notwanted

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  1. notwanted

    Boycotting Woody Allen Films??

    so long as we're all on the same page about "Manhattan Murder Mystery" I'm fine about it.
  2. notwanted

    Boycotting Woody Allen Films??

    yes, i should've specified that "the front" was a Martin Ritt joint, I was just trying to be as fair a critic as possible to let people know what works of Woody's (inh any sense) I'd seen and what I haven't. it is a film often cited as the one where he does his best acting, veering from the neurotic schtick (although said neurotic schtick did get him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in "Annie Hall.") I think maybe he did not direct "Play it Again, Sam" either- just appeared as an actor in it. in the book "alternate oscars"- which is terrific- author danny peary argues Allen should've won Best Actor for "play it again sam" and possibly "the front" too. Edited by: notwanted on Mar 25, 2014 9:02 AM
  3. notwanted

    Boycotting Woody Allen Films??

    you make a good point. sorry i even brought it up. woody's great films: "sleeper" ; "take the money and run" "radio days" woody's good films: "hannah and her sisters" (although I don't get why some consider it such a masterpiece) "what's up tiger lily?" "zelig" woody's films that, so sue me, underwhelm me: "annie hall", "BULLETS OVER BROADWAY" "husbands and wives" haven't seen but have heard they're good- "crimes and misdemeanors" (really wanna see it), "The Front", "manhattan" (too creeped out, ditto "everything you wanted to know about sex...") "play it again sam." ...and most of what he's done in the last decade. complete and utter dreck: "manhattan murder mystery" "everyone says i love you" "deconstructing harry," Edited by: notwanted on Mar 24, 2014 11:58 PM
  4. notwanted

    Boycotting Woody Allen Films??

    # teamHibi # teamWonderly. (for life) ps- THIS is a prime example of a terrific thread whose scrubbing from the boards would be a real travesty. pss- and yet, that scrub seems so imminent, no? psss- apparently putting the # symbol in front of something means it is formatted as a numbered item. Edited by: notwanted on Mar 24, 2014 5:57 PM
  5. notwanted

    Something Spooky About This Trend

    It extends beyond the threads vanishing. A fair share of posters- some of them long-time and valuable contributors- have been taken out behind the woodshed- no trial, no explanation, no nothing- and no coming back. And this site has become SO MUCH less in(n)teresting as a result.
  6. notwanted

    A LETTER TO THREE WIVES

    Since this film was shown as part of Oscar month, I feel the need to venture forth with my opinion that 1949 was one of the most intriguingly off-the-mark years in Academy history (and that's really saying something.) Four of the five Best Picture nominees were pretty weak, with only "The Heiress" being a worthy entry (and it's not exactly a "crowd pleaser.") and the worst of the lot- "All the King's Men"- was the winner. "King's Men" star Broderick Crawford became what more than one person has called "arguably the worst actor to win an Oscar" over Kirk Douglas and John Wayne; Mercedes McCambridge won supporting Actress for the only "off" performance I've ever seen her give; and Dean Jagger's woeful post-Oscar career makes his victory over Ralph Richardson, James Whitmore and Arthur Kennedy seem poorly thought-out in retrospect. The parody-worthy hokum of "The Stratton Story" beat "White Heat" for Best Original Story and a lot of weak performances made the cut white a lot of great ones did not (and a lot of great films were denied nominations- although some of them- "Gun Crazy", "White Heat" and "They Live By Night" come to mind- would've likely earned an internal audit of the voting system had they made the Best Picture race at the time. To take it back to "Three Wives"- it is curious to me that the film won Oscars for the direction and screenplay, because those are the two biggest problems of the film, and the two factors that cause the intriguing premise of the tale to not come anywhere near making payment in full on its terrific potential. I'm not quite sure how the director deserved to win when not a single performance in the film earned an Oscar nomination (and rightly so.) Jean Crain is stiff and humorless (as she often was) and Kirk Douglas seems unsure of himself (the clumsy, didactic dialogue he's given to recite doesn't help.) Ann Sothern is underused- not allowed to show any of the humor she exuded in most of her other roles; Linda Darnell is TERRIFIC, but- to take it back to the screenplay- the refusal of the author to allow the stories to blend in any way- throws the whole balance of the piece off (her story is EASILY the most compelling and the other two pale in comparison.) The structure of the screenplay- stiff and unimaginative- gives us no sense of cohesion or interplay between the characters, the three stories are told in a dry, episodic fashion, and the protagonists have really minimal interraction with one another- especially in the scenes on the boat where the suspense should have been at its greatest. Combine with that the aforementioned dialogue issues- (Douglas's clunky speechifying in his vignette comes to mind) and the dull production values (20th Century Fox produced some of the most visually uninteresting films of the late forties) and it's one of the most intriguing premises for a great film squandered that comes to my mind.
  7. notwanted

    Philipp Seymour Hoffman Found Dead

    Amid the comments and opinions on the tragic passing of Mr. Hoffman- in this thread and elsewhere on the internets- I have noticed a risible note of- well, let's call it something less than sympathy- in some people's reactions. Also, yes?- a bit of anger- even disgust. (It's your right, btw...in America and Canada and parts of Europe at least.) I know a lot of that anger comes when someone dies from substance abuse and I- like pretty much everyone else in the friggin' world- have been exposed to substance abuse and I know anger is a natural reaction to it. But I don't think I can- or want- to get into that whole angle of the story any better than GeminiGirl did in her earlier post below. (I will take a- possibly unnecessary- aside to note that other reasons for the harshness of some replies include: people's self-loathing and/or white knuckling under addiction issues of their own, along with a natural antipathy towards a guy who was kinda schlubby, rumpled, and unshaven, and had a penchant for "kicky" scarves that could send someone's Pretension-o-Meter into the reds. The only new thing I can bring to the table in this discussion is my view that:*The need to be an artist is in all of us. The courage to take that art to a BIG LEVEL (ie- HOLLYWOOD) just plain entails knowing that a real risk of a measurable loss of dignity, privacy, safety, peace of mind, and happiness comes with the process.* (I also add that lurking 'neath the bridge to glory, is an infinite cadre of haters and critics and garlic-hearted trolls like me who -SORRY- just plain preferred the guy in "Infamous" and tacky as it is- will bring it up even now.) I'm not saying I approve of this- mind you- I'm just saying it's what it is. And as part of that loss of safety, of self, of peace of mind, and all sorts of other things I can't think of right now- comes a neurotic insecurity and sense of unease, even a hunger for tranquility- that- duh- would drive damn near anyone to mind-altering substances. I can certainly understand and- more importantly- I sympathize. And I think of it every time someone in the limelight dies young. So, bottom line: I don't think he would've been a happy man if he hadn't taken his act to the next level- it was his path. And hats off to him- no matter what you think of the nature of his passing or his offbeat persona or tendency to "take it to a ten" ACTING!-wise- because, you know, he was balls-in about it and he took his bit a hell of a lot further than most of us ever will (a working actor being something of a rarity.) "It's all in the game, and the way you play it. And you've got to play the game you know"- from "Born in a Trunk" sung by Judy Garland- who knew a thing or two about it- in "A Star is Born." Showbiz was Mr. Hoffman's game. That he took an early bow from it in no way negates the fact that he gave it his all, had guts, worked hard, and played it to all the way to the majors.
  8. *an excellent essay for cnn.com from friend of the network Molly Haskell:* WHY THE OSCARS LEAVE ME COLD. BY MOLLY HASKELL Editor's note: Molly Haskell is a former theater and movie reviewer for The Village Voice, New York Magazine and Vogue. She has taught film studies at Barnard College and Columbia University and is the author of two memoirs and three books of film criticism. (CNN) -- I am a movie critic. But because I am not employed by a newspaper, or a television station, Web magazine, ad agency or any institution that contributes to or profits from the media carnival that has become the Academy Awards, I can admit without fear of repercussion that the Oscars leave me colder than an arctic vortex. If there were some remote planet or sun-kissed island where I could flee the din, I would go there. But I bet even remote outposts, windswept Siberian tundra or ships lost at sea, places without water or central heating, have a pipeline to the Oscar countdown. Like Christmas and the presidential campaign, the Oscar race -- a misnomer, suggesting speed -- goes on too damn long. This is true even in a year when the nominees are more exciting than usual, perhaps even justifying the oft-made claim that the Academy has become younger and less stodgy. "American Hustle" is a comedy; "Her" a delicate love story between a man and a computer program; "The Wolf of Wall Street" raucous and controversial, "Nebraska" bleak. (Of course, we have been shocked before. Remember "Midnight Cowboy.") The Academy has never been a barometer of quality, in fact it has a fairly dismal record when it comes to truly great or slightly difficult films. It's tended to favor the inspirational over the fatalistic; high-minded drama over comedy and noir; British over American ("The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network"). *When TCM, the channel to which I am devoted above all others, programs a whole month of Oscar winners I lose interest.* Other media outlets are not so restrained. The New York Times, like other organs of record no doubt, begins early -- sometime in summer -- with possibilities and probabilities, profiles and features leading up to and exploiting the fall's releases, until it's virtually blanket coverage. Brains that should be doing better things are busy handicapping and making lists. Like the presidential primaries (remember when Hillary was a sure winner?), the forecasts are wrong as often as not, but nobody's ever held accountable. Now that the Golden Globes have become the rehearsal dinner to the Oscar ceremony and fashion gets more coverage than international and domestic news combined, we watch as an armada of reporters is deployed to relay the buzz, and stories spill over into every section except sports. But more important is what this carefully staged mass hysteria and nonstop coverage does to the movies and the stars. Films that open early in the year are virtually shut out by the bottom-heavy pattern of release and ruckus surrounding the end-of-year "prestige" films. Gems like "Before Midnight," "Mud," and "Frances Ha" might as well have opened seven years ago rather than a mere seven months. Actors who've given outstanding, complex performances are suddenly pleading for love like orphan puppies, parading from one show to another, forever on display. Where are the handlers that used to manage the careers of stars, keeping them at a discreet distance from the fans and allowing them some semblance of mystery? The irony is that as fewer people are going to movies, the annual spectacle that is the Oscars is taking up greater and greater space in the public arena. The upside is supposed to be a rare communal pleasure -- the way such occasions (as the clich? has it) bring the country together. Like Christmas. Or the political campaign. Or a natural disaster. For once in our fragmented era, old and young, blue and red, presumably join hands in a virtual auditorium to admire some dresses and laugh at some jokes. But wait! If I remember correctly (and the evenings do blur into one another), our host last year was someone who had almost nothing to do with movies, who conducted a sort of insider colloquy with the designated demographic, young males who watch television. So much for cross-generational rapprochement. Television grasping for viewers to lure advertisers, newspapers bumping up movie ads, the actors withering from overexposure and the films themselves all but anti-climactic in the final hour: How can even the best keep the sparkle of surprise? "American Hustle" with its exquisite choreography and sly tease -- I'm still trying to figure out who knew what when. Spike Jonze's ingenious "Her," a man-machine romance that proves that science fiction and sex are not mutually exclusive. When the night comes, I'll watch of course. And vow to go to bed before midnight. And stay up anyway. After all, the Golden Globes was worth watching just for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and maybe Ellen de Generes can make the long hours of Sunday night, March 2, tolerable this year. But in the meantime, I'll fight my uphill battle to ignore Oscar stories.

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