Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Alternate Best Supporting Actor 2008: Lee Byung-hun in The Good The Bad The Weird

Lee Byung-hun did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Park Chang-yi aka The Bad in The Good The Bad The Weird.

Lee Byung-hun and director Kim Jee-woon is perhaps the unsung actor/director collaboration of modern cinema. I have never even heard it mentioned yet it is a notable one with both seeming to bring the best out of each other. In fact you can almost gauge the quality of a film by Kim by how much Lee Byung-hun is in the film. Kim's best two films, A Bittersweet Life, and I Saw the Devil both feature Lee as a lead where he delivers remarkable turns in each. Even in Kim's good, but not quite great, The Age of Shadows, seems to benefit from Lee's brief but important cameo. Now we have this film where Lee is a major supporting role and seemingly in turn this is one of Kim's better film. It should be noted though that any great actor/director collaboration there needs to be the quality in work from both parties, but there also should be some sense of variety. This film also finds that for their collaboration here with Lee no longer playing the anti-heroes of his leading turns, and now fully embracing the role of the villain. Not just any villain though but the sort of villain that wears his villainous qualities right on his sleeve, after all he is know as the bad for a reason. It goes beyond that just in the image alone evokes a proper classical black hat with Lee being adorned in rather glorious dark leather attire, only topped by his rather glorious haircut. Lee isn't an actor to rely on or to be overshadowed by his own appearance.

Lee rather embraces it then amplifies it all the more. This film is obviously heavily influenced by the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone which in turn were heavily influenced by Kurosawa's Yojimbo. Lee's own work seemed to have had this in mind as his villainous work is less akin to Gian Maria Volante or Lee Van Cleef's performances of Leone's films, and closer to the gun wielding samurai played by Tatsuya Nakadai in that progenitor film. That is not to say Lee simply rips off to what Nakadai did, but rather pays homage to it in the best of ways. The central idea he seems to have taken from that performance was Nakadai's snakelike demeanor. Lee fashions this himself through his own angular smile that just is so fiendish it would have to adorn a villain. The idea of such a smile though is reflected in the entirety of Lee's performance which is that the titular bad, Park Chang-yi, quite enjoys being as such. Lee's work though uses that as a starting point but not as a crutch, and does take the performance in his own direction in a way really in a way only Lee could. As with all of Lee's work his physicality is an essential element. Although he does far less martial arts here than in his leading turns, the way Lee moves is so important here in his character. Lee delivers such a brilliant grandiose swagger that just commands every frame he finds himself it. Lee captures this sense of a proper sort of villain, who knows he's a villain, and isn't just happy to show it off, it is almost as though needs to do so.

Lee's physical approach is an ever prescient element of the character that makes Chang-yi standout in every scene he is in. In that it isn't even just his walk, even the way he may be sitting in a chair has this certain brilliant style to it. In that Lee manages to find this intensity in the exact manner he projects this ease of menace. I love the instance of meeting his employer technically speaking if you were to describe the actions they would seem ridiculous, as Chang-yi is hunched over, with his hair covering one eye as he glances at the man. It could be absurd yet Lee finds just the precise manner to only find a real incisive yet casual quality in this manner, and even one would describe as a sense of cool with the character. I will say I have particularly great affection for what Lee can do with that single eye in that he delivers such a killer intensity within it. That intensity though also is credit to again the variety of Lee's work in his films with Kim. In that he gave intense performances in his two leading roles yet in generally are far more internalized fashion. Lee shows his comfort in completely turning that on its head to bring this intensity through this broad and very entertaining take on this arch villain type. Lee completely alters his style to match the very different style for Kim, and together they beautifully amplify the best qualities of this slightly absurdist western of the east.

Of course even as different as this performance is Lee once again employs sort of his time bomb of emotion though less restricted than in I Saw the Devil or A Bittersweet Life. Lee once again though is masterfully in crafting this core that defines the man that technically is always apparent in his performance yet it is not something he overtly emphasizes. In this film this quality relates to Chang-yi's path once he understands that fellow bandit Yoon Tae-goo (Song Kang-ho) aka the weird is in possession of the map he has been hired to find. Lee is incredible as per usual in delivering sort of the hidden intent within the character specifically in the moments whenever he sees Yoon. In these moments Lee instantly switches the style of intensity to be far more directed, and seemingly based in something almost more honest in terms of what motivates it. He eases off on the swagger instead reveals these conviction in his eyes, and a far palatable hatred when he tries to kill the man. This becomes one of the most interesting aspects of Lee's portrayal as he reveals within this hatred even a certain vulnerability. When others call Chang-yi it up Lee's reaction's so effectively once again alludes to a bit more  to what makes him tick. Lee's terrific here though in actually portraying these moments in a way as the assassin at his most dangerous. When he is questioned by one of his men, there is this glint of a certain type of insanity in his eyes that almost has a certain desperation in it, before quickly murdering the man. It is a fascinating obsession that Lee creates showing that Yoon has done something to him, something that pesters the man. This naturally comes to a head when the titular trio meet in an expected Mexican standoff where Chang-yi reveals his yearn for vengeance stemming from Yoon's old days as a more notorious bandit who specialized in cutting off finger. Chang-yi being one of his unfortunate victims. Lee is great in this final scene in creating this duality in his death stare towards Yoon which is a combination of this almost witless hatred, and a certain joy as it seems he is about to obtain his revenge. As to be expected with Lee working with Kim, this is a great performance though this time in a wholly different tone. Lee gets everything he can out of this grandiose villain being such an enjoyable fiend throughout, yet still while finding a bit needed nuance where appropriate. Now this review should be over, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the scene, which has no major barring on the rest of his performance, of Lee's portrayal of Chang-yi cracking up while watching a rom com. It's hilarious as Lee so earnestly depicts that moment showing that even a psychotic villain can just step back love a good film. That is all.

100 comments:

Michael McCarthy said...

2008 might just be the all-time best year for film villains.

Charles H said...

Love him. Close to being my runner up for 2008 below Ledger, really an amazing year for villains.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: What are your thoughts on the track "On Earth As It Is In Heaven" from The Mission soundtrack?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Louis: What do you think of the "I Must Not Tell Lies" scene from Order of the Phoenix in the book? In fact, how do you feel about the blood quill?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Glad you loved him, this is a film I look forward to checking out :)
Louis: Your thoughts on the screenplays of In Bruges, Pulp Fiction and The Social Network.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Another film that Lee and Song can be reviewed for is Joint Security Area for 2000.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 20 movies with the best black-and-white cinematography.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your ratings and thoughts on Van Heflin, Joan Crawford and Raymond Massey in Possessed.

Anonymous said...

Your thoughts on the following re-arrangement of a notable game composition:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BSqYgIHgqFI

Plus, your cast for a American (2010s) Rust and Bone?

Luke Higham said...

Guys, do you have any ideas for 1957 Supporting. I have Chishû Ryû in Tokyo Twilight and Jean Marais in Le Notti Bianche.

1957 Lead
Mitchum
Sjöström
Cary Grant (An Affair To Remember)
Marcello Mastroianni (Le Notti Bianche)
Rod Steiger (Across The Bridge)

And for 1999 Lead: (I'd prefer to have a lineup of five and 2 bonuses)
Cage
Broadbent
Cruise (Eyes Wide Shut)
Levant (Beau Travail)
Winstone (The War Zone)

and the 2 Bonuses, Ralph Fiennes in Sunshine and Anthony Wong in The Mission (There's uncertainty about his category placement).

Supporting
Timothy Spall (Topsy-Turvy)
Robert Carlyle (Ravenous)
Alan Cumming (Titus)
Ng & Cheung (The Mission)
Wahlberg & Cube (Three Kings, Could be Co-Leads with Clooney)

Luke Higham said...

If they are Co-Leads then Hoffman and Reilly in Magnolia.

Anonymous said...

Errol Flynn for The Sun Also Rises. He seems to be considered the best part of an otherwise terrible film.

RatedRStar said...

Luke: Ive always got nominees ready for any year =D lol you know that.




Anonymous said...

Rod Steiger, huh? Is he hamming it up in that performance? I'm curious to know since he was already hamming it up in 1955.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I initially had Aleksey Batalov for The Cranes Are Flying but I assume he's overshadowed by Tatiana Samoilova. I'm really not sure about Cagney in Man Of A Thousand Faces. With Steiger, it's always a risk picking him since he's either great or hammy as fuck, but it seems to be one of his more praiseworthy turns. The only other option is John Cassavetes in Edge Of The City but he's yet to really impress Louis.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Apparently, the Chaney biopic is innaccurate, but Cagney seems to be quite praised for the performance. Besides, his turn in the biopic and in Shake Hands with the Devil are considered to be his best performances of the 50's, so it might be worth checking out.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I'll switch Grant with Cagney, since he's had quite alot of reviews and I really don't see him getting a five for An Affair To Remember.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, me neither.

I'll admit that I haven't seen any other five-star performances aside from Olivier and Robinson (Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet) for 1940, but who knows, maybe someone aside from Robinson will get a 5.

Still wish Chaplin and Stewart were fives though.

RatedRStar said...

I am still 50/50 about whether Poitier is Co Lead with Cassavettes or supporting, either way he was brilliant in Edge of the City and definitely should a get a review.

Anonymous said...

And besides, Cagney is never bad in anything.

Luke Higham said...

RatedRStar: Well, I'll put Poitier in Supporting along with the other options if you feel he's on the border.

Another praised Steiger turn is Hands Over The City (1963) and I'm really intrigued on what Louis will think of him in Waterloo (1970).

Anonymous said...

For 1963, Lancaster needs to be reviewed for his performance in The Leopard. And it'll be interesting to see a review of McQueen in Love with the Proper Stranger since that's apparently McQueen at his most charming.

RatedRStar said...

The thing about 1957 is that it is probably the year in which Louis has seen the least amount of films aside from the 1920s with only 19 actors in the lead actor rank, but I am sure with the bonus lineup, the two horror films that I mentioned to him a little while ago, and I imagine some that he has already seen that will casually get added will help it enormously.

Luke Higham said...

1963 Lead
Gunnar Björnstrand - Winter Light
Burt Lancaster - The Leopard
Robert Shaw and Donald Pleasence - The Caretaker
Rod Steiger - Hands Over The City
Maurice Ronet - The Fire Within

Alt.
Steve McQueen - Love With The Proper Stranger
Marcello Mastroianni - The Organizer

RatedRStar: I'm definitely intrigued in Night Of The Demon

Luke Higham said...

And Michael Redgrave in Uncle Vanya.

Anonymous said...

Scofield could be reviewed for his performance in Carve Her Name with Pride in 1958.

Luke Higham said...

Anonymous: I've read he's good there but Virginia McKenna owns the film.

Luke Higham said...

Having read more on Hands Over The City, it seems Steiger's Supporting. So I'll replace him with McQueen for now.

Anonymous said...

For 1940:
Anton Walbrook - Gaslight
Clark Gable - Strange Cargo
Edward G. Robinson - Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet
James Cagney - City for Conquest
Rex Harrison - Night Train to Munich

Luke Higham said...

Michael McCarthy: Have you decided on your rating for Mathieu Amalric in A Christmas Tale.

Luke Higham said...

I'm switching McQueen with Mastroianni, it's his best performance apparently.

Mitchell Murray said...

I've asked this before, but whats everyone's take on the Dark Crimes trailer, and for that matter the reception of Where is Kyra?"

Anonymous said...

Mitchell: Still haven't seen that trailer.
Louis: If Cagney was still active in the 70's, what roles could have you seen him aside from Vito Corleone, Hyman Roth and Harry Coombes?

Bryan L said...

Mitchell: I'm intrigued by it. I couldn't tell much about Carreys performance from the trailer though.

Anonymous said...

Your thoughts on the following re-arrangement of a notable game composition:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BSqYgIHgqFI

Plus, your cast for a American (2010s) Rust and Bone?

Michael McCarthy said...

The Dark Crimes trailer didn’t look horribly impressive to me. I’m always gonna root for Jim Carrey though, so here’s hoping he does something special with it, even if the accent he’s using seems a little questionable.

Louis Morgan said...

Michael:

He, Harry and the Joker make for quite the trio.

Matt:

You can find my thoughts in John Lone for 88 supporting.

Robert:

More than anything Hogwarts, and the English wizard world in general seems to have a terrible educational oversight. You'd think student torture would lead to more ramifications even given the circumstances. It is a effectively twisted device however I ponder if it perhaps takes a step too far in telegraph Umbridge's evil just in terms of where it is positioned within the book.

Tahmeed

Well all three of these screenplays are among of the best of their given decade. In Bruges is notable in that it is a first feature length screenplay by Martin McDonagh, well used anyways, yet is his most attuned in terms of understanding his background as a playwright, while also becoming a filmmaker. In Bruges out of his three cinematic turns so far in terms of finding the right balance in taking what is great about his plays, yet refining it towards what cinema can achieve. In Bruges obviously has his sparkling dialogue, which has caused comparison to Tarantino, as well as the Coen brothers. McDonagh's style isn't an aping of those it is rather his own blend of technically idiosyncratic styling that adheres to a certain distinct reality that is specifically that writer's voice, and also adheres close enough to our own reality to not seem overly stylized therefore distant. In Bruges is a treasure trove in this department of just having such wonderful, often hilarious, bits of discourse. Whether it be on alcoves, inanimate objects, or proper shootouts, the film contains some of my all time favorite lines of dialogue. The film simply must be said as one of the most articulate uses of juvenile cursing throughout as well. That is perhaps McDonagh's true artistry. The film is not a series of conversations though and structurally the film is particularly brilliant in that not single facet of the story is a wasted piece. McDonagh's work excels in the idea of the contrivance that he makes so natural if not downright brilliant in its execution. Ray hits heets "The American", Ray runs, he must return because he heet the Canadian. Why does Harry know where Ray is because of the stitched up little blind boy who saw Ray. My personal favorite perhaps being the workaround to Harry breaking his own one rule, while not actually breaking his one rule. All of that together would certainly make a highly entertaining film however what makes the screenplay take that next step is within the examination of Ray's journey involving his guilt for an unforgivable crime. Above though are the two forces against that, almost the devil or actually more perhaps the old Testament God represented by Harry demanding swift and merciless retribution for the crime, against the more Christ like Ken with the belief in contrition to the point of potentially even sacrificing himself for Ray's sin. Meanwhile Ray stands in await in his own personal purgatory struggling with his own personal demons of every kind. Of course any potential symbolism in McDonagh's screenplay is properly subtext within the the richness of these dynamics realized in all three characters he largely develops through interactions rather than a great deal of forceful exposition. This examination and the development therein are based in character at all times and that is what makes it so powerful. Of course McDonagh even the most dramatic instance is capable of humor so effortlessly through his pitch perfect dialogue. The park attempted assassination/suicide scene is probably one of my favorites of all time as it is both absolutely hilarious and heartbreaking as the writing so carefully finds just the right words. It is a testament to McDonagh's script that essentially is everything one would want in a film, yet makes it seem so easy with so little pretense, yet such great deal of poignancy and joy.

Louis Morgan said...

Pulp Fiction is obviously a precursor to In Bruges on some level, although colorful hitmen do also proceed this film. The film acted as Tarantino's true breakout as a pure Tarantino work, whereas Reservoir Dogs was far more a positioning of his dialogue upon someone's else's plot, as much as he denies it. Again as mentioned a paragraph ago Tarantino's dialogue doesn't adhere to being completely "realistic" per se, it has a naturalism to it, however what makes it so notable in itself is that it creates a reality in which this is how exactly one speaks. That is by easier said than done, as compare McDonagh, The Coens, and Tarantino to say David Mamet's purely cinematic work. The dialogue is again the star of the screenplay in a way in its color I don't mean the use of profanity here. The dialogue are stories in themselves even when they're not telling stories. There is just a vividness, a character to them that is particularly notable and downright iconic. I think a mistake one can make is that Tarantino writes everyone the same, however peak Tarantino does not. He writes everyone with sort of this pop elegance so to speak, but not in the same exact way. Vince does not speak exactly Jules, Butch does not at all speak like Marcellus, and there are very specific individual like The Wolf or a Captain Koons. I would say his one of his few mistakes in this regard in this film is actually in the one instance were he puts too alike speakers in too short of succession with first with the vaguely European taxi driver Esmeralda waxing philosophic on killing a man immediately followed by a Butch's vaguely European girlfriend waxing philosophic on pot bellies. A fairly minor quibble though, in that the film succeeds in this sheer vibrancy of its words, however the screenplay's brilliance is beyond that. The non-sequential order succeeds in crafting a world rather than just three stories. Now the three main stories are all well and good more than that in even finding an excellent variety of a pseudo thriller, the romantic, direct, and farcical. A surface level description I'll admit for stories that again follow certain formulas, while breaking them in fascinating ways. Again each stands alone as remarkable in themselves however pieced together as they are creates all the greater impact in this world. This isn't just in Tarantino's little bits of fun, like say the suitcase, big kahuna burger or jack rabbit slims, but the structure emphasis a creation of this world that experience so uniquely, and is one of the most effective instances of such storytelling. If we just came across Pumpkin and Honey Bunny when they try to rob the diner, Jules's pardon would meaningless, however by meeting them in the first scene on it creates the sense that we know them by time we see them spared in the final scene. Tarantino reworks each narrative to grant these unorthodox climaxes. He creates instead this playlist of different emotions, through this world of just a sheer variety that he makes cohesive in his incredible screenplay.

Louis Morgan said...

The Social Network is yet another idiosyncratic writer, and like Tarantino and McDonagh, Aaron Sorkin specializes in terms of making words in themselves compelling. Sorkin's specialty in this regard is different though in that his work tend to be less about "whatever" and much more about specifics. His characters want to talk about something, and it better be important. The Social Network is Sorkin's greatest screenplay as here it is about something, that just from a quick description could sound rather boring, however never has the founding of an internet company been more compelling to witness. Although I would have loved to hear any discussions he and David Fincher, had Sorkin's style is inherent within the work however particularly streamlined. As with many a great screenplays there is such a perfect foundation as he successfully takes the central website as this planet intertwined by the extreme personalities as satellites attempting to claim it as their own or at least some part of it. Now here is where it gets into the somewhat differing sense of philosophy of the truth of a film, which I think usually should strive for "some" truth rather than the truth. I don't mean in that it needs to strive for some accuracy, rather in creating a truth within the character within this story. Sorkin does just that. In that his versions of these real life people become true due to how well they're written. They then in turn become these distinct powerful personalities of a different age. This is a particularly fascinating point that is so well realized by the film's script which is the development of the sorta "barefoot billionaire" in their awareness of becoming a different kind of robber baron. This would be compelling alone, but it goes beyond in again crafting the characters and their conflicts so effectively. Whether it be almost the story of the burden and the ego of king in Zuckerberg who takes ambition over love or friendship, the business sage who is also the biggest fool, the twins defined by privileges of different sorts, or the man in the middle some befuddled by it all. The structure than clashes and challenges these men together in its examination of sort of this new form capitalism that is wholly unique when it comes to film writing. The screenplay works at that most intimate level of believable personal, and interpersonal relationships. These are insightful, entertaining and moving. The screenplay takes an even greater ambition though successfully taking on another scope to tell this grander story of this new age through these specific individuals finding its own truth on the subject, even beyond THE truth.
Anonymous:

1. The Third Man
2. Citizen Kane
3. Night of the Hunter
4. Brief Encounter
5. Rashomon
6. The Sword of Doom
7. In Cold Blood
8. Hud
9. Rebecca
10. Ugetsu
11. Seven Samurai
12. The Man Who Wasn't There
13. Yojimbo
14. Strangers on a Train
15. Throne of Blood
16. Touch of Evil
17. Laura
18. Passion of Joan of Arc
19. Sansho the Baliff
20. The Innocents

Anonymous:

That's the power of the art of the arrangement for you something I always feel never is given enough credit. Beautifully realized as such and I have to commend the particular ability in building the song even within repetition through the introduction of each additional instrument while never seeming like a gimmick. Beautifully done to be sure.

Matthias Schoenaerts and Marion Cotillard.

Anonymous:

Tom Garrison - I Never Sang For MY Father
Willy Clark - The Sunshine Boys
Arthur Jensen

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your top 5 Journey songs. Mine would be-
'Don't Stop Believin''
'Faithfully'
'Open Arms'
'Separate Ways'
'Any Way You Want It'

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the Dark Crimes trailer and the The Man Who Killed Don Quixote trailer?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the dinner and phone scenes from It's a Wonderful Life.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Also your thoughts on the scene where George lashes out at his family.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on the park scene and the Ray/Harry hotel scene from In Bruges.

Luke Higham said...

Your thoughts on John Barry and his top ten compositions.

Louis Morgan said...

I saw and thoroughly enjoyed Isle of Dogs.

Anonymous:

Dark Crimes looks more than a touch generic however Carrey at the very least appears to be going for it. His performance seems extremely non-Carrey, even non subdued Carrey to the point I'm intrigued by that element. That however is the only element, and even that I think could potentially turn out rather badly.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote oddly I didn't get too much visually from it, the trailer anyways hopefully the film is hiding more typical Gilliam wonders. Driver looks fine, but there is nothing else though that looks too notable except for Jonathan Pryce. Pryce from the trailer anyways looks like he might be pulling a John Neville as Baron Munchausen, which I'm all for.

Anonymous:

The dinner scene, I assume when George and his father are talking, is a great scene that so effectively establishes the conflict and motivation for George throughout the rest of the film. I love the scene for how unassuming it is in the present in that moment, yet in the end moving upon reflection as the last time George speaks to his father. It's great because it does not emphasize this overly so through Samuel Hinds underrated and pivotal performance, that so calmly and simply outline his own philosophy. I love how quietly he himself presents as just this earnest yet very modest urging for George to follow in his footsteps, and the value in that.

The phone scene is a downright brilliant piece of work particularly in terms of Capra's directing to have George and Mary share the single phone. That choice is perfection as is the whole scene which again is why the film is as great as it is as there's nothing simple again about George doing the right thing. In Stewart's performance you can feel his pain and desperation as he rejects the "dream" offer. In addition has to be said it's fascinating how erotically charged the moment is, a great example of what could be done in the code, through Stewart's and Reed's work, but also the intimacy in which Capra frames the scene.

Louis Morgan said...

George lashing out at his family is one of the all time great scenes I think and certainly one of Jimmy Stewart's all time great acting moments, which a notable achievement. Unlike one could argue in some of his work in other films, Capra does not hold back in allowing the scene to be a raw as it is. It doesn't make this situation easy in that it naturally makes the kids a little annoying, and in their own worlds, while we have Stewart reflecting this horrible state of mind that is just eating away until that volcanic outburst that is downright chilling. Again why I love the film is George is a hero, but the scene shows that such journey is not easy, and even the hero can't come to the point of nearly rejecting the life. The devastation of the moment is not a manufactured low point, it feels absolutely real from George's messy outrage to the family's horror.

Luke:

Well to add what I have already said the scene is just brilliant in how it somehow merges such divergent tones. In that the moment that opens it is one of real tension both with Ken about to fire, then that moment of seeing Ray about to do the same, which is then hilariously diffused by Ken's "nothing" while hiding his gun. It somehow is even in Ray's being harrowing as he asks about his life, against Ken who quite funny in trying to explain to Ray he wasn't going to kill him since Ray was going to kill himself. When they talk it is incredible how there is such humor in the comparing of the guns, and in Ray's frustrations, but even so naturally changes to heartbreak with Ray's "I want to be a dead man". The emotions are so raw, and so poignant in the warmth coming from Ken/Gleeson as he tries to encourage Ray. It still someone is funny in the end with Ray's comments on needing exams to be a doctor. It's a scene that shouldn't work in bare description yet is flawlessly executed on every front.

On the other hand the hotel scene is just some absolutely hilarious mad banter. As both speak so nonsensically earnestly about their plans to kill each other some place else. The timing and the writing of each exchange is just perfection particularly Harry's "Don't be stupid" as the "insanity" of not trying to kill Ray.

Luke Higham said...

Thoughts on Isle Of Dogs and the cast.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: I adored the film, but do you agree that maybe a little more time spent with the other dogs besides Spots and Chief wouldn't have been amiss?

Also, your thoughts on its use of music.

Louis Morgan said...

Well I suppose any film that references Drunken Angel was going to be on my good side. Wes Anderson whimsy at its finest particularly as realized through the film's animation. Not enough can be said with just how gorgeous and wonderful the film looks, I especially admired the blend of the hand drawn with the stop motion. The film itself is part just classical talking animal learning to love again picture, which wholly enjoyable particularly in how enjoyable the world it creates among the dogs. The other half is semi-Kurosawa, but I'd argue far more Masaki Kobayashi with the lone "samurai" taking on the strictures of his society through his own individualism and rebellion.

Let me just start with ratings.

Cranston - 4
The Pack - 3.5
Gerwig - 3
McDormand - 3
Johansson - 3
Keitel - 3
Abraham & Swinton - 3.5
Schreiber - 4

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Most certainly, I loved the pack and do wish had gotten more time just with them.

Wonderful work in regards to the use of music as to be expected by Anderson. Partially with using his typical hits, or typical style of hits, but also with the referential work, as I loved hearing the Kurosawa scores.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Though it isn't listed, have you seen Fantastic Mr. Fox or do you want to wait until I recommend it for the Pre-nominations interim.

Luke Higham said...

And is there any possibility of an upgrade for Schreiber in Defiance.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Yesterday, I thought of this casting choice: McConaughey as Harry Powell. How do you think he'd fare in the role?

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Well I'll certainly watch it at some point, it isn't a film I'm trying to avoid just one I haven't gotten around to.

Yes, but I'd have to re-watch it which I'm not exactly in a rush to do so.

Anonymous:

Honestly he'd be the perfect choice for Powell currently. He already has the right accent, but also the right combination of the flamboyant and genuine intensity for the demonic preacher.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: With the re-watches that I've been asking for lately such as De Niro, Mendelsohn and Pepper, I'd rather just wait until the Bonus Rounds are over.

Your thoughts on the Isle Of Dogs cast.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Apparently Gable was the original actor for Beery's part in Grand Hotel but was considered to be too young. Honestly, Edward Arnold would have been far better in the part. Heck, Wolheim would have been great if he hadn't passed away.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on John Barry, Maurice Jarre and their top ten compositions.

And thoughts on Georges Delerue as a composer.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I saw Isle of Dogs as well, and... I guess it was okay? The sudden sharp turns into grisly violence really turned me off. It does feature the best performance Cranston has given since Breaking Bad, so there’s that.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Have you watched any TV lately.

Louis Morgan said...

Tahmeed:

The same as yours, I think.

Luke:

John Barry's work is in a way an adaption of sort more of the styles of a Max Steiner or Miklos Roza, in terms of creating sort of grandiose themes though very much adapted for a different era. In that he obviously loves his full orchestra however did effectively work out of that as well. That was perhaps his comfort zone as most of his best scores are within that vein. Although this is only in part technically as there is this definite range in his work, as he is one of the fore fathers of the modern action movie music as well. Barry's work in general is usually good, though with such a prolific composer, and I guess what separates one of the very good to one of the greats, is that not all his scores standout. The ones that do, very much do though with some all time great themes under his belt, but there are many scores of his that feel somewhat general, however rarely are they underwhelming. His lasting impression though is notable particularly for his work with James Bond.

1. "Zulu" - Zulu
2. "Goldfinger" - Goldfinger
3. "Media Vita in Morte Sumus" - The Lion in Winter
4. "I had a Farm in Africa" - Out of Africa
5. "Main Title" - The Lion in Winter
6. "In, The End" - Robin and Marian
7. "To Rome" - The Lion in Winter
8. "On her Majesty's Secret Service" - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
9. "Eya Eya Nova Gaudia" - The Lion in Winter
10. "End Title" - Body Heat

Also great arrangements by him for the main Bond theme and "Men of Harlech".

Maurice Jarre's work also is similair to Barry in terms of where he most excelled within his career with the scores to grand epics that both carried on a tradition yet successfully reworked it for a new era. With Jarre his pinnacle work is up there with the best of any film composer. His work with Lean captures such a grand scale but also finds the right thematic tone along with this certain intimacy when needed. There was also a real touch of inspiration in those works where he would do his own in the period style of subverted in some way, I especially love his sort of military band anthem in "Lawrence" for example. It's astonishing work especially his career high point of "Lawrence". His work though did not always remain on that level, and he seemed to have some difficulty always transitioning within other styles. That is not to say his work was truly underwhelming, I like his love theme for Ghost well enough, but say his score to Witness, while certainly not at all bad, did seem somewhat and strangely derivative of Vangelis's work. His work in those periods did not feel as distinct as his work of the old epics, though again still more than decent just in no way on that level.

Louis Morgan said...

1. "Main Titles" - Lawrence of Arabia
2. "The Voice of the Guns" - Lawrence of Arabia
3. "Main Title" - Doctor Zhivago
4. "That is the Desert" - Lawrence of Arabia
5. "Sinai Desert" - Lawrence of Arabia
6. "Miracle" - Lawrence of Arabia
7. "Then it is a gift" - Doctor Zhivago
8. "On to Akaba" - Lawrence of Arabia
9. "Theme" - Jesus of Nazareth
10. "Main Title" - Ryan's Daughter

I actually haven't heard that much of Delerue's work however that what I have heard has been fairly remarkable. His style is fairly simple, and often quite somber really. Usually using only one quiet voice usually only supplemented by some more ambient sound. His scores I'd describe as very "emotional" now as any score should be obviously. His though are in this way that feel almost in terms of more intangible subconscious of emotion gently evoking a certain state rather than enforcing it almost as though a memory rather than the direct experience. His work in "Hiroshima Mon Amour" is particularly remarkable in that way, however from what I've heard from him that seems to be his overarching style.

Cranston - (With this I will agree with Robert, his best work since Breaking Bad quite easily in my mind. Cranston's gruff voice is great for a self-proclaimed alpha dog, and even better for a stray. Cranston certainly has fun with this idea to an extent but manages to go further with his vocal performance that that. He manages to really find some great nuance, as with the very best vocal performances, in that he manages to exude within that the certain vulnerability in the dog's viciousness. This is something that he works with, and his performance does add a great deal in terms of conveying the transformation of the character.)

Norton - (Technically stands out the most out of the pack as this extreme contrast to Cranston's work. In that he brings such a purity of spirit, and naivety within his dog that is much of the traditional dog spirit.)

Murray, Balaban, and the Goldblum - (I do wish we had gotten more from each of them as they were all hilarious with any line they are given, especially the Goldblum as the gossip dog.)

Abraham & Swinton - (Both manage to leave a very nice impression very quickly with two rather different approaches in being the "sage" type.)

Johansson, McDormand, Keitel - (All very brief, but bring exactly what is needed.)

Gerwig - (She's entirely fine, certainly fits the female type for Anderson well anyways. I will say though I don't think her character was really needed in the scheme of things and probably would have been better just to expand Watanabe and even Yoko Ono's roles.)

Schreiber - (Loved everything about what he did here though here in sort of the exactness of his performance. I loved it as he's sort of the military, at attention type, yet not quite as there something slightly off-beat about how Schreiber says everything yet somehow it is just perfect in the way he says each and every line. As even as he does variate too much someone he gets across everything involving his character so humorously, and emotionally, without ever seeming to break sweat, and not just because he's playing a dog.)

Yes I'm currently watching Silicon Valley, Trust, and Legion.

Anonymous:

I would probably agree that Gable was too young as written, however the part easily could have been reworked to make the character more of a youthful rich hotshot instead. I'd agree though Arnold would have been far better, and once again Wolheim was always great.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: How much better is Fraser than Wahlberg.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Also, another show that I've heard great things about is The Terror (Hinds, Harris, Menzies). I'm gonna binge watch it this week.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

Well he has only really been featured in one episode so far, and he has been playing it as Forrest Gump as Winston Wolf. A strange combination that I'm not sure what to make of it yet in either a positive or negative way. I will say it certainly is more interesting than what Wahlberg was doing at the very least.

Matt Mustin said...

Louis: Are you liking Donald Sutherland?

Louis Morgan said...

Matt:

Well enough, however I doubt the series has gotten to the real meat of his performance yet.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your cast and director for:
Whiplash (60's version)
Last Flag Flying (80's version)
Battle of the Sexes (80's version)

Anonymous said...

RatedRStar: Is good ol' Dana Andrews great in Night of the Demon?

Alex Marqués said...

RIP Milos Forman

Calvin Law said...

RIP Milos Forman, one of the greats.

Saw A Quiet Place, thought it was largely pretty great.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your top 10 actors that you haven't given a 5 yet.

RatedRStar said...

Anonymous: He is fine, pretty standard Andrews performance.

RIP Milos Forman

Luke Higham said...

RIP Miloš Forman, Directed my all-time favourite film and is one of the greats IMO.

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. Milos Forman. He did a fantastic job in Amadeus.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I think you liked Cillian Murphy's work in Peaky Blinders enough not to place him on that list.

Luke Higham said...

And I'll be really surprised if David Warner's not on that list.

Anonymous said...

Luke: Well, he has to be on it.

I get the feeling the reasons why people wanted Zane to play Luthor in Batman vs. Superman was because he's bald and has a similar voice to Clancy Brown. If you ask me, those are ridiculous reasons for wanting someone to play a certain character.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

RIP Milos Forman, Amadeus and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest are undeniable masterpieces.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Whiplash 1960's directed by Sidney Pollack:

Neiman: Dustin Hoffman
Fletcher: Melvyn Douglas
Mr. Neiman: Eddie Albert

Battle of the Sexes 1980's directed by James L. Brooks:

Billie Jean King: Holly Hunter
Bobby Riggs: Gene Wilder
Marilyn: Christine Lahti
Gladys Heldman: Eileen Brennan
Jack Kramer: Hal Holbrook
Ted Tinling: Derek Jacobi
Priscilla Wheelan: Carroll Baker
Larry King: Bill Pullman

Last Flag Flying:

Uhh...Nicholson, Quaid, Young.

Anonymous:

Charlie Chaplin
David Warner
Don Cheadle
Ethan Hawke
Roger Livesey
Maximilian Schell
William Powell
Ewan McGregor
Lee Marvin
James Coburn










RIP Milos Forman director of the greatest film.

Luke Higham said...

I'm pretty confident Livesey will go up for Colonel Blimp.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Pretty sure Cheadle and Chaplin are going to get upgraded for Hotel Rwanda and The Great Dictator respectively.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Would Barry Fitzgerald be a 5 when incorrectly placed in lead for Going My Way.

Anonymous said...

Louis: I assume your choice for a 50's Fletcher is Edward G. Robinson.

Robert MacFarlane said...

Any chance DiCaprio could be ranked higher for The Departed, or even take the win?

RatedRStar said...

Louis: Are you a little surprised that Colonel Blimp was regarded by many as apparently the greatest English film ever? because although I think its good I just found those statements so overboard.

Anonymous said...

Louis, what's your top 10 acting scenes for Colin Farrell and Jason Isaacs?

Calvin Law said...

Much as I love DiCaprio in The Departed, I can't conceive of anyone but Mühe taking the win.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your ratings for Melvyn Douglas in The Old Dark House, Counselor at Law, The Tenant and The Changeling.

Michael McCarthy said...

Bale is my favorite of 2006, but I actually wouldn’t mind DiCaprio winning. Or Whitaker, to be honest.

Luke Higham said...

Guys, are there any vocal performances aside from Benson and Jay that really stood out to you for a future voice acting lineup. I think there's a great possibility of John Hurt being reviewed for one or both of his animal turns in Watership Down and The Plague Dogs.

John Smith said...

Luke: John Hurt as aragorn would be interesting.

Luke Higham said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke Higham said...

John: He's a 3.5 for The Lord Of The Rings and I expect him to get the same for The Black Cauldron.

Calvin Law said...

Philip Seymour Hoffman for Mary and Max.

Luke Higham said...

John Mills in When The Wind Blows

Luke Higham said...

So:

Robby Benson in Beauty And The Beast
Tony Jay in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
John Hurt in Watership Down & Hurt and Christopher Benjamin in The Plague Dogs
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Mary And Max
John Mills in When The Wind Blows

There's another Briggs film named Ethel & Ernest that I'm in the middle of watching and Brenda Blethyn could get a really good score.

Luke Higham said...

Ànyone that has seen Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), could I have your ratings for the cast.

Alex Marqués said...

As good as he is, I personally wouldn't rank DiCaprio above Mühe or Gosling (Half Nelson). But to each his own.

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Yes.

Robert:

Probably not the win, but he could move up the ranking.

RatedRStar:

Yes, especially since I don't even think it is Powell & Pressburger's best film.

Anonymous:

Farrell:

1. "I want to be a dead man" - In Bruges
2. Shootout discussion - In Bruges
3. Killing gone wrong - In Bruges
4. Tipping the scale to culture - In Bruges
5. Heeeting the Canadian - In Bruges
6. Taking drugs - In Bruges
7. Breakfast - In Bruges
8. Getting on the train - In Bruges
9. Arriving at the hotel - In Bruges
10. Stitching up the blind boy - In Bruges

Nothing against his other performances, just happen to love this one that much. By the way his win was one of the best "individual thought" moments ever for the Golden Globes.

Isaacs:

1. "Look at your ** face" - The Death of Stalin
2. Gabriel's Attack - The Patriot
3. "That stupid boy" - The Patriot
4. What's a war hero have to do - The Death of Stalin
5. Hook tricks Tinkerbell - Peter Pan
6. The Church - The Patriot
7. Choose your dates - The Death of Stalin
8. First Appearance - The Patriot
9. Agreement with Cornwallis - The Patriot
10. Mr. Darling's lashing out - Peter Pan

Anonymous:

All 3's, I believe.