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12 May 2012 at 6:52 am #1197
We saw DARK SHADOWS yesterday, a yawner. It starts out well, with Crimson & Clover in the background, but soon it drags as if they were trying to make it soap opera slow without sustaining tension.
The worst movie Johnny Depp has made since SLEEPY HOLLOW. It’s THE ADAMS FAMILY with less jokes. The previews have all the best parts. I never saw the TV soap opera from which it is taken, but my wife has, and she also thought this was a dud. They should have dropped Batman into the plot and had Johnny Depp ad lib as both the Joker and Heath Ledger.
Better still, they should not have released the movie until Halloween. Its atmospheric points could have given it a better feel then.
Last night we watched TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY on DVD. Well shot and very artsy, and nicely scored with a solo trumpet as the thread of tense thought. But if you haven’t already read Le Carre’s Smiley books, I doubt that you’ll get it.
Richard L.Quote12 May 2012 at 6:59 am #1198
Addendum (because I haven’t learned to edit here yet): My wife, looking over my shoulder, tells me that the opening song in DARK SHADOWS was not “Crimson & Clover,” but “Nights In White Satin” by the Moody Blues (1967). Naturally, she’s right. DARK SHADOWS is actually set in 1972 and Alice Cooper blandly sings a couple of songs. Not worth the movie price.
Richard L.Quote13 May 2012 at 8:07 am #1206
It looks pretty terrible Richard. I’ve given up on Johnny Depp taking roles that communicate a level of interest to me as a consumer of motion pictures. Now I do want to see The Rum Diary. Probably the last thing Johnny was in that really impressed me was his turn as Thompson in Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing film. Since that time, what with the Pirate pictures, the Peter Pan ballyhoo, the sentimental explorations with Tim Burton – I’ve stopped watching this man’s pictures.
When he chooses to make pictures for adults again, I will give him another look.
13 May 2012 at 7:56 pm #1213
I’ve been making my way through Hans-Jurgen Syberberg’s 1977 masterpiece Our Hitler: a Film from Germany. Just finished it tonight. Five and a half hours (although the original film version was closer to seven) of nonstop poetic genius. You have to imagine a cross between William L. Shirer, Peter Greenaway, Aejandro Jodorowski and Terry Gilliam – the rise and fall of the Third Reich, the Hitler mystique, told with animation, puppets, grand guignol and theatre panique techniques. Just stunning, the kind of film that infects your dreams.
Rick WallachQuote16 May 2012 at 5:25 am #1270
Richard L. – my wife and I started watching Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy last night but, both still being somewhat frazzled after a friend’s big wedding celebration at the weekend, decided that our brains weren’t ready for the attention it required, so we stopped it and put on Tony Scott’s Unstoppable, with Denzel Washington, instead. I felt we needed a movie that was sufficiently stupid, but christ above… That’s an hour and a half of my life I’ll never get back.
Looking forward to giving Tinker, Tailor another go soon.
DowdyQuote16 May 2012 at 7:51 am #1271
Just found a copy of Our Hitler so I will begin that sojourn into the seven hour abyss directly.
Have you seen Barquero? I don’t know if I’ve written about it here before. I think it would be of definite interest to admirers of Blood Meridian. It may be the most violent western of the seventies, excepting Soldier Blue which came out the same year.
Barquero (1970) stars Warren Oates, Lee Van Cleef and a fair amount of second tier character actors from that decade. Oates plays the dopesmoking (homosexual?) leader of a gang of marauders. The beginning of the film is Oates’ gang razing a town, shedding blood like perspiration, all but raping each and every inhabitant of the small hamlet.
Then the film focuses on Oates band of murderers attempting to out ride the United States Army which is in hot pursuit. The bulk of the film takes place at a river crossing where Lee Van Cleef, a bargeman, decides to impede ole Warren’s blood orgy by refusing to transport his thugs across the river. What follows is something akin to a second unit director on the Wild Bunch dropping acid, absconding with Peckinpah’s cameras and filming a dark brooding hallucinogenic death ritual. If ANY of you have even a mild appreciation for Warren Oates – I STRONGLY encourage you to rent this film post haste.
There is a fair amount of comedy infused in this peculiar horror western. Shades of William Burrough’s Place of Dead Roads I thought.
The film is not without its flaws but makes for an enjoyable and eerie experience.
16 May 2012 at 2:43 pm #1274
How did you get your hands on that film? Can’t find Barguero anywhere. Not even on netflix.
MikeQuote21 May 2012 at 7:16 pm #1306
I initially saw it on the Encore Westerns channel a few years back when we still had the cable. Taped it off of that excellent channel at like 3 AM.
Check out this link amigo…
23 May 2012 at 12:12 pm #1325
Interesting reflections by Ebert on two films that he considers great: Tree of Life and Synechdoche New York. I was blown away by Synedoche’s film language but lost the trail of the film. I bought it, a rare occurrence, and look forward to the next viewing or three. We’ve already been over Tree of Life here ad nauseum. Seems like it is a film you love or hate. I really liked it but am not sure whether it will hold up over time. There are films you watch over a lifetime that never get stale. I just watched Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage and look forward to the next viewing as well. Jeez, does anyone do intelligent dialogue better than Bergman? It puts most scriptwriters to shame.
Greg S.Quote28 May 2012 at 2:42 pm #1361
You guys can drop lines on really arcane films. Anywho, I’m about to begin a series of commentaries on various westerns and in the process have been running across many John Milius connections. I spoke to Mike about Milius as the originator of Eastwood’s Dirty Harry character and that immediately took us to the hilarious parody of Milius as Walter Sobchak in the Coen brothers’ THE BIG LEBOWSKI. Read a couple of essays on the film by some “film studies” types that are predictably stupid as hell. They refuse to recognize that Walter, while often quite ridiculous (it is a parody of Milius, after all), is prescient more often than not.
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