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A few reviews
Passengers (2016)
Ship malfunctions lead to a few hibernating passengers on a colony spaceship waking up so early that they will die before they reach their destination. It's plagued with plot contrivances, questionable design choices and hazy logic but those devices are there to setup some pretty interesting existential and moral character studies. The corporate (mis)management of the ship's functions felt very Doctor Who. The "male gaze" of Director Morten Tyldum is constant in this thing as he ogles Jennifer Lawrence. I think what brings this to the forefront is him leaving the ogle-worthy Chris Pratt virtually un-ogled. Overall it's less offensive and stupid than his previous film 'The Imitation Game', so that's a bonus.

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^ But surely the male gaze is the point? The only reason Lawrence's character is part of the story is because Pratt's finds her ogle-worthy enough to awaken in the first place, and the film, like it or not, is very much told from his perspective. It's a story-appropriate use of the male gaze, unlike Zack Snyder's gratuitous ogling of Diana's rear end in Justice League, which served no narrative or thematic purpose.
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(11-16-2019, 02:08 PM)Gaith Wrote: ^ But surely the male gaze is the point? The only reason Lawrence's character is part of the story is because Pratt's finds her ogle-worthy enough to awaken in the first place, and the film, like it or not, is very much told from his perspective. It's a story-appropriate use of the male gaze, unlike Zack Snyder's gratuitous ogling of Diana's rear end in Justice League, which served no narrative or thematic purpose.

That is sometimes true and perhaps sometimes the intention when the camera is positioned from Pratt's perspective (e.g. when he is watching her swimming) but often it's from the voyeuristic angle of nobody else but the Director and the audience. See this clip:



e.g the first bit. Lawrence is stripping? Well obviously we need to cover that in a wide from behind her. Now it's Pratt's turn to strip? Well, we can just move in for a tight closeup for that because nobody in the audience is gonna want to see his chest muscles Big Grin . Or her climbing on the table in the other bit. Was positioning the camera so her bum fills 50% of the frame the best way to shoot that scene? Wink  That's just the vibe I got.
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(11-16-2019, 02:41 PM)TM2YC Wrote: That is sometimes true and perhaps sometimes the intention when the camera is positioned from Pratt's perspective (e.g. when he is watching her swimming) but often it's from the voyeuristic angle of nobody else but the Director and the audience.

The direction could definitely have chosen to view the whole story from a detached and clinical perspective - a "look what villainy madness drove this guy to do," instead of the subjective perspective it did go with, which was "empathize with the desperate act madness drove our hero to do!" Both approaches would have been entirely valid, but the director chose the one, and I respect that.

 
(11-16-2019, 02:41 PM)TM2YC Wrote: Or her climbing on the table in the other bit. Was positioning the camera so her bum fills 50% of the frame the best way to shoot that scene? Wink

I'd argue yes. The director/camera is looking to give us the same thrill Pratt's character is experiencing, to make us continue empathizing with him. (Same for the wide shot of her stripping.) Her climbing on the table is the character intending to be sexy - how else should it be filmed? From her POV? I don't think that'd make any sense, because in the moment, she's trying to give him a thrill, not herself. And to shoot it from his POV would necessitate her looking right into the camera, which would be distracting and off-putting. So, yeah, I say those shots were correct.

I think the controversy over the movie was silly and overblown, but it's not a feminist movie. And I sympathize with those who wish the whole story and direction had been told from Aurora's POV, and acknowledge that it's fair to critique a Hollywood system in which such a movie probably wouldn't be made in the first place, but I don't think it's an artistic failing of the movie for not being a fundamentally different version of itself. My two cents. Wink
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(11-16-2019, 03:31 PM)Gaith Wrote: The director/camera is looking to give us the same thrill Pratt's character is experiencing

Yes that's the point I was originally making.
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(11-16-2019, 09:10 AM)TM2YC Wrote: Overall it's less offensive and stupid than his previous film 'The Imitation Game', so that's a bonus.

Wow, really? I haven't seen either of his films but I've never heard anything that negative about The Imitation Game. Wasn't it universally praised by audiences and critics alike?
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Saw II (2005)

I was really impressed by the first Saw, but something about the sequels always warned me off.  Well, I finally got around to watching this and I’ve got to say it’s very skippable.  The first red flag was 10 minutes in when the detective realized the name of the metalworks manufacturer was right on the side of the first deathtrap… so they bust through that door with a SWAT team.  That’s how police respond to clues?  Now I know where our tax dollars are going.

A lot of the enjoyment in the first film came from trying to figure out what was going on, and watching the protagonists try to work out the clues.  They basically seemed like good, normal people in a horrible conundrum.  But here, I didn’t like any of them at all except Jonas.  I didn’t really have any empathy for them, since they're just treated as meatbags, not real people with depth.  We do learn a little about Det. Mathews, but even so, none of these characters really show admirable qualities that make you root for them.  The most likable person in the story is Jigsaw!  At least he shows some style and cleverness.  Although, honestly, the house setting plays out pretty boringly, and the “traps” are pretty mundane.  

Now that The Walking Dead is out and there’s decent horror on TV every week, this kind of story just doesn’t hold up.  On TWD, you really see the limits pushed for what people have to go through to survive.  Their wills are tested, and their personal stories are compelling.  I got none of that from Saw II.  There are some good ideas in the script, but the execution of them just did nothing for me.

Took a break from scary movies to celebrate All Saint's Day (Nov. 1st) with
Joan of Arc (1948)

The above video actually is some pretty cool behind-the-scenes stuff.  Man, people burn this story again and again, but it just never dies.  Look how many of these things there are: [font=Calibri][size=medium][font=SimSun]https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?keywords=joan-of-arc[/font][/size][/font]
This was the last directorial effort of Victor Fleming, who had done Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.  I didn't realize but apparently it was a huge flop, which really disappointed him.  Audiences stayed away from the film when Ingrid Bergman's affair with director Roberto Rossellini was revealed while the movie was in release, because they considered it blasphemous for an adulterous woman to be playing a saint.  Bergman is very pretty, of course, but she looked far too old for the part!  What had worked on stage was more obvious on film, where it's clear she was 33 playing 19.  Well, okay, she could've passed for late 20s, but still.
This is one of those old movies that drives me crazy... everyone is French, but of course they're not going to cast all French-speaking actors.  But they make zero attempt to reduce the broad American accents of the French townspeople.  Then a lot of the royalty has these posh British accents.  I can only imagine how a French person at the time would've felt seeing one of their great national stories this way.   The film leans hard on the drama (too hard in the end) but does have one great battle scene....until the point when Joan realizes her army is retreating and (injured) charges forward to rally them again...it's so successful that Joan rallies an injured horse to get up and fight! Rolleyes

Although the film was not really a commercial success upon release, it was partly due to RKO's poor publicity campaign (which producer Walter Wanger blamed on then-RKO president Howard Hughes).  It did get 7 Academy Award nominations, and was a pretty big spectacle of a film.  However due to its initial poor performance, Hughes' studio cut 45 minutes from the film and re-released it, to no avail, which was the default version until 1998.  I watched the full 2 1/2 hour version, in which the Christian proselytizing is quite strong, and the drama and debate over Joan's holiness really takes center stage ... it gets quite tiresome in the dragged-out final act.  It also leans rather heavily on apocryphal stories, but not in the most fun way.  It's a mixed bag, and I still greatly prefer The Messenger, but it was really unfairly maligned.  Worth a watch for fans of that period's films.
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[+] 1 user Likes mnkykungfu's post
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(11-16-2019, 06:45 PM)Masirimso17 Wrote:
(11-16-2019, 09:10 AM)TM2YC Wrote: Overall it's less offensive and stupid than his previous film 'The Imitation Game', so that's a bonus.

Wow, really? I haven't seen either of his films but I've never heard anything that negative about The Imitation Game. Wasn't it universally praised by audiences and critics alike?

Don't get me started Big Grin . I posted my thoughts a few years ago, although on reflection I was far too kind Wink : https://forums.fanedit.org/showthread.php?tid=2851&pid=238764#pid238764

Also: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/no...el-history
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Try watching Saw 3. If you don't like that, then don't bother with the rest. It's been a while since I've seen any of them, but I remember preferring 3 to 2, and in general remember it being one of the best.
Mega Man is best game. 
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(11-16-2019, 06:45 PM)Masirimso17 Wrote: Wow, really? I haven't seen either of his films but I've never heard anything that negative about The Imitation Game. Wasn't it universally praised by audiences and critics alike?

Verily, The Imitation Game is a horrible fiasco of terrible awfulness. If you want a good movie about Bletchley Park, check out the far superior fictional thriller Enigma.
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