Movies, Movies, Movies! #96 – August 10, 2021

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Welcome to another installment of Movies, Movies, Movies! Only 3 movies reviewed this week, but all are from The Criterion Collection and all are quality films.

Nashville (1975) Criterion Collection spine #683
Starring: David Arkin, Barbara Baxley, Ned Beatty, Karen Black, Ronnie Blakley, Timothy Brown, Keith Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Robert DoQui, Shelley Duvall, Allen Garfield, Henry Gibson, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum, Barbara Harris, David Hayward, Michael Murphy, Allan F. Nicholls, Dave Peel, Cristina Raines, Bert Remsen, Lily Tomlin, Gwen Welles, Keenan Wynn, James Dan Calvert, Donna Denton, Merle Kilgore, Carol McGinnis, Sheila Bailey, Patti Bryant, Richard Baskin, Jonnie Barnett, Vassar Clements, Misty Mountain Boys, Sue Barton, Elliott Gould, Julie Christie, and many more.
Director: Robert Altman
Genres: comedy, drama
Synopsis: A political convention is being organized in Nashville. Over the course of five days, an eclectic amalgamation of individuals converges on the city, including hippies, free spirits, religious gurus, starmakers, musicians, lovers, cheaters, and also many who simply call Nashville their home.
Impressions: I loved this time capsule of a time that I grew up in. I also like getting a close-up of the city of Nashville. The plot is multi-layered and bounces all over the city with several separate groups who all seem to intersect at least once. I really liked seeing so many familiar (and young!) faces in one movie. You’ll see them as you’ve never seen them before in, “Nashville.” Standout performances for me were Keith Carradine, Lily Tomlin, Ronnie Blakley, and Henry Gibson. Have I mentioned this is a comedy? It’s slick with political commentary, yet there is a lot of sharp social commentary as well. It’s a visual feast. It’s a memorable slice of Americana for that time. Everyone should see it at least once. As it’s part of The Criterion Collection, there’s a special features disk with interviews, etc. Altman is a great director and directing style is talked about with some of the actors that were in the movie.
Grade: 9
Etc.: from imdb: Each actor was required to write and perform their own songs, and the songs were recorded live; the original cut was so long, it was almost released as two parallel movies: “Nashville Red” and “Nashville Blue.” There is a plethora of trivia at imdb.
Awards: 24 wins and 26 nominations

 

 

Local Hero (1983) Criterion Collection spine #994
Starring: Peter Riegert, Burt Lancaster, Fulton Mackay, Denis Lawson, Norman Chancer, Peter Capaldi, Rikki Fulton, Alex Norton, Jenny Seagrove, Jennifer Black, Christopher Rozycki, Gyearbuor Asante, John M. Jackson, Dan Ammerman, and many more.
Director: Bill Forsyth
Genres: comedy, drama, environmentalism vs. corporatism
Synopsis: Mega Oil Corporation geological surveys show that an idyllic Scottish village holds lots of oil. Felix Happer (played just right by Lancaster, who was 68 at the time) is the eccentric CEO of the US corporation that seems more interested in studying the night sky than doing killer cutthroat deals, nonetheless sends Mac (played by Riegert,) one of his best hotshot acquisitions people to Scotland with the full intention of buying the whole village and replacing it with an oil refinery. Mac doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into when he meets the residents of the remote village.
Impressions: I enjoyed the spirit of the movie very much. I was really worried at the initial premise of destroying a village for oil, but I know it happens too much. I loved Riegert as the main character and was happy to see him given such a plum role to play. Lawson as the local innkeeper whose inn is the social hub of the place is so perfect for the part. The place away from all hubbub and technology and near so much natural beauty drew me in and relaxed me as I watched the magic happen as the plot unfolded. It’s a very heartwarming movie, but it’s not mushy.
Grade: 7.5+
Etc.: Scottish film; music by Mark Knopfler (his first film score;) filmed in 20 locations in Scotland and a few locations in Texas, USA; The village used in the film is called Pennan but it is on the East coast unlike the one in the film. The beach used is called Camusdarach and is on the West coast.
Awards: 4 wins and 6 nominations

 

 

Fantastic Planet (1973) La planète sauvage (original title) Criterion Collection spine #820
Starring: Jennifer Drake, Eric Baugin, Jean Topart, Jean Valmont, and many other voices.
Director: Rene Laloux
Genres: animation, sci-fi
Synopsis: Giant blue humanoid aliens rule the planet. Humans are tiny vermin to them, much as mice are to us; sometimes the parents allow the children to keep them as pets. The story is about Terr, an infant whose mother is killed in the wilderness and who is found by Tiwa, one of the alien children. Terr becomes Tiwa’s beloved companion and is privvy to education that Tiwa is given through a special device. Once Terr begins to learn, he understands that he’s more than a child’s pet.
Impressions: The animation is phantasmagorical! It draws you into another world. There is an endless delightful surprise along the way of the story. There is powerful allegory held within it. Thanks for Hobo Moon Cartoons for first bringing Fantastic Planet to my attention.
Grade: 8+
Etc.: created in France (devised) and Czechoslovakia (animated) with English subtitles; it took 5 years to make it;
Awards: 1 win and 2 nominations

 

31 Comments Add yours

  1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Nashville is a great film. You have to pay attention or you would be lost. I remember when Nashville looked like that…from then to around 82 or so and then it was cleaned up. I like his films…they all have his stamp on it.
    I don’t know if you agree but Tarantino is about the only director today that you can tell his films from other directors…back then you had Altman, Sam Peckinpah, and others that you didn’t need to see the credits to know who directed it. Now days it’s probably a committee.

    Fantastic Planet knocked me out…I haven’t seen modern animation with this much going on and it is so vibrant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Hinoeuma says:

      I can pick out a Darren Aronofsky flick, easily. If it doesn’t make any sense, that’s Darren. I can pick out Joss Whedon just by the dialog. Christopher Nolan…long, mind-bending stories and sweeping cinematography. He didn’t direct Man of Steel but, he wrote it. His fingerprints are all over it, despite Synder’s direction.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        I can’t tell with the look of of a modern film…I just cant. The cuts and edits seem the same these days with the exception of Tarantino. I’ve seen Whedon’s films and the Batman trilogy of Nolans…the cuts and edits don’t look much different to me.

        Maybe they are not as pronounced…with Altman you could tell by his cuts…plus many times they wrote and directed it. Like Bring Me the Head of Alfedo Garcia…it’s Peckinpah through and through…I just saw that one.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The Hinoeuma says:

          I’m not talking cuts and edits. I’m talking dialog, movie theme and a general feeling/mood. But, to your original point, Tarantino films are the easiest to spot…blood, gore, over-the-top violence, death and over-the-top cursing.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. msjadeli says:

            Don’t forgot strong, badass women, and killer soundtracks.

            Like

            1. The Hinoeuma says:

              I’m not as up on women directors…except Penny Marshall, Streisand and Amanda Tapping. I love a good soundtrack.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. msjadeli says:

                I’m talking about Tarantino-directed movies, not directors. A distinctive female director is Kelly Reichardt. Very easy to pick out her films.

                Like

                1. The Hinoeuma says:

                  Ah. Ok. Sorry. Thought you segued into women directors.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. msjadeli says:

                    No worries, Vic 🙂

                    Like

          2. badfinger20 (Max) says:

            I love the dialog of Tarantino movies…I’ve had those conversations…who was the best whatever…and on and on. I think Vic…earlier before movie studios really took over…a person could write, direct, and produce…it will have them all over it then.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              I do too. And the females do it as much as the guys.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. The Hinoeuma says:

              Oh, there used to be much more freedom to multitask. Like everything else, those who covet power like to keep it concentrated. And, there is no shortage of people that love to tell others what to do.

              Liked by 1 person

        2. The Hinoeuma says:

          James Mangold is another one. My Cop Land and Bailey’s Logan have the same “noir” feel to them.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

            I’m trying to think of someone else…take Scorsese,…WOW I spelled his name right without looking it up! He is very identifiable.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. The Hinoeuma says:

              Others that occurred to me are Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Spielberg, Eastwood, Ron Howard, John Hughes, Polanski, Del Toro, Mel Brooks, Blake Edwards, Rob Reiner, Zemeckis, Oliver Stone, Richard Donner, Sam Raimi, the Coen Brothers, Hitchcock and Kubrick. They have their own distinctive “moods.”

              Liked by 1 person

              1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

                Kubrick certainly did…no doubt

                Liked by 1 person

                1. The Hinoeuma says:

                  Another came up last night…M. Night Shyamalan. SyFy ran Signs & The Happening last night/this morning. I miss his movies. They are easy to tell.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

                    I’ve seen a couple of his movies.

                    Liked by 1 person

      2. msjadeli says:

        🙂 I like that first comment about Darren lol.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. msjadeli says:

      I’m glad you’ve seen Nashville and like it. It’s too bad it’s been “cleaned up” as some of those area have the most character to them. I agree on Tarantino and would add Wes Anderson to directors with a distinctive style. I watched Fantastic Planet on youtube first but when I saw it available through the library I jumped at it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        Fantastic Planet was ahead of it’s time.

        Yea I like those movies that those guys did…they had more to do with them. Vic is right…there is some styles still out there but modern ones don’t write, direct, and sometimes produce…when it comes from one person it makes a difference.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The Hinoeuma says:

    Three movies I’ve never heard of.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Well put them on your list and remedy that, Vic 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Liam says:

    I happen to have the Nashville DVD ready to watch sometime in the next few days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      This was before you saw my review? Or you picked it up after?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liam says:

        No, I just happened to be planning to watch it too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. hanspostcard says:

    I saw Nashville maybe 25 years or so ago and remember liking it- of course I need to see it again sometime. I can’t recall all the movie now… but it was a thumbs up as I recall.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I think it was right on the tail end of the sexual revolution (no pun intended.)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like that Local Hero. You have prompted a rewatch.

    Liked by 1 person

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