Off-topic chat. Kick back and relax with a whiskey and a cigar as we chew the fat about anything and everything other than games.
User avatar
User

Alex Connolly

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:40 pm

Location

Kagoshima, JPN

Favorite Genres

Early Access Curios

Now Playing

Helldivers perennially, knicknacks, paddywacks, dog bones.

Re: Surruptitious Celluloid - Cinema of Shame

by Alex Connolly » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:04 pm

The Rover (2014)

Image

After an impressive debut with crime opus Animal Kingdom, David Michôd returns with an oppressive and violent tale set in the Australian outback, a decade after a global collapse. Infrastructure remains, but it is distant and foreign and matters little to the people who are left to fend for themselves within the desolation.

Guy Pearce returns under Michôd's directorship as a forlorn wanderer named Eric. Through an unwilling turn of events, Eric finds himself in the company of Rey, played by Twilight star Robert Pattinson. Pearce plays his character with the taciturn depth of a veteran actor, but Pattinson's portrayal of a dull-witted, damaged and reluctant young man is half the appeal of this film. It's not an entirely successful piece of acting, but there are moments of quiet gold in there. After Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, there's a reason to watch this actor reinvent himself and shuck the tawdry baggage of token and vapid heartthrob.

This is a dark and brutal film. Akin to John Hillcoat's adaptation of The Road, it seems Australian directors can nail the great emptiness of a broken world without resorting to the cliched trappings American fare often reaches for. Most human encounters in The Rover end in some sort of loss or violence, and never does it feel cheap or gratuitous. These tragic acts at the seeming end of time are backed by incredible cinematography, showcasing the vast hinterland of a continent starved eternally of kinder elements. An environment that, once reason is pared back to its existential minimum, can only breed a barb-toothed callousness.

The Rover does lack any sort of heart, but perhaps that's the point.
User avatar
User

Beige

Rank

Site Admin

Posts

342

Joined

Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:54 am

Favorite Genres

Arthouse, conceptually audacious, thinky, polarizing, masocore

Now Playing

Witcher 3, Axiom Verge, Monster Hunter 4 (STILL), Invisible Inc.

Re: Surruptitious Celluloid - Cinema of Shame

by Beige » Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:06 pm

Fantastic. Added to my Evernote list of "movies to watch soon". Directly above (in no particular order) "Rocky 1", "Rashomon", "The Lives of Others", "Battle Royale" and "That documentary about black hair".
User avatar
User

Alex Connolly

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:40 pm

Location

Kagoshima, JPN

Favorite Genres

Early Access Curios

Now Playing

Helldivers perennially, knicknacks, paddywacks, dog bones.

Re: Surruptitious Celluloid - Cinema of Shame

by Alex Connolly » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:40 am

Maps To The Stars (2014)

Image

Supposedly the last film by Canadian auteur legend David Cronenberg, it seems somewhat fitting that he produce a dark, satirical analysis of Los Angeles vapidity, the very culture the man has sidestepped his entire career. Maps To The Stars is like many of Cronenberg's modern films - not particularly successful, but always somewhat interesting. Julianne Moore steals the film as a frustrated and manic Hollywood has-been, chewing scenery with wheatgrass venom as she tries in vain to land a film where she would be playing the biopic role of her late mother - a former screen great. Balancing her sociopathic degeneration is the young and haunted Mia Wasikowska, an outcast and link to both Moore's therapist in John Cusack and his celebrity-infused family.

Perhaps a more cohesive, less gaudy Hurlyburly - certainly less indulgent - Maps To The Stars isn't breaking new ground, but it's a wry, introspective piece that examines the farcical lifestyles of the rich, the famous and the forgotten.

While I don't want to see Cronenberg hang up his hat, if Maps To The Stars is indeed his swan song, I can walk away nodding and appreciative.

Extra points for reusing Robert Pattinson after Cosmopolis, because I goddamn love how that lad is shucking his heartthrob status. Big fan.
User avatar
User

Beige

Rank

Site Admin

Posts

342

Joined

Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:54 am

Favorite Genres

Arthouse, conceptually audacious, thinky, polarizing, masocore

Now Playing

Witcher 3, Axiom Verge, Monster Hunter 4 (STILL), Invisible Inc.

Re: Surruptitious Celluloid - Cinema of Shame

by Beige » Wed May 06, 2015 9:12 pm

Image

Just wanted to pop my head in and say "Don't miss Ex Machina".

I'm actually loathe to write reams of text about it (I know!). The more beginner's mind you go into this movie with, the better it will go for you.

I won't speak to the plot apart to say that it involves a Gynoid -- a fact you already know if you've seen a poster for it.

What I will say is this: We once had a discussion on the Squad Boards about sci-fi ("hard" sci-fi) and how and why there's precious little of it in the gaming world. At the time we were talking not about SCVs gathering vespene gas or aliens with pulse rifles -- these are the trappings of sci-fi and there is plenty of that in gaming -- but stories that are about *ideas*...which are pretty thin on the ground, let's be honest.

Ex Machina is an ideas movie. If it were elemental it would be entirely air. Etherial, sparse, quiet.

The plot is neo-noir crossed with heady Asimov-era sci-fi. The pacing and direction falls somewhere between stageplay and short story. You have your central "what if" conceit presented densely inside a very limited environmental scope (the entire movie takes place in a single location, though it is an awesome location). The cast is basically 4 actors. That's it and that's all. There are no Tom Cruise minority report setpieces -- the entire weight of the production is carried by dramatic performances, framing and atmosphere.

The effects - which are great BTW - are not showy. The director is smart in using CGI as a subtle seasoning that enhances the natural flavors of the drama already in play. Again, good sci-fi at work here... the story definitely couldn't exist without the sci-fi enhancement, but the effects do not carry the piece for their own sake. They're used in service to the plot, as they should be.

The effect is the rare sci-fi piece where the focus is not on the technology but the questions begged by the technology. The soundtrack (by one of the Portishead guys) is also a tour-de-force of understatement that wouldn't be out of place in UNATCO.

Honestly I'm shocked that something like this even got made in the first place. If this were a videogame it'd be halfway between the old Westwood Blade Runner game and a Telltale joint. Note: I would LOVE to play an experience like this. Too bad it'd never sell.

Unrelated: Fast and Furious 7 is now the 5th best grossing movie of all time.
User avatar
User

Calin Kim

Posts

137

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:44 pm

Favorite Genres

RPG, Weird, Thinky

Now Playing

Dark Souls, Jagged Alliance 2, Uncharted 3

Re: Surruptitious Celluloid - Cinema of Shame

by Calin Kim » Fri May 08, 2015 4:01 pm

Ex Machina looks like the kind of thing I'm going to have to self-medicate during. It looks interesting, but I have a feeling it's going to squick me out, and I need to mentally prepare for that.

In other cinema news, I've fallen in love with Every Frame a Painting: https://vimeo.com/channels/everyframeapainting

If you all haven't checked it out yet, I would highly recommend it. It is a series of visual essays on things like framing, direction, and cinematography. If you've ever wondered why things are shot a certain way or why certain shots work while others don't, here you go.

A few of my favorites -

Jackie Chan - How to do Action Comedy: https://vimeo.com/channels/everyframeap ... /113439313

Drive - The Quadrant System: https://vimeo.com/channels/everyframeap ... /118321998

Edgar Wright - How to do Visual Comedy: https://vimeo.com/channels/everyframeapainting/96558506
Image
Previous

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Powered by happyfish | phpBB3 Style by Beige
cron