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A few reviews

TM2YC

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Gaith said:
Sadly, the 4K cultists at bluray.com seem to have wholeheartedly bought in to all this:

It is astonishing that it could get 5/5 for the video with those screenshots. Screenshots 10 (Neo in boss' office) and 16 (girl in red dress) are fully blue, shouldn't scenes in the Matrix be green? bluray.com reviewers never do judge a transfer for being faithful, or not faithful but it just looks plain bad never mind accurate.

Come Drink with Me (1966)
The English title 'Come Drink with Me' did not lead me to expect this full-on Genre-defining Kung Fu action film from Director King Hu. From what I can work out, the three word Mandarin title 'Da Zui Xia' is more accurately translated as something like 'Big Drunken Hero'. A girl known as "Golden Swallow" (Cheng Pei-pei) is an impetuous but deadly martial artist who sets out to rescue her helpless brother from an evil bandit gang. Along the way she is aided by an amiable drunken beggar, who actually turns out to be a secret Kung Fu master (It's got a Yoda/Luke vibe). A much older Cheng will be familiar to most people as 'Jade Fox' from 'Crouching Tiger, Hiden Dragon'. 'Come Drink with Me' is an influence on that film stylistically but it also shares one or two basic plot elements. I watched with the excellent original Mandarin audio, despite the temptation of the hilariously bad English dub.


A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Director Richard Lester takes what could have been a cheap promo exercise for a pop group and makes it into real art. From the very first shot it announces it's intent. Without any preceding titles, it hard cuts to The Beatles already running towards camera, timed with the opening clang of the 'A Hard Day's Night' song. George trips over, the rest of the group laugh but the film keeps going. We're watching what would usually be an outtake, so we know we are in for anarchic Documentary-style fun. The simple story rotates around The Beatles' management trying to keep them on schedule for a TV appearance. The fab-four rebel against them and cause as much mayhem as possible but of course they are showbiz professionals at heart, so they turn up at the last possible second to do the gig. The constant banter and antics from the lads rewards repeat viewings.


One of the best elements is John Jympson's inventive editing (he was the guy who later cut the workprint of Star Wars), ending a scene unexpectedly, or extending another by a couple of surprising shots. After seeing the film many times, my one gripe would be the somewhat anti-climactic ending. A safe, rehearsed and mimed TV performance doesn't cut it after all the fun and chaos, we should have been shown a raucous live performance from the boys. Having seen the recent 4K Restoration of the Shea Stadium concert, I can testify to The Beatles being a great live band.

 

TM2YC

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Mo' Better Blues (1990)
Denzel Washington stars as a trumpet player and band leader juggling loyalty to his friends, his career, money, band tensions and relationships with two women. Why oh why, when he's got access to acting talent of the caliber of Denzel, plus Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito and Samuel L. Jackson does Director Spike Lee still insist on casting himself in a central role, when he is a terrible, terrible actor. His character is vital to this story and his inability to convey any emotion drags the film down from the heights it should have reached. Ernest Dickerson's colour drenched Cinematography is gorgeous, the scene where an angry Denzel is playing the trumpet lit with a hellish red glow is so powerful. Terence Blanchard and Bill Lee's Jazz music is note perfect. Ending with a fast-forward montage through the rest of the main character's life was a nice touch that I've never seen done before in that way. A frustratingly imperfect film.


I found the stereotypical performances by Italian-American John Turturro and his brother as the Jazz club's two money grabbing Jewish owners to be uncomfortable. I was not at all surprised to read that the Anti Defamation League (ADL) had criticized Spike Lee at the time.

The Gang Starr song about the history of Jazz over the credits is so good (I'll have to check out the Soundtrack):

 

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Crimes of Passion (1984)
This was one of Director Ken Russell's later films, it only has 36% on RT and some poor reviews, so I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. Kathleen Turner bares all to play a respectable fashion designer by day and prostitute by night, specializing in theatrical fantasy. Anthony Perkins is once again terrifying as the perverted and insane 'Reverend' intent on "saving" Turner's character (there are hints of Travis Bickle, turned up to 11). John Laughlin also stars as decent family man in a sexless marriage who is attracted to Turner. The spectacular Argento-esque neon visuals by Cinematographer Dick Bush are great to look at (no really, that's his name :D ). Apparently Russell had a hell of a fight getting any cut past the censors, it's easy to see why because 'Crimes of Passion' is not a film for the easily offended... or even the hard to offend but underneath the shock and awe it's a solid and serious examination of the psyches of the three main characters.

I watched the Arrow Video reconstruction of the Laserdisc 'Director's Cut'. The 5-minutes of Laserdisc material is the best upscaling job I could ever imagine seeing, cutting almost invisibly with the rest of the razor sharp 2K scanned 1080p Interpositive material. Prog-Rocker and semi-pro raconteur Rick Wakeman provides the score based on motifs from Dvorak's 'New World Symphony' and I very much enjoyed his interview on the bonus features.

Censored but still NSFW trailer:

 

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Bullet in the Head (1990)
Director John Woo originally wrote 'Bullet in the Head' as a Vietnam-set prequel to 'A Better Tomorrow' but he fell out with Producer Tsui Hark, so Woo's script was re-tooled and Hark went off and made his own prequel. Four Hong Kong gang members and childhood friends seek their fortunes in war ravaged Vietnam but the horrors they witness tear them apart.  Michael Cimino's 'The Deer Hunter' is unmistakably the inspiration for this film, except Woo uses the political turmoil of the 1960s to unpack his anger about the then very recent Tiananmen Square Massacre. I found the juxtaposition of intentionally shocking realistic violence, with the usual OTT brand of fun Hong Kong action violence to be an awkward one at times. Blood squibs explode everywhere and everything else just explodes in a never ending gun battle.


This fan on youtube recently edited together a killcount/supercut for just the four main characters (NSFW obviously):


(Spoilers, it's 177 total)
 

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The Weight of Water (2000)
'The Weight of Water' is by some distance the weakest entry in Kathryn Bigelow's otherwise excellent filmography, the saxophone score and lacklustre lighting reminiscent of a softcore TV movie. A dramatisation of a real-life 1873 murder case is almost randomly intercut with a modern magazine journalist investigating the same slayings. The device just doesn't work and it's not helped by the fact the 19th century half starring Sarah Polley (who is brilliant) is much more interesting than the four present-day pretentious rich characters on their luxury yacht who keep interrupting her, moaning on about their problems. Sean Penn's performance suggests he was under heavy sedation but to be fair, that's party down to the dreary character he's playing.

 

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She's Out of My League (2010)

shesoutofmyleague-01.jpg


Yes, she (Alice Eve) is out of his (Man Seeking Woman's Jay Baruchel) league - not on looks, necessarily (people are people), but certainly on personality and accomplishment. Indeed, that's where much of the rom-com's humor lies; the guy is likable and amusing, but the woman clearly deserves better. Instead of acknowledging this and charting a daring ending, however, the standard rom-com formula is adhered to, and there's an unfortunate dash of misogyny in the third act, which is nonetheless a huge step up from the rancid flood of the same in the similarly themed Knocked Up. After watching this, I was surprised to learn it was a 2010 release; the humor and tone (not to mention flip phones, and only a passing mention of Facebook) felt much more 2005.

Overall, the film far exceeded Dr. Kermode's six-laugh test. A classic it ain't, but, if one's in the mood for a rom-com geared to unremarkable dudes, and doesn't mind a prominent role from T.J. Miller, it's a pleasant watch. B-
 

TM2YC

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^ Didn't 'Knocked Up' use your "A rancid flood of misogyny" quote on the poster? :D

MidSommar (2019)
I have an aversion to modern Horror films but since 'MidSommar' stars Florence Pugh and she's one of the best actors around, I gave it a go. I'm glad I did because this was like Stanley Kubrick does 'The Wicker Man' and not a jump-scare to be found. Pugh plays an emotionally vulnerable woman who accompanies her unsupportive boyfriend and his obnoxious dude-bro friends on a trip to a Swedish pagan festival. Director Ari Aster distorts parts of the image, plays with focus, changes in contrast, uses Kubrickian symmetrical framing and subtle shifts in frame-rate (I think), all to keep you unsettled without always being able to explain why. I'm not sure the slow pace and reliance on disturbing, rather than spooky Horror will work for mainstream shock fans but it certainly worked for me.

Mild spoiler section:

The only problem is that it hits that Wicker Man "Oh Jesus Christ!" type crescendo about two thirds in when the story has run out steam and we, like the characters are just in for the ride. The Director described it as "a breakup movie dressed in the clothes of a folk horror film" and when you look back on it, that makes a lot of sense thematically. I think 'MidSommar' will reward repeat viewings to pick up on more of the symbolism and foreshadowing.


Jaws (1975)
I got a chance to see a really nice looking 4K transfer on the big screen today. I've watched 'Jaws' so many times, it's so adsorbing and it's so ingrained into the culture that it's difficult to make any critical appraisal beyond "it's damned near perfect". The pacing is what really impressed me this time, I was surprised that the entire Amityville section was only half the film (the rest being the hunt for the shark) yet it never feels rushed. John Williams' main theme is of course famous but the hero theme has such a sense of adventure and freedom. Yes, that scene where the head pops out still has the power to make an audience shriek and jump out of their seats.

 

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The official 16th best British film of all time...

Get Carter (1971)
It's taken me far too long to get around to seeing this iconic British Gangster movie. Although the plotting is dense, the premise is simple. Michael Caine plays our eponymous anti-hero Jack Carter, a London mobster who travels back to his roots in North-East England to investigate the suspicious death of his brother, kicking down doors in the Newcastle underworld until he gets answers. The real violence doesn't start until way into the picture but Caine radiates the threat of it with every muscle, like he could explode at any second. When the mystery unravels and the killing begins, his acts of vengeance are so cold and brutal that it still shocks nearly 50 years later. The last act is increasingly bleak and nihilistic and the monochrome end credits feature just the howl of the wind in the void. Roy Budd's Jazz score is super stylish and you'll probably have heard it before.


Is this the greatest trailer ever or what!!! (some NSFW content)


By the way, I couldn't believe the scene that is shot around the Blackhall Colliery and it's massive concrete conveyor system for continuously dumping bins of coal waste by-products directly into the ocean. We don't do enough to protect the planet now but in 1971 we really did have an attitude of "f*ck the environment" :D .

seacoal_fig10_825x1200.jpg
 

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Sleeping with Other People (2015) (currently on US Netflix)

Movies-Sleepingwithotherpeople.jpg


The heck? 64 is way too low of a Metacritic score for this hilarious gem of a modern rom-com - an especially tricky genre in these days without societal taboos, and with omnipresent communication/connectivity. If not for the fact that Sudeikis' character is improbably conveniently wealthy, and the slight demerit that the movie bows to genre formula in that each of the protagonists only seems to have one friend, I'd be tempted to call this a strong contender for rom-com of the decade. And maybe it is, though Obvious Child has a tad more bite, as I recall. Anyhow, definitely worth a watch with your significant other... or your friend-who-you-just-might-wish-were-more?  :p A-
 

TM2YC

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Jungle Fever (1991)
Again Director Spike Lee casts himself in his 5th film but thankfully it's just in a minor role this time. Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra are fantastic as the interracial couple at the center of the film but they are out-shined by John Turturro, as a meek, thoughtful Italian guy who works in a corner store but his subplot is annoying not properly resolved. The first half is on a par with 'Do the Right Thing' but then Lee seems to get bored and meanders of into a subplot about a crack addict (Samuel L. Jackson) that is only tangentially related to the main characters and has no bearing on the interracial theme of the piece. It's very powerfully acted by Jackson but I don't know why it's a part of this movie, it could be trimmed right out with no narrative effect. We randomly end with a fast zoom in on Snipes face shouting "No!" because I guess Lee didn't know how to end the story. Another frustratingly inconsistent Spike Lee film. As always, Ernest Dickerson's golden Cinematography and Terence Blanchard's Jazz score are gorgeous.


Idiocracy (2006)
I'd heard this was kinda ahead of it's time, pre-satirising the inanity of recent years by imagining an America 500 years into the future, where the people have devolved into idiots barely able to function. It's too surface level and the premise doesn't hold together, there are far too few really clever dystopian concepts and far, far too much of the idiots just snickering and saying "f*g" and "ret***ed". The premise doesn't stand up to any scrutiny, for example the people are shown plugged into mind-numbing hi-tech entertainment equipment but also shown to be so stupid that they could never have designed, maintained, or operated any of the same devices. The only idea that really gelled was them watering their dying crops with Gatorade because commercials have told them to. Still, I chuckled all the way through the tight 84-minute run time and the FX are a curious mix of CGI, traditional mattes and hand animation.

This military briefing scene from the prologue really had me laughing out loud:

 

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TM2YC said:
Idiocracy (2006)
... the people are shown plugged into mind-numbing hi-tech entertainment equipment but also shown to be so stupid that they could never have designed, maintained, or operated any of the same devices.

I mostly agree, but I think the idea here was that the tech was pretty old by the time the main character arrives, and the design and creation was all done by a previous generation. The interfaces are so user friendly that any idiot could operate the tech, but nobody was left who might know how to invent or fix any of the stuff.
 

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addiesin said:
TM2YC said:
Idiocracy (2006)
... the people are shown plugged into mind-numbing hi-tech entertainment equipment but also shown to be so stupid that they could never have designed, maintained, or operated any of the same devices.

I mostly agree, but I think the idea here was that the tech was pretty old by the time the main character arrives, and the design and creation was all done by a previous generation. The interfaces are so user friendly that any idiot could operate the tech, but nobody was left who might know how to invent or fix any of the stuff.

Yeah, I got that bit of exposition but it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. You get the impression that mankind has been brain dead for perhaps centuries, decades at the very least by which time all the tech would've stopped functioning. A good work around would have been if we were told man had invented self-repairing tech, or robots who did the repairs and they just quietly went about their jobs fixing everything, while humans atrophied, unable to remember how they created it all. We're already nudging that stage with today's computer algorithms, performing computations so complex, that humans are incapable of verifying their conclusions. By the way, even a TV show that's just about a guy being kicked in the balls takes a large amount of creativity, intelligence, technical knowledge and planning to execute. But I was laughing throughout, so I kinda forgave those problems but they are still there... and it raised some interesting questions, I'll give it that.

The Boy Friend (1971)
Director Ken Russell indulges (and over-indulges) his theatrical tendencies in this 1920s period Musical, set entirely within an English Musichall (Vaudeville) theater. The story of the Musical the actors are performing, reflects their backstage lives, as they strain to impress a famous Hollywood Director in the audience. A third level is us seeing the stage show through the eyes of the Director, magnified and expanded into dreamlike fantasy. Every sequence is a dazzling Busby Berkely-esque feast for the eyes in isolation but I got sick of them after a couple of non-stop hours, like scoffing too many delicious sweets. The scene where Twiggy dances on a giant revolving record player is the best, it's done so well that I almost couldn't see her at a human scale anymore. The colours look amazing in HD.




I re-watch these delightful clips ^ on their own and I wonder how I could have not loved the film as a whole.
 

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Altered States (1980)
This might be the best Ken Russell film I've watched since 'The Devils'. The premise about a scientist inducing visions through a combination of psychedelic drugs and sensory deprivation is the perfect vehicle for Russell's outlandish visual imagination. Dr. Jessup (William Hurt) is in the Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Frankenstein mold, a maverick mind operating beyond the limits of scientific orthodoxy and medical ethics. Russell uses super rapid cutting for Jessup's visions, like a bad trip brought on by staring at paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, Edward Hopper, Francis Bacon and Salvador Dali, fired through the stargate from '2001: A Space Odyssey'. Especially Bosch, the scenes of hundreds bodies falling into hell pits are like his paintings brought to life. It was probably to the film's benefit that Russell came onto the project late (after Arthur Penn dropped out), with it all cast and the script by Paddy Chayefsky finalised, he couldn't go completely nuts with every aspect of the movie. The body distortion scenes are very David Cronenberg and the makeup FX are terrific. John Corigliano's brass heavy avant-garde score is wonderfully unsettling.


The score made me want to go listen to the 'Acid Brass' album yet again :D . Compare 00.21 in the above trailer to the music below at 01.21:

 

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KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1985)

To dismiss this movie as just a low budget Cannon rip-off of Indiana Jones (which it is), would be a great disservice.  This movie is funny!  And I don't mean it's so bad, it is funny.  But that it is genuinely well written and directed funny.  It is not parody humour (ie Airplane or Naked Gun) but more 1930s screwball, and it works really, really well.  The movie is directed by veteran filmmaker J. Lee Thompson (Cape Fear, The Guns of Navarone, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes) who expertly balances the humour and action, and brings a wonderful sense of fun to this low budget affair.  Scenes that might otherwise pull you out of the movie, are saved by Thompson's master craftsmanship of highlighting the silly charm (ie. terrible green screen airplane sequence) so you forgive the weaknesses of the moment and willingly continue on with the ride.  The movie is further elevated by a great score by movie composer legend Jerry Goldsmith, who knows how to sell a funny or dramatic moment with equal prowess.  The films is rounded out by strong cast (yes, even Sharon Stone), making for a delightful romp.  Recommended.   :D
(I can not believe Cannon made this....lol)

...and now to the sequel...

ALLAN QUATERMAINE AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD (1986)

... now this I can believe Cannon made!!!  :p

This was so disappointing, as all the elements are there for another fun silly quest.  Unfortunately someone forgot to tell the editor or producer, and most importantly, the composer, that this is a comedy.  Seriously, never before have I witnessed a soundtrack so badly derail a movie.  Goldsmith is replaced by someone named Michael Linn and based on the ear bleeding soundtrack, I am assuming the composer did not bother to watch the movie he was scoring.  So many moments lost or ruined by horrible or completely inappropriate musical cues.  The actors are still playing it for laughs but the score says otherwise.   What is laughable is some of the special effects.  There is some hilariously atrocious miniature work and perhaps the worst greenscreen scene ever put to film.  Also, unintentionally funny, while Sharon Stone looks amazing in tight leather pants, I am not certain it is appropriate hot jungle quest wear? LOL.  Director Thompson declined to return for the sequel, and was replaced with veteran tv director Gary Nelson and he seemed to do an adequate job.  I believe there was on paper an entertaining sequel here, but sadly whatever fun potential existed was thwarted by poor post-production decisions.   Still watchable if nothing better is on... if for no other reason than to learn how NOT to score a movie.   :(
 

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A Better Tomorrow III: Love & Death in Saigon (1989)
Producer Tsui Hark and Director John Woo parted ways after the second film, so Woo reworked his script for 'A Better Tomorrow III' into the unrelated 'Bullet in the Head' (review here) and Hark stepped into the Director's chair for this third installment with a different script. The two films have some similarities, they are both about Hongkongers caught up in the fallout from the Vietnam war. 'Love & Death in Saigon' does your classic prequel/origins-story thing of showing us how Mark (Chow Yun-fat) acquired his iconic Alain Delon shades and long blue trenchcoat. We're also shown a training montage where he learns his Gun-Fu skills from a female gun-runner he falls in love with. It's a pretty decent drama but there isn't a gun-battle until half an hour in (the only action in the first half) and we don't hear the ABT them tune for an hour, so it doesn't deliver what you expect from a sequel. The other half has some good action, including a battle with a tank.


Pulp Fiction (1994)
I've seen 'Pulp Fiction' many times but seeing it on the big screen was well worth it (I was too young to see it at the cinema in '94), even though the poor transfer looked like an upscaled blu-ray. It's commonly classified as a Crime-Drama but sitting with an audience continually laughing along with the snappy dialogue, crazy characters and explosive violence, you wonder if it's really more of a straight up comedy. This time I noticed how shallow the depth of field is for many shots, so parts of the actor's faces go out of focus when they merely turn their heads slightly. It creates a real intensity to what we are being shown in the foreground. I'm sure he uses a split-diopter lens for other shots. As always, I felt the pace sagged in the middle between Butch escaping the fight and his encounter with Marsellus Wallace (basically, the cab ride and motel scenes). Maybe it's because the rest of the movie is so unrelenting with tension, activity and flavour that the slightest dip in pace becomes obvious, or maybe it's simply because it follows the colourful and dramatic Mia Wallace sequence. A total modern classic.


Random Tarantino thought... all his films are R-Rated/18-Cert (IIRC) and they ooze with violence and offensive language but is there nudity in any of his films? The thought occurred to me when you notice how carefully Tarantino times the shot with Bruce Willis getting out of the shower to avoid nudity. Even in the Bridget Fonda sex scene in 'Jackie Brown', she is not topless and keeps her back to the camera. Considering how much he likes to push the exploitation envelope, it must be a deliberate choice out of respect for his actors. I wonder if he has ever mentioned it? (FYI: I've not seen his new film yet, so can't comment on that).

EDIT: No hang on, I think Kerry Washington is briefly nude in 'Django Unchained' but it's supposed to be unpleasant and degrading in that instance and not for the fun, or gratification of the audience. Also I found this quote from Tarantino (commenting on Kill Bill):

"I like seeing beautiful girls' skin as well as any other pervert. But that wasn't this movie... I didn't want to sexualise the girls to that extent because I wanted them to be empowering to women and not eye candy for guys." :D
 

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TM2YC said:
"I like seeing beautiful girls' skin as well as any other pervert. But that wasn't this movie... I didn't want to sexualise the girls to that extent because I wanted them to be empowering to women and not eye candy for guys." :D

But what does that leave for ladies who fancy ladies? Can they not be empowered and enjoy eye candy also? I've daydreamed about making a schlocky female-starring grindhouse movie myself, and have wondered where the line between celebration of the human form and objectification might like. One idea I keep coming back to is to set such a flick in an alternate world in which men simply don't exist, and never have. After all, if one's going to make a schlocky pic, why not make it properly weird? :p
 

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Gaith said:
wondered where the line between celebration of the human form and objectification might like.

I think a good example of that line would be the difference in the way Zack Snyder shoots Gal Godot in BvS/JL and how Patty Jenkins does it in WW.

Scanners (1981)
Of course the infamous exploding head scene is what David Cronenberg's 'Scanners' is remembered for but it's actually just one of many impressive and shocking gore FX tricks. The psychic duel at the end has some astonishing and unnerving make up jobs. It's fortunate they are so good because the thinly developed characters and shaky plotting is less impressive. Apparently Cronenberg had to rush into production without a completed script and it shows, although the overall story concept was a clever one. The small budget also shows in the barely adequate sets and thinly dressed locations, plus apart from Patrick McGoohan and Michael Ironside, the cast isn't top tier. Howard Shore's moody synth score and the unsettling sound FX do much of the heavy lifting in making the film's atmosphere work. Not a masterpiece but well worth a watch.


^ Pure cheese vintage trailer.

By the way, I remember thinking "Why would you start with this random mall scene, when you could open with the lecture theater and chase scenes because they're dramatic, memorable and they explain the world the characters operate in?". Afterwards I read Cronenberg moved those scenes from the beginning just so late moviegoers wouldn't miss them. Ah ha. That's one thing I'd fanedit and perhaps more re-arranging of scenes would help the story flow better.
 

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TM2YC said:
I think a good example of that line would be the difference in the way Zack Snyder shoots Gal Godot in BvS/JL and how Patty Jenkins does it in WW.

Snyder's ass-centric camera was definitely inappropriate in Justice League), and Jenkins' WW camera was indeed respectful and non-exploitative, which is how pop culture's most prominent superheroine should be treated in a PG-13 movie aimed at all audiences. That said, I do think there's a time and place for a more Snyder-esque approach, especially in an adult-aimed, R-rated film. I guess it all comes down to context: the more schlocky and graphic the overall tone, the less problematic a camera that lingers on an attractive woman becomes. I'm particularly skeptical of the American puritanism that's fine with bloody gore and comic violence, but keeps ladies covered up and clothed even during steamy scenes. I definitely roll my eyes at the gratuitous ass shots in a drag race- or party-establishing montage in a Fast & Furious movie, for instance, but at the same time, I'd be pissed if they were omitted for fear of being anti-feminist, because a celebration of hedonism is hard-wired into the franchise's very spirit. I guess it's a case by case thing. ;)
 

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Didn’t Whedon shoot most of the ass centric stuff in Justice League? Or the scene where Flash falls on top of Wonder Woman? I may be wrong. But like, I remember a similar scene in Age of Ultron when Bruce’s face falls on Natasha’s boobs, played for laughs.
 

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The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972)
Director Rainer Werner Fassbinder adapts his own stage play about an intense masochistic love/hate-triangle between three West-German women. It's set entirely within Fashion Designer Petra's bedroom but that only adds to the claustrophobia and Fassbinder shoots it from every conceivable angle, always keeping the visuals fresh.  The story is divided into four distinct acts, in each one Petra has a different wig and clothes, reflecting her changing moods.  Margit Carstensen somehow manages to make you feel total sympathy for Petra's pain, even when she acts abominably to others. Maybe it's just because I've been watching it a lot, or maybe it's all the mannequins and dolls being compared to people, lighting coming through blinds and the exaggerated 20s inspired clothing but I kept thinking it felt like 'Blade Runner'. I'm looking forward to seeing more Fassbinder films.


With composition and blocking this good you don't even need words to understand the character's relationship:

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