible movie this is! Rednecks and ignoramuses aplenty.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

North By Northwest (1959). It's fifty years old, and still fun to watch. Smile

jrose

Has anyone seen Slumdog Millionaire?

Lard Tunderin Jeezus Lard Tunderin Jeezus's picture

I saw Coraline in 3D with the whole family on family day. An entertaining kid flick, and a most excellent demonstration of the state of the art in 3D effects. I highly recommend catching it on the big screen while you can.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

jrose wrote:
Has anyone seen Slumdog Millionaire?

I saw it. It was pretty fun, I guess. And about as least offensive as a hollywood movie about poverty in India could be, I suppose. Despite the hype, I don't find it particularly memorable. It's no Trainspotting. It's not even a 28 Days Later.

As for the OP comments about The Reader, such a reaction (Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian had a similar reaction) are simplistic and hysterical. They've been adequately refuted by the screenwriter (great British playwright David Hare) and others. I blogged about it here.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I just watched the 45 minute HBO special The Trials of Ted Haggard (2008). It's an interesting profile of the evangelical USA preacher who succumbs to temptation and has an extramarital affair and buys crystal meth (although Ted says in the film that he never used it - he bought it, and threw it away).

I watched this show out of curiousity - I've heard of these guys - Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker (PTL Club) and others who fall so hard from grace.

Part of my curiousity was likely piqued by having watched the classic film Elmer Gantry many years ago on a somewhat similar topic - the preacher who falls from grace (although I can't remember the specifics of that film - it was a long ago the last time I saw it).

In this case, Haggard was exiled from his 14,000 member megachurch, and was quite badly hounded by the media during his attemps to rehabilitate himself and find another vocation - he is forbidden from ever preaching again in his denomination.

What drives these guys into such self-destructive behavior, which psychologists might call pathological? In Haggard's case, as the film proceeds to its conclusion, we're given some insights. He entered ministry after doing his Bachelor of Arts degree in ministry (that degree is useless in the secular world as he quickly finds out) without ever having done any other kind of work, and at a young age, so maybe he just wasn't mature when he entered the ministry, and he mentions having some problems with sexual identity at a very young age, long before he entered ministry.

So, the clues are there: unresolved issues around sexual identity, and possible lack of maturity exacerbated by entering the ministry of the church in a leadership capacity at a young age without any secular work experience whatsoever. I got the impression Haggard may have been experiencing some form of stress in the ministry that he simply was not equipped to handle, and looked for an outlet to let off steam, with (perhaps) predictable consequences.

 He has a supportive wife (married 29 years)  and two teenaged boys, and they're all very supportive of Haggard as he tries to find another vocation, and in one year, the only company that would hire him was a company selling medical insurance, and on a commission basis, meaning if he had no sales, he had no income. Consequently, he ended up having to rely on the generosity of friends until his new sales career started to take root.

He and his wife actually decided to work on a volunteer basis at a crisis centre but the media found out and made his life hell, and they had to leave.

My suggestion would be that organizations like the church need to really examine their hiring policies and enforce some kind of rule that says persons applying for leadership positions must have been employed in gainful occupations for a minimum period first. It strikes me as very odd that any church would hire persons for leadership positions without their having to exhibit proficiency in positions of leadership in the secular world first.

josh

I thought Slumdog Millionaire was very good.  A Dickensian tale that got a little schmaltzy at the end, but still good.  It will win best picture.

I haven't seen The Reader, but I don't think the controversy will prevent Winslet from winning.  She's "due," in Oscar parlance, after being nominated several times for very good performances.

jrose

I agree, Josh. I quite enjoyed Slumdog Millionaire as well. I thought it was definitely worth the hype, and I hope to see it win on Sunday.

NDPP

The Selling of "Precious"

http://www.counterpunch.org/reed12042009.html

"...this hate crime as entertainment..."

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Anyone seen "Food Inc"? I'm thinking of ordering it on ppv.

NorthReport

Every wanted to be a traffic reporter?

 

Josh Charles does a superb job with Anne Heche star in this romantic comedy. If your traffic reporter was even half as good as Josh when he got the chance, driving home in traffic could become enjoyable again. 

 

Pie in the Sky

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114131/

 

 

 

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Watching Elmer Gantry (1960). Scary how fanatical some preachers can get - and the same is true today.Frown

 

"...church attendance is falling off everywhere" - and that was 1960!!! Even more true today.

(outraged Protestant preacher): "... and right now a Catholic* is running for President!"  Wow. Could they really get away with this stuff back in 1960???

*JFK?

ETA: I didn't catch this reference when I first watched this film many decades ago, but that negative reference to "...a Catholic running for President!" was an obvious shot at JFK. How in the world did the producers get away with this????

Hilarious how Gantry goes after "lewd, dirty, obcene French postcards sold by a 'foreigner' in front of the local high school" Laughing 

Jeez, Gantry is certifiable. Reminds me of that idiot Pat Robertson, except Gantry is a fictional character,  but Robertson is real.Surprised

- Gantry is fanatically going after booze (it's set in the 1920s), pornography (French postcardsLaughing) and prostitution

- Benny Hinn comes to mind as another Elmer Gantry

NorthReport

This looks like a must-see.

 

 

Secret J.D. Salinger Documentary & Book, Now Revealed 

 

 

 

500_Apples
  • Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
  • The Blind Side” Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson, Producers
  • District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
  • An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
  • The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers
  • Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
  • A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
  • Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
  • Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Those are the nominees for "Best Picture".

http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/82/nominees.html

BP now gets 10 nominees, this was obviously in response to criticism that they're a bunch of snobs with limited tastes, for example both Dark Knight and Wall-E failed to even get nominated.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm watching Coming Home (1978) - there's a poignant scene of Bobby Kennedy on the tube being asked how he feels about the death of Dr. Martin Luther King. (I've seen this film several times already)

500_Apples

I saw American History X the other day.

I wonder how much justice it did to the post - Rodney King environment in LA?

There's an excellent deleted that I recommend watching involving Seth (the fat white supremacist) and Cameron (their intellectual leader). They go to a burger place together and they start insulting a black man who is seeing an attractive white woman. Later on they're attacked (unrelated) by this black gang, as Cameron "explains" to Seth why those two were dating in his opinion.

The real power of the scene is in their banter at the burger joint. We see Cameron manipulating Seth, making him feel important and useful when he is anything but.

Recommended watching imo, and watch that deleted scene. The other two deleted scenes were pretty useless imo.

al-Qa'bong

I watched Catch-22 again the other day.  Joseph Heller was rather prescient in how Milo Minderbinder Enterprises sub-plot foretold Halliburton and Blackwater's privitization of warfare.  Then again, Heller may simply have been recording what he had seen himself in World War Two, much as Nineteen Eighty-Four was a description of post-war England.

NDPP

Why The Oscars Are a Con by John Pilger

http://www.countercurrents.org/pilger110210.htm

"This year's Oscar nominations are a parade of propaganda, stereotypes and downright dishonesty.."

NDPP

The Hurt Locker, the Academy Awards and the Rehabilitation of the Iraq War

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/mar2010/hurt-m11.shtml

"This year's Academy Awards ceremony was a spectacle of banality and cowardice. The three films the Academy rewarded most highly, The Hurt Locker, Precious and Inglorious Basterds, collectively embody something retrograde and foul in the film industry, and all fly under false flags.."

ebodyknows ebodyknows's picture

al-Qa'bong wrote:

There's a funny/weird movie called La Lectrice starring Miou-Miou.  It has some inspiring Beethoven in the soundtrack.

If I recall correctly, Miou-Miou has sex with a client while reading a book to him.

I love that the beethoven stands out so clearly but you seem somewhat uncertain about the sex scene.

best thing I saw last year in terms of full length features was j'ai tué ma mère. Took me back to being a teenager, very refreshing, a good reminder of how little age diversity there is in the mass media millieu and aside from that it's just a simple and poignant perspective into a slice of the human condition.

Michelle

Say, here's one you won't want to miss.  They're making Atlas Shrugged into a movie!  Well, that'll certainly be a must-see.

Quote:

The long-brewing feature version of author Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" has begun shooting in Los Angeles as a $5 million indie produced by John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow.

Johansson ("One Tree Hill") portrays Galt. The lead role of railroad executive Dagny Taggart has gone to Taylor Schilling ("Mercy) and the part of Henry Reardon is being played by Grant Bowler ("Ugly Betty").

I read about this on Daily Kos, and the diarist was pretty funny while running down the list of shocks that American conservatives who idolize Ayn Rand are going to have when they realize their idol was an atheist, advocated adultery, and was an immigrant who mocked "Judeo-Christian traditions".  :D

Quote:

In conclusion, Ayn Rand doesn't respect conservatives any more than I do.

And in actual conclusion, does anyone else remember a year or so back when all those conservatives were talking about how they were going to "Go Galt," denying the rest of us the fruits of their crucial productivity in response to the slightly higher taxes that some segment of the population may possibly end up paying under Obama? Neither do they, apparently.

Hahaha!

And now, my deep, dark confession: I actually own a copy of this book.  I know, I know!  I'm a bad person.  I read it in my early 20's when someone I knew told me that The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged were really good books.  What can I say, I'm a sucker for book recommendations.

500_Apples

I saw Hurt Locker, An Education, and The Blind Side on a flight from Australia to the United States (and a few other movies).

1) I don't understand why progressives hate The Hurt Locker. It wasn't a pro-imperialism story. It was a story of war from the perspective of the soldiers. Mostly, it was pretty ugly, and the characters were deeply flawed. Reality may be offensive to some. I think a lot of people may have disliked the movie because it didn't have a condescending "here is the moral of the story" scene at the end. It had a minimal didactic component, and just presented a situation as is.

2) The Blind Side. It's a good theatric piece, but majorly condescending to black people... on the other hand so is current socio-economic reality. The whole time that I was watching the movie I found myself thinking "Is this how it really happened" ? There's a scene where we learn Michael Oher did bad on most of his IQ tests, except for the section on "protective instincts" on which he scored in the 98th percentile. I do not know of any IQ tests which tests for protective instincts, and either way it sounds like bullshit.

3) An Education. Alfred Molina's performance was a pleasure to watch, but the main character was too self-absorbed and self-righteous to keep me interested.

*************

I have a few more to watch, in particular I'm looking forward to "Up". Based on those I've seen, I'd say the best thus far of the 2010 best picture nomination list is District 9. It was groundbreaking in its use of special effects, and it had narrative devices that had never been used by Hollywood before - originality is always good.

500_Apples

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

The Hurt Locker, the Academy Awards and the Rehabilitation of the Iraq War

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/mar2010/hurt-m11.shtml

"This year's Academy Awards ceremony was a spectacle of banality and cowardice. The three films the Academy rewarded most highly, The Hurt Locker, Precious and Inglorious Basterds, collectively embody something retrograde and foul in the film industry, and all fly under false flags.."

The claim of the article seems to be that "The Hurt Locker" is a bad war movie because it's not explicitly anti-war.

*sigh*

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Recently viewed: Up,  Cold Souls. and part of  District 9.  I liked Up, and thought Paul Giamatti's performance in Cold Souls was the only redeeming feature of an otherwise silly movie. I hated District 9 and switched channels about thirty minutes in.

melovesproles

Sigh.  No one says you can't like pro-war propaganda Apples but why would you be surprised that isn't a popular sentiment on this board.

I thought the movie was pretty mediocre and I really didn't like the portrayal of the Iraqis.  It seemed a pretty cowardly, shallow take on the whole situation, after a decade of occupation it just reinforced popular stereotypes and prejudices:  "scary, ungrateful and untrustworthy arabs vs absurdly brave and unappreciated young American soldiers".   The only thing which kept me awake was the question of whether we'd see the megalomaniac officer get fragged or not but that didn't go anywhere either.

500_Apples

melovesproles wrote:

Sigh.  No one says you can't like pro-war propaganda Apples but why would you be surprised that isn't a popular sentiment on this board.

You don't speak for babble. You speak for yourself.

melovesproles wrote:
I thought the movie was pretty mediocre and I really didn't like the portrayal of the Iraqis.  It seemed a pretty cowardly, shallow take on the whole situation, after a decade of occupation it just reinforced popular stereotypes and prejudices:  "scary, ungrateful and untrustworthy arabs vs absurdly brave and unappreciated young American soldiers".  The only thing which kept me awake was the question of whether we'd see the megalomaniac officer get fragged or not but that didn't go anywhere either.

That is what you chose to read into the movie. What I saw of the Iraqis were of a fractured people with a diverse range of responses to the Americans. The Iraqis were not the point of this movie, it was the American soldiers participating in Iraq, and their experiences.The Iraqis existed as a set of relationships and interactions with the American soliders. For about 500,000 individuals who have been through "Coalition of the Willing" tours, that's about right.

There's a contradiction in declaring the main character as "brave and unappreciated" in one sentence, and a "megalomaniac" in the next. You're trying to pidgeon-hole him as either a good guy or a bad guy. The problem is that from the film's perspective, he is neither. As such you're flipping back and forth between assuming him as a good guy and then as a bad guy, using both mutually exclusive cases to support your internally contradictory position that the movie is pro-war, because it gives us positive depictions of characters by casting the actors into negative roles.

The notion that a war movie has to be either pro-war or anti-war is puerile. You should evaluate a piece of art based on what it is, not what it's not.

ETA: I am not saying that questions about the cause and immorality of the war are not worth asking. I am rejecting the position that it is important to ask them in every single conversation about the war.

Stargazer

I've been watching a lot of movies lately:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt011579

Sex and Math

I really liked this movie but it will definitely put some people off. Very well done and no silly blow stuff up scenes. I am through with he-man movies.

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1224373/

Slovenian Girl

But the best one I have watched lately is the original Korean flick My Sassy Girl.Of course, Hollywood remade it. The remake is horrible.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0293715/

 

 

 

 

melovesproles

I never said I spoke for babble, I was responding to "I don't understand why progressives hate The Hurt Locker."

It's not that a movie has to 'pro' or 'anti' war', its that this movie was made during an ongoing decade long illegal occupation and it reinforced all the popular stereotypes and prejudices used to justify and prolong that war.  That makes it propaganda.  

The only sympathetic Iraqi character was the boy; the innocent Iraqi who still has a chance of being an Americanized good arab.  Of course Iraq is too dark and evil of a place to let that boy survive and the only person who cares about him, the American hero, tragically is unable to save him from his countrymen.  Of course he's the 'good guy' whose one character flaw is that he's 'wild' and 'doesn't play by the rules'. That's hardly original or deep characterization Apples, see Top Gun.  The story is ridiculous, the characters are boring, and the politics are status quo.  This was a made for tv movie with good production values and a skilled use of tension and suspense. 

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I've watched The Queen (2006) before, but could not get past the first half hour tonight. What a horrible family.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Right now I am watching Fierce Light (2008) which features Judy Rebick, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Quebec 2001 protests, and activism around in various places. Excellent film.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Just watched Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story. Wow!!!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I just saw Colin Firth in A Single Man (2009). It's lovely!

E.Tamaran

I saw Predators on Saturday. Good movie. The Israeli sniper was an interesting character.

al-Qa'bong

Boom Boom wrote:

Just watched Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story. Wow!!!

I saw it too; it was on TV.  I thought it was pretty good.  One reason for this is that it dealt more with the issues rather than being as Michael Moorey as some of his other pictures.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The segment on Reagan was excellent, especially seeing Donald Regan pulling Reagan's strings. I think Moore was saying that Reagan's Administration was the attempted beginning of the elimination of the middle class, leaving just the rich (1%) and the poor (99%). Interesting to see RCC clergy (priests and bishops) diss capitalism as well.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Watched 2012 last night. Am glad it's a work of fiction! However, I predict we'll see mass hysteria on 11/12/12 (that's the 11th of December 2012 - the day before 12/12/12). It'll be that Y2K nonsense all over again. I'll make lots of popcorn.

500_Apples

E.Tamaran wrote:

I saw Predators on Saturday. Good movie. The Israeli sniper was an interesting character.

 

I'm looking forward to the DVD release, it's too late to see it in theatres.

500_Apples

I saw two movies this past week, the 1995 french film "La Haine" by Mathieu Kassovitz, and the 2009 drama "Chloe" by Atom Egoyan staaring Amanda Seyfried, Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson. Both were excellent.

La Haine is a story of three youths, one jew, one arab and one black, growing up in some projects outside of Paris, and one of them finds a gun after some police riots. They're discussing how to deal with the gun, and whether or not they would take revenge if one of their friends, currently in the hospital, ends up dead. The director says it's supposed to capture France in that time, that it's a country headed for trouble, and he compares it to a man who has fallen off a building and thinks that "everything is ok thus far" for every floor he passes on the way down. It ended up having signicant success internationally, even though it was about France the director learned that it resonated with people the world over. I personally greatly related to the Jewish character, and I thought his grandmother resembled my own.

[Problem with the above image, Said is the Arab guy and Hubert is the black guy, order of the names and pictures are switched]

Chloe I watched because I read it is getting oscar buzz. It was nice.... I don't think Liam Neeson has ever failed to impress me... he even managed to be the bright spot of the original star wars. He was awesome in Kinsey and Batman Begins, and he was awesome here though they had trouble filming because his wife had a ski accident during the filming. Actually, I don't think I've ever been into a serious chick flick this much before, the last Julianne Moore movie I saw (The Hours) left me bored and restless, but this one resonated. It's really impossible to give a cogent summary of the film's plot without spoiling, so I'll give a sub-cogent summary. Moore and Neeson play a husband and wife team, their marriage is less exciting than it used to be, they're unsure of each other's loyalties, and Seyfried plays a prostitute. It's much better than that sounds, but I can't say more without ruining it. Do see it though.

 

No Yards No Yards's picture

Shortbus - This one is rated Adult (if it actually rated at all?) So don't pick it up thinking that it's a family moview.

 

This was so "out of my normal confort zone"I don't think I can actually give a review of the movie except to say it is entirely mismerizing ... a porno with great acting and a exremely strong  and somewhat offbeat (for most of us) story.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

The Big Lebowski: still awesome.

al-Qa'bong

I've never seen The Big Lebowski, but last week I dug out my DVD of Queen of Outer Space, starring Zsa Zsa Gabor.  I saw it at a drive-in with my parents in the early '60s, but didn't know its title, and its memory haunted me until RonB over at EnMasse told me how to find it.

I also watched Casino Royale the other day.  I had forgotten most of it.  It's terrible, even though Herb Alpert's music is great.  I couldn't help thinking that David Niven and William Holden would have been embarassed to be in it.  Peter Sellers must have been typecast as a character in bad psychaedelic movies, as The Party shares a lot of what's wrong with Casino Royale.  Ursula Andress was good, though.

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

The Big Lebowski: still awesome.

Bears many watchings. As do almost all their films. A Serious Man - pure genius - and you almost don't need to be Jewish to appreciate it!

 

writer writer's picture

A couple of weeks ago, I watched A Single Man, A Serious Man, Up In The Air, The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Coco.

Mmmmmm.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Geez, al-Q. You know The Big Lebowski is a parody of The Big Sleep, right? "Yeah, right man, there are a lot of uh, facets uh, to this. A lotta interested parties."

I love the Coen brothers so much I almost sneer at their merely "good" offerings. If it's not a world-beater, I don't waste my time, it seems. I haven't seen A Serious Man yet because of that very prejudice. I'm on the case, though.

I also haven't seen Mr Fox yet! I can't believe it.

Fidel

Big Lebowski for sure.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

Geez, al-Q. You know The Big Lebowski is a parody of The Big Sleep, right?

 

No, I don't know anything about The Big Lebowski. I've read the title a lot here and there, though.

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