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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:01 am 

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The IMAX frames (the taller image) pop in and out in the clip.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:34 pm 
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That's not new. It happened like that in the 2nd Transformers film, which was the one where Bay first started using the IMAX cameras. I haven't seen any since, so I can't comment on those, but the 2nd one definitely changed aspect ratio constantly from shot to shot in many sequences. Even The Dark Knight had several scenes that would switch back & forth within a single sequence.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:47 am 
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PfR73 wrote:
That's not new. It happened like that in the 2nd Transformers film, which was the one where Bay first started using the IMAX cameras. I haven't seen any since, so I can't comment on those, but the 2nd one definitely changed aspect ratio constantly from shot to shot in many sequences. Even The Dark Knight had several scenes that would switch back & forth within a single sequence.

...and The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar. The aspect ratio is determined by which scenes (or even individual shots) the director determines would be most beneficial to be shot with an IMAX camera. Since budgetary and time schedules do not allow every shot in these features to be photographed in IMAX, a mix of aspect ratios is built-in to the final product.

By the way, checking on IMDb for tech info I see that they already have an extended Blu-ray cut of Transformers: The Last Knight prepared that will run forty minutes longer than the theatrical release (which already clocks in at 149 minutes).


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:15 pm 
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Is there anywhere or will there be anywhere to see Bigelow's The Protectors?

Edit: Scratch that. Apparently it's up on National Geographic's youtube page. Not perfect viewing, but good enough.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:32 am 
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On a dare and out of case of obscene masochism I went to The Emoji Movie. Not surprisingly it was one of the worst things I have ever seen. I have never in all my twenty six years seen a film so devoid of anything that resembles coherent theme and taste. Imagine if you will a society filled with Emoji's that are forced to be do and make JUST that face/action all their lives. If they were robots this would be just fine but they're legitimate conscious beings. But fret not! TJ Miller's "Meh Emoji" decides this is not for for him. Except his hero's journey is just one product placement after another. Like Candy Crush? Cause it's in here. Oh and at one point while sitting on a pile trash he sings a reworked version of "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen". A spiritual that was you know, written BY SLAVES TO BOLSTER THEIR SPIRITS IN THE FIELDS.

But the best (actually the worst part please help me) is the literal walking, talking piece of shit voiced by Patrick Stewart and his son (voiced by someone I don't know). He and his literal little shit of course have a scene in the bathroom where they wax eloquently about not washing their hands. But the biggest question (because this scene takes place in a bathroom) I have is does this sentient piece of shit defecate other sentient pieces of shit? The mind boggles!

If you have children do not take them to this. Fake illness. Avoid them. Run away I don't care. Neither they nor you deserve this abomination. I watched this so that I may warn others about it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:44 am 
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I'm trying to get out of seeing this. My wife wants to take the kids and i'm trying to kibosh that. I'm even volunteering to finally paint the doors on the house yo get out of it (it's been on my list for a couple of years now) and I hate painting!


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:06 pm 
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This has been something of a rough year so far for several up-and-coming directors with only a handful of features under their belts; James Ponsoldt, David Michod, and Charlie McDowell all stumbled or at least fell short of their prior work with their features this year. As disappointing as those films were, it gives me no pleasure to say that the biggest failure of the year so far (I'm counting it as a 2017 release despite it playing a few 2016 festivals) is without question John Michael McDonagh's War on Everybody, which not only negates the growth and promise McDonagh showed in 2014's Calvary (my second favorite film of that year), but regresses all the way into mid-1990s-cheap-Tarantino-ripoff territory as the worst film I've seen in 2017.

A dark comedy about two corrupt cops and how their self-destructive vortex collides with some non-police criminality, War is predicated on plot, characters, and dialogue that have precisely none of the wit, originality, or charm needed to pull this off, instead sagging under the inescapable weight of cliche, bad casting (poor Paul Reiser), and an only intermittent sense of being grounded in a recognizable reality. McDonagh seems to think that having Alexander Skarsgaard and Michael Pena play solely in the drunken/drugged nihilism sandbox while tossing off the occasional non-sequitur makes them interesting centerpieces to the film, and that a handful of slow-motion or time-lapse shots will cover for the utter lack of inspiration behind the way he films these characters and their fundamentally boring quest to steal money from some of the few even worse people.

As someone who liked The Guard and loved Calvary, I really hope that the elder McDonagh is able to bounce back from this in the way his brother appears to have recovered from the uneven Seven Psychopaths with the upcoming Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, but it's going to take a lot to wash out the rancid taste of this particular failure.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:15 am 
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Maudie (2017), directed by Irish director Aisling Walsh - 10/10

I've never seen any of her films, and I don't think she's made many, but I will be keeping an eye on her films I tell you what. I usually check all of the films that started playing Thursday at theaters around town(s), but for some reason I didn't get a chance to until yesterday, Monday. Saw one I didn't recognize, Maudie, did my usual search: Maudie ebert, to see how many stars whoever reviewed it gave it - 3 and a half out of four, but more importantly, it starred Sally Hawkins, one of my favorite actresses (Happy-Go-Lucky (2008), Mike Leigh, Vera Drake (2004), also Mike Leigh, An Education (2009), Never Let Me Go (2010), Blue Jasmine (2013)). So I headed out without knowing anything at all about what this was about. A gamble, for sure, but it paid off with the best film I've seen of the year. If you go see it, I recommend to avoid the trailer, don't read any reviews, and just go.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:35 am 
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Propaganda Blockbuster With Heavy Regime Backing Flops at Chinese Box Office gloats a headline from the Falun Gong news org.
It used to be that the gov't could simply mandate that screens show the gov't propaganda blockbuster -- as they did here - - and that would ensure financial success. In 2017, I think a star-studded film about the founding of the PLA (communist army -- if it was even called that back then), just doesn't have too many takers.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:33 pm 

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For those of you with younger kids, Boss Baby isn't a terrible waste of time. I prefer the kind of irreverence in a movie like this than what you get from Pixar/Disney. There are some good gags, interesting bits of animation when we see the imagination of the older brother, and Alec Baldwin as the baby was a running joke that made me laugh. His voice was a hidden asset of Royal Tenenbaums and is pretty amusing as the corporate minded, 30 Rock CEO turned infant baby. The central conceit that people prefer puppies to babies now is...an interesting choice.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:19 am 
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Surprised there isn't a thread for Good Time already, what with the film making the cover of both Film Comment and Cinema Scope, on the heels of the praise for it at Cannes.

I had some fear that the advance hype was sourced in its being counter-programming at Cannes, and/or New York-based critics overvaluing its local flavor. My concerns were misplaced. It is a driving, kinetic, pressure cooker, a thriller founded on desperation. Robert Pattinson is superb, the best I've seen him yet, and I must say there's been quite a bit of range between his Cronenberg roles, his supporting turn in The Lost City of Z, and this.

The frenetic, long-lens aesthetic the Safdie brothers seem to favor worked more for me here than it did in Heaven Knows What (the only other of their films I've seen), as did the general mood of aggravation and chaos that drives so many of their scenes. Both Heaven and this have scenes of people yelling repetitive arguments, the difference here is that here there are dramatic stakes. Lest that make it sound like this is a conventional narrative, the tone and narrative direction pushes to places where a Hollywood film of this age wouldn't dare.

Right now, this ranks with A Ghost Story as my favorite of 2017 to date (pending a revisit of Song to Song, which is very good but deserves further viewing and contemplation), but they are so different that one could easily despise one movie and love the other, or love them both, or hate them both; such is the wonderful variety of cinema, that two films of such different tone and pace and scope can coexist.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:41 pm 
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Hark Tsui's sequel to Stephen Chow's Journey to the West is a lot better than the first and just generally pretty fun. It's funnier, weirder, and with more interesting characters than the first. Part of this is I think Hark is more sincerely interested in the thematic possibilities of the story particularly with regards to its Buddhist origin. There's also Hark's Gilliam like glee with the animation and fantasy. He's just really good at making fight scenes both dramatically and for comedy. It really highlights what a great director can do against a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:07 pm 
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Lemmy Caution wrote:

Despite the popularity of some of his past films, I have found Andrew Lau a mediocre film maker at best (and, yes, this includes consideration of his mega-hit Infernal Affairs).


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:47 pm 
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Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni / In This Corenr of the World (Katabuchi 2016)

Another excellent film by an alumnus of Ghibli. A quietly devastating (despite an underlying sweetness of tone) picture of pre-war, war-time and (immediate) post-war Hiroshima and Kure (the biggest commercial and naval port of the Hiroshima region). While Kure was not directly ravaged by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, it had already been almost totally destroyed by conventional bombing, followed by firebombing in early 1945. The film follows the life of a fairly "ordinary" girl/young woman (but a little spacy -- and with an artistic bent) from a nearer Hiroshima suburb who goes off to "distant" Kure (12 or so miles away) in an arranged marriage. As one might expect, not all goes well with in the lives of our protagonist, her own family and her in-laws.

Katabuchi seems to belong (based on this) primarily to the Takahata side of the Ghibli legacy -- both in artistic style (esp. the often pastel color palette) and content. Frankly, I much prefer this to any of Miyazaki's own post-Spirited Away work. It also left me feeling extremely somber (despite its beauty). Do see this if it comes to a theater anywhere near....


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:36 pm 
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Weinsteins' have pushed Garth Davis' Mary Magdalene with Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus, to next Easter, though it's doubtful a religious audience can be counted on for this one. Likely it's a cover for them not having the money to release and promote both it and the Current War for Oscars


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:45 pm 
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Yeah, that's a nothing date that if the movie ends up editing well will move it to next awards season. It's a bit of a mistake to put his cards this year behind the mind behind Me & Earl and the Dying Girl, though.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:50 pm 
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A Taxi Driver (JANG Hoon 2017)

A taxi driver drives a German news reporter to Gwangju (strictly off limits to all reporters) during the 1980 Uprising/Democratic Movenent/Massacre. The new government, led by military coup (US-backed, off course) leader, CHUN Doo-hwan, was claiming this was a only minor incident led by communists and student troublemakers. In fact (as shown in the movie), it was a German newsman (with movie footage of the real events -- which were smuggled out of the country) who revealed the immense scope of the murderous regime's brutality. While based on a true story (and some real characters, including the titular brave/foolhardy cab driver), the film has added lots of standard action movie filler.

At times, this feels like a film in the tradition of PARK Kwang-su (the mentor of many of Korea's new wave of directors, including LEE Chang-dong), particularly when it has a documentary-ish feel. At others, the amped up suspense/action feels a bit cliched. But the film's center is held effectively by the great SONG Kang-ho as the taxi driver in question. This was intended for a wide popular (Korean) audience -- and it found it. For non-Koreans, it is another piece in the cinematic modern Korean history puzzle (the events here figure, one way or another, in films like Lee's Peppermint Candy and Bong's Memories of Murder). Not great cinematic art, perhaps, but worthwhile -- both as a movie and as for a glimpse into Korea's grim 20th C history.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:58 pm 
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Ozon seems to get a mixed to bad rap in places, but fortunately I've managed to only see his films of worth so far with that streak continuing with Frantz. It's a pretty simple love story of a Frenchman, that looks like Kafka, who goes to Germany to visit the grave of a friend and befriends the dead one's fiance in the process. The plot proceeds basically where you think it would from there. The movie is mostly pleasant, but two things raise it a little bit to a more meaningful experience. The first and perhaps most important to the experience is just how homoerotic this is without being flamboyant or self loathing; two qualities far too many homosexual pieces contain (I should note the film treats this essentially as subtext on the narrative level though it is very explicit in the verbal/visual level). Instead it is restrained with Ozon taking cues from Reitz and Dreyer. Perhaps this is a bit obvious and certainly it is on the nose, but the way it bleeds into the aesthetic can be rather touching showing how subtlety in human interactions can drive grand emotions in a way that doesn't need the larger visual gestures. The aesthetic hook, the second great element, here between reservation and emotion is nothing new (Dolan did basically the same thing in his horrendous Mommy), but by having it stand completely objectively as an independent means of exposition he has it work whereas the other examples typically just layer it on as another piece of melodramatic grand standing. With an used and unnatural device Ozon seems to have discovered the perfect way to give emotional exposition without bringing unnatural writing, editing, or performance to the fore. This is a movie of reality and all the more touching for it. Which is probably also why it works so well as a piece of homoeroticism.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:05 am 
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Barbet Schroeder's The Venerable W. is one of those documentaries with a premise that sounds amazing on paper: a closer look at the Buddhist monk in Myanmar actively fomenting anti-Muslim hysteria and playing a major role in the campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya ethnic group. As a peek into mindset, history, and propaganda machine behind these direct-from-the-headlines events, Schroeder's film does some valuable work, including interviewing the man himself, who exhibits many of the familiar characteristics of the theocratic fascist archetype behind the somewhat incongruous trappings of monastic Buddhism.

That said, this value only goes so far, as the filmmaker's limited access to his subject and the still closed-off country itself (at the screening in Telluride, Schroeder explained how he and a skeleton crew basically snuck into Myanmar as tourists and surreptitiously traveled to do the handful of in-country interviews featured in the film) prevents his film from becoming much more than basically an episode of Frontline or a longer Vice News piece. The vast majority of the footage in the film comes from other news sources, contemporaneous recordings, or expert talking heads, which makes what I at least hoped would be a more focused look into the psychology and motivations of a very dangerous, seemingly contradictory figure - closer to his work on Idi Amin or Jacques Verger - feel too surface-level to really get behind.

Worth watching as an informational piece if you're unfamiliar with the situation in Myanmar, but not necessarily vital as a piece of documentary filmmaking outside of that.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:02 pm 
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I basically agree with you: great subject; execution constrained by circumstance. But I think it's a little more artful than the 'extended Frontline' tag indicates, as the reveal of the true horror of Wirathu's mission is very slow and deliberate - which is something that probably works better if you go in blind, though then the film would have almost no marketing hook! There's also the peculiar choice of narration (the film is narrated in the first person by an invented female monk character, with a very finely calibrated ironic tone - the film never directly calls out its protagonist, but simply lets his actions and words pile up into a damning condemnation), which I don't feel entirely works, but is at the very least an interesting and understandable creative choice. I was still ultimately lukewarm on the film, but ran into several people who were completely bowled over by it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:07 pm 
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zedz wrote:
I basically agree with you: great subject; execution constrained by circumstance. But I think it's a little more artful than the 'extended Frontline' tag indicates, as the reveal of the true horror of Wirathu's mission is very slow and deliberate - which is something that probably works better if you go in blind, though then the film would have almost no marketing hook!
I wonder if that slow reveal of his true nature was undermined in our screening by Schroeder himself, who if - I recall correctly - called him evil and said he was terrified of the man. Kind of removes any of the mystery of how the film will treat its primary subject! As for my lack of enthusiasm for the form, that might also be a result of seeing this so soon after Errol Morris' Wormwood, which is so much more innovative both in its more traditional documentary sections and in the blending in of recreations. Probably worth a reassessment under more normal circumstances.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:29 pm 
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I feel a little embarrassed, but I work with small children so I have an excuse. Saw the Captain Underpants film and it's kind of fabulous. It's not great, but the animation is smarter and more inventive then anything from the US since the first Lego Movie. The story is about what you expect with a healthy dose of irreverence (with meta elements handled much better than in Deadpool). It's especially nice that the title character is hardly in the movie with the focus being of Harold and Goerge's friendship. I suspect this is already more than need be written on the film though. Still, a misfortune this flopped while far lesser films succeed.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:51 pm 
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Don't feel shame. I took mine to see it and pretty much agree with you and I wasn't looking forward to it (I'm not familiar with the books). But yeah, like the Lego Movie it just goes with it and is all the better because of it.

On that note, the Batman Lego Movie is amusing (showing Batman how I always figured he would be in real life--a dick) but the Ninjago Movie is terrible. And it's not even because the novelty has worn out (though it probably has) but because it barely even tries. Even my son prefers the TV show.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:58 pm 
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cdnchris wrote:
Don't feel shame. I took mine to see it and pretty much agree with you and I wasn't looking forward to it (I'm not familiar with the books). But yeah, like the Lego Movie it just goes with it and is all the better because of it.

On that note, the Batman Lego Movie is amusing (showing Batman how I always figured he would be in real life--a dick) but the Ninjago Movie is terrible. And it's not even because the novelty has worn out (though it probably has) but because it barely even tries. Even my son prefers the TV show.

Haven't seen Ninjago, but agree on Batman. It's not anywhere the first film, but is amusing enough with the animation still being a really great stylistic choice.

Again immature, but I do recommend the Underpants books which in addition to being funny and irreverent (as long as you like the sort of body humour you get here) alongside being surprisingly progressive (Having a smart, non-stereotypical black protagonist and never mentioning that still is a pretty big rarity even in adult media and in the last book a character is very casually mentioned as being gay). You can also read them in about ten minutes flat (assuming you don't go long on the flip-o-ramas). At least they're a pretty fun gift for nine year olds whenever your kid gets around that age.


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 Post subject: Re: The Films of 2017
PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:19 pm 
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Jigsaw isn't very good, unsurprisingly, but I admire it for actually trying to make it *look* a little different than the previous entries in the franchise. It's the first entry to be shot in scope, and it's ditched the bleached-out dirty look in favor of a slicker digital sheen (with some nice, harsh reds really popping) for a lot of the more extravagant trap sequences (all the stuff with the cops or whatever still looks like garbage, but they can only stretch the still minuscule budget so far). Unfortunately, all of the actual moral dilemmas that theoretically grounded the series have just completely disappeared and despite the long gap there's not one game that even kind of make any ethical sense for Jigsaw's theoretical modus operandi. The film's built so much of its appeal out of "how is Jigsaw back?" that the ultimate reveal can't help but be disappointing if only due to infuriating (but inevitable) narrative deceit that is totally expected of this franchise since its inception. My entire interest in the franchise is in its execution of a comically, ludicrously convoluted storyline, but this film's twist ending is a total miss and builds the theoretical future of the franchise around an actor who is plainly not worth building a franchise around (not that it stopped them doing it for Costas Mandylor, but at least he'd chew the scenery).


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