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A few reviews
Facts don't have a bias.
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(09-02-2020, 10:52 PM)skyled Wrote: Breitbart, which I'm sure is your favorite site Gaith, did a little article on some inaccuracies on season 2 of Narcos: Mexico. The first 2 of the 5 that they go over are very different than what is on the show and pretty disturbing. It shows that these guys will absolutely get revenge and it'll be much worse than what they show on tv.

Well, no, not really, because the series did show those points, more or less. Wink


Shifting the murders of El Guero Palma to Félix Gallardo's orders doesn't really square with his character as the show otherwise presents it, but it is a fitting end to Walt's arc (for now, at least) that he doesn't end up having anything to do with the cause of Félix's ultimate downfall.
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(09-03-2020, 04:22 PM)skyled Wrote: Facts don't have a bias.

Rather than responding to that... could we just not post things from political outlets on here?  Not my thread, but does anyone else feel similarly?
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The link I posted was directly related to the show that Gaith was reviewing, and completely relevant. Just because it's from a news outlet that you hate doesn't mean they don't write articles that cover current events and pop culture, nor does it mean it's not factually correct.

My opinion was that relating to these incidents, Netflix took dramatic license when they definitely should not have, especially since the facts were known. The first season set up Felix as the underdog that you wanted to root for who morphed into a power-hungry monster. The second season had to give you somebody new to root for and since DEA Walt wasn't that compelling, they wanted you to root for the other cartel bosses.

When the one cartel boss's wife and kids are killed and his buddy is murdered and it's all linked back to blame on Felix, when in reality it wasn't is just making drama. When he gets revenge by quickly killing the guy with a baseball bat, you think it's a well deserved killing, but not overly brutal. It's trying to make these guys seem normal and sympathetic. The reality is that the guy took revenge by kidnapping, torturing, and dismembering the murderer and his sons, who weren't even involved. It's no longer a husband and father getting even, but one monstrous psychopath killing another monstrous psychopath. It makes them hard to root for, but maybe the viewer shouldn't be rooting for them in the first place?

I see it kind of like Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood: you don't like him in the beginning and by the end you hate him.
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(09-04-2020, 12:41 AM)skyled Wrote: When the one cartel boss's wife and kids are killed and his buddy is murdered and it's all linked back to blame on Felix, when in reality it wasn't is just making drama.

That's what series which dramatize history do, yes.


For dramatic purposes, the show needed some reason for Félix Gallardo's arrest, so they fudged history to assign him one. Showing Palma murdering Clavel's family would have distracted from the Gallardo/Breslin story at hand.
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The Exorcist III (1990)
This isn't quite up their with the first film but it's still good and successfully walks the line of feeling like a natural progression of the story (but skipping over the events of the hated 'Exorcist II: The Heretic'), a fitting sequel and very much doing it's own thing. You need to mentally squint a bit to get past the part about the three characters professing their life-long friendship for each other but actually having barely met (or never met, depending on which cut of the first film you saw). I don't mind a little "retconning" like that when it's needed to make the whole film work, plus these characters do belong to writer/director/author William Peter Blatty. Barry De Vorzon delivers an innovative music-less score, resorting to strange and unsettling synthesizer treated noises, it's very effective.  Blatty's direction is classy and methodical and his dialogue is pleasingly cynical, blackly comic and lyrical.  George C. Scott rants and raves like a lunatic, growling his way through the script in a wonderful way that suggests he's having a 2-hour heart attack.  Brad Dourif is mesmerizing as the possessed serial-killer antagonist. The last act's exorcism and the sudden appearance of the priest character who performs it feels every bit the studio mandated re-shoot that it was. On it's own, it's a pretty cool sequence with physics being upended via rotating sets, wincing gore FX and stunning portal-to-hell imagery. It's more 'Hellraiser' than 'Exorcist'.

There is an upload of the 35mm trailer on youtube... neat!





After watching the theatrical cut, I immediately changed discs and watched the reconstruction of Blatty's originally intended 'Legion' cut with an insight-packed commentary by critics Mark Kermode and Kim Newman over the top. Unfortunately the editors only managed to find a few scraps of actual 35mm film from this early version and mostly have to resort to blurry VHS tapes. In this version, there is no exorcism and Jason Miller (as Father Karras) doesn't appear. On the evidence here and for the most part, it might have been a slightly better version of the film but the ending is anti-climactic in comparison, so I can see why the studio wanted it re-shot. Also Miller's appearance in the TC adds some much needed emotion, heroism, closure and a stronger connection to the first film.



Death, Be Not Proud: The Making of 'The Exorcist III' (2016)
A feature-length documentary in 5-chapters about the making of 'The Exorcist III' included on the blu-ray. Unfortunately this doc came just a little too late to include the late Director William Peter Blatty. His thoughts and feelings on the different versions and visions of the film is what you really wanted to hear. Never the less, interviewees like actor Brad Dourif and composer Barry De Vorzon talk with passion about the project and I love hearing about all the dramas behind a troubled production.

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The Conversation. A great film often overlooked as it was Coppola’s film in between his two Godfather films. It works on so many levels: an espionage thriller, a psychological thriller, a character study, an examination of privacy in society coming on the heels of Watergate, an examination of perception and bias. For my money, this is Hackman’s best performance. He carries the film. His Harry Caul is simultaneously a legend in his field and also seemingly somewhat of a fraud and a loser. Technically the movie is incredible. The opening scene in Union Square is a marvel. The editing throughout by the legendary Walter Murch is basically a character in the film. My only gripe is the dream sequence. While I understand its purpose, I don’t feel it’s necessary and, for me, it disturbs the movie’s flow.

While it is nowhere near as great as The Conversation, I quite enjoyed Enemy of the State, which features Hackman playing his Harry Caul role in everything but name. I was thinking it’s time for another such unofficial sequel focusing on modern surveillance. Not just surveillance, but how social media et al is giving those who surveil the public windows into our blind spots and are able to successfully manipulate us by feeding us misinformation that conforms to the desired confirmation biases. Here’s hoping it would be as intelligent as The Conversation.
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True History of the Kelly Gang (2019)
Justin Kurzel directs an irreverent, punk spirited, deconstructed biopic of Aussie outlaw Ned Kelly. The conceit is that what we think we know is "history written by the victors" but Kelly actually wrote down his own "true" life story (addressed to his fictional daughter). This imagined version of Kelly orchestrates a revolutionary, cross-dressing cult, under the incestuous influence of his emotionally abusive and manipulative mother. There are many visually inventive and strangely beautiful sequences, like the "starlight" shoot-out, Nicholas Hoult delivering a monologue in nothing but sock suspenders and a pipe, and the long gliding opening (drone?) shot following Kelly's father (in a flowing red dress) galloping through a forest on a horse. Kurzel also takes the unusual decision to slowly and imperceptibly narrow the film's aspect-ratio across it's 2-hours from 1.85:1, to 2.35:1.  I think it's supposed to be symbolic of the inevitability Kelly is feeling.  George MacKay is sensational as always in the lead (Orlando Schwerdt also brilliantly plays a younger Kelly in the opening act) and 'The Babadook's Essie Davis is pretty terrifying as the mother.  A cantankerous Russell Crowe as older outlaw Harry Power is so good and not in the film for nearly long enough. If you're tired of the traditional biopic formula, this one might fit the bill.







Arrietty (2010)
Had I realised this was an Anime adaptation of 'The Borrowers', I'd have sought this Studio Ghibli film out much sooner. Apart from the lovely characters and gorgeous animation, much of the pleasure is derived from seeing the miniature improvisations that are dreamed up for Arrietty and her family. A tea caddy as a chest of drawers, a fishing hook as a grapple, earrings as climbing gear and one of those tiny fish-shaped sushi Soy bottles being used as a water flask was my favourite. I loved the attention to detail in how things behaved at scale, like with relative water tension, so one drop fills a miniature tea cup, or one big round tear running from Arrietty's eye. The score by French folk harpist Cecile Corbel is particularly beautiful.



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^ Well, that (Kelly Gang) sounds tortuous. Tongue




Ford v Ferrari (2019)

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(01-07-2020, 02:27 PM)TM2YC Wrote: Okay this is fully fueled with sports and race movie cliches but it's so damned entertaining.

I've got naught but contempt for the "sport" (nope) of car racing. That said, I do dig history/period flicks, and at least the cars in this movie look like cars, and not the gross F1 open cockpit or wavy-looking aerodynamic messes soaked in corporate branding seen since the 70s, as I glean from stills of Ron Howard's Rush. We're burning fossil fuels and cooking the planet for this? At least boxers only beat each others' brains into mush.

However, Christian Bale and Matt Damon are great here, and James Mangold gives Michael Bay a run for his money in terms of sunset shots per minute. Above all, I was pleasantly surprised that the movie is straightforward and unapologetic about its portrayal of pretty much everyone involved as self-serving pricks: Damon's character is a petty thief, a nuisance to public roads, and happy to win by flouting the gentlemanly conventions of the contest - and he's the likable one. As for the historical ending, which I didn't see coming... welp, as they say, you go to a Smash Mouth concert during a global pandemic, you get coronavirus, so don't look for sympathy here.

A highly enjoyable flick, and a worthy $4 used Redbox blu purchase.

Grade: B+
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Free Solo (2018)
This documentary about climber Alex Honnold's goal to "free solo" El Capitan (so no ropes and climbing gear... or Spock in rocket boots there to catch you Wink ) didn't quite live up to the hype for me.  The pacing was a bit off, slow in the middle and takes too long to get to the actual climb and then rushes right through it. I'd almost have preferred to watch the 4-hour climb in real time, instead of the exhilarating but short 7-minute highlights reel.  Honnold's complex personality and chosen way of life is fascinating but the film didn't dig enough to get answers.  Is he the way he is because he free solos, or does he free solo because of the way he is? The choice to document the difficulties of documenting his endeavour was a wise one but again it didn't go into enough technical detail for me. Still, despite some nitpicks this is often edge-of-the-seat viewing.



Thankfully, there are some youtube videos to be found that cover some of the making-of details that I thought were glossed over:



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