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Author Topic: Last movie watched...  (Read 1400538 times)

Frank

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13695 on: 27 November, 2019, 04:22:30 PM »

November 27th is the day everyone's an

IRISHMAN

Couldn't miss the chance to catch it on the big screen last week. An indulgent masterpiece, but a masterpiece nonetheless. Pips Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Joker for movie of the year.

The luxurious running time means Scorsese doesn't have the control and mastery of the material that he enjoyed on Goodfellas or Raging Bull. Then again, if you told me you had a three-hour edit of either of those films I'd slam your head in a car door until you turned it over.

This feels much more like Wolf Of Wall Street; a series of wonderfully realised studies for a painting presented for exhibition alongside the finished piece because they have considerable merit in their own right. And the extra running time allows the story to avoid some of the glibness of those (incredible) movies.

Ray Liotta collecting his newspaper on the porch of his witness protection home in Nowhere is a great end to Goodfellas, but The Irishman would have shown you Henry Hill working at his boring job for forty years, his retirement and eventual death. It's just such a protracted end sequence that distinguishes the film from a Greatest Hits set and emphasises the film's concern with finality and mortality (i).

Although death and endings are constant themes throughout the film thanks to a blackly comic version of the on-screen information in Brink, where whenever a supporting character is introduced the movie freezes and a caption informs the viewer exactly how and when they will eventually meet their (invariably violent and bloody) end.

No cast members survive to join Sheeran in the rest home, but the film thinks they're the fortunate ones. You probably have to be eighty to make a film that argues the only meaningful choice we have in life is how we feel about and respond to watching everyone we know die (ii).

Rather than playing Hoffa, Pacino's playing Al Pacino (iii), in the same way that Scorsese's making a Martin Scorsese film, which is fine because they're both great at it. There's a scene where Pacino makes a life or death decision seated beside a lake - you don't put Pacino in the lakehouse accidentally or without realising its significance.

Plemons, Cannavale, and Graham represent the next generation (X and Millennial) of actors who, if the movie industry - not even what Scorsese grandly termed 'cinema', but just the movie industry - still existed, would be playing the roles that De Niro and Pacino once did, but who have done their signature work on telly.

Link Prime's exactly right - this is an indulgent but wonderful film. It probably won't be Scorsese's final movie, but it'll feel like a fitting end to a career once he's dead - tying up a body of work in the same way Endgame capped-off the MCU - and it makes a beautiful farewell to an entire era of movie making and popular culture, too.

Check the name of the film on the marquee:





(i) If you're interested in watching this film to witness De Niro restored to the beauty and vitality of his youth via the miracle of CGI de-ageing technology, you'll be disappointed. DeNiro, Pacino and Pesci look like men in their seventies wearing hairpieces and eyeliner. They've dialled De Niro's age back ten years at most, even when he's supposed to be in his thirties. Everyone's too old to play these roles - there's one scene where Pesci introduces DeNiro as 'the kid I was telling you about' and you look around the screen to see who the kid is supposed to be - but if you were fine with a black Miss Moneypenny or a female Iago - and I was - then that isn't going to bother you.

(ii) The film's concerned with the end but also how we ended up in the place we are now. It's the story of how the (white) blue-collar members of post-WWII US society knowingly conspired in corruption, operating a sort of double-consciousness that allowed them to go along with the lies American society is built upon as long as the lie benefited them and they felt the liar in charge was on their side.

From its (sub)title - I HEARD YOU PAINT HOUSES - onwards, the film's about a society based upon saying one thing and meaning another, knowing fine well that everyone knows exactly what you actually mean. Pacino's character dies because he doesn't understand what people are trying to tell him because they never say what they actually mean and he's been telling lies for so long he doesn't believe anything he's told.

Sheeran's baby boomer daughter Peggy, who works in a bank, understands the lies and sees the corruption but her only response is silence and to (literally) put the shutters up. By a coincidence, I watched an episode of South Park last night in which protesting white nationalist truck drivers were replaced by Alexa, their chant of 'you will not replace us' figured as pointless protest demanding the return of a world that has passed into history.

(iii) Or maybe Sil from The Sopranos, which is like accusing John Lennon of imitating Liam Gallagher. Van Zandt turns up as a lounge singer in a pivotal scene, sharing screen time with Pacino, whose performance in Godfather III he memorably parodied in The Sopranos. This film boasts more Sopranos cast members than you could shake a stick at, which, considering that show made a conspicuous point of hiring Goodfellas alumni, creates a dizzying spiral of self-reflexivity

Frank

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13696 on: 27 November, 2019, 04:28:10 PM »
Instead of watching Scorcese's latest white boy crime-wank movie I checked out Dolemite Is My Name, an Eddie Murphy vehicle based on the life of African American stand-up comic turned movie star Rudy Ray Moore that seems both a natural fit for Murphy, and a natural choice for the biopic treatment, and while it hits all the usual notes, something is a bit off about it and it was only near the end that I twigged that it's not a biopic of Moore, but of Dolemite, Moore's onstage persona.
When the movie starts, Moore isn't a young, gifted comedian but a flabby, over-the-hill journeyman, and his big break doesn't come from a producer taking a chance but from Moore stealing material from hobos and freeloading off his aunt to publish a record.  The film's story isn't that Moore was a genius but that he got lucky with the right material at the right time, and then never actually became any better as an artist or saw out any grand vision, his victory comes from finding a shallow validation in his cult status among an African-American community literally abandoned to the inner cities by white people (as explained in a brutally-unsubtle minor turn by Bob Odenkirk doing his best not to channel Saul Goodman while delivering what are clearly Saul Goodman's lines).
Biopics are tricky because if the subjects are alive or have a legacy maintained by an estate, the movies tend to be flattering and safe, but this isn't flattering at all.  Moore certainly doesn't come across as a bad person - he doesn't do drugs, beat his wife or abandon his kids - but he also doesn't come across as particularly interesting or even that good in his chosen profession, he's just a man who succeeded through the work and/or indulgence of others with more talent or wit but who in the end gave back more than what he took by ultimately becoming a part of the African-American folklore he cynically stripmines to achieve success.
The pacing seems a bit off, but it's otherwise quite enjoyable.  If nothing else it was nice being reminded that Wesley Snipes can actually act and doesn't just parody the tough guy act he was peddling in the 1990s.

I noticed Dolemite last night, when I was looking for The Irishman like a junkie waiting to score. I'd read the fantastic reviews but managed to miss the information that it was a Netflix joint, so that was a pleasant surprise.

You offer an entertaining and original perspective, as always - it's next on my list.



The Legendary Shark

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13697 on: 27 November, 2019, 04:34:37 PM »

Yes, yes, yes... But is it any good?

(Great review, btw, can't wait to see it after that.)

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Mattofthespurs

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13698 on: 27 November, 2019, 04:39:29 PM »
Spoilers surely?

Professor Bear

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13699 on: 27 November, 2019, 06:15:34 PM »
Instead of watching Scorcese's latest white boy crime-wank movie .

I FEEL ATTACKED


Like shooting fish in a barrel.

Mattofthespurs

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13700 on: 27 November, 2019, 07:24:13 PM »
Instead of watching Scorcese's latest white boy crime-wank movie .

I FEEL ATTACKED


Like shooting fish in a barrel.

Jesus. Really. Is being a cunt a thing now on this forum?

Mattofthespurs

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13701 on: 27 November, 2019, 08:18:43 PM »
Sorry to refer to you as that word.

That was uncalled for.

 I meant unpleasant vulva.


Jim_Campbell

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13702 on: 27 November, 2019, 09:22:03 PM »
People have been banned for that. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s actually an official policy on it.
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Mattofthespurs

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13703 on: 27 November, 2019, 09:39:51 PM »
People have been banned for that. In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s actually an official policy on it.

I have been reprimanded in regards to my comment.

I could not change the original post thus I apologised and re-phrased it.

I am willing to take a ban. Almost hoping for one in fact.

I could do without the aggro of putting up with the passive aggressive sh*t of that persons comments.

I thought this was a nice place.

Jim_Campbell

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13704 on: 27 November, 2019, 10:25:24 PM »
I have been reprimanded in regards to my comment.

Sorry. I’m still a little bit sore about getting hit with a ban for using the word under a spoiler block and with part of the word asterisked out.
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Mardroid

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13705 on: 28 November, 2019, 02:21:35 AM »

Mardroid

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13706 on: 28 November, 2019, 02:38:54 AM »
Coincidentally, I only watched the last series of Twin Peaks recently.

"Gotta light?"
Heh! That whole episode was super weird! I understood some of it but what was with that insect frog thing?I’m guessing that young woman is one of the older ladies who went a bit barmy, but I missed who. I’m terrible at remembering names.

Sorry, don’t answer that here. I just remembered this is the movie thread.

Link Prime

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13707 on: 28 November, 2019, 09:31:34 AM »
The luxurious running time ...

Of your summary was equally enjoyable.

I'll also add a note regarding the CGI de-aging technology.
I generally thought it worked well, but seemed much more effective in some scenes than others.
There were two aspects that could never sell it fully though; the eyes and the physicality (when '30-something' De Niro was beating up the green grocer I had to stifle a laugh).


Also forgot to mention that all groups of male friends aged 15 - 55 that I observed leaving the cineplex were rambunctiously talking to each other like Gambino Capo's.
Quite contagious.

Link Prime

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13708 on: 28 November, 2019, 09:32:40 AM »
Matty...That, uh, academic friend of ours is causing some concern.
You want me to, ya know?

< Imperceptibly nods towards holstered firearm > 

Professor Bear

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Re: Last movie watched...
« Reply #13709 on: 28 November, 2019, 12:00:00 PM »
I am willing to take a ban. Almost hoping for one in fact.

I could do without the aggro of putting up with the passive aggressive sh*t of that persons comments.

I thought this was a nice place.

This is literally passive aggression, which I guess is a step up from the actual aggression.

You started out of the gate aggressive at a random comment meant in jest at Frank's all-in stanning for the Irishman - which now I am hoping he has taken in good humor - and escalated until you got an official warning.  You were abusive and when called on it your defence was "but they made me do it", so I suggest you make use of the board's ignore function like I plan to.