Theatrical Film Releases that don't need their own thread


#41

I watched A Perfect Day and it’s a slow introspective look at the Bosnian war conflict through the eyes of a small group of aid workers, starring Benicio Del Toro.

You would think with a topic like this, it would be quite heavy, but Tim Robbins plays the comedic relief called “B”, but it’s not slapstick, it’s just a running commentary on their jobs, the war, and cows. We laughed a lot despite a lot of the heavy themes throughout.

This movie deserves it’s own thread as it reminded me in a great way of another Bosnian conflict movie called No Mans Land, and if you haven’t seen THAT movie, you need to rectify that immediately. But probably less than a handful have probably seen this, so putting this update here.

A Perfect Day is a 24 hour diary of sorts, showing aid workers trying to do good in a country that is torn apart, and making the most of the situation. With a fairly new aid worker joining the ranks of two others who have seen it all, sometimes you just have to shrug things off, but after 24 hours of being with them, you see how they’re willing to put up with a lot of shit and still try & do their job.

The movie could have been made by Jarmusch or Malick with the slow dusty narrative with a lot of pauses, taking its time to introduce you to a small slice of good.


#42

I didn’t enjoy No Man’s Land, which I felt really made light of the war. I felt the atmosphere there was “people are going to die, because they keep fighting, ridiculous, right?” And it had little to no emotional impact on me.

But I’ll keep an eye out for A Perfect Day. Thanks!


#43

Yesterday me and my wife went to see Dangal. It’s the story about a wrestler who couldn’t fulfill his dream of being an international Indian wrestler. He wanted his boy to carry on that dream, but he had four girls. He starts teaching his two eldest girls to be wrestlers.

The movie has a lot of heart, and it’s one of the better sports movies I’ve ever seen. Even though it’s based on a true story, it does embellish to make matches more exciting, of course. And thank god for that. After I got home from the movie, I looked up the actual match that makes up the final match in the film, and it’s such a one sided blowout. That would have made for terrible cinema!

So here’s where I was nervous about going to see this film:

  1. I know nothing about wrestling.
  2. I have no interest in wrestling.
  3. The previews made it look like the wrestling scenes would all be short cuts in montage sequences.

Well, let me tell ya, all 3 of my concerns were laid to rest. The movie explains the sport to me like I’m a child (because in the scene, a father is explaining the sport to his young daughters). I grew to have an appreciation for the sport over the course of the movie, and I needn’t have worried about there being no good long action sequences. There are five long action scenes in the movie where they don’t cut too much. They let the actual actors/stunt actors fight it out, and it’s electric to watch! What really got me to sit up was the very first real fight in the movie, in which he takes his eldest daughter to fight in a boy’s wrestling tournament near their village. The fight between the two young wrestlers is so physical and looked so real. The music was a rhythmic violin pulsing in the background that also got my heart rate up. This and the other wrestling scenes in the movie are just top notch, absolutely bursting with energy and excitement.

The movie is playing in quite a few more U.S. screens than most Indian movies, so it shouldn’t be that hard to find. Highly recommended.


#44

I am glad you posted this - I otherwise would not have gone and seen it. The trailer makes it look extremely predictable and the film is quite long (2:49!). Fortunately, I think there is much more in this film than the trailer reveals and I was not bored to say the least,

It actually has a very good script with some decent depth which covers a lot of issues/situations and the timeline seems to flow nicely. …very good acting too for the most part in this ensemble piece. Well scored as well as you mentioned.

One additional comment which may be borderline P&R, if this was an American film, the sins of the father would be completely unforgivable to the American audience and the father would not have been allowed to be a loving figure.

A second comment is they show the obligatory “no animals were harmed” graphic at the start of the film…but what about the stunt people? I saw a lot of people landing hard on the back of their necks. (I know movie magic).


#45

I saw Elle on Friday. I had a vague notion that it won something at the Golden Globes (no other reason for our theater to pick it up), but knew literally nothing else about the movie.

It didn’t work for me. I’ve since seen it described as a black comedy, which I suppose I could understand in theory, but I guess I’ve found my limit for just how dark a comedy can be—and I thought I was pretty tolerant in that regard.


#46

Do to an unfortunate series of events beyond my control, I saw the new XXX Xander Cage movie in the theater this weekend.

Simply put, stay far away from this film. It is amazing to see how low in quality a sequel can go, even when quality was never very high.


#47

Thanks for the warning! I’ll stay away.

That’s a shame. I really enjoyed the first XXX movie. I was hoping this would be a return to form.


#48

I saw Raees today, the latest Shah Rukh Khan movie.

Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone. It has sections that are well made, but the story and emotions evoked by the film are so bland that it didn’t make much of an impact on me.


#49

Saw Miss Sloane tonight, and I really liked it. Stellar cast, headlined by Jessica Chastain in the lead role, and directed by the guy who did Shakespeare in Love. One of the best political thrillers of the year. It’s so good that I can’t believe that it’s distributed by EuropaCorp, Luc Besson’s company.


#50

I saw M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story yesterday. I didn’t catch it on its theatrical run, but caught it on TV yesterday. I’m a sucker for sports biopics so this was right up my alley.

It also helped that I stopped paying attention to International Cricket back in 1996 after watching that year’s World Cup. Mr Dhoni didn’t enter the Indian Cricket team until the mid 2000s, so I was completely unaware of his existence and his contributions. His personal life was actually quite fascinating in the movie, as were his Cricketing struggles. I’d recommend the movie both to Cricket fans and sports biopic fans.

A quick note, I loved several long shots the director did in this movie. Although he didn’t do it throughout the movie, the moments when he held a long shot and just kept on filming through long sequences were really impressive, even when they were inconsequential moments in the film. It kept the movie feeling vibrant even its slow moments.

I also love the fact that there’s a key moment for him in the movie where he’s given what sounds like sage advice about Cricket and about life. And yet, going against expectations, he actually finally ignores that advice, and that’s what finally brings him success.


#51

I liked Raees more than you did but safe to say Shah Rukh Khan is a victim of his own success. I know Bollywood plays by totally different rules but the next time I feel like SRK “is” the character he is portraying will be the first. I like him a lot more in the action/comedy/romance vein than any actual dramatic role. (And yes, I am aware that by definition Bollywood movies must combine all of this into every film, but still…)

What struck me as best about the movie was how the director worked the musical/song/dance numbers so well into the movie. Also some of the action scenes were amazing in the way that only a cheesy Bollywood action sequence can be.


#52

I would agree with you on those parts. Like I said, some of the scenes were nicely filmed. That included the action scenes. The chase scene across the rooftops was fun. Even the slow motion bullet dance killing scenes were nicely done.

I just wish they made me care more about the characters and what was happening to them. Either way would do. Either make me hate him more, or make me like him more. I just ended up feeling indifferent. Same with the police officer. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is one of my favorite actors in Bollywood right now since his part in The Lunch Box, but even his role seemed like a bit of a wasted opportunity to me.


#53

Now that Jack Nicholson is being exhumed for the Hollywood remake, it’s probably a good time to bring up Toni Erdmann, which i thoroughly enjoyed. It’s certainly not an easy watch and at least as sad as it is funny.

While I love all things Kristen Wiig, this is a remake endeavor i don’t understand at all. “Aging single father tries to reconnect with his careerist daughter by infiltrating her social circle while posing as a life coach” sounds like an awfully uninspired premise on on paper and at least to me, the entire fun of Toni Erdmann was watching this entirely conventional setup play out in unexpected ways. For the entire film, i felt a tension between my anticipation of the standard comedy tropes that i have been conditioned to expect and the unconventional way scenes would actually resolve, in all their long winded and awkward Germanness.

So if all you are remaking is a pretty bland premise, why bother paying for the rights for a film that has zero name recognition anyway?


#54

So would you say Toni Erdman is not the “typical mid-life crisis film”? I steered clear of it because it had that appearance.


#55

It’s certainly not that, but definitely not for everyone. It has a rather slow pace, the opening scene for instance is excruciatingly long and withholds the kind of comedic payoff one would expect. I think it’s a deliberate decision by the director in order to acclimatize the viewer with the film’s rhythm. Besides the pace, the film also offers a lot of cringeworthy moments, so if a three hour episode of Curb your Enthusiasm with some sadness and customary German nudity thrown in doesn’t sound like your cup of tea i would probably avoid it.


#56

Making the rounds at AMC right now, Shockwave is a Chinese film (HK) about a bomb disposal captain disposing of…bombs, fighting evil terrorists. Some of the action/tension is very cliché, but a decent outing can be had.


#57

Latest female centric melodrama from Pedro Almodóvar. Not as challenging as Volver, but still a sob story. Layers and years of anger, guilt and sadness crushed into ostensibly a very long letter from a mother to a daughter, like carbon into diamond. It is the context of the letter that gives it all the emotional punch. LIKE.


#58

Another Indian Criket Celeb film, have not seen yet:


#59

It’s gotten a lot of good reviews. But now that we have a newborn in the house, I don’t think we’ll be going to the theater together for a while. Especially since my wife insists on isolating us from members of my side of the family who could help by watching the baby.


#60

Yikes! That does not sound good. Nearby relatives are a key component of keeping your sanity (usually ;-P ) when you have kids. Parents need that “we” time.