Author Topic: Michael Mann  (Read 52949 times)

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cowboykurtis

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Michael Mann
« Reply #105 on: January 22, 2005, 02:27:27 AM »
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Quote from: wantautopia?
Quote from: cowboykurtis
Quote from: cinephile
Heat is the best film of the 90's.


give me a fucking break

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cine

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« Reply #106 on: January 22, 2005, 02:33:19 AM »
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Sorry, I was being insincere.

I meant the past half-century.

cowboykurtis

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« Reply #107 on: January 22, 2005, 02:34:24 AM »
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Quote from: cinephile
Sorry, I was being insincere.

I meant the past half-century.

you got me good
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cine

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« Reply #108 on: January 22, 2005, 02:35:39 AM »
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Really though, best film of the 90's.

cowboykurtis

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« Reply #109 on: January 22, 2005, 02:41:37 AM »
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Quote from: cinephile
Really though, best film of the 90's.

don't rub it in, you're the internet king - you GOT me
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cron

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« Reply #110 on: January 22, 2005, 11:40:44 AM »
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Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Of bank robbery films, I'd say Rififi is the pinnacle.


And I'd say that out of the criterions i've watched, Rififi is the most conventional, The only thing I like about it is how the villain is literally always standing taller than every other character. Besides, Jules Dassin was a commie.
context, context, context.

Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #111 on: January 22, 2005, 01:58:41 PM »
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Quote from: cronopio
Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
Of bank robbery films, I'd say Rififi is the pinnacle.


And I'd say that out of the criterions i've watched, Rififi is the most conventional, The only thing I like about it is how the villain is literally always standing taller than every other character. Besides, Jules Dassin was a commie.


Rififi is hardly convential. Actually, its filmmaking is amazing, worthy of a great essay. In essence, what the film does is combine the ethics of old Hollywood filmmaking with the realism of films today. The films starts out using only on set locales, keeping the scenes pithy and unassuming. But, as the story digs deeper into the underworld and the character's crime, it begins using on site locales more and breaking more narrative codes. The way this films starts to make that transition speaks for the heightened tension in the film, but it also speaks for what he wanted to get out of the audience. Audiences back then must have seen this break more clearly, realizing they were finally getting a gritty view point of Paris and really seeing conventions be thrown out the window with a 26-minute, completely silent, bank robbery. Today, the transition is almost invisible. We take for granted Paris can be filmed and people may even interact on the streets also. The bank robbery does stand out, but most film comment today is just on that. There is hardly recognition on the genius of how slyly the film did erode artificiality completely in conjecture with the rythm and theme of the story. I'd even comment Rififi is one of the prime examples of film criticism within a film. It clearly shows two worlds of filmmaking and allows the audience to feel how one worked so much better to really move the audience.

Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #112 on: January 23, 2005, 03:45:08 AM »
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I just watched Last of the Mohicans. Ghostboy steered me well with this one. Not only will I agree with him its my favorite Michael Mann, but I also think it may be his best. The richness of the film is so good I feel I can't really say Insider is his best just because its a deeper drama on paper. Last of the Mohicans, just on paper, is really almost silly, but the production values brought to recreate this time period is really some of the best work I've ever seen in any film. As an action film, I could tell the Mann realized he was making a very old style film as the beginning dinner scene of everyone happy had that hallmark musical touch to it even. Its an action film truly. It never really went beyond that besides the usual expected cheesiness, but there was a touch of great filmmaking to really heighten the experience so I never became too bothered by really anything. I bought into the film.

I kept thinking through out this film why I bought into this film and not Collateral. Both really have the same IQ in their story. I'm starting to realize how much of a mistake it was for Mann to have used digital the way he did for that film. He should have used film. As much as digital will be a huge part of the future, its not really there yet in quality. I never felt like I was closer to the characters because it was filmed hand held and in digital. It didn't transform the experience for me at all. It seemed to make me even more aware of how staged film can be sometimes because digital loss a degree of authenticity for me. If people really want to look at filmmakers who have broken the barrier of intimacy on screen, look at any film by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne. They still use film but realize its all in how you tell the story and then film it. Michael Mann may like genre rules too much for his aspirations sometimes.

Ghostboy

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« Reply #113 on: January 23, 2005, 11:34:01 AM »
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Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
I just watched Last of the Mohicans. Ghostboy steered me well with this one. Not only will I agree with him its my favorite Michael Mann, but I also think it may be his best. The richness of the film is so good I feel I can't really say Insider is his best just because its a deeper drama on paper. Last of the Mohicans, just on paper, is really almost silly, but the production values brought to recreate this time period is really some of the best work I've ever seen in any film. As an action film, I could tell the Mann realized he was making a very old style film as the beginning dinner scene of everyone happy had that hallmark musical touch to it even. Its an action film truly. It never really went beyond that besides the usual expected cheesiness, but there was a touch of great filmmaking to really heighten the experience so I never became too bothered by really anything. I bought into the film.


Exactly. Plus, it has one of the best adventure/romance scores ever written.

soixante

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« Reply #114 on: January 23, 2005, 12:18:17 PM »
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I think the only thing that keeps Mann from being a great filmmaker, and joining the ranks of Scorsese and PTA, is that he is too beholden to mainstream Hollywood sensibilities.  Collateral is similar to other Hollywood films that start off in an interesting, unpredictable way, but then succumb to rote genre conventions.

I do think the digital video deployed in Collateral helped create a different sort of mood.  I think of Los Angeles is the third character in this movie, and Mann captures its nocturnal qualities in a cool way.  I was highly impressed by the obscure locations they were able to find.  Mann also made wonderful use of downtown L.A.'s sterile and abandoned skyscrapers.
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Myxo

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« Reply #115 on: January 24, 2005, 02:41:40 AM »
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Quote from: soixante
I do think the digital video deployed in Collateral helped create a different sort of mood.  I think of Los Angeles is the third character in this movie, and Mann captures its nocturnal qualities in a cool way.  I was highly impressed by the obscure locations they were able to find.  Mann also made wonderful use of downtown L.A.'s sterile and abandoned skyscrapers.


Agree. :yabbse-thumbup:

The digital film work I think allowed Mann to give things a sort of unnatural look that I totally loved. There are lots of scenes with Foxx driving around where you can see bright city lights reflecting in the windshield. Also, alot of the out of focus work was beautiful as well.

The story does drag into convential action film territory but it's worst quality is a stupid ending. At least with Heat I felt some degree of completion had taken place between Deniro and Pacino. In this movie I felt like Cruise got a raw deal in such a quick death while the audience got less dialogue and more shooting.

The nightclub scene is really aweful. Whenever I think about Collateral, for some reason I always get that sequence in my head and that stupid evil look on Cruise's face that he can't sell. I never could completely believe that he was that cold.

It's worth a shot as a rental but I wouldn't pay full price for a copy.

Myxo

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« Reply #116 on: February 02, 2005, 02:43:27 AM »
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SPOILERS

Alright, so a friend and I had a great discussion at lunch today about Mann's films.

Last of the Mohicans, Heat and Collateral all place the "bad guy" in a position to die far too easily.

In the case of Mohicans, we've got Magua who gets killed on screen in like 10-15 seconds. Now, I don't have a problem with this, seeing as he just murded the elder's son right in front of his eyes. Magua deserved a quick and brutal death, but it was still pretty swift and without much of an epic struggle for such a foul antagonist.

Moving on to Heat, we have Robert Deniro dying after his position is given away at the airport. I'd say Pacino had a whole lot of fucking luck on his side to manage that one. Did he deserve as much? There is such a build up, and we really respect Deniro as much as we respect Pacino. It seems like a pretty lame way for Deniro to die given that Pacino himself was full of character flaws.

Finally we arrive at Collatral, a film where Tom Cruise's character is knocked off by another fluke. Jamie Foxx manages to kill his antagonist because the subway lights went out and he got a lucky shot off?

A pattern is emerging here..

I absolutely love Michael Mann's work, but I admit his endings bother me in the case of all three of the films mentioned here. Last of the Mohicans is the most believable and satisfying ending of the three, because Magua has been built up as such a demon that we are glad to see him go. However, in the case of Heat and Collateral, did the bad guys really need to go out like that? It by no means "ruins the movie" for me, but there is something lacking when I've built up a huge amount of respect for Deniro and even Cruise for the films to end so abruptly. The antagonists needed to die, but not like they did..

Thoughts?

Ghostboy

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Michael Mann
« Reply #117 on: February 02, 2005, 02:50:57 AM »
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Isn't that a credit to Mann, though, that he allows death to be arbitrary, as it is in life? This is of course more attributable to Heat, which of the three films you mention has the most developed and therefore lifelike characters, but his thwarting of conventions overall seems rather refreshing.

I totally think Mike Wallace went out like a sucker in The Insider, though.

jasper_window

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« Reply #118 on: February 02, 2005, 08:46:17 AM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
Isn't that a credit to Mann, though, that he allows death to be arbitrary, as it is in life? This is of course more attributable to Heat, which of the three films you mention has the most developed and therefore lifelike characters, but his thwarting of conventions overall seems rather refreshing.

I totally think Mike Wallace went out like a sucker in The Insider, though.


There it is right there.  

As for Last of the Mohicans, the way Maguai is killed is completely satisfactory to me, it's like a violent ballet.  The crushing blow to his torso, smashing his shoulder, and that spin move to finish him off.  It's quick and brutal.  Anytime I've gotten a new TV, receiver, speakers etc...the last 15 minutes of Mohicans is the first thing to go in.

life_boy

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« Reply #119 on: February 02, 2005, 11:21:28 AM »
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Quote from: Ghostboy
Isn't that a credit to Mann, though, that he allows death to be arbitrary, as it is in life? This is of course more attributable to Heat, which of the three films you mention has the most developed and therefore lifelike characters, but his thwarting of conventions overall seems rather refreshing.


This is usually how I see it also.  It is anticlimactic, perhaps because we always expect a huge climax with explosions and car crashes and the final word before the bullet goes in when we watch an action film (and perhaps we feel this need even more since we do know the characters more than in some other action films)...but I think this is part of Mann's point.  For all the other people in these films who die without fanfare or climax, why should the "bad guy" get the climactic death?  "He allows death to be arbitrary, as it is in life."  I wouldn't necessarily say death is arbitrary or that Mann sees it as arbitrary, but I would say that it feels arbitrary to those who are not particularly close to the one who passes, as in life.

Quote from: Myxomatosis
However, in the case of Heat and Collateral, did the bad guys really need to go out like that? It by no means "ruins the movie" for me, but there is something lacking when I've built up a huge amount of respect for Deniro and even Cruise for the films to end so abruptly. The antagonists needed to die, but not like they did..


I do understand what you're saying, Myxomatosis, but I also think that it adds to Mann's overall existential worldview as shown in his films.  Honestly, I felt like the ending of Collateral could (or perhaps should) have been something more than it was (it was the only thing in the movie that really bothered me), but perhaps I'm not being fair to the director's vision by wishing it could end a little differently and I need to view the film again with eyes to understand why he ended it the way he did.  What is he trying to tell me?  This is something I'll be keeping in mind when I revisit Collateral in the next week or so.

 

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