Saturday, August 19, 2006

This is the End... My only friend the end.


Not much going on this week - settling back into the work groove. Enjoying the new TV set. I've watched a shitload of flicks over the past week or so, catching up I guess. Other than that life has been dull and uninteresting.

Did manage to catch:

Apocalypse Now - I'd picked up the new DVD edition released last Tuesday. I did take in the Redux version back when that was released on DVD, and i'd really championed that one as the version to see. Well i revisited the theatrical cut this week - and it simply blew my mind. Last time i watched it was probably 96 or 97 on VHS, and i don't know what it is, but this past week it just clicked with me to such a huge degree. I don't know if it's an added maturity, or just that my head was in the right place, but i wanted to watch it again immediately afterwards. I may revisit the Redux sometime over the weekend, but the pacing and execution of the theatrical cut just seems so perfect to me right now, i doubt it will have the same effect. Dan has already posted an amazing review of the new disc over at DVD Verdict that I highly recommend, but i may take a stab at it myself next week.

Friday the 13th - It had been a LONG time since i've seen either of the original Friday flicks (pre New Line). I must say i was quite impressed. Yes, the flick is at it's very essence a Holloween rip-off, and what with the series being such a huge bastion of pop culture, the twist is kind of wasted, but man, it is a tense and terrifying piece of work. Great fun, did a wonderful job of unnerving me.

Friday the 13th Part 2 - not quite as good as the first, a damn effective thriller that sticks to the Holloween formula, and succeeded in creeping me out effectively. I wonder when this series started to get lame?

Tears of the sun: Director's cut - A VERY pleasant suprise. Not at all a typical military actioner, in fact the whole thing moves pretty methodically until about the 1 hour mark. Director Antoine Fuqua takes his time setting things up, but never really digs too deeply into Bruce Willis and his Navy Seals. The whole plot was a little implausible, why a highly trained Seal team would be risked for one American national, and the whole crisis of conscience angle was played a little hard - but during the runtime the flick kept me so engaged that the questions really didn't even pop up. Beautiful looking drama really, and the final act was pretty intense.

Oldboy - Korean cinema at it's finest. Oh Dae Su is a buisnessman who finds himself locked away in a fairly comfortable looking room for 15 years, then suddenly released. Revenge is on his mind, so he tracks down those responsible and proceeds to lay some smack down. This description is deceptively simple, the flick is a complex morality tale, and the mystery of Dae Su's imprisonment is actually a pretty dark and disturbing ride. I highly recommend this one. It is exemplary of the kind of innovative filmmaking that's coming out of South Korea these days. the look of the flick is stylish as all get out as well.

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse - Goes into some pretty shocking detail about the making of Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now. By all accounts one of the most chaotic and catastrophic film shoots of all time. I was a little dissapointed to be honest. After all the talk i really expected something special, and yes, there's some amazing stuff here, and combined with the new documentaries on the Complete Dossier DVD it's more or less a good overview, but it isn't the "all encompassing" trip i was expecting. Perhaps i've been ruined by the insanely detailed documentaries on Ridley Scott's more recent discs (Black Hawk Down, Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven all had epic length documentaries of an incredibly candid and exhaustive nature). Where's the stuff about the rampant drug use? Coppola's infidelity? The impossible difficulties with Marlon Brando? Didn't Dennis hopper get paid in coke to do this flick? (i know that was a big rumor for a long time). There's just so much more i've heard about this legendary film that i would have loved to witness first hand. It did paint a damn nasty picture of Coppola's struggle to get the film made, but some of the near-legendary stories, most notably Coppola's threating to commit suicide, seem to have been blown way out of proportion based on his prima-donna rants on this documentary, for example, when he's ranting and raving and says something like, "I wanna get a gun and shoot myself" it never once comes accross as a genuine sentiment, just the ranting and raving of a frustrated artist.

Light update i know - i'll be back during the week. No Rundown either as i'm too damn lazy.

PS: Expect some more movie centric stuff in the next few updates i'd imagine.

"Where there's smoke... There the smell of napalm in the morning."


Jon The Uncool said...

I think personally that I enjoy the theatrical cut of ApocNow more than the Redux cut, as Redux has that plantation scene with the French family that seems to drag on and on for 45 minutes.

Oh, and Friday the 13th started to get lame with the 5th installment. Part 3 had some great death sequences, and part 4 had greatness in spades, along with Corey Feldman. I mean sure, it wasn't until later that Zombie Jason came into the series...but Kane Hodder is such a tool.

Mitch said...

What, you really wanted more info on Coppola's snogging of Melissa Matheson?

I've read a couple of pretty good books about AN. Let me round up some links and I'll send you an email.

SteveTP said...

Just using the snogging of Matheson as one of my examples - it's like Hearts of Darkness dodged the dark side of the production and pretty much stuck to the "poor suffering artist" schtick. And not just where Francis was concerned. I'd like to see that whole "Hopper paid in flake" story in writing, and i recall hearing that Sheen's heart attack was brought on my coke as well - though i doubted that one when i'd heard it, as i'd also heard that Sheen was actually sober when he did ApocNow, outside of the Saigon hotel room scene.

Books would be swell! you can get so much more out of them. :)

jon - so i'm pretty safe watching 3 then ;)

Mitch said...

I'm pretty sure Coppola had a certain amount of control over what went into HoD, and I think attempts were made to avoid repeating too much of what Eleanor had written in Notes.

Like you said, though, I think we've become spoiled to a certain degree. HoD seemed like a revelation back in the '90s, but now it's a bit standard issue.

SteveTP said...

Like you said, though, I think we've become spoiled to a certain degree. HoD seemed like a revelation back in the '90s, but now it's a bit standard issue.

Really though. I mean, if you combine Hearts of Darkness with the post production feature on the dossier you get a pretty complete picture, which leads me even further to believe that Paramount had every intention if including HoD:AFA in the Dossier, but it's all pretty sparse. We need a nice extensive documentary with some more input from Lucas and Milius, some more history on what they were doing before Coppola, the development of the screenplay into what would become Coppola's shooting script. How about the ramp up to shooting? Some focus on the art department? what led to Coppola's casting choices? what happened with Keitel? Some info on the degree of decadence on the set. Brando and Coppola's falling out. And then the release... how about some focus on the reception AN recieved? The legacy it's left? So much more that could be done with such an important and influential flick.

Jon The Uncool said...

Back on topic about Friday the 13th (really...fuck ApocNow :) ). You're safe watching the entire series. Even the shit-tastic 5th installment had a few giggle worthy moments. Never does the series get as bad as a lot of shitty horror schlock out there.

Anonymous said...

Oldboy was one of the few movies that really threw me for a loop. I was expecting a kick-ass revenge actioner, and while there's a little of that in there, it's really so much more. I watched it once about a year ago with a friend, we were both like "WTF?" at the end, and I really want to see it again sometime to get a better idea of the whole shebang, and decide if I want to check out the Mr./Lady Vengeance flicks.

SteveTP said...

At the end i was just... "Man, that is NOT right!"

What a bastard that Woo-Jin guy was.

Who dis by the way? ;)