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The Mandarin

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About The Mandarin

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    Comments that don't warrant a thread
  • Birthday 06/23/1983

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  1. Shaky attempt at a chronological order: Traffic Mulholland Drive Adaptation. Punch-Drunk Love 21 Grams Bad Santa Match Point No Country for Old Men There Will Be Blood 4 Weeks, 3 Months and 2 Days Special mention goes to Black Hawk Down and Ocean's Twelve for being my favourite guilty pleasures. The idea that Werner Herzog's top movie of the decade is "The Real Cancun" is absolutely mystifying. (You can Google it.)
  2. The Mandarin

    The Office Season 5

    Re: Stringer Bell "Chair don't recognize your ass" has to be worked into an episode.
  3. The Mandarin

    30 Rock

    Last night's episode was relentless. I was in hysterics for everything from Tina Fey's "yay" squeal up to "our regular warm-up comic OD'ed at a gay man's apartment this morning." Tracy's delivery of "I'm too proud!" deserves an Emmy. Definitely my favourite show of the season and certainly better than any season 5 Office episode.
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    Your top 10 films of 2008

    My top five of 2008 would be Forgetting Sarah Marshall (a flawed film-- poor writing esp. for Mila Kunis-- but generally the best time I had watching a movie all year), Milk (brilliantly acted and the magnificent opening? scene taking place in the subway had me convinced, if just momentarily, that I was watching something special; the film was somewhat weakened when some pivotal sequences were a bit too schmaltzy), Doubt (show-stealing performance by Amy Adams! who, I'd have to imagine, is a lock for Supporting Actress this weekend, otherwise a very good play that transferred to the screen just fine), Funny Games (makes your skin crawl, it's a rare experience; three strong performances, as expected) and I guess Burn After Reading if just for Brad Pitt's reactions. Dark Knight was a lot of fun. I was disappointed by Synecdoche, New York and Vicky Christina Barcelona. Paranoid Park aimed high but was a mess. I still have yet to see Che & The Argentine (I love the work of Soderbergh and Del Toro so I have very high expectations), The Wrestler, The Class and Man on Wire however. 2007 was brilliant: see There Will Be Blood, No Country and The King of Kong. If you still haven't watched Kong, go for it. It features a truly engaging story and some of the most unbelievable, terrifying characters in all of cinema. Also 4 Weeks, 3 Months and 2 Days was superior to any film I watched in theaters this year. It really cemented, at least for me, that Cloverfield was totally flat (although an intriguing experiment). Zodiac was very strong. Grindhouse was a riot in the theater, as mentioned-- I have no idea how the separate releases turned out. Ocean's Thirteen was strong in a way which I did not expect, if you liked The Departed's twisting plot then this film is for you. If you like characterization, look elsewhere. I found Bourne Ultimatum to be a lot of fun. I appreciate films that appropriate cinema-verite style tendencies and aesthetics-- I was also a fan of United 93. I am guilty of not having watched Into the Wild, Gone Baby Gone or Jesse James. 2009 should be promising. I want to watch Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, like, today. (Yes, I too read the book. I'm really interested to see how John Krasinski will pull this off. I figure he'll be writing an original narrative based around the interviewer but I really hope he can do something with On His Deathbed. I have a perverse desire to see him attempt either Octet or Church Not Made with Hands, or both. You never know, perhaps cinema will be revolutionized.) I hope to see good stuff from Soderbergh and Luiz Guzman this year. Ohhhh man, The Limey you guys. Scrap everything I said about 2008, no film did nearly as much with editing as The Limey.
  5. So basically you should be running to video stores looking for Cassavetes' "A Woman Under the Influence" if you don't already own it. There will be nothing more important come Tuesday.
  6. Don't get me wrong, I think Fight Club and Se7en are fun films and I still watch them-- man is The Game ridiculous though. It's just that Zodiac seemed so unlike Fincher with the slow pacing and the attention to detail, particularly the look of the film. It wasn't his most entertaining movie, but it looked (to me) like an expertly made one, which is my point. Button looks similar in that I don't think it's going to make use of hyperkinetic action sequences or snappy dialogue but instead give its full attention to the Benjamin Button character. Zodiac was the first Fincher movie that I can honestly say that I was surprised when it didn't pick up any nominations.
  7. I really like these two trailers: Benjamin Button does look solid though. Zodiac was refreshingly mature so hopefully Fincher's starting to get serious with his work.
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    Teach Me TSM

    I like Hannah and Her Sisters more than Crimes and Misdemeanors. Crimes and Misdemeanors lacks memorable performances or tension-- the scene taking place during the thunderstorm feels so out of place in such a mundane film. I'm not sure what I'm missing but I definitely don't see it as one of his best. Hannah and Her Sisters sometimes approaches melodrama but Michael Caine and Dianne Wiest did a great job with the material. A lot of Woody Allen's scenes were quite funny-- particularly the short bit where Woody Allen's character considers becoming a Catholic. The only part of the film I had a real problem with was Max Von Sydow, who was totally miscast.
  9. I'm not sure which I liked more: Brad Pitt's eyes in the car scene or the face he makes as the closet doors open. I gathered "well, this is it" pretty quickly into the final scene but I was enjoying how Absolutely a fun, okay movie. Weird use of Tilda Swinton though.
  10. The Mandarin

    Desert Island Draft: Movie Edition

    Always a good time not to enjoy movies. That was poorly phrased, yeah. I didn't dislike Akira but I just can't get into anime (even though I know Grave of the Fireflies and Akira are probably really strong films) while I found Forrest Gump overly sentimental and contrived. FWIW I don't like Tom Hanks, I find he really hams it up as if he were still doing comedic roles. However if Mole were to draft these movies his list would improve. One man's opinion.
  11. The Mandarin

    Desert Island Draft: Movie Edition

    1) P.G.O.A.T has Pierrot le fou and top films from Kubrick, Altman, Allen, Scorsese, Leone and Fellini. La jetee and A.I. are definite cures for boredom-- science fiction is great for stirring the ol' noddle. The PT Anderson films are excellent choices as well-- brilliant ensemble casts, great cinematography. 2) Big fan of godthedog's choices. Obviously The Godfather and Breathless are essential films. I'd watch and re-watch Ran, Rear Window, Aguirre, Touch of Evil, Lost Highway, even Ghost World. Duck Amuck is outstanding. I firmly believe that the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVDs should be in space for extraterrestrials to find. 3) treble has a very strong list. Vertigo, Citizen Kane, The Godfather Pt. II, Fargo. Joseph Cotten is fantastic in Shadow of a Doubt. Zodiac and Frailty are both underrated. Zodiac's probably the most mature and well-structured David Fincher film while Frailty is legitimately spooky. Heat is by far my favourite Michael Mann film. Even though the film is weak in some areas (Natalie Portman's scenes, particularly her dialogue) there's some outstanding stuff-- like the mother of all firefights. 4) Next USC #55 has a generally solid list topped by One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and 12 Angry Men. I didn't enjoy Akira or Forrest Gump. Rashomon, The Third Man, Magnificent Seven-- all essential films. 5) Jingus-- Taxi Driver and Apocalypse Now are both Top 10 films for me. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Children of Men are two of my more recent favourites. Living in Oblivion is a good pick that I never would have thought of. I like Catherine Keener a lot. Not a fan of Kevin Smith or Simon Pegg however. Honorable mention to goes to Jorge Gorgeous' list, even with only fifteen films. Goodfellas and On the Waterfront would have been on my list. The Graduate and Dog Day Afternoon are superb, also top 20 material. I can't praise Dustin Hoffman enough-- I kind of wanted to pick Volker Schlondorff's Death of a Salesman even though it was made-for-TV. Manhattan and Schindler's List, once again very good choices. The Star Wars films, Saving Private Ryan and True Romance don't really excite me but I wouldn't refrain from watching them again. Jorge Gorgeous's Keys to Victory: . Excuse all the superlatives.
  12. Everybody knows the best critically panned space resurrection movie to come out in recent years was Steven Soderbergh's version of Solaris.
  13. The Mandarin

    Desert Island Draft: Movie Edition

    I'd like to move forward with this because I think there's still some interesting discussion to be had. Treble has two picks left. bps21 has two picks left. Next USC #55 has three picks left. Jorge Gorgeous has five picks left. Darthtiki has one pick left. Mole has one pick left. Canadian Brandon has two picks left. I think if I were to have selected a comedy for my list, I would have gone with Heathers or Bad Santa. Although if I were given a 21st pick, I'd choose The Elephant Man because of John Hurt's performance.
  14. The Mandarin

    The Youtube thread

    Best choreography ever.
  15. The Mandarin

    Desert Island Draft: Movie Edition

    Eyes Wide Shut I really like this film. Everything comes across as wonderfully artificial and strange. There's a really interesting essay on the film here