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  • The Citizen Kane of Citizen Kane movies

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Thread: Mank (David Fincher)

  1. #1

    Mank (David Fincher)

    Last 10 Movies Seen
    (90+ = canonical, 80-89 = brilliant, 70-79 = strongly recommended, 60-69 = good, 50-59 = mixed, 40-49 = below average with some good points, 30-39 = poor, 20-29 = bad, 10-19 = terrible, 0-9 = soul-crushingly inept in every way)

    Run
    (2020) 64
    The Whistlers
    (2019
    ) 55
    Pawn (2020) 62
    Matilda (1996) 37
    The Town that Dreaded Sundown
    (1976) 61
    Moby Dick (2011) 50

    Soul
    (2020) 64

    Heroic Duo
    (2003) 55
    A Moment of Romance (1990) 61
    As Tears Go By (1988) 65

    Stuff at Letterboxd
    Listening Habits at LastFM

  2. #2
    63/100

    Sings when it has good actors bouncing dialogue off each other - particularly Oldman and Seyfried - but drags when it tries to sketch out Mank's political awakening, which comes across as dutiful biopic character shading rather being something Fincher much believes in. Looks beautiful throughout, of course, and it's full of sardonic humor (Fincher is really an underrated director of comedy). We will see how it holds up in the future.
    Last 10 Movies Seen
    (90+ = canonical, 80-89 = brilliant, 70-79 = strongly recommended, 60-69 = good, 50-59 = mixed, 40-49 = below average with some good points, 30-39 = poor, 20-29 = bad, 10-19 = terrible, 0-9 = soul-crushingly inept in every way)

    Run
    (2020) 64
    The Whistlers
    (2019
    ) 55
    Pawn (2020) 62
    Matilda (1996) 37
    The Town that Dreaded Sundown
    (1976) 61
    Moby Dick (2011) 50

    Soul
    (2020) 64

    Heroic Duo
    (2003) 55
    A Moment of Romance (1990) 61
    As Tears Go By (1988) 65

    Stuff at Letterboxd
    Listening Habits at LastFM

  3. #3
    Cinematographer Mal's Avatar
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    Extremely captivating- an easy watch for me even though I don’t know squat about Mankiewicz and Welles. The acting is good, the settings shot vibrantly. Its maybe missing a little heft, but nevertheless, an entertaining look at entertainment’s conception and influences.

  4. #4
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Impeccably crafted, staged, and acted.

    There's a lack of a real conflict or stakes that are on the line that can make me truly appreciate this though. I can tell that David Fincher is certainly invested in making this movie, but there's really not much there to take from it. It's at its best when Hollywood is talking about Europe pre-WWII and when Welles is on screen.

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It - *
    Those Who Wish Me Dead - * 1/2
    Buck and the Breacher - ** 1/2


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  5. #5
    I'll get to this probably next year when I'm not going through Criterions. I've heard both good and bad things so far.
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  6. #6
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    I didn't like this for a variety of reasons. It doesn't help that I'm a pretty big Orson Welles fan and this film seems firmly in the "Raising Kane" Pauline Kael camp, which has been widely questioned (not the least of which by Orson Welles himself) and (I thought) was an outdated relic of the '70s, but this is the "Mank is the true auteur" type of movie with OW seemingly like a petulant control freak (which to be fair he kinda was, he was also a genius, and Kane would not nearly be the film it is w/o him at the helm) complete with a scene of him smashing up Mank's room which never happened IRL. To be fair, I love Zodiac and The Social Network, both of which took liberties with the truth (esp. The Social Network) so I'm a bit of a hypocrite about this. It would matter less if I thought Mank was a legit good movie in other ways, but beyond the fidelity to truth, I have lots of other issues.
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 12-06-2020 at 03:48 PM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    So I Married an Axe Murderer - 6
    That Thing You Do! - 8
    Cocktail - 2
    Child's Play 2 - 7
    Vanilla Sky - 7
    Minority Report - 8
    My Cousin Vinny - 7
    The Limey - 8
    kid 90 - 7
    Another Round - 7




  7. #7
    Screenwriter
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    Sits better with me after over a week, so I can see myself more receptive to it on rewatch. But I really wish the Citizen Kane nods stop at the style and don't extend to the structure, or the film needs some script reconfiguring that will accommodate it. As is, the many characters, storylines, and ideas at play here are ill-served by the time-jumping back and forth, which feels disjointed, arhythmic, and dissipates the momentum every time any past-tense scene is building some plot steam and we are yanked back to Mank trying to write on the farm. In other words, way less Kane stuff and more of the art/film industry/politics intersection would make this really sing for me. But if the film's overall effect as a whole is a shrug, on a scene-by-scene basis this remains engaging, with plenty of film trivia (irritating to others but I find the tossed-off way they're brought to life rather entertaining), often witty banter, and spirited performances keeping it lively enough. 6.5/10
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  8. #8
    Solid and well made, yet I didn't love it. The cast is good, the camera work is good, yet I have little desire to watch this again. I think Fincher may have run out of ideas.

    Also I don't care who the author of Citizen Kane is and I have never liked auteur theory all that much. So far what I have viewed from Netflix film wise has been quite underwhelming save for Da Five Bloods.
    Blog!

    Now, here I go again, I see
    The crystal vision
    I keep my visions to myself
    It's only me, who wants to
    Wrap around your dreams and
    Have you any dreams you'd like to sell
    Dreams of loneliness

  9. #9
    Quote Quoting DFA1979 (view post)
    So far what I have viewed from Netflix film wise has been quite underwhelming save for Da Five Bloods.
    What about The Irishman, though?

  10. #10
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    What about The Irishman, though?
    Ok I forgot about that and Marriage Story. I loved those two. Maybe for some reason I didn't consider them to be Netflix original movies. Also Roma looks great but I still haven't seen that one.
    Blog!

    Now, here I go again, I see
    The crystal vision
    I keep my visions to myself
    It's only me, who wants to
    Wrap around your dreams and
    Have you any dreams you'd like to sell
    Dreams of loneliness

  11. #11
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    The Irishman, Roma, Marriage Story, The Meyorwitz Stories, and Da 5 Bloods are strong arguments for the existence of Netflix originals. Some of these I believe were bought by Netflix but they weren't financed by them. "The Queen's Gambit" is good but I didn't love it as much as some people. Oh and my beloved "Cobra Kai" which is neither good or bad; it is badass.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    So I Married an Axe Murderer - 6
    That Thing You Do! - 8
    Cocktail - 2
    Child's Play 2 - 7
    Vanilla Sky - 7
    Minority Report - 8
    My Cousin Vinny - 7
    The Limey - 8
    kid 90 - 7
    Another Round - 7




  12. #12
    Quote Quoting DFA1979 (view post)
    So far what I have viewed from Netflix film wise has been quite underwhelming save for Da Five Bloods.
    The Other Side of the Wind? I'm not sure it's a successful movie overall, but parts of it are brilliant. (Incidentally, according to Jonathan Rosenbaum, my two favourite sequences--the sex scene in a moving car and the scene in the ladies room of the disco--were both directed by Oja Kodar rather than Welles.)
    Just because...
    Speaking Directly: Some American Notes (Jon Jost, 1973) mild
    Dark Waters (Youssef Chahine, 1956) mild
    Over Here (Jon Jost, 2007) cold

    The last book I read was...
    Jerry Lewis by Chris Fujiwara


    The (New) World

  13. #13
    Yeah I forgot about those although I haven't finished The Other Side of the Wind yet. Cobra Kai and Queen's Gambit do look good.
    Blog!

    Now, here I go again, I see
    The crystal vision
    I keep my visions to myself
    It's only me, who wants to
    Wrap around your dreams and
    Have you any dreams you'd like to sell
    Dreams of loneliness

  14. #14
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    This didn't really engage me. It felt cold, superficial, the flashbacks disruptive. It's telling that the most engaging Moments were when the typist learns her hubbie is presumed killed and then Found alive and when the German maid explains to the typist what Mank did for her family. Just some old fashioned human warmth, relatable stuff you know. That's just me. I can see how this might work better for others.
    [+] closer to next rating / [-] closer to previous rating

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  15. #15
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    I found this beautiful, engaging and very informative. Kael's article was probably written for love of controversy like much of her work, but the animosity between Mank and Welles was a very real thing and an interesting concept to base a film on. I might be a sucker for movies about making movies but this was as engrossing as a Fincher thriller for me, and also the rare movie that is able to work past the "period movie" conventions and make me feel like I'm living the era along with the characters. It's strange because Fincher's cinematic language is decidedly very modern and contemporary but he was able to provide a 1940s variation on it, same as he did with Zodiac and the 1970s. Also, yet another monumental Gary Oldman performance.

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