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Filmspotting Message Boards => Filmspotter Pantheon => Topic started by: pixote on August 08, 2013, 02:10:58 PM

Title: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 08, 2013, 02:10:58 PM
A countdown of the top 100 most divisive films polled in the ratings project thus far — culled from the 1,620 titles that received votes in the 2012 Filmspotters' Top 100 Movies of All Time.

Divisiveness here is measured by the standard deviation of each film's votes. Films needed 13 votes to qualify.

It's an oddball and rather frivolous list, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

pixote
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 09, 2013, 12:46:26 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img713/1460/a6mh.jpg)
Casino
Martin Scorsese, 1995

        Votes                Average       
        St Dev       
        Rank       
25
6.69
2.012
100

Vote Distribution
  0    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9  10
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1
1
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2
4
7
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2


I don't have the energy to hate Casino, it kind of just goes on and on.

Oh dear, I do love Casino. I think it was the second double-tape VHS I owned after Braveheart. (http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/econs/redface.gif)

But yeah, back to CASINO: wonderful film, better than GOODFELLAS, #5 all-time for me (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6317.msg574659#msg574659).

I find it to be one of my guilty pleasures. And I too, like it better than Goodfellas. I've never been too enamored with Scorsese's films. I think he tries too hard to impress the viewer with camera angles and imagery, but in this film, he seems to have decreased his penchant for this.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 09, 2013, 01:38:27 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img580/8715/hiroshimamonamourk.jpg)
Hiroshima, mon amour
Alain Resnais, 1959

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
16
7.73
2.015
99

Vote Distribution
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One of the more beautiful films of all time is this Alain Resnais film about a French actress who meets, has a one-night stand with and falls in love with a Japanese man (Eiji Okada) while shooting a film in Paris.

I think I've been hesitant to write about this film partly because my first reaction was, "hmmm, I don't think I liked that." I was very put off, for example, by the first verbal interchanges we hear between the lovers in what seemed to me forced and artificial laughter and conversation ... But in the days since I've seen it, I find myself more and more gripped by the film, haunted by so many of the images - the opening sequence is both lovely and horrifying, in its mingling of sensuous bodies and disintegrating bodies; the scene with the protest marchers - the lovers separated and rushed along by the stream of people captures a panic and claustrophobia (a kind of claustrophobia that is perhaps linked to the woman locked in the basement) I've not seen/felt before in a film; and so many others.

What I thought was going to be a difficult sit, quickly turned into a great lesson in world cinema.  The film ultimately didn't sustain my interest.  I was more intrigued in this couple than the one in Brief Encounter, but after a while the story felt too thin even to sustain it's brief 90 minute running time.

In just a span of a few moments, Resnais creates three different motifs, showcasing fear of the unknown, the comforting embrace of two people, possibly in love and finally, the erotic nature of romance. It was an absolute masterstroke of genius. This is the third film I've seen directed by Resnais, and he's definitely become, alongside Eric Rohmer, the shining beacons of the French New Wave for me.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 09, 2013, 02:07:53 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img189/6117/ez9w.jpg)
Suspiria
Dario Argento, 1977

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
15
6.42
2.017
98

Vote Distribution
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1
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6
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1


oh, wow, Suspiria!

With its over saturated colours and crazy looking maybe German expressionist inspired sets, let's just say that Suspiria's art direction makes the Shining look like a minimalist painting. I didn't find the story all that compelling or frightening but the way the film is shot and what Argento chooses to show us is very interesting. I of course need to mention the music as well, with the creepy sounds and voices which I often confused for actual sounds from the film. It works very well.

A weird movie. In one way it's so much a B movie. And yet in another way it feels artistic. Strange experience indeed. I can't say it turned me into one of his dedicated fans. But at least I've educated myself a little and I suppose that's not a bad thing.

The opening is terrific...love the music. I kind of got bored with it after that.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 09, 2013, 02:37:15 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img17/7907/fnw8.jpg)
Scent of a Woman
Martin Brest, 1992

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
18
5.71
2.020
97

Vote Distribution
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Quote from: Maybe Every Filmspotting Podcast Ever
"What kind of a show you guys are putting on here today?"
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 09, 2013, 03:07:40 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img600/383/m4k5.jpg)
American History X
Tony Kaye, 1998

        Votes                Average       
        St Dev       
        Rank       
25
6.94
2.021
96

Vote Distribution
  0    1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9  10
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-
2
-
1
2
2
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8
6
-


American History X is a pretty great film hampered by one pretty bad performance but boosted by two awesome ones and less-than-conventional-direction. ... Although the film seemed more like a series of disconnected stories (it didn't feel like only one day passed in current time and the flashbacks could mostly be taken on their own and didn't connect much outside of a shared cast) I think it worked pretty well. ... And the last great part of this film, the one, the only Ed Norton. I have never denied that he is a good actor (despite my perception of his off screen personality) but this is one of the best performances I have seen in this bracket. He is great as the hate filled Derek and awesome as the reformed version.

In the Red Corner wearing the Black & White trunks we have American History X.  It has going for it... Career Best performances from Edward Norton, Edward Furlong and Fariuza Balk.  (The last 2 aren't as big a deal, but it's worth mentioning anyways.) ... Blistering direction by Tony Kaye, who pulls heightened drama from even the most preachy scenes. ... Award-worthy cinematography (again from Mr. Kaye.) ... A murder scene you won't soon forget.  The sound of teeth on pavement may cause permanent chills.  If that doesn't, Norton's reaction after doing the deed probably will. ... After the opening foreshadowing, the film takes a little time to get it's motor running, but before long, it's just one great dramatic scene after another.  This is one of the most exciting dramas of recent years.  If you like your drama hot-button exciting, X gonna give it to ya'.

Quote from: MartinTeller (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2005/01/07/american-history-x/)
Way too heavy-handed and preachy, with all the subtlety of a jack-hammer.  The film recognizes that racism is a complex problem, and yet seems to suggest ridiculously simple answers.  Characters reconstruct their ideologies at the drop of a hat, and that happens no less than five times in the film (twice for each Edward, once for Fairuza).  And the ending (which Elizabeth spoiled for me… but you could see it coming at the halfway point anyway) is cruel and pointless.  The heart is in the right place, but the method leaves much to be desired.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 09, 2013, 04:42:54 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img266/5318/lejetee.jpg)
La jetée
Chris Marker, 1962

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
19
7.66
2.022
95

Vote Distribution
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2


I disliked watching La Jetee the same way I dislike eating parsnips; It's simply a matter of taste. The reaction isn't intellectual nor emotional, but physical. If I put a turnip in my mouth the response is out of my control. Sadly, such things only change with time (not thought or discussion), and even that is no guarantee.

... a permanent top 5 film of all time for me; one of the most unique films ever made ...

Just look at the photos! They're so good that each one is a piece of art that would qualify for a photo exhibition. The score is mesmerizing and the voiceover text is like poetry. ... However it's more than just the esthetics that speaks to me. The film has the single quality that I think is the one I appreciate most of all in time travel movies: It messes with your mind until the walls of reality start to crumble and for a sweet moment of joy and horror you're hit by the wave of sense of wonder.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 09, 2013, 05:34:59 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img35/9876/vm4t.jpg)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Luis Buñuel, 1972

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
13
6.79
2.025
94

Vote Distribution
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Some cute bits, but mostly I couldn't bring myself to care.  I can see it improving on a second viewing, but until then—

... clever and funny but repetitious. I got bored with it after an hour.

I was underwhelmed at first, but really grew to love it the second time.

I appreciate certain things here and it is certainly better than having your eye cut by a razor.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 09, 2013, 06:51:18 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img713/6954/wd1o.jpg)
TRON
Steven Lisberger, 1982

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
18
5.09
2.027
93

Vote Distribution
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1


Impeccable set and costume design.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 13, 2013, 03:27:43 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img818/7783/n5xr.jpg)
Elephant
Gus Van Sant, 2003

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
24
6.86
2.028
92

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4


Quote from: MartinTeller (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2004/08/30/elephant/)
Interesting but not very enlightening.  I’m displeased with the way Van Sant not-very-subtly lays blame on videogames and casts the villains as homosexuals (how can this be the same director who did My Own Private Idaho?).  I’m not sure, but I don’t remember Kleibold and Harris being lovers. Maybe, I dunno.  But the game they played was Doom, where you shoot at monsters hell-bent on killing you, not at innocent people calmly walking around.  Of course, Van Sant is not making a documentary of Columbine, or even a dramatic re-telling, but the comparison is obviously intended to be drawn.

Pretty good. It's mostly composed of long takes of teenagers walking through highways which strangely enough is kinda of how I remember high school. It's pretty quiet and elliptical with characters being introduced just barely. We don't get to know anyone besides a surface level kind of way (the way they look like, clothes, hobbies, etc) but that seems to be the point. The thing that really drags this down for me is when it gets too specific (the stuff with the killers).

Its not about him saying something, and to always expect that is kinda lazy.  The intent of this and last days and gerry ect is a kind of semiotic investigation - its up to YOU to say something.  Unlike say Pixar, this is actually art as film (not to knock it - i love entertainment as much as the next person).  You have these ideas and judgments in your head and he give you visuals that provoke those associations.  Meditate on your own reactions - not on what you think Van Sant's might be because you don;t know what they are because he's actually not interested in telling you.  This is why something like Theo Angelopoulos' Ulysses' Gaze (which tries to do the same thing) doesn't work for me is that I really have no cultural knowledge base from which to draw on to interact with what I'm seeing.  But to disregard this side of the film is to lose so much of what makes the film great.

I thought it was an excellently made film, taking me where it wanted me to go, lulling me with the boring events going through the maze of halls and classrooms of this quiet high school.  We see things from different perspectives all throughout the movie, and even though we know what's going to happen it still shocks and horrifies us-- perhaps because it was all TOO normal, too peaceful, too boring.  The complacency we felt is jarred, and our world is not the same.  Is this a perfect film?  No, but it is marvelous, and the acting isn't great, but real life isn't about great acting-- real life is full of terrible acting.  And by the end, this was MY high school and this event was happening where I lived.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 13, 2013, 06:02:40 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img841/7241/kindheartsandcoronets.jpg)
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Robert Hamer, 1949

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
15
7.57
2.030
91

Vote Distribution
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-
-
1
1
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5
2
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4


I need to give this film another chance one of these days.  I was disappointed with it in my first viewing, unfairly comparing it to The Man in the White Suit.

Kind Hearts and Coronets and The Lavender Hill Mob are both terrific ...

Odd and oddly enjoyable.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 14, 2013, 11:55:25 AM
(http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/3036/ci2l.jpg)
Happy Together
Wong Kar-Wai, 1997

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
16
7.41
2.030
90

Vote Distribution
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If I have one standard as to my taste in films it is that plot>character>mood. This film is much more about characters and mood than plot. If I am to like a character driven film, one place it can go wrong is by having characters without redeemable qualities. Sadly, the couple at focus here is constantly bickering, and it is this dependent misery that is the focus of the film. I spend the whole film wondering why they are together and don’t have enough reason to get emotional when they break-up (as they do on many occasions).

Definitely too fussy for my tastes. Though the rich colours are beautiful, so many of the flourishes just feel tedious to me – I can’t be the only one who thinks that slo-mo thing he often does is kind of hideous. There’s a stylish coolness to Wong Kar-wai that I find kind of corny. The relationship itself didn’t really compel me all that much either, at times I feel like the film coasted on Tony Leung’s wonderfully expressive and sympathetic  face rather than developing much between the two leads, though I'm quite certain that's not how most feel. In addition to Tony Leung, who is wonderful to spend time with, what I really did like about the film is the feeling of isolation. The sense of being far from home and relying on a familiar bond regardless of how unhealthy it may be. The apartment is such a perfectly defined and confining space. The scenes where Lai is at work are also very good, not oppressive, but quietly sad.

The disintegrated relationship between Lai Yiu-fai (Tony Leung) and Ho Po-wing (Leslie Cheung) just isn't that interesting — or, rather, it isn't presented in an interesting fashion. Instead, their scenes together are like a caricature of a Cassavetes film — two people being sort of repetitively nasty to each other. It made me long to watch Two for the Road again instead. There are a few strong moments between them (I especially liked the lighting of the cigarette shot through the door, for example), but there are long stretches when the film relies on its masterful audiovisual technique to maintain any sort of engagement. Wong excels at dramatizing the making and missing of personal connections, but Ho and Lai are stuck in limbo between those ends, and the script seems a bit stuck, too. When Tony Leung's character is on his own, the film really soars, evoking wonderfully his sense of isolation and the near connection he has with Chang. The cumulative effect of the sustained mood affected me even more strongly than that in Days of Being Wild, and the film ended on its highest note, which really helps its lasting impression with me.

For me, when that kind of rendering of emotions and mood works, it really works.  Huge reason as to why I love Happy Together and Friday Night.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 14, 2013, 12:43:31 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img22/9651/rushmorea.jpg)
Rushmore
Wes Anderson, 1998

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
30
7.50
2.033
89

Vote Distribution
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6


Quote from: sdedalus (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2005/12/movies-of-year-1998.html)
It's Anderson's best because it isn't nearly as silly as The Life Aquatic or Bottle Rocket, but still has the sense of fun and play that is sorely missing from the depressing The Royal Tenenbaums.

I suppose the fact that Charlie Bartlett is better than Rushmore is unpopular, no matter how true it is.

Rushmore doesn’t hit me like the tonne of bricks it once did, and there are more references to hand jobs than I remembered, but I still do really like it. It’s original, very funny, and quirky before that was such a dirty word. All of Anderson’s trademarks are here, albeit presented in a more restrained fashion: a stylized heightened reality, characters centered in the frame and often staring into the camera, slow-motion, terrific selections of and use of music, and so on. But for me, unlike in his last two films, here he gets the balance right and his characters aren’t suffocated by his attention to the art direction, soundtrack, and costumes. Rushmore is the last time Anderson made a film that resembles our world.

After this film, I had a big smile on my face, and I think it is because the ending of the film works especially well. I kept thinking about the film for a few days, and a while after that smile had died away a little, I came to the following realisation: If you strip away the quirk, this is THE standard coming-of-age story/high school comedy. Of course I truly enjoyed discovering all the creative Wes Anderson touches that DID make this film more special than the run-off-the-mill high school film, but believe it or not, there was a certain "WOW"-feeling that wasn't there.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 14, 2013, 01:13:09 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img841/7273/l5k6.jpg)
Demolition Man
Marco Brambilla, 1993

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
19
6.28
2.034
88

Vote Distribution
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true action comedy fun, nice take of the future (anyone been to a ken-taco-hut?)

I've never written a review for it and tried to quantify what worked and what didn't. I knew I loved it, and that was enough.

It is a classic. It is something that isn't in my top-100 probably because it doesn't feel like it is the type of film that should but in terms of pure enjoyment would be hard to argue against. I'll say this much, it would make it before Die Hard or BttF.

I used to watch this on repeat. Terribly underappreciated satire, and the funniest Stallone has ever been in a film. Wesley Snipes at his most formidable, Sandra Bullock's first crack at being lovely. Denis Leary gets to rant. It's a pretty amazing cast. Even Rob Schneider is used to good effect. The fingerprints of writer Daniel Waters (Heathers, Batman returns) are all over this.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 15, 2013, 10:56:06 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img42/8571/the400blows.jpg)
The 400 Blows
François Truffaut, 1959

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
22
7.95
2.039
87

Vote Distribution
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1
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6


Astounding in its simplicity and staggering in its emotional power, The 400 Blows is as perfect a movie as I've ever seen.

I love how it seems to contain so many small moments - absolutely ordinary moments that should say nothing but say everything - like the scene with boy who keeps inking up his notebook pages, frantically tearing them out, smudging more, tearing them out, until he finds to his horror there are none left; or the brief scene when Daniel's mother looks in the mirror and pats and pulls at her face; or when she comes in from work and takes off her stockings; or the moment when Daniel pauses in his errand for flour and overhears the conversation between the two women about childbirth. I loved those moments - they felt utterly real and as I said, ordinary and often humorous, too, yet they added up to Daniel's world and to the development of the characters and to the themes of the film so that I was caught up into something more than ordinary, something sublime. And the film reaches this sublimity without any pretension or over-reaching - every moment, every sequence seems to me pitch perfect.

Until the third act, I was not hooked by what was going on on screen. The acting was great, the look was good, but I was never pulled into the character of Antoine, I could not find sympathy for his actions. None of them made sense to me and I could not relate to him as I would not have done any of the things he did, nor have I experienced some of the hardships he was experiencing. That is until the third act when he gets sent to the observation center. It is what happens here, one scene in particular, and the masterful ending that brought it all back to me and got me to appreciate what I had just seen. I was able to sympathize with Antoine and the struggles he had been through for the course of the year. Like many films I have seen before it, this is a prime example of why you must watch movies from start to finish. The ending was so rewarding and so satisfying that I can imagine seeing this again and liking it better the second time just for the simple reason that I know how it ends.

I thought this was going to be a somewhat gritty tale of a kid on the street. What it actually is, is the tale of a spoiled brat living a ragamuffin fantasy. Sure, he comes from a strained home, but he inspires little sympathy. For most of it I don't see what his big beef is with the world that he rebels against and the stakes are rather reduced, it is only when he's merited a certain amount of karmic punishment that the film arbitrarily piles on the emotional context in which you might grant him some sympathy.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 15, 2013, 05:42:22 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img96/905/e0ro.jpg)
My Dinner with Andre
Louis Malle, 1981

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
15
5.71
2.041
86

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Anyone that liked My Dinner with Andre should check out Rohmer films, I think.  Rohmer's best impress me more than that Malle film.

Watching this film is like listening in on one of these personal conversations. Not all of it will be relatable but there are some universal truths that will stick out.  Andre is full of tales and insight and if given a chance My Dinner with Andre could actually change the way you see the world or live your life. It is really fantastic.

Andre Gregory made a comment, something along the lines of, Wallace's face is always in flux, constantly reacting and thinking, never static, never the same. It's true. I love watching him listen to Andre, as he tries to take it all in, even when what he's hearing goes against everything he knows and understands. Great acting going on and I'd say, even more so from Andre. The amount of dialogue is enough to choke a person, but he is able to tell his tales as if they are just coming into his head, while he's relaying them. My favorite moment of his is when he's telling a particularly harrowing experience and his voice gets agitated, his breathing becomes labored and his face is framed in fear. Bravo.

It certainly does have moments that piqued my interest and I suppose I admire its unique structure (or maybe I don’t admire it as much as I’m cognizant of the fact that others do), but by and large I’m not particularly enthusiastic about the ideas expressed here or how they're presented. Too much of their conversation, for me, seemed obvious. I don’t know, maybe obvious isn't the right word. I think I’m trying to say I just don’t care. Love that waiter, though.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 15, 2013, 06:12:48 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img819/8315/4sph.jpg)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Peter Jackson, 2003

        Votes                Average        
        St Dev        
        Rank        
30
7.38
2.046
85

Vote Distribution
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I never bothered with the 3rd because the 2nd was so boring.

The crowd's reaction throughout the end sequence was fantastic. ... I heard the funniest delivery of "Ahhhhhh, c'mon" ever.

The Return of the King by itself is a mess of plotting and pacing, mired in sentimentality and self-importance. ... The effects here hold up far better than in the first installment.  In fact, all of the technical qualities are at their zenith.  The performance by Andy Serkis is really something special.  And the Battle of Pelennor Fields is still the most epic fight scene ever.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 15, 2013, 06:54:51 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img11/9281/allquietonthewesternfro.jpg)
All Quiet on the Western Front
Lewis Milestone, 1930

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14
7.54
2.047
84

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Quote from: MartinTeller on January 30, 2007 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2007/01/30/all-quiet-on-the-western-front/)
This is one of those movies that’s rarely talked about, yet always ends up highly ranked.  I speak (once again) from the disadvantage of not having read the source material, but this is definitely a war (or anti-war) movie that ranks up with the best of them.  There are some amazing camera moves here.  A lot of transitions between interiors and exteriors, and some astonishing tracking shots.  The battle scenes reminded me a lot of Paths of Glory, and I have to believe they were an influence on Kubrick.  It’s a bit jarring at first to see “German” soldiers talking remarkably like Americans, but I think it was probably a smart move in terms of getting an audience to grasp the universality of the story.  The dialogue does get a bit sentimental and hokey at times (and the acting isn’t that great), but on the whole the film is surprisingly gritty for 1930.  Mighty good stuff.

I think I admire All Quiet on the Western Front more than I love it, but it is undoubtedly a great, great film.

How much leeway do you give a film for being "of their time"?  All Quiet on the Western Front, is badly dated.  It plays like a bridging film between the silent era and talkies.  Bits that are light on words, namely the large-scale battle sequences, are still pretty impressive, but much of the dialogue suffers from rigor mortis and characters have less dimension than the cover of the book it was based on.  I've seen films that were great for their time and films like Sunrise which are as great to day as they ever were.  This one is neither.

This is a movie that takes some brain dividing. The acting is as amateur as it comes with lines delivered like they're being read for the first time, or in the case of the lead, Lew Ayres, the emoting delivery is almost unwatchable, but... BUT, get a load of the action scenes! Can this really be 1930? The intricacies confuse me. How could so much detail be put into the placement of a series of explosions, but the painfully stilted dialogue be overlooked? It truly was like watching two movies spliced together.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 16, 2013, 12:01:23 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img849/3023/b1ec.jpg)
Touch of Evil
Orson Welles, 1958

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22
7.17
2.049
83

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Watching Touch of Evil was like putting on a pair of wooden clogs and running a marathon.

Welles' style is awesome and makes it always interesting to at least look at, but at the end of the day I was slightly underwhelmed with where this one went and how it got there.

Touch of Evil is very subtle. There's a bunch of great camera work and staging. I do agree that the story is a bit weak at times.

But it's so, so funny.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 16, 2013, 12:25:33 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img585/4792/53pr.jpg)
Superbad
Greg Mattola, 2007

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28
6.03
2.055
82

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Quote from: MartinTeller on February 16, 2008 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2008/02/16/superbad/)
It was amusing, and reasonably genuine, but I probably wouldn’t watch it again.  Jonah Hill was the highlight.

Superbad sucks superhard.

Those characters just remind me of my friends and I (this is a good thing... I think).

I could only suffer through 20 minutes of Jonah Hill before I walked out of Superbad...
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 16, 2013, 01:09:22 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img802/9742/qz8b.jpg)
Vertigo
Alfred Hitchcock, 1958

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28
7.92
2.059
81

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I expected to be awed, stunned. And some scenes, some frames were indeed stunning. But I don’t really know what to do with this film ...

Vertigo left me cold the first time I saw it (over a decade ago).  But through the year's I've revisited it a few times and it's grown on every viewing.

I'm still waiting to have my breakthrough; maybe next time.

Vertigo bored me the first time I saw it.

I imagine that it's the kind of movie that you can watch several times and that will grow each time and finally become like a good old friend.

I still need to re-watch Vertigo, in full.  It definitely grew on me, as I continued just to think about it, so I suspect I'd appreciate - and like - it a great deal more now, seeing it again.

I've only seen it once, and it rubbed me the wrong way.  Mainly because I didn't want to watch an obsessive, creepy Jimmy Stewart.  I think I would appreciate much more during a second viewing.

I didn't quite appreciate Vertigo as much as I had hoped to when I watched it, but I would like to try again sometime.

I will never watch The Lady Eve (or Vertigo) a second time. Impress me the first time if you want me to watch you again.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 17, 2013, 01:32:48 AM
(http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/1818/ub7v.jpg)
Speed Racer
Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, 2008

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20
5.72
2.060
80

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Of course like most trips you start out with awe and anticipation and close with rapture as the destination finally comes into view 2.25 hrs later but there sure are some stretches in the middle when you’re about to fall asleep.

I really liked the colors and all the racing sequences and that most of the between races scenes were essentially an unending series of really cool wipes.  But the plot just went on way too long.  There was far too much of it for how simple it all really was.  Confused and bloated, not complex.  If the Wachowskis had cut out all but, say, 20 minutes of non-racing scenes, this would have been a really good movie.

I wasn't looking for psychological depth or anything; but a little consistency in the characters and logic wouldn't have hurt.  But, whatever.  Pretty colors, etc.

Look, all you people who hated this movie, that's fine.  Perhaps you never watched the series, perhaps you hated the series, whatever.  I don't care.  In my heart, I am still a Speed Racer fan, and this movie is for fans of the series.  Clearly.  All the rest of you can leave it alone.  But I love it, and I'm sticking to it.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 18, 2013, 01:04:24 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img850/3235/unforgivenr.jpg)
Unforgiven
Clint Eastwood, 1992

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27
8.08
2.071
79

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I loved how this movie is essentially the end of the western. The old guys can't really do it like they used to (unless they need to bring justice), and the new guys are too weak to continue the tradition. It's also an interesting take on the myths that most westerns create - beginning and ending with text like a book, the kid making his own name, Little Bill telling the writer how things really went down - when you match those things up with Munny, who was once as low as you can get as a human, not being able to get on a horse it says something about myths and reality. ... And of course, Eastwood, Freeman, Hackman, and Harris were amazingly fantastic. Big props to Eastwood's directing. It looked amazing and was perfectly paced.

I'm not a western fan, just not into the genre and Unforgiven does nothing for me.

The entire film is a slow build all the way to the end. The final sequence of this film is one the greatest I've ever seen. Along with the Gene Hackman prisoner scene this films has so many good scenes.

... dark and difficult, but one of the best deconstructions of the western out there ...
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 19, 2013, 12:28:16 PM
(http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/4247/oogs.jpg)
Crumb
Terry Zwigoff, 1994

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14
6.98
2.076
78

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The best part about Crumb, from what I remember, was going from thinking Crumb was pretty nuts to thinking that, compared to the rest of his family, he was an absolute rock.

The crazy thing here is that Robert Crumb himself isn't even the most interesting character in this film. His opinion on women and sex and everything can be seen in any of his comics or drawings, and so the doc isn't really telling us all that much. I found his two brothers however to be very fascinating, both of them, also great artists in their own right yet completely socially inept. Their tragic lives are of great interest and Crumb's laid back attitude towards them (as well as almost everything) is a somewhat depressing one.

Crumb did nothing for me though I probably saw it 10 years ago so.

It's a good film, a portrait of a unique artist and the outside forces that drive his work. The best bits are when he watches people and immediately draws them, filling the frame with his personal demons and insecurities. Crumb also makes an excellent defense for the sexism and racism in his work, spinning it back onto the people who find it offensive. ... What wasn't as compelling was Crumb's family. Yes, they certainly provided context and set up the environment that created Crumb (and an entire family of artists), but Zwigoff is only using them for context. He isn't out to analyze the Crumb family, and so I got the point with them fairly quickly. The more time spent, the more it felt like Zwigoff was gawking at their odd behavior like characters at a carnival freak show.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 21, 2013, 11:50:19 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img5/413/es34.jpg)
Mulholland Dr.
David Lynch, 2001

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28
8.18
2.079
77

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Mulholland Dr. made me wet my pants. Even more than before, I mean.

Lynch's surreal mode of filmmaking is ideal for a story about Hollywood, the Dream Factory that's founded on people changing their identities.  A world run by gangsters and cowboys where everything is recorded and everything is an illusion.  Naomi Watts is as terrific as advertised, just about the cutest girl ever as Betty and then tragic and heartbreaking.  The rest of the cast is very good as well (Ann Miller!).  Even Billy Ray Cyrus, of all people, is hilarious.  And it's always stunning to look at: both the clean bright colors of the first half and the harsh dinginess of the second.  I really like Lost Highway, but this is even better.  Without a doubt one of the best of the decade.

Mulholland Dr. is a self-indulgent poopsicle! I think I hate it more than free jazz.

Listen, I love the first season of Twin Peaks as much as the next guy for its weirdness, but it has a spark of fun that seems entirely lacking from David Lynch's filmography. If he's trying to say something with his films, especially something like Mulholland Drive, it is lost on me, though I've often been told my quest for understanding is missing the point.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 21, 2013, 12:03:23 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img11/2112/28p8.jpg)
Natural Born Killers
Oliver Stone, 1994

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20
5.66
2.079
76

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i did love that back in the day but i don't think it holds up well to some of his others.

I liked Natural Born Killers a lot when it came out, but I've really turned on it as I've aged.

I could deal with the crazy style if there was any characters I cared for in the movie. I can't stand Juliette Lewis. Somebody should tell her to act interested in what is going on. ... And the "message" was loud and clear, almost too loud. I get it, we are obsessed with murderers. Thanks for telling me a bajillion times.

Natural Born Killers is good. Very good.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 21, 2013, 12:38:21 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img5/3103/twcl.jpg)
Sin City
Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, 2005

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26
6.93
2.096
75

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Sin City is one of the decade’s most unique creations.  A visual thrill ride with larger than life characters played by a murderer’s row of Hollywood heavyweights.  Rodriguez did right by adapting cinema to match Frank Miller’s comics rather than the other way around. ... Sin City was a film geek’s dream project, but done with such great skill that even serious film critics had to take notice.

Before Watchmen this was it. I didn't think they could do a comic book movie any better.

Quote from: oldkid on June 15, 2011 (http://bloggingmoviesrus.blogspot.com/2011/06/day-14-film-that-no-one-expected-you-to.html)
I’m a pastor and known to be of high moral fiber.  Whatever.  And often when discussing movies with people who do not know that I’m a movie nerd they would often warn me away from the film Sin City. “It is utterly devoid of any redeeming quality. It is dark and evil.” Well, I love that film. Yeah, it is dark and melodramatic. But like many great films, the ethical aspect is hidden behind a lot of evil deeds. Besides, Mickey Rourke is so cool.

My problem wasn't the violence. My problem was the lack of heart. ... It feels like a "must-see", one in a kind. But on the other hand, I can't hide that I didn't connect with it. Not even with Mickey Rourke.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 21, 2013, 01:33:32 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img94/1650/g11g.jpg)
Love Actually
Richard Curtis, 2003

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23
6.68
2.098
74

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Love Actually is a clumsy, saccharine mess.

Love Actually is awful.

A crowd-pleaser of the highest order, I don't know where to begin talking about my love for this film.  Hilarious, sweet, corny and touching in all the right measures.

The only conglomerate film I have seen that works and I love it bunches. Great Christmas movie.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 21, 2013, 01:48:18 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img853/2296/allaboutmymotheru.jpg)
All About My Mother
Pedro Almodóvar, 1999

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18
7.51
2.100
73

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I suspect that I may not be sophisticated, nor learned, enough to do more than skim the surface of this film. Am I wrong or is it just an interesting soap opera? I didn't love it but I won't forget it.

The heart of the film is Cecilia Roth, and she really is remarkable. So strong, so beautiful, such a great film presence. If I was moved at any point, it was despite Almodóvar and because of her. Also, though I’m not a big fan of his style, there’s no question that Almodóvar has painstakingly crafted this film; the music, the colours, his work with the cast. I may not love it, but there is a lot to love here.

It combines the best of Almadovar's character work from other films, and better, with a slightly more restrained emotional range. It took me a little bit but eventually I was deeply involved in the lives of these women; their unusual yet unremarkable lives.

Almodovar isn't one of my favorites, but I won't forget this film anytime soon.  The high melodrama made me cry a number of times, but the actresses made me respect this film more than any other Almodovar film I've seen.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 21, 2013, 06:22:11 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img547/7582/ylt0.jpg)
Sunshine
Danny Boyle, 2007

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27
6.90
2.111
72

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It was a very well made sci-fi action movie that I don't think really aspired to anything be more than that.  And that's OK.

It seems to be the thing everybody talks about when Sunshine comes up. Not the masterful cinematography, not the performances, not the themes or messages of the movie but the way it changes at the end.

Yeah, I get very tired of hearing "I liked/would have like Sunshine, but [the end blah, blah, blah]."

For the first two acts, Sunshine is pretty good.  A tad clichéd and the acting isn't that hot (I have a somewhat low tolerance for Cillian Murphy) but it's got a fairly interesting premise, tense situations, stylish visuals, nice score... it's an engaging watch, it's fun.  I was really enjoying it even if a lot of it seemed familiar.  I thought, "This could be my favorite Danny Boyle movie"... which isn't saying a whole lot, but I haven't hated anything by him yet.  And then came the third act.  Wow.  Messy, confusing, stupid clusterCINECAST! of an ending.

This was the worst experience I've ever had with a Sci-Fi film.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 21, 2013, 06:31:45 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img22/439/wz1g.jpg)
I Heart Huckabees
David O. Russell, 2004

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24
6.40
2.113
71

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I heart this movie. So funny. Great performances, especially Whalberg. Good times.

I can find no flaws with the film. As far as I can tell it was doing exactly what it set out to do. I just didn't get it.

Frankly, it's not for most people.  But I love it.

I was too distracted by how much I hated it to find appeal in something I usually like.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 21, 2013, 06:44:44 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img546/4892/k8tj.jpg)
Garden State
Zach Braff, 2004

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5.82
2.117
70

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Uhhhh, it was a nice little film. I really loved Portman and her character, obvi, but Zach Braff on screen kind of sucks. He should have found another actor for his movie. The story was nothing special but it had some nice touches. Why does my generation fall in love with this movie so much? It is good, but not sooooo good.

Wouldn't make my top 100 either, but it's still a great movie.

People hate Zach Braff, or more specifically, they hate GARDEN STATE. (I am one of those people.)

I enjoyed Garden State except I thought the whole screeming scene seemed a bit forced. 
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 11:41:13 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img841/1531/rvnz.jpg)
Brazil
Terry Gilliam, 1985

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25
7.42
2.118
69

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Wow, wtf? Typical Terry Gilliam I suppose. Look, it's just not my bag.

Brazil is a remarkably clever and ambitious, humorous yet frightening, visually spectacular – every shot is bizarre and fascinating – thematically daring, surrealistic vision of a dystopian future. Bumbling, polite Brits apologetically perform strong-arm tactics we associate with Gestapo agents or military police. Modern conveniences and the government are equally inefficient, often lethally so. Man fights with machine just as the common man hero fights the political machine. Everything breaks down and mistakes are made by the handful. Jacques Tati’s Playtime is an obvious, major influence on this. Yet Tati never used his imagination for so dark a purpose.

I tried watching Brazil, not really my thing. It reached a point where it became so absurd I couldn't see the connection to this world anymore. After that I just kind of threw up my arms and said "this is silly".  :-\ Of course it's quite possible I'm not familiar with the type of government bureaucracy it's taking a shot at. Endless forms and regulations for every little thing, I understand that probably exists. I guess I just haven't experienced enough of it first hand to really revel in Brazil. And by the sounds of it this is only the starting point of the film. I can't remember the film very well so I'll assume it lost me pretty early on.

Ambitious and messy, yes... but pretty damn entertaining too, with clever writing and some of the most impressive, meticulous design ever.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 12:14:00 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img837/8862/u2f3.jpg)
Easy Rider
Dennis Hopper, 1969

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6.60
2.122
68

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Easy Rider is more historically significant than, you know, actually good. Jack Nicholson is pretty awesome though.

To be fair Hopper was probably too high to pull of the Peter Fonda role.

Easy Rider is relentlessly verbal, with lots of ACTING and CRAZY DRUG SEQUENCES and such.

I loved the Jack Nicholson character. I loved that the tagline of the film was something like "Two men went looking for America... and found nothing." Hell, there is a lot to love about it, more so as I learn more and more about the making/reception of the film. Hell, I was a little unsure of what I watched, but after reading all these analysis's (all of which were from different perspectives, some even negative) I just really appreciate whats accomplished here and for what wasn't... well, I'll chalk that up to Hopper being too busy getting ready to possibly kill his wife.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 12:27:08 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img694/721/hx2x.jpg)
All the Real Girls
David Gordon Green, 2003

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15
6.54
2.122
67

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I didn't like All The Real Girls that much when I first saw it. Something drew me to see it again and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I didn't really like All the Real Girls very much. I got bored of the cuddling.

I have loved David Gordon Green as a director since I first saw Snow Angels and I too loved this film.

I feel like on a different day I might have liked this a lot more.  I just felt like it was trying too hard to be "honest" or something.  Too much buzzy, gentle, ambient music and too many instances of people inarticulately saying something that's accidentally profound, know what I mean?  David Gordon Green is doing everything he can not to get too big, but there's a transparency to to the quietude that annoyed me.  I liked the sentiments being expressed, there's some lovely touches, and Zooey Deschanel is surprisingly not that bad.  I just didn't care enough about these characters to be more than mildly interested.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 12:45:14 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img542/3155/celk.jpg)
The Rules of the Game
Jean Renoir, 1939

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18
7.19
2.123
66

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Exquisitely shot and acted, yes, but. Really enjoyed how the servants sort of imitated the people they served. The rich have romantic dalliances and are buffoons so the people in the kitchen will be as well. The performances are pretty excellent and there's even moments of sadness and reflection in it all. I like that the film skirts being a boring comedy of manners by pretty much skewering everyone and everything. I'm not even sure that the people who are "sincere" (those boring people) are left alone. I think the film only really begins to be interesting when they hit the country home and whatever and the dynamics of upper and lower class become the main focus. It's here when I had the most fun with the film.

I like the movie, I do.  But it's so often listed among the very best movies ever made and I just don't get why that is.  It's subtle and complex, with themes that don't reveal themselves on the surface. ... Really well acted, and very engaging.  But I wish it made more of an impact on my emotions instead of sifting through my brain.

Ah, more Robert de la Cheyniest acquisitions staying for the weekend. Wind them up and hear the cacophony of sound of their brass and bluster. Note the deep focus intricacies of their mechanized lives. Then the crescendo dissipates as they all wind down; until the next turn of the crank.

How sad, how embarrassing on my part that I couldn't see what was so great or fun or entertaining.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 02:08:33 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img571/9946/xznh.jpg)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Stanley Donen, 1954

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13
6.93
2.130
65

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That whole sequence is amazing.  The rest of the film's pretty mediocre.

After 50 minutes, the DVD broke. From what I've seen so far, this is going straight into my top 100, and I can't wait until I get the replacement. Sooooooo much fun, and especially great dancing and acrobatics.

"Bless Your Beautiful Hide", "Lonely Polecat" and "Sobbin' Women" are all very good songs, and the barn-raising dance features some stunning choreography.  And the colors looked quite nice... Well, that about covers the good aspects.  Where to start with the bad?  The humor is terrible, almost every gag made me groan miserably.  As for the characters, I mostly hated them.

I loved this so much! ... This was the first time I had seen Howard Keel. Loved him and especially his voice. The barn raising scene is my favorite. Some really amazing choreography and I love the way Donen just lets the talent of his performers and choreographer shine through. It is edited together so wonderfully and there is enough kept in one shot that instead of asking how they made it look like they did that, I can ask HOW DID THEY DO THAT!? I had a smile on my face basically the whole way through. This is a film I will not soon forget because the performances and song are that good. I think the fact that the guys kidnap the girls is a little ridiculous, but somehow it still works in a way it probably shouldn't.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 02:52:33 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img534/3413/6epg.jpg)
The Thin Red Line
Terrence Malick, 1998

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28
7.44
2.135
64

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It's fun to caricaturize Malick as nothing more than a tree fetishist, but it's easy to forget that, like Kubrick, he is an excellent technical filmmaker, and that expertise extends to action set pieces. ... The interplay between the poetic lull of the tree stuff and the riveting intensity of the fighting is really pretty special.

Again these are great ideas but there's a lack of deftness in which they are presented at times.  This is not the film of a master but of a master trying to shake off 20 years of rust. ... Oh, and Nick Nolte gives a f**king brilliant perf.

I have to say that the more time passes, the more I forget what bothered me so much about The Thin Red Line (the heavy-handed narration and the "stunt"-casting, both of which prevented me from completely immersing myself in the story). In hindsight, I appreciate the film's good aspects a lot more, i.e. some of the incredibly well acted and touching scenes of selflessness and cameraderie, and of course the film's sheer beauty. ...I wouldn't rule out the possibility that I'll watch TTRL again sometime when I am in the right contemplative mood.

There are too many amazing war films to go willy-nilly declaring this "the greatest", but it's certainly one of them.  And probably the most poetic, beautiful and thoughtful of them all.  There's so much to be mined from this film, both in the cinematic language and the deceptively simple narration.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 04:14:48 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img689/7850/73wb.jpg)
The Piano
Jane Campion, 1993

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21
6.50
2.141
63

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...a good film with a reputation that far exceeds its stature...

Have a vague memory of liking The Piano...

The Piano is my most hated good film of all time. 

While I remember liking The Piano quite a bit, the thing that I remember most is the Michael Nyman score, well that and Harvey Keitel's penis.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 04:32:02 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img4/2928/sw0h.jpg)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Stanley Kubrick, 1964

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27
8.15
2.147
62

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I find it to be one of the most arrogant, self-satisfied comedies ever written.  Visually, very well thought out and containing some moments of high wit (especially the conversations between the Sellers and Scott and the phone calls to Russia.)  But a lot of it plays like super-intellectuals trying to do low-brow farce, while trying to appear too good for low-brow farce.  I don't feel a sincere commitment to the silly humor, which makes a lot of the movie feel curiously flat.  Biggest examples being Sterling Hayden going on about our "precious bodily fluids" and Strangelove himself.

Dr Strangelove is a brilliant adaptation. Only a genius would think to make it a comedy.

Dr. Strangelove didn't make me laugh. It's just not a special as I was led to believe.

Quote from: MartinTeller on June 18, 2009 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/dr-strangelove-rewatch/)
I previously referred to this as “second tier” Kubrick, but it’s more like 1.5-tier.  Just a hair below my favorites (Shining/2001/Paths of Glory).  It makes me laugh heartily.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 05:38:11 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img14/2161/u5wr.jpg)
Taxi Driver
Martin Scorsese, 1976

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30
7.85
2.147
61

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I have to admit, the style of the film really threw me off from what I was expecting, but once I settled into it, I really enjoyed myself. I don't think it was the best film I have seen, nor do I even feel like it is De Niro or Scorsese's best. But that doesn't also mean that they didn't do outstanding work here. It deserves the praise it gets. I just kind of feel it is one of those that perhaps does not split audiences, which means pretty much everyone thinks it is a good movie, which doesn't necessarily always also make it a great film. There were some really interesting underlying themes here as well, so perhaps with multiple viewings my favor will increase, but as it stands Taxi Driver is just another really good Scorsese/De Niro film.

much quieter, much more interesting than I expected - another one to be glad I caught up with.  I guess there are Scorseses that I find quite fascinatingly compelling - like King of Comedy - and those I loathe - like Goodfellas. This one falls in the former camp. Such a good performance from De Niro - it felt both meticulous and utterly spontaneous.

Please don't make me watch Taxi Driver again. I've tried and I've tried and I've tried.

I saw Taxi Driver for the first time maybe 5 or 6 years ago now... all I remember is that I hated it.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 05:54:28 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img819/3343/m6h6.jpg)
Seven Samurai
Akira Kurosawa, 1954

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24
8.46
2.149
60

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Best movie ever.

I am sure that Seven Samurai is a film that only gets better and better with every viewing (as sdedalus said somewhere around here a few days ago), but I didn't have the amazing first viewing experience with it that many others had. I am aware that I shot myself in the foot a little by watching this film in a state of exhaustion, and that, under different circumstances I could not only have seen that this is a great movie (as I did for the majority of the film), but felt it a lot more as well. I think you know what I mean.

The first half perfects the "assembling a team" sequence with Takashi Shimura being a complete badass and Mifune being a moron (so great). Then the second half is like the world's greatest extended action sequences - the geography of the town almost perfectly delineated and explained, the poetics of badassery, etc. Kurosawa's samurais reminded me of Ford's cowboys - men who are essential to the progress of civilization, but who always remain on the outside looking in. Easily one of the most entertaining movies ever made. I'll probably still be a douche and claim Kurosawa made better movies, but if anyone wants an idea of what, at its highest peaks, cinema can achieve, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this.

In the end I turned out to like it well enough, way more than I had imagined... Admittedly it took me a little while to get used to the style of acting, which draws to the melodramatic... But once I got into it, it didn't bother me too much. Instead I started to enjoy the flow in the storytelling, so nice and smooth, giving plenty of room for every character and plot line to develop, and yet never feeling boring or slow. While the film was a little darkish at moments (it could be my copy that wasn't the best), I was overall impressed by the cinematography. For something made in 1954 it felt strangely modern.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 22, 2013, 06:13:42 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img809/7802/tk7v.jpg)
Alphaville
Jean-Luc Godard, 1965

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13
5.72
2.154
59

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Quote from: MartinTeller on October 20, 2004 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2004/10/20/alphaville/)
Okay, I think I don’t like Godard very much.  Too much pseudo-philosophical nonsense.  Either I didn’t “get” Alphaville, or more likely, there was nothing to get.  A lot of flim-flam babble.  The parts that were supposed to be funny elicited little more than a smile, but the parts that were supposed to be deep and serious were CINECAST!ing hilarious.  I can appreciate how unique and challenging it is, but I didn’t enjoy it much, and I sure wouldn’t bother with it again.

I was enjoying this movie but I kind of got a little lost in the plot and thought the ending was a bit underwhelming.

Don't get me wrong, Alphaville is great.  It was actually the first Godard I ever saw.  But it's really weird.

The dystopian future Godard builds is something we've seen many times before but he gives it enough flair to make it stand out. The fascinating thing is that he uses regular locations and gives them futuristic roles, like a swimming pool as an execution chamber. The technical aspects of Alphaville are quite impressive for the time. One of the first shots is a tracking shot through a building and up an elevator, following the main character. I'd heard some bad things about this film before going in but I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had with it. Godard does a bunch of other experimentations with sound and the visuals and its was a lot of fun to watch.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 11:03:32 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img842/3425/5ttr.jpg)
American Psycho
Mary Harron, 2000

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22
6.44
2.163
58

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Dumb yuppie black comedy/consumerism satire that takes "obvious" to whole new levels.  "Mergers and Acquisitions" / "Murders and Executions", har de har har.  Normally I enjoy composing a scathing review, but I just don't feel like wasting my time on this one.  Whatevs.

The Genesis speech is awe-inspiring.

I got the satire, but it didn't work on any other level, and I felt that it could have been a decent SNL skit, but no more than that. ... I also think that the feminine touches are seen in the film, and there are parts of it shown from a female point of view.  But it was still dull when it wasn't unnecessarily gory.

Really liked it.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 11:25:35 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img24/5401/6la3.jpg)
The Long Kiss Goodnight
Renny Harlin, 1996

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13
5.93
2.165
57

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Yeah, it certainly lacks the polish and sophistication of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, but it is one of my guilty pleasures too.

I love all the characters in this, with their little quirks. Crazy how it basically predicts 9/11 and the conspiracy that emerges from it (with amazing accuracy). This movie delivers in the way only a 90's action/whatever movie can. I'm surprised at the production value. Up there with Speed and the like. It wins at everything it does.

But don't be fooled-- this is no Die Hard.  Far from it.  The throwaway comic lines are the best part of the film.  But this might be the worst acting I've seen from Davis or Jackson.  The last third of the film I laughed so hard because it was just sooo stupid.  If I had the time, even I could do a marvelous Smirnoff review of this one.  It's just too easy.  The script was occasionally clever, but then some actor read a line horribly, or in the middle of a quick action scene they go for a reaction shot.  Honestly, I couldn't stop thinking about how poorly this film was made.

A guilty pleasure for me, where Shane Black's writing wrestles Renny Harlin's direction to the ground. Harlin still gets in a bunch of cheese, but the story and dialogue are much more memorable. One of my favorite Sam Jackson turns. His reactions to Geena Davis are hilarious.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 11:44:00 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img96/4062/1zck.jpg)
The Double Life of Veronique
Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991

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22
7.66
2.169
56

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The Double Life Of Veronique. I won't even pretend that I have a grasp to what this film was trying to say or if it even has anything to say. I felt as I watched that I shouldn't pay so much attention to the details so much as focus on the way the film tries its hardest to achieve the lyrical quality of a poem. If you look at it that way, the film succeeds. I also want to bring attention to the way that the film has purely perfect moments. Little bits and pieces of the film where you can't believe you've never seen a scene quite like this one such as the one where Weronika witnesses herself inside a bus (or does she?) or when Veronique listens raptly to a tape of sounds that someone else has sent her. The film is beautiful.

If The Reader is Oscar bait, then this one is Cannes bait. It’s stunning to look at and Kieslowski photographs Irene Jacob beautifully, but I dunno that kind of thing doesn’t hold my attention the way it does other people. I guess the whole metaphysical thing didn’t really turn my crank, the internet tells me it was an exploration of identity or something. Sure, I’ll buy that. Not that I need things to always be narrative driven, far from it, but for whatever reason nothing really drew me in in a big way. Anyway, it was pretty enough and there were enough good moments to get a good grade.

I've watched it twice now and each time I am drawn in, stunned by the beauty and power of the simple story.  It is intellectually stimulating and sensual, but somehow it is the beauty of it that captures me.  I am misty-eyed at the end of the film, and I don't know why.  It moves me as no other film does, and it is a mystery how it stirs my soul at all.  In all, The Double Life is one of my favorite films of all time.

I just love the way the film focuses on living. There are so many moments where the sound is so carefully constructed - think of the diegetic music sprinkled around, think of the performances throughout, think of the scene with the headphones, think of the ending... There are so many scenes where vision plays a prominent role - think of the opening upside down scene, think of viewing the puppeteer in the mirror, think of viewing the world through the inverting glass ball, think of the photographs... There are so many scenes where touch takes over - think of the rustling with papers in the street, think of the interlocking bodies, think of the failing heart, think of twisting the finger while singing, think of the string twisting in her fingers as one of the clues... I don't think the way these elements are portrayed has any greater significance to the other 'meaning' in the film, but they do convey a sense of the senses, of sensing, of living. I like to bathe in the film.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 12:03:46 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img37/8049/thewildbunchv.jpg)
The Wild Bunch
Sam Peckinpah, 1969

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17
7.03
2.170
55

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Quote from: sdedalus on March 19, 2006 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2006/03/movies-of-year-1969.html)
Sam Peckinpaugh's apocalyptic Western is great, but I've seen it at least three times and it's never been able to stick in my memory. I remember individual parts of it, the brilliant opening sequence especially, but I just can't recall the whole of the film. The mood is what's important though, as Peckinpaugh turns the romantic, mythic Western into a chaotic, bloody hell, and that's always fun.

I was a fan of the action to a point. Very bloody, very raw. Innocent bystanders going down left and right. A real cluster-f***. Peckinpaw made me feel the chaos perfectly without disorienting me as to what was going on. I did have a problem with some of that editing though. The flashier bits had the opposite of the intended effect. Made me think about the technique and not the film. ... I'm intrigued to know there's a shorter cut of the film but disappointed it's only about 10 minutes less. I think there was about 30 minutes worth of stuff I could've done without.

I don't so much hate The Wild Bunch as I hate the reputation around it.

The movie is a lot of fun and perhaps on this re-watch the male bonding stuff feels a little too excessive. It leads to some great moments, but I think having already seen the film, I just sort of tired of it a lot quicker. I also got into the performances a lot more. William Holden was an incredible actor. Stalag 17, Network, this... the man was amazing.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 12:26:24 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img534/2441/3d7l.jpg)
The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan, 2012

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30
6.24
2.177
54

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Quote from: MP on July 21, 2012 (http://www.idfilm.net/2012/07/the-dark-knight-rises-2012.html)
That is to say, from the first moment in which Bane speaks, to the odd one-liner (Batman, stood up by Kyle, quipping "So that's how it feels"), to the final, superlatively edited, feel-good, Inception-like emotional pay-off - in which we feel real joy on behalf of Michael Caine's loyal butler Alfred - there are moments of real superhero excitment here between long bouts of utter drivel.

The new film is just as impressive in its scope – magnified by the IMAX screen – and in the effort that went into it, to the point that I feel almost guilty for not enjoying it more. Nolan again rushes us through this long, epic, rollercoaster ride, like a magician using misdirection so we don't catch on to any of the holes in his tricks; and Hans Zimmer plays the magician's assistant, with his score operating at crescendo for nearly the full running time of the film, constantly prodding us with a locomotive's linear propulsiveness, "this-is-exciting-this-is-exciting-this-is-exciting-don't-look-back-don't-look-back-this-is-exciting-this-is-exciting!" But it's not always exciting. Bale's normal Batman was pretty boring, but his emo Batman is even worse. And yet when he pretty much disappears from the narrative for a full half hour, I realized that I missed him, because he's at least more interesting than Bane.

I'll remember the film just as we experienced it that night, before I listened to all those whiny podcasters:  immersive, thrilling, funny, touching and surprising. And I'll remember the wonderful audience that laughed when it was funny who held their breath when it was exciting and who took up a huge applause as the movie finished. It doesn't get much better in a theatre.

These movies are fun for about 15 or 20 minutes. Then their relentlessly prosaic nature wins out, and you realized you're stuck with Nolan's incredibly oppressive and punishing love of empty spectacle for 3 hours. And then you get really bored.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 12:36:37 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img826/497/m8cs.jpg)
Constantine
Francis Lawrence, 2005

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16
5.89
2.183
53

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villains are almost always coded gay somehow in classic hollywood (and even modern...Constantine, i'm looking at you).  Making a villain with effeminate traits = instant identification with the masculine hero in most of your audience.

I enjoyed it.  Entertaining and effective mix of action and comedy.  Tilda, thanks for your reaction after getting Holy Shotgun-whipped and for driving your foot into Keanu's chest.  Those two moments and Keanu's middle finger are three of the best movie moments I've seen in a while!  Stomare's Lu is the business as is Tilda's Gabriel.

If your in the habit of tuning out critics based on their reactions to certain films, Constantine doesn't leave many to read.

It’s really impressive, with a clever story and some superb directing by first-timer Francis Lawrence.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 12:52:09 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img14/2095/yubj.jpg)
Fanny and Alexander
Ingmar Bergman, 1982

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14
7.45
2.186
52

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I've seen Fanny and Alexander... twice!-- and it just didn't do anything for me.

It was only after watching Fanny and Alexander that I sort of fell in love with Bergman.

Quote from: MartinTeller on December 9, 2011 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2011/12/09/fanny-and-alexander-rewatch/)
This is a film that celebrates the creature comforts of life, finding pleasure in “the little world.”  For as much as Bergman gets saddled with labels like “austere”, here we see him practically spitting in the face of austerity.  The Ekdahl home is joyously lavish, stuffed with artwork and food and precious items.  And of course there’s also the packed-to-the-rafters shop owned by Jacobi, filled with exotic and supernatural mysteries.  Where Fanny and Alexander suffer is in the stifling environment of the barren Vergerus household, forbidden from bringing any of their belongings (the bishop reluctantly allows Alexander to hold on to his battered teddy bear).  It’s a wholehearted endorsement of material, physical decadence.  “Let us be happy while we are happy.”

Embrace the little joys of life: food, theatre, companionship, etc.  Still, art can provide more than diversion and pleasure.  For participants of art whether it's as a creator even as a child or as part of the audience, it can be a means through which we make sense of life and work out our questions and despair. 
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 01:19:34 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img542/5948/theloversonthebridge.jpg)
The Lovers on the Bridge
Leos Carax, 1991

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13
7.32
2.192
51

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Quote from: sdedalus on October 29, 2005 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2005/10/movies-of-year-1991.html)
The film starts with harshly realistic portrayals of homelessness and gradually becomes more and more lyrical and beautiful and romantic. I guarantee it's not like any movie you've seen before.

Quote from: MartinTeller on October 16, 2009 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/les-amants-du-pont-neuf-the-lovers-on-the-bridge/)
I really would like to give this a higher score, because there are so many fantastic scenes, exhilarating moments and bold choices.  But I’m not too comfortable accepting the Alex character (and he’s the center of the film) on the level that I think Carax is asking me to.  I would definitely watch this again, though.

I'm very hesitant to recommend The Lovers on the Bridge because it's a mess, but ultimately I admire the attempt, the performances are wonderful, and the parts that do work are really quite special.

This film is a nasty piece of work. It is one of those things where the ending, in the context of the actions taken by characters in the film, is vile in its happiness.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 04:42:12 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img812/4500/am9f.jpg)
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Mike Nichols, 1966

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16
7.07
2.195
50

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The thought of ever having to sit through Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf again makes me cringe.

The explosive intensity of it is overwhelming, building to a wild and deeply upsetting crescendo.  The final ten minutes are some of the most affecting cinema I've ever witnessed.  Outstanding performances, brilliant dialogue, engaging subject matter, and done with rich cinematography by Haskell Wexler.

I'd rather watch a film that tackles complex emotions in non-terrible human beings.

Needless to say, this is a difficult film.  A tough one for me to recommend it, actually.  But recommend it I do, to those who love great film.  For this deserves the title "American classic" as difficult as it is.  I can't give it full marks because my enjoyment was certainly limited.  But my admiration for the filmmaking-- directing, acting, script and cinematography-- is at it's highest.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 04:58:17 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img541/7617/wq3p.jpg)
F for Fake
Orson Welles, 1973

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19
6.98
2.196
49

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Welles paints the picture with outstanding editing both of picture and sound and couples it with his own commentary straight from the cutting room. With a film like this, Welles' presence is essential, since that is why most of us are tuning in, but even more because he is the man with all the talent. His voice, his ability to tell a story are magnificent. Even if he was not a filmmaker, I would try and argue he was the best storyteller of all time and I have only seen two of his pictures.

And of course Welles narration and presence is always appealing, yet common to what I've come to expect, his structure is tough to grasp. It was far more complex than you'd ever get from that public radio show. Some might appreciate this complexity as artistry, I find it just muddled storytelling. Welles style just overwhelms me, especially when he goes for a lot of quick cuts among clips that do not directly relate to the dialogue. It is sensory overload. Still, I'd argue that this is Welles' best film but another that I appreciate more in theory than in practice.

I appreciated the questions it was asking more than the way it went about asking them.

I really wanted to love F for Fake, but Orson Welles is just so damn smug and his aesthetic here isn't quite as appealing to me as I would have imagined (B-). The final sequence was the least interesting in the movie, for sure.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 05:11:31 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img819/3668/d7tx.jpg)
Dogville
Lars von Trier, 2003

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7.07
2.196
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Dogville was tough for me. I never knew what to make of that stage business. I'm sure there is some artistic intent behind it, but who can say what that is without investigating. I was totally unprepared for it. The mystery of it didn't add anything to my viewing, that's for sure. I didn't find the film itself particularly interesting either, but that's another matter. ... I'd probably enjoy it a lot more if I watched it with the director's commentary.

Lets just say that for the first time I really liked what Von Trier was doing. First of all, the stage play like setting worked splendidly...providing a lot of humor, showing multiple things going on at once in different buildings, etc. I thought it was a terrific style choice.

That was fun...

This has to be one of the largest disparities between the my appreciation of the story and my appreciation of the filmmaking I've ever seen. .. Cutting a half hour would make it passable, cutting an hour would be entirely possible to make it good. There is just too much lolling around and inefficient narration.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 05:25:50 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img20/8158/6af8.jpg)
Yi Yi
Edward Yang, 2000

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7.25
2.196
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At first I liked everything about it, it has a lifelike quality you don't see often. It doesn't build to some spectacular climax, rather it just plods along sometimes going up and sometimes going down, as life does. It does it without being boring (though it could've & should've been shortened; I don't think it would've diminished the effectiveness of it). The characters felt completely real to me, but were often hard for me to relate to... that's not a knock on the movie, but just how it goes. By the end, I was watching for resolution's sake, not because the movie was speaking to me personally.

For the most part, it spends too little time exploring emotions.  There was a whole movie in the reunion of the two lovers, trying to work out why he had left her ... but all we get is bits of this magnificent, emotional turmoil.   We get two lines, no visual of the mother in the temple and I wanted to experince some of what she saw there, not get it told to me.  So, I guess, as strange as it seems, I wanted more out of this three hour movie.  However, I have not gven up on it.  I wll watch it again sometime. 4/5

The last scene had me in floods of tears, but before that I didn't feel fully engaged and engrossed. The film never felt long to me, so the running time wasn't an issue, and I really appreciated the rich panorama of individual stories that were interwoven here. I don't know what else I could have wanted - I loved the theme that I took the translated title A one and a two to refer to: experiencing things for the first time and the questions and confusion you have in extremely emotional, new circumstances (in the storylines of the kids) vs. experiencing things for a second time, being confronted with your past and the decisions you made (the father and the newlywed). ... It was also perfect (if quite melancholy) how all these characters were going through extremely emotionally momentous experiences, and not one of them had any idea what was really happening in the lives of the others.

I have to admit, I turned it off after an hour. The idea of two more hours of this slow, incoherent mess sounded extremely painful. All the bits and pieces didn't seem to add up to anything resembling a narrative, and there were too many inexplicably overwrought reactions; places where you had no reason to believe the strength of the emotional reaction.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 06:30:54 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img21/4797/htid.jpg)
The Fountain
Darren Aronofsky, 2006

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6.79
2.197
46

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We usually don't see ambitious movies like these get made but whenever they are, it's always a treat. Highly recommended.

I found it beautiful and the story engaging, intriguing. ... I find myself more on the side of the skeptic in terms of finding any actual or new profundity in the film (though "nonsense" is a strong term), but I nontheless was moved by Jackman and Weiss's performances and by the stor(ies) they lived. I was fascinated by the idea that none of it was computer-generated, all micro-photography of oils in waters and things - so cool.

I forgot just how unique an experience this film is. Rachel Weisz and Hugh Jackman are two of my favourite performers ever, and they work perfectly together. I love what this film does to me.

I am a bit mixed, while moments of it i thought were very moving, I just could not stay in the film.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 23, 2013, 06:51:02 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img826/7617/4hly.jpg)
Little Children
Todd Field, 2006

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6.43
2.200
45

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eh, Little Children ain't that great.

It's the second best film of 2006.

Little Children has one of the most annoying and distracting narration tracks in the history of film.

Watched it before and still great.  Scares me to what life could be like.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 26, 2013, 11:23:55 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img4/2294/6waj.jpg)
Me, Myself & Irene
Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, 2000

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4.39
2.200
44

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I swear, that exchange between Jim Carrey and Renee Z on the train about the golf course is one of the greats... Carrey is on fire.

ummm. I will say this, the pee joke remains one of the biggest laughs I've had. As for the rest... ummm...

I consider Me, Myself & Irene uniquely terrible. I was a fan of Jim Carrey at the time.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 26, 2013, 11:39:43 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img43/9931/00yg.jpg)
Happy Gilmore
Dennis Dugan, 1996

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5.84
2.201
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Quote from: sdedalus on November 16, 2005 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2005/11/movies-of-year-1996.html)
Adam Sandler's best comedy. It doesn't stand up with the classics made by the former SNL stars of the 70s (Stripes, Animal House, Ghostbusters, Trading Places, Caddyshack, etc) or Sandler's SNL co-regular Mike Myers. But it's a heck of a lot better than the works of later SNL guys like Chris Kattan or Jimmy Fallon. I like him better than Will Farrell too.

Pretty much all the jokes get me every time.

It's funnier in the reminiscing.   

I'd say it's just as annoying as it is funny...
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 26, 2013, 12:16:42 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img713/4153/vlu8.jpg)
Born on the Fourth of July
Oliver Stone, 1989

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6.21
2.202
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...I think it was well executed and overall a good movie.

Really Good

Never been a big Stone fan, he's done a few things I enjoyed but overall everything I've seen has been pretty average or uninspiring.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 26, 2013, 12:58:08 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img843/2425/al0r.jpg)
Shrek
Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson, 2001

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6.05
2.206
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Shrek is pretty fun. The second one isn't as fun. Not interested in the 3rd.

Great lines, great characters, just all around entertaining.

Shrek really isn't interesting or funny...

Quote from: MartinTeller on June 23, 2010 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/shrek/)
When it’s not being “irreverent” and crude, it’s loaded with horribly tired gags, vacuous pop culture parodies, and uninspired attempts at fairy tale irony.  However, it wasn’t a total loss.  The animation is quite good for its era, even managing to avoid the “uncanny valley” on the human characters most of the time.  The story, when stripped of the awful sense of humor, is actually rather engaging and charming.  And I truly enjoyed Eddie Murphy’s performance, his delivery of “Look at my eye twitching” even made me laugh out loud.  It made me long for the days when he did funny movies.  But at the end, the movie pissed away any goodwill it had earned with a jokey montage, over a cover of “I’m a Believer” by… CINECAST!ing Smash Mouth.  So painful.  So painful.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 26, 2013, 01:19:39 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img853/5706/m224.jpg)
Braveheart
Mel Gibson, 1995

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6.14
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I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for Braveheart. I remember watching this late at night while my grandpa slept on my bed in my room. Good times... not really.

I'm really struggling to come up with a few more positive things that I could say, but all I can think of is that the landscapes were astonishingly beautiful.

There hasn't been a Mel Gibson directed movie that I didn't at least admire if not enjoy. He brings something to the table that I don't see very often, but I can't quite put my finger on it. The characters, especially Gibson's Wallace and Gleeson's Campbell, are a lot of fun to watch. Until the end, that is. Then there is the torture and violence that some people don't like about Gibson's movies. I can certainly understand the criticism, but I thought it was well done and effective. And screw historical accuracy. This is a movie, not an essay.

Honestly, Gibson comes off like a psychopath, reveling in heaps of violence (not even entertaining violence... at least Road Warrior is kinda fun), smugly smirking over his own awesomeness.  Incredibly simplistic, almost childlike view of good guys and bad guys.  From what I've read, it's also extremely inaccurate, but I'm no expert on Scottish history so that didn't matter to me.  It was just exceedingly unpleasant to watch.  Points for competent cinematography, convincing enough period detail, and some lovely views of the countryside.  The rest of it is shit.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 26, 2013, 01:48:01 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img690/1210/showmelove.jpg)
F—king Amal
Lukas Moodysson, 1998

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7.84
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Oh boy, did this film ever take me back a few years (back to high school that is, not coming to terms with being a lesbian ;D)! I'm certain I've never seen a film that so accurately portrays those tumultuous years when school feels like the entire world and your adulthood is too distant to factor into it. It's really spot on. ... I was so satisfied with this film, I would recommend it to anybody!

Yeah. I just basically understood these characters and could see them all around me (in various manifestations). CINECAST!, SHE HAS A PICTURE OF MORRISSEY IN HER BEDROOM. These things matter as do the way the camera zooms sort of intensify the focus on the film's characters and the awesome use of music, not only highlighting but being an essential part in understanding the characters. Because, ultimately, it's all about that and if the film doesn't get you on that level then whateverz (to you). Most of the characterizations are pretty much pitch-perfect to me (except the girl in the wheelchair) and the way they're handled (arcs and whatnot) is awesomez (especially, the dude guy with that bit at the end with him crying). The ending is kinda too obvious but if it works for them, it works for me. I could see myself revisiting this and falling more into it. Just loved the heady confusion of it all. Yeah!

While not a particularly new story, the specificity of the characters and performances elevate this above your standard teen flick. And director Lukas Moodysson uses an elegant, handheld indie style that captures the rough realism of the performances (not just from the main girls, but from the excellent supporting cast as well) and keeps the whole thing from feeling less generic than it really is. It's all very quite lovely, and all that realism pays off by making a wildly improbable ending far more emotionally satisfying than it has any right to be.

Overall I liked it, more than Together, and more than I usually like films made in this style.  I still think Moodysson uses and abuses the camera zoom more than anyone else out there.  It's like he's trying to distract you with his erratic push ins, but it wasn't as omnipresent here as in Together.  It also has two very, very likable leads which is great because the rest of the cast is made up of clueless but sometimes earnest adults and your typical batch of snobby, mean girls and clueless guys who just want to have sex. ... Moodysson has created good characters, but struggles to bring the narrative to feature length.  When focusing on the two girls he has my complete attention, but when he expands to the parents, siblings and (especially) friends I lose interest.  The final sequence in the school is great, and very well executed.  I don't know why the film didn't end there.  The chocolate milk scene after is completely unnecessary. ... Other than the location, there's nothing new being discovered in Åmål.  I didn't need him to remind me that all teens are going through emotional turmoil and parents just don't understand no matter how hard they try. That's why The Breakfast Club is a better film, as is Smooth Talk, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the romantic longings of Wong Kar Wai.

Fortunately, the movie was neither as lurid nor as simple-minded as I feared, and is actually a fairly honest depiction of the pitfalls, confusion and cruelty of adolescence.  The two young actresses at the center of the film are both exceptionally good, and although Moodysson's simple camera style doesn't leave much to discuss, it does lend everything a Cassavetes-like intimacy.  There is a certain predictability to it, however, and the ending seems a little too easy given how generally realistic the rest of it is.  But perhaps it's warranted... for these characters, it's the moment that matters, not the future.  Agnes even tells us as much.  Let them have the moment they've earned, cynicism be damned.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 26, 2013, 02:20:47 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img268/2642/kvzr.jpg)
Labyrinth
Jim Henson, 1986

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6.44
2.218
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Yup throwing a baby around is awesome! :p

Another one I don't like as much as everyone else. Just didn't engage with the story and hated Bowie, starting with his look. Is he The Goblin King or The Glam Rock King?

I get decidedly uncomfortable watching babies cry onscreen. This isn't as difficult as Willow, but I keep wanting to say, please, someone, pick up that poor baby. Don't you see the puppets are scaring him? There are a few shots later of him smiling and laughing amongst them, which was put in precisely for people like me. Sigh of relief. Journey movies are tricky for me in general, especially ones where they're not getting anywhere. I got a big dose of that in They Live by Night. This movie ties me up in knots with the moving only to move. I feel like anything they do, could be conceivably thwarted by the Goblin King and he does thwart them, until the movie needs to wrap up. I don't know what that is exactly, but it drives me nuts.

That's exactly what keeps me coming back. I just look at it and shake my head in disbelief. What imagination.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 26, 2013, 02:51:55 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img62/5885/d6l0.jpg)
Life Is Beautiful
Roberto Benigni, 1997

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5.91
2.223
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If you're gonna make a comedy about war, it should at least be funny.

The funniest Holocaust movie I have seen  8) . The kid was so cute and the "rules" scene was hilarious.

I couldn't sit through it. (http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/econs/redface.gif)

I really liked Life is Beautiful and have not just disagreed with the hate it gets but been utterly baffled by it.

I was dead certain I would hate this movie.  My fear was that at best, it would be sentimental tripe, and at worst, a highly offensive soft-pedaling of the Holocaust.  And it is both of those things... but only to a small degree.  What I was unprepared for is how well Benigni transcends these obstacles. ... The film is really quite charming, often beautiful, and genuinely moving. ... Admittedly, it's a fantasy version of a concentration camp, and it puts a bad taste in your mouth if you dwell on that fact too much.  But if you accept the movie on its own terms, it has its rewards.

Quote from: Lobby on September 23, 2011 (http://thevelvetcafe.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/my-life-in-movies-%E2%80%93-1983-1997/)
Over the years I’ve watched a lot of Holocaust movies and read many concentration camp novels, but two works stand out among the rest, hitting me harder than anything else. One is Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus I and II. The other is Life is beautiful, the story of the father who makes his son believe that the death camp is an entertaining competition, as a way to protect him from the horrors. For its dark theme it’s strangely uplifting.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 26, 2013, 05:22:13 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img853/3419/c5hx.jpg)
A. I. Artificial Intelligence
Steven Spielberg, 2001

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7.01
2.237
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it truly is a brilliant failure of a film.  moodwise i think is how it works best and it really takes you into that world.

The re-evaluated love for A.I. is what's misunderstood.

Spielberg's masterpiece.

I really love A.I., and the ending is tear-jerking.

A.I. is a movie I keep wanting to go back to, whenever I think of it I go back and forth between really liking it and 'meh'... I need to finally put it to rest.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 12:24:00 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img543/5051/zybc.jpg)
Sleeping Beauty
Clyde Geronimi, 1959

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6.95
2.239
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Quote from: sdedalus on September 27, 2006 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2006/09/movies-of-year-1959.html)
My favorite of all Disney animated films. The film uses the score of Tchaikovsky's ballet, which I like a lot, even though the Disneyfy it with some silly lyrics and cute woodland creatures. And it's one of the few Disney films with a distinctive visual style, modeled after medieval paintings (angular, two-dimensional people, lack of shadow, etc). It's also got on the of the scariest villains in Disney films and the greatest, fastest climactic battle sequence. Cutting the comic relief of the annoying witches (faeries?) would make it a near perfect film. As it is, it can only be very good. Damn you Walt Disney!

Sleeping Beauty is the most beautiful and artistic Disney Animated film of the pre-Beauty and the Beast era.  This film is a gorgeous marvel, a sparse narrative told through breathtaking visual set-pieces. ... I.  Love.  This.  Movie.

This was a joy to watch. ... The animation did not stun me ever, except maybe the dark stuff, that was cool. But the story was so strong, as were the characters, that the film was still laid out quite beautifully.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 12:51:35 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img837/6346/greygardensv.jpg)
Grey Gardens
Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer, 1975

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13
7.72
2.239
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Quote from: MartinTeller on December 19, 2009 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/grey-gardens/)
A uniquely captivating documentary.  “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” (who happen to be the aunt and cousin of Jackie O) while away their years in a dilapidated house in upstate New York.  The crumbling residence is an apt metaphor for their lives, full of stories but with all its glamour fading.  The interactions between the two are very Cassavetes, lots of rambling stories, backhanded compliments, tangential observations and brief spurts of bickering.  Little Edie in particular is a character in every sense of the word, with the most surprising and amusing speech mannerisms.  She longs to escape Grey Gardens, but these two are so fiercely co-dependent that you can’t imagine one existing without the other.  The film does get rather one-note, and the note can be quite shrill, but it’s hard to look away from this unusual trainwreck.

This documentary is a good assemblage of everything I hate in documentary. For starters, it feels highly exploitative of these batty old women who just happen to be related to someone legitimately famous. Maybe they went along with it or even reveled in the attention, but the only way they can classify as interesting subjects is if you are interested in laughing at these strange individuals. And the fact that I didn't find the subject interesting made the Wiseman-like unstructured capturing of discussions utterly interminable. Wiseman has great taste in subjects so he can get away with this, I'm not convinced the Maysles have that.

Fascinating documentary that sits somewhere between unapologetically inclusive (the film crew are a part of the narrative from its outset) and awkwardly but necessarily intrusive. The film takes as its title the name of the grounds it was filmed on, but there isn't much of the place actually seen, nor are the wealth and privilege precluding its erection (and continued inhabitancy) questioned. Instead, the location itself governs the practical approach (and limitations), which unavoidably strips cinema to its elemental minimum - a camera and a microphone - and feeds into the film's own aesthetic as well as the thematic claustrophobia. It's a frank and moving film in which the subjects, shot in unfurnished close-ups, are apparently free to make their own narrative. The observational style suggests a mutually enabling life for its two 'characters', one full of dormant regrets and half-acknowledged delusions of talent never quite tested in the real world.

Old senile ladies, constantly bickering, conflicting emotions on my part; am I allowed to laugh at these people, so socially and mentally unsound? There is something sad here, yet nothing about the film is exploitative. The Maysles just sit back and observe, they let the Edie's do the talking. In some ways this is a very fascinating sociological study about isolation and old age.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 01:41:25 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img853/447/gecg.jpg)
Andrei Rublev
Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966

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14
7.10
2.242
33

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I still have no idea what I saw except a filmmaker who really knew how to use a camera and had no idea how to tell a story.

I checked out so hard last time I would consider this my first official viewing of Rublev. And while I didn't really dig it, I understood it and I understood its acclaim. ... But I don't hate Tarkovsky anymore.

Fascinating, complex piece, long in length and novelistic in style, it remains one of Tarkovsky's more historically concentrated films, though necessarily limits itself to a reimagining of a real life artist about whom little is actually known. As a result, it's a self-reflexive work on the process by which an individual intellectual is informed by the social and historical phenomena around him, and the political particularities under and in response to which he works. Its imagery betrays an ambition and its narrative approach betrays a confidence, finding as it does a blend between the creative and the grounded - as does indeed its protagonist in the film; a philosophical epic, it also doubles as a detailed period piece depicting Russia's own religious, political and social (and therefore artistic and intellectual) identity at a time of violent upheaval preceding Tsarism, made itself under Stalinist censorship. Remarkable.

I fully see the error in my rating, for in no way is this actually an average film. I suppose the term "average" only fits with my experience with the film, as lackluster and uninspiring as I found it. It just feels like something that I have to piece together over time to finally come to fully appreciate. If I muster the courage and patience to watch the film again, and potentially again, I fully expect my appreciation of the art of this film to only grow. I will let you know if I even ever have the nerve.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 02:14:06 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img651/893/jurassicparkho.jpg)
Jurassic Park
Steven Spielberg, 1993

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30
7.61
2.246
32

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Damn, those dinos hold up well. The acting could do with being a little better, but when you have Goldblum owning the snark and Attenborough being the most compelling wide eyed enthusiastic optimist you can imagine it's easy to forgive the weaknesses. It's all secondary to the majesty of the sets and effects anyway; The film captures wonder and awe at nature and 20 years later it feels just as fresh and incredible as the day it came out. Spielberg doesn't always do it for me, but this film shows superb craftsmanship, an wonderfully paced adventure film with nary a low point and a lot of great highs. It's also a film that isn't afraid to throw in some comedy, but does so in a very organic way that doesn't intrude if you don't find it funny. A true cinematic masterpiece.

So many script problems. This was probably the first blockbuster for me where days later the problems were quickly lowering my opinion of the film. In the end, there are two of the finest sequences of Spielberg's career - the T-Rex and the Raptors in the kitchen.

Every time I watch this film I worry that this will be the instance it slips from the number one spot on my all time list. Then we get to the first dinosaur reveal with the Brachiosaurus and I'm smiling like I was the first time I saw it at age 10 and know that it's position is safe. ... The T-Rex attack was as hair raising as ever and the Tyrannosaurus roar sent chills down my spine accompanied with a surprising amount of anxiety for a scene I've seen countless times. Almost precisely twenty years since my initial viewing(and who knows how many in between) 29 year old me got to spend two hours in the shoes of the 10 year old boy who was utterly floored the first time I visited Jurassic Park.

This film was a defining moment of my childhood.  I had one experience in a drive-in movie theater before they went the way of the dinosaur.  It wasa double feature of Rookie of the Year and Jurassic Park.  By the time JP came on, both my younger sisters were asleep, leaving just my parents and I to watch the second feature.  I was a dinosaur freak (like most kids) so I was on board right from the start.  I will never forget being in that minivan, seeing the glass of water shake and feeling the vibrations in my seat as the soundtrack blasted through the car speakers.  I half expected a T-Rex to rip open the top of the car and eat my sisters (and as a ten year old who thought girls were dumb, I would have jumped for joy). ... So everytime I watch this, my viewing experience is colored by that first time so I may have somewhat of a bias.  But I still believe Jurassic Park to be one of the most exciting, entertaining movies out there.  I'll concede some of the acting borders on bad (even though I love Jeff Goldblum) and a lot of the science may have some big holes in it.  But from start to finish, the film is entirely enjoyable and engaging.  The humor elements are great and the scary parts are truly terrifying.  But the shining moment of this film is the effects.  You could stack the practical and CGI effects in this film up against any movie out today and they will perform admirably.  It is just an awesome action/sci-fi film that I will love forever.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 02:44:14 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img844/881/caa6.jpg)
Goodfellas
Martin Scorsese, 1990

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26
8.26
2.247
31

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I'd also forgotten how epic the story in Goodfellas was, and how messy and unweildy at times. The narration really hurts here. Though it serves the film alright in the first half, at a certain point in becomes kind of a nuisance, creating too much distance between viewer and story, so that the story felt less epic and more just like empty montage. Even with that obstacle, though, the second half is still more engaging than not, and it's all pretty good to great. The minute-by-minute breakdown of that one day felt like an empty promise, and I could have done without Liotta breaking the fourth wall (another one of those "I appreciate the idea, but that kind of sucked" moments), but, with apologies to Junior, it's still a pretty good film, I think.

I don't think the film as aged as well as Scorsese's other work.  Perhaps because it is so much a genre film, and its success inspired so much further development of that genre. ... It's great, but it feels weirdly out of place, neither of the classical past nor the present moment.  Maybe that doesn't make any sense.

Goodfellas is a pretty darn good movie. It’s fun to be Mr. Contrarian, but to my mind, Goodfellas lives up to the hype. It doesn’t have The Godfather’s prestige ambitions, this isn’t grand classical tragedy or a critique of American capitalism, it’s about middle managers/wiseguy working stiffs, and I like that. I guess at its essence it’s a standard morality play, these actions ultimately have consequences, they rise and then they fall. What it lacks in structural originality it makes up for with good performances, terrific use of music, and awesome editing. It’s slick and stylized, and I like that stuff more than I maybe should.

The Goodfellas episode of Community is better than Goodfellas.

The movie was masterly made.  Here is a filmmaker at the top of his craft. ... The narration was good-- perhaps used a little too much, but when Karen started in her narration, that was excellent.  The editing was perfect.  Breaking the fourth wall at the end was surprising and perfectly timed.  The plot was paced perfectly.  If I were going to film school I would watch this film over and over because it is an almost perfectly made film. ... However, I am not in film school.  And despite the perfect technique, I hated every character in this film, and I hated almost everything they did.  I had no sympathy for them.  No one, at any time, had an ethical moment where they considered whether what they were doing was right.  Sure, I get the theme.  The system was self-destructive, it couldn't last.  But in reality, if Henry hadn't moved into drugs, that system could have continued.  Frankly, I am disgusted.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 03:04:40 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img197/7681/49v4.jpg)
Meet Me in St. Louis
Vincente Minnelli, 1944

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15
6.53
2.252
30

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I really want to like this film, love this film even, but ... I just don't get it. ... But I know that Judy will sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" soon and make everything better.

uh, this was hell to get through. All prim and proper, all Hallmark postcard-y. Just hell. Maybe it's because I miss the dancing and the physical inventiveness that it provides but I just didn't find much of this interesting. I mean, sure, the sets and color were all great but whatever. I think the uprooting of the family is interesting but it's too fluffy and cutesy and whatever for me to care about it. My two biggest complaints are that I don't really like the songs that much (except for one exception) and I guess I don't like Judy Garland. I mean, she was great in The Pirate cuz she was acting all insane and throwing shit around but here it's just boring. The only song that was memorable is "Have Yourself a Merry Christmas." It's CINECAST!ing sublime with a fantastic set-up and a great delivery. The final moments of the film make me think I like it more than I do, actually. But it's hard for me to forget how bland and uninteresting the rest is.

Really, really underwhelmed by this film.

I would argue that Meet Me in St. Louis is a film that could be improved with a remake.  I see special magic all over, but in it's current state it's completely wrong.

My main beef was that there weren't enough songs.  In the 50+ minutes between "Trolley Song" (pure, exuberant joy) and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (so gorgeously sorrowful I had to watch it twice) there's only "You and I" to break it up.  Now, that's a lovely little tune, but that's a long period with only one song for a musical.  But you know, I didn't mind it so much.  The songs are magnificent, but there's enough of them in the first half.  I enjoy the characters so much that it's okay that the second half isn't much of a musical, focusing more on the wonderful interactions in this family.  Terrific performances all around, especially Garland, Bremer and Astor. ... I still don't feel quite right bumping this up to "Masterpiece" status, but it's definitely a film I enjoy immensely, and brings some tears to my eyes.

Subtle melancholy hidden in the technicolor. The impermanence of all things...

My 9-year old and I watched this together - and we both fell in love.

It was a nice couple of hours, and certainly had its strong points, but didn't really strike a chord with me. ... It was a beautiful film to look at though. The costumes and sets were marvelous, and filmed with full color, vibrant. The screen seemed drenched with it. Judy Garland is a national treasure by the way. Not sure why I don't have more of her in my life, like all the time, every day. Such a beautiful voice and a kinetic personality on screen. One can't help but fall in love with her and root for her. The interactions between the sisters and the whole family actually were pretty wonderful. A great portrait of the midwestern family. I just wish there had been more memorable moments throughout, as I struggle to recall anything too specific about it.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 04:17:02 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img38/5417/t1ij.jpg)
Clue
Jonathan Lynn, 1985

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18
6.09
2.260
29

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Quote from: sdedalus on September 24, 2005 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2005/09/movies-of-year-1985.html)
One of the few attempts to make a modern screwball comedy that actually works. And, as far as I know, the only good movie adaptation of a board game ever.

Murder By Death lite.  It even includes two of the actors who were in Murder by Death, and had a number of scenes that were reminiscent of that movie.  However, it simply wasn't as funny, so reminding me of the much better movie didn't help.  Still, it was fun.

The first half is just okay, with probably an equal number of laughs and groaners. But once Tim Curry takes over the film, it's fantastic.

I just really, really hate Clue...

I just watched Clue a month ago so I know it isn't just bad memory telling me it is awesome.

I really liked Clue when I was a kid but I don't have a strong attachment to it or anything.

I love this film so much. It is just so funny. I loved playing the game as a kid and I loved it for the same reasons I love this film, it is just too much fun. Tim Curry and Madeline Kahn are so funny in this and the rest of the characters are played out nicely. So many little things about the film, so many great quotes you can take from it, and one of the funniest, best endings. It may be easy to figure out if you are really paying attention to the mystery, but how can you do that when you are spending so much time laughing? This is one of those movies for me that I could just watch in a loop.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 04:34:34 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img585/6448/mhm7.jpg)
A Woman Is a Woman
Jean-Luc Godard, 1961

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14
6.91
2.265
28

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Often irresistible but also a little too cute (the book title thing for example) for me to love it. It looks great and it's good fun. I can't even imagine how much my wife would hate this one. 

Perhaps my favorite Godard movie. A lot of funny 4th wall moments and good goofy stuff in general. I don't remember laughing this much the first time through.

There are some wonderfully playful moments (like when Angela and Émile communicate by pulling books off their shelf), but Godard prefers to play around with his actors instead of grounding the characters and giving the emotional side of the plot some feeling of consequence. Godard doesn't care about Angela's desire to have a kid and so I don't either. I especially hate the score, which is doing some kind of over-bearing anti-musical thing. It constantly lays the groundwork for the characters to break into song and occasionally they would half-heartedly take the bait. More often it quickly switches to a new melody, as if somebody's iPod got stuck on 'Sample Shuffle' during the sound mix. Another frustrating misuse of talent from Godard, who includes the line "I don't know if this is a comedy or a tragedy, but it's a masterpiece." No. It. Isn't.

It is a comedy, but A Woman is a Woman isn't most effective as one. There are many levels to enjoy it on, but I enjoyed it most as a study of a loving, slightly deranged relationship, and the indecisive woman driving it.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 04:59:18 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img14/4119/dr88.jpg)
Pi
Darren Aronofsky, 1998

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23
6.23
2.265
27

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It was a little obvious. Religion is bad. Consumerism is bad. Alright. I get it. Some of the acting was a little sub-par, but... This movie is so damn intense. It is riveting and I was engrossed throughout. It is aurally as well as visually arresting. As a former math nerd the whole concept was intriguing.

This film just works on every level, for me.

I had trouble getting interested in this. The story was just slow and I didn't care about it. I never really liked math in school and the idea that this guy is trying to find the ultimate pattern of the universe in numbers was insignificant in my mind. It was done in an interesting, and bizarre, way by Aronofsky that allowed me to sit through the whole thing. But it just wasn't my bag, baby.

Fun "losing-my-mind" kind of movie. The more I watch lower budgeted films, the more my filmmaking sensibilities actually feel like there is hope for what I'm going to try to be accomplising in five to ten years time.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2013, 05:35:57 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img838/4020/y3y7.jpg)
Nashville
Robert Altman, 1975

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15
7.31
2.274
26

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Nashville was a huge disappointment for me. Not just because of a its reputation, but its themes and subjects are right up my alley: music, politics, the 70s. What was with the car crash at the airport? I was cringing. 

Released in 1975, Nashville remains one of the most quintessentially American films ever made.  A portrait of a specific time and place, Altman's vision is of a packed microcosm of society that represents all the hopes and fears, the underlying tension and paranoia embedded in the nation.  His characters include the top (fictional) country stars, folk and gospel singers, all surrounded by a pack of wannabes, hangers on, political figures and even a couple of movie stars.  Some are just there for the groove and good feelings.  Others have more sinister intentions.  Altman makes it impossible to tell one from the other, moving people in and out of each other's lives like a complex game of musical chairs.

I agree it was too long.  Still, I don't know what I would cut out.  Perhaps it was all too painful for Altman to cut anything, so he just left it all in, critics be damned!

Over the first 80 minutes of the 160 minute runtime (I'm sorry, but I just couldn't be bothered to keep going), there is essentially no direction or momentum. I couldn't begin to tell you what happens in the second half because nothing was established. It's just a bunch of shallow characters existing in Nashville, with music.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 28, 2013, 11:52:28 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img856/479/4yct.jpg)
Planet Terror
Robert Rodriguez, 2007

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17
6.16
2.277
25

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All of Planet Terror was balls to the wall action. It was great. I love everything about this movie. I had to turn my head away from the screen during parts of it (especially when a certain somebody did a certain cameo) and it was probably the goriest thing I have seen since Brain Dead. That being said, every single character in this movie was gold. Michael Biehn, Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Josh Brolin. All fantastic. This movie was perfect.

Planet Terror really only worked for me as a film within that grindhouse context, seen in a crowded theater with an enthusiastic audience, appreciative of films that were appreciative of us.  I really can't imagine watching it at home on DVD.

I laughed so hard at this.  I truly love Rodriguez, mostly when he refuses to take himself seriously.  This is quite possibly the perfect example of this.  A zombie film so full of gags and "bloopers" and editing errors and mysterious props and cheesy special effects and impossible makeup and costume changes and... it was great.  The greatest "bad" movie ever.  Another good thing, though, is he allowed most of his actors to play it straight.  So it was reasonably good acting under the "worst director" ever.  So much fun.

This movie would be ideal viewing if you had a few buddies over and wanted some good entertainment. There's lots to oooh and aaah at and a good amount of laughs too. It's preposterous to the max. ... When a talented director with a good budget sets out to make a old fashion zombie movie it's hard not to like the results. It was pitch perfect. Everyone involved seemed to get it. It felt like a tribute not a parody.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 28, 2013, 02:04:00 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img11/4222/9zfp.jpg)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Tobe Hooper, 1974

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18
7.16
2.278
24

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I'm too scared to see it.

The first third occurs mostly before the main body of the action and then by the time the final third starts, it feels like most of it should have winded down, even though the final third contains the best of the horror action. The beginning and end needed compression to let the middle be developed more effectively. As it is, I felt very little tension or horror from this, it was all too ridiculous.

The film starts perfectly with those flashbulb images and the squeaky sound effect. Then for quite a while it settles into bad, cheap movie mode with some terrible acting. The film's reputation comes from that final third where the heroes often think they are about to get away, only to plunge further into the dark heart of that twisted family. (The dinner scene works as both horror and satire, poking fun at the people we call "family.")

This movie isn't very good. It's full of bad acting and silly plot choices. It's not particularly well filmed, for the most part, though there are moments of greatness and the aesthetic works for the movie it's trying to be. ... But also, this movie is amazing.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 28, 2013, 04:00:12 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img19/2707/ihgm.jpg)
Miami Vice
Michael Mann, 2006

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21
5.74
2.286
23

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Quote from: sdedalus on August 1, 2006 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2006/08/movie-roundup-i-need-new-hat-edition.html)
In essence a sequel to Heat, it covers the same terrain of professionals who are obsessed with their jobs. The difference is that this time there's no need for all the speeches foregrounding the themes. Instead, there's hardly any dialogue at all that isn't mumbled, jargonic and oblique. That's a good thing, as far as I'm concerned at least. Visually, the film is stunning. Mann, with this and Collateral (#11, 2004) has done some pioneering work with high-definition digital cameras. The daytime scenes are filled with light, vibrant, colorful and incredibly detailed (the digital camera has an unbelievable depth of focus), while the night scenes are blurry, fuzzy, and impressionistic.

It was good enough, but not great. I liked the visual style and the story, but, for me, the acting wasn't there. Did Mann forget to tell the actors to speak up? I couldn't hear half of what was said, which made it unnecessarily hard to follow the plot. The action scenes were incredible, and I liked a couple parts a whole heck of a lot, but other times, I was underwhelmed.

I got bored with it. It looked great though.

Not even Gong Li, who I love in just about anything, could get me to really enjoy this.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 28, 2013, 05:04:57 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img31/9650/oldboyy.jpg)
Oldboy
Park Chan-wook, 2003

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27
7.26
2.287
22

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The film was very well made I thought. The score was something that complimented the tone of the film well. The electronic parts were cool and slick, which matched up with the visual style of most of the film. And the more traditional parts matched up well with the understated moments in the film. The angles and shots Park capture are quite good and interesting. The style helps match the violent and fast paced film. Violence doesn't usually do it for me, but every once in a while, a violent film will come along that does.

I’m still bothered by the strangeness, but it never detracts too much from the main story, and the unforgettable performance of Choi Min-sik. ... This is not a film for everyone.  Emotionally charged and coldly manipulative, Park really knows how to twist the knife a few times over at the end. If you're curious about his movies, this is the one to start with. ... But I so could’ve done without the ants.

The first time I was repulsed while the second time I felt there was no justification behind the repulsiveness. I really don't want to revisit the film a third time despite how masterfully put together everything feels.

Oldboy single-handedly put my interest in Asian cinema on hold for several years.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 28, 2013, 05:47:32 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img24/8118/95t8.jpg)
I'm Not There.
Todd Haynes, 2007

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17
6.99
2.295
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It's more of a cerebral experience than anything and those are the kind of films that I admire more than I genuinely like.

I re-watched it yesterday and I've gone from cautious appreciation to enthusiasm. With that said I can't imagine non-Bobmaniacs getting in to this film. Except maybe film geeks who like to spot the Fellini and Godard references.

I'm not a Bobmaniac (though what I've heard of his I generally like) and I'm not yet geeky enough (I hope to attain geekdom one day) to spot Fellini and Godard references, but I absolutely loved I'm Not There. Partly because the performances are so good, partly because the whole concept of approaching a biopic in this way appeals to my post-modern and/or literary sensibilities.

Quote from: sdedalus on January 16, 2008 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2008/01/movies-of-year-2007-part-two.html)
Haynes steadfastly refuses to engage the question of who Bob Dylan is. Far more interesting (and knowable) is the question of what our idea of Bob Dylan is. ... I was always going to be a sucker for this film, huge Dylan fan that I am, so it's not really a surprise that I'd rate it this highly. There's far too much to it to take in in only one viewing, and there's no 2007 film I look forward to revisiting more again and again.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 28, 2013, 06:04:51 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img819/6299/mt96.jpg)
Lost Highway
David Lynch, 1997

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7.02
2.303
20

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It's David Lynch... His films are crazy and weird and operate on their own dream logic. I don't think that's what makes this film remarkable though. The man can do creepy better than just about anybody else. I kept playing the first Mystery Man scene over and over again and it kept creeping me out so much. I also loved all the noir stuff even though I haven't seen many of those type of films. If nothing else, the film has given me one of my new all-time favorite sequences which not only proves that Lynch can do more than just weird, it proves that he can do pure cinema as the best of them (all while setting up Arquette as an awesome femme fatale). ... It's a trip but it's one well-worth taking.

It's a fascinating, trashy piece of mind-blowing pulp.  And it's hard to think of anyone besides Lynch who could pull something like this off...

There are so many things that I don't understand about this film, and I think Lynch wanted it that way.

Lost Highway ... drew me in from start to finish, and put me on an emotional roller coaster ride. There is such a distinct look and feel to the film, it is a director‘s vision completely realized on film.

The interplay of sound + vision is so unnerving (unlike Eraserhead which is simply shocking) and yet riveting at the same time.  Obviously script and plot take a back seat in these films but there is enough there to propel you thru the madness.

i didn't love the first act as much as most people i guess ... it feels so empty after the credit sequence ... and it's all kind of borderline camp (which seems to interest lynch) ... i kept thinking how much fun mst3k could have with it ... i do prefer lynch when he does like pure mood, though ... pullman disappearing into the blackness, etc ... at times i thought it overly reliant on the music to create the mood ... when he's not doing pure atmosphere, lynch and i don't really seem to gel ...
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on August 28, 2013, 06:43:39 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img545/3737/9rnj.jpg)
Blowup
Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966

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13
7.05
2.312
19

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Quote from: MartinTeller on September 24, 2004 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2004/09/24/blow-up/)
I have to admit, I don’t know what to think.  Not that I found the movie confusing, just that my reaction to it is very lukewarm.  I found it intriguing, engaging, very well photographed, and unique.  I would even say I liked it.  And yet… I don’t like it a lot.

The enlargement sequence is one of the best process scenes ever; and the ending is sublime. You can hate the other stuff, I suppose, but not that! And not the Yardbirds!

I hate Blow-up.

I should clarify that my hatred of Blow-up might be because I saw it when I was in middle school. I'm thinking it probably went over my head. ... It's a fun film to hate though...

Apart from the two scenes pix mentioned... I don't much care for it either.

Blow Up suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 03, 2013, 05:13:49 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img844/9294/m839.jpg)
Across the Universe
Julie Taymor, 2007

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5.16
2.316
18

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Laughable. Embarrassingly bad. If I had seen this when they were doing the poll for biggest turkeys, well, this would be my choice.

Best when Max is onscreen. Some songs worked, others didn't. When they worked they were above average, but when they didn't, they sucked hard. And Joe Cocker was awesome as a bum/pimp/hippie.

Not terrible, but not great either.  A totally unfocussed mess, but that's never really a negative for me.  I think it needed either better actors or a better story, it might have been great with one of those things.  Instead, the leads are depressingly uncharismatic and the, I think intentionally, generic story isn't interesting enough to carry the weight (ahem) of the songs.  I think the Powerpuff Girls episode "Meet The Beat-Alls" is undoubtedly the superior Beatles-based work.

Fun musical, but proof again that the only people who should do the Beatles' music is the Beatles.

Now that's a kiss.

The narrative felt too haphazard to cater to getting as many Beatles classics in as possible... And in relation to that thought, it was a little too weird for my liking... I liked it at the end of the day, and probably because I am such a huge Beatles fan. Did you notice how Prudence comes in through the bathroom window? I thought it was a nice touch. Little things like that.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 03, 2013, 06:14:15 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img845/625/s1ts.jpg)
Kids
Larry Clark, 1995

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6.29
2.321
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...exploitive kiddie porn in lefty art clothing...

Kids is really good.

One of the most impressive things about Kids, for me, is the way it captured the largely monotonous lives of its characters without becoming monotonous itself. ... There are some bad moments (the editing early on between the boys' conversation and the girls' conversation only exacerbates the script's didacticism in that sequence), but for the most part the very subtle direction is really effective at maintaining energy and engagement through these scenes, despite the unpleasantness on display. Also, despite the nature of the characters, I think the film does a really excellent job of capturing the vibrancy of a youthful summer in the city — better than either Raising Victor Vargas or Chop Shop, for example.

I certainly wouldn't call Kids bad filmmaking, in fact I remember a few sequences that were quite impressive. For instance the party scenes in the last act unfolds in a very natural vérité-like style that I really liked. ... I think my main problem with the film is that it has nothing much to say; for me it was little more than indie/art-film does moral panic exploitation film. ... And the ending is so bad. 

It's said Kids is cautionary tale, made to show us the kinds of things young teens end up doing when they have nothing else to do. Okay, what else? The answer is, nothing. This movie could've been made into a short public service announcement and achieved just as much. You know those World's Wildest Police Chase shows, it's the same gimmick here, only this is the perverted teenage version. It's above and beyond what is necessary to make the point, but unlike police chases this isn't fun to watch. And I'm not even sure I believe this movie is meant as a wake up call. I find the lack of moral reckoning is cause for suspicion. It makes me wonder about the director. He seems content to merely observe. It's like he wanted to make a documentary, but since a documentary wouldn't be as graphic he made a movie instead. I find the whole thing a rather dubious accomplishment.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 03, 2013, 06:41:04 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img16/1688/4gvq.jpg)
Un Chien Andalou
Luis Buñuel, 1929

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6.27
2.372
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Quote from: MartinTeller on July 1, 2008 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2008/07/01/un-chien-andalou-rewatch/)
Un Chien Andalou is always easy to return to, not just because it’s only 16 minutes long, but it’s also so damn enjoyable.  I love how it practically DEFIES you to interpret it (where do you even begin with a man who steals his woman’s armpit hair and replaces his mouth with it??)… and yet you can’t help but try to attach meanings to the strange, and sometimes contradictory, events unfolding.  And it’s just CINECAST!ing hilarious too.

Meh. ... Does very little for me, unfortunately. I thought I would get a kick out of some pretty cool images untethered to anything but that didn't happen for me unfortunately. Mostly, I was just bored. SARI EVERYONE OMG

Bunuel's first film is on youtube, so I gave it a watch. This one is for the Eraserhead type crowd, which fortunately I consider myself a part of. some really grisly images, including the famous shot involving an eye near the beginning. I just had a cold shiver thinking about it. A "fun" exercise in surrealism.

This is pretentious garbage.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 04, 2013, 11:32:23 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img855/4521/eukz.jpg)
Domino
Tony Scott, 2005

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5.21
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Quote from: MartinTeller on October 15, 2005 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2005/10/15/domino/)
Lays on everything too thick — big explosions, loud soundtrack, shaky zoomy camera, overly “cool” characters with lots of zippy one-liners.  Also, kinda confusing.  But not too bad, Rourke and Knightley are charismatic enough to carry the picture and make it entertaining.  I’m not sure how I feel about the bizarro cameo by Tom Waits.  It was like “oh that’s funny” and then “oh that’s kinda dumb”.

...like having sex with a tornado...

All the different elements kind of harmonize right at the end, and suddenly you're making the jump to light speed.

The nadir of Tony Scott's developing hyper-kinetic style. This wasn't a wild ride like True Romance, it was a headache.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 04, 2013, 11:52:07 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img855/1088/znky.jpg)
Being There
Hal Ashby, 1979

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6.61
2.399
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Quote from: sdedalus on September 2, 2005 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2005/09/movies-of-year-1979.html)
A clever movie, but not as smart as people seem to think it is. Peter Sellers is great. It's one joke gets a little tiresome after awhile.

While I liked how it started and the overall concept, I didn't quite buy it in the end.  I just didn't think they would all be fooled into thinking he was this brilliant person.  Maybe I shouldn't say fooled, as Peter Seller's character was not trying to do something intentionally, but I don't think they would have all misunderstood him to be some genius that is able to convey a message for the common man.

... the first film that really made me realize how all films communicate, not just the big ones ... I'd seen Peter Sellers do his usual slapstick routine and his multiple personality deal, but this movie was subtle and quiet and funny, but not in a laugh out loud way.  I understood the political satire and the funny sadness that made Chauncey such a great character. ... So I think that it was when I saw this film, two years after Star Wars, that I realized what the power of film was.  Not just an entertainment, but a force that can change minds, and so change lives.

The performance here from Sellers is an interesting, highly mannered one. Yet that manner is so dry that it makes the film a bit aching at times. The film feels hours long under the weight of its overly formal nature. It's an interesting idea that just doesn't pan out.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 04, 2013, 01:03:05 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img829/2474/iah3.jpg)
The New World
Terrence Malick, 2005

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7.69
2.403
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So while I've spent a lot of time here complaining about the film's sentimentilzation and idealization in the first act, ultimately, I do like this film a lot - the performances were all so good (even Farrell's), I loved the pacing, and of course, I was rewarded once again by the amazing sensuality and beauty of the cinematography.

Malick shows us the Indians through the eyes of the colonists, and then shows the colonists through the eyes of the Indians.  The trip to England is, for me, the crucial sequence of the whole film.  It crystalizes the idea that the meeting between the two peoples was a dual discovery of two new worlds.  Wes Studi wandering through the geometrically manicured gardens is as full of awe and terror as Colin Ferrell lost in the swamp.  This is a radical decentering of perspective in film, wherein the focus on contact between European and Indian is always the discovery of one by the other and where one side is always demonized (Dances With Wolves).

so what if malick is a tree f—ker.  maybe the guy just like sap on his gonads.

I love everything about this film. Most romantic film ever?

The New World was so dreadfully boring that I've blocked out most memory of it.

Never have I been more disappointed at not seeing a film on the big screen. ... This is one of the finest crafted films ever made, and full of power and emotion.

Editorially, a fascinating work, unfolding in constant ellipses whereby the dialogue of a scene is voiced over its 'establishing' shot(s) and great, complex use is made of the Kuleshov effect. It lends a real sweep to the narrative, a deeply suggestive and elusive sophistication tempered by a childish curiosity and romanticised whimsicality that embodies the duality of explorative science and imperial expansion, the latter being at the intrinsic expense of an alluring foreign people. It's a seductive work that both complicates and problematizes its own subject matter, and builds through ever-shifting perspectives to an extraordinary climactic sequence. Lubezki's cinematography is beautifully naturalistic, his imagery edited together to imbue an associative symbolism; its finest achievement might be the humane authenticity with which it combines two transitional processes: that by which a female holds onto a past romance whilst a more enduring love carries her along with a certain inevitability, and that by which two new worlds clash with a cyclical, to-and-fro tension with one another, their history forever entwined thereafter if determined by the more advanced oppressor.

Obviously I do have some complaints, of which some might have to do with that I watched it "the wrong way". On the other hand I'm not immune against all the beauty and his efforts to make movie poetry. It's a good movie for someone like me who like nature photography and bittersweet love stories.

You know when a movie works? It's when you finish and realize that before watching it, you were functioning half asleep and now never want to go back to that state again.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 04, 2013, 02:43:50 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img607/9996/cuku.jpg)
Dead Man
Jim Jarmusch, 1995

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6.82
2.438
12

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There is much to like about this movie. Sharp, beautiful black and white cinematography; A sound track that really works wonderfully; Bizarre characters that were fun to watch; and a story that befitting any good western. So are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, it's the pacing. It's too slow. I was nearly entranced with the first half, interested in the third quarter, and getting very restless for the last 20 minutes. Ultimately, what does one make of this film? My experience with it paralleled that of the main character, a steadily fading interest for a steadily fading man.

Dead Man is (are you ready for this? it will shake you to your very foundation. if you don't already know what i'm going to say here go back through my voluminous post history and find all of the times i have commented on dead man. it's not a small number. my feelings are well known.) a pretty great film. ... It has one of the best scores for this whole decade (tied with Last of the Mohicans?) and it's pretty to look at, too.

...an intense visceral experience...

Why can't Depp stop making Pirate and Burton movies and make more with Jarmusch?
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 04, 2013, 03:05:05 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img13/3433/sgtu.jpg)
Duck Soup
Leo McCarey, 1933

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6.59
2.484
11

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...the film is not much more than a loose collection of slapstick routines and countless puns, and it's utterly brilliant.

I don't really like Groucho that much, but I looooooooooove Harpo. So, I was really hating this movie until he and Chico showed up. There are a lot of funny scenes like the one with the hats and the mirror one (funniest thing ever). Again, it's all Harpo. Then the last 20 or so minutes happen and the movie embraces chaos and it's one of the funniest things ever. Again, it's all Harpo (that Paul Revere thing made me lol). It just tosses aside any semblance of structure and just tosses a million jokes at you, and I was happy. I felt happy. So, Harpo. What a guy!

Yeah, I get it, Duck Soup is considered as having been foundational to things that would follow, but ultimately it is the lowest of low-brow type of humor on par with stuff we would completely pan in its modern form. I'm just not fond of evaluating a movie based on its impact/influence rather than its quality, and Duck Soup simply isn't funny. It baffles me that Duck Soup makes top film/top comedy lists while a modern film like In The Loop, which while well regarded does not get praise of that level, is massively smarter and funnier. But I digress. ... Oh, and Duck Soup is really misogynistic. Half the jokes are basically insulting women as fat, unattractive or without honor; and because the characters aren't really developed, the women who are the butt of these jokes stand in for all women.

Existential crisis got you down? Try Duck Soup. It’s a hoot.

I hated Harpo and his humor He's just cutting things with scissors and knocking things out of people's hands. He's not funny he's a douche. The others were less annoying but still had their annoying moments. The one section that I genuinely enjoyed was the entire doppelganger section up to and including the mirror scene. I also enjoyed the few songs that were sung.
The Marx Bros. type of humor just doesn't do it for me I guess.

It's badly framed, flatly lit, sounds bad and can be a wild drinking game by making others take a sip whenever you spot a continuity flaw.  (It's pretty much every shot.)  That's the film's downside.  The good news is Duck Soup is so funny, you'll forgive its faults.  The script doesn't juggle logic so much as help it to defy gravity.  It's ridiculous, a symphony of silly composed in gagtime.  I've seen all the Marx Brothers films and A Night at the Opera is their most professional, but this is their best.  Perfectly balancing the word games with visual humor, everybody works their speciality but they also invade each other's territory.

Probably the saddest phenomena in being a film fanatic is falling out of love with a once-cherished movie.  This happens to comedies in particular a lot, they have a diminshing rate of return after multiple viewings.  One of the elements of humor is surprise, and you can only laugh so many times at the same jokes (with rare exceptions, like Airplane!).  I still think this is the best Marx Brothers picture, the purest representation of their talents.  But I have to admit that this time around, I only laughed once, with maybe a few scattered chuckles.  I appreciate the cleverness and absurdity of it, and can make allowances for datedness of the comedy (the awkward pauses for laughs, for instance), but if I'm being honest with myself, it's just not as funny to me as it used to be.

Smile, chuckle, smirk, roll eyes, snicker, shake head, grimace, cringe, sigh, grin, laugh, chortle, repeat.  That was my ride on the wacky roller coaster named Duck Soup. This ride had no brakes and no rules, just unabashed put downs, perfectly timed choreography and absurd antics. It took awhile for me to warm up to the nonsense, but the lemonade traipsing clinched the deal. By the final battle, I was completely won over as Groucho paraded out his costumes.

Last year I watched Duck Soup for the umpteenth time and I found it getting a bit... old.  I could finally see some of the weaknesses.  Never had before that, though.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 04, 2013, 04:27:36 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img405/4229/moulinrougeve.jpg)
Moulin Rouge!
Baz Lurhmann, 2001

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7.26
2.497
10

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There’s exuberance to this film unmatched by any other, and I still get swept up in the sheer energy of it all. ... It’s not a perfect film, but it goes big and manages to reach some amazing heights before effortlessly crashing into deep tragedy.

I went to Moulin Rouge seeking air conditioning and with no interest in the film, but I had a blast with it. I haven't seen it in ages but I thought it was great at the time.

My experience with Moulin Rouge was unusual in that the first time I watched it I didn't get its music video sensibility at all and disliked it but then watched it again and liked it and then watched it again and loved it and have loved it every time sense. It is really touching and I think Ewan McGregor doesn't get enough credit for his performance in it. Perhaps second only to Once, this is the musical that had me singing along, even when the film isn't playing.

Moulin Rouge and Dreamgirls were two of the most insufferable movies Ive ever seen. Im not saying they are not my thing and therefore I consider them slightly overrated. Im saying they are two of the worst movies Ive ever seen and I absolutely hate them.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 04, 2013, 05:03:38 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img849/3589/o1g1.jpg)
You've Got Mail
Nora Ephron, 1998

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5.17
2.506
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I love Tom Hanks, he is easily my favorite actor, and I really like Meg Ryan as she can be the cutest thing on screen. The two together are like gold, so immensely watchable. I always figured this would be dated and cliched with all the email business, but it really works.

You've Got Mail is pretty fun; I like it.

What's not to love?

Quote from: Ron from 'Undeclared' on October 2, 2001 (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=1028.msg407078#msg407078)
It's on cable all the time. It's incredible. Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Dave Chapelle, Parker Posey. All very likeable actors. Greg Kinnear. Very likeable. ... I'm almost scared of it it's so good.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 05, 2013, 11:16:12 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img819/9175/synecdochenewyorkn.jpg)
Synecdoche, New York
Charlie Kaufman, 2008

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6.95
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What can I say? It's easily the most joyless film I think I'll watch all year. It's also probably the most inventive, saddest and most ambitious... At first, it's almost overwhelmingly relentless in its chronicling of physical decay (Caden suffers pustules, has to go the doctor frequently, examines his own stool). The question of one's mortality is beaten almost into the ground in the first 40 minutes (with NPR voiceovers, cartoons, etc). Then it turns into something else. Something far more interesting. It's about trying to leave something behind, something that you'll be remembered by and about how that pursuit cuts you off from the rest of your life. And about how you're constantly trying to juggle the people in your life (and their feelings and how they won't adapt into whatever you project onto them). And, by film's end, when everyone else has died and you're alone in this mess you've built, it's heartbreaking. ... Perhaps it's far too undisciplined and messy for it to truly be great but, god damn, this shit killed me.

Always interesting, though occasionally more tiresome than engaging. All the doubling is a lot of fun. I forget what else. It's good, but it left me a little cold is all.

I have even greater respect for Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze now. Kaufman, left to direct his own movie, is completely inconsequential. My god, I'd like to have something to show for 2 hours of my time. A new idea, motivation, raised spirits, or a clue. Anything! This movie isn't abstract, it's absurd.

It’s like 8 ½, but with all my favourite actors.

Hmm. . . Annie Hall without the jokes or the romance or the fun?

Can't quite decide if I love it or if I think it's a pretentious pile of poo. I think the former, but I need to watch it again. It had some absolutely wonderful moments that utterly captured me, and I love a film that has lots of existential questions to explore, existential questions that relate to art and what art can/can't do. So, yeah, I think I loved it, but it needs a re-watch.

I very much enjoyed Synecdoche, New York. Especially since I was the only person I knew that had heard of the word synecdoche before the movie came out.

It’ll never reach the heights of Mulholland Dr.  There’s a sour, naval-gazing that outweighs the interesting absurdism.  I love the invention, but it’s a bit of a grind to push through.  While I’m sure it's a most impressive achievement, I can't say how much I actually like it.  I feel like I’ll embrace it more as I grow older.  Future viewings will uncover a deeper read on the material, as I grow closer to the end of my own mortality.

I think that Synecdoche is an important film about death and life, as important as anything that Bergman has done.  I also think it is a difficult film: it is often unpleasant, often confusing and sometimes seems masturbatory on Kauffman’s part.  It is like a distasteful medicine you take because its good for you, a difficult class in college you take because your major requires it, but there is little pleasure in it, except, perhaps the intellectual pleasure of obtaining a hard-won nugget of knowledge.

I try not to use the word pretentious casually so that it has more power when I apply it to a movie like Synecdoche, NY. Ugh! :)
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 05, 2013, 12:30:25 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img203/6965/zvhp.jpg)
Forrest Gump
Robert Zemeckis, 1994

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6.08
2.540
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I'll gush over Gump. It's a perfect movie.

Rewatching this with a cinephile eye I see that the reason why this is my number one is more nostalgia and story than anything else, because it is by no means the most remarkable film ever made. However, I am a story man and the story is perfect to me. I can see the eerie similarity in story concept with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but the execution and direction is completely different. The innocence of Forrest is what really makes the biggest difference to me. As much as I love Hanks and the character of Forrest, I really think that the supporting characters of Lt. Dan, Jenny, and Bubba are stronger and the actors, Sinise, Wright Penn, and Williamson respectively, outshine Hanks' great performance. The music is also great and I'm not talking just soundtrack, the score is remarkable too and makes me feel things in connection to the film. The film really makes an emotional connection with me that none other has and that is why I regard it so highly. It has so much to offer: love, history, comedy, hardship/drama. And I put love first because it is at the center of the film. Forrest and Jenny's love, Forrest and Bubba's love, Forrest and Lt. Dan's love, and Forrest and Mama's love. He is a significant man because of his capability to love and experience what life presents him. He may not be a smart man, but he knows what love is. And the film is not without significant cinematography, which I always look for, and effects.

My lash is frontal.

Always go back and forth about whether this film is a revolting, worshipful sketch of all the Baby Boomer myths or a slap at a generation telling them that they are not nearly as special as they think they are.

The hero is a representation of a fantasy pre-60s Norman Rockwell America. Gump may interact with landmarks of the era but the film is a repackaging of Baby Boomer culture and music as a product divorced from the conflict and trauma that produced much of it. The film sells counterculture icons but is intensely conformist. I don't think the film celebrates change at all.

Dave Kehr think it's satire, but he's totally in the bag for Zemeckis. ... I think it's crap.

I saw Forrest Gump when I was a little kid in Colombia and knew nothing about recent American history. I wish I could go back to that.

Forrest Gump remains one of the best examples of the kind of fresh, original storytelling Hollywood is capable of when they allow themselves to think outside the box and hire the right talented people to bring the script to life. One of the Top 100.

I don't think it's overrated, I think it's a bad movie with a lead character that I could not rally behind. He's a boob, plain and simple. The aspects of his brushes with greatness was done in a much more believable fashion by Hal Ashby in Being There, a substantially much better film. I remember watching Gump with my wife in a crowded theater and we both were cringing constantly throughout the film.

I'm just as clueless about the dislike for Forrest Gump. I'm one of those who love it and I'm not ashamed to say it loud and clear.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 05, 2013, 01:53:27 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img4/8944/qbsn.jpg)
Dancer in the Dark
Lars von Trier, 2000

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15
6.51
2.559
6

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Dancer In The Dark ... is both misogynistic and profoundly, stupidly anti-American.

Great performances all around, along with some impressive musical scenes. Wasm't expecting a ton from Bjork, but she really brought it.

I love the musical sequences but really don't care for the drama.  Seen it 3 times cause I like Lars, even if he hates me.

This movie stunned me.  Von Trier can sometimes come up from behind and bash you behind the ear-- and I often thank him for the privilege.

As a powerfully moving drama, it excels.  As a genre experiment, it's compelling.  As an acting tour de force, it's exceptional.  And fantastic music, too.  However, as a condemnation of the American death penality, it's horribly, horribly flawed. ... Like most LVT, I have a love/hate thing with it.

I found that film incredibly frustrating...
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 05, 2013, 02:24:58 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img89/9281/rgsh.jpg)
Syndromes and a Century
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006

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14
6.63
2.690
5

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Monks who wanted to be DJs and solar eclipses. ... This got me good, people. So good. I don't know what problems I had with it before. I don't know. I'm just dumb sometimes. Takes me a while to get used to things. But this thing is so beautiful. When that one dude started talking the doctor out in the garden about how it felt to be in love I was in tears! I don't even know why these little moments are so CINECAST!ing powerful and hilarious and wonderful. I think the monk and the dentist are some of two most awesome characters of all time. It's just so beautifully realized. Just the way the dentist keeps singing and something to do with the windows being open and the uneasy smile that's on the monk's face. These little moments add up to so much. When you couple up that with the shift into the modern hospital with its sterile corridors and impersonality... It's not really that simple. It's not "oh, rural, good! urban, bad!" or anything like that (it's not even remotely about that). I can't even describe why these old ladies drinking alcohol in what looks like to be a huge closet is so powerful. And that kid playing tennis against the door. Why? Why? Why? I don't know. roujin, you are a dumb man. But you know what you like. You know what you like.

I do wish someone would have warned me ahead of time: "There is no conventional narrative here."  It felt as if Wong Kar-Wai tried to make a David Lynch film. ... Nevertheless, I do recommend the film.  The mood truly is marvelous, peaceful in both tone and in the relationships depicted.  It has a wry sense of humor, which I almost missed because I KNOW some of these people, as weird as they are (the monk with the chicken dreams?  Yeah, I know him.  He goes to my church.) The cinematography at points is just fantastic. ... The acting is pitch-perfect. And I like puzzles.  This film is one of them.

I just didn't get what I was watching.  And I'll be honest, it really bugs me when I don't get a movie. ... But there was no mystery hooking me in.  Nothing that made me WANT to figure it out, except for the fact that you all seem to get it and love it.

Syndromes is a movie filled with endless surprises.  You get the feeling that Weerasethakul enjoyed the hell out of making it.  You sense his delight in every decision, every happy accident.  And there's as much delight in absorbing it.  Delights in individual moments, like the dentist singing to his monk patient, or the bizarre interview questions, or an actor "realizing" his mike is still on long after he's left the frame, or smoke swirling into and out of and around that black hole/eclipse vent thing.  Delight in the lush greenery of the first half and the eerily sterile second half.  Delight in the delight the characters take in each other.  Delight in examining the echoes between the two halves of the film, some of them so subtle or tenuous that they may be unintentional.  Delight in asking "Why?"... and further delight in letting go of "Why?" and giving in to the joyous creativity and originality of the work.  So rich and dense without ever beating you over the head with it.  Nothing is ponderous or aching to be profound. ... I don't want to analyze.  I do, but that's in my head, that's for me.  I don't know if Joe has a mission statement for this film.  I'd like to think he does but wants you to believe he doesn't.  Or vice versa.  Certainly there are meanings to be gained... the delicate harmony between man and nature, past and present is a recurring theme in his work.  You can do whatever you want with this movie, that's for you.  That's what makes it so gorgeously wonderful, so playfully slippery.  Such a refreshing tonic.

I'm sticking with nonsensical mess. I think I gave up once it started repeating itself for no clear reason.

Rural and urban. Warm and sterile. Modern medicine and chakras. Monks and pop music. Weerasethakul seems to be exploring the juxtapositions and intersections between tradition and modernity. This is all well and good but also kind of hit and miss for me. When he injects subjectivity rather than just allowing it to exist in a visceral place, it loses me. Were the amputees meant to suggest we in the modern urban environment are incomplete or mutilated by technology? A trite observation at best and ideologically problematic at worst. I will not stand for this rural fundamentalism! Progress, but at what cost?! Spiritual decay! Fart. I doubt the film is meant to be read this literally, or at least that’s what the Miami Vice Cabal is gonna tell me, but hey, I couldn’t help but see it that way. Of course, when I look past the editorializing implied by the fluorescent soulless lighting relative to the warmth and lushness of the pastoral first half, you’re left with gentle humour (I like wit with my lyricism) and (occasionally) captivating atmosphere. There are numerous unexpected touches, which really are quite lovely; eclipses and dentists serenading monks, I’m definitely on board for that. It’s in the small moments that the film really sings. At times engrossing and certainly lovely, but definitely not top 100 material for me.

I liked it more before I started reading about it. So I stopped reading about it.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 05, 2013, 03:23:12 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img716/4248/efnq.jpg)
The Quiet Man
John Ford, 1952

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13
6.85
2.701
4

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Quote from: sdedalus on September 26, 2007 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2007/09/movies-of-year-1952.html)
John Ford's Technicolor Valentine to the mythical Ireland of the imagination of the child of immigrants. ... It's all very silly, stereotypical, and more than a little misogynist (one of my favorite parts is when a little old lady gives Wayne a stick with which to beat the independent O'Hara). But above all the film is beautiful shots of an idealized Ireland, bright primary greens and reds, terribly romantic and always good-humored and joyous.

The Quiet Man is super awesome.

The stereotypes are lovely. The romanticism inherent in every shot of this idealized Ireland is contagious. And John Ford probably never got closer to pure poetry as he did with the scene in the graveyard when the rain starts pouring down. It's the stuff dreams are made of.

I watched the first 30 minutes or so and was not liking it at all. Wayne's character is a major creeper at the start. Reading the plot summary after turning it off makes it sound like it gets even more aggravating in other ways.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 05, 2013, 03:57:02 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img703/4247/40o9.jpg)
Morvern Callar
Lynne Ramsay, 2002

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6.07
2.714
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Quote from: MartinTeller on March 27, 2004 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2004/03/27/morvern-callar/)
Big waste of time.

Through the first couple of scenes, I was prepared to love it — the phone call at the station was a highlight — but then my interest in Morvern's story came and went. I'm not sure what more I wanted ... but something.

I’m on the record with my love for Ratcatcher and all things Samantha Morton so I was pretty pumped about this one. It’s good, but only great in moments, I thought. Once they leave Scotland and the film goes into road movie mode, I kind of lost interest. It didn’t knock my socks off from beginning to end, but it is more evidence of Ramsay’s greatness; I can’t wait for her next one.

OK, so this isn't depressing at all.  I won't believe that about Ratcatcher, however.  Anyway, I did like this quite a bit.  What is it with Scotland and amoral anti-heroes with great soundtracks?  I don't know, but this totally reminded me of early Danny Boyle, namely Shallow Grave and Trainspotting.  The colors are terrific (so much red!), and director Lynne Ramsay uses blinking lights in the corner of frames as well as I've ever seen.  I thought the plot, such as it is, was kind of gimmicky and not really believable, but I didn't really care that much.  Interesting that Morvern never really does anything that's technically immoral, if you assume there's no afterlife.

Somebody wrote this.  Then they got the money to make it into a movie.  They hired a crew and they filmed this.  Somewhere there's a hard drive of deleted scenes, but don't cut the scene where Morvern heats up a pizza.

I nothinged this film.

I think what makes the film so fascinating is just how inscrutable Morton plays Morvern Callar. What makes it harder to get a handle on what the film is actually saying about Morvern is that she isn't just a disengaged arthouse zombie posing all disaffected like the entire film. She laughs, she CINECAST!s, she gets pissed drunk and does really silly and illogical things with her girlfriend. But I don't think it's really all that impossible to figure out what's going on. She drapes her boyfriend's gift, the leather jacket, around herself, covering herself with death. She takes the lighter he gives him. She constantly listens to the mixtape he left her, cocooning herself from her everyday reality. It's a film of perpetual dislocation, ambling along with its mixed up protagonist as it goes from place to place, always moving, as the film tries to mine out emotional territory that borders on the inexpressible. And that's what makes the film interesting.

Didn't like this one much at all. Dont really understand why either because movies in this style (such as those of Kelly Reichart) often tend to really jump out at me, and I thought Samantha Morton was pretty good. Ultimately the scenes work one by one but the finished product just didnt leave much of an impression on me. Disappointed.

Completely loved it. I think I can understand why some might not take to it ... but it's incredibly, beautifully shot; Morton is amazing; the sound design and music are wonderfully woven into the story ... and it's compellingly/provocatively engaging throughout.  I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.

Lynne Ramsay went for something different with Morvern Callar. She made it into what I’d best describe as an impressionistic art film. I can’t recall any dialogue from the film, though I assume people must have spoken to each other once in a while. But this film isn’t about words; it’s all about images. ... I’m not necessarily a fan of films picturing people walking around in the world with a miserable look in their eyes, doing random things or – in worst case – nothing at all. Sometimes it works for me, as in the case of Somewhere. Sometimes it bores me out of my mind, as with The Comedy. And I’m not capable of telling what exactly makes it go one way or the other. ... In the case of Morvern Callar there’s no question of what makes me embrace it, despite the fact that I’m not completely on board with the main character. It’s in the cinematography, which has that special Ramsay feel to it. As with the two other Ramsay films I’ve seen, the images stick in my mind, like a shadow of the sun remains on your eyelids when you’ve been looking directly at the sun even if your mum told you not to. ... The storytelling is somewhat slow and a quite subtle, as you have to second guess what’s going on in the mind of Morvern from her facial expressions and from her - sometimes irrational – actions. But the fact remains: not once did I look down on my watch to check the time. I was too wrapped up in the mood and the music and the flow of images to remember that I had a wrist watch and that the film had an end.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 05, 2013, 06:24:59 PM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img818/5916/fnc2.jpg)

Federico Fellini, 1963

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7.71
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Quote from: sdedalus on July 19, 2006 (http://theendofcinema.blogspot.com/2006/07/movies-of-year-1963.html)
It's about the difficulty of writing when you've got writer's block, abut the narcissism of trying to adapt your own life and memories into narratives, about the neuroses of a wealthy cosmopolitan Roman Catholic European in the mid-20th Century. ... The film's poetry starts with the opening scene, as Guido escapes from his poisonous car and floats out over and away from a traffic jam and out to the beach, only to be pulled back to earth by annoying people who want him to do stuff. It's one of my favorite scenes in all of film, and the movie only gets weirder, if never quite as funny or beautiful again.

8½ is not Fellini's best film nor is it a masterpiece!

I don’t know when I have ever seen a movie so complicated and yet almost perfectly balanced, so fascinating and yet so entertaining, such an equal use of my heart and my head. 

Too much pressure, must rewatch in 6 months

Quote from: MartinTeller on January 22, 2010 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2010/01/22/8-12-rewatch/)
Every scene is amazing.  You find yourself looking forward to the parts you remember, and during the other parts you’re thinking “I can’t believe I forgot this scene!”.  For most directors, the meta-narrative about a filmmaker who can’t seem to make his film would be plenty.  But what’s magical about 8 1/2 is that it’s about so much more than that.  Guido isn’t simply unable to commit to his film… he’s unable to commit to anything.  His dreams, his fantasies and his past keep intruding on reality with childlike abandon.  And it’s done so brilliantly, it just flows perfectly and doesn’t feel written at all.  It really is a perfect movie, even though I kind of hate to say it, partly because I like Nights of Cabiria even more, and I wouldn’t call that one “perfect”.  The lighting is perfect, the music is perfect, the casting is perfect (especially the minor roles and background actors — what a sea of amazing faces!).  It sweeps you off your feet.  There are films I love that aren’t canon, and there are canon films that I’m not fond of at all, but sometimes canon is canon for a very good reason.  Absolutely one of the best films ever made.

I just gave this my second watch last night. When I was first getting into the "great movies of all time" I watched this film and liked it, but didnt really have the overall knowledge of film that I do now. I really appreciated it much more.

Just as the filmmaker in his own film doesn't exactly know what to do, Fellini seems to just be accumulating scenes or moments of his story without knowing how to mesh them together, the film does not flow. It is simply a sequence of surreal dream moments which are technically impressive but were difficult to follow and contributed very little to any kind of story. ... On the other hand the film looks amazing. ... The glasses, the suit, the hair, the womens make-up and costumes everything is so gorgeous and stylish. ... The film has some great moments (opening/ending scenes) but at 2h30 there are a lot of scenes that are unnecessary and don't bring anything to the film or the character of Guido. I'm liking it more as I dwell on it but after my first viewing it bothered me.

Every now and then I felt like I understood what Fellini was going for, and sometimes I thought his direction was marvelous.  But for the bulk of the film, I felt like the parade kept passing me by.  Like Fellini himself was grasping for something, even though he didn't quite know what.  While that's probably what helps to make 8 1/2 such an enduring film - the incompleteness that allows an audience to bring their own opinions in - it left me alienated a lot.  Sometimes I enjoyed the magic, but more often I felt like the trick was being played on me.  Like people couldn't see past the pretty suit and realize this film doesn't know where it's going.

This film is awesome. It does take some concentration, especially considering it is in Italian and I am not fluent in Italian. The plot appears complex and the presentation makes it seem complex, but when you finish the film, sit back, and think about what you’ve just seen, it isn’t that complex. ... The thing I loved most about the film was the look. Marcello Mastronianni is the definition of cool in this film. The sunglasses, the suits, and I hate to say it, the cigarettes. Oh to be Italian. But really what I want to say is I want to be him, did you see all those gorgeous women? Claudia Cardinale, Barbara Steele, Anouk Aimee, the list goes on and they are all stunningly beautiful. Add to that some of the best costume design, art direction, and imaginative cinematography and you have one heck of a film to look at. I have never been a great judge of foreign language acting, because I’m always reading the dialogue more than I am watching the actors as much as I try to watch them, but I would dare say the acting was good too. Those moments when there was no dialogue, Mastroianni and Aimee especially, do great to express without words. ... It just feels like a great movie through and through. You can’t put your finger on it, you struggle to describe it, it’s just there. You can tell that something magical has come together and made a great movie. That is 8 1/2.

Ah, 8½, what more can be said? Well, in so many words: Psychedelic1 trips2 meander3 less4 than5 this6 self-indulgently7 protracted8 bull--½

I feel it all: the panic, the suffocation, the escape and the freedom, all in that opening scene. Without a doubt, it's my favorite moment in the film and possibly one of my top 5 visceral movie moments. Claustrophobia is a phobia I can identify with. There is no rational talking it away, as it creeps up the back of my shoulders and grabs me by the arms. I have to shake it off just thinking about the scene. It's composition is something to behold, with the sardine cars, the torsos on the bus and the fists seen through steamed up windows and I'm so relieved for the moment of flight to bring release. And that's what? The first three minutes? ... My second favorite scene is the farm of women. It both infuriates and delights me, leaving me to question my perspective of what it means to be a woman and whether that is even answerable. In Fellini's world, where the real and fantastical collide, no one woman can possess all that he is looking for, so he fills a farmhouse full of types: nurturer, partner, coquette, confidante, clown, but his dream soon comes apart at the seams, as he realizes he's losing control of them, that is until he can subdue them once more. After all, it is his fantasy. The lighting and the ribbons flowing in front of the constantly moving camera, keep the sequence fluid and surprising.
Title: Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
Post by: pixote on September 06, 2013, 11:17:03 AM
(http://imageshack.us/a/img39/3962/gwgp.jpg)
Eraserhead
David Lynch, 1977

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17
6.59
2.958
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Quote from: MartinTeller on May 23, 2005 (http://martinteller.wordpress.com/2005/05/23/eraserhead-rewatch-2/)
A perfectly realized vision of hell on earth where there is no comfort to be found in family, love, sex, work, or home… perhaps only in death.  The way Lynch unsettles the viewer is masterful, from the constant hum of machinery to the perpetual decay of the city to the incredible design of the “baby” — certainly one of the most horrifying creatures in cinema.  And yet despite these depressing and unnerving settings, there remains Lynch’s rich sense of humor, and as nightmarish as Eraserhead is, it’s also very comedic.  A supremely impressive film, and the years of work show on the screen.

Eraserhead is Great.  I admit, i had no idea what was going on and I thought there was no meaning at all for about 40min.  Then I realized the entire world was being seen through the main character's prism of anxiety and fear and the film - all of it - made complete sense.  And the re-imagining of our banal world (dating, marriage, having kids) was simply masterful.

I don't care very much about what this movie's actually about. I got the vibe of industrial decay feeding into fears of parenthood or whatever. That's not why I like this movie. I like how this movie looks and how this movie sounds. Let's start with the sound. It's overwhelming. My favorite part of the movie may be those first 15 or so minutes when it's just crazy sonic shit going on. I turned up the speaker and I let all that wash over me. The images are good, too. Lots of things just poking out/emerging from the darkness. It's sharp as hell and effortlessly creepy and intense. I could've done with less talking and more awesomeness but that's just me. I'm surprised so many people like this movie though. It is just cuz of all the weird shit? That's the least interesting part...

Ever heard the expression, "I want to punch this movie in the face"? Well that is how I feel after seeing this. Just none of it made sense and I didn't care whether it did nor not. ... I don't know, Lynch just seemed to throw a bunch of weird stuff together with a paper thin plot and call it a movie. The film takes ten minutes to get to the dialogue, which, at first, I thought might end up being a plus to the film. But then there was not much dialogue the rest of the film either, which is fine if complimented with interesting images that tell the story. Interesting, yes, but the storytelling technique Lynch uses here did absolutely nothing for me. ... I do have to give Lynch props for being so bold and gutsy to make this film. I mean it's his first feature film and this is what he delivers. He experiments in filmmaking and I admire that, but none of it worked for me unfortunately.

Incomprehensible and ugly.

I just don't understand how The Room is considered so bad (sometimes in a good way) and something like Eraserhead is considered a good enough film to make the top 100 list. The acting in The Room is superior to the acting in Eraserhead. The plot of The Room is more coherent than the plot of Eraserhead. Sure, you can say the terribly stilted line delivery and such are intentional parts of the mood, but if you are willing to wave it away here, I just don't understand how you can judge it elsewhere. I guess you can credit Lynch's demented weirdness as a show of virtuosity...this film is certainly more unique, but I've never considered weird for weirdness sake to be a very noble attribute. ... I don't know, I just feel like there is a lot of groupthink going on and the group decided Eraserhead is profound and excellent and something like The Room is terrible and then others feel compelled to share the view and it becomes established as "truth." And for the record, so great was my disgust with this film that I actually bothered to finish it, just so I could sound off from more solid footing.

I like to think of it as critique of nuclear war. The post-apocalyptic world, the mutated baby, the damaged humans. This is what the bomb does to the world. ... Its Lynch's Dr. Strangelove, a great satirical film.