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Nick



Joined: 10 Jul 2007

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:03 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

zelilgirlI1ncenu wrote:
alan wrote:
Rented three films at the weekend, on Saturday night we had a bit of a contrast with 'The Good Shepherd' followed by Apocalypto - one film where very little happens very slowly followed by a total visual and visceral assualt on the senses! Apocalypto was the hands down winner though!.


Watched it last night, Alan. Have you got more thoughts on it? Your description fits my first impressions. I am trying to put my head around Mel Gibson. Ther is a total split, in my head, between what he looks like, what he says and what he does. I feel watching Apocalypto maybe key to understanding what he is trying to achieve, I'll get back to it, as I think it is necessary compare The Passion of Christ and Apocalypto.


If the Passion Of Christ had been released on these shores as an Italian giallo highbrow critics would have been pissing themselves over how good it was.
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Chris D.



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:17 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Eli Roth should've directed it.
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Evenreven



Joined: 10 Jul 2007

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Location: Fogtown, Northern Europe

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:22 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Nick wrote:
if I want to hear old cantankerous weasels whine about their record collection or the sales tax at the supermarket checkout I'll peek in here.


Laughing Laughing

Ouch.

Great post as always, Nick (not just the quoted part). Nice to see someone defending The Incredibles from that point of view. I'm not sure what I think myself, but you gave me some nice food for thought.

Loved your posts too, Chris.
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Nick



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 7:50 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Thanks Even!

Chris/Roth--I've been meaning to see both Hostels since reading your essay on the dead board--they sound excellent. I wasn't about to enter into that fray though, my god, sorry.
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Chris D.



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:13 am    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Ichi the Killer.
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

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Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 12:14 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Chris D. wrote:
Eli Roth should've directed it.


Funny that you said that because, I was thinking about it this very morning, thinking about the theme of fear and how it is treated in the cinema. So in fact the films that came into mind were : The Passion, Apocalypto, Columbine, Hostel and the Devils' Backbone. And I want to link these up into an argument but I am afraid that porridge awaits I am starving.
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:09 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

As usual my ideas are fuzzy rather than clear so I hope you'll see that there is thread in what I would like to say.

FEAR

I realise that the films and film makers I mentioned above are interested in the effect fear has on human kind. This might be the link I see between them.

I think Michael's Moore's analysis of society relies on an analysis of fear and its societal effects, documentray style. How in order to rule, man has to impose fear.

The premise of Apocalypto lies on the destruction of a society because fear, like a disease, spreads to a civilisation. This film is highly symbolic and very pessimistic in its outlook. And Mel Gibson, although not dealing in the horror genre, does resort to many of the gore graphic images displayed in gore movies, in order to show the level of violence mankind is able to impose on itself. The image of Christ he creates in the Passion is a highly human one, one who is faced with fear "Father take away the cup, etc.."

Roth's Hostel has to be over the top to show the extent to which power and fear can be imposed gratuitously, to the point of losing their meaning for those who use it.

In the case of The Devil's Backbone, the horror and historical genres are mixed to show how some political circumstances, oppressive ones, in this case the rise of Franco in Spain, lead a group of people to let fear get a hold on them and be deluded by their imagination and be caught in a cryonic turpor. This phenomenon is well recognized in for example the huge psychosis that affected pre Revolution France, and the period of the Great Fear, where the whole of a country became "frozen" by fear.

Anyway my two cents.
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Primey Prime



Joined: 28 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:14 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Saw Transformers. I’ll preface this by saying that I wasn’t expecting too much from it, just to be entertained by a loud, exciting summer blockbuster. I’m no purist. Changes in design don’t bother me. I’m not a ‘this film rapes my childhood’ kinda guy. Progress in a franchise, especially one going from animation to live action is fine, and I thought that was done extremely well. The robots were terrific. I also didn’t care that it was a family(ish) film. I didn’t need it to be dark and terrifying or anything, so I approached it pretty objectively.

The problem with it was Michael Bay’s totally inept filmmaking abilities. I hadn't seen any of his films before. It built up well enough. There was plenty of fun, formulaic humour and interaction with the autobots where you could see them all clearly. But the ending (a big fight in a city) was an utter mess. What a flub. The camera was never filming what it should have. If it went near anything good, it was dashing about so frenetically that you didn’t get a sense of anything, leaving the action uninvolving. He never held a shot longer than a fraction of a second, which would have helped it a great deal, and there were hardly any wide shots. Everything’s up close, going for that shaky effect, presumably to make you feel like you’re there, in the action, panicking. But it’s just crap, really, if it’s not done well.

Prime and Megatron are ready to fight. “One shall stand, one shall fall”. It could have been iconic. But as they start, we’re taken down the road where another decepticon is creeping up and we have the army guy’s point of view tracking him with a gun. There are glimpses of the two leaders fighting here and there, which should have been the focus, but no, that was it.

What it could have done at that point is what the Star Wars films do so well, that is have around three battles occurring at once, flitting between scenes, and they all tie up together. But this was just one big fight in a city centre and in itself could have been filmed so much more effectively.

Characterisation – Shia LaBoeuf was fine. I found him watchable. Megan Fox was a fox. Not sure she was really acting in any meaningful sense of the word though. Her point was to kind of be there and ‘act’ like an FHM model might in a video shoot. But the humans were fine, really. The script was terrible anyway. Problem is the robots, generally, were little more than props. There was a fight between Optimus Prime and Bonecrusher, for instance. Now, Bonecrusher is a character in the film. He’s been designed, he transforms, you can go and buy a toy of him for 25 quid. But having watched the film, I have little idea what he looks like. I can’t picture his face or physique in any detail in my mind. The only robots you got to know at all (and not much) were Prime and Bumblebee (who was mostly mute).

The autobot, Jazz, dies, ripped apart by Megatron. I knew about that because I had read it somewhere, so I expected it. My girlfriend, and I presume other filmgoers too, didn’t actually realise anything had happened, so fast was the wash of metal and the camera just never being anywhere near the right place to be effective. Besides, you didn’t get to know him in any way, just like the rest of them, so there was really no reason to care.

Other than that, sometimes it seemed like a big military porno shoot. Guys climbing into helicopters in slow motion. Big machines, big guns, big men, Bay salivating. It was car porno too. I only realised that later. The next day I went for a walk and perved slightly over nice cars rolling smoothly by. Phwooar. Vroom. I then realised the weirdness of me doing that, considering I’m really not a motor person and have never looked at a car in any other way than something to get you from A to B.

Now, concerning women and their breasts. I gather this is an important part of Bay’s artistic vision. There was one scene in the big fight in the city, where it suddenly fixated on a kneeling woman in a blue dress (from out of nowhere) with gloriously tanned, lads-mag breasts. The camera then moves around the breasts to show Megatron coming along and stepping over her while she screams. Even as a guy, you just think ‘what?’ at the complete gratuitousness of it. It wasn’t subtle, like ‘hey, let’s sneak a nice pair into the shot while Megatron’s doing his thing’. It shoved them in your face, made them the main attraction and made sure you knew what the shot was about. And it’s the gratuitousness, the complete lack of shame of what it was doing, that made it seem so distasteful.

So, ultimately, I came away disappointed, and thinking Michael Bay is a complete and utter prick. What a weird man. And such a shame that he had to balls up the TF franchise with his personality and crap filmmaking abilities. As I said, I’m not a TF purist. I only expected to be entertained, but it was just badly done. It was certainly not a patch on the 1986 cartoon movie. We had to watch bits of that the next morning, just to cheer us up, to make us feel cleansed.
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IanWagner



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Quote:
Now, concerning women and their breasts. I gather this is an important part of Bay’s artistic vision. There was one scene in the big fight in the city, where it suddenly fixated on a kneeling woman in a blue dress (from out of nowhere) with gloriously tanned, lads-mag breasts. The camera then moves around the breasts to show Megatron coming along and stepping over her while she screams. Even as a guy, you just think ‘what?’ at the complete gratuitousness of it. It wasn’t subtle, like ‘hey, let’s sneak a nice pair into the shot while Megatron’s doing his thing’. It shoved them in your face, made them the main attraction and made sure you knew what the shot was about. And it’s the gratuitousness, the complete lack of shame of what it was doing, that made it seem so distasteful.



You may want to skip any films directed by Russ Meyer.
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:47 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

IanWagner wrote:
Quote:
Now, concerning women and their breasts. I gather this is an important part of Bay’s artistic vision. There was one scene in the big fight in the city, where it suddenly fixated on a kneeling woman in a blue dress (from out of nowhere) with gloriously tanned, lads-mag breasts. The camera then moves around the breasts to show Megatron coming along and stepping over her while she screams. Even as a guy, you just think ‘what?’ at the complete gratuitousness of it. It wasn’t subtle, like ‘hey, let’s sneak a nice pair into the shot while Megatron’s doing his thing’. It shoved them in your face, made them the main attraction and made sure you knew what the shot was about. And it’s the gratuitousness, the complete lack of shame of what it was doing, that made it seem so distasteful.



You may want to skip any films directed by Russ Meyer.


Nein, Das ist verboten! Wink
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alan



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 323
Location: London

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 5:14 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

I haven't watched Passion of the Christ all the way through - I kept catching bits of it on Sky but never felt like sitting down to watch the whole thing through as I'm not that interested in the subject, and since Life Of Brian its hard to see anything like that and not compare them Laughing but I think i did see the last half hour which was pretty gory, but then crucifiction wasn't much fun for anyone really was it, even if you knew the pain was just temporary and you were heading somewhere better!

On the basis of his three films so far, Gibson certainly likes a more realistic view of death and suffering. Braveheart may be compete bollocks as history but it has some breathtaking and groundbreaking battle scenes that redefined what you could show on screen. Medieval battles must have been hideous affairs and they were brilliantly realised. The rest of Braveheart I find hard to watch now - the accents are all abysmal - his being the worst Brit since Dick Van Dyke - the history is all up the creek and though I don't mind being on the side of the 'bad guys', it makes it hard to get behind the 'heroes' when they are pillaging and burning towns in my country! To be fair most of the Scots involved other than Wallace don't come off too well either though.

Apocalypto is not one of those films I thinks needs any great polemic about its merits or otherwise - it was just a visually ravishing feast of South American scenery and savagery, showing us a world that has had very little screen time - I would love to see something on the Spanish conquest for instance that was as well made.

Fascinating depiction of body adornment and human decoration as well. Every scene had lots of great images. Might even buy it one day!
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

I find it very interesting when people fudge categories. Mel Gibson may be categorized as an ultra right winger, and his historical facts not that accurate, but I dont think this is the point. What I really liked in Apocalypto is the way, after "fear" had entered their village, the ancients told the story of the realtionships between men and animals, and how that story got to be enacted in the plot that ensued. Symbolism is very high in this movie. I think there is a superficial aspect to it as well, the one about how man destroys nature, which to me is an easy point. I prefer to look at the way the personal struggle is treated, and how in the end, we know that the personal victory is useless for society in the face of collective oppression. But the point I am making here is a political one, and if I think that the real forces of terror lie in state organizations, I am also aware that many would not share my point of view.
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Bubba Ho-Tep



Joined: 29 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 5:48 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

I saw the Simpsons movie. Wasn't expecting much, as the show hasn't been all that great for several years, but I was aching to see a movie. It was pretty entertaining, but nothing special. Could have been shown on tv as a 2-parter. It was good fun, though.
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zelilgirlI1ncenu



Joined: 27 Jun 2007

Posts: 265
Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 5:51 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

Bubba Ho-Tep wrote:
I saw the Simpsons movie. Wasn't expecting much, as the show hasn't been all that great for several years, but I was aching to see a movie. It was pretty entertaining, but nothing special. Could have been shown on tv as a 2-parter. It was good fun, though.


Taking the kids to see it tonight.
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Primey Prime



Joined: 28 Jun 2007

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:33 pm    Post subject: If a post contains some illegal issues you may abuse on it - just click Abuse and fill the form Reply with quote

IanWagner wrote:
Quote:
Now, concerning women and their breasts. I gather this is an important part of Bay’s artistic vision. There was one scene in the big fight in the city, where it suddenly fixated on a kneeling woman in a blue dress (from out of nowhere) with gloriously tanned, lads-mag breasts. The camera then moves around the breasts to show Megatron coming along and stepping over her while she screams. Even as a guy, you just think ‘what?’ at the complete gratuitousness of it. It wasn’t subtle, like ‘hey, let’s sneak a nice pair into the shot while Megatron’s doing his thing’. It shoved them in your face, made them the main attraction and made sure you knew what the shot was about. And it’s the gratuitousness, the complete lack of shame of what it was doing, that made it seem so distasteful.



You may want to skip any films directed by Russ Meyer.



I've seen, and like, his films. I thought there was a humour to them, a tongue-in-cheekness, that was lacking in Transformers (despite the mass of pandering pop culture references - ebay etc). It didn't really seem done in the same spirit. With Meyer, you're in on it, the style's understandable. Maybe I'm misinterpreting and Bay has Meyer as an influence. If so, all apologies to Bay. But his love/lasciviousness for the other factors (cars, the US military) seemed unironic enough to me.

Reading my paragraph back, I guess I sound pretty prudish. I'm not. I just thought the film was knobby and it didn't work in its favour.
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