Off Topic Messages

Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:50 am

likethebike wrote:I think it's a sign that Scorsese is such a good filmmaker that we have to ask if such extreme violence is necessary. Most of the time the answer is a flat "no". I know in "Goodfellas" it's certainly yes as the main underpoint of the movie is to demonstrate the kind of animals these guys were. Yet I'm amazed at how people blow some of it off. They see the Copa and the nightclubs and the women and the "good life" in prison. Yet they shrug off the terror in the children's eyes as the parent's fight, the wife wondering what happened to her husband seconds after we saw him killed, the mailman getting jammed into an oven, the boy waiter getting murdered for nothing, Ray Liotta's amazement that his best friend would kill him. Scorsese is clearly going past the cliche that they only murder each other. Although like in "The Godfather" we see the humanity in the characters, Scorsese makes clear that these are brutal evil men.

But there's a sardonic wit in evidence in even the darkest moments of "Goodfellas". The mailman getting his head shoved in the oven is a good example (it's a moment of black comedy, I think). Another might be Pesci's character sadistically laughing about the resemblence of a guy in a painting to the guy he's just beaten to a pulp and dumped in his trunk (whilst popping in for tea at his mom's!). That's one thing, in concert with the clever editing, that gives the film its particular power and appeal.

I don't get that as much from "Casino". The high pitched whine Pesci uses increases the parodic aspect.

"Goodfellas" might be a slightly more controlled film in some senses. It's possible Scorsese and Pesci were camping it up a little in "Casino" (a little like the way that the Terminator was camped up in T2 as opposed to the original - though less extreme). I'm not sure. The film has a pretty strong effect by the time it's done, I think.

It's not that I necessarily find "13 Days" tepid, it's that its thrill for me comes more from the overall message and a kind of a distant hero worship than it does from any suspense that comes from the overall events.

Right. I got the two strands - since I went in under a veil of almost complete ignorance. It is the emotional quality of "how close we came", so to speak, and JFK's resolute closing words, however, that probably do allow the film to stand up to repeated viewings.

Elvis' Babe wrote:yes, but there really isn't much elitist snobbery around viewers who like tombstone and the muppet xmas carol. those are pretty mainstream audience movies. nobody goes around calling them "high art" incessantly.

Roger Ebert said: a film is not about what it is about; it is about HOW it is about it. You could make a film about four walking, talking, wisecracking, ninja-trained Turtles, and if it's good, then it's good (and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is another Henson-related production and independent 90's movie which is very, very good). "That's The Way It Is". I'm not one for arty farty pretense. A film has to earn its reputation the hard way: by being good. And there are many good ones out there.

The latest Woody Allen film, "Matchpoint", which the critics raved about, didn't do a single thing for me. I found it pretentious, shallow, poorly-written, poorly-acted, unimaginative tripe. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", a film made to "cash in" on the ridiculous hype that existed back then, is ten times the film "Matchpoint", from the esteemed mind of Woody Allen, will ever be. I honestly think TMNT has "Matchpoint" beat in all areas of filmmaking - yes, even the screenplay is FAR wittier and more profound than Allen's film. And you can quote me on that. But, by the same token, another equally "arty" film, "Lost in Translation", which this thread was clearly inspired by, blew me away. It all depends on the final mix - not on what labels people give films or how many accolades they shower on them.

i saw the first chunk of pulp fiction...i ditched it during the bruce willis portion which was a little slow for my taste, but of course i loved travolta's dancing...the overdose scene was squicky, but i didn't mind it. i kind of got lost after the travolta/thurman scenes got a break though.

Then you're missing out on one of the finest films of the decade and one of the most culturally significant movies to this day. Yes, the dance scene, to Chuck Berry's marvellous, "You Never Can Tell", is a fantastic setpiece - but the film is a clever weaving of narratives with a theme of redemption (yes, of the biblical kind) at its heart. The final sequence in the cafe absolutely MAKES the film. You should definitely attempt a re-watch.
Last edited by Cryogenic on Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:57 am

speaking of the you're talking the kind of movie i can approach. good movie as well. ditto on the sequel.

"i want your clothes, your boots, and your motorcycle" used to go off on my apple centris computer as a kid in the early 90s...incessantly about every hour.

sometimes it also played "when i left you i was but the learner. now i am the master", "i did not have sexual relations with that woman" and a few others.

good times. :lol:

Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:08 pm

^^ See my expanded post.

Yes. :D

T2 used to be my favourite film. I've progressed - or is that regressed? :D - onto other things since then. My favourite film is definitely now "Superman". When I bought that on DVD, back in 2001, I knew I'd found/rediscovered a film that no other could touch. The photography, production design, visual effects, music, acting, screenplay and editing are all flawless. It's filmmaking of the highest calibre.

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:38 pm

Saturday Night, Sunday Morning
Treasure Of The Sierra Madre
Strangers On A Train
The Lady Killers (original)
Adventures Of Robin Hood
The Conversation
Raging Bull
The Big Sleep
King Of Comedy
Red River
White Heat
Get Carter(original)
Fight Club
Take The Money And Run
Name Of The Rose

A few of my fave films.

As for "Thirteen Days", as much as i wanted to like this film, i cannot get my head around Costners terrible wooden acting. Ditto "JFK".

Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:01 pm

and if you like "tombstone", check out "purgatory" as well. it's sort of the all the wild-west outlaws in purgatory movie--and it's VERY good.