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Finally caught up with An Elephant Sitting Still, which I’ve been meaning to watch for several years. Why did it take so long for me to press play? Well, it’s a bleak, introspective portrait of hopeless lives that stretches to nearly four hours, and not long after its making the young director, Hu Bo, died by suicide. Indeed, death cascades throughout the story’s four intricate, intersecting arcs about people trying to carry on in a ramshackle Chinese town. Much has been made of the movie’s long, unbroken shots, but the technical prowess is secondary, I think, to Hu Bo’s assured reliance on closeups that contain rich, sensitive emotional detail. The movie concerns school bullying, volatile relationships, and unethical choices, but perhaps its real subject is how the human face (and, by extension, cinema) contains multitudes.
 

 

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Even though I could have watched Cry Macho for free on HBO Max, I still went out to the theater for it. Why? Because Clint Eastwood, even now when his age is definitely showing, deserves to be seen on

Finally caught up with An Elephant Sitting Still, which I’ve been meaning to watch for several years. Why did it take so long for me to press play? Well, it’s a bleak, introspective portrait of hopele

Last night I watched game six of the NBA finals. I haven't been a big NBA fan in years, but I thoroughly enjoyed this year's finals. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a joy to watch, and the Bucks play well as

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Last night I watched game six of the NBA finals. I haven't been a big NBA fan in years, but I thoroughly enjoyed this year's finals. Giannis Antetokounmpo is a joy to watch, and the Bucks play well as a team. Game five was particularly epic. I always enjoy watching a small market team that hasn't won in a long time hoist the championship trophy. 

 

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Watched the The Thin Red Line.

 

For the life of me, I can't remember if I ever seen it before. Nicely shot - definitely an interesting perspective of war.

Little too dramatic at times, though. Nolte and Penn definitely shined. 

 

I watched the Criterion edition -- in the beginning of the movie, it stated: “Director Terrence Malick recommends that The Thin Red Line be played loud.” You had to hit continue to watch the film. Never seen that before on a DVD - it seemed that Malick really wanted the viewer to acknowledge his request.

 

I also checked out Malick's Badlands from the library --- planning to watch this at some point next week.

 

These Malick's movies were brought upon watching David Gordon Green, Joe.  The DVD had an extra regarding the screenplay, with interviews with Larry Brown, Green, and Hawkins (the screenwriter).  Hawkins and Green mentioned Malick's Badlands, being a great inspiration to the movie. 

 

Regarding Joe, enjoyed the book much more (Brown is on my favorite writers) - but the actors (esp. Cage and Tye Sheridan) were great.

 

 

 

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17 hours ago, kidsmoke said:

Well now I've got "That's How I Got to Memphis" stuck in my head again. (Ok!)

How is this?

 

My only complaint is that it's too short. Especially considering the event was three days in length. Seeing country blues giants like Bukka White (B.B. King's older cousin), Sleepy John Estes, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Furry Lewis was pretty amazing. Those kids in the crowd were so fortunate to have that experience!  I bought the DVD because Fat Possum had a great sale in July, but it'll be streaming free YouTube soon:

 

 

 

I also watched the new PBS American Masters episode on Buddy Guy last night. Highly recommended!

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On 7/30/2021 at 6:46 AM, calvino said:

Watched the The Thin Red Line.

 

 

To these eyes, The Thin Red Line is one of the greatest war movies; like many Malick movies, it's closer in spirit to poetry than traditional narrative, but it still manages to be cerebral and scary. It's not for everybody, of course. I remember exiting the theater and overhearing another filmgoer mutter, "That was the worst movie I've ever seen." (My heart went out to him... imagine going through life with such misguided taste!) I also have deep affection for Malick's The New World, which is an entirely different creature when seen on a big screen. That was probably one of the most purely immersive experiences I've ever had in a theater. I felt transported to the New World, and I can still hear the sounds of that movie (especially the wind and the insects and the waves) ringing in my ears. The Criterion edition is worth every penny.

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Nolte's whole character is great ---- by far the most interesting character in the film. Penn's is a close second.

 

I remember when it came out, a buddy who is pretty pro-military - hated the movie.  Now I understand why.

 

It was hammered home a bit much --- but a great one.

 

It's great to see all the actors in the film - even it was just for a very short time. Jared Leto's scene was great --- even watching Clooney do his thing, while Penn looks on, is great - because of those two actors and direction.. 

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22 hours ago, Beltmann said:

 

To these eyes, The Thin Red Line is one of the greatest war movies; like many Malick movies, it's closer in spirit to poetry than traditional narrative, but it still manages to be cerebral and scary. It's not for everybody, of course. I remember exiting the theater and overhearing another filmgoer mutter, "That was the worst movie I've ever seen." (My heart went out to him... imagine going through life with such misguided taste!) I also have deep affection for Malick's The New World, which is an entirely different creature when seen on a big screen. That was probably one of the most purely immersive experiences I've ever had in a theater. I felt transported to the New World, and I can still hear the sounds of that movie (especially the wind and the insects and the waves) ringing in my ears. The Criterion edition is worth every penny.

Yes! Yes! Yes! I saw this when I was about 20. I went out to a theater that was playing it in December, before it hit a wider release in January. My mind was completely blown. The score, the cinematography, the narration. I didn’t think that you could make a war film like that. Keep in mind that Saving Private Ryan had just come out 5 months prior, so this was a completely different experience. It didn’t bother me at all that certain actors had one or two scenes and then they disappeared from the film. That felt very realistic to me. 
 

I’ll show some love for Cusack who I thought was awesome in his 15 minutes of screen time. He led the charge up the hill and he had that classic silent showdown with Nolte about getting water to the soldiers. Koteas was great too. 
 

One of the best deleted scenes involved Clooney and Ben Chaplin who was terrific. It’s too bad that Adrien Brody had most of his lines cut, but his facial expressions somehow work for the film. Then there’s that long list of actors that also had their scenes cut. I read somewhere that Malick had assembled a 6 hour cut and I always wondered if it would ever be shown to the public. It felt like it would never ever happen. Maybe a streaming service could get him to release it. I don’t think he’d go for an episodic approach, like Tarantino did with the extended cut of The Hateful Eight.  
 

I’m also a huge fan of The New World which I also saw in a theater. I own the Criterion and haven’t watched the other 2 cuts on there. The Tree Of Life was another fantastic theatrical experience. I haven’t enjoyed his films after that as much. I caught Knight Of Cups at home and saw Song To Song in a theater. Both of which I’m willing to watch again. To The Wonder is another one that I found enjoyable, but a bit forgettable. Badlands & Days Of Heaven are both amazing though. 
 

I think Disney is sitting on a lot of the 20th Century Fox films. That’s why most of them aren’t streaming. It’s just a matter of time, until they launch Star in the U.S. 

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Weird that Nic Cage was also brought up in The Thin Red Line review, in regards to David Gordon Green’s Joe. I just saw Pig the other night and thought that it was great. Cage is really terrific here. I only knew of the basic plot. I told a friend it would be like if A24 had made the John Wick films. It has that type of rhythm to it. I won’t discuss the themes of the film because that would spoil the overall experience. 
(Available to rent on VOD. It’s not $19.99 either which was a relief.)

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On 8/7/2021 at 1:41 PM, u2roolz said:

Weird that Nic Cage was also brought up in The Thin Red Line review, in regards to David Gordon Green’s Joe. I just saw Pig the other night and thought that it was great. Cage is really terrific here. I only knew of the basic plot. I told a friend it would be like if A24 had made the John Wick films. It has that type of rhythm to it. I won’t discuss the themes of the film because that would spoil the overall experience. 
(Available to rent on VOD. It’s not $19.99 either which was a relief.)

6C7A5893-42C1-4C05-ABEA-2DF80EEC35D9.jpeg

 

Reading a review of Pig in the Washington Post sparked me renting Joe. Looking forward to seeing Pig.

 

I also checked out and watched Willy's Wonderland ---- pretty entertaining movie. 

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To continue with the whole last week or so of discussion - I watched Badlands, yesterday.  Definitely an interesting take on a Starkweather and Fugate's murdering spree. Didn't know anything about the events, prior to watching the film.  

 

Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek were great in the film --- both their characters seemed believable and non-believable at the same time. Malick  wrote and directed a great screen play - making a killer liked and loved by everyone. Only Holly's (Spacek's character) father showed his utter hatred towards Kit - and that started the whole ball rolling.

 

Nicely shot --- nice seeing small western towns and its landscape. 

 

 

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16 hours ago, calvino said:

To continue with the whole last week or so of discussion - I watched Badlands, yesterday.  Definitely an interesting take on a Starkweather and Fugate's murdering spree. Didn't know anything about the events, prior to watching the film.  

 

Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek were great in the film --- both their characters seemed believable and non-believable at the same time. Malick  wrote and directed a great screen play - making a killer liked and loved by everyone. Only Holly's (Spacek's character) father showed his utter hatred towards Kit - and that started the whole ball rolling.

 

Nicely shot --- nice seeing small western towns and its landscape. 

 

 

 

There are also at least two made for TV movies and of course the Springsteen song Nebraska is about them. Caril was paroled in 1976. She is still alive I think. 

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For the love of Pete -- I have been playing and singing that song on my guitar for 30 years and just realized it when you mentioned it. That 1st stanza --- the song never even crossed my mind while I was watching that scene...

 

I saw her standing on her front lawn
Just twirling her baton
Me and her went for a ride, sir
And ten innocent people died

From the town of Lincoln, Nebraska
With a sawed off .410 on my lap
Through to the badlands of Wyoming
I killed everything in my path

I can't say that I'm sorry
For the things that we done
At least for a little while, sir
Me and her we had us some fun

Now the jury brought in a guilty verdict
And the judge he sentenced me to death
Midnight in a prison storeroom
With leather straps across my chest

Sheriff, when the man pulls that switch, sir
And snaps my poor head back
You make sure my pretty baby
Is sitting right there on my lap

They declared me unfit to live
Said into that great void my soul'd be hurled
They wanted to know why I did what I did
Well sir I guess there's just a meanness in this world

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