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What is the best recent film you have seen?

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Whoops, I hit the wrong reply spot.


Anyway, silentfan66, I'm with you on the levee, but unlike you I got so mad in spots I wanted to scream. It was terrific, I admit I'm not big on Spike Lee, but this was truly worth seeing.




If you get it, make sure you watch it right away, it's so worth it.



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When the Woody Allen films were on TCM, I switched over to IFC and I saw an interesting new film titled ?The Girl with the Pearl Earring?, about Johannes Vermeer and his models.


It was mostly fiction, but the best part of the film was all the settings, wardrobe, and props. The house they filmed in looked just like Vermeer?s house from 1660. They assembled a vast number of old Dutch antiques to make this movie, and they tried to photograph the scenes as if they were like Vermeer paintings.


They got some actors and actresses who looked like some of Vermeer?s models. They found a young actress who looked a lot like the girl in Vermeer?s ?pearl earring? painting, and that was very interesting. The story had not much of a plot, but the attention to detail about Holland in the 1600s was amazing and the photography was beautiful. It even showed Vermeer talking about how he mixed his different colors with different ground up colored stones and materials. I saw some of the real Vermeer paintings up at the National Gallery in DC several years ago.



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> >

> Joan Allen gives consistently excellent performances,

> and she was amazing in The Upside of Anger.

> She's been nominated three times now; surely it's

> just a matter of time...


I really enjoyed this film too, thought the ending was interesting. I deal with anger at times too, so it's good to see a film dealing with it. I identified with Joan Allen's character.

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Sorry for bringing this thread up, Mr.Ranger (and those wonderful people out there in the dark). I updated my list that's quite a few pages lower:




Considering the recent activity, I hope it wasn't too jarring to see an older thread unexplicably brought to the top without a new post. I added SherryBaby to my list; an unflinching look at a drug addicted mother's days after being released from prison. It wasn't "fun", nor easy to watch; but the casting was perfect and the performances were riveting. Maggie Gyllenhaal is really coming into her own as an actress. I think she has a great future on the big screen and I look forward to seeing what she'll offer us. I guess her next picture will be Stranger Than Fiction, which is to be released in November.

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[nobr]The best 'recent' film I've seen is Harold and Maude via TCM [/nobr]


Outside TCM, upon reviewing my Netflix rental history:

V For Vendetta


A History Of Violence

Kiki's Delivery Service

My Neighbour Totorro

Howl's Moving Castle

Castle In The Sky

Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind

Spirited Away

Princess Monoke

Melinda And Melinda



Chicken Run

Bob Le Flambeur





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Reading your message, I understand you have an interest in oil painting? Here is a link to a recent article in Chemical and Engineering News. The article combines analytical science, fine arts and history in its overview of recent investigations into 16th century Venetian art. The article lacks techno-babble and is pretty interesting:




BTW: Last week, I added "The Girl with the Pearl Earring" to my Netflix queue. I read a Netflix review about the beautiful cinematography and I noticed Scarlett Johansson is the pearl girl. Ohh, I like Scarlett Johansson...



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Thanks for the link. That?s very interesting. In the ?Pearl Earring? movie, Vermeer talks about how he mixes his paints and they show the girl buying colors and chemicals for him at an apothecary shop. He specifically mentions green malachite.


The article you linked to mentions Ultramarine from Afghanistan. This is a blue stone that is also known as Lapis Lazuli. The mines of Afghanistan supplied the ancient Egyptians with Lapis back during King Tut?s time, and he had some fabulous gold and Lapis jewelry. In fact ?King Solomon?s Mines? could have been in Afghanistan, since the mountains of that country have been supplying rare and beautiful minerals and stones for millennia.


The vast and ancient mines of Afghanistan, by the way, are the so-called ?caves? where ol? Osama Ben Laden and his boys are supposed to be hiding out.


I know a little about this because I?ve got some Native American jewelry that has stones from around the world. There is a rock shop in Albuquerque that has a big collection of different kinds of stones and minerals from around the world.


The ?Pearl? movie is beautiful. I think it?s from Lion?s Gate, which I think is a Canadian company. I felt like I was right in Vermeer?s own house when I watched the movie. His painting of the girl is so simple, yet it is one of the most beautiful paintings ever made.


But I?ve been wondering.... the earring looks silver to me, not pearl. What do you think?


First, the earring is too big to be a pearl, and second, Vermeer clearly tried to make the reflections in the earring look white, which is the way they would look when reflected in polished silver. Silver reflects white as white and other colors as their true colors. That's why it is used to make mirrors.




Click on the picture for an enlargement.

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I agree with Secondhand Lions! Another I'm reminded of is Open Range. It would take me forever to go back and find my original post in this thread so I'll just add that here. :-)


I don't usually see new movies, especially when they are new... but I have noticed when I get around to seeing something with Robert Duvall in it, I tend to like it.

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I'm getting blown away by all the rare -- REALLY RARE -- titles that have been posted here. But, since the title of this topic is:


"What is the best recent film you have seen?"


there is only one answer: The gorgeous, unforgettably charming THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE (2005).


I saw it in the theater when it opened last year and liked it so much I went again, and took my wife with me. She agreed that it's one of the best films she's ever seen.


The vast battle scene near the end is magnificent on a large screen.


Just this week, NARNIA began to appear on the cable channels. Catch it if you can. It's a mesmerizing experience.


Dan N.



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I enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine for it's sheer audacity at finding humor and humanity in otherwise bleak circumstances. It was nice to see a character-driven comedy that didn't pander to humiliation humor (You know, the "Ben Stiller Syndrome") or marginalize the characters into shallow, impulse-driven cliches.


I thought Hollywoodland was a trifle slow in a few places, but intriguing enough to make it well worth the effort. Possibly the best part of the film is that it makes no claim to have the "truth," but rather leads you through the thoughts and possibilities and lets the viewer draw their own conclusions. It's been a while since I saw a film that I felt didn't condescend to the viewer.

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I liked "Narnia, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe" when I saw it in January.


More recently, I really liked "Brick" and "Little Miss Sunshine." I might be crazy, but "Little Miss Sunshine" struck me as a bit of a modern "It's a Gift," with Alan Arkin's grandfather as the W. C. Fields character. It was a very funny movie.


As for more mainstream fare, "Monster House" was the best family film of the summer. It had an unusual plot for an animated film and wasn't afraid to let things get scary on screen.

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Yesterday a new extravagant shopping center opened in San Francisco, featuring a 9-screen cineplex. When I ventured to check it out, I found that they all screens were showing movies that were filmed in San Francisco. For one day only, for $5.00, one could see as many of the movies as one wanted; and all the proceeds went to charity. Kind of a "all you can eat" -- except with movies! I wish I'd known earlier. As it was, I was only able to catch three: It Came from Beneath the Sea, Bullitt and What's Up Doc?. The first two I'd never seen on the big screen, so it was quite a treat for me; especially the car chase in Bullitt. I was nearly car sick from watching it on the big screen. I wish mulitplexes would be this creative more often!

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Ah, sorry about that, Mr. 4me. So many Queens, so few screens... Stephen Frear's The Queen was screened at New York Film Festival only yesterday, and officially opened today. I've seen the trailers for it, but haven't seen the movie itself. I expect to see it soon, and will try to remember to post my impressions (thus making me a post-impressionist?).

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Oh Jack,


that was my quip of the day and made me laugh out loud. They have been pushing the movie quite a bit here and there is nonstop Helen Mirren Oscar nom. talk in the British press I read on line but it is not yet on the screens in my area.


Thanks, I look forward to your thoughts ... and please, call me Monty

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just saw The Queen and added it to my list of favorite movies for the year:




One immediately forgets that Helen Mirren is in the movie and completely believe you're watching Elizabeth II. Beautiful multi-layered performances; excellent direction by Stephen Frears. I thought it was surprisingly balanced, lending the audience many points of view. I wondered how true the sets were; for instance, did they take pains to duplicate the rooms of Balmoral Castle?

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I love the trailer for "The Prestige". Really lousy title for a film but what a great trailer. Here's hoping the movie is as good as the trailer. I suspect with all involved it very well may be!

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Hey LZ, (I've been traveling for a few weeks -working- so haven't written much).




I caught The Prestige and was very impressed. I'm a big Ricky Jay fan, who "consulted" on The Prestige and The Illusionist and was in Prestige (he's the dull, gray magician at the beginning, a nicely underplayed performance.) He's provided "deceptive practices" in the form of on-camera illusions for lots of films including; House of Games, Forrest Gump, the Natural, etc. With a guy like this - who needs CG?




Make sure to check out Ricky Jay's excellent website. And do click "deceptive practices".





Ricky Jay & Lepus Europaeus

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