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nobinobita
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"Seen any good movies lately?" , posted Tue 28 Jun 03:26:post reply

I've been focusing on negative things too much lately. So I propose that we talk about movies that we love!

Please post movie recommendations in this thread. Old, new, it's all good. Just please use that handy spoiler tag wherever appropriate.

I'll start!

I was recently totally blown away by a French film from 2009 called "Un Prophete" (A Prophet). I sought it out after hearing Ryan Cougler sing its praises during a speech he gave at the LA Critic's Choice Awards.

It was a great speech. Click here to watch it!

I watched A Prophet with zero knowledge of the plot. All I knew was that it was some kind of prison drama and it was French. If you are in the mood for a very thoughtful, rewarding drama, and you can take my word for it, then please just seek this movie out as soon as you can. Avoid any reviews and synopsis because they tend to give away too much of the plot.

Here are some spoiler free impressions in no particular order

1) The film is incredibly well acted. I can't understand French, but I could definitely catch the rich spread of emotions on display in the film. It's the kind of movie where a quick understated shot of someone's face can hit you like a ton of bricks because the movie has conveyed the characters so well that you know the things they are feeling vs the things they will allow themselves to show.

2) The film touches on issues of race, religion and class, but it never feels cheap or preachy. I don't come from any of the cultures represented in this movie, but I could still relate to the experience of walking amongst different, clearly dilineated groups. I would love to know what people with an arabic or muslim background think of this film.

3) There are some pretty harrowing scenes in A Prophet. However, I was also surprised by how much more freedoms French prisoners seem to have vs their counterparts in the US (if this movie is accurate to life, which I don't know, but it sure felt like it). I often found myself thinking "that would never fly in America!" because some of the policies just seemed so unusually humane and reasonable compared to what you might expect to happen in the USA.

4) I'm probably making this sound like an art film, which it is. But it's also just really engaging in a straightforward manner. It has entertainment value! It is never boring. That's what impressed me the most about the film. No matter how mundane things are on screen, they are still utterly engrossing. It reminded me of Fury Road or No Country for Old Men. Very trim. No fat. A movie that rewards your attention without making you have to work hard for it.

5) If you liked Creed (which I also highly recommend even if you don't like Rocky, but especially if you do) you will enjoy this movie. Ryan Cooglar has been very open about how much this film has influenced him, and when you watch A Prophet, it becomes very clear just how much of its DNA was passed on to Creed.

If any of you have already seen this movie and enjoyed it, I would greatly appreciate any movie recommendations to follow it up. I'll probably just go through Jacques Audiard's entire filmography, but if there are any films I should scoot to the top of the queue please let me know!

So, what films have you guys been enjoying lately?






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[this message was edited by nobinobita on Tue 28 Jun 03:27]

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"Re(1):Seen any good movies lately?" , posted Tue 28 Jun 07:48:post reply

Film! There is no rhyme or reason to the seemingly random non-game objects that have crossed my eyes lately, but I'll toss out a few winners:

NOT Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Yes, I was six months late, but I never knew just how much a check-the-boxes piece of multi-million dollar fanfiction would make me long for Lucas and his prequels, of all things. I would literally like to watch Phantom Menance now. I have never said that! At least Phantom Menace is creative, unlike this lifeless, derivative husk. Now then, good things:

Dansu No Jikan/Time to Dance
This is a marvelous, charming little documentary coming to English soon. It follows Kaori, a dance instructor who teaches dance to nature-conscious aquarium trainers, getting them more in touch with their bodies and with living things around them. You can also see a similar sensitivity in scenes where she cares for her Alzheimer's-striken mother. It's a quiet film, but Kaori (in her fifties or sixties, but looking much younger) is so utterly charming and thoughtful that it's a joy to see her teach. Japanese site here.

Mustang
This is a neat feminist Turkish film depicting six sisters of different ages in rural Turkey who are suddenly corralled into a very restrictive environment after getting too friendly with their male classmates. The youngest is the most impressive, and you follow her reactions to the different approaches each of her older sisters takes to facing arranged marriages. The conservative, oppressive family members are hard to like, but they're not monsters, which makes the tale very true to life for any society where women face these pressures. I'd like to hear what Oguz thinks of it. International site here.

Palio

The numerous Italian members of the Cafe might be delighted to see that Siena's legendary horse race dating back to medieval times has been documented in a seriously exciting film. Thet annual Palio race pits Siena's old neighborhood guilds against each other as they seek to hire the best jockey for a serious local pride-boosting race that's down-and-dirty and feels kind of like Mario Kart. I'd have liked to see it center more on the individual neighborhoods and their stories, but it focuses on the rivalry between a young international upstart jockey and wily multi-win pro, which is not a bad way to structure the documentary. Anyone been to it? International site here.

Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1978)

Hell no, I'm talking about the atroicious 2013 CG film that betrays everything about the titular character! I am talking about the Rintaro-directed (Galaxy Express 999, X, Dagger of Kamui), gloriously kickass 42 episode TV series that epitomizes the capital-R Romanticism of Matsumoto Leiji's famous space outlaw as he tries to protect Earth in 2977 AD from an alien empire while a corrupt, complacent Earth government twiddles its thumbs. This is a TV series, but I don't care! Think of it as 11 feature-length movies. Heroism, stoicism, loyalty, galleons grafted onto space fighters, light sabers and Wild West space opera far before Star Wars did it...it's all here. Unlike the lifeless stuff you see today, Matsumoto was always clever enough to be able to separate manly heroism and loyalty from blind allegiance and militarism. There is an unthinkably cheap Region 1 DVD set with all 42 episodes available now. "Captain Harlock, Captain Harlock, raise the the Jolly Roger~ I'll live free, under my own flag..."





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"Re(1):Seen any good movies lately?" , posted Tue 28 Jun 17:25:post reply

Not seen lately, but nobi's mention of movies to watch without prior reminded of a an Argentinian movie called Wakolda which I watched under such circumstances. It has an English title, but it might spoil what's going on in it, and that could detract from the more neutral approach I think it's best enjoyed with, generally serious as it may be. If nothing else, it opens a window into atypical perspectives.


Actually seen recently, Girls und Panzer der Film has no right to be nearly as good as it is considering how silly the concept is, but much like the series that precedes it and which it follows from, it's executed with utmost respect for its audience and characters while doing a lot of interesting and enjoyable things with the topic it focuses on - here's a fan-made trailer in the style of Mad Max Fury Road if you're not sufficiently convinced.
It's like a bunch of military geeks set out to make a love letter to WW2-era engineering (well, that's what the Yukari Akiyama's Tank Corner mini-episodes are for mostly, to sneak in the details and context that couldn't be fit into the regular episodes), international dynamics and music, but realized that in the current market your anime is most likely to succeed if you fill it with little girls - so they did that, which brings in some cliches from that sort of thing, like instant best friends, characters nicknaming each other and eating ice cream together, but it doesn't detract from more subdued and interesting emotional moments along the way.
In the movie in particular it was interesting to see the developments for the Anteater team girls, which before the whole tank thing had basically never met offline and only played video games (they never say it's World of Tanks, but it's World of Tanks). The series and movie basically follow a sports anime cliche with the threat of the school shutting down unless they win an important match, and a lot of characters are seen coping with the prospect in different ways during an extended sequence where the effects of everyone's spirits being down manifest in different ways - so it's interesting that the arguably least physically-inclined characters deal with their feelings by hitting the weights and working out like hell, as if all the underlying emotions and tension had to manifest physically, so the usual time spent on the computer wouldn't cut it, and the effects show by the end of the film. It's an arguably small detail for characters out of focus that were even introduced late in the series, but it was nice that the writers bothered to toss that in.


Neither quite recent nor recently watched, but I can't recommend Cloud Atlas enough - several completely different stories in terms of setting and tone still manage to work in unison to carry a common theme, with an underlying issue of the importance of art to the history of humanity. Great stuff, especially how some of the transitions between completely different scenes manage to build each other up. There was some controversy regarding how several actors used makeup to play different ethnicities, but basically it was a way to reuse the actors across different settings, which in some cases reinforces the tone, and maybe cut down on costs. Frankly, it's a small miracle that a movie like this even exists, and I'm glad it does, so I'm willing to forgive quite a bit. I should read the book some time, even if it's structured differently.





...!!

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"Re(2):Seen any good movies lately?" , posted Tue 28 Jun 23:52:post reply

quote:
Film! There is no rhyme or reason to the seemingly random non-game objects that have crossed my eyes lately, but I'll toss out a few winners:

NOT Star Wars: Force Awakens
Yes, I was six months late, but I never knew just how much a check-the-boxes piece of multi-million dollar fanfiction would make me long for Lucas and his prequels, of all things. I would literally like to watch Phantom Menance now. I have never said that! At least Phantom Menace is creative, unlike this lifeless, derivative husk. Now then, good things:

Dansu No Jikan/Time to Dance
This is a marvelous, charming little documentary coming to English soon. It follows Kaori, a dance instructor who teaches dance to nature-conscious aquarium trainers, getting them more in touch with their bodies and with living things around them. You can also see a similar sensitivity in scenes where she cares for her Alzheimer's-striken mother. It's a quiet film, but Kaori (in her fifties or sixties, but looking much younger) is so utterly charming and thoughtful that it's a joy to see her teach. Japanese site here.

Mustang
This is a neat feminist Turkish film depicting six sisters of different ages in rural Turkey who are suddenly corralled into a very restrictive environment after getting too friendly with their male classmates. The youngest is the most impressive, and you follow her reactions to the different approaches each of her old

-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


Thanks for the recommendations. Other than Mustang and Harlock I've never even heard of any of those. And sadly I haven't seen any of them either! All I remember of Harlock is a blurry VHS fansubbed movie that we had when I was in grade school. I vividly remember an image of Harlock with a gash across his face bleeding profusely and calling out, possibly to the woman that he loved? I don't remember the details, I just remember that it was tragic and romantic and heroic and painful. I'll have to watch the original TV series. That's a big chunk of history and culture I'm missing out on! I didn't realise that it was actually as old (older?) than Star Wars.

Speaking of that new one. I really didn't like it either! It's comforting to know I'm not a lone. Instead of ragging on it though, I will say that at the very least it was shot very well. In this post Fury Road World directors of blockbusters have learned that it's ok to have lingering establishing shots and very wide far away shots for a sense of placement in the world. Heck! It's even ok to have shots that lost LONGER than 3 seconds! I didn't like the story or characters, but the visual storytelling was really good!

Speaking of classic Star Wars, I just read a great interview with Makoto Kobayashi where he talks about why Star Wars inspired him so much. Obviously it was just really super cool. But on top of that, it was one of the first things where you could get your hands on so much behind the scenes conceptual material. It showed a lot of kids that "hey! People make this! Look at them work! You can do this too!" I found this was true of my own childhood as well. I distinctly remember checking out Star Wars books and pouring over schematics of ships and such. Just one more way that Star Wars hugely changed the world.

BACK TO MOVIES.

I heard a lot of great things about Mustang. I was kind of afraid that people maybe liked it because of its subject matter and politics, but it sounds like it is also just a great movie of its own accord too. I'll keep an eye out for it!

All the other movies you mentioned sound great too Maou. I'll let you know if I can track them down.

Loona, Wakolda sounds great! I love going into a movie knowing nothing. Unfortunately I already know what the title means as it was impossible to google for more info without finding out the translation lol.

quote:
Girls und Panzer der Film has no right to be nearly as good as it is considering how silly the concept is, but much like the series that precedes it and which it follows from, it's executed with utmost respect for its audience and characters while doing a lot of interesting and enjoyable things with the topic it focuses on


Don't hold back! I would have never given this series a chance, but you've just put it on my radar. There's a lot of girly anime out there that at a glance I thought it would never interest me (Princess Tutu, Nichijou etc), but they've turned out to be favourites. Thank you for the recommendation!






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[this message was edited by nobinobita on Tue 28 Jun 23:55]



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"Re(3):Seen any good movies lately?" , posted Wed 29 Jun 17:03post reply

quote:

NOT Star Wars: Force Awakens
Yes, I was six months late, but I never knew just how much a check-the-boxes piece of multi-million dollar fanfiction would make me long for Lucas and his prequels, of all things. I would literally like to watch Phantom Menance now. I have never said that! At least Phantom Menace is creative, unlike this lifeless, derivative husk.


A lengthy write-up by the ever-longwinded but ever-insightful Film Critic Hulk, who also didn't like the movie very much.

Some months ago I saw the CG movie of The Little Prince, which somehow got its theatre distribution in the USA pulled out from under it. CG being CG, there are times when its smaller budget and weaker technology relative to Pixar shows, and some might scoff at the larger framing story it puts around the original Little Prince story (which is featured quite literally in the movie), but as a family movie it is much more challenging and sophisticated than the average animated family movie even though it is still a very family-friendly affair. Aside from the Prince and his Rose, there is no romantic angle to this film, there is certainly no riding off into the sunset, and there's an absolutely clever trick that the movie pulls off in its final act. Adults and children cried during the movie when I saw it in the theater, sometimes at the same moments, sometimes at different ones, and that tells me that it did its job well.







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"Re(4):Seen any good movies lately?" , posted Thu 30 Jun 00:50post reply

quote:

[baffair. Aside from the Prince and his Rose, there is no romantic angle to this film, there is certainly no riding off into the sunset, and there's an absolutely clever trick that the movie pulls off in its final act. Adults and children cried during the movie when I saw it in the theater, sometimes at the same moments, sometimes at differ

-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


Thanks for reminding me I have to watch this movie! Now I gotta find it here in the states.





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"Rent-A-Hero and other SEGA movies/shows" , posted Tue 12 Jul 05:34post reply

From Steve Pink, the writer of Grosse Point Blanke and the director of the Hot Tub Time Machine movies

This sure is out of left field.

There are other SEGA properties in the works

quote:
Stories International is currently producing multiple film, TV and digital projects based on Sega intellectual properties, including the beloved game franchises Shinobi with producer Marc Platt, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Virtua Fighter, The House of the Dead, Streets of Rage and Crazy Taxi. Their plan is to co-develop adaptations of these properties as English-language feature films, television and digital series for worldwide release.


Marc Platt was the producer for Scott Pilgrim and Drive.





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"Re(1):Rent-A-Hero and other SEGA movies/shows" , posted Tue 12 Jul 13:45post reply

quote:
From Steve Pink, the writer of Grosse Point Blanke and the director of the Hot Tub Time Machine movies

This sure is out of left field.

There are other SEGA properties in the works

Stories International is currently producing multiple film, TV and digital projects based on Sega intellectual properties, including the beloved game franchises Shinobi with producer Marc Platt, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Virtua Fighter, The House of the Dead, Streets of Rage and Crazy Taxi. Their plan is to co-develop adaptations of these properties as English-language feature films, television and digital series for worldwide release.

Marc Platt was the producer for Scott Pilgrim and Drive.



Holy crap. This might actually be a great movie! Gross Point Blank and High Fidelity were good from what I remember. And i LOVED the first Hot Tub Time Machine. I thought it was really underrated. In fact, I didn't even plan on seeing it, it just happened to be the third movie of the night when I went to a drive in years ago (they still exist!). Turned out to be the funniest new comedy of that year for me.

Craig Robinson really steals the show as he often does (also see This Is The End, Pineapple Express, East Bound and Down etc).

It would be really surprising and rad if Sega actually comes out with a series of good films. I hope this isn't some weird cash in for everyone involved and they actually put their best foot forward cos there are some really talented folks involved!






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"Re(1):Rent-A-Hero and other SEGA movies/shows" , posted Tue 12 Jul 16:32post reply

quote:

Stories International is currently producing multiple film, TV and digital projects based on Sega intellectual properties, including the beloved game franchises Shinobi with producer Marc Platt, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Virtua Fighter, The House of the Dead, Streets of Rage and Crazy Taxi. Their plan is to co-develop adaptations of these properties as English-language feature films, television and digital series for worldwide release.

Marc Platt was the producer for Scott Pilgrim and Drive.



...Virtua Fighter?? As a longtime fan of the game -I'd never dare to challenge a human opponent, but I actually pour some hours into single player modes and come back to the games from time to time- and the anime, I can't wait for whatever kind of production is being made. Really looking forward to all the rest as well.





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"Re(1):Rent-A-Hero and other SEGA movies/shows" , posted Tue 12 Jul 20:34post reply

quote:
From Steve Pink, the writer of Grosse Point Blanke and the director of the Hot Tub Time Machine movies

This sure is out of left field.

There are other SEGA properties in the works

Stories International is currently producing multiple film, TV and digital projects based on Sega intellectual properties, including the beloved game franchises Shinobi with producer Marc Platt, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Virtua Fighter, The House of the Dead, Streets of Rage and Crazy Taxi. Their plan is to co-develop adaptations of these properties as English-language feature films, television and digital series for worldwide release.

Marc Platt was the producer for Scott Pilgrim and Drive.



Get Hiroshi Fujioka to play a role in Rent A Hero and I'm sure to go see the movie.





...!!