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Films I Saw in October 2016
11.01.16
The Thin Red Line
Worth contrasting how they dramatized the Battle of Guadalcanal with how it was done in the HBO mini-series "The Pacific".
 
A Face in the Crowd
 
Westworld
I've been fascinated by the TV series and for fans of it, it's a worthwhile look at the original film. While the TV series has made significant advancements, the core ideas (or the seeds of them) are here in the film and just showcases the brilliance of Michael Crichton (who beyond being an actual medical doctor, created Jurassic Park, Westworld, and ER. What a life.) 
 
Apollo 13
With the seeming exception of Tom Hanks films, feel good movies like this seem to be much less prevalent than they used to be. Excellent watch. 
 
The Infiltrator
 
Mad Max: Fury Road
This is just a brilliant brilliant film, and like most (all?) great films -- seems to get better upon re-watching. Also, check out some of the making of clips of the film on YouTube -- what the footage looks like before/after VFX, color correction, etc. -- it's incredible. The practical nature of many of the effects is still completely mind blowing, but how they digitally enhance everything shows how great film can be when you merge expansive practical effects with the technology of today.
 
Owning Mahowny
Phillipy Seymour Hoffman being brilliant as usual. Really shows the depths of and the hold of addiction.
 
All the Way
A tour de force performance by Cranston. Everything from his gait to his speech to his mannerisms -- just wonderful. Jay Roach continues to make wonderful political movies (and movies in general) -- if you haven't seen "Game Change" -- must see.
 
The Abyss
How they filmed this I have no idea. Wonderful earlier Ed Harris work -- and particularly interesting to contrast his work here with what he does in Westworld.
 
The Hours
Absolute must watch for Nicole Kidman's performance. Just disappears into the role. No way I would've realized it was her if I didn't know in advance. Apparently, she would leave set with the prosthetic on and the paparazzi wouldn't recognize her (and this was at the height of the mania around her -- I believe she was married to Tom Cruise at the time and maybe (?) going through their divorce.) Well deserved Academy Award for her performance. Jeff Daniels also gives a really interesting performance in a smaller role.
 
To Die For
A really interesting and excellent film -- early Nicole Kidman / Joaquin Phoenix / Casey Affleck. I actually remember this case when it happened - and stylistically, the film chooses (for me) an unexpected and smart tone. 
 
Moulin Rouge
 
Panic Room
Check out the extremely extensive extras (with multiple commentaries) on the DVD. 
 
Dog Day Afternoon
It's fascinating seeing Al Pacino and John Cazale -- who played two incredibly iconic roles in The Godfather I + II, act oppposite each other in a different film and still completely inhabit them. Pacino, brilliant as always. Laser like focus, belief, with energy just radiating from his pores. 

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