The Last Film You Saw in the Cinema?


(Stanton) #1121

Mad Max: Fury Road - George Miller

When a film consists of permanent motion, which means here permanent action, it is not easy to still have something in the backhand when the film reaches its end, something which tops all that was before, and the ending of Fury Road is pretty ordinary. There is enough emotion in the motion to keep me interested, and Charlize Theron is particularly good, but there ain’t much in the film which could fascinate me. The action relies more on stunts then on filmic imagination, but iss till well filmed. 7/10


(scherpschutter) #1122

[size=12pt] JURASSIC WORLD [/size](2015, Colin Trevorrow)

I had the choice between a Max Reboot and a Dino Reboot and chose for the Dino, I also had the choice between 3D and 2D and chose 2D. I’m already fed up with 3D.

Basically a remake of the first movie, only with more dinos and higher heels. We’re 22 years after the events in the original Spielberg movie and the park on Isla Nuba has opened its gates again, but we’re told that dinosaurs have become so familiar, that the park must come up with a new, revolutionary dino at least once a year, in order to keep visitors entertained. Therefore Dr. Wu, chief geneticist of the park, has tampered a little with Dino DNA, making his last creation, an Indominus Rex, stronger, bigger, cooler and more voracious than any other dino in history. In the mean time one of the safety guards has trained a few velociraptors. There are also kids, teenagers, holograms (a nice idea) and gyrospheres (you’ll recognize them when you see them).

Well, I guess you know what happens first and happens next. Only the finale, the ultimate battle of dinosaurs, may hold a couple of (nice) surprises. Jurassic World offers excellent popcorn entertainment, but there are too many half-baked ideas to become more than just that, popcorn entertainment, and this whole thing about dinos chasing visitors has become so familiar that the only possibility to surprise moviegoers again, could be a version in 4D, with the raptors actually leaving the screen and attacking people in real life. The best thing of the entire movie (apart from Bryce Dallas Howard’s high heels) are the trained raptors; apparently John sayles already suggested the idea in the 90s, when Spielberg consulted him for one of the sequels, but for some reason it wasn’t used back then.


(Asa) #1123

I thought it looked fantastic as one would expect but, predictably and rather depressingly, the movie had all its eggs in the “Visuals” basket and none at all in the “Story” basket. And these things are all subjective of course but I found the “trained Velociraptors” angle just… silly (not as silly as Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard stopping for a romantic beat whilst civilians all around them are being plucked up by pterodactyls, mind you). Loved the hugely oversized Mosasaur, though.


(scherpschutter) #1124

I liked both Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, but I thought there wasn’t much chemistry between the two. The mosasaur was a good idea, but visually he (or she) was the weakest link: the scenes looked very digital while the other dinos looked real. Not much story no, same as the first movie: park open, dino escapes, trouble, trouble, trouble and a large scale finale.


(Phil H) #1125

Haven’t seen them yet but just bought tickets for a couple of films at the Southbank BFI here in London showing later this month.

A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (Fulci / 1971) and All the Colours of the Dark (Martino / 1972)

They are being shown as part of the London on Film season. Lizard will be a digital print but Colours is a 35mm one which will be nice although, as a result, is the shorter U.S version. Will be good to see these both in a cinema for the first time. Up till now I’ve only seen them at home.


(Bill san Antonio) #1126

Nice, haven’t seen any giallo in cinema myself. Even with a worn out print it’s always pleasure to see films like these in cinema from real reels.


(John Welles) #1127

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Ritchie/15)

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (2015), directed by Guy Ritchie, is a recreation of the hit 1960s American television series which originally starred Robert Vaughn and David McCallum as the U.S. and Russian spies Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin, respectively. For the 21st century version however, we have Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, who are both remarkably effective at communicating the initial distrust and then the later, grudging respect for each other. This central dynamic helps make the film never less than entertaining and several set pieces, from a bizarre clothe shopping scene to a boat chase, are memorable precisely due to the tensions and unexpected similarities between the two.

In keeping the Cold War setting, Ritchie manages a superficial recreation of the 1960s, from a nicely chosen soundtrack (Roberta Flack, Nina Simone) to a fun opening title sequence (reminiscent of Maurice Binder’s titles for early James Bond films). However, just as in Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes pictures with Robert Downey Jr., he never truly captures the atmosphere of the era beyond the more outlandish fashions. Yet he demonstrates his ability to put together a very good action scene with Solo’s extraction of Gaby from East Berlin at the start of the film and he understands well that it is the shifting relationships between the trio which is the most engaging aspect of the film and the character scenes are handled with a deft touch.

Yet Ritchie’s visual pyrotechnics, such as tiresome flashbacks and over-edited chases, keep interrupting the flow of a film whose script (by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram) is uneven to say the least. High comedy and grave seriousness alternate, not always comfortably, highlighted no more so than by the tonally misjudged torture scene of Napoleon Solo which ranges from the Holocaust to slapstick comedy.

The cast though, can’t be faulted, with Jared Harris, as Solo’s controller, delivering a creditable Brooklyn accent, and Hugh Grant does his perfected debonair English gentleman impression. Alicia Vikander is fine, as is Elizabeth Debicki as the principle villain. With most of the film set in Italy, it looks, thanks to cinematographer John Mathieson, excellent as well, although some ugly digital inserts do mar the aesthetic.

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” went through many production difficulties and permutations of director and cast (George Clooney were both cast at different points to play Napoleon Solo) and the sometimes generic plotting (particularly the climax) seem like sub par Bond material. Ritchie, to his credit, does maintain an enjoyable style and it’s a film easy on both eye and mind, even if it only ultimately makes only a shallow impact.


(Silver) #1128

Strange Magic. They do a once monthly autism friendly showing here. Usually animated stuff or other kids films despite the age range seeming to be from 2 to 60 something. I’m usually quite bored during these things. Very underwhelmed by Frozen and Rio 2. This film got really bad reviews but it was so utterly demented that I actually had quite a good time for once.


(Phil H) #1129

Lizard in a Woman’s Skin was very much enjoyed by the missus and me last night. Her first Giallo and a good one to start with I think. Equal parts strange, creepy and deliberately funny but always totally unhinged. A digital print but a really nice one and a decent sized audience too which always makes these events better.
Looking forward to All the Colours of the Dark in a couple of weeks now.


(John Welles) #1130

Everest (Kormákur/15)

“Everest” (2015), directed by Baltasar Kormákur who has been known only for generic action films like “Contraband” (2012) and “2 Guns” (2013). Yet here he makes a beautifully-executed film which never takes a misstep, capturing both the awe and terrific danger of Mount Everest. The film sets out to examine the disparate group of people who are willing to pay $65,000 and risk all by trying to reach the summit, which we’re solemnly informed by Rob Hall, is at the altitude of a cruising Boeing 747.

Kormákur’s strength as a director, allows the actors to imbue their real characters with a sense of naturalism, from the mailman Doug Hansen (John Hawkes) to the Texan bravado of Beck Weathers (Josh Brolin). The script, by William Nicholson and Simon Beaufoy, takes an ensamble approach to its narrative, a mosaic of climbers from which emerges a community with underlying tensions between experienced mountineers and “tourists” paying to get to Everest’s peak. Poor decisions made at over 29,000 feet can be fatal, especially when compounded by the firece intensity of the Himalyan weather.

Kormákur actually shot at the Everest base camp and filmed climbing scenes in the Italian Alps, giving the film a powerful realism; watching it, you feel the sub-zero temperatures and the vertiginous heights. He’s also adept at building tension, particularly in showing climbers crossing a ladder at Everest’s Kumbu Ice Fall, where just from the sound alone, we wince at every step taken. It’s an extraordinary tense film, especially as, being based on real events, we know some will not survive. Yet Kormákur refuses to sentimentalise the drama, lending a dignity to the ill-fated characters: death is not over-dramatised, instead the fragility of life on the mountain is emphasised. He’s aided immeasurably by an excellent cast: Jason Clarke, Jake Gyllenhaal, John Hawkes, Josh Brolin and Emily Watson. If there’s a criticism to be made, the film sometimes spreads itself too thinly, and actors like Sam Worthington and Ingvar Eggert Sigurðsson are relegated to the background.

The clarity of Salvatore Totino’s cinematography enables us to appreciate the savage beauty of the mountains while the editing of Mick Audsley admirably clarifies a complex story, cross-cutting between base camp and the different groups fighting their way back down through a horrific storm. It’s a dramatic survival film, rooted in humanity enduring the extremes of nature, but it never looses sight of the individual. It’s the rare Hollywood film which believes in character and employs special effects in the service of the story, to create an entirely satisfying piece of cinema.


(scherpschutter) #1131

[quote=“John Welles, post:1130, topic:2027”]Everest (Kormákur/15)

Kormákur actually shot at the Everest base camp and filmed climbing scenes in the Italian Alps, giving the film a powerful realism; watching it, you feel the sub-zero temperatures and the vertiginous heights. He’s also adept at building tension, particularly in showing climbers crossing a ladder at Everest’s Kumbu Ice Fall, where just from the sound alone, we wince at every step taken. It’s an extraordinary tense film, especially as, being based on real events, we know some will not survive.[/quote]

Seems my kind of movie. I like movies based on real events and I have fear for heights


(John Welles) #1132

I’m with you on that - I could never even imagine climbing a mountain, let alone Everest, so the people who do naturally fascinate me.


(Bill san Antonio) #1133

Irrational Man
-After rather disappointing Magic in the Moonlight Woody Allen makes a pleasantly surprising film which might be his best in years. Blue Jasmine was good too but I think this is more entertaining. Joaquin Phoenix and Emma Stone are both great in it.


(titoli) #1134

[quote=“John Welles, post:1130, topic:2027”]

Everest (Kormákur/15)[/quote]

I too need to watch this. Something about climbing and the snow and the ice gets to me.
For those interested, I recommend The Summit of the Gods epic manga comic (or graphic novel, if you prefer).
Best manga I’ve read, and best damn story about Everest and climbing I’ve experienced in any medium.


(John Welles) #1135

Woman in Gold (Curtis/15)

“Woman in Gold” (2015), directed by Simon Curtis, is anchored by Mirren’s performance. She has the sharp, intelligent, quintessentially Austrian character of Maria Altmann down to the slightest mannerism, Mirren disappearing into her character. It’s to the credit of the script, by Alexi Kaye Campbell, that it creates a character so strongly delineated, as well as letting Mirren (who won an Academy Award for her performance in “The Queen” (2006)) suggest the inner vulnerabilities which her tough exterior seeks to hide.

If it’s a powerful, memorable performance, then it’s unfortunate that it outclasses the surrounding film. The material, tackling the important issue of the repatriation of art stolen by the Nazis, to their true owners, highlights the complex nature of modern-day Austrian society, still uncomfortable about its role in aiding Hitler during World War II. However, Curtis doesn’t seem up to the task. Previously having directed “My Week with Marilyn” (2011), his treatment too often errs on the side of the predictable, bathing flashbacks to the Anschluss (the German annexation of Austria in 1939) in the now customary desaturated palette, providing a gloss on the past. Neither is there the hoped-for dynamism in handling the complex series of court cases that had to be fought against the Austrian government, both in Austria and the United States. The intricacies are glazed over in favour of dramatic speeches, although Ryan Reynolds as the lawyer is surprisingly good and manages to play the moments of humour early on in the film to maximum effect.

There’s an extensive cast, including Daniel Brühl as a sympathetic Austrian journalist, Charles Dance enjoying himself as a brusque head of a law firm and Jonathan Pryce in one scene playing the Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, although Katie Holmes is given nothing to do as Reynolds’ wife.

The film’s major flaw then, is its script, from which Curtis is tied to. There’s no insight into Klimt and the eponymous “Woman in Gold”, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, is an exotic enigma, as flat as Klimt’s portrait of her. Shot in opalescent golds, in a literal cinematic transcription of her portrait, we never know who she is. Tethered to Mirren’s character childhood memories of her, her Austrian past is rendered as a simplistic golden era destroyed by the coming of Nazism. There’s no attempt to confront the existing anti-Semitism that was rife in Austria throughout the early 20th century, long before Hitler’s ascent to power; ultimately, the film sells the past short. It’s on steadier ground with Mirren and Reynolds grappling with the Austrian government’s attempts to frustrate their claims to Klimt’s masterpiece and these are the best portions of the film, perhaps as it focuses on Mirren and Reynolds, who have an undeniable screen chemistry. It’s thanks to their efforts that this film still remains worth viewing.


(Yodlaf Peterson) #1136

Straight Outta Compton -really good, thoroughly enjoyed it, only thing that narked me a bit is that they hardly focused on MC Ren, who for me is easily the second best of them after Ice Cube.


(titoli) #1137

Sicario (2015)

Action thriller, that thrills and despite non-stop action makes you think. Theme is drug trafficking on USA/Mexico border. Emily Blunt, whose character POV takes us through the movie, is captivating and Benicio Del Toro is on a fire as a chilling angel of vengeance. Josh Brolin though, who I like otherwise, was a bit annoying with his constant grin. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, director of Prisoners - the theme he is obviously most interested is internal, personal conflict when one is forced to question his/her value system and make the decisions in the zone between black and white. All in all, excellent movie, despite some gray areas of script, that some would call plot holes.


(John Welles) #1138

I saw Citizen Kane at Oxford’s Ultimate Picture Palace yesterday, which, to my very pleasant surprise, was actually in 35 mm. I’d only ever seen it on VHS and DVD previously so this was certainly a memorable experience, particularly as I’d expected a DCP. It was very scratchy, pops on the soundtrack, cigarette burns etc and preceded by a BFI logo, which was presumably where they’d acquired the print from, but it was still a treat to see it on actual film. The cinema is showing Chimes at Midnight later in the year so I’ll definitely be seeing that to see what source they’ll use.

At any rate, seeing it with a paying audience for the first time was interesting, especially at the amount of laughter (with the film) at many of the film’s witty moments and throwaway lines of dialogue. It was particularly notable in the early scenes set at the newspaper: combined with the overlapping dialogue, it made me really understand how influenced Welles (and Mankiewicz) were by the screwball comedies of the prior decade.


(scherpschutter) #1139

[quote=“John Welles, post:1138, topic:2027”]I saw Citizen Kane at Oxford’s Ultimate Picture Palace yesterday, which, to my very pleasant surprise, was actually in 35 mm. I’d only ever seen it on VHS and DVD previously so this was certainly a memorable experience, particularly as I’d expected a DCP. It was very scratchy, pops on the soundtrack, cigarette burns etc and preceded by a BFI logo, which was presumably where they’d acquired the print from, but it was still a treat to see it on actual film. The cinema is showing Chimes at Midnight later in the year so I’ll definitely be seeing that to see what source they’ll use.

At any rate, seeing it with a paying audience for the first time was interesting, especially at the amount of laughter (with the film) at many of the film’s witty moments and throwaway lines of dialogue. It was particularly notable in the early scenes set at the newspaper: combined with the overlapping dialogue, it made me really understand how influenced Welles (and Mankiewicz) were by the screwball comedies of the prior decade.[/quote]

Never seen it on the large screen. It’s one of those ‘great movies’ that never really grabbed me. Not a bad movie by any means, but I never saw the greatness of it. Maybe watching it in cinema would help.

My favourite Welles actually is The Lady from Shanghai (plus The Third Man, not a real Welles movie, of course, but I always think about him when thinking about the movie)


(John Welles) #1140

Sicario (Villeneuve/15)

It’s a very, very fine film. Apart from Emily Blunt’s character, there is hardly an original element to it, but Denis Villeneuve’s direction is so precise, cinemtaograhper Roger Deakins’ work so excellent, that it doesn’t really matter. The film is incredibly relentless and I like how the violence actually pacts a punch: we don’t experience a vicarious thrill from it, but rather feel a mounting sense of dread and tension (most notably during the traffic jam sequence). Blunt operates as a fully moral figure, unusual for the genre: normally the protagonist would be Josh Brolin or Benicio Del Toro (who are both superb), but instead we have a very strong, ethical centre which serves to throw the amoral actions of both the cartels and government forces into even sharper relief. It’s so good that I’d be tempted to hail it as The Hurt Locker of the War on Drugs.