skimpole

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About skimpole

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  1. LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

    Four movies this week: Skippy is best known for having the youngest nominee for best actor, in a year where several classic performances were egregiously overlooked. Notwithstanding that, it's fairly amusing, Cooper does a good job, and it's one of the first sound movies where most of the cast are children. Lady Bird is a coming of age movie whose main quality is that, in retrospect, the mother is always right. Indeed, if Pence rather than Trump had been elected president, one might view this as independent film's olive branch. Kapo was Italy's nominee for the best foreign language film of 1960. Considering that this year saw L'Aventura, La Dolce Vita and Rocco and His Brothers this is not an easily defensible choice. This movie about a young Jewish girl who manages to pass as a gentile long enough to get to a concentration rather than an extermination camp, and then become the titular official, is best known as being the subject of one of the most famous critical reviews in movie history. (By Jacques Rivette in Cahiers du Cinema.) Certainly in The Battle of Algiers, director Giles Pontecorvo would learn how to present traumatic material with a more successful realism. Meanwhile, The Story of Qiu Ju marks a temporary change of pace for Zhang Yimou. Instead of the more stylized trappings of Raise the Red Lantern and the more open dramatics of To Live, he has star Gong Li waddling around in the ordinary, unfashionable clothes ordinary rural Chinese women wear when they're heavily pregnant. Less a simple tale of justice denied, the movie offers a more cinema verite approach as Gong Li's character seeks justice in a fight involving her husband where he is mostly, but not entirely in the right. This is an interesting approach, but not to me the most engaging.
  2. 1. Grand Illusion, Jean Renoir, France 2. Humanity and Paper Balloons, Sadao Yamanka, Japan 3. Street Angel, Yuan Muzhi, China 4. Pearls of the Crown, Sacha Guitry, France
  3. Lovers on the Bridge The Best Intentions
  4. Queen of Hearts Days of Being Wild
  5. April 2018 Schedule is Up

    (1) Is there a reason why Ordet isn't a regular Easter movie? Not that I'm complaining that TCM is showing Fanny and Alexander, but one would think it's more of a Christmas movie. (2) Is there another reason why The Towering Inferno isn't shown on TCM very much? Or why TCM couldn't show Fedora?
  6. LEAST & MOST FAVORITE of the week...

    I saw five movies this week: three best picture nominees, one Palme D'Or winner, and one in the apparently endless series of Marvel comic book movies which was actually the best of the week. Zorba the Greek is a bit more tough-minded than its "happy southern European peasant bursting with life" reputation would suggest. I just don't think it's tough-minded enough. Irene Papas does a better job than oscar-winner Lila Kedrova, and it might have been better to develop Bates more than Quinn. Darkest Hour left me unimpressed. The fall of France is quickly compressed, Halifax is scheming to gain the premiership just days after renouncing it, and he and Chamberlain are planning to throw in the towel even before the debacle has begun. George VI is given a heroic role he didn't deserve, and Churchill has so little support until the last day of the movie, he appears oddly pathetic and uncharismatic. And for all the praise for Oldman's performance his final speech is less impressive than the actual Churchill's. Apparently John Wayne did not originally intend to take the large role in The Alamo, but his financiers insisted on it. That's the best defense for the fatuous speeches he has his David Crockett speak. There's the "republic" speech, which forgets that not only that Mexico was already a republic, but that much of Texas was fighting for a compromise within Mexico. And then there's the latter speech where he says Santa Anna's aggression ultimately has to be stopped, and if the United States feared Mexico, and not the other way around. Leaving aside the many historical inaccuracies, such as the fact that the Texans were fighting to expand slavery, the first half of the movie takes an inordinate amount of time to get started. A contrast with the other three hour plus movie about questionable independence victory of 1960, Exodus, shows the former's weaknesses. The Square starts by showing its protagonist is a meretricious twit, and then spends the next 140 minutes being superior to him. The movie has a certain style and craft, but its view of the art world is banal and reactionary. The protagonist is a museum curator who knows nothing about art, but just spouts fashionable babble and supports obviously empty provocations. It's chic misanthropy, and nothing about the actual Sweden is allowed to complicate the movie's smugness. Thor: Ragnarok is not as Ragnarocky a movie you might expect. But the movie does find a way to provide its divine hero with a good deal of wit. Benedict Cumberbatch has an amusing and inventive cameo, Jeff Goldblum makes his decades old Marvel villain considerable more amusing than fans have any right to expect, and Tom Hiddleston acquits himself well.
  7. 1. The Story of a Cheat, Sacha Guitry, France 2. The Crime of Monsieur Lange, Jean Renoir, France 3. The Only Son, Yasujiro Ozu, Japan 4. By the Bluest of Seas, Boris Barnet, Soviet Union 5. Cesar, Marcel Pagnol, France
  8. Blue Velvet Absolute Beginners
  9. Performances Better Than the Films In Which They Appeared

    I think Jim Carrey not only gives a good performance as the Riddler in Batman Forever, but that is a better movie than Batman Returns. The latter has a better reputation because Tim Burton has a deservedly better reputation than Joel Schumacher. But Carrey's Riddler is surprisingly cool and effective, while Burton gets the whole idea of the Penguin wrong. The whole point of the original character was that this silly looking popinjay was actually a cunning, ruthless criminal. But Burton made it into a warped version of Edward Scissorhands (and the idea of having his minions be actual penguins, you know small flightless birds who are very awkward outside of water, is one of the silliest in the history of big budget movies.)
  10. The Right Stuff Splash
  11. Tess The Man With Two Brains
  12. Your Choice For 1969 Best Song Oscar

    Does anyone know why "Goldfinger" didn't get a nomination for 1964? Or any of the songs from A Hard Day's Night?
  13. My very early 2017 OIscar predictions...

    Well since the awards were handed out in late February, the Congressional Intervention took place in March, I doubt the Schiavo case had that much influence.

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