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Archive for the ‘video’ Category

Stuff Seen, Apr+May+Jun 2018

Posted by StepTb su luglio 6, 2018

Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980) [8.5]
The Matrix (Wachowski & Wachowski, 1999) [7.5]
Mother! (Darren Aronofsky, 2017) [7]
Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1953) [7.5]
The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo, 2003) [7.5]
While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach, 2014) [7]
Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016) [7]
Wind River (Taylor Sheridan, 2017) [7]
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards, 1961) [7]


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Who is the most underrated rapper?

Posted by StepTb su maggio 25, 2018

Treach, of Naughty by Nature. I’ve never understood why his name has never become huge. Yes, they’re not unknown, judging by the number of views on YouTube, but when I say huge I mean Biggie/Ice Cube/Ice-T level of huge.

When I was just discovering hip-hop by digging through bunches of cassettes, it was clear to me from the first listening that he was one of the best, but whenever I see people talking about the greatest MCs his name never seems to come up… I don’t get it.

Just listen to his absolute jaw-dropping flow and use of syllables on these three songs, paired with a naturally great vocal timbre.

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Stuff Seen, Jan+Feb+Mar 2018

Posted by StepTb su aprile 3, 2018

Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990) [9]
Heat (Michael Mann, 1995) [9]
L.A. Takedown (Michael Mann, 1989) [TV] [7.5]
Casino (Martin Scorsese, 1995) [8+]
Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve, 2017) [7]
The Insider (Michael Mann, 1999) [8.5]
Black Rain (Ridley Scott, 1989) [6.5]
Ransom (Ron Howard, 1996) [7.5]
Donnie Brasco (Mike Newell, 1997) [7.5]
Ronin (John Frankenheimer, 1998) [7.5]
Following (Christopher Nolan, 1998) [8]
The Enforcer (Bretaigne Windust, Raoul Walsh, 1951) [7]
Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005) [8]
Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000) [8]
To Catch a Thief (Alfred Hitchcock, 1955) [6.5]
The Lineup (Don Siegel, 1958) [7.5]
Payback (Brian Helgeland, 1999) [6]
Pociag / Night Train (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1959) [6]
Katok i skripka / The Steamroller and the Violin (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1961) [7]
Something Wild (Jonathan Demme, 1986) [7.5]
The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969) [9.5]
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (Sam Peckinpah, 1974) [8+]
Major Dundee (Sam Peckinpah, 1965) [7]
Charley Varrick (Don Siegel, 1973) [7.5]
Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976) [9+]
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) [9.5]
Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014) [7.5]
Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan, 2017) [7]
The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015) [7-]
Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello, 2016) [6]
Iron Man 2 (Jon Favreau, 2010) [6]
Iron Man Three (Shane Black, 2013) [6]
L’eau froide (Olivier Assayas, 1994) [8]
Fin août, début septembre (Olivier Assayas, 1998) [7]
Die xue jie tou / Bullet in the Head (John Woo, 1990) [9] [Yes, this movie clearly wouldn’t even have existed without Cimino’s The Deer Hunter. But Woo managed to basically take that classic and change it on such a personal level, infusing it with his own complete philosophy and his own complete set of both East Asian and Western filmmaking influences, that Bullet in the Head really manages to stand on its own as a masterpiece]
Ying hung boon sik / A Better Tomorrow (John Woo, 1986) [7.5]
Dip huet seung hung / The Killer (John Woo, 1989) [9]
Fong juk / Exiled (Johnnie To, 2006) [7.5-]
Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas, 1996) [7.5]
Demonlover (Olivier Assayas, 2002) [7.5] [What a pity – it could have been an 8, if it wasn’t for that sudden fall into incoherent plot devices (which starts with the murder and then escalates at about 2/3), with the clear intention of imitating (without any of his brilliance) Lynch’s Lost Highway, then closed by a not really convinced moral provocation halfway between Videodrome and 8mm, just used as a tool for trying to give the final a meaning]
Clean (Olivier Assayas, 2004) [7]
Boarding Gate (Olivier Assayas, 2007) [6.5]
L’heure d’été (Olivier Assayas, 2008) [7.5]
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014) [7]
Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas, 2016) [6]

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Oct+Nov+Dec 2017 Log

Posted by StepTb su gennaio 1, 2018

Gaichû / Harmful Insect (Akihiko Shiota, 2001) [7]
Nabbeun namja / Bad Guy (Kim Ki-duk, 2001) [6.5]
Becoming Warren Buffett (Peter W. Kunhardt, 2017) [6.5]
Office Space (Mike Judge, 1999) [7]
Who Killed the Electric Car? (Chris Paine, 2006) [7]
Revenge of the Electric Car (Chris Paine, 2011) [7]
Baby Driver (Edgar Wright, 2017) [6.5]
Who Am I – Kein System ist sicher (Baran bo Odar, 2014) [6-]
Racing Extinction (Louie Psihoyos, 2015) [6.5]
The Intern (Nancy Meyers, 2015) [6.5]
Joy (David O. Russell, 2015) [7.5] [most underrated Hollywood movie of 2015?]
Hua li shang ban zu / Office (Johnnie To, 2015) [6]
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (Mark Achbar, Peter Wintonick, 1992) [8]
Requiem for the American Dream (Peter D. Hutchison, Kelly Nyks, Jared P. Scott, 2015) [6.5]
The War Room (Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker, 1993) [5]
Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? (Michel Gondry, 2013) [7.5+]
Nomads (John McTiernan, 1986) [7]
Heathers (Michael Lehmann, 1988) [7]
Clueless (Amy Heckerling, 1995) [6.5]
Hype! (Doug Pray, 1996) [7.5]
Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky, 2003) [7.5+]
Fail-Safe (Sidney Lumet, 1964) [8]
The Offence (Sidney Lumet, 1973) [6.5]
Running on Empty (Sidney Lumet, 1988) [7]
La société du spectacle (Guy Debord, 1973) [7]
The Cars That Ate Paris (Peter Weir, 1974) [6.5]
Maidan (Sergei Loznitsa, 2014) [6.5]

The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills (Daniel Coyle, 2012) [LINK]
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (Eric Ries, 2011) [LINK]
Status quo: Perché in Italia è così difficile cambiare le cose (e come cominciare a farlo) (Roberto Perotti, 2016) [LINK]
On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, and What Can Be Done (Cass R. Sunstein, 2nd ed. 2014) [LINK]
Misinformation : Guida alla società dell’informazione e della credulità (Walter Quattrociocchi, Antonella Vicini, 2016) [LINK]
An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (David Hume, 1748) [LINK]
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Leo Tolstoy, 1886) [LINK]
Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West (Cormac McCarthy, 1985) [LINK]
Al tempo di papà (Jirō Taniguchi, 1994) [LINK]

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Stuff Seen, Sep 2017

Posted by StepTb su ottobre 1, 2017

Twin Peaks, s3 ep17 (David Lynch, 2017) [7.5]
Twin Peaks, s3 ep18 (David Lynch, 2017) [7.5] [TP3 had its ups and downs, and it probably should have been a 12 eps. season, but it’s been overall a satisfying experience, with an otherwise just ok quality bumped up by 4-5 excellent episodes and a good “one-two combo” finale; let’s hope to see Lynch work again soon, and, even more importantly, to see other series with a similar or larger degree of artistic boldness]
Drachenmädchen (Inigo Westmeier, 2012) [7]
Real Value (Jesse Borkowski, 2013) [5]
Brother (Takeshi Kitano, 2000) [7]
Dolls (Takeshi Kitano, 2002) [6.5]
Zatôichi (Takeshi Kitano, 2003) [6.5]
Takeshis’ (Takeshi Kitano, 2005) [8]
The Wrong Guy (David Steinberg, 1997) [7]

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Stuff Seen, Aug 2017

Posted by StepTb su settembre 1, 2017

Kôrei / Seance (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2000) [TV] [6.5]
Kairo / Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001) [8]
Dopperugengâ / Doppelgänger (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2003) [7]
Twin Peaks, s3 ep13 (David Lynch, 2017) [7]
Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick, 2015) [7] [overall, a better result than To the Wonder: the back story is less linear and with more subtleties, the settings and chosen locations are more varied and visually stimulating, and the editing is more interesting and similar to The Tree of Life; as uncompromising as always, and, this time, underrated]
Minnâ-yatteruka! / Getting Any? (Takeshi Kitano, 1994) [6.5]
Kizzu ritân / Kids Return (Takeshi Kitano, 1996) [7]
Gokudô kyôfu dai-gekijô: Gozu / Gozu (Takashi Miike, 2003) [6.5]
The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom, eps. 1-3 (Adam Curtis, 2007) [TV] [6.5+] [this could very well be one of the best works by Curtis as a filmmaker, but still, the tendency to simplify complex issues on one hand and to flirt with conspiracy theories on the other is quite irksome; I also can’t get past the argument “since measuring is imperfect, not measuring at all is better”, and the fact that Curtis himself admits revolts and terrorism were a result of some of the philosophies he advocates, but then he still goes on defending them – it sounds quite incoherent]
Twin Peaks, s3 ep14 (David Lynch, 2017) [7.5]
HyperNormalisation (Adam Curtis, 2016) [6] [a mixed bag by Curtis; his statements about Assad creating suicide terrorism are just wrong (which is particularly unfortunate, since they’re the glue keeping all the film’s thesis together), his whole coverage of the Middle Eastern conflicts contains gigantic omissions, and his complete omission of anything involving the Dems (just in time for the 2016 elections) is painfully biased; other than that, he knows how to narrate and provides lots of insights, but it looks like he can’t avoid to manipulate stuff enough to make an otherwise good final product fatally flawed]
It Felt Like a Kiss (Adam Curtis, 2009) [6]
Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015) [7] [the low ratings this film received prove people don’t seem to care about/recognize a beautifully shot and edited movie anymore, which is absurd since it’s become a rare event in contemporary digital cinema, especially within the mainstream action genre (with Mann, for some mysterious reason, being one of the few who care/know how to do it). 10 years after Miami Vice, and the reaction is still the same, if not worse. This time, even a technically well written script where computing and hacking managed to get well translated into audovisual narration and to be, for once, realistically depicted, didn’t get any appreciation. Too bad there are some hardly believable plot devices and the film loses a lot of its power during the last 30 minutes, going into genre cliché territory, but everything before that is just great cinema, proving Mann is still innovating and absolutely fresh. The film also launches a new type of action hero, with physical/combat skills just as central as cognitive/nerdy skills for his success (no need for the scientist/nerd supporting character trope anymore). And it’s even an overall better movie (more visually complex, interesting, with better rhythm and sound design) than Public Enemies]
Twin Peaks, s3 ep15 (David Lynch, 2017) [7+]
Twin Peaks, s3 ep16 (David Lynch, 2017) [8]

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What music from films is now better known than the film it came from?

Posted by StepTb su agosto 22, 2017

Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise is one of the biggest hip-hop hits of all time, but virtually nobody cares about or remembers the film Dangerous Minds, where it first appeared.
The whole album Dangerous Minds: Music from the Motion Picture went on becoming triple platinum.

A similar thing happened with Warren Beatty’s political satire Bulworth.
Bulworth O.S.T. went platinum, and the single Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are) went platinum in the US and seven other countries.
Not many people remember the actual movie, though (which was actually quite interesting, even on a purely musical level, mixing R&B/hip-hop with a great original score by Morricone).

Everyone on Earth knows Chariots of Fire by Vangelis, but how many of them have seen the film of the same name?

To an extent, it’s also true for Whitney Houston’s cover of I Will Always Love You for The Bodyguard.

Also, Taylor Dayne’s cover of Original Sin became more famous than both the original version (by the amazingly underrated Jim Steinman’s project Pandora’s Box) and the movie it was recorded for, The Shadow.

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Stuff Seen, Jul 2017

Posted by StepTb su agosto 1, 2017

World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt, 2015) [short] [7]
Black Mirror, s1 ep1 “The National Anthem” (Otto Bathurst, 2011) [6.5+]
Black Mirror, s1 ep2 “Fifteen Million Merits” (Euros Lyn, 2011) [7]
Black Mirror, s1 ep3 “The Entire History of You” (Brian Welsh, 2011) [7]
Black Mirror, s2 ep1 “Be Right Back” (Owen Harris, 2013) [6.5+]
Black Mirror, s2 ep2 “White Bear” (Carl Tibbetts, 2013) [6.5]
Black Mirror, s2 ep3 “The Waldo Moment” (Bryn Higgins, 2013) [7.5] [a truly solid script: coherent, well developed and effectively satirical – the best episode in this series so far; it also looks like it’s the least liked by fans judging by IMDb ratings, I really can’t understand it]
Black Mirror, “White Christmas” (Carl Tibbetts, 2014) [7+]
Black Mirror, s3 ep1 “Nosedive” (Joe Wright, 2016) [6.5+] [it starts extremely well; the main point here is not about social media, which are just a tool, but about a society entirely built on reputation capital. Which results in a pastel-colored world where all negative emotions are repressed. The figure of the social reputation consultant is a particularly brilliant touch. Too bad the script suddenly drops in quality once the truck sequence ends, and the entire final part is mediocre at best – it feels like the authors didn’t have any idea how to end the story, and went with improvising, ultimately ruining a great premise]
The Expanse, s1 ep1 (Terry McDonough, 2015) [6]
Black Mirror, s3 ep2 “Playtest” (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016) [6]
Black Mirror, s3 ep3 “Shut Up and Dance” (James Watkins, 2016) [6.5]
Black Mirror, s3 ep4 “San Junipero” (Owen Harris, 2016) [7]
Black Mirror, s3 ep5 “Men Against Fire” (Jakob Verbruggen, 2016) [7] [well written and directed, but entirely too similar to The Outer Limits s4 ep3, “Hearts and Minds”]
Black Mirror, s3 ep6 “Hated in the Nation” (James Hawes, 2016) [6.5]
Twin Peaks, s3 ep9 (David Lynch, 2017) [7+]
Hardcore Henry (Ilya Naishuller, 2015) [6.5]
Cure (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997) [8.5]
Ano natsu, ichiban shizukana umi / A Scene at the Sea (Takeshi Kitano, 1991) [7.5]
Hana-bi (Takeshi Kitano, 1997) [8.5]
Kikujirô no natsu / Kikujiro (Takeshi Kitano, 1999) [7+]
Twin Peaks, s3 ep10 (David Lynch, 2017) [7]
Am zin / Running Out of Time (Johnnie To, 1999) [7]
John Wick: Chapter 2 (Chad Stahelski, 2017) [5] [from the Gianna’s death sequence on, it’s an entertaining 6/10 (well-shot, good cinematography and editing, some nice touches relatively to sets and locations, but still a cartoonish plotline with horrible dialogues) – too bad everything prior to that is a 4/10, and it constitutes roughly half of the movie. overall, worse than the first film]
The Man in the High Castle, s1 ep1 (David Semel, 2015) [7]
Homeland, s1 ep1 (Michael Cuesta, 2011) [7]
Swimming with Sharks (George Huang, 1994) [7]
In the Company of Men (Neil LaBute, 1997) [8+]
Bound (Wachowski & Wachowski, 1996) [7]
Twin Peaks, s3 ep11 (David Lynch, 2017) [7]
Wag the Dog (Barry Levinson, 1997) [7.5]
Twin Peaks, s3 ep12 (David Lynch, 2017) [6-] [worst episode until now – a filler with lots of bad dialogues]

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Stuff Seen, Apr+May+Jun 2017

Posted by StepTb su luglio 1, 2017

Ercole Al Centro Della Terra (Mario Bava, Franco Prosperi, 1961) [7]
Conquest (Lucio Fulci, 1983) [6]
Basic (John McTiernan, 2003) [7]
Carne (Gaspar Noé, 1991) [short] [7]
Punch Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002) [7]
There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007) [9]
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012) [7]
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014) [6] [whoa, what a letdown]
Bleeder (Nicolas Winding Refn, 1999) [7]
Filmage: The Story of Descendents/All (Deedle Lacour, Matt Riggle, 2013) [7]
Enemy (Denis Villeneuve, 2013) [7-]
120 Seconds to Get Elected (Denis Villeneuve, 2006) [short] [6.5]
Maelström (Denis Villeneuve, 2000) [7]
Polytechnique (Denis Villeneuve, 2009) [7]
Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010) [6.5]
The Guardian (William Friedkin, 1990) [6]
3-4 x jûgatsu / Boiling Point (Takeshi Kitano, 1990) [7.5]
Twin Peaks, s3ep1 (David Lynch, 2017) [8]
Twin Peaks, s3ep2 (David Lynch, 2017) [8]
Twin Peaks, s3ep3 (David Lynch, 2017) [7]
Twin Peaks, s3ep4 (David Lynch, 2017) [7] [Twin Peaks s3 = Eraserhead+Blue Velvet+Colorado Café]
Twin Peaks, s3ep5 (David Lynch, 2017) [7]
Milius (Joey Figueroa & Zak Knutson, 2013) [7]
The Hunt for Red October (John McTiernan, 1990) [6.5]
The Firm (Sydney Pollack, 1993) [6.5]
Get Me Roger Stone (Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro, Morgan Pehme, 2017) [7]
Twin Peaks, s3ep6 (David Lynch, 2017) [6.5] [definitely the worst episode until now; I’m puzzled by how much this new season oscillates between highs and lows]
Twin Peaks, s3ep7 (David Lynch, 2017) [7]
Twin Peaks, s3ep8 (David Lynch, 2017) [8] [David Lynch meets Guy Maddin? With 2001’s Kubrick, The Tree of Life’s Malick, Tarkovsky, Carpenter and Cronenberg nodding in the background? What a superb, powerfully cinematic episode; some of the greatest stuff seen in contemporary TV]

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Stuff Seen, Jan+Feb+Mar 2017

Posted by StepTb su marzo 31, 2017

Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki / Violent Cop (Takeshi Kitano, 1989) [8]
Creed (Ryan Coogler, 2015) [7]
Er ist wieder da (David Wnendt, 2015) [7-]
Crimson Peak (Guillermo del Toro, 2015) [6.5]
Sicario (Denis Villeneuve, 2015) [7]
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016) [7]
Talking to Americans (Geoff D’Eon, 2001) [TV] [7]
Status Anxiety (Neil Crombie, 2004) [7]
Beruseruku: Ougon jidai-hen I – Haou no tamago (Toshiyuki Kubooka, 2012) [6]
Terminator Genisys (Alan Taylor, 2015) [4]
Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015) [5]
Hail, Caesar! (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, 2016) [6]
Inequality for All (Jacob Kornbluth, 2013) [6.5]
Triangle (Christopher Smith, 2009) [5]
Bill Burr: Why Do I Do This? (Shannon Hartman, 2008) [8]
Bill Burr: Let It Go (Shannon Hartman, 2010) [7.5]
Bill Burr: You People Are All the Same. (Jay Karas, 2012) [7.5]
Bill Burr: I’m Sorry You Feel That Way (Jay Karas, 2014) [7]
Bill Burr: Walk Your Way Out (Jay Karas, 2017) [7]
Aliens (James Cameron, 1986) [8]
Predator (John McTiernan, 1987) [7.5]
Commando (Mark L. Lester, 1985) [7]
The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984) [8.5]
Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984) [7.5]
Hjernevask, ep. 1-7 (Terje Lervik, 2010) [7]
Silicon Valley, s1 ep. 1-8 (Mike Judge, 2014) [7]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep1 (Niels Arden Oplev, 2015) [7.5]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep2 (Sam Esmail, 2015) [7]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep3 (Jim McKay, 2015) [7]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep4 (Nisha Ganatra, 2015) [6.5+]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep5 (Jim McKay, 2015) [6.5]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep6 (Deborah Chow, 2015) [6]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep7 (Sam Esmail, 2015) [6]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep8 (Christoph Schrewe, 2015) [7-]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep9 (Tricia Brock, 2015) [7]
Mr. Robot, S1 ep10 (Sam Esmail, 2015) [6-]

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Stuff Seen, Oct+Nov+Dec 2015

Posted by StepTb su ottobre 31, 2015

Zui hao de shi guang / Three Times (Hsiao-Hsien Hou, 2005) [6]
Le voyage du ballon rouge (Hsiao-Hsien Hou, 2007) [6-]
Tian xia di yi quan / Five Fingers of Death (Chang-Hwa Jeong, 1972) [7]
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (Robert Fuest, 1971) [7+]
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (Robert Fuest, 1972) [6]
The Harder They Come (Perry Henzell, 1972) [6.5]
The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973) [8]
Thriller – en grym film (Bo Arne Vibenius, 1973) [7]
Cani arrabbiati (Mario Bava, 1974) [Arrow Video 2014 restored edition] [8]
Blade Runner [The Final Cut] (Ridley Scott, 1982-2007) [9]
Gorky Park (Michael Apted, 1983) [6.5]
Witness (Peter Weir, 1985) [8]
Year of the Dragon (Michael Cimino, 1985) [7.5]
El Topo (Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970) [7]
My Name Is Julia Ross (Joseph H. Lewis, 1945) [7.5]
So Dark the Night (Joseph H. Lewis, 1946) [7]
Terror in a Texas Town (Joseph H. Lewis, 1958) [6.5]
They Live by Night (Nicholas Ray, 1948) [7.5]
On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray & Ida Lupino, 1951) [7]
Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray, 1956) [7.5]
Gonin [Director’s Cut] (Takashi Ishii, 1995) [7.5]
La rose de fer (Jean Rollin, 1973) [6]
John Wick (Chad Stahelski & David Leitch, 2014) [6]
The American (Anton Corbijn, 2010) [5+]
Snake Eyes (Brian De Palma, 1998) [6.5]
1408 (Mikael Håfström, 2007) [6.5]
Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992) [6.5]
The Telephone Book (Nelson Lyon, 1971) [6.5]
Spy (Paul Feig, 2015) [4]
Femme Fatale (Brian De Palma, 2002) [6]
The Black Dahlia (Brian De Palma, 2006) [5]
Redacted (Brian De Palma, 2007) [6]
Crime d’amour (Alain Corneau, 2010) [6]
Passion (Brian De Palma, 2012) [7] [underrated, and an uncommon example of a Hollywood remake far superior to the original]
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015) [7]
The X Files, s10 ep1 (Chris Carter, 2015) [5]
The Great Flamarion (Anthony Mann, 1945) [6.5]

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Stuff Seen, September 2015

Posted by StepTb su settembre 30, 2015

La promesse (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 1996) [7.5]
Rosetta (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 1999) [8]
True Detective s2 ep1 (Justin Lin, 2015) [6]
True Detective s2 ep2 (Justin Lin, 2015) [6]
True Detective s2 ep3 (Janus Metz Pedersen, 2015) [6]
True Detective s2 ep4 (Jeremy Podeswa, 2015) [7] [a very well directed+edited final part rescues the whole ep]
True Detective s2 ep5 (John Crowley, 2015) [7] [finally an ep with a decently written script, the characters act and talk like humans for the first time]
True Detective s2 ep6 (Miguel Sapochnik, 2015) [6.5]
True Detective s2 ep7 (Daniel Attias, 2015) [6.5]
True Detective s2 ep8 (John Crowley, 2015) [6.5] [whoa, what a letdown this second season was. the plot is messy and unbalanced (making no difference in the way important points and useless details are treated), dialogues are overly descriptive and lacking subtlety, characters’ dark aspects feel forced (and, mostly, just sketched) and their behaviour robotic (the underrated Colin Farrell is the only one who managed to translate the stiff, mechanic material into a human performance). in general, the writing takes the 1st season’s few flaws and multiplies them, without keeping any of its strengths. the direction is nothing special and lacks atmosphere – even if Crowley and Podeswa did a better job than the others. we can also see TV series fanboyism in action once again: audiences and critics hated “The Counselor” (2013), but both the direction and the script of that movie are better than most TD s2, which in certain aspects seems to imitate them (being Pizzolatto an obvious fan of McCarthy), especially in the way the story ends – but again, TD’s ending is the worst one of the two, given its smothering moralism (the lead male characters aren’t stupid and displayed both negative and positive traits, but they sinned, so they all must be punished in the end) and meek conventionality (the women remain alive and safe). anyway, is Pizzolatto a one-trick pony? were Fukunaga and Arkapaw the real driving forces behind s1? I guess the answer is positive in both cases.]
The IT Crowd, s1 ep1 (Graham Linehan & Ben Gosling Fuller, 2006) [7]
Le gamin au vélo (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 2011) [6.5]
Deux jours, une nuit (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 2014) [8] [it’s unbelievable how many missed the point of this film, and apparently stopped watching it before the last, unambiguous, 5 minutes. yes, cruel workplace politics, the contrast humanity vs. business economics, and the socially destructive power of financial problems are all recognizable themes, but most of anything else this is a movie about depression, and the hard journey to overcome it. after being pushed and forced by her husband to have a series of difficult face-to-face interactions, the protagonist discovers the true nature of a supposed ‘friend’ and, on the other hand, the existence of new, this time real, supportive friends too. at the end of her ordeal, she’s a better person (see the immediate negative answer to her boss’s offer), and she realizes that finding the strength to fight again and a human ‘safety net’ of support was what she needed to feel alive again, even if things didn’t turn out right. it’s, of course, also a political film; but there are enough subtleties and complexities to make it acceptable, and its heart is in the right place. all in all, one of the absolute 2-3 best works by the Dardenne brothers.]
The Emerald Forest (John Boorman, 1985) [7.5]
Long men kezhan / Dragon Inn (King Hu, 1967) [7]
Xia nü / A Touch of Zen (King Hu, 1971) [7.5]
Da zui xia / Come Drink with Me (King Hu, 1966) [6.5]
Dareka no Manazashi / Someone’s Gaze (Makoto Shinkai, 2013) [short] [6]
Kong shan ling yu / Raining in the Mountain (King Hu, 1979) [6.5]
Beyond Rangoon (John Boorman, 1995) [6]
The General (John Boorman, 1998) [7]
Les revenants, s1 ep1 (Fabrice Gobert, 2012) [6.5]
Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa, 1980) [8]
The Running Man (Paul Michael Glaser, 1987) [7]
Pitfall (André De Toth, 1948) [7.5]
American Sniper (Clint Eastwood, 2014) [7]
Hai shang hua / Flowers of Shanghai (Hsiao-Hsien Hou, 1998) [7]

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August 2015 Log

Posted by StepTb su agosto 31, 2015

Ah fei zing zyun / Days of Being Wild (Kar Wai Wong, 1990) [8.5]
Dung che sai duk / Ashes of Time [Redux] (Kar Wai Wong, 1994-2008) [7.5]
2046 (Kar Wai Wong, 2004) [7]
La spiaggia (Alberto Lattuada, 1954) [8]
Redline (Takeshi Koike, 2009) [6]
Bron/Broen, s1 ep1 (Charlotte Sieling, 2011) [6]
Jôi-uchi: Hairyô tsuma shimatsu / Samurai Rebellion (Masaki Kobayashi, 1967) [7]
Kari-gurashi no Arietti / The Secret World of Arrietty (Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2010) [7.5]
Kokuriko-zaka kara / From Up on Poppy Hill (Gorô Miyazaki, 2011) [7]
Colorful (Keiichi Hara, 2010) [6]
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014) [7+]
Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki / Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosoda, 2012) [6.5]
Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014) [6.5]
Bob le Flambeur (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1956) [7]
Le doulos (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1962) [8.5]
In Search of the Perfect Human Diet (C.J. Hunt, 2012) [6]
Trudno byt bogom / Hard to Be a God (Aleksey German, 2013) [8] [I’m not sure how to rate this one – it’s so unique there’s almost nothing you can compare it to. It can be a frustrating experience, because of the dialogues and narrative chosen form, which eliminated all the linearity and the philosophical substance from the original 1964 novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, making its story obscure and incomprehensible; but, at the same time, it’s an astonishing accomplishment in terms of visuals and originality. More than anything else, it’s the remarkable testament of director Aleksey German, who passed away just before its completion, and dedicated 15 years of his life to make his nightmarish vision a reality. Critics have compared its scenic design, image composition and hallucinated feel to Bosch and Bruegel, but, even if those are probable influences, I’d say the main tone is more akin to a twisted, dark Rabelais.]
The Bank Dick (Edward F. Cline, 1940) [7.5]
L’armée des ombres (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969) [6.5]
Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff, 1971) [8]
L’Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close) (Bertrand Bonello, 2011) [8+]
Night Mayor (Guy Maddin, 2009) [short] [7]
Glorious (Guy Maddin, 2008) [short] [6]
A Trip to the Orphanage (Guy Maddin, 2004) [short] [6]
Send Me to the ‘Lectric Chair (Guy Maddin, 2009) [short] [6.5]
Very Nice, Very Nice (Arthur Lipsett, 1961) [short] [8]
21-87 (Arthur Lipsett, 1964) [short] [7.5]
A Trip Down Memory Lane (Arthur Lipsett, 1965) [short] [7]
Pandora (Derek May, 1971) [short] [7]
Le cercle rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970) [8.5+]
Un flic (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1972) [7-]
Permanent Vacation (Jim Jarmusch, 1980) [6]
Yin shi nan nu / Eat Drink Man Woman (Ang Lee, 1994) [6.5]
Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch, 1984) [7+]
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013) [7-]
Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch, 1989) [5]

Ivan Turgenev – Padri e figli [LINK] [8]
Platone – Apologia di Socrate [LINK] [9]

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Stuff Seen, May+Jun+Jul 2015

Posted by StepTb su luglio 31, 2015

Take the Money and Run (Woody Allen, 1969) [7]
Sleeper (Woody Allen, 1973) [6.5]
A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (Woody Allen, 1982) [6.5]
Q (Larry Cohen, 1982) [6]
The Jerk (Carl Reiner, 1979) [6.5]
Nine to Five (Colin Higgins, 1980) [5]
TRON (Steven Lisberger, 1982) [5]
The Dark Crystal (Jim Henson & Frank Oz, 1982) [6.5]
Missing (Costa-Gavras, 1982) [7]
History of the World: Part I (Mel Brooks, 1981) [7]
Time Bandits (Terry Gilliam, 1981) [7]
The Incredible Shrinking Woman (Joel Schumacher, 1981) [6]
Possession (Andrzej Zulawski, 1981) [6]
Firefox (Clint Eastwood, 1982) [6]
The Entity (Sidney J. Furie, 1982) [5]
The Beastmaster (Don Coscarelli, 1982) [6]
Sorceress (Jack Hill, 1982) [5-]
The Sword and the Sorcerer (Albert Pyun, 1982) [6]
Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974) [5]
Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, 1980) [6]
Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014) [6.5]

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Stuff Seen, March+April 2015

Posted by StepTb su aprile 30, 2015

Hustle (Robert Aldrich, 1975) [5]
Stay Hungry (Bob Rafelson, 1976) [6]
Murder by Death (Robert Moore, 1976) [7]
Over the Edge (Jonathan Kaplan, 1979) [6]
The Amityville Horror (Stuart Rosenberg, 1979) [5]
When a Stranger Calls (Fred Walton, 1979) [6]
The Muppet Movie (James Frawley, 1979) [6.5]
Elvis (John Carpenter, 1979) [6]
The Fog (John Carpenter, 1980) [7.5+]
Escape from New York (John Carpenter, 1981) [8]
The Howling (Joe Dante, 1981) [7.5]
1941 (Steven Spielberg, 1979) [7]
Stripes (Ivan Reitman, 1981) [7+]
National Lampoon’s Vacation (Harold Ramis, 1983) [7.5]
Outland (Peter Hyams, 1981) [7+]
Prince of the City (Sidney Lumet, 1981) [8.5]
The Verdict (Sidney Lumet, 1982) [8.5]
Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 1975) [7.5]
The Edge (Lee Tamahori, 1997) [7]
House of Cards s3 ep1 (John David Coles, 2015) [6.5]
House of Cards s3 ep2 (John David Coles, 2015) [7]
House of Cards s3 ep3 (Tucker Gates, 2015) [6]
House of Cards s3 ep4 (Tucker Gates, 2015) [7]
House of Cards s3 ep5 (James Foley, 2015) [6.5]
House of Cards s3 ep6 (James Foley, 2015) [6.5]
House of Cards s3 ep7 (John Dahl, 2015) [6.5]
House of Cards s3 ep8 (John Dahl, 2015) [6.5]
House of Cards s3 ep9 (Robin Wright, 2015) [7]
House of Cards s3 ep10 (Agnieszka Holland, 2015) [6]
House of Cards s3 ep11 (Agnieszka Holland, 2015) [7]
House of Cards s3 ep12 (Robin Wright, 2015) [6.5]
House of Cards s3 ep13 (James Foley, 2015) [7] [some good moments here and there, but, overall, this 3rd season was a letdown]
Diner (Barry Levinson, 1982) [7]
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling, 1982) [7.5]
Gloria (John Cassavetes, 1980) [6.5]
Ordinary People (Robert Redford, 1980) [6.5]
S.O.B. (Blake Edwards, 1981) [7]
Creepshow (George A. Romero, 1982) [6.5]
Twilight Zone: The Movie (Joe Dante/John Landis/George Miller/Steven Spielberg, 1983) [6]
The Postman Always Rings Twice (Bob Rafelson, 1981) [8]
…All the Marbles (Robert Aldrich, 1981) [7.5]
On Golden Pond (Mark Rydell, 1981) [5]
Swamp Thing (Wes Craven, 1982) [5]
Slap Shot (George Roy Hill, 1977) [6.5]
Heavy Metal (Gerald Potterton, 1981) [6.5]
Death Wish II (Michael Winner, 1982) [5]
Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982) [7]

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January+February 2015 Log

Posted by StepTb su febbraio 28, 2015

Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman, 2014) [7+]
Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam (Carl Boese, Paul Wegener, 1920) [7.5]
Tagebuch einer Verlorenen (Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1929) [8]
The Wind (Victor Sjöström, 1928) [7.5]
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Brad Bird, 2011) [5+]
Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014) [6.5] [even if Boyhood’s production idea is innovative and Linklater’s direction masterful, the script itself mainly displays a parade of stereotypes, from the violent stepfather figures to the idealization of college experience as a resolutory climax of sort. It doesn’t take risks (and its clear and simplistic political undertones work as a contradictory, limiting, negative force that seems to prevent it), and it doesn’t offer any particular insight into boyhood, male adolescence, or life in general. It’s a film as confused as its own characters, and nowhere near the masterpiece status critics have thrown at it. Just compare it to Les Quatre Cents Coups (1959) – case closed]
Kis uykusu (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2014) [7.5]
Machete Kills (Robert Rodriguez, 2013) [4]
Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014) [6]
Grudge Match (Peter Segal, 2013) [6]
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1927) [8.5]
The Crowd (King Vidor, 1928) [8.5]
Where Eagles Dare (Brian G. Hutton, 1968) [7]
Two Mules for Sister Sara (Don Siegel, 1970) [6]
Joe Kidd (John Sturges, 1972) [6.5]
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (Michael Cimino, 1974) [7.5]
Love and Death (Woody Allen, 1975) [7.5]
A Star Is Born (Frank Pierson, 1976) [4]
Coming Home (Hal Ashby, 1978) [7-]
The Incredible Hulk, s1 ep1 (Kenneth Johnson, 1977) [6.5]
Piranha (Joe Dante, 1978) [5]
Superman (Richard Donner, 1978) [7] [like it or not, you have to give this movie some credit; it was hard to do better, in 1978, with such a story. Donner’s direction is remarkable, and the film’s influence on virtually every following superhero movie, including the post-2000 ones, is undeniable. On top of that, Reeve was a perfect casting choice, and created “the” live action Superman icon]
Rocky II (Sylvester Stallone, 1979) [7]
10 (Blake Edwards, 1979) [6.5]
An Unmarried Woman (Paul Mazursky, 1978) [7-]
Kramer vs. Kramer (Robert Benton, 1979) [7]
Meatballs (Ivan Reitman, 1979) [6]
Breaking Away (Peter Yates, 1979) [6]
The Wanderers (Philip Kaufman, 1979) [7.5]
Return of the Secaucus 7 (John Sayles, 1979) [6.5]
Caddyshack (Harold Ramis, 1980) [7]
Superman II (Richard Lester & Richard Donner, 1980) [5]
Reds (Warren Beatty, 1981) [7]
Rocky III (Sylvester Stallone, 1982) [6.5]
First Blood (Ted Kotcheff, 1982) [7+]
Rambo 2 (George P. Cosmatos, 1985) [5]
Rocky IV (Sylvester Stallone, 1985) [5+]
Top Gun (Tony Scott, 1986) [7-]
Fatal Attraction (Adrian Lyne, 1987) [6.5]
Rambo III (Peter MacDonald, 1988) [5+]
Our Nixon (Penny Lane, 2013) [6.5]
Rollerball (Norman Jewison, 1975) [5]
Every Which Way But Loose (James Fargo, 1978) [5]
Sisters (Brian De Palma, 1973) [6]
Dressed to Kill (Brian De Palma, 1980) [8+]
Blow Out (Brian De Palma, 1981) [7]
Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1983) [8-]
Popeye (Robert Altman, 1980) [7]
Body Double (Brian De Palma, 1984) [8]
The Untouchables (Brian De Palma, 1987) [7+]
American Gigolo (Paul Schrader, 1980) [7]
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) [8.5]
Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan, 1981) [8+]
Excalibur (John Boorman, 1981) [7]
Tightrope (Richard Tuggle, 1984) [6]
Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) [8.5]

Karl Popper – Auf der Suche nach einer besseren Welt: Vorträge und Aufsätze aus dreissig Jahren [LINK Amazon, Italian edition] [9]
John Micklethwait & Adrian Wooldridge – The Right Nation: Why America Is Different [LINK Amazon] [7]

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2014 / Best Films

Posted by StepTb su dicembre 31, 2014

Just a draft, I haven’t watched many 2014 movies…

Kis uykusu (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
Deux jours, une nuit (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne)

The Homesman (Tommy Lee Jones)
Interstellar (Christopher Nolan)

Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman) +
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell) +
Gone Girl (David Fincher)
White Christmas (Carl Tibbetts) [Black Mirror]
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
American Sniper (Clint Eastwood)
While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach)
The Lego Movie (Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg)

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Stuff Seen, November+December 2014

Posted by StepTb su dicembre 31, 2014

Sideways (Alexander Payne, 2004) [7+]
The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 2011) [5]
Nebraska (Alexander Payne, 2013) [8]
Kelly’s Heroes (Brian G. Hutton, 1970) [7.5]
Cockfighter (Monte Hellman, 1974) [7]
Rocky (John G. Avildsen, 1976) [7]
The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010) [7]
Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014) [7]
The Wolf Man (George Waggner, 1941) [7.5-]
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (Roy William Neill, 1943) [6.5]
The Curse of the Werewolf (Terence Fisher, 1961) [6.5]
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014) [5]
Happy Christmas (Joe Swanberg, 2014) [6]
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014) [7]
Confession (Do-yun Lee, 2014) [6.5]
The Expendables 3 (Patrick Hughes, 2014) [5]
Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn, 2014) [6.5]
The Lego Movie (Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, 2014) [7]
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg, 2014) [7]

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Stuff Seen, September+October 2014

Posted by StepTb su ottobre 31, 2014

Carnal Knowledge (Mike Nichols, 1971) [6.5]
Walking Tall (Phil Karlson, 1973) [6]
The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012) [5]
Pusher II (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2004) [8]
Pusher 3 (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2005) [7.5]
Adams æbler (Anders Thomas Jensen, 2005) [6]
Shaft (Gordon Parks, 1971) [5]
Super Fly (Gordon Parks Jr., 1972) [5]
The Homesman (Tommy Lee Jones, 2014) [7.5]
The Grey (Joe Carnahan, 2011) [6.5]
Kill List (Ben Wheatley, 2011) [7-]
A Touch of Class (Melvin Frank, 1973) [7]
About Schmidt (Alexander Payne, 2002) [7]
Safety Last! (Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor, 1923) [8]
Seven Chances (Buster Keaton, 1925) [8+]
The Towering Inferno (John Guillermin, 1974) [7]
Körkarlen (Victor Sjöström, 1921) [7]
Po zakonu / By the Law (Lev Kuleshov, 1926) [7.5]
He Who Gets Slapped (Victor Sjöström, 1924) [8.5]
The Man Who Laughs (Paul Leni, 1928) [7.5]
Dirty Jobs s1-2-3-4-5 (2005-2009), various random eps.

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Clip of the Day/Month/Year

Posted by StepTb su ottobre 7, 2014

Series creators and executive producers David Lynch and Mark Frost will write and produce all nine episodes of the limited series, and Lynch will direct every episode. Set in the present day, TWIN PEAKS will continue the lore of the original series, providing long-awaited answers and a satisfying conclusion for the series’ passionate fan base.

We’ve Been Waiting. We’ve Always Been Waiting.

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