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Everything posted by Mike_tn

  1. Mike_tn

    The Fits

    Thanks for taking time to post Joel. You gave a good alternate view. The Spiritual angle. Prior to my first post, I had read your review snippet and portions of reviews from a few other critics online but either skimmed over too much or that idea was not discussed. Spiritual seems the only tenable alternate explanation. A Bio-Medical point of view seems ruled out by the events of the film, through hospital stays and health tests coming up clean. To the question; is it worth the effort to think about it at all, certainly diagnosis of the fit experience is optional but since the fit experience is central to the film and title, it should be expected. If the girls, while in the 'fits', had spiritual experiences analogous to a person speaking in tongues, there was nothing in the early part of the film to suggest they were open to such a communication. I mean there was nothing preceding or simultaneous to make a viewer expect the person was ready for or voluntarily invited a 'fit' experience. Granted, sometimes a person does no invoking prior to communication with heaven or hell but often it does precede as with Pentecost or a seance. I can allow the more subtle. In the case of our girls it could be invoked by private meditation, even cosmic radiation (too many sci-fi monster movies). Please do not be angry if I go on with my diagnosis. The Spirit element accepted, now what kind of Spirit? Notice the girl's 'fit' prior to Toni's, talking in an overly self-confident way while describing her own experience. After that, near the end, the film majorly morphs by adding vivid fantasy elements with Toni's 'fit'. Notice in the vision, she's the star of the show. It's a spiritually middle-of-the-road experience, close to an self-induced hypnotic ordinary dream state, not pure and not the dark side. Which brings us back to something ordinary, maybe akin to fakery, however from this angle the girls are off-the-hook because they do not understand it all, they are swept away by it. It's real, strong, new, drawing them into it. Lacking culpability, my assumption of malice is null, the ending of the film is better. I'm not sure why you played the race card in your reply. I wrote nothing to suggest I was biased that way. In fact, the opposite. I playfully compared the girl's 'fits' to their behaving like a couple of white boys, the film characters Gordon Gekko and Yuri Orlov who are both much worse than the girls could ever be interpreted. Perhaps you confused me with other reviewers you've encountered? If the girls were white or aliens, I would have interpreted the film the same. I could not conjure up your spiritual perspective on my own, perhaps because I profile females, but not blacks. Profiling females....you might be challenged that way too if every other departmental employee of your day job was a woman, as mine are, I'm the only guy. Going too far while putting on a false display to get social attention is hardly unknown among modern US or UK females. Thank you for a better view for this film. May that go well for you! I'll pretend I helped. The film certainly has enough heart and soul to be included in a thesis with what I now see as at least two interpretations.
  2. Mike_tn

    The Fits

    What am I missing? Maybe missing my own kids, I don't have any. The movie was going fine for me until near the end when their 'fit' stories didn't match and one troupe member acted overly self-confident in describing her own, it was clear they were lying or doing what others describe as a rite-of-passage theatric. That would be fine except it doesn't seem harmless. It's after causing the city grief with alarming TV news reports and costing the health department time and money with water tests, plus personal hospital and doctor visits. When the movie ends on Toni's smirk, the writer/director almost seems to be telling girls to get attention by lying. Toni was suddenly in the vein of Gordon Gekko (Douglas) of Wall Street and Yuri Orlov (Cage) of Lord of War, but a kid version. The most complete 180 turn a movie ever took at the very end.
  3. Mike_tn

    Top 25 or 100 for 2018-19

    OK I'm just a lurker, but I want this. I speak for the masses.
  4. Mike_tn

    Soul of a Woman - Sharon Jones

    "He Said I Can" track on Soul Time! compilation album
  5. Mike_tn


    Starman is a good choice for Valentines Day. Ladies like Bridges. Karen Allen is gorgeous. Has plenty of romance and explosions with aliens. And a road trip theme for honeymooners. Not overly cerebral/somber like Arrival was. From the maker of Halloween but not so scary, only rated PG. A crowd pleaser for V-day.
  6. Mike_tn

    Room (2015)

    I came across Room at the library and so watched it last week (along with Star Wars I, II, IIIĀ½ & VII and The Case For Christ) going in cold, not having read anything, only seeing part of a 60 seconds review by David DiCerto of 'Reel Faith' who liked it. No one I knew saw it. And I just now skimmed the A&F discussion above, not the links, and did not find written here that something sitting on my mind about the film. Tell me if I'm crazy. When the film ended, mostly I liked it quite a bit. The overall story, the boy & mother, the aftermath, all of it. Enough to think I'd like to tell people at work or friends about it. And what I didn't like wasn't something I put my finger on immediately probably because what was good in it overshadows that. After the movie, I read about the writer Emma, and how she influenced the making of the film. And that she's a Canadian feminist with previous work popular in the lesbian community. So it made me reflect on the film for possible bias reflecting her life orientation. Suddenly I thought, in Room, all the key white men are losers. Now is that crazy or legitimate? Of course old Nick had to be a primo loser. Not problematic. But the next white man you get to meet a little bit is the cop driving the car to first arrive when the escaping boy is found. Compared to his female cop partner, the man comes off like an ignorant taxi driver at best. The female cop is sensitive, solves the crime immediately, and astounds the white man cop. The male cop is such a numbskull while looking over his shoulder toward the two in back, what he says is laughable. The next adults we meet who are experiencing pressures of the story, not the flat healthcare people or crowd control guys, we meet are the 3 grandparents. The real father (Robert) leaves the film marked as being strongly prejudiced against the child we've all come to love. He's been divorced, replaced, and can't see past the rape. If any white guy in the film might shine it would have been the father/grandfather. Next, the step-father (Leo) acts much nicer than the real father but he looks like he just stepped out of a Western or a prison film of which he did not play lead, looking sort of dishevled, mussed up, even deranged. In fact I read that Leo almost played the part of old Nick. Leo really contrasted the middle class surroundings. The only adult man that we meet for any bit of time who seems admirable is the helthcare worker visiting their home and he was never a 'white boy from Ohio'. I grant that the writer Emma worked to make the boy, mother, grandmother, lady cop etc all seem real. Those characters were not all-powerful, they had troubles of their own to face and overcome but the viewer ends up seeing the worlds of these characters work out well enough in the end and we like them afterwards. Not so the men. This reflects the bias of Emma Donoghue who also greatly controlled the filming. "In 2012, (director) Abrahamson and Donoghue spent one week at her house in London, Ontario as they revised the screenplay. She served as executive producer and was included in major filmmaking decisions." Should it spoil the film? It does somewhat for myself, not entirely.
  7. Mike_tn


    First Trailer Release Films of Kathryn Bigelow, Point Break (1991), The Hurt Locker (2008), Zero Dark Thirty (2012).
  8. I nominated Angel and the Badman a realistic conversion story of renegade John Wayne (the Badman). The ending isn't a given until it's over, he waffles a bit. First a Quaker family takes him in when he gets injured. He recovers and due to the influence of the family, though torn, he tries to finish his previous business more diplomatic than his norm, like without killing anyone. Another time he does good deeds for the same family by getting a stingy upstream neighbor to share water. The nasty neighbor gets a real general change of heart from it, and you wonder why Wayne doesn't notice it more and if he could possibly leave his wild & criminal cowboy life. He even half-heartedly attends a meetin' though it was probably in part because he liked the family daughter played by Gail Russell (the Angel). Then he relapses. That's enough details. The way typical Western film hostilities are resolved is unique. Wayne ends up giving up the guns for a simple life with the family and his girl of course. You are left with: "Only a man who carries a gun ever needs one."
  9. "Second": The Illusionist, (2010) aka L'illusionniste, director Sylvain Chomet, (available in English too, but little dialogue)
  10. Title: Angel and the Badman Director: James Edward Grant Year: 1947 Language: English IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039152/?ref_=ttexrv_exrv_tt YouTube Link: Link to the A&F thread on the film: NONE
  11. Mike_tn

    Richard Widmark

    Agreed. A couple noirs with Widmark for comparison (recently watched), Night and the City (Dassin '50) and Kiss of Death (Hathaway '47). The first of the two was liked better, the second being Widmark's first role. In Kiss of Death he played this really off-the-chain nearly psycho criminal that strongly contrasted the other performers, he's maybe even out of place or maybe the others seem wooden to you if you watch it just to see Widmark. His maniacal laughing reminded me of the laughing by one of Roman whipping guards in Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. By the time Widmark did Night and the City he had really improved or maybe that role and directing better suited him. His wild-boy facet are in both films but more enjoyably so in Night and the City. I put that one off because sometimes sports genre films are tiresome, this one is anything but tiresome.
  12. Mike_tn

    Fritz Lang

    Yes! The triangle with Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Ryan & Paul Douglas . Very memorable arrangement and performances between those three. Enjoyable to see Marilyn Monroe with a supporting role as well. It was a surprise this month to have stumbled across two used DVDs of early 50s noir, 1951-52, Clash by Night (Lang) and Detective Story (Wyler). Unexpected treats. And that's couple of good years in film to explore too.
  13. RIP Sharon Jones Left here on November 18, 2016. Was nominated for her first Grammy in 2014, Best R&B Album category, for Give the People What They Want.
  14. Mike_tn

    The Films of the Coen Brothers

    Saw The Hudsucker Proxy last night. Very funny, enjoyable. Not comparatively well admired here though, to other Coens at least. I've only seen half of the films in the list. My faves are in the earlier years, adding Blood Simple and Raising Arizona to the one last night as favorites. Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink and Fargo are in the queue. The brothers took a left turn out of Fargo.
  15. Mike_tn

    The Haunting (1963)

    What struck me after watching The Haunting for the first time last night is that it's rated G! Primarily it was fearing for your life, secondarily the horrors of sexual angst.
  16. Mike_tn

    Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    Darn. The coupons worked for me. Both of them. After reading Overstreet's post I found a page of excluded items on B&N site. It's long. No way would all of it fit on a coupon. The words Criterion Collection is not written on the two 15% coupons above in the exclusions but it is on the long web site exclusion list, however a cashier may ignore the web list like mine did. Link http://www.barnesandnoble.com/h/terms-and-conditions/coupon-exclusions The Music Room, from India, never heard of it before, that's why this forum is interesting, such tastes around here, arcane yet noble. I may order it, my sister has three children by a man from India (divorced) and they travel there often. Seems B&N could get anything to your local store in a few days. Cutting a swath down the mid-USA, The Music Room is in B&Ns in Ann Arbor, Chicago, Detroit, Columbus, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, St Louis, Atlanta, New Orleans, Austin, Dallas. There is a The Music Room mid-USA dead zone for B&N stores in my area, that's Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, Jackson, Birmingham....country where many neighbors think the front lawn doubles as a driveway. Thanks for the idea.
  17. Mike_tn

    Leonard Cohen

    National Film Board of Canada is putting this at the top of their app's listings today. A 44min music documentary in 1965 visiting his hometown of Montreal.
  18. Mike_tn

    Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble

    B&N 50% off Criterion starts today. November 1, 2016 With one of the coupons below you can get Dekalog blu-ray for $42.50. Less is you are a "member" INSTORE CODES -- Click for printable 15% Off Single Item (A) Store Only Exp ??12/31/2017 15% Off Single Item (B) Store Only Exp ??12/31/2017
  19. Mike_tn

    DreamWorks Animation

    For a I do like the Po! Kung Fu Panda News updates on Dreamworks, the animation workers are being pinched and apparently pinching back ... NBCUniversal completes purchase of DreamWorks Animation; Katzenberg payday tops $390 million Aug 22, 2016 LA Times NBCUniversal to cut 200 jobs in DreamWorks Animation takeover Sept 15, 2016 LA Times (200 jobs is 10%) Animation Workers Reach $50 Million Settlement With DreamWorks Animation Oct 17, 2016 Variety In the last article "DreamWorks and other companies violated antitrust laws by conspiring to set animation wages via nonpoaching agreements." (Includes Pixar; Lucasfilm; The Walt Disney Co.; Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Imageworks; Blue Sky; and ImageMovers) Dreamworks releases Trolls Nov 4, 2016 in the US, voiced by Anna Kendrick & Justin Timberlake.
  20. Mike_tn

    Films about Trauma and Resiliency

    Good topic for a film listing. Maybe they can be compiled at the top. Johnny Got His Gun (1971) and Days of Wine and Roses (1962). Plus I liked already mentioned All Is Lost.
  21. Mike_tn

    Fight Club

    Thanks for the forums, mostly I read not post. Especially come here for controversial or hard to understand films. I wanted to weigh in on this odd one viewed for the first time. Someone above said the film was expensive, it did have a look of high production value, what's that, a sort of cool bling? And the director in an interview sometime said he wanted to offset the darkness with some humor. I give it production but there were not enough laughs to withstand the philosophical elevation of violence. Disappointment could be my fault for not having the right viewer frame of mind to begin with. Sometimes comedy elements or things the character did to face the problems of materialism and loneliness would shine through and it became enjoyable. But this was the first time I turned off a movie out of disappointment with a half hour left after watching the first one and three-quarters hours. It didn't seem like any ending could possibly prop it up enough. But I took in the rest the next day. The reason for watching was partly because it gets referenced a lot, popularity, Brad Pitt's youthful face with a bar of soap probably too, but particularly because I just watched The Machinist and a commenter on its thread here remarked that The Fight Club was better. But in an overall way I found The Machinist to be an improvement in the insomniac genre, given the two films differ, one toward horror the other to comedy. At a glance, The Fight Club sounds funny: [Spoilers] The Norton character attempting to deal with neurotic behaviors, aka occupational disease, becomes a funny 12-stepper who trades its anger management for a self-flogging style parking lot fight then moves to an entire lifestyle of violence that smacks of religious salvation for everyone. And I couldn't help but think of 9-11 at the end though the movie predates that.
  22. Mike_tn

    Upcoming Criterion Releases

    A notice posted on REDDIT saying the fall 2016 Barnes & Noble Criterion sale will be Nov 1 through Nov 28 (Cyber Monday) Reddit.com thread by The_Exit_Man INSTORE CODES -- Click for printable 15% Off Single Item (A) Store Only Exp ??12/31/2017 15% Off Single Item (B) Store Only Exp ??12/31/2017
  23. Mike_tn

    What I'm Watching This Weekend

    Your events at the Egyptian begin in two days. I'm jealous! Last night I watched the 1946 Killers, with Burt Lancaster & Ava Gardner. Tonight it will be the second feature on the disc, the 1964 version of the same Hemingway story which I'm curious to see Ronald Reagan in. That's the closest I'll get to Noir City this week.
  24. Mike_tn

    The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

    This film is free for download and streaming at the Internet Archive web site (www.archive.org). The common download is a 1.5GB MPEG4 file by right-clicking the link then pick save. The easiest way to play the mp4 is to save it to USB, then plug that into your TV, Blu-ray player, DVD player or PC. Link to the specific page with streaming or downloading choices: The Internets Own Boy - The Story Of Aaron Swartz