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A Thread About Movies

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Posts

  • wanderingwandering Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Jackie Brown is maybe a little more conventional and less bold than Tarantino's other movies - because it's based on a book I guess. And for some reason Samuel L. Jackson's character starts off as being a great, intimidating, badass villain but then he become a lame, comic, pathetic villain. Also a couple times it felt like a character got killed just because the plot required them to get killed.

    But the movie's a lot of fun and what a great opening shot. And I love how long Tarantino is willing to linger on stuff - the bag-swapping-at-the-mall sequence is so gloriously long.

    wandering on
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  • CaptainNemoCaptainNemo Ascension. Ascension. Hallelujah. Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Less bold is the best way to describe it. I'd say Kill Bill is his biggest and boldest movie, which is why I love it so much. Basterds is bold as well, but in a more subtle, colder way. Both are movies about revenge, but Kill Bill is more about the cycle of revenge while Basterds is more about how it shapes you as a person.

    CaptainNemo on
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  • NintenNinten Registered User regular
    Am I the only one who thinks Reservoir Dogs is QT's best movie?

    I mean, no one messes with Mr. Blue.

  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    wandering wrote: »
    Jackie Brown is maybe a little more conventional and less bold than Tarantino's other movies - because it's based on a book I guess. And for some reason Samuel L. Jackson's character starts off as being a great, intimidating, badass villain but then he become a lame, comic, pathetic villain. Also a couple times it felt like a character got killed just because the plot required them to get killed.

    I can't think of any deaths that don't spring from character rather than forced plot progression.
    Spoiler:

    All completely justified by characters the film has painstakingly built up. And Jackson isn't lame at the end. He's just not some cardboard cutout badass villain. He's got depth. I think it's one of Jackson's best performances, not as fine as Jules, but close.

  • Joe DizzyJoe Dizzy Registered User regular
    Until Inglourious Basterds I've felt that all QT movies had something to be enthusiastic about and something you had to ignore in order to enjoy them. Most of those things had to do with the often very contradictory stance on violence and the protagonists of his movies. It wasn't until IB that these things seem to balance each other out in a way that made the films enjoyable to me. I'm not entirely sure what it was that changed exactly, but IB feels simply more coherent in a way, that his earlier films didn't.

    ...in accordance to the ancient prophecies.

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  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    I felt pretty much the opposite about IB. It feels much less coherent to me than his first three movies. Pulp Fiction is still his best.

  • VariableVariable Ted Hitler Stroke Me Lady FameRegistered User regular
    I like all of his stuff, I don't think I would write a negative thing about any of them (that's not to say they're perfect but there's nothing that personally bothers me while I watch) but I'd agree Pulp Fiction is his best. it's the one of his that I would consider a greatest film of all time.

    I adore reservoir dogs, the goddamn commode story is maybe my favorite sequence in any of his movies, but I don't think it touches Pulp Fiction.

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  • Joe DizzyJoe Dizzy Registered User regular
    I think it wasn't until IB that Tarantino actually had a voice in his movies. He had a distinctive style, yes, but his movies were all very empty when it came to "having a point", for lack of a better term. They weren't *about* anything so much as they were an expression of his enthusiasm for films. And that enthusiasm has been very infectious at times. Kill Bill pt.1 is to me the most successful in inducing this rush of cinematic delight.

    But underneath all this "Cinema! Fuck Yeah!" celebration, I've always felt let down by what the films actually delivered, said or even failed to say at times. I've read a great number of essays of people trying to analyse and deconstruct Tarantino films as some sort of feminist, post-feminst, patriarchic or even consumerist critique of movies... but they seem to construct a position of intellectual depth, textual density and complexity that I find very hard to reconcile with both the craftsmanship in the films and the persona of QT.

    Tarantino's movies strive to be cinematic delights, but I don't see anything in them that convinces me of them carrying some kind of elaborate critique of anything. The feminist subtext in his films isn't particularly deep or complex. The Bride is a woman/mother who is proficient in violence, with a very basic - if not primitive - sense of morality that drives her actions. All the female characters are predominantly proficient in violence and spectactular displays of power (O-Ren, for example.)

    In fact, I've yet to find a character in any of Tarantino's movies who has a sense of right/wrong that goes beyond a very basic and almost instinctual level. I think this is partly down to the fact that Tarantino's stories don't really provide particularly complex moral situations for his characters. His characters are larger-than-life and by doing so their motivations are pared down to essentials, their actions to open displays of power and violence. (The one film that kind of differs from this is Jackie Brown and I think that has a lot to do with being an adaptation of somebody else's work, as opposed to Tarantino's own brainchild.)

    This seems to have changed with Inglourious Basterds, as the situations became increasingly more convoluted and twisted and the question of right & wrong a more apparent challenge to the audience. I am very curious if this (very welcome) development will continue with Django Unchained or if Tarantino will fall back on cinematic spectacle, which we already know he's skilled in.

    ...in accordance to the ancient prophecies.

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  • wanderingwandering Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I think Tarantino makes movies where the protagonists are bad guys. We're meant to think that the bride's revenge-taking is satisfying but also immoral. One of the first things that happens in the movie is
    Spoiler:

    wandering on
    jBEKRTH.png
  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Rodriguez I dropped after Planet Terror. I really thought Once Upon A Time In Mexico was a real turning point for him once, and he'd finally found his groove making "cool" movies with a little more gruffness and machismo than his buddy QT, but instead he's done nothing but chase the notion that making a purposefully shitty movie (or a series of them) is something clever and applaudable. It's not, and he's an empty hack. The fact that he continues to work with such proud C-list talent and unqualified submorons like Frank Miller is further proof to a point that didn't need any more emphasizing. Also, each and every one of his "kids" movies are uniformly terrible.

    Well, he's only made one movie since Planet Terror. If I gave up on every director who ever made two bad films in a row... Even Hitchcock had his off-periods.

    True, but his slate since OUATIM looks like this:
    - Sin City
    - Sharkboy & Lavagirl
    - Shorts
    - Machete
    - Spy Kids 4
    - Machete Kills
    - Sin City 2
    - Machete 3


    So, fuck him, basically. That's the festival lineup they show on the third level of Hell nightly, and attendance is mandatory.

    Atomika on
  • Joe DizzyJoe Dizzy Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    But Tarantino also makes movies where you are quite clearly supposed to empathise and sympathise with the protagonists. I'd argue there is no ironic distance when he shows the characters getting what they want at the end of the movie. We are quite clearly supposed to feel happy for them, and that doesn't gel with the idea that they are supposed to be villains. At least to me.

    EDIT: I feel that Death Proof has the biggest disconnect between what the visual language of the narrative is going for and what I felt watching the end of the movie. I was actually quite repulsed by the girls' actions in that film.

    Joe Dizzy on
    ...in accordance to the ancient prophecies.

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    Jackie Brown is great. Death Proof is a maturbatory waste of time.

    It's acceptable to not like True Grit, but failing to enjoy The Big Lebowski or No Country for Old Men is a heinous trespass. And The Hudsucker Proxy is wonderful.

  • Joe DizzyJoe Dizzy Registered User regular
    No Country.. depresses the hell out of me, actually. If that's what it's supposed to do, then it succeeds perfectly. And I can respect that. But I don't get any joy out of watching that movie.

    ...in accordance to the ancient prophecies.

    jswidget.php?username=joe%20dizzy&numitems=10&header=1&text=none&images=small&show=random&imagesonly=1&imagepos=center&inline=1&addstyles=1&domains[]=boardgame&imagewidget=1
  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    So, uh... how does the alien producing eggs in the first movie reconcile with the existence of the alien queen as seen in the second? Or did they just completely ret-con the reproductive cycle of the alien for the purposes of having a cool new enemy and we're not supposed to think about that? (And if it's a ret-con I'm cool with that, since the second movie was very good. I'm just not sure what the point of an egg-laying queen is if any old drone can turn creatures into eggs.)
    It's been a while since I've read any Alien novels, or even seen the movies, so I'm not sure if this is something I read or just something that I inserted into my fanon at some point. Considering the failures of the last few movies in the Alien franchise, we may never know the real answer (unless Prometheus pulls in $Texas at the box office)...
    Anyway...The alien in Alien was a Queen Mother rather then a normal drone, altered during gestation due to an absence of alien pheromones that signaled the need to start a new hive. It was stronger, faster, just all around better then the normal drones in Aliens and able to create/lay a single egg that would produce a true queen alien that would then start a true hive.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • Linespider5Linespider5 a good old-fashioned notion Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Rodriguez I dropped after Planet Terror. I really thought Once Upon A Time In Mexico was a real turning point for him once, and he'd finally found his groove making "cool" movies with a little more gruffness and machismo than his buddy QT, but instead he's done nothing but chase the notion that making a purposefully shitty movie (or a series of them) is something clever and applaudable. It's not, and he's an empty hack. The fact that he continues to work with such proud C-list talent and unqualified submorons like Frank Miller is further proof to a point that didn't need any more emphasizing. Also, each and every one of his "kids" movies are uniformly terrible.

    Well, he's only made one movie since Planet Terror. If I gave up on every director who ever made two bad films in a row... Even Hitchcock had his off-periods.

    True, but his slate since OUATIM looks like this:
    - Sin City
    - Sharkboy & Lavagirl
    - Shorts
    - Machete
    - Spy Kids 4
    - Machete Kills
    - Sin City 2
    - Machete 3


    So, fuck him, basically. That's the festival lineup they show on the third level of Hell nightly, and attendance is mandatory.

    Yeah, Rodriguez's work reminds me of a diner that used to make really good food but somewhere along the way all the ingredients got replaced and now it's a greasy spoon not up to health code that's pretending it isn't trying to be a low-rent McDonald's.

    2014png.png
  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    Jackie Brown is one of those films I had to come back to a few years later to truly appreciate. Nowadays, I think it's easily in Tarantino's top 3 (along with Pulp and Basterds, another one I had to warm to over a couple of viewings).

    Resevoir Dogs still holds a special place in my college dorm room heart, and I dig the hell out of the Bills as a goof, but those 3 stand way out ahead for me overall.

    I'm very curious about DJango. I'm not entirely convinced that Jamie Foxx can exist seamlessly in the Quentinverse...but I guess people probably said that about someone like Pitt in Basterds, and he worked out [reasonably] well (as well as they least interesting character can).


  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    The way everyone talks about Inglorious Bastards makes me wonder if I was watching a different movie than you all were. It was all I could do to stay awake though IB. To be fair, it was late, and I was really, really tired, though.

    Pulp Fiction is still my favorite QT, with Reservoir Dogs in a close second. But, I'm a sucker for snappy and quotable dialog.

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  • AtomikaAtomika Hypercritical Queen Bitch of Cinema Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Rodriguez I dropped after Planet Terror. I really thought Once Upon A Time In Mexico was a real turning point for him once, and he'd finally found his groove making "cool" movies with a little more gruffness and machismo than his buddy QT, but instead he's done nothing but chase the notion that making a purposefully shitty movie (or a series of them) is something clever and applaudable. It's not, and he's an empty hack. The fact that he continues to work with such proud C-list talent and unqualified submorons like Frank Miller is further proof to a point that didn't need any more emphasizing. Also, each and every one of his "kids" movies are uniformly terrible.

    Well, he's only made one movie since Planet Terror. If I gave up on every director who ever made two bad films in a row... Even Hitchcock had his off-periods.

    True, but his slate since OUATIM looks like this:
    - Sin City
    - Sharkboy & Lavagirl
    - Shorts
    - Machete
    - Spy Kids 4
    - Machete Kills
    - Sin City 2
    - Machete 3


    So, fuck him, basically. That's the festival lineup they show on the third level of Hell nightly, and attendance is mandatory.

    Yeah, Rodriguez's work reminds me of a diner that used to make really good food but somewhere along the way all the ingredients got replaced and now it's a greasy spoon not up to health code that's pretending it isn't trying to be a low-rent McDonald's.

    Except that diner also thinks that being a "low-rent McDonalds" is some kind of clever piece of performance art, and brags to the food critics that they serve the most ironically "shitty" food in town.

    "And our hamburgers? Made with 100% bacon fat, topped with Velveeta, smothered in Miracle Whip, sat between two funnel cakes. Doesn't that just sound like a "terrible" idea?"

  • wanderingwandering Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I really liked the ending to Death Proof and I think it's supposed to elicit a "Stuck in the Middle With You"-scene response. You're supposed to be horrified.

    I think you're absolutely supposed to empathize with Tarantino's characters but I don't think you're supposed to think they're paragons of virtue.

    wandering on
    jBEKRTH.png
  • Joe DizzyJoe Dizzy Registered User regular
    I can empathise with flawed characters. I find it hard to cheer on villains.

    And as for the "Stuck in the Middle with You"-scene in Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Blonde was hardly somebody you empathised with in any way. He was a surly prick that evolved into a sadistic villain. There's hardly any disconnect there.

    ...in accordance to the ancient prophecies.

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  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    Arch wrote: »
    Personally, I consider the xenomorphs one of the best examples of realistic speculative biology in science fiction.

    Well, it really help make them not the villains, but just an overarching man v. nature conflict whereas the true bad guys
    Spoiler:
    . The scene in Alien where Ripley
    Spoiler:

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Joe Dizzy wrote: »
    But Tarantino also makes movies where you are quite clearly supposed to empathise and sympathise with the protagonists. I'd argue there is no ironic distance when he shows the characters getting what they want at the end of the movie. We are quite clearly supposed to feel happy for them, and that doesn't gel with the idea that they are supposed to be villains. At least to me.

    With something like Kill Bill all of the characters are villains, it's just that you empathize with the bride because she's less villainous if that makes sense, and her goal is to hang up her sword at the end of everything.

    Mad King George on
  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    And The Hudsucker Proxy is wonderful.

    You're the only other person I've seen say this.

  • Joe DizzyJoe Dizzy Registered User regular
    Joe Dizzy wrote: »
    But Tarantino also makes movies where you are quite clearly supposed to empathise and sympathise with the protagonists. I'd argue there is no ironic distance when he shows the characters getting what they want at the end of the movie. We are quite clearly supposed to feel happy for them, and that doesn't gel with the idea that they are supposed to be villains. At least to me.

    With something like Kill Bill all of the characters are villains, it's just that you empathize with the bride because she's less villainous if that makes sense, and her goal is to hang up her sword at the end of everything.

    So Tarantino's movies are an exercise in moral relativism? ;)

    ...in accordance to the ancient prophecies.

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  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    Joe Dizzy wrote: »
    Joe Dizzy wrote: »
    But Tarantino also makes movies where you are quite clearly supposed to empathise and sympathise with the protagonists. I'd argue there is no ironic distance when he shows the characters getting what they want at the end of the movie. We are quite clearly supposed to feel happy for them, and that doesn't gel with the idea that they are supposed to be villains. At least to me.

    With something like Kill Bill all of the characters are villains, it's just that you empathize with the bride because she's less villainous if that makes sense, and her goal is to hang up her sword at the end of everything.

    So Tarantino's movies are an exercise in moral relativism? ;)

    Arguably (with, for me, at least, the exception of IB).

  • TaramoorTaramoor Registered User regular
    Melancholia is on Netflix streaming.

    I watched Melancholia last night.

    You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you're riding in an elevator by yourself and there's a sudden lurch before it stops moving? That weird heavy ball of lead that appears in the brief moment when the elevator stops, shudders, and makes that loud groaning noise like the opening of a rusty gate? Then it jolts. It's trying to start again, everything's going to be fine, or at least you keep telling yourself that. Somewhere in the back of your mind though, you've already started imagining what it will be like when the cable or whatever snaps or gives way and you start to fall. That brief moment of weightlessness, where you can't quite catch your breath and you aren't sure you would want to if you could, and then the impact when you hit whatever the bottom floor is.

    That's how Melancholia made me feel for about two hours.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    Oh I'll also put Nolan on my "always watch forever" list. Actually he's sort of on a special list; with Coen brothers movies, I want those movies at my fingertips because sometimes I just have a hankering to watch a certain scene, and I can watch their movies pretty much non-stop; I don't care if I watched it last week, watching it again feels just as good.

    Nolan's movies I always want to see in the theater if possible, and all the way through in one go. I love getting mindfucked that first time, then coming back to it a few months later for the informed second viewing, but after I watch a Nolan movie it'll be a good 4-6 months before I feel the need to watch it again.

  • DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    I watched Shame and felt bad because I know guys like that. Carey Mulligan was nice as always though.

    Honestly, I think a lot of guys struggle with (smaller) portions of what Fassbender's character was dealing with. I mean, I feel like the desire for sex has made me do some pretty stupid things over the years, and I don't feel like I've always been there for my little sister. I've had dates with that gorgeous, kind, and funny ladies that resulted in me being an asshole because I felt like they didn't deserve my bullshit.

    Granted, I'm not as fucked up as that guy, by any stretch of the imagination, but that doesn't mean that I can't feel like a scumbag after watching it.

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  • The JudgeThe Judge The Terwilliger CurvesRegistered User regular
    And The Hudsucker Proxy is wonderful.

    You're the only other person I've seen say this.

    Throw me on that pile. Yes, there are occasional things you can point to, but if you put the entire run of Cohen films in front of me and say "pick five and we're watching them all right now", it's absolutely going in the basket.

    Where it would probably land on four copies of Miller's Crossing.

    sig.jpg
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  • BehemothBehemoth Registered User regular
    And The Hudsucker Proxy is wonderful.

    You're the only other person I've seen say this.

    I love The Hudsucker Proxy. It's not up there with Barton Fink or O Brother, but it's damn good.

    iQbUbQsZXyt8I.png
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Arch wrote: »
    Personally, I consider the xenomorphs one of the best examples of realistic speculative biology in science fiction.

    Well, it really help make them not the villains, but just an overarching man v. nature conflict whereas the true bad guys
    Spoiler:
    . The scene in Alien where Ripley
    Spoiler:
    Spoiler:

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    Using Ian Holm for it also helped. He has that kind of friendly, unassuming face which makes his turns into monsterdom so much worse than if he was harsher looking person.

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    The Judge wrote: »

    Throw me on that pile. Yes, there are occasional things you can point to, but if you put the entire run of Cohen films in front of me and say "pick five and we're watching them all right now", it's absolutely going in the basket.

    Where it would probably land on four copies of Miller's Crossing.
    Behemoth wrote: »

    I love The Hudsucker Proxy. It's not up there with Barton Fink or O Brother, but it's damn good.

    For me, it's one of those films that I feel is constructed perfectly, like Rear Window, in that every element works together to create a unified thematic piece from the sets to the costuming to the way the script itself is structured.

    Mad King George on
  • The JudgeThe Judge The Terwilliger CurvesRegistered User regular
    For me, it's one of those films that I feel is constructed perfectly, like Rear Window, in that every element works together to create a unified thematic piece from the sets to the costuming to the way the script itself is structured.

    This analysis has been duly noted on your time-card and will be deducted from your pay.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    Using Ian Holm for it also helped. He has that kind of friendly, unassuming face which makes his turns into monsterdom so much worse than if he was harsher looking person.

    He just plays it perfectly too. He's so bland and uncaring and unemotional except when it comes to the alien.

  • Mad King GeorgeMad King George Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    Using Ian Holm for it also helped. He has that kind of friendly, unassuming face which makes his turns into monsterdom so much worse than if he was harsher looking person.

    He just plays it perfectly too. He's so bland and uncaring and unemotional except when it comes to the alien.

    Yeah. He doesn't play it like the Alien just excites him, but like it sexually excites him. Like the amount of carnage it can wreak is arousing. It makes it very disturbing.


    Mad King George on
  • Xenogear_0001Xenogear_0001 Registered User regular
    Behemoth wrote: »
    And The Hudsucker Proxy is wonderful.

    You're the only other person I've seen say this.

    I love The Hudsucker Proxy. It's not up there with Barton Fink or O Brother, but it's damn good.

    It's one of my favorites from them, no question. I find myself saying, "Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure," to people on a constant basis. It used to be ironic, but now it's just part of my everyday vernacular. Sort of like when I say 'word' rather than 'alright'.

    steam_sig.png
  • armageddonboundarmageddonbound Registered User regular
    I watched Shame and felt bad because I know guys like that. Carey Mulligan was nice as always though.

    Honestly, I think a lot of guys struggle with (smaller) portions of what Fassbender's character was dealing with. I mean, I feel like the desire for sex has made me do some pretty stupid things over the years, and I don't feel like I've always been there for my little sister. I've had dates with that gorgeous, kind, and funny ladies that resulted in me being an asshole because I felt like they didn't deserve my bullshit.

    Granted, I'm not as fucked up as that guy, by any stretch of the imagination, but that doesn't mean that I can't feel like a scumbag after watching it.
    It's strange, the biggest drawback of shame for me was how non revolutionary it actually was. It covered some very common shit.
    Taramoor wrote: »
    Melancholia is on Netflix streaming.

    I watched Melancholia last night.

    You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you're riding in an elevator by yourself and there's a sudden lurch before it stops moving? That weird heavy ball of lead that appears in the brief moment when the elevator stops, shudders, and makes that loud groaning noise like the opening of a rusty gate? Then it jolts. It's trying to start again, everything's going to be fine, or at least you keep telling yourself that. Somewhere in the back of your mind though, you've already started imagining what it will be like when the cable or whatever snaps or gives way and you start to fall. That brief moment of weightlessness, where you can't quite catch your breath and you aren't sure you would want to if you could, and then the impact when you hit whatever the bottom floor is.

    That's how Melancholia made me feel for about two hours.
    Absolutely loved that move. Well, if love is the right word. I'm not sure someone who hasn't hit some kind of emotional bottom will have that movie resonate with them in any meaningful way, but for those who have, wow. Kristen Dunsts best role by far.

    Two of my favorite horror movies in the past decade were, Martyrs and Inside. Wonderfully transgressive. Anyway i've been following the directors next projects, and I'm pretty excited to see what they do next. I just got my hands on Livid directed by Alexandre Bustillo, Julien Maury, looks like it's going to be more atmospheric and a little less visceral. Pascal Laugier, who did Martyrs, is making a moved about a "thin man" who abducts children, staring Jessica Biel. Yeah, that will be one to watch. It has the baggage of some people saying its a rip off of the tall man meme, and others saying it fits motifs that were long here before that. You can pretty much bet it's not going to have the punch of Martyrs though.

  • CaptainNemoCaptainNemo Ascension. Ascension. Hallelujah. Registered User regular
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Rodriguez I dropped after Planet Terror. I really thought Once Upon A Time In Mexico was a real turning point for him once, and he'd finally found his groove making "cool" movies with a little more gruffness and machismo than his buddy QT, but instead he's done nothing but chase the notion that making a purposefully shitty movie (or a series of them) is something clever and applaudable. It's not, and he's an empty hack. The fact that he continues to work with such proud C-list talent and unqualified submorons like Frank Miller is further proof to a point that didn't need any more emphasizing. Also, each and every one of his "kids" movies are uniformly terrible.

    Well, he's only made one movie since Planet Terror. If I gave up on every director who ever made two bad films in a row... Even Hitchcock had his off-periods.

    True, but his slate since OUATIM looks like this:
    - Sin City
    - Sharkboy & Lavagirl
    - Shorts
    - Machete
    - Spy Kids 4
    - Machete Kills
    - Sin City 2
    - Machete 3


    So, fuck him, basically. That's the festival lineup they show on the third level of Hell nightly, and attendance is mandatory.

    What the hell is wrong with Sin City or Machete?

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  • AstaerethAstaereth Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    The director's cut of Death Proof is actually worse, if I remember correctly. The two big additions are a long black and white scene that doesn't improve on the quick photo montage in the original cut, and then the lap dance scene whose inclusion removes the best joke in the whole film.

    Also the entirety of Grindhouse is one of the top five theater experiences I've ever had. It's an audience film if there ever was one.
    Astaereth wrote: »
    Rodriguez I dropped after Planet Terror. I really thought Once Upon A Time In Mexico was a real turning point for him once, and he'd finally found his groove making "cool" movies with a little more gruffness and machismo than his buddy QT, but instead he's done nothing but chase the notion that making a purposefully shitty movie (or a series of them) is something clever and applaudable. It's not, and he's an empty hack. The fact that he continues to work with such proud C-list talent and unqualified submorons like Frank Miller is further proof to a point that didn't need any more emphasizing. Also, each and every one of his "kids" movies are uniformly terrible.

    Well, he's only made one movie since Planet Terror. If I gave up on every director who ever made two bad films in a row... Even Hitchcock had his off-periods.

    True, but his slate since OUATIM looks like this:
    - Sin City
    - Sharkboy & Lavagirl
    - Shorts
    - Machete
    - Spy Kids 4
    - Machete Kills
    - Sin City 2
    - Machete 3

    So, fuck him, basically. That's the festival lineup they show on the third level of Hell nightly, and attendance is mandatory.

    Sin City is really good, and discarding his kids stuff, you're left with Machete, which I agree was pretty terrible, and sequels which haven't been made yet. It's about as unfair to judge Rodriguez on his Machete Kills as it would be judge him on his Barbarella.
    Joe Dizzy wrote: »
    I think it wasn't until IB that Tarantino actually had a voice in his movies. He had a distinctive style, yes, but his movies were all very empty when it came to "having a point", for lack of a better term. They weren't *about* anything so much as they were an expression of his enthusiasm for films. And that enthusiasm has been very infectious at times. Kill Bill pt.1 is to me the most successful in inducing this rush of cinematic delight.

    But underneath all this "Cinema! Fuck Yeah!" celebration, I've always felt let down by what the films actually delivered, said or even failed to say at times. I've read a great number of essays of people trying to analyse and deconstruct Tarantino films as some sort of feminist, post-feminst, patriarchic or even consumerist critique of movies... but they seem to construct a position of intellectual depth, textual density and complexity that I find very hard to reconcile with both the craftsmanship in the films and the persona of QT.

    Tarantino's movies strive to be cinematic delights, but I don't see anything in them that convinces me of them carrying some kind of elaborate critique of anything. The feminist subtext in his films isn't particularly deep or complex. The Bride is a woman/mother who is proficient in violence, with a very basic - if not primitive - sense of morality that drives her actions. All the female characters are predominantly proficient in violence and spectactular displays of power (O-Ren, for example.)

    In fact, I've yet to find a character in any of Tarantino's movies who has a sense of right/wrong that goes beyond a very basic and almost instinctual level. I think this is partly down to the fact that Tarantino's stories don't really provide particularly complex moral situations for his characters. His characters are larger-than-life and by doing so their motivations are pared down to essentials, their actions to open displays of power and violence. (The one film that kind of differs from this is Jackie Brown and I think that has a lot to do with being an adaptation of somebody else's work, as opposed to Tarantino's own brainchild.)

    This seems to have changed with Inglourious Basterds, as the situations became increasingly more convoluted and twisted and the question of right & wrong a more apparent challenge to the audience. I am very curious if this (very welcome) development will continue with Django Unchained or if Tarantino will fall back on cinematic spectacle, which we already know he's skilled in.

    Tarantino has some interesting moral situations in his movies. Fer instance:

    Reservoir Dogs:
    Spoiler:

    Pulp Fiction:
    Spoiler:

    As for deeper meanings, I've talked at length on these boards about Death Proof (which has a tremendously complicated thematic structure, alternately arguing against and embracing the fetishization of movies and women) and Inglourious Basterds (which directly addresses the ambiguous audience response to cinematic violence). There's also Kill Bill (even if you don't believe it's a Buddhist parable in disguise, KB is still about the movie and its protagonist both trying on a series of identities before arriving at synthesis and catharsis).

    I think QT's movies are so stylized, involving, and well-crafted that it becomes difficult to read beyond the surface, and Tarantino's irreverent attitude and reputation also help to discourage in-depth criticism. But there are complex ideas driving most of his work.

    Astaereth on
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