Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Alternate Best Actor 1968: Vincent Price in Witchfinder General

Vincent Price did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Matthew Hopkins in Witchfinder General.

Witchfinder General is a flimsy pseudo-exploitation film about an inquisitor during the reign of Oliver Cromwell.

Vincent Price had perhaps a somewhat curious career progression as an actor. In that he started out in very much the prestige picture such as Laura and The Song of Bernadette, but eventually began to appear in a long series of b-movies often as a campy villain. There was more than a slight indication of this in his early work in that he would play often shady characters, but they were not quite the overt villains he came known for. This brings him to this film which itself seems a curious clash of the two phases of his career quite honestly. In that the movie is not quite sure what it wants to be in that it may wish to be a grim realization of the cruel witch hunters of the time, yet its approach very much focuses on the violence, and very little on the characters suggesting the tone more of a violent exploitative horror film. The characters for the most part are incredibly simple, there seems an attempt at further complexity at times yet this usually is forgotten in favor of more bloodshed.

Vincent Price stands in the center of the film as the man who wishes to become the Witchfinder General by uncovering witches all throughout England. Price seems set on his own performance at the very least, even though the film doesn't quite seem set on its own tone. Price goes for the more nuanced approach to the material, very much away from his usual campy type of villainy to portray the witchhunter Hopkins in a very quiet manner. Price is consistent in this in very much trying to impress some sort of reality on the film in his dark somber approach. Price's approach is actually a tad surprising since even in his earlier prestige picture work he usually would be a more flamboyant figure. Here though Price very much seeks to be the puritan really his character should be. Price whole physical manner is that of a hard and cold man. He is effective in this approach as everything about him has this coldness to him in his dark eyes always peering for some sort of weakness, and his straight forward delivery fitting to an official who is going about his task with proper precision.

The character is not quite so straight forward though as revealed early on by the first scene where he goes about interrogating a catholic priest, which involves having his men randomly stabbing the man's back supposedly looking for the mark of Satan. The priest though is granted a respite when the priest's niece offers to prostitute herself in exchange for saving her uncle. This offer is immediately accepted by Hopkins and Price does not depict any sort of conflict in the man over this. Price approach actually instead very much sets up the character as a man who is more than willing to abuse his position to get what he wants and there is never a second thought in his depiction. This again is effective though as Price is appropriately creeping in showing the complete lack of hesitation in the man as he goes from his violent interrogation of doing "God's work" at one moment then giving into lust with the woman the next. The film never really goes anywhere with this idea in terms of revealing the hypocrisy of the character instead he ends up just being basically a monster who needs to be defeated by the end of the film. Price stays consistent within his character throughout even in its more bombastic conclusion, more fitting to a traditional monster picture. Price isn't quite just the monster and is a chilling presence throughout the film. His performance though seems a bit misused in the end as it suggests a greater complexity but it never is allowed to explore this in any real detail. This is a good low key performance by Vincent Price, but the film prevents him from giving a great one.

178 comments:

Luke Higham said...

Damn, didn't expect that at all.

3. McDowell
4. Mifune
5. Price

Charles Heiston said...

Wow, let me just change my predictions here.

1. Bronson
2. Lancaster
3. McDowell
4. Marvin
5. Price

1. Lancaster
2. Trintignant
3. Von Sydow
4. Davis
5. Mifune

omar said...

1. Bronson
2. Lancaster
3. McDowell
4. Marvin
5. Price

1. Lancaster
2. Davis
3. Von Sydow
4. Trintignant
5. Mifune

Robert MacFarlane said...

1. Bronson
2. Lancaster
3. Marvin
4. McDowell
5. Price

Luke Higham said...

* 4. Marvin

Giuseppe Fadda said...

1. Bronson
2. McDowell
3. Lancaster
4. Marvin
5. Price

Calvin Law said...

New predictions:

1. Bronson
2. Lancaster
3. McDowell
4. Marvin
5. Price

Calvin Law said...

Have to admit this doesn't really pique my interest especially after reading the final paragraph.

What's everyone's favourite Price performance? Mine's actually Rattigan from The Great Mouse Detective.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Witchfinder General, I really thought he'd get at least a 4 for it, yet not everything's gonna go your way.

Luke Higham said...

The only positive out of this for me personally is that I'm glad I didn't request him as I'd like to keep my 4+ record intact.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: Didn't you request McDowell for Caligula, i doubt he's getting a 4 for that.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: I did, I said before that it's a huge gamble though and he's easily the highlight of that extremely off-putting film and its quite an infamous performance as well, so it would make an interesting read.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: I'm quite looking forward to that review. Also considering Ebert despised it.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: He left 2 hours in and should've given it an N/R instead of zero stars. :)

RatedRStar said...

I would say Vincent Price could be considered for a review in House of Wax.

I cant remember how it works when changing predictions when we have two separate lineups.

1. Bronson
2. Lancaster
3. Marvin
4. McDowell
5. Price

RatedRStar said...

I reckon Louis reviewing McDowell in Caligula will be one of the funniest reviews lol, I can just see myself cackling at what it will be.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: You could change both of them at any time before the third review.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: I look forward to Louis going through the pain that I went through. :)

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Theatre Of Blood is another acclaimed Price film, though I forgot to recommend it for 1973. I'll do so after the bonus rounds are over.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Price is pretty great in Masque of the Red Death.

Luke Higham said...

What about The Pit and the Pendulum.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your rating for Douglas Rain in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your top ten pieces from The Two Towers and your thoughts on them.

94dfk1 said...

Smokin' Aces starred Ryan Reynolds as a regular FBI agent and Chris Pine as a Neo-Nazi hit man. They would later be best known for their roles as Deadpool and Captain Kirk respectively.

Just always found that mildly interesting.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I thought you would like him more.
1. Bronson
2. Lancaster
3. McDowell
4. Mifune
5. Price

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: It's Marvin instead of Mifune. I made the same mistake as well. :)

Anonymous said...

4. Marvin
Luke: Caligula must be a pain to watch.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Let's just say there's an orgy scene that I do not want to recount my experience of and a guy losing his you-know-what and it being fed to the dogs. :(

Charles Heiston said...

If i ever want a good laugh, i'll read reviews of Caligula. People's reactions to it are amazing.

Charles Heiston said...

Louis and Everyone: Has anyone here seen the Dekalog movies by Krzysztof Kieslowski. I haven't but i plan to.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: I can't see him watching it during the '89 bonus round. It's nearly 10 hrs long altogether.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: I wish he would, but it will probably be the same situation like The Hollow Crown films.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: At least, he'll get around to watching those, as well as Hollow Crown, War & Peace and Elizabeth I after these bonus rounds are done.

From now on, the only television film he'll likely watch during the bonus rounds is The Firm with Gary Oldman.

mcofra7 said...

1. Bronson
2. Lancaster
3. Marvin
4. McDowell
5. Price

mcofra7 said...

1. Lancaster
2. Davis
3. Sydow
4. Mifune
5. Trintignant

Calvin Law said...

https://youtu.be/H4A0AlJV57A

Okja trailer, looks terrific.

Matt Mustin said...

Wow. RIP Chris Cornell. I don't know if any of you are fans, but goddammit, I am.

RatedRStar said...

RIP Chris Cornell, being a rock fan I really liked him, as a solo artist, and as the frontman of Soundgarden and Audioslave, You Know my Name is one of the greatest James Bond themes.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Have you seen Pixar's Up? Cause if so, I'd like to know your thoughts on the silent montage of Carl and Ellie's relationship. I'll be honest right, the first time I saw it, I cried.

Alex Marqués said...

RIP Chris Cornell, way too soon.

GM said...

1. Bronson
2. McDowell
3. Marvin
4. Price
5; Lancaster

Luke Higham said...

RIP Chris Cornell

Charles Heiston said...

RIP Chris Cornell.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

RIP Chris Cornell. While I can't claim to have been a fan, having never heard any of his work, it is always tragic to lose someone who was so acclaimed so soon.

Luke Higham said...

My sister and I randomly listened to Cornell's cover of Billie Jean just yesterday and we're quite creeped out about it.

Anonymous said...

Its even more sad knowing that Chris Cornell hanged himself =(.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Can I have your thoughts on Alien: Covenant and ratings/thoughts on the cast after your viewing this weekend.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. Chris Cornell
Louis: Thoughts on the chestburster scene in Alien.

Anonymous said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on Chris Cornell, were you ever a fan of Soundgarden/Audioslave, or any of his solo work?.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: You Know My Name is his favourite film song of 2006, so he probably does like him, don't expect to get thoughts on him though.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

4.

Well here's the top ten to start.

1. The Riders of Rohan
2. Forth Eorlingas
3. The King of the Golden Hall
4. Samwise the Brave
5. The White Rider
6. The Hornburg
7. The Uruk-hai
8. Foundations of Stone
9. Evenstar
10. The Black Gate Is Closed

Tahmeed:

I have. That is a beautiful and heartbreaking ten minutes, and would be one of the very best scenes from that year. It goes to show the power of animation as it does so much almost entirely in silence. Like Wall-e where the first act is by the far best element of the film, I feel it is an even more extreme case as it never comes even remotely close to those initial ten minutes.

Anonymous:

I will say this is one scene I wish I had the ability to go back to the initial release in order to be in a theater when the scene occurs. The idea itself is brilliant as it is such a twisted way for the Alien to be birthed and find its way covertly onto the ship. It's such a brutally effective moment as it is even knowing it will happen through the extremely visceral performances of everyone involved, except Ian Holm for obvious reasons. In a way even knowing of the surprise it almost tricks you again by the unassuming lead up to the moment. Its pure horror and Ridley Scott's direction is actually restrained by keeping a soft hand knowing that the act itself is more than enough for the terror take hold. I can only imagine how it must have been not having a clue it was going to happen though.

Anonymous:

I certainly liked some his work like "Black Hole Sun" and "You Know My Name", but I can't admit to being an ardent follower. In all seriousness R.I.P though.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I'm still debating myself if I'm seeing Alien: Covenant tomorrow or not. Prometheus is my second most hated film for the 2010's.

Charles Heiston said...

Louis: Thoughts on the ending of High and Low(1963) and is it one of your favorite acting moments.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on your #6-10 from The Two Towers.

And your thoughts on these scenes:
Boromir's Last Stand/Death
Battle Of Helm's Deep
Battle Of The Pelennor Fields
'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you'
and The Baptism from There Will Be Blood.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Civil War scene where Blondie and Tuco blow up the bridge.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top ten favorite opening scenes in films. My top 5 would be-
1. 'I Believe in America'-The Godfather
2. 5 minutes- Drive
3. The opening montage-Up
4. The beginning of the robbery- Dog Day Afternoon
5. 'Once upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France'-Inglourious Basterds

Luke Higham said...

Everyone: Which actor do you think will have the best year in 2017. I'm going with either Michael Fassbender, Andrew Garfield (2nd year in a row) or perhaps, Hugh Jackman.

Luke Higham said...

Gyllenhaal could have a strong year as well as Woody Harrelson.

Luke Higham said...

OMG! Tom Hardy's playing Venom.

Anonymous said...

Havent we been saying that Jake Gyllenhaal is gonna have a good year for like the last 5/6 years and then with the exception of Nightcrawler, he has been hugely disappointing.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I said he could have a strong year, didn't say he will.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: He's great in End Of Watch, Prisoners and very good in Enemy and Demolition, so saying he's been hugely disappointing on the whole these past 5/6 years is abit much.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: However, if we're talking about the past 2 years, then I'm in complete agreement with you.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Tom Hardy playing Venom.

Calvin Law said...

Jackman probably.

Luke: Not sure about that, I mean love Hardy, but can Venom possibly work without Spider-man?

Anonymous said...

Calvin: Venom has had spin-off comic books (Flash Thompson was Venom), so he could do fine.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'm surprised at this casting. This is probably Hugh's year.

Luke Higham said...

I think Fassbender could get two fives this year. He's genuinely brilliant in Alien: Covenant and could be one of those McKellen/Apt Pupil or Hardy/Legend fives where the film wasn't really anything special & him and Alfredson is a match made in heaven to me.

Jackman's a definite five for Logan and couldn't have a more perfect role in P.T. Barnum.

Garfield's projects this year are very interesting, especially Breathe where he plays a man suffering from Polio.

And Harrelson has Three Billboards and The Glass Castle (could be in the running for Supporting this year).

omar said...

Luke: Fassbender also has Song To Song, in which he was very good and also Trespass Against Us with Brendan Gleeson.

Luke Higham said...

Omar: I'm not sure if Louis will watch either of those. He's made it known that he's not a fan of Malick's Experimental style.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I just saw Alien: Covenant, and I admit I actually enjoyed it. It's nice to see Fassbender have so much fun with a role.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: I'm pleased you liked him. :)

Luke Higham said...

Robert: What did you think of the opening scene with Fassbender & Pearce.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Luke: Well outside of giving me uncomfortable Prometheus-related PTSD, it at least gave insight into David's nonsensical motivation from that movie. I'm glad this one just decided to drop the naval-gazing pretext and go to town in that department.

Charles Heiston said...

I feel Garfield will be at the top of his game again this year.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I think Garfield could do great in that role, but the movie could probably be average at best. Just my opinion.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: Should be at least decent, but its Serkis' directorial debut, so I don't know what to expect from him. I think it's also a passion project for him, since he did play Ian Dury.

Anonymous said...

Luke: When it comes to actors directing movies, I'm kind of pessimistic.

Louis Morgan said...

Saw Alien Covenant it's definitely no Alien, Aliens or even the assembly cut of Alien 3 though I did prefer it over Prometheus. It works to me just as kind of an Alien II in that it does no reinvention but just sort of delivers the space thriller goods in a straightforward way. Once again though it doesn't capture the strength of the original ensemble with so many character just feeling like fodder, and like in Prometheus there is a series of odd choices made by the characters. The visuals are striking as per usual for Scott, though it seemed like they lost their lighting rig for a large portion in the middle. Also all credit goes to the penultimate action sequence which was stellar, though it made the final sequence seem like a needless letdown repetition by comparison. Also the final one made little sense given the final revelation of the film, which you can see from a mile away. It's not great, but it works as a not great sequel to Alien.

I'll get everyone those thoughts soon.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Are you saving Fassbender.

Louis Morgan said...

Yes

Alex Marqués said...

Louis and everyone else: What did you think of the last episode of Fargo?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on the cast of Fargo: Season 3.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Thought Stuhlbarg, McGregor, and Winstead were all A+.

Charles Heiston said...

Everyone was at the top of their game.

Luke Higham said...

Looking forward to Thewlis' thoughts. About fucking time that man had a really great role.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

The Hornburg - (Such an effective piece in terms of setting up the battle in its mix of emotion so brilliantly. In that after the intro it segues into the angelic yet desperate vocals, to quietly something a bit more inspiring growing with almost a theme fitting to a montage, though of course not that over the top creating some hope. It then provides complete hope it seems by ending with that the terrific military march arrangement of the Lothlorien theme.)

The Uruk-hai - (A beautiful blending and arrangement of the main Fellowship theme and Orc's theme. Basically sets up the two sides in a way in a very elegant resetting of the scene.)

Foundations of Stone - (Quite the effective opener to be sure in again bringing back sort of the mystic themes fitting to the two titans battling each other, until fully returning basically where the original battle left off so fitting that it basically reprises Kazad-dum in an effective fashion.)

Evenstar - (Technically the sound behind the piece has basically become the second thing one probably thinks of when they think LOTR music. It's a beautiful though in almost combining the shire and elven theme in such a pleasant tapestry of soft vocals and instrumentation.)

The Black Gate Is Closed -(A good old fashioned piece of dramatic action work simple as that in terms of just building effectively with the drums and horns, though with just a tender little respite of the strings in the middle.)

In regards to Hardy he's basically a great choice for any role so I'm supportive in that context though I could see this as a film that never gets off the ground.

Wait on the Fargo cast.

Louis Morgan said...

Charles:

It is indeed. I'd say it's one of the greatest endings of all time. In terms of the story I love the way that it subverts the expectation of meeting the villain and it instead actually provides sympathy for him while also providing a bit of solace for Gondo's story. It realizes the complexity of the relationship and of their situation fitting to the titular theme of the film. It's an amazing scene as it ends up being heartbreaking even though we are witnessing the breakdown of the film's villain. It is also just one of those film endings where it just cuts right at such an emotional peak that feels like the perfect closer.

Anonymous:

Love the scene as it basically is a separate war film that Tuco and Blondie stumble onto, with the story of the Captain in a meaningless battle. Although the scene certainly is effective in terms of just the mechanics of getting Tuco and Blondie across that river, and the continuation of their enjoyable interactions, that barely matters in the scene. In short order it creates such a haunting depiction of the loss of life in war through the portrait of the Captain as he goes from a funny drunk to a heartbreaking portrayal of man broken by his "duty". That moment of the Captain seeing the bridge explodes in the end matters so much more than the explosion itself.

Tahmeed:

1. "Two too Many" - Once Upon a Time in the West
2. "Three Stories" - Magnolia
3. Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France - Inglorious Basterds
4. 5 Minutes - Drive
5. What's in the trunk? - Goodfellas
6. Finding the Idol - Raiders of the Lost Ark
7. "I believe in America" - The Godfather
8. The Nativity - Ben-Hur
9. Time Bomb - Touch of Evil
10. A Bad Swim - Jaws

Alex:

I liked it though mainly in terms of direction and performances particularly Stuhlbarg in this episode. That ending was far too much of a fakeout, though I have to admit at the same time I am glad that the character in question survived. I would say so far this has been a far weaker season than season 2, but having said that I'm still thoroughly enjoying it.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings/Thoughts on the Alien: Covenant cast.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Could I also have thoughts on the scenes that I mentioned before:
Boromir's Last Stand/Death - FOTR
Battle Of Helm's Deep - TTT
Battle Of Pelennor Fields - ROTK
'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you' - ROTK
The Baptism - There Will Be Blood

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Waterston - 4(Found her to be a rock solid anchor for the film in playing essentially Ripley from the first Alien, by that being the one who keeps the coolest head throughout. The addition though is in the early tragedy her character faces which Waterston does her absolute best to offer a really gravity to, which she actually does with every death in the film frankly adding more substance to the character than some of the actors playing the characters. In addition to that she really provides the right sort of "grit" in the action scenes creating the right combination of fear and determination in that she earns her badass moments. Doesn't quite reach Weaver's level but definitely a good performance.)

McBride - 4(Daring casting that actually worked out quite well I felt. McBride does bring some humor but in a very light natural way not unlike the way Stanton and Kotto handled their parts in the original film. McBride's work has a similair sort of life to it and what he does in fact amplifies what's lacking in the rest of the ensemble. In addition to that he also does deliver in the more emotional scenes of the film particularly in his breakdown. It's a strong performance, that made me wish the film had a smaller cast just of very talented character actors like in the first film.)

Crudup - 2.5(I was a little disappointed here but he actually seemed a bit hamstrung by his part. The film never quite defines his deal really throwing in the faith element of his character in a weak attempt to give the role substance. Crudup's just kind of in the middle in that he's no Tom Skerritt nor is he a William Hope or a Paul Reiser. Again though the writing does him no favors, and Crudup just seemed a little lost.)

Bichir - 2.5(Bichir does what he can but he has so little to work with it doesn't matter.)

Ejogo & Seimetz - 3(I thought they both actually managed to make something out of their very limited roles, and wish we had gotten more with them particularly Ejogo.)

Smollett, Henandez, Dean, England, Rigby - (All utterly forgettable if not a little bad at times.)

Franco - (Only distracting)

Pearce - 3(Thought he was pretty good in his one scene creating the right sense of Weyland's dilemma, frankly giving a much stronger sense of that unease towards his mortality than we got in Prometheus.)

I actually did write out the thoughts, but apparently they were lost when I was separating the comments so give me some time.

Luke Higham said...

I've upgraded McBride to a 3.5 for now. I need a re-watch for Waterston. And I'm very confident in Fassbender getting a five.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I actually really liked Crudup a lot. It's clear how over-his-head the character was, and he played it with such nice confusion. I do agree the religious aspect was undercooked, though. I'd also go higher for Seimetz. She has an inner scream queen in her.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: I have a winning request stored up, and I'd like to request Soumitra Chatterjee in Apur Sansar (The World of Apu) for 1959 Lead Actor.

Calvin Law said...

I'm seeing Covenant tonight and I must admit expectations have risen due to everyone's reactions.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Careful, don't raise them too much.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: I'm in agreement with Louis. If Fassbender didn't have as much screen time as he did, I probably would've liked it less than Prometheus.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I liked a lot more than Prometheus by virtue of this one being big, stupid fun. Prometheus was just plain stupid.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: A lot of that fun does come from Fassbender though.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I found a lot of the action scenes infinitely more fun than anything in Prometheus. The scene with Ejogo and Semeitz in particular.

Luke Higham said...

Robert: I'll agree with you on that scene.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the opening scene in Once Upon a Time in the West.

Anonymous said...

I think I'll watch Alien Covenant just for Fassbender.

Varun Neermul said...

Louis, have you finished watching twin peaks?

Varun Neermul said...

I finished watching 'Big Little Lies' and Skarsgard was surprisingly very good.

Calvin Law said...

Covenant was pretty entertaining. Definitely thought the horror/action sequences were solid on the whole, the dramatic side of things more of a mixed bag, but on the whole I liked it.

Waterston: 4
Fassbender: 5
Crudup: 3.5
McBride: 4
Seimetz: 3.5
Bichir: 3
Ejogo: 3
Pearce: 3.5
Everyone else: 2.5

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: YES YES YES YES YES. :)

Luke Higham said...

Calvin: Is that your favourite Fassbender performance.

Anonymous said...

Also watched Alien Convenant. Enjoyable enough.
Waterston: 4
Fassbender: 5
Crudup: 3,5
McBride: 4
Seimetz: 3
Bichir: 2,5
Ejogo: 3
Pearce: 3,5
Everyone else: 2,5
Louis: Your thoughts on the Code of Hero episode.

Luke Higham said...

Calvin & Anonymous: Could I have your thoughts on Fassbender.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Boromir's Last Stand - (It's a great scene that is a vast improvement over the books in that regard as there is so much more real pathos to Boromir's own plight making his sacrifice all the more poignant. The scene itself is beautifully done granting an effective visceral sting to the moment but a further emotional power through the realization of the redemption of the character.)

Battle Of Helm's Deep - (Jackson used Zulu as an inspiration for the battle and it is shows because the whole thing is rather spectacular. And to those critics who harp on the unrealistic moments I'd note that it is an epic fantasy not Saving Private Ryan. As an epic fantasy battle it captures both the right intensity but also well the fun of it fitting well to the style. It is part Zulu, but also part Errol Flynn in a way, in a good way in this case. It is particularly effective though actually in creating the phases of the battle and the wear until that powerful last stand/final rescue moment.)

Battle Of Pelennor Fields - (Now I will always say the ghosts, along with Denethor, are the weakest points of a film mainly just only filled with high points. Aside from their use though it is again an action spectacular that managed to shift properly from Helm's Deep in sort of the attack rather than the defensive battle in making the whole thing feel fresh when compared to the earlier film. Like that early battle though it also captures the emotional elements, while still being fun, particularly in everything involving Theoden especially his speech.)

'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you' - (You know for me Return of the King really is one moment of giving you chills then another then another. This is one of the high points in the regard as it grants the full realization of just how affecting the central friendship truly is. Again what is so great is how it really does use everything that has come before in such a powerful fashion.)

The Baptism - There Will Be Blood - (It is a masterful scene in its simplicity in a way as it is just Daniel and Eli going at it yet it is so much more. The scene is brilliant though as we get the two egos going full force at one another with Daniel the one in the subservient position yet not weak. The back forth within the grander gestures is incredible. It is the "show" but so much more. As there is the moment of Daniel joking basically yet it delves deeper not just in Daniel's death stare, but also the peeling back of the surface of the man to actually reveal some humanity in his time of weakness. My favorite moment though may be the ending with the unheard exchange between them that says so much by Dano's reaction, just before Daniel is embraced by the congregation.)

Anonymous:

Obviously I love the scene if it is my favorite opener of all time as it is testament to Sergio Leone's greatness as a director. It is also one of the greatest character introductions of all time, though the film contains four of the greatest character intros ever anyways. For most of it is silent except the brilliant use of the noises around the station yet utterly captivating as we basically get to know these three men in just their behavior waiting. Somehow waiting has never been more engaging just by what Leone does. It's a long scene yet the pacing feels perfect as it builds so naturally to the actual introduction of both the lead and the first piece of music. That brings us to its tense climax and payoff featuring the only real exchange in the opening which may contain one of the most badass moments in cinematic history.

Varun:

Yes.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Twin Peaks and the cast. Looking forward to Frank Silva.

RatedRStar said...

Twin Peaks Fire Walk With Me will definitely appear for 1992, my choices for all 5 supporting nominees are from that film.

Charles Heiston said...

The supporting was excellent in Twin Peaks FWWM.

Luke Higham said...

1992 will be the next year from the 90s.

RatedRStar said...

Louis will only need to watch one film for 1992 supporting lol itll be the easiest ever.

RatedRStar said...

I really hope the new Twin Peaks does well, the orignal was filled with such great acting and suspense.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Who are the 5 from FWWM and how would you rank them.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Well there lies a complication then, as I did also watch Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, so for certain cast members, if I were to review later, particularly Frank Silva, it would make sense to wait.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I'm completely fine with that.

Matt Mustin said...

Can you at least you give your thoughts on the series, aside from the cast then?

RatedRStar said...

Luke and Louis:

Ray Wise
Frank Silva
David Bowie
Harry Dean Stanton

One of either David Lynch, Kyle MacLachlan, Lenny Von Dohlen or Michael J. Anderson.

RatedRStar said...

Lenny Von Dohlen was pretty great on the show though, a sad lonely soul who suffered from severe agrophobia.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

This needs to be in parts anyways so starting with the series I really liked and mostly loved the first seventeen episodes. The Laura Palmer story was excellent from beginning to end with that combination of horror, humor and weirdness only possible from David Lynch. Though the mystery and the supernatural element was the strongest to me, I did also enjoy the interactions between the town folk and revelations of the darker underbelly of the quaint town. The show after those episodes then became a bit too aimless for the most part. The interactions of the townsfolk not really being as interesting or as funny and the non-Bob villains coming off as villains of the week rather than real threats. I will say it did pick up with its rather effective final episode, but I'd say you really could stop with episode 9 of season 2. I will admit I never watched the series until now because I knew of the cliffhanger and had no desire to torture myself with such an ending.

Luke Higham said...

I just watched a clip of Pirates 5 and it may have one of the biggest historical inaccuracies in recent movie history.

Anonymous said...

Could you give a cast ranking Louis?

Anonymous said...

Luke: What would that be?

Louis: What are your hopes/predictions for the new series of Twin Peaks?

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: A Guillotine in the 1740/50s and used by the British.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Thoughts on your 5-1 pieces from The Two Towers.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Luke: There are like 30 more comical inaccuracies in the series. For one thing, Port Royal was destroyed years before the first movie. Plus there's the timing of the East India Trading Company, Singapore, and I think something about importing green apples.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

The Riders of Rohan - (The Riders of Rohan main theme may actually be my favorite motif of the entire series as it seems to capture the grandeur of a proper king in it oh so elegant and really perfect rising of the strings and horns together then the single violin supported by the orchestra. It just seems the proper musical realization of Rohan in every way. Past that very notable aspect the intro and outro are just terrific examples of rising and falling action music.)

Forth Eorlingas - (An outstanding piece as I love the faint voices that open, with the faint orchestra, that start almost like a requiem chant but they slowly build to something far more triumphant though with more than a hint of desperation within its tempo. Again a return of the Rohan theme almost seeming to be a final hope, before the return of the Fellowship theme for even the hint of desperation to leave in its final rise in now a truly hopeful voice in the outro.)

The King of the Golden Hall - (Again more Rohan theme is always a great thing, this time muted properly to set the state of the king, almost Braveheartesque in its defeated version of the theme. This is before the segues to the battle of wizards that calls back to the original betrayal of Isengard though now with a more hopeful bent to the orchestra suggesting a different victor this time.)

Samwise the Brave - (Did I mention I love the shire theme enough because it needs to be said more, and this is such a poignant rendition of it again. This time though all the more subdued yet particularly powerful as its arrangement seems to echo the wear of our character in the more somber yet still optimistic theme.)

The White Rider - (An amazing piece in its sheer heroic grandeur of it all from its epic choir of announcement, to again the mysticism of the horns building towards that incredible climax fitting to heroic return. That ending motif might as well be magic by how uplifting and powerful it is despite being so brief.)

Anonymous:

I have to say a surprisingly emotional and compelling episode in just about every regard. As it really does devote itself in its storytelling of a heroic last stand and bringing such gravitas to it, starting the episode with the contemplation of harakiri is quite something to say the least. The episode goes for something more and it absolutely succeeds with its daring to do so.

Calvin Law said...

Luke: Belated response but almost certainly, I'll give thoughts later.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: could Dano possibly go up for TWBB?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Do you prefer The Maltese Falcon or Casablanca?

Alex Marqués said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Twin Peaks, Louis. Due to everyone's reactions, I stopped watching once the Laura Palmer mistery was solved.

Varun Neermul said...

Louis, your thoughts on Tigmanshu Duhlia, Huma Quereshi, Richa Chadda in Gangs Of Wasseypur.

I would also like your thoughts on the films action.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Stargate scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Charles Heiston said...

Louis: What are your thoughts and ratings on the supporting cast of Brazil(1985)

Luke Higham said...

Everyone: Your film of the year so far. Mine's Logan with Get Out in 2nd.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: I'll say Logan. And i'm seeing Alien Covenant tonight by the way.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: Have fun. :)

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: Thanks.

Calvin Law said...

Get Out, by far. Though I loved both Logan and GOTG2 as well.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'd say Logan's my favorite film of the year as well.
Louis: So, when will you post the next review?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

He could but just another thing going into my odd state with There Will Be Blood.

Anonymous:

Falcon

Varun:

The performances mentioned in the comments of the original review were the only ones that really stood out to me. The action I thought was fine but not really overly remarkable in any way.

Anonymous:

Visuals and sound design are spectacular as usual, but as with many things about the film I do think it pacing dulls its effect somewhat as it does go on longer than it absolutely needed to. The purpose is felt then even it is intended to overwhelm you, that too is felt, the problem is it keeps going past that point.

Charles:

I feel I've given them somewhere before I'll take a look.

Luke:

Logan.

Anonymous:

I apologize for the delay, Twin Peaks really set me back, but I should get the review out by tomorrow.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the ending scene of Master And Commander.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Luke: Get Out, but Your Name is a very close second.

Matt Mustin said...

Finally saw Moonlight and I thought it was great. Still prefer La La Land by far, but that's not to say anything against this beautiful film. I thought the whole cast was incredibly strong.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Luke: Logan.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: Your ratings for the Alien: Covenant cast.

And how do you feel about Jinder Mahal becoming WWE Champion. :)

Luke Higham said...

Adam Sandler's been getting raves at Cannes.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Okja has gotten mostly positive reviews, but every single one I've read mentions how terrible Jake Gyllenhaal is in it.

Luke Higham said...

Okay, I spoke too soon on Gyllenhaal.

Calvin Law said...

Robert: yeah, acting-wise they haven't really discussed it much beyond Ahn and Swinton being good, and Gyllenhaal being a ham.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: I'm actually glad Mahal got the belt. It's quite the change up.

For the Alien Convenant cast:

Waterston - 4
Fassbender - 5
Crudup - 3
McBride - 4
Bichir - 2,5
Seimetz - 3
Ejogo - 3
Pearce - 3
Everyone else: 2,5

I thought it was alright. Enjoyable but nothing special. Fassbender is the obvious highlight.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: He's got to be the least talented guy to win the title and he was a Jobber for years.

Did you watch Takeover: Chicago. If so, what did you think of Bate-Dunne.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: Eh, it's a change up from the usual shtick. And i didn't see Takeover as of yet.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: Orton is boring as a face, so I'll give you that.

Charles Heiston said...

Luke: Orton didn't need to take the belt from Bray in the first place.

Luke Higham said...

Charles: I agree, though WWE ruined the credibility or refused to build up so many of their younger talents in the past decade including Bray that I just couldn't care less about that title change at Mania.

Michael McCarthy said...

Luke: in response to your earlier question, for best picture I'm going with Logan but for director I'm going with Get Out at the moment. Also, I saw Lost City of Z last night. It was OK overall, Pattinson is MVP.

Calvin Law said...

Michael: Pattinson was really impressive, but I was personally really impressed by Hunnam too.

Anonymous said...

Luke: I'm glad that Sandler's doing something again with his talent.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Excellent ending as it sets up a non-existent sequel in a non-obnoxious fashion. It's just a great moment though in its basis through the chemistry through the Crowe and Bettany in that moment.

Anonymous said...

Louis what did you think of Twin Peaks?

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedddddddddddddddd it. Well except Michael Cera, he was terrible, and if David Lynch can't make you work, I guess no one can.

Calvin Law said...

Really? Because I heard he was entertaining, but I really think Cera's not your cup of tea.

Louis: your thoughts/rating for Danny DeVito in Romancing the Stone? You've left him off 1984.

Calvin Law said...

Okay I just saw a clip, that looks awful.

ALso, your top 5 Benedict Cumberbatch and James Franco acting moments?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Well that actually confirmed to me that he has very little to offer as an actor. I mean even Hank Worden (overacting Mose Harper from The Searchers) was great in the original series, Cera could neither do a hilarious good or bad Marlon Brando impression, and stood as a great shame against the considerable comedic talents of his onscreen parents.

DeVito - 3(He's funny when he appears though I've always found it surprising how little he actually is in the film, and is just there mainly for some classic DeVito reactions, which he does well as per usual.)

Cumberbatch:

1. Seeing Joan the Last time - The Imitation Game
2. Infiltrating the Circus - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
3. "Am I a Machine" - The Imitation Game
4. Breaking it off - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
5. Figuring it out - The Imitation Game

Also special mention to that smile he gives during "La Mer" in Tinker Tailor.

Franco:

1. Finale - 11.22.63
2. The Assassination - 11.22.63
3. Killing Dunning - 11.22.63
4. Speaking with the Yellow Card man - 11.22.63
5. Back one more time - 11.22.63

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron.

Michael McCarthy said...

Calvin: Charlie Hunnam's performance never really came together for me all that well.

Calvin Law said...

I think Franco in the 11.22.63 finale gives some of the most headtbreakingly natural portrayals of love lost ever. I mean, I still don't quite believe you didn't shed a tear Louis...but I'll let it slide.

Calvin Law said...

Michael: I think it felt very Joaquin Phoenix-esque in terms of character conception, which probably explains why some think it's an amazing performance and some a missed and messy opportunity. I think it's a pretty good one, but it'd have been interesting to see what other actors could have made of it.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the cast of Fargo: Season 3.

Charles Heiston said...

Calvin: I also loved the scene between the Yellow Card man and Jake in the car the night before the assassination. Another moment where i choked up a bit.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I thought Hunnam was great in Lost City of Z. Managed to capture a sort of old-fashioned style without ever coming off as forced. Plus he has some nice little moments, like his accent gets more "posh" when giving a public speech to show how Fawcett is still social climbing.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

He does not phone it actually, though I don't think casting wise it makes perfect sense given that he sounds so different from Welker as Megatron. Nimoy though to his credit though does actually bring a touch of complexity in terms of adding a bit of desperation in the moments where he attempts to disobey Unicron. His voice work itself is actually of a bit more than a one note villain.

Luke:

Best to wait and see where certain performances are going particularly Thewlis and Winstead.

Matt Mustin said...

Tragic news about Zack Snyder's daughter. I'm not a fan of the guy, but we're all human in the end.