@1 day ago with 1 note
#noah #darren aronofsky #anthony hopkins #russell crowe #marton csokas #ray winstone #tubal-cain #methuselah #jennifer connelly #emma watson #logan lerman #douglas booth #nick nolte #mark margolis #kevin durand #leo mchugh carroll #madison davenport #finn wittrock #gavin casalegno
It is easy to hate on this movie. Both atheists and believers can easily dismiss the whole idea as a made up story, since the biblical epic Noah is only loosely based on the story of Noah’s Ark. As a result, reviews have been generally alright still, but not as positive as director Darren Aronofsky’s other films. The story has many gaps and the filmmakers used much creative freedom to fill these gaps as they wished, and not everybody is content with that. In a number of Islamic countries Noah has been banned prior to its release. I watched this movie without any prejudice whatsoever and tried to appreciate its story as it is presented by the filmmakers. When one is able to look past the story’s inconsistencies, it is not a true adaptation at all, it features a great story still.
When he was just a little boy, Noah (played in this scene of the movie by Dakota Goyo, for the rest of the film by Russell Crowe) witnesses his father Lamech (Marton Csokas) getting killed by Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone). Years later, Noah is living a sober life with his wife Naameh (Jennifer Connelly) and three sons. After Noah dreams about a flood that will destroy all life, he visits his wise grandfather Methuselah (Anthony Hopkins). Methuselah tells that Noah was chosen to do something important, to build an ark and to help the animals survive the big flood.
Noah is Aronofsky’s most aesthetically ambitious project yet. Production design is of a grand level, as are the graphics and visual effects (post-production lasted over 14 months, results are often stunning). Aronofsky tells his story with a lot of visual bravoure and a bunch of brutal scenes, but he manages to bring more depth than the average summer blockbuster. The final part of the movie features some interesting character development, leading up to an all-out biblical family tragedy.
At no point does this movie fail to dazzle its audience. As a whole it might come across as anything but subtle at certain moments, but that’s only because Aronofsky intended it to be this way. He is on point as a director, delivering one of his most ambitious and satisfying movies yet.
@4 days ago
#peter bogdanovich #roger corman #targets #voyage to the planet of prehistoric women #boris karloff #the terror #tim o'kelly #grand theft auto #gta #arthur peterson #james brown
When in the late 60s Peter Bogdanovich was a film programmer at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City he met legendary b-movie director Roger Corman. Meeting Corman changed Bogdanovich’s life: Corman invited Bogdanovich to direct two movies, this here Targets and the poorly received Voyage To The Planet of Prehistoric Women (1968). Both are considerably different movies, but share this specific Corman-feeling.
Byron Orlok (Boris Karloff, a character based on Karloff himself) is an aging horror film star who is fed up with the entire movie-making industry. Before he definitely retires he makes a personal appearance at a showing of a movie called The Terror (an actual Roger Corman movie from 1963, many scenes involving Karloff in that movie are featured in Targets). Present at this showing is going to be Bobby (Tim O’Kelly), a happy seeming Vietnam veteran with a lust for guns.
Targets is a stylish movie. It has a slow pace and the plot isn’t all that spectacular, but Bogdanovich’s directing is extremely effective. He directs in a soothing manner and brings out the best of Karloff, who shines in a role that he himself considered one of his favorites. The long takes, as trivial as the may seem, are great to see and it all makes for a cold and bitter movie, which is at the same time charming and terrifying. The scenes in which a cool Bobby shoots at random people is tension-packed and has the same feeling of guilty pleasure as when you’re doing the same thing playing Grand Theft Auto.
@6 days ago with 1 note
#harvey #mary chase #henry koster #james stewert #josephine hull #victoria horne #cecil kellaway #gino corrado
Harvey is a feel-good movie based on Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize play of the same name. It is directed by German born Henry Koster and it turned out to be one of his greatest successes. He directed two of his stars, James Stewart and Josephine Hull, to an Academy Award nomination: Hull even ended up winning.
Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) is a good-natured, amiable and slightly eccentric man. He likes the more-than-occasional drink and his best friend is a pooka named Harvey, in the form of a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall (let’s stick to the facts, as Dowd would say) invisible rabbit. This friendship is sweet and harmless, but his sister Veta Louise Simmons (Hull) and niece Myrtle Mae Simmons (Victoria Horne) don’t like it a single bit and want Elwood to be institutionalized.
Sadly, Harvey can’t shake the play-feeling it has from the start: the acting is overly theatrical and the long takes at familiar sets and absurd comedy caper situations don’t make this feeling a positive one. However, the ever charming Stewart and some of his fantastic quotes (from a screenplay written by Chase and Oscar Brodney) make Harvey a better than average 50s comedy anyway. Whether Harvey is the result of Elwood’s drinking, imagination or playfullness nobody knows, but none of these options alter the fact that Elwood is the nicest of men, caring about everybody and wanting everybody to get along, be they real or imaginary. His wonderful behaviour brings out the best of people, just like this movie brings out the best feel-good feelings out of its audience.
@1 week ago
#pickpocket #robert bresson #martin lasalle #marika green #kassagi #pierre étaix
Pickpocket is one of Robert Bresson’s mostly watched movies. With a running time of only 75 minutes and a Nouvelle Vague-approved style over substance approach it is also one of the easiest to watch. It’s the first movie Bresson wrote the screenplay for himself.
Michel (Martin LaSalle, a non-professional at the time) resorts to pickpocketing. After he is arrested after doing so at the horse races, he spends a short time in jail. He meets some people who are professional pickpockets after his short jail time, who teach him their trade and who go on some pickpocket adventures with him. Even though Michel wants to quit, he realises it is his only way of surviving in Paris.
Could one turn a blind eye towards certain kinds of thefts? Bresson explores this theme, but never gives an answer. His directing is typically sober, just like the acting, cinematography and music. It makes for a movie that is calculated and meditative, and for those who are willing to fall into its grasp, it’s beautiful. Not only the pickpocketing scenes are beautiful, but so are the scenes in which a reserved Michel (who acts in strangely bad yet mesmerizing way) falls in love with the neighbor of his ill mother.
To many people, Pickpocket might seem to be a slow-moving movie about a thief trying to get what he wants, but Bresson made it into a beautiful one. Even if the style of the movie is not a thriller (as Bresson makes clear in the opening title screen), it has the emotional intensity of one.