Seen any good films lately? [3]

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Post by chris63 Thu Nov 19, 2020 12:45 am

Not seen that one.

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Post by halfwise Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:00 am

Not a musical, but somehow it still had magic the new one missed.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:53 pm

{{ The Patrick Stewart version of Macbeth is up on youtube to help the arts amid Covid. Not my favourite version but not bad either (Stewarts too old for the role in my opinion) but he doesnt often play bad guy so worth it for that. }}


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Post by halfwise Thu Nov 19, 2020 4:16 pm

Can't view in this country but can search around for it I suppose. Though it should be noted that when Patrick Stewart was asked to play Shylock in merchant of Venice, he said he'd do it under the condition that he play him as a monster, rather than the twisted yet somewhat sympathetic character he's made out to be in many versions. He thought it was more true to the text, demonstrating it by doing the famous "if you cut me, do I not bleed?" line in an angry roar.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Dec 24, 2020 5:34 am

{{{ Bit of a curio this one its a short film that George Lucas commissioned to be an accompaniment piece to the screenings of Empire Strikes Back, though its entirely unrelated to the SW stuff.
Shot in Scotland and quite a bit of it around my neck of the woods, mainly Loch Eck, and had an influence on Boorman's Excalibur (visually they are very similar films and the soundtrack too). }}


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Post by Forest Shepherd Sun Dec 27, 2020 6:59 am

I remember that short from a kickstarter or something the director was doing to try and remake the film full-length.

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Post by chris63 Sun Dec 27, 2020 7:18 am

Watched Soul on Disney +. Not a bad little film.

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Post by halfwise Sat Jan 02, 2021 1:10 pm

So I realized that most likely I've previously only seen bits and snippets of Lion in Winter - only had a private telly the last 20 years and am pretty sure I haven't seen it in that time. But what I had seen had left an impression.

My first reaction on seeing it afresh with full concentration is that Peter O'Toole so subsumes himself in the role I wouldn't recognize him. He was 36 year old putting on the soul of a medieval King at 50, and if I didn't already know it was him I would have been scratching my heading thinking there was something familiar about the actor, but I wouldn't place him.

James Goldman (brother of William Goldman) took the historical characters and slapped them together into a fictional Christmas meeting that never occurred. What he envisions for Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine is perhaps the most complex relationship ever committed to stage or screen. Watching Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn putting to task their full powers to spar and wrangle is an astonishing intellectual experience. I'm not sure I could have fully comprehended it coming fresh out of college - what's needed is a truly long term relationship where you can dig your teeth into each other and fight to the last throw yet know through it all that you are so deeply connected that you never want to be free of each other. That Goldman could construct this out of fresh cloth puts me in awe of what he has as a writer. I could never have come up with it.

There's also the attraction of seeing Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton in their screen debuts. I have to say Timothy Dalton does far better, more than what I would have expected from his future Bond character. Though he was older than Dalton, Hopkins still had a long ways to go before he learned how to show his trademark intellect shining through a character's eyes. His Richard the Lion Hearted feels thin and two dimensional. Not badly done, but not at all what we've come to expect from him.

The only true acting failure was the guy playing the future King John, who overplayed him as a simp. It's simply not believable that Henry would favor him over the others.

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Post by Mrs Figg Sat Jan 02, 2021 2:46 pm

fun fact.

"Katherine Hepburn portrayed her own ancestor. She was descended from Eleanor of Aquitaine in numerous lines, from both Eleanor's marriage to Louis VII, King of France, and Eleanor's marriage to Henry II, King of England."
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Post by halfwise Sat Jan 02, 2021 4:10 pm

She does come off as rather patrician, doesn't she?

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Post by halfwise Sun Jan 03, 2021 1:57 am

So I'm watching the director commentary for Lion of Winter (DVD plan is worth it) - he was handpicked by Peter O'Toole on the strength of the single film he had made before, and neither he nor Hepburn could understand what it had to do with Lion in Winter but O'Toole's instincts were obviously correct.

A nice nugget is some insight into what made Hepburn so great.  The director was terribly concerned that people would be intimidated by her so had organized some rehearsals to let everyone know each other (many were first time screen actors) but she showed up with chocolates for the crew and bottles of wine for the cast and after the first drunken night that was that.  She and O'Toole had a wonderful relationship - they weren't method actors, but to keep their heads in the right place he would refer to her as "nag" and she would call him "pig" and that set the chemistry for the film.

continued notes while listening to the director's narration:

He refers to "Dicky Attenborough".
He edited for Stanley Kubrick, who for one film suggested taking a boat to Australia while editing so nobody would disturb them.
He said it's very important to not cut your own film because you don't have perspective.  Someone else needs to keep you from being self indulgent.  I have to say this goes for scientific writing as well; you need someone to make sure you aren't talking to yourself.

The trick to getting what you want out of great actors is to let them go over the top, then pull them back: when they are quiet and simple, they are devastating.

The commentary stops to honor great scenes.  I'm tempted to quote one between Hopkins and Dalton, but if you haven't seen it in the last 10 years (and growing up makes a difference with this script) then just make sure you see it.  Then follows a scene with O'Toole that makes it clear Timothy Dalton was wasted on James Bond.  The man was bred for complexity and was given a cartoon to breathe life into.

The director insisted on having chickens and dogs everywhere to give the proper medieval spirit. gotta love dogs. You'll have a actor like O'Toole fulminating and chewing the scenery, and there's a dog in the background with ears splayed wide, knowing something's going down, then slinking off at the denouement in search of other things.

you've gotta forgive me the length. I attempted to make mulled wine for the first time. Sort of messed it up because a crock pot needs more time to steep than a boiling pot, but I still worked my way through a whole bottle of wine. Makes me long winded. There's also a substory about the cute wineshop girl I keep trying to flirt with that I won't go into. Hey, it's saturday night.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:29 pm

What a description; I must see this sometime.

Cheers drunken

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Post by halfwise Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:17 pm

I was surprised I hadn't seen it before myself: get it mixed up with A Man for All Seasons and Becket.   And O'Toole plays a younger version of the same King in Becket.  I have Becket lined up, may bump it to watch it sooner. I think I've seen it only a few years ago and didn't make as large an impression. Or maybe I was less drunk when watching it.

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Post by Mrs Figg Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:25 pm

I remember watching it years ago and it was obviously a quality production but at the age I watched it in my twenties I couldn't be doing with the seriousness of it, and the constant bickering between the characters over power and the love/hate bitchy relationship between the king and queen really put me off. I must have been a lot more shallow then because I wished it had been a lot more romantic and fluffy. It isn't fluffy, its as realistic as they could make it in those days before mud and blood Game of Thrones style Mediaeval worlds. I preferred Camelot with Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave and my all time favourite Excalibur. They are very fluffy indeed.
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Post by halfwise Sun Jan 03, 2021 7:52 pm

yeah, I don't think I would have enjoyed it in my 20's. You have to have been in a long term relationship where you can have drag-down fights and still have no question that you are committed to it....then you can see the beauty of what Goldman wrote. And growing old enough to see your powers of influence wane, etc. etc. It's an older person's play, really. I'm not really sure I would have appreciated it at O'Toole's age of 36 at the time, but he had more of a life than me.

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Post by chris63 Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:49 am

Never watched the original Milan, but didn t mind the new one. Watched it on Disney +. Disney + star comes out next month. Has a lot more adult content on it.

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Post by halfwise Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:21 pm

Poor Mulan, attacked from all sides. Most of the attacks have nothing to do with the quality of the film. Though it does seem the Chinese feel the film missed the mark of the original legend:

“The background story of ‘Mulan’ is that she wanted to take her father’s place, protect her family and defend the people. But the film turned Hua Mulan into a palace guard protecting the emperor,” the review said. “The people that Hua Mulan wanted to defend became the background.”

The Chinese have made their own version of Mulan, it would be interesting to compare the two.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1308138/

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Post by halfwise Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:26 pm

Can't find the chinese version of Mulan available anywhere, but Netflix does have Double World, which looks delightful and has a bit of the girl warrior theme, though it's not central. Not too happy about it going into CGI fantasy - why not let your young actors just do their thing?


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Post by halfwise Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:33 pm

Enh - I was pulled into Double World by the 2 minute reel netflix uses to sell it, but that was the best part of the whole thing. Based on a video game popular in China, so very heavy CGI heavy. Over the top Hollywood style ending. And the girl was killed off with unmotivated cruelty. Though I enjoyed much of it I'd not recommend.

But I'm sure we'll be seeing more of little Chenhan Lin. Livened up every scene she was in, and she's only 15.

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Post by halfwise Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:36 pm

Over lunch watched the Black Angel thing Petty dug up. Rather slow moving for a lead in to Star Wars, I can't imagine the fans were very taken with it. Other than the slow motion (but horribly blocked) fight scenes that had some influence, I'd say this little bit of film history deserves to remain buried.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:37 pm

{{ I havent watched it myself, just flicked through it to spot places I knew, and noted its was very stylistically similar to Exaclibur, which Boorman made after seeing the short. }}

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Post by halfwise Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:39 pm

Not worth the time to watch unless you multi task with something like lunch. Then you'll still be somewhat annoyed you didn't watch something else.

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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:02 am

Was going to watch Olympus Has Fallen and then I turned on the news. Shocked
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Post by Forest Shepherd Sun Jan 10, 2021 11:01 pm

Oh, did Olympus fall? I've been out of the loop.

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Post by halfwise Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:11 am

Um, very apropos title.

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