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Like Someone in Love (2012)
One of the worst movies of the century, so far.
This aimless exercise was a complete waste of time, I want that two hours of my life back. Plot less, characters with no motivations, long, agonizing takes with excessive "street noise" for faux-effect. In one scene inside a third-floor apartment with the windows closed, the soundtrack sounded like the action was taking place in the middle of a busy street.
The set-up might have been intriguing, if it went anywhere. It did not.
In one scene, the audience was actually subjected to viewing a guy falling asleep in his car while stopped at a traffic light. In real time. He nodded off, he napped, the light changed, traffic started to move.... Yawn!
Margot at the Wedding (2007)
Don't waste your time
This is, quite simply, one of the worst movies I've seen in 2007, and may be one of the worst films of all time. The thing was utterly devoid of plot, the characters were a deadly combination of unlikeable and uninteresting, the cinematography was dull and ugly. Baumbach must think movie viewers are extremely stupid: In the beginning scenes it's obviously winter or very early spring -- the trees are all bare, and later on in the movie, which takes place over the course of one weekend, the trees are all in full leaf like it's high summer.
Sad, pretentious, overly talky. Ugh! I would have walked out, as some did during the performance, but I was with other people and didn't want to cause a disruption. Save the price of a ticket and give it to charity.
The Day of the Jackal (1973)
This movie knocks my socks off
One of the rare movies that actually deserves the category "thriller." I've seen it many times, and each viewing reveals more detail, more structure. There are numerous shots of various clocks. Because of the time-frame of the story (early sixties) everything is analog. Found a couple of plot-holes, but they're so nit-picky I won't even bother putting them out there.
Also found the early interrogation scenes much, much more disturbing since the Abu Ghraib scandals became public.
Be patient, not every scene is action-packed, and you will be richly rewarded.
Le streghe (1967)
This one's a big-named Dog. The last segment, with Mangano and Clint Eastwood, is at least interesting, if only for a look at baby Clint, but ultimately goes nowhere. Big style, substance missing in action. Trivia note: in the first segment, filmed in Kitzbuhel, Austria, one of the press photogs is a Kitzbuhel local who was a ski instructor at the time, according to my husband who lived in Kitzbuhel around the same period. Yawn. I kept hoping something profound would happen. Hope was dashed. The Italians have a perfect word for this: Stupidagine!
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004)
I laughed, I cried, and then I cried some more...
I saw this movie last night, and found it extraordinarily moving and upsetting. Much of Moore's "case" is not new, but some of it definitely was. Agree or disagree with the man, he knows how to tell a story, and the footage he obtains is simply amazing. I cried at several points in the story, literally dumbfounded. The theater was full, even on a Tuesday night.
There are those who dismiss this film, without having even seen it. To them I say, see it. The images speak for themselves. You don't need Moore's commentary to get the point, in fact, the only flaw in the movie is Moore's talking when being silent would have been the better choice.
I agree with "Dog's Breakfast"
I saw this film last night at a special screening at a local theater. That is, I saw about the first 25 minutes until I walked out. What plotless drivel! No amount of lush photography and atmospheric lighting can make up for the overwrought bore that is "Suspiria." I had hopes for a good thriller at the beginning, and the weird score (with almost subliminal moaning voices going at it nonstop) didn't begin to grate on me until about ten minutes in. I was initially intrigued by the address she requests: Escherstrasse, especially when, in a subsequent scene, the wallpaper in a bathroom has those famous M.C. Escher optical illusion designs. I was hoping for a brain-teasing thrill, movie as Mobius strip, but all I got was a slasher flick with mammoth and unjustified pretentions. Yuk!
Berlin Express (1948)
good thriller, unbeatable location shots and cinematography
I saw this movie recently on TCM and liked it. I thought the plot was good, as was the acting. I couldn't believe that the secretary was Merle Oberon, I hardly recognized her, and I think that is a testament to how good an acting job she did. Some of the lines seemed stilted and staged, particularly toward the end, but given the time period when the movie was filmed, not at all surprising. There was a good mix of characters, but the real star of the film is the location: there are wonderful shots of Berlin and Frankfurt right after the war, and the devastation around the characters adds a powerful unspoken dimension to the film.
For anyone who enjoyed this movie, I would also highly recommend "Decision Before Dawn," also filmed on location in postwar Europe, which starred Richard Basehart, Oskar Werner and a whole host of other fabulous character actors, including Hildegard Kneff.
It is irksome, but neither Berlin Express nor Decision Before Dawn seem to be available on Video or DVD, which is a real shame. So, watch your TV listings for these two.
La terra trema (1948)
This is a riveting movie!
I saw this movie Friday night on TCM. I'd never heard of it, but I'm a neorealismo fan, so I watched. I'm sorry I didn't tape it, what an epic! Like "The bicycle thief," this movie uses real people, and almost feels like a documentary at times. I agree that the sentiments are rather marxist, but I have to admit that if I lived as these people do, I might be drawn to communism, too. There are some subtle (or maybe not so subtle) references to the politics of the times, wall posters about Mussolini and the hammer and sickle images painted on the walls. Oddly, this movie reminded me somewhat of "Man of Aran," the images are that stark, life is that bleak. The film is beautifully shot, and the story is wrenching. Watch it if you get the opportunity. It memorializes a way of life that is gone, and I'll bet there's not a single person who misses it.
A minor correction
I just read an incorrect comment on this movie.
Andrew 162 remarked about the "shape of the church tower" and referred to its location as San Francisco. In fact, that adobe building, is Mission San Juan Bautista, which is about 100 miles south of San Francisco off Hwy 101. The Coroner's Jury scene is also filmed in the same town, in one of the historic buildings there. Mission San Juan is one of the original California missions, and is the oldest continuously operating church in the state.
The bell tower in the movie was a set constructed by Hitchcock, there was no bell tower there at the time, but there is one there now, which was constructed since.
Lastly, the scene in the automobile in which they are "driving down" to San Juan Bautista, the divided highway with the eucalyptus trees, is actually still there, but it is located south of San Juan Bautista on the way to Salinas, so they would not have passed that stretch of highway between San Francisco and San Juan Bautista.
Maybe this is "too much information," but I had to get it out there.
Midnight Express (1978)
What a tense movie!
It's interesting to note the comments on this movie.
I saw it on TV last night, not for the first time, and I noticed how the Turks in the film are all one-dimensional bad people, and physically ugly to boot. I also read that many of the scenes are completely fictional. I am not one of those people who think that a "true" story must be completely true; I think that the purpose of movies is to entertain, and this one certainly does that, if in a harrowing way. But, given the politics of our time, if the author of the screenplay wanted to create a demon people for dramatic effect, perhaps it would have been better to have set the story in a fictional or unidentified country.
The other observation I would make is, we are not much better than they are. We regularly sentence people to ungodly amounts of prison time for drug offenses, both on a state and federal level. Our prisons are no picnic, either, with many of the same sorts of things that were portrayed in the movie happening right here at home.
So, go check "the man in the mirror" before you condemn anyone else.