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Bob K.
Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2005 - 07:41 am:   

I posted this link here a couple days ago, or so I thought. I guess I was in a hurry.

http://www.electricstory.com/reviews/review.aspx?title=new/millionbaby

Check out the new site design too.

Bob
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Bill Reynolds/Socrates17
Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 06:10 pm:   

Oh well.

Prior to this I was interested in seeing it. The last Eastwood I saw was Unforgiven which I loved. I KNEW I would hate Mystic River et al so I didn't bother.

Now I can save the money since I would have (as is now my practice) bought the DVD upon release instead so schlepping to the theatre.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 06:25 pm:   

It ain't UNFORGIVEN, either. :-)

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JV
Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 06:26 pm:   

I hated Unforgiven. The whole thing with one of the prostitutes saying, "I'll give ya a free one." And a bad continuity shift from summer to winter that seemed like an editing mistake on the editor's part.

JeffV
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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 07:17 pm:   

i didn't mind UNFORGIVEN, but it's more like that i enjoyed a bunch of scenes, and not the whole film in particular. however, eastwood's last couple of films were absolute trash. MYSTIC RIVER was trash, and BLOOD WORK had jeff bridges in a fake beard as a plot twist.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2005 - 09:06 pm:   

Why did "I'll give you a free one" offend you? Did it strike you as a modernism? And wasn't it "I could give you a free one...?" A suggestion rather than a direct offer?:

I thought UNFORGIVEN was pretty good. Not worthy of an Oscar, but then what it, really? Needless to say, Eastwood's work is incredibly overpraised. Kind of like Jim Nabor's singing voice.
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Minz
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:03 am:   

I'll grant you that Clint has a lot of trash under his belt, but I love Unforgiven. (And I'm a big fan of most of his Westerns.) And given the ballot that year, it deserved the Oscar (not saying much--Scent of a Woman, Crying Game, Howards End, A Few Good Men. I can't handle the truth!)

Don't get me wrong, just because it's a personal alltime favorite (which I've watched waaay to many times) doesn't mean it doesn't have its flaws. But, JeffV, you're wrong about the seasonal incontinuity. It is set in spring, and the snow/winter stuff happens when they're hiding out in high-country. In Wyoming. No inconsistency there. (And the warmer weather at Clint's homestead is set in the plains to the south, more than a week's ride from Big Whisky. They talk about heading up into the mountains and going over a pass to get to Big Whisky.)

I've waxed rhapsodic about Unforgiven elsewhere, so I'll spare you my hosannahs, other than to say I think it is the best Western made in the last 25 years at least.

As for his non-Western stuff, I still enjoy the first couple of Dirty Harry movies, but that's about it.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:08 am:   

It's the films that weren't nominated, Minz, that gave better value than Unforgiven. That was a sorry ballot, though.
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Minz
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:39 am:   

Only other films that I think of that are on a par may be Malcolm X and The Player (very different kinds of film, but with strong merits of their own). Otherwise, what, Last of the Mohicans? Bram Stoker's Dracula? A River Runs through it? Lorenzo's Oil? Contact? '92 was a crappy year for film. Oh wait, Alien 3, or The Bodyguard, or Batman Returns?

Actually, Glengarry Glen Ross wasn't bad, neither was Chaplin. I never saw Indochine, or John Sayles Passion Fish. But I can't recall anything that's obviously better than Unforgiven. Do you have any ideas/suggestions, or is that going too far back?
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:59 am:   

Minz, every year there are dozens of films that I consider better than the Oscar nominees. Most of them are foreigh or indie (though this is less true now. I don't have time at the moment to go back through IMBD and ascertain which films have a 1992 release date, but if you wish, when I return from Honduras, I'll come up with a susbtantial list of 1992 films that are not only better than Unforgiven, but stomp Unforgiven into the snowy turf of Foxboro. That said, I enjoyed Unforgiven, I just didn't think it was all that.
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Minz
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 11:00 am:   

That's pretty much the answer I expected, and I agree with it as a generality. And it's been quite a few years since I really watched a lot film, independent or otherwise. Even in Madison, where there were a couple of good indie-friendly theaters, I tended to only go to major films when they made it to the $.99 theater--too cheap to pay full price. In the late 80s, a friend worked at one of the indies, and I saw a lot then, but once he quite working at Hilldale, that pretty much ended it. I'd go to the occassional indi film, but it wasn't a priority.

And when we moved to New York, we didn't go to a movie, or even rent one, for the first 15 months we lived here, both of us throwing ourselves into the new jobs and new city. Plus if we do go out, we tend to go for live theater, readings, etc. Might take the Netflix plunge sometime soon, at which point I'll be plumbing the depths of your cineviews. (I admittedly have more popcorn tastes than you, but if I don't like a film, it's pretty much guaranteed you'll savage it, which is good enough for me.)
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 11:52 am:   

It;s not that I don't have popcorn tastes, I just have refined popcorn tastes. :-)

I like B pictures much more than "product" movies like The Aviator and that kind of crap.
For instance, I recently watched a pic called Blue Tiger with Virgina Madsen and Harry Dean Stanton, which did it for me. Virginia's daughter is killed by a yakuza wearing a red tiger tattioo so she goes to Harry, a reclusive tattoo artists, who put a blue tiger on her, this illuminating a Japanese myth, bringing into play. Off Virgina goes on the path of vengeance. Formulaic but stylish. II was cool.
It;s the only thing we still do well -- B pictures.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 02:12 pm:   

Lucius---

Serious question (though I suspect you won't have time to answer it before your trip): what do you consider the best American film since 1990? Sean Penn's THE PLEDGE? Or make it the top five films if it's impossible to come up with just one.

I was trying to figure my own list and realizing I haven't rewatched many of these movies, but I was thinking UNFORGIVEN would probably be up there, along with PULP FICTION, FARGO, BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS. When I was wondering if WAYNE'S WORLD would make the list, I figured it was time to turn the question to you.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 02:55 pm:   

I really liked the Pledge. It had subtle shift in mid-stream that changed it from a serial killer whodunnit into a personal tragedy, but I'm not sure it would make my list.. I'm one of those who prefer Jackie Brown to Pulp Fiction. Fargo or Barton Fink...hmm. You're right, Gordon. I'll have to think about that. I'll post a list when I get back.

I will say I have a runaway favorite in the foreign film category. Tsai Ming Liang's The River. It has some icky content, but as pure, innovative cinematic narrative, it's remarkable.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 03:45 pm:   

Yeah, I remembered that you liked THE PLEDGE. I did too, but it didn't make the top of my list. I'll be interested to see what you come up with when you get back. Have a good trip.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 03:54 pm:   

I wish Penn would direct more movies.

Thanks, i will.
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Luís
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 04:13 pm:   

I thought _Unforgiven_ was very good, and one of the few decent westerns to come out in the past twenty years or so. I seem to remember Lawrence Kasdan shooting the genre dead, followed by Kevin Costner making sure it stayed that way by drowning it in syrup . . .

Haven't seen _Cold Mountain_. Maybe I'll like it, maybe I won't, it hasn't spurred my interest sufficiently for me to go out and rent it. I think the last Eastwood film I saw was the messy _True Crimes_. After _Absolute Power_ and the rather execrable _Bridges of Madison County_, I decided to stay away from Eastwood for a while.

Best,
Luís
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Luís
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 04:16 pm:   

Gah. "One of the few decent westerns to +have+ come out . . ."
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 04:26 pm:   

Cold Mountain made me yak my popcorn. It's an atrocity. For a western, you might want to check out Michael Winterbottom's The Claim.
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Bill Reynolds/Socrates17
Posted on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 04:49 pm:   

Best film of 1992 was El Lado Oscuro del Corazon by the sublime Eliseo Subiela. If his earlier Hombre Mirando al Sudeste wasn't influenced by Philip K Dick I'd be really suprised.

My favorite westerns tend to be those of the spaghetti variety, especially, of course, SL.

Problem with US westerns is too damn many of them star John Wayne. I suppose The Searchers is a great movie. Everyone says it is. I can't get past my loathing for The Duke.

Only other US westerns I really like are The Magnificent Seven and Waterhole #3 which I believe no one has seen except me. W3 was exceptionally NOT PC and lacked even one character with any sort of moral code whatsoever. Right up my street, showing humans at their worst just like The Loved One and The Ruling Class.

I'm assuming, of course, that Bubba Ho Tep isn't classed as a western.

Sorry for the long delays between responses due to shakey internet service up here. I feel like Stephen Gould's Punctuated Equilibrium.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 06:33 am:   

I enjoyed UNFORGIVEN, not so much for Clint or his character, but for the general, dirty, nasty, unromanticized vision of the frontier and the terrific supporting performances by Gene Hackman and Richard Harris. There was interesting stuff going on all the time. And I liked the notion of the punk kid finding out being a gunfighter wasn't so great after all.

I really, really dug THE PLEDGE, just a quiet, subtle, elegaic film, also with great supporting performances (Mickey Rourke? Who knew?). Speaking of Sean Penn, one movie that really did not get the attention or credit it deserved was THE CROSSING GUARD with Nicholson, Anjelica Huston, and David Morse. Well-acted, emotional, profoundly affecting. Yes, Penn should direct more.
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 07:59 pm:   

THE PLEDGE is a much stronger film, imo, than THE CROSSING GUARD. the second film builds up really well, and i think it's one of the best things david morse has done, but the end just falls flat for me. THE PLEDGE, on the other hand, has an end that makes the film.

speaking of westerns i liked, there's WILD BILL. the director's name is on the edge of my tongue, but it has jeff bridges, and he's not bad. it's a solid little western film.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 07:22 am:   

Agreed re: THE PLEDGE. I think neither of Penn's films got the attention or audience it should have.

Unfortunately for Western films, I think HBO's DEADWOOD is miles ahead of anything the big screen has produced in a while.
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 09:45 am:   

DEADWOOD (season 1) comes out on DVD in a couple weeks. Miles and miles and miles ahead.

The Eastwood movie I liked most at the time was a PERFECT WORLD (1993). Costner's least objectionable role. It's an understated, underrated thriller.

I also think WHITE HUNTER, BLACK HEART is worth watching for a few reasons: amazing script, some beautifully written scenes, and the most ludicrous Eastwood performance of all time (he boldly attempts an actual straight-faced impersonation of John Houston...hilarious).
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 01:17 am:   

Ben: WILD BILL is a Walter Hill film. And I don't think any talk of great films in the nineties can fail to include Paul Thomas Anderson's MAGNOLIA.
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lucius
Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 07:46 am:   

I might have a bone to pick with you regarding Magnolia, alone based on the notion that no movie containing Tom Cruise can be considered great, but I had way too much fun at the Avenue Pub last night and my brain's as yet not working.

Great nineties movie: Barton Fink has to be there.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 11:16 am:   

Barton Fink, absolutely. The Coen Bros.' best film.

I'd put Once Were Warriors in the mix too.

I'm going to risk my reputation here and posit that Tom Cruise isn't half as bad an actor as he's often made out to be. He's been in some true stinkers, of course -- and was a scenery-chewer in them -- but his performance in Magnolia was good. Same with Born on the Fourth of July (a spotty film otherwise). He's no Billy Bob Thornton, that's for sure, but he's no Keanu Reeves either.

And anyway, Julianne Moore's performance in Magnolia cancels out any flaws Cruise may have brought to the table, in my mind. Magnolia wasn't perfect by any stretch, but it had so much balls, and its intent was so ambitious, that I can overlook its failures.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 11:22 am:   

Also, be glad you left the Pub when you did. We had a guy come in mad at his girlfriend, and threaten to shoot everyone in the bar.

On the other hand, I guess you might be sorry you missed that.
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Bill Reynolds/Socrates17
Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2005 - 09:23 pm:   

Hell. I'M sorry I missed that and I'm in China.
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Vince Wright
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 01:01 am:   

PT Anderson's the man, but Boogie Nights kicked Magnolia's ass...I liked Magnolia a lot more the second time around tho, Aimee Mann's music inspired some great scenes...somebody needs to adapt some Lucius novellas into scripts...or have they yet? "Hands Up..." would be my pick
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 07:11 am:   

They've put some of my stuff into scripts, Vince, and it's not pretty....

Nathan, good seeing you last night. My feeling about Cruise is, he gets too nuch credit for not being as godawful sometimes as people expect...like Gomer Pyle's singing voice. Anyway, sorry I missed the fun. I am off to Bananaland.
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 01:11 pm:   

> They've put some of my stuff into scripts, Vince,
> and it's not pretty....

Really? Can you elaborate on that? I searched IMDB, and your name didn't come up, so unless you clue us in, I've no idea how to find which projects of yours have been adapted to film. Even if it's not pretty, it might be interesting to see one of them.
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StephenB
Posted on Sunday, January 23, 2005 - 05:37 pm:   

I don't think he said they've been adapted to film... just script, but I could be wrong.
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DB Cooper
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 12:01 pm:   

Dave, excuse me for butting in, but I noticed you said "neither" of Penn's films received the attention they deserved, implying that he had made only two. He made three, inciuding THE INDIAN RUNNER, based on the Springsteen song "Highway Patrolmen," and starring David Morse, Viggo Mortensen, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Charles Bronson. It's pretty good. Viggo, especially.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 12:35 pm:   

Oh, whoops. I had forgotten about that one. Not hard to do, since I think that this one had even less exposure than the other two. I don't even remember it having a theatrical run in my area. But, once again, I stand corrected.
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JV
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 01:09 pm:   

With all due respect, I don't see how Unforgiven comes close to stacking up to the classic Westerns--including some of the Westerns Eastwood starred in before he turned to directing.

JeffV
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JV
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 01:11 pm:   

Nathan said: "Magnolia wasn't perfect by any stretch, but it had so much balls, and its intent was so ambitious, that I can overlook its failures."

You were able to overlook a freakin' gratuitous blitzkrieg of helpless frogs being hurtled down to their deaths from above?

JeffV
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 02:03 pm:   

Jeff: I haven't seen all the Western 101 core classics (ie, The Searchers, Stagecoach, The Wild Bunch, etc.), so I can't expound on Unforgiven's place within the genre generally.

My guess is that at least part of the reason Unforgiven achieved such high praise was because it satisfied the post-modern "deconstructionist" bent of the critics. While Sergio Leone's highly enjoyable, flair-filled movies built-up and augmented classic Old West myths (the stoic, silent, amoral, virile anti-hero who can outdrink, outthink and outshoot anyone while establishing no ties to anyone), Unforgiven did its level best to tear them down. Saul Rubinek's Beauchamp, the dimestore novelist in search of Western heroes, is an explicit nod to this. I think the critical establishment was moved by an elderly screen icon re-examining his own persona and taking a blowtorch to it. Plus, for a sixty-something film critic, how many of the icons of his youth are still around doing that sort of thing? Lee Marvin? Chuck Heston? John Wayne? Clint gets the laurels by default.

I think there are parallels to be drawn between critics' treatment of Unforgiven and their treatment of True Grit, Rooster Cogburn and The Shootist. Re-read old reviews of these movies and I think you'll find the same warm-and-fuzzies being bandied about.

Personally, I thought it was a fun, well-acted, more thoughtful and interesting than average Western that didn't suck.
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DB
Posted on Thursday, January 27, 2005 - 09:25 pm:   

I think of Eastwood's UNFORGIVEN in terms of Charlton Heston's WILL PENNY.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 06:35 am:   

Yeah, I made that connection myself as I was writing out Heston's name. Good call.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 06:37 am:   

Now that I think of it, Eastwood's UNFORGIVEN character, Will Munny, may very well have been an allusion to Heston's Will Penny.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 11:41 am:   

Jeff, you assume I consider the frogs to be a flaw. I do not. A flaw would be the disappearance of the narrative thread about the little boy finding the gun the police officer lost. It is resolved in the published script, but not on screen. The frogs were a stroke of genius.
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JV
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 11:59 am:   

The frogs, speaking as someone who values living frogs, were a holocaust. I was too shocked to care whether they fit into the film or not.

JeffV
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 01:48 pm:   

Jeff, just finished reading your interview with LS in the new Rain Taxi and enjoyed it a lot. Nice work. (Much better than James Lipton...:-))
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Minz
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 04:04 pm:   

Keannu Reeves as John Constantine. Oh . . . dear . . . God.
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Dave G.
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 04:46 pm:   

Dumb board member alert...That movie is based on a graphic novel, isn't it? Which one and what is the premise?

I hate to open myself up to ridicule, but the coming attractions looked like a lot of fun!
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DB
Posted on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 05:22 pm:   

Dave, CONSTANTINE is based on the Vertigo comic HELLBLAZER, about a contemporary English magus, John Constantine. They have made him a Yank, and, worse, they have made him Keanu Reeves and transferred the action from England to LA. Given the release date, mid-Feb, and the actor, and the fact that the opening has been pushed back and back again, it's hard to believe it isn't absolute tripe.
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Nathan Ballingrud
Posted on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 01:10 am:   

I think it's specifically based on Garth Ennis' initial run on HELLBLAZER, collected in a book called "Dangerous Habits." Constantine has to beat lung cancer, as well as thwart Satan's dastardly plans. How much of this will actually translate to the screen is anybody's guess.

Jeff, speaking as someone who values living human beings, I find many war films difficult to watch, as well. Also most western films, science fiction films, mysteries, and thrillers. Oh, and many comedies. As a cat lover, I cannot watch Tom & Jerry. As one who feels strongly about coyotes, The Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Show is right out. So, I feel your pain.

(I would insert a smiley emoticon here if I didn't believe emoticons are the tools of evil.)
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DB
Posted on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 06:47 am:   

Nathan, I didn't know it was Garth Ennis' initial run on Hellblazer that's the source materials for CONSTANTINE. That just makes it all the more tragic. I had hoped they might cast someone like Jude Law or Christopher Ecclestone, but there seems to be a policy in effect these days that ordains the casting of Americans as Brits and Brits as Americans, particularly southerners. There is, I imagine, some good reason for this, but it eludes me.
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JV
Posted on Saturday, January 29, 2005 - 07:17 am:   

Dave--Glad you liked the interview. Although they changed the last couple lines of my introduction to sound somewhat sappier than I had written them, I believe.

Actually, Nathan, I thought the frogs were fine, but coming as they did after a drifting hour of self-indulgent who-cares stuff, they just put an exclamation point on a movie that was full of great scenes that led nowhere. :-)

JeffV
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JV
Posted on Monday, January 31, 2005 - 06:58 pm:   

BTW--I just saw Million Dollar Baby and I liked it very much. *Jeff V starts running for the hills*

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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 06:34 am:   

Jeff, there has to be room in a man's life for a little sap.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 07:05 am:   

*If I can just make it to that thar hill, maybe Lucius won't catch up and savage me...*
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 08:11 am:   

Maybe we'll just write enough messages here that when Lucius gets back he won't want to go through them all....

Just watched GARDEN STATE, and enjoyed it very much. It started out feeling very GRADUATE like, but then changed some towards the end. Since I've moved away from home (far away) the scenes where Zach Braff's character first comes home and no one's changed resonated very strongly with me.

We signed up for NetFlix at the end of the year, and we've watched like 30 movies since then. Some were clunkers (like VAN HELSING and TROY...we figured what the heck) and others were good (like GARDEN STATE and SUPER SIZE ME).

ANything I should make sure I have in my queue?

JK
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 08:35 am:   

I enjoyed SUPER SIZE ME, but I did not find it to be any great shakes from a journalistic point of view. Wow, look at me! I can eat crap everybody knows is bad for you and wreck my health while you watch! The whole premise was kind of a "duh...". I thought the stuff about school districts signing over their nutritional programs to snack food companies was important and worthwhile, but taking potshots at McDonalds? [ethics note: I hold Mickey D's stock, although not a helluva lot, obviously] It's like somebody smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for a month and feigning shock that it adversely affects his health. Kinda disingenuous.
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 08:48 am:   

I liked Super Size Me because I think it helps someone who is eating a lot of fast food but not chronicling how it changes them physically to actually *see* what it's doing to them, through someone else's experience. But, yeah, it's not a great documentary.

John--I recommend A Very Long Engagement, by the same director as Amelie. Should be on DVD soon.

Jeff
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 08:49 am:   

Also--oh, man, John, these two will blow your mind:

Cat Soup (if it's available)
Rex the Runt (this one should be on Netflix)

I can't...I can't even describe them they're so weird and yet so freakin' cool.

JeffV
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 09:32 am:   

Thanks guys, I'll look for them. The queue is mostly filled up with things my wife will watch while I'm at grad school at night, but there are things for me, too.

JK

Now back to $1,000,000 Infant.
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 09:34 am:   

BTW, all three of those movies were available (well, VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT is a wait until it releases, but there nonetheless) so I've added them to my queue.

JK
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JV
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 10:39 am:   

Prepare for your mind to be blown, John. Both Cat Soup and Rex start out innocently enough, but just wait...

JeffV
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Mastadge
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 10:39 am:   

Is VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT the new Jeunet movie? If so, it's on my must-see list.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 11:01 am:   

A Very Long Engagement is the new Jeunet film. It's definitely worth seeing.

I'll probably wait until cable for Million Dollar Baby. I'm getting less interested in Eastwood's directing. When I recently re-watched Unforgiven, it didn't live up to my memory of it, and I wasn't especially thrilled with Mystic River (it wasn't bad, but it wasn't amazing either).
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 11:20 am:   

I hated Unforgiven. Everyone I knew kept telling me it was the best Eastwood western ever. Well, I love For a Few Dollars More, and Good, Bad, etc., but Unforgiven was none of these. Hated it. I've tried to watch it several times, and cannot get into it.

JK
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Minz
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 01:25 pm:   

JOhn, you are no longer welcome in my house. Nothing personal, but UNFORGIVEN is the greatest movie ever. (Hey, it could be true.)

Lucky for you, Sondi owns much of the house, so you should be able to come by on Sunday regardless. But no touching my TV!!! Nor my well-worn copy of Unforgiven.
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John Klima
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 01:33 pm:   

Well good, cause if Shai and I don't come over, you can't get drunk during the game. :-)

It's not like I think UNFORGIVEN is the worst movie ever. That's something like VAN HELSING or TROY, or some other garbage. It was more disappointment in UNFORGIVEN since I thought I was going to watch a shoot 'em up western. I feel the saw way about PREDATOR. Everyone I knew told me PREDATOR was the most amazing movie ever. Same thing with that damn Kenau movie about the bus, people raved about that thing and I was like "They're on a freakin' bus? How is that exciting?"

JK
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 02:44 pm:   

If you want an exciting shoot-em-up, try CITY OF GOD...

JK, you get props for putting FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE first among Clint's westerns. It deserves respect if only for Gian Maria Volonte's hophead sociopath Indio, the oddest villain in westerns...

I thought PREDATOR was some laffs, if only for Jessie Ventura.
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Mastadge
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 05:17 pm:   

Get to the choppah!
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 07:51 pm:   

i quite liked A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, actually. I even thought the use of voiceover was done quite well--gave you that feel that someone was reading the novel to you.
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StephenB
Posted on Tuesday, February 01, 2005 - 10:23 pm:   

Clint's spagehetti westerns are my favs. I remember watching Unforgiven for the first time -- I must have been about eleven -- and being a little disappointed. I mean, there was so much hype about the movie being this masterpiece, and I'd already really liked the spagehettis... I guess it just didn't live up to all the hype for me, even though I liked some aspects of the movie. I don't think I've seen that movie again since.

I haven't seen Mystic River or Million Dollar Baby. Although, based on the description in Lucius' review and the previews I've seen, I think the cheese factor would get on my nerves. Only B-movies which don't take themselves that seriously or certain types of comedies can get away with being that cheesy. But I guess I won't know forsure untill I watch it.
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DB
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 06:14 am:   

Last night I watched a couple of movies starring Campbell Scott. THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS and RODGER DODGER. Since making his debut in THE ROCKETEER. he's done mostIy small films and has developed into an interesting actor, playing a variety of yuppies and young professionals. In RODGER DODGER he plays a man who believes he's a womanizer, but isn't really, and in DENTISTS he plays the father of three young daughters, part of a husband-and-wife dental team, along with Hope Davis. I'd recommend the latter as an excellent portrait of a marriage in crisis. I get the feeling that Scott will become a more interesting actor as he grows older and starts playing supporting roles.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 06:49 am:   

I liked RODGER DODGER a lot, particularly for the career-redeeming performances of a couple of fallen stars, Jennifer Beals and Elizabeth Berkley. Watched a bit of SHOWGIRLS on Spike the other night for the first time in a dozen years and, I have to say, its true awfulness finally sunk in. I'm glad to see that Berkley, who is actually talented, is making a rebound from that fiasco. If I'm not misremembering, there was also a woman who played a small part of a prostitute who the kid finds himself with and she is really great. Anyone remember her name?
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Fanboy Minz
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 07:29 am:   

Hey Stephen, you may want to give Unforgiven another chance. I'm a huge fan of Clint's Westerns, especially the three Sergio flicks, and what I loved about Unforgiven is how it comments on the whole notion of the badass gunfighter, totally debunks that core genre theme, examining it through four different faces (Freeman, Harris, Hackman & Eastwood's characters). And I love William Munny--literally introduced to the viewer via wallowing in the mud, unable to even lay his hands on some pigs. Can't even stay astride his horse. Forced to crawl out of a bar after being whooped but good. And in the end, Eastwood has you rooting for Munny, even though all he's really doing is being a coldhearted bastard. (Okay, he's avenging the death of his friend, but hey, let's face it, they set off to kill someone for cash, and Freeman was far from innocent, even if he did lose his nerve at the moment of truth.) It's like Munny says, "We all got it comin', kid." It's nihilistic. It's brutal. It's fairly honest (yes, there's some Eastwood emotional manipulation, but in this case it mostly works). Great Cinematography. Hell, I could write a dissertation simply on how Eastwood used the weather in the film as a metaphor.

Perhaps the last great Western star, a man who made a dozen westerns (though perhaps we shouldn't count Joe Kidd, and I've never seen Ambush at Chimera(?) Pass), willing to do a serious study of the genre. I just friggin love this film.

Okay, I'll stop now. Sorry about the rants. (And it's not the first time I've started foaming at the mouth about Unforgiven. Good thing Lucius isn't here to spank me silly.)
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 07:30 am:   

Actually, I suppose you could throw in the Scofield Kid and say he's examining the gunfighter through five faces.
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John Klima
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 08:10 am:   

But are you counting Paint Your Wagon?

JK
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 08:41 am:   

If you really wanted to push it, you could say, I suppose, that the Dirty Harry films were an exploration of "the gunfighter" in 20th century America...

Are you counting Clint's portrayal of Rowdy Yates on "Rawhide"?
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 08:47 am:   

No I wasn't, though I was counting Rawhide, which was actually a tv series. And I wasn't counting Bronco Billy either. (though the themes about the fading image of the Wild West, and fading, aging cowboy are in BB, it's certainly not a western, and it doesn't really put the images into as fascinating a crucible as Unforgiven.)

I just checked imdb, and it is 11 western movies, plus Rawhide (Paint Your Wagon is, of course, a Musical, not a Western). Oh, and it was Ambush at CIMARRON Pass, Clint's first Western--it even predates Rawhide--I had thought it came after the first season of Rawhide. (silly me)
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 08:48 am:   

oops, crossposting. I was saying no to John on the PYW front.
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 08:50 am:   

The Outlaw Josey Wales = underrated

Pale Rider = overrated

Are you counting The Beguiled as a western?
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 08:52 am:   

I would definitely put Dirty Harry in a similar category as his Westerns. And you can pretty much chuck the rest of his films. (The Any Which Way stuff made me laugh in my pre-pubescent years, although that was almost entirely because of the talented and hairy Clyde, as well as the pissing & moaning grandma. Bad films, but enjoyed those two in them.)
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Dave G.
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 10:11 am:   

I shed a tear in my beer for HONKY TONK MAN which, although a bit sappy, had some heart.
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 12:25 pm:   

Minz (or anyone else who wants to contribute) --

What would you rank as the five (or ten, etc.) best western films? All this talk about them has got me watching a lot of westerns lately (including reruns of Gunsmoke), and I want to make sure I don't miss any of the really good'uns.

As part of my digital cable package, I've got a movie channel entirely devoted to westerns, so that's been handy.
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 12:50 pm:   

John, I'm no expert on westerns, but three of my favorites are High Noon, True Grit (almost the Dark Knight Returns of the classic western), and Little Big Man.
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R.Wilder
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 12:52 pm:   

Stagecoach

Red River

The Searchers

Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

Shane

Once Upon a Time in the West

High Noon

Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Unforgiven

If I had more time I might eliminate a few John Ford flicks and narrow it down to a total of 5 movies. This is just off the top of my head.





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DB
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 01:12 pm:   

The Oxbow Incident,, featuring Anthony Quinn and Dana Andrews

The Hired Hand, directed by Peter Fonda

The Shooting, starring Jack Nicholson (absolutely amazing existential western)

Lonely Are The Brave, a contemporary western that may be Kirk Douglas' finest performance.

Dead Man, with Johnny Dep and directed by Jim Jarmusch.
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DB
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 01:16 pm:   

I'm with those folks who think Unforgiven is not bad, but terribly overrated.
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Minz
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 02:40 pm:   

Rather than limit myself, let me just add to the list (while emphatically seconding High Noon, Unforgiven, The Searchers--I'd recommend ALL of Wilder's recommendations, but those three should be singled out imnsho):
How the West Was Won (amazing cast)
Tom Horn (Steve McQueen version)
The Oxbow Incident (Henry Ford)
The Hanging Tree (Gary Cooper)
The Wild Bunch
The Magnificent Seven (yes, you should see the original "Seven Samurai", but still, a classic)

Clint must-sees:
Fistful of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More
The Good the Bad the Ugly
High Noon
Outlaw Jose Wales
Pale Rider
Unforgiven

Duke must-sees:
Stagecoach
Red River
Hondo
The Searchers
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
Rio Bravo
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
The War Wagon
Chisom
Big Jake!!!!! (my fav Duke)

Good, but not must-see:
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (I'll probably get villified for not calling this must-see)
Tombstone
The Plainsman (Gary Cooper, dir Cecil B DeMille)
Gregory Peck's got some good ones, but I can't think of the titles
Blazing Saddles (put here, because it's an absolute classic comedy, not a western--it is a must-see comedy)

Guilty pleasures:
Young Guns
Maverick


There's probably a few that I'm forgetting, but I gotta get outta here, and I don't have the time to go rooting about on imdb
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John Joseph Adams
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 03:12 pm:   

Thanks guys!

Sadly, looks like Tom Horn, The Hanging Tree, Lonely Are The Brave, and Hondo are not available on DVD as of yet (or at least Netflix doesn't have them). Speaking of Netflix, it's terr

Jim -- for the Clint must sees, did you mean High Plains Drifter, or Hang'em High? (He's not in High Noon; that's a Gary Cooper flick.)
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JJA
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 03:27 pm:   

Oh, but lookie here -- Hondo is on TCM tomorrow, and Loney are the Brave is being aired multiple times on that Westerns movie channel I mentioned (and, much to my surprise, I discovered I'd already programmed my DVR to record it). So I'll just have to keep my eye out for Tom Horn and The Hanging Tree.
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DB
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 03:43 pm:   

LONELY ARE THE BRAVE is a great movie with a terrific cast including Gena Rowlands and Walter Matthau and Carrol O'Conner. Tape it if you can.
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DB
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 03:47 pm:   

And, I believe, Sam Peckinpah has a small role in it.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 08:04 pm:   

I agree about The Secret Life of Dentists -- Hope Davis does a good job with a very few lines (relatively), and Campbell Scott is excellent. The treatment of the problem with the marriage and its resolution, giving it a minimal articulation, was very smart.

Western's aren't my favorite medium. I agree with Bill R that John Wayne is a talking beefburger. I liked the Shooting a lot. Didn't Monte Hellman direct it? Another Nicholson western I liked was that comedy he made with Mary Steenburgen, Goin' South. People have covered most of the good ones, but I want to mention two more by Hellman. Ride in the Whirlwind, which was written by Nicholson, who also starred along with Cameron Mitchell and Harry Dean Stanton and Millie Perkins. And China 9, Liberty 37, with a muxed Italian and American cast, including Warren Oates. Perhaps neither one is a great movie, but they are idiosyncratic ones and worth noting.

Jeff, You liked Million Dollar Baby? What can I say? You're as one with America. But let's examine the experience. There hasn't been a less authentic boxing movie since Kid Galahad. I was thrown out of the film from the very outset. For openers, I was amused by the fight doctor threatening to stop the fight that opens the movie because of a cut on the cheek. I have never seen a fight stopped by a cut on the cheek; I imagine it's possible, but this particular cut was not that severe--I've seen far worse cuts handled easily. As you surely know, 99% of cuts that stop a fight involve the eye, because blood is running into the eye blinds the boxer and/or the injury promises damage to the optic nerve.

I started to chuckle when I saw Eastwood's work as a cutman, which was spectacularly inauthentic. Every cutman I've ever seen work gets right next to the fighter, pushes the head around like it's a dummy, manhandling it, treating it roughly. They have to do that in order to apply sufficient pressure and because the fighters react against the pain, try to pull away. They have to put pressure with their left hand on the back of the head to keep it immobile. Squatting at a discrete distance, as Eastwood did, pushing delicately with the swab, he could not have brought enough pressure to bear on the wound to do any good and the fighter would have jerked away from him. As to the method used to close the wound, letting the opponent hit it so as to seal the cut....? So as to create an opening for a counter? All I can say is that my good friend, cutman Tom Smario, almost fell on the floor at this juncture. If you're going to make a boxing movie, it takes so little effort to make it realistic... Why not bother to do so?

The fillm cuts to the gym and I got to laughing out loud. We enter the Hit Pit and immediately see a number of "fighters" working out. The problem is, not one of these guys knew how to throw a punch. Would it have been too much trouble to have a few actual fighters training in the background? Anyone who's ever been in a pro gym would notice the difference. Either Frankie was the world's worst trainer or he likes sloppy, loose-armed punchers, punches that are not snapped off. To me, it was like walking into gym and seeing a bunch of go-go dancers.

These may seem like nitpicks, but they're not. Imagine you're a science fiction fan and you go to a movie that purports to be realistic in its portrayal of life in outer space, and you see a man working in vacuum, in a space suit, take off his helmet and draw a deep breath. That's the level of inauthenticity I'm talking about. It's virtually impossible to take the movie seriously. It's just slovenly filmmaking and I find it almost inconceivable that anyone the least bit conversant with boxing wouldn't react to this. The first 15 minutes of the movie are laughable for their presentation. And this lack of attention to detail runs all the way through it. The grungy cinematography strives for a naturalistic style, but the script is pure hokum and the dissonance between the two is jarring.

The voiceover. Old boxers who work as janitors in gyms are not well-spoken. Invariably, they slur and mangle their words, they do not speak with the grave assurance of exiled African kings. I can allow Clint that distortion--it has plenty of literary precedents--but in context of this particular movie, of its many significant errors, it's just another silly misstep. Forget the quality of the voiceover (which is overwritten and contains enough folksy allegorical material to choke John Bunyan), by its literacy alone it persuades us we are watching something, an entertainment, rather than drawing us in. The distortions keep on coming and are particularly noxious in the fight in which Hillary Swank gets injured. If this needs a big spoiler sign, forget it. The fact is, I don't think the ending can be spoiled, it's so fuckng ridiculous. The fight would have certainly been stopped long before the way it ends in the movies and Swank's opponent would have been disqualified. They're very quick to stop women's fights for any reason. In its own way, it's as unrealistic as any of Rocky's fights. And the woman matched against Swank is at least twenty pounds heavier, up three weight classes from Swank. In a bigtime bout, that's simply not going to happen. As for the euthanasia sequence, Clint seems to go about it all wrong. First he removes the ventilator. You'd expect Swank to experience a panic reflex, gasping, choking, something of the sort, but no, she lies there peacefully. Then he injects her with something, which he should have done first. Like the entire film, it's absurd and not thought through.

Yet it's not the lack of verisimiltude that gets me as much as the baldness of the manipulation. They're comparing Eastwood to Howard Hawks and John Ford. That's a joke. If Clint's reaching for anyone, it's Speilberg. The movie's catastrophically manipulative. Spielbergian. The graces of the movie are Swank who does her best to overcome the script and gives us a few good moments, and Freeman when he's training her, not doling out cheap philosophy. Eastwood is awful. His banter with Freeman plays like dinner theater, stiff and awkward and unreal. The platonic love bond between Clint and Hillary is sweetly cornball, and if it weren't for the way it's shoved down the audience's throat as if we're too dumb to get it and need reminders, it would be palatable; as it stands, it's ghastly. His exchanges with the priest...Enough. The film's really not worth talking about this much.
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JV
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 08:34 pm:   

*I didn't make it to safety before Lucius sprang up and got me.*

Welcome back!

I noted some of the boxing stuff--not the gym stuff, because I haven't been in a boxing gym--but it didn't bother me. I expected it to be smaltzy. It's possible you set such low expectations that I liked it better because of that, but I did think it was a solid movie.

The last fight with Swank would have been stopped long before that--absolutely. That I found ludicrous. The trailer park family was definitely one-dimensional, but I've met people like that, so I didn't find them as one-dimensional as I expected to.

I didn't find the voice-over ludicrous for the level of reality the movie was working at.

I am a boxing fan, truly, but somehow the discrepancies didn't bother me.

Jeff
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DB
Posted on Wednesday, February 02, 2005 - 11:43 pm:   

Two westerns that must be mentioned are John Ford's CHEYENNE AUTUMN and Sam Peckinpah's RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY. Neither one, sad to say, is on DVD, but they're both great. RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY is an early film by Peckinpah, but I think it's his best. He used two aging cowboy stars, Randolph Scott and Joel McCrae, to make an unforgettable story of betrayal and redemption. CHEYENNE AUTUMN is real departure for Ford, running contrary to the great white heroes of his other movies.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 05:19 am:   

"Welcome back!"

Thanks, Jeff. I'm just temporarily back, back for a few days before I'm off again on Sunday.

I think enough's been said about Baby. You like it, I hate it. The boxing stuff bothered me. The trailer trash family likewise. I'm sick of the generic south as portrayed by Hollywood, one accent , one heritage...but anyway.

Nothing could be as cinematic as Morales v Pacquiao is going to be....
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JV
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 05:56 am:   

This is true!

JeffV

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Minz
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 06:20 am:   

Good to see you, Lucius. Welcome Back.

Hang 'em High and High Plains Drifter are both worth seeing. As is The Shootist (it's the Duke's swan song, and poignant, though it's actually more of a really good movie, rather than a really good Western. But it is certainly a very poignant swansong for Wayne. He was dying of cancer as the finished the film.)

I agree with Ride the High Country (haven't seen it fifteen-twenty years). I've never seen Cheyenne Autumn. I'll have to check it out. Thanks, DB.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 06:34 am:   

Thanks, Minz.

IMO, Ride the High Country kicks the spit out of Unforgiven, and covers pretty much the same themes. I haven't seen it in a while, true, but I remember it pretty vividly and it was amazingly good. Some great dialogue. Now that I think about it, I would bet that that movie, in particular the Randolph Scott character (Scott has a physical similarity to Eastwood), was a big influence on Clint.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 06:39 am:   

Here's a related question...what about films depicting 20th century life at "the frontier" that could be said to carry on the legacy of the Western?

Two that come to mind: the underrated THE BORDER with Jack Nicholson and Wim Wenders' PARIS, TEXAS.

Would anyone include these in the definition of "westerns"?
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 06:40 am:   

I'm sure you're right, Lucius. One thing about Clint, he is a real student of film (even if he takes his research of subject matter lightly. I suppose now that you've ripped apart his depiction of a cutman, you'll lay in to his boxing form in the Any Which Way films :-))
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 06:56 am:   

No, Minz, that was excusable. I've never seen an actor who could box. The cutman shit...Clint's a boxing fan, he knows better, he could have done it right--it would have made the scene more kinetic.

Lonely are the brave is a modern western, and Ride the High Country is set in the early 1900s. I think your suggestions may qualify.
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Andrew Fox
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 07:10 am:   

Hi, Lucius, welcome back! Hope thing went well down south. In the category of contemporary westerns, I'd like to toss out a film I ended up liking a whole lot more than I thought I would, Clark Gable's and Marilyn Monroe's last -- The Misfits.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 07:18 am:   

Thanks, Andy. Good choice. I'd forgotten that one.

You get my email?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 07:21 am:   

Dave, the Misfits is one answer to your question. As is The Claim by Michael Winterbottom. Tender Mercies. Dersu Ezala strikes me as a western in theme.
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Dave G.
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 07:49 am:   

I would even include a movie like KNOCKAROUND GUYS with John Malkovich, which has kind of a fun, gangsters vs. crooked sheriff in a small western town (Goodfellas meets High Noon?) angle. And Ang Lee's upcoming gay-cowboy drama BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN.

I hadn't realized it, but I guess the western is alive and well and mutating with the times.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 07:56 am:   

Yeah, I spose...though I didn't think than much of that movie. I think the gay cowboy movie might be masquerading as a western -- in drag, as it were. :-)
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Minz
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 10:28 am:   

Arguably, the Western has been the basis of many other films--has been for decades.
Most of John Wayne's films were Westerns, even the war films (and the firefighter one, etc).
A lot of war films are actually westerns (though there are plenty that are not)
Dirty Harry.
Rambo.
Schwarzenegger.
Segal
Van Damme
Kurosawa freely admitted drawing deeply on the themes of the genre, etc.

Heck, before there was soap opera, or space opera, there was horse opera . . .
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John Klima
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 11:02 am:   

How did all this talk of westerns go by and no one mentioned Lonestar? I mean, it's probably more mystery than western, but considering its setting....

JK
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 11:25 am:   

Good call, JK.

The more I think about it, Ride the High Country is one of the absolute best. A classic. I wish it was on DVD.
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Noosh
Posted on Monday, February 14, 2005 - 01:39 pm:   

Wanted to add my two cents about Million Dollar Baby. I wasn't bothered by any of the boxing inauthenticity, probably because I was too ignorant to notice it, but the latter part of the movie was just a real kick in the stomach, maybe lower. I think this thread is already forgoing spoilers, else stop reading now. I've never been so pissed off when leaving a movie. I didn't feel manipulated, but I felt the effort to manipulate me where I didn't want to go. To portray someone giving up on their life in a span of 15 minutes (granted it was supposed to be longer, but didn't feel that long) and the Eastwood character buying into it as well just felt so false to me. Just to add to the lack of authenticity, my wife, who's a nurse, pointed out that Swank wouldn't be able to talk nearly as well, or possibly not at all, with that ventilator carved into her trachea. Hell of a movie to go see on Valentine's weekend.

BTW, Lucius, long-time listener, first-time caller here, really enjoyed Floater and Viator, both of which I had a chance to read recently.
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Lucius
Posted on Monday, February 14, 2005 - 02:08 pm:   

Noosh, glad you enjoyed the two books. As far as Baby, yeah, what you said, that ending is belongs in the Manipulation Hall of Fame, whether judged as effective or not. Good point about the ventilator.
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Gordon Van Gelder
Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 05:02 am:   

I sort of avoided this thread for fear of having Million Dollar Baby ruined for me. Shouldn't have bothered. Now that I've seen it, I'm kind of amazed it's showing up on "best of the year" lists and getting all sorts of award nods. To me, it felt like a throwback to the studio pictures from the 1930s and '40s---heavy on the sentiment, light on the content. I suppose that if I were in a more generous mood, I'd say that it wasn't trying for realism but was aiming to be some sort of fable, but for me there were too many nits and flaws for the film to work that way. (I'll skip adding more to this thread; I suspect that everyone who sees it will have some.) Plus I grew tired of all the shots of Eastwood half in shadow.

On the subject of contemporary Westerns, I thought Copland was the first New Jersey Western. I thought it was also the last thing I've seen Stallone do that interested me.
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Lucius
Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 06:08 am:   

Yeah, the cinematography was a joke. And Baby was an incredibly sloppy movie, apart from all else. As to its Oscar -worthiness, it;s just the sort of sentimental crap the acadeny loves.

Copland was also James Mangold's last decent movie -- afterward he did Girl, Interripted, Identity....
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MarcL
Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 12:31 pm:   

I stumbled across Copland on TV, it looked good enough that I didn't want to see a hacked up version, so I changed channels. One of these days I'll see the full film.

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ben peek
Posted on Sunday, February 20, 2005 - 07:00 pm:   

i didn't mind COPLAND, but i think it could've been done with either expanding the length, or cutting back the characters and focusing more tightly on two.

i did hear, once, actually, that it was meant to be much longer than what got released. but i'm not sure if that's true.
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Dave G.
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 08:35 am:   

Life, sadly, imitates art.

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/boxing/news/story?id=2030005
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 04:39 pm:   

I didn't see Million Dollar Baby. Does the Swank character die from a punch? I figured it would be the old coach character. (Feel free to use spoiler tags.)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 04:45 pm:   

Frirst of all, that wasn't art and hardly an imitation of whatever it was.

She dies because she;s fouled, falls and breaks her neck on a stool; this renders her quadrapalegic and then she ask clint to kill her and he does, most inauthentically....
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MarcL
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 09:33 pm:   

No wonder she got an Oscar.

So has this movie led to a rash of concerned citizen action groups pushing to have all stools removed from boxing arenas?

(All I know about boxing is from reading Harry Crews.)
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - 10:17 pm:   

No to your question, because given the circumstance, there wouldn't have been a stool in the ring...

Don't know boxing? If you come to the panel at Hugo House, bring a pair of sparring gloves and I'll give you a lesson. :-)
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MarcL
Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 09:40 am:   

Since I don't have sparring gloves, I hope that typing gloves will do. They are mink-lined, and with the fingers cut out. Also, with retractable six inch blades.

I'm hoping to make it to Hugo House, but we're moving into a new house the day before, so it's not looking good for me to get into the city that day. Might be worth the extra effort to get myself a concussion though.

(This thing with the stool is going to bother me till I see the movie now. And I wasn't planning on watching it. She got fouled...hit her head on a stool...which wasn't in the ring... Maybe it was a stool that some critic was throwing at the screen (see Sin City thread)...?)
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rwexler
Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2005 - 09:56 am:   

I saw a preview for Million Dollar Baby at the local art theater last night (I guess they're bringing it there thinking they'll make some money?). I had no idea it was a comedy! That's why none of you people got it. Where's your sense of humor Lucius?

Robert

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