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Filmspotting Message Boards => Movie Talk => Movie Clubs => Topic started by: Sandy on April 01, 2018, 02:56:37 PM

Title: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 01, 2018, 02:56:37 PM
Here’s a compilation of my top 100 films I made for the forum a while back,

http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=6317.msg747876#msg747876

And here is my Letterboxd list, which is more current.

https://letterboxd.com/sandy/list/favorites/

Both are fine though. I’m also going to keep a running list of recommendations on this first page from you of films you think would make my top 100, if I’d just take the time to see them. If you want to link a review, or post a persuasive pitch for a movie you want me to consider, I’ll add it to my list. :D Hope you find something from my list this month that you enjoy!




Filmspotters' Reviews, Round #5 - February 2019

1SO (All that Heaven Allows) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg898158#msg898158)
1SO (Dan in Real Life) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897729#msg897729)
Bondo (Ball of Fire) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897863#msg897863)
Dave the Necrobumper (Becoming Jane) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897354#msg897354)
Dave the Necrobumper (How Green Was My Valley) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897354#msg897354)
Jeff Schroeck (City Lights) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897737#msg897737)
Jeff Schroeck (A Matter of Life and Death) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg898113#msg898113)
Martin (Robin Hood) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897347#msg897347)
oldkid (Much Ado About Nothing) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg898196#msg898196)
PeacefulAnarchy (Matilda) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg898276#msg898276)
PeacefulAnarchy (Persuasion) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg898349#msg898349)
PeacefulAnarchy (Summer Stock) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg898379#msg898379)
Sam the Cinema Snob (Jane Eyre) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897367#msg897367)
smirnoff (All That Heaven Allows) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897091#msg897091)
smirnoff (Another Year) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897079#msg897079)
smirnoff (Much Ado About Nothing) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897374#msg897374)
smirnoff (The Poseidon Adventure) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897049#msg897049)
smirnoff (The Village) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897342#msg897342)
Teproc (Benny & Joon) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg898351#msg898351)
Teproc (How Green Was My Valley) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg898179#msg898179)



Filmspotters' Recommendations for Top 100 Consideration.

The Good Fairy (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg887362#msg887362) - PeacefulAnarchy - My response (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14226.msg888399#msg888399)
The Lady Eve (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg887442#msg887442) - 1SO - My response (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14821.msg891365#msg891365)
Le Silence de la Mer (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg887747#msg887747) - Junior



Filmspotters' Reviews, Round #4 - April 2018

1SO (Becoming Jane) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg888090#msg888090)
1SO (Penelope) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg888090#msg888090)
Bondo (Benny and Joon) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg887663#msg887663)
Bondo (Taps) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg889247#msg889247)
Bondo (Yentl) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg892673#msg892673)
Dave the Necrobumper (Short Term 12) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg888260#msg888260)
jdc (Amadeus) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg888230#msg888230)
Junior (Ball of Fire) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg887747#msg887747)
oldkid (All That Heaven Allows) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg888135#msg888135)
oldkid (Ball of Fire) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg888147#msg888147)
oldkid (How Green Was My Valley) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg888135#msg888135)
PeacefulAnarchy (Becoming Jane) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg888270#msg888270)
PeacefulAnarchy (Yours, Mine and Ours) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg887540#msg887540)
pixote (13 Going on 30) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg890369#msg890369)
Teproc (Across the Universe) (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg888178#msg888178)



Other Rounds

Round #1 - October 2013 (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=12095.msg752113#msg752113)
Round #2 - August 2015 (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=12095.msg816284#msg816284)
Round #3 - January 2017 (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=13471.msg863119#msg863119)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on April 01, 2018, 03:28:27 PM
Have you watched The Good Fairy yet? I remember thinking that film had you written all over it, it's really fun and sweet but also a tiny bit heartbreaking.

Unseen:
    Jane Eyre 2011
    Becoming Jane 2007
    Persuasion 2007
    The Wiz 1978
    Sarah, Plain and Tall 1991
    Jane Eyre 1996
    Matilda 1996
    The Joy Luck Club 1993
    Hamlet 1996
    Yours, Mine and Ours 1968
    Taps 1981
    Summer Stock 1950

I think it's about time I watch one of those Jane movies. I was going to watch Yours, Mine and Ours last time so I'll probably watch that too.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on April 01, 2018, 06:12:29 PM
Here's the list of what I haven't seen. Feel like Benny and Joon has to be the top priority. Maybe Yentl and Taps as well.

Yentl
Support Your Local Sheriff
The Poseidon Adventure
Benny & Joon
Ball of Fire
Shadowlands
Yours, Mine & Ours
Taps
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 02, 2018, 01:02:45 AM
Have you watched The Good Fairy yet? I remember thinking that film had you written all over it, it's really fun and sweet but also a tiny bit heartbreaking.

I haven't! You may the the one who told me about it before and I put it on my watchlist. I'll bump it up to prioritize! Thanks!

Quote
Unseen:
    Jane Eyre 2011
    Becoming Jane 2007
    Persuasion 2007
    The Wiz 1978
    Sarah, Plain and Tall 1991
    Jane Eyre 1996
    Matilda 1996
    The Joy Luck Club 1993
    Hamlet 1996
    Yours, Mine and Ours 1968
    Taps 1981
    Summer Stock 1950

I think it's about time I watch one of those Jane movies. I was going to watch Yours, Mine and Ours last time so I'll probably watch that too.

What a funny feeling I have sending you out to watch some of these films! You can be brutally hones, I can take it! :)) Hope you find something you like this month!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 02, 2018, 01:11:39 AM
Here's the list of what I haven't seen. Feel like Benny and Joon has to be the top priority. Maybe Yentl and Taps as well.

Yentl
Support Your Local Sheriff
The Poseidon Adventure
Benny & Joon
Ball of Fire
Shadowlands
Yours, Mine & Ours
Taps

You and PA have seen the lion share of the films in my top 100. That's pretty impressive. :) It's an odd assortment  to be sure.

Gosh, what can I say about Taps? I recently added it, because there are a handful of movies I've ugly cried during (West Side Story being one and Taps is another). I figured if a movie did that to me, even if it was when I was a teenager long ago, it deserves some time on my list. Not sure what you'll think about it, but can't wait to find out! :)

Benny and Joon is sweet, yet tricky and the music is wonderful. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on April 02, 2018, 06:13:54 AM
Yes Taps is a great movie (and an ugly cry one).

I need to do a count of those of yours I have seen, but I will try to get to at least one of:

Jane Eyre
Upstream Colour
Short Term 12
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on April 02, 2018, 09:12:30 AM
I'd like to prioritize How Green Was My Valley and All that Heaven Allows this month.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: jdc on April 02, 2018, 07:25:43 PM
The goodness of Sandy probably goes against the grain of what I normally watch though I see a few films in here that I love and are also in my top films. But I am likely to have a hard time finding the time and access to watch something I haven't seen this month. I will be moving across the country shortly (about 15KM) and starting a new job in a couple of weeks. So I may choose something I have seen and haven't watched since it came out. I am looking at you, Amadeus, since I have the Blu-ray still sealed on my shelf from when I bought is 4 or 5 years ago
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on April 02, 2018, 11:17:41 PM
I am down to Penelope and Becoming Jane and I don't know which one has the better chance with me. I might secretly watch both and only report back on the one I liked most. Of course now if I post a mostly negative review you'll wonder how much I hated the other film.


As for a Top 100 recommendation, I will 2nd PA's choice of The Good Fairy. As for a choice of my own, it seems you still have not watched The Lady Eve starring Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, which maintains romantic comedy perfection for 45 minutes (and I have strong affection for the rest of it too (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=4221.msg777982#msg777982).)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Teproc on April 03, 2018, 03:09:44 AM
My shortlist for Sandy's month (which I should get to a couple of):

Der Himmel über Berlin / Wings of Desire
To Kill a Mockingbird
Sense and Sensibility
Galaxy Quest
Toki o kakeru sôko / The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Across the Universe
The Fountain
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Short Term 12
Upstream Color
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 03, 2018, 10:37:36 PM
Yes Taps is a great movie (and an ugly cry one).

Aw Dave, you validate my emotionally driven choice. :)

Quote
I need to do a count of those of yours I have seen, but I will try to get to at least one of:

Jane Eyre
Upstream Colour
Short Term 12

You have a common theme in those films. All three have strong women, breaking free from trauma.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 03, 2018, 10:40:58 PM
I'd like to prioritize How Green Was My Valley and All that Heaven Allows this month.

Black and white gorgeousness vs. technicolor gorgeousness. Which will wow you more? :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 03, 2018, 10:43:32 PM
The goodness of Sandy probably goes against the grain of what I normally watch though I see a few films in here that I love and are also in my top films. But I am likely to have a hard time finding the time and access to watch something I haven't seen this month. I will be moving across the country shortly (about 15KM) and starting a new job in a couple of weeks. So I may choose something I have seen and haven't watched since it came out. I am looking at you, Amadeus, since I have the Blu-ray still sealed on my shelf from when I bought is 4 or 5 years ago

Congrats on your new job! And congrats on finally unwrapping the Blu-ray. I wish my copy of Amadeus was so nice. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 03, 2018, 10:47:19 PM
I am down to Penelope and Becoming Jane and I don't know which one has the better chance with me. I might secretly watch both and only report back on the one I liked most. Of course now if I post a mostly negative review you'll wonder how much I hated the other film.

:D How about if you watch them both, I get to read both reviews. Scathing or no, I want to know what you think!

Quote
As for a Top 100 recommendation, I will 2nd PA's choice of The Good Fairy. As for a choice of my own, it seems you still have not watched The Lady Eve starring Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, which maintains romantic comedy perfection for 45 minutes (and I have strong affection for the rest of it too (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=4221.msg777982#msg777982).)

I've been remiss! This is definitely one I want to see and will do so, hopefully this month. Thank you for the reminder!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 03, 2018, 10:51:33 PM
My shortlist for Sandy's month (which I should get to a couple of):

Der Himmel über Berlin / Wings of Desire
To Kill a Mockingbird
Sense and Sensibility
Galaxy Quest
Toki o kakeru sôko / The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Across the Universe
The Fountain
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Short Term 12
Upstream Color

Teproc, I'm excited to hear your thoughts on any of these and all of the ones on your list (except for Galaxy Quest :) ) are seriously thought provoking. I always enjoy your reviews!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on April 05, 2018, 12:56:28 AM
Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
Some of this works and some of it doesn't but on the whole its reasonably entertaining even (sometimes especially) the cheesy bits. Fonda and Ball have the charisma to carry a film with 18(!) child actors running around mugging for the camera and acting whiny and bratty and sometimes sympathetically. Their scenes without the children are best, and for a family movie there's more innuendo than I would have expected so that was a plus. The scenes with individual kids also work ok for the most part, even when they're a bit cheesy there's enough personality in there to make it both funny and sweet, but the scenes with a bunch of them are just too much and just have me thinking about how utterly impossible this would be. How are they paying for all this? Where do they find the time and energy? It's exhausting just to watch. There's also a bunch of stuff that feels neutered or forced because of the time and audience expectations and that drags the film down a bit, the sound effects are probably my biggest annoyance. It's not something I'm likely to watch again, but I had a good time watching it once.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 05, 2018, 02:12:36 PM
I could have sworn I wrote why I put Yours, Mine and Ours in my top 100 somewhere on the forum, but can't find it in a search. When my mom was dating my soon to be step-dad, they went to this movie. She had four kids and he had four as well. All of which were within a 6 year span. After the film, she turned to him and said, "If they can handle 18 kids, we should be able to do 8! And the rest is history. Much later, I told my mom, "You realize, there was a whole prop department making those meals, stuffing the Christmas stockings and picking up the house, right?" Chaos is a part of a large family and watching this film made me feel much less chaotic in my own situation, even while I could relate to so much of it. And, there was something about how the dad organized the rooms, bathroom time and linen which really appealed to me. Organization really speaks to me - I find it restful. :)

One time viewing is more than I could ask for, and for you to have enjoyed it on some levels makes me smile (I didn't catch the innuendo when I was a kid, but laughed when I viewed it again years later!). Thanks for giving it a shot, PA.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on April 05, 2018, 04:33:06 PM
So, if they had seen the Brady Bunch Movie instead, would they have said, "Look at all the trouble they had with six kids!  We couldn't possible deal with it!" ?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on April 05, 2018, 05:19:41 PM
The films that shape us! :))
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on April 07, 2018, 02:23:19 PM
Benny & Joon (1993)

I think for a minute I was getting this mixed up with Henry & June. Very different movies obviously but this does make more sense as a Sandy pick. In a way, there is a Silver Linings Playbook connection. Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson) would be analogous with Bradley Cooper's character, someone with a fairly severe mental illness that makes it hard for them to function among the general public and can be straining on family, in this case her brother Benny (Aidan Quinn), whose personal life is often sidelined in his devotion to her care (see also, Laura Linney in Love Actually). I guess Sam (Johnny Depp) would be the Jennifer Lawrence adjunct, in this case seemingly on the spectrum with a particular obsession with physical comedy of the silent film era. So if these two films have some overlap, the question is does this film similarly suffer the problem of romanticizing the idea that two people with social issues will somehow act as cures.

Even if this is still problematic, I think the difference in tone makes a big difference in how critical that is to the film. This is a whimsical and slightly surreal film. Johnny Depp is very good here, reminding you how good he can be when his tendency for quirky characters has a softer touch. Sam as a character might be a bit annoying in person. He's someone you'd want to watch as a street performer, but at times the inability to switch it off would be trying. Ultimately, the film plays to my wheelhouse of stories that involve a community kind of coming together to support people through their problems.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 09, 2018, 03:02:30 PM
So, if they had seen the Brady Bunch Movie instead, would they have said, "Look at all the trouble they had with six kids!  We couldn't possible deal with it!" ?

My life would have been completely different! Or, I might have been lucky and they hired a live in maid. :)

The films that shape us! :))

:)) Ain't it the truth! They become part of our DNA too.

(https://i.imgur.com/zKjEdvm.gif)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 09, 2018, 03:45:03 PM
Benny & Joon (1993)

I think for a minute I was getting this mixed up with Henry & June. Very different movies obviously but this does make more sense as a Sandy pick. In a way, there is a Silver Linings Playbook connection. Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson) would be analogous with Bradley Cooper's character, someone with a fairly severe mental illness that makes it hard for them to function among the general public and can be straining on family, in this case her brother Benny (Aidan Quinn), whose personal life is often sidelined in his devotion to her care (see also, Laura Linney in Love Actually). I guess Sam (Johnny Depp) would be the Jennifer Lawrence adjunct, in this case seemingly on the spectrum with a particular obsession with physical comedy of the silent film era. So if these two films have some overlap, the question is does this film similarly suffer the problem of romanticizing the idea that two people with social issues will somehow act as cures.

Even if this is still problematic, I think the difference in tone makes a big difference in how critical that is to the film. This is a whimsical and slightly surreal film. Johnny Depp is very good here, reminding you how good he can be when his tendency for quirky characters has a softer touch. Sam as a character might be a bit annoying in person. He's someone you'd want to watch as a street performer, but at times the inability to switch it off would be trying. Ultimately, the film plays to my wheelhouse of stories that involve a community kind of coming together to support people through their problems.

Henry and June!? :)) That would be an odd choice for my top 100.

I was wondering if the whimsy you talk about would soften the more difficult aspects of what the film is exploring. It sounds like it has, yes? As for your wheel house, this is where we tend to agree often. Lars and Silver Linings are both films I enjoyed. I need to go over your top 100 list, to see what others like these I can find.

This is probably my favorite Johnny Depp performance, because it showcases his particular essence -- that quiet deadpan that has served him so well. And, this is one of my favorite moments in any movie. Such a great mix of reveal, framing, music and faces.

(https://i.imgur.com/gwzrKJl.gif)




Here's a better view of the moment,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnM6dPbV9Ng&t=0m52s#no
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Junior on April 10, 2018, 11:46:14 AM
Ball of Fire

This isn't my first, second, or third time at the Howard Hawks screwball rodeo. As such, I had a general idea of what to expect. Fast talking, absurd plot machinations, and a sizzling romance characterize the Hawksian comedies and are just as on display here as they are in His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, and Twentieth Century. So why did I like this one a little less than those? Good question. I think it has to do a little with the lull that occurs midway through the film. For me, romance movies are almost always best when the fire is getting started, when there's that spark of the new, and this one was no different. This time it's Gary Cooper's curious but out of touch professor who falls in love with the quick-witted, jive-talking Barbara Stanwyck who's mixed up with some bad guys and must hide out at the mansion housing Cooper and a host of 7 other profs working on an encyclopedia that doubles as a vanity project for the guy who invented the electric toaster. Sounds about right for a screwball comedy, and it is quite funny early on as we're introduce to the cohort of profs and their quirky stuffiness. Cooper is the youngest of them by far and his grammarian role has him realizing that all of his work on slang is twenty years out of date. So when he goes out into the world he finds Stanwyck's Sugarpuss O'Shea (an all-time great character name) who is a lounge singer and great deployer of all sorts of 40s era slang.

The first half hour or so is a riot. I admit I'm biased as a budding academic myself, but it's delightful to see such stuffy old men given the business a bit as they react obliviously to the world around them. When Sugarpuss O'Shea enters their cloistered realm in her sequined and skimpy dress, it throws them for the biggest loop of their lives and Hawks gets the most out of it, extending her introduction to them as long as he can. It's a good impulse, because what follows as her mafia boss lover finds out about her whole situation and starts to get jealous of Cooper and co. gets a little slow for me. We lose much of the satire of academia and the chemistry between Stanwyck and Cooper can't carry so much plot. Luckily, though, things pick up as the movie reaches its conclusion.

The climax of this movie--which starts with Cooper and the other profs held at gunpoint in their workroom by some mafia cronies and ends with a marriage (as these things all do)--brings back all of the stuff I liked about the first part. There's arcane trivia used as a code that the illiterate gunmen can't understand, there's Gary Cooper learning how to box from reading a book in the back of a garbage truck, and the heat rises again between Stanwyck and Cooper. Even Freud gets redeemed a little! It's unfortunate that the middle was disappointing for me because if the movie carried its momentum throughout it might have topped His Girl Friday as my favorite Hawks screwball comedy. Middle of the pack is still good, though, especially when the whole pack is pretty great.

B+

As a suggestion to Sandy, I think you might get a lot out of Le Silence de la Mer if you haven't seen it yet. It's a great movie about occupied France and maybe a love story so subtle it's subterranean.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on April 10, 2018, 11:40:17 PM
Have to jump in here because this one's in my Top 100 too. Not just one of my 500 Essentials, but Top 100 and my All Time Favorite Screwball Comedy. (I think. Might be His Girl Friday. Top 3 at the least.)

Did you notice this was written by Billy Wilder with Charles Brackett. Probably obvious now that I said it. Two writers with a love for words handing a script about word usage to a director who loves to let actors throw dialogue fastballs at each other. This is probably my #1 reason for loving the film, but then there are the other moments Hawks chooses to draw out. I like "Drum Boogie", but I love the encore where Stanwyck gathers everyone around the table and whisper sings while Gene Krupa drums with matches. Totally unnecessary. Totally Classic.

The slow part for me is the Bachelor Party with everyone singing "Genevieve", but it also brings emotional depth most screwballs don't make time for. I wonder if like many, you don't care for Dana Andrews, who plays that mafia boss lover? It's a common remark, but I like Andrews a lot and this movie is a good deal why. One of the great lines is his answer for how to find a needle in a haystack. Brilliant writing, but it's Andrews confident delivery. This is a guy who answered one of the hardest brainteasers and he didn't even have to really think to do it. He's not your usual dumb tough guy. This one's tricky. (Speaking of dumb, tough guy... is this your first Dan Duryea film? He's the henchman who does all the trick shooting when he's holding the men hostage.)

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Junior on April 11, 2018, 11:14:41 AM
Have to jump in here because this one's in my Top 100 too. Not just one of my 500 Essentials, but Top 100 and my All Time Favorite Screwball Comedy. (I think. Might be His Girl Friday. Top 3 at the least.)

Did you notice this was written by Billy Wilder with Charles Brackett. Probably obvious now that I said it. Two writers with a love for words handing a script about word usage to a director who loves to let actors throw dialogue fastballs at each other. This is probably my #1 reason for loving the film, but then there are the other moments Hawks chooses to draw out. I like "Drum Boogie", but I love the encore where Stanwyck gathers everyone around the table and whisper sings while Gene Krupa drums with matches. Totally unnecessary. Totally Classic.

The slow part for me is the Bachelor Party with everyone singing "Genevieve", but it also brings emotional depth most screwballs don't make time for. I wonder if like many, you don't care for Dana Andrews, who plays that mafia boss lover? It's a common remark, but I like Andrews a lot and this movie is a good deal why. One of the great lines is his answer for how to find a needle in a haystack. Brilliant writing, but it's Andrews confident delivery. This is a guy who answered one of the hardest brainteasers and he didn't even have to really think to do it. He's not your usual dumb tough guy. This one's tricky. (Speaking of dumb, tough guy... is this your first Dan Duryea film? He's the henchman who does all the trick shooting when he's holding the men hostage.)

I missed the writing credit when I was watching but looking it up after I wrote this on IMDb revealed that Wilder was involved and it made perfect sense. Especially in those early goings there was that felicity with language that really hit my buttons. I learned from there that he had written an early draft of this in German and I thought that was particularly interesting. I'm sure it's totally different slang.

And yeah, I thought about posting this review to my blog just so I could include that shot of Stanwyck reflected in the black gloss table as the drummer did the matchstick routine. It's fantastic.

I actually liked Dana Andrews for the reasons you cited. I thought he was a little more interesting than your stereotypical gangster because he too is quick-witted. It does the HGF thing where everybody plays to the best of their abilities and even though he's the bad guy you still feel like you'd rather know that guy than Scarface (the Hawks one) or whoever.

I do think this is my first Dureya. I know he was big in westerns around this time and I could see that playing well. Even though he's the dumb tough guy I think there's something interesting in his character too, maybe his Sgt. York reference!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 11, 2018, 10:40:19 PM
I'm sitting here enjoying your conversation. :) I think the first time I heard of Ball of Fire is when roujin shared the Yum Yum scene. This film is perfect for Gary Cooper,  since the woodeness fits his character. I don't know what to add to what's been said, except to echo my appreciation for the writing. I love words and word play and this film is chock full of them! I also love the old professors' interactions.

I only saw this once and directly put it in my top 100, because it made me happy. :) Thanks for championing it, 1SO! And thanks for your review Junior. I always love your writing.

Adding Le Silence de la Mer to my list. I trust your recommendations! I believe the last time I listened to you, I went on a Borzage journey!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on April 19, 2018, 09:03:30 PM
3 films left in my Curtiz Marathon. After that, I have BOTH Penelope and Becoming Jane, which I will review like the Bracket Tournaments, recommending the best one to everyone else. After that, I plan to flow into Music of May with a continuation of our conversation about The Greatest Showman.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on April 22, 2018, 02:36:21 PM
Did you notice this was written by Billy Wilder with Charles Brackett. Probably obvious now that I said it. Two writers with a love for words handing a script about word usage to a director who loves to let actors throw dialogue fastballs at each other.

How is this film not in my top 100?  I'll answer my own question with a question, How have I not seen this movie yet?  Running, not walking, to find this one.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on April 23, 2018, 01:10:47 AM
(https://imgur.com/3gOsIME.jpg)
               VS               
(https://imgur.com/w7QeeHM.jpg)



Penelope

I knew James McAvoy was in this, but I was not prepared for Peter Dinkledge, who makes every film he's in better. You know who else will nudge me towards liking a film? Nick Frost. He doesn't have a big role, but he floats my goodwill to where I'm elated to see Reese Witherspoon show up much later in. It's also one of Reese's most likable characters.

While I miss early period Tim Burton, I wish this director trusted himself enough to develop his own style and not just do Burton crossed with Jean-Pierre Jeunet. That said it works better here than it should, building the fable world that allows the heavy metaphor to float by lightly. I liked the film's main message of acceptance and how it was just as strong in the relationship between mother and daughter as it is in Penelope's relationships with men.

The way men react to Penelope's looks is a constant problem because whatever degree of hideous we may find her nose is offset but the rest of Christina Ricci's physical features. Even the snout is kind of cute and Penelope herself is such a sweet character. It can be taken as the extreme rebuke of the upper class, but again, Ricci is too beautiful for a little snout to lead to such a constant, extreme reaction.

Peter Dinkledge is awesome. He's always awesome. It's like he can't help it.


Becoming Jane

There are some good names in the cast here too, and I didn't realize I was having a James McAvoy double feature. There's the conceit of presenting Jane Austin's life as if she were the heroine of a Jane Austin novel. It works like all those biopics where a famous person's real life inspires their art in a very direct way, but here it's like Jane always sees the world through a filter that will serve her well. It's like learning J.K. Rowling actually went to Hogwarts when she was young.

Problem is, I'm still not that deep into Jane Austin, so this was like sitting through yet another of her stories of love and money and social standing. It's really not my thing, though I could see it working as the ultimate meta mega mix of Austin's style.



VERDICT: Sadly no contest. I got a lot out of Penelope, which is flawed but very interesting. Plus it has Peter Dinkledge.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on April 23, 2018, 05:03:10 PM
Late response but I just rewatched The Florida Project and that fits the community support style of film. Another top 100 film with that aspect is Leave It On The Floor. Arguably that aspect is what made me likeThe Greatest Showman too, even though it papers over a terrible man.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on April 25, 2018, 01:52:13 AM
How Green Was My Valley/All That Heaven Allows

I've been ill, so I took the time to watch Sandy movies.  A worthwhile endeavor!

Despite the disparity of settings and subject matter, both films will remain unified in my mind because they both had a similar trait: that their first half hour turned me off of the film, but my patience rewarded me.

How Green Was My Valley begins, frankly, with extraordinary sentimentality, and it tells you right from the beginning that we are going to be treated to a rose-tinted nostalgia-fest. Not my idea of a good time.  All That Heaven Allows gives us a romantic, even erotic, novel premise with animal love between a widow and a gardener.  And the leads truly look the part, with Rock Hudson at first exemplifying the sexy Elvis and Jane Wyman the young, desired widow.  All very stereotypical and sappy and dull.

But about half way through both films they begin to deconstruct. That, in and of itself, wouldn't necessarily be interesting. In order to maintain a certain stereotypical setting, characters must be shallow and expectations must be met. In deconstruction or the reversal of tropes at least we have the possibility of depth of character and the complexity of situations.  And so we have in these films. The shiny nostalgia is broken, the young gardener has opinions.

Generally, though, I appreciated the approach of Heaven than Valley.  I love Rock Hudson's development in the film and his offering a new life to Wyman, but never forcing her to do anything.  I like the fact that Wyman is not punished for her wishy-washiness, but she obtains what she really wants despite her delay and the negative consequences. I love how Agnes Morehead errs, but never becomes an enemy, always remains a true friend.  It is ideal, but an ideal I can appreciate.

How Green Was My Valley, however, never subverted my expectations.  As soon as I saw the deconstruction, I could see where it was going. I loved Gregory Peck... I mean Walter Pidgon and Donald Crisp, but I kept wondering why Maureen O'Hara didn't get more to do. Okay, honestly, I kept thinking of her in The Quiet Man and how she would make a remarkable lead here. Or even given an important part in one of the main storylines.  It was all fine, and Ford shows his cinematic gold as usual, but I still felt a bit let down by the lack of surprise in the end.

The other common element of both films is how they present their varieties of patriarchy.  Both films have worldviews that clash: the flexible good-natured patriarchy or the harsh, punishing patriarchy.  The socially stagnent patriarchy, or the living-in-nature patriarchy.  At least Rock Hudson gave Jane Wyman a choice, but it was still a choice of his way or the highway.  No one gave women a real voice, an option to compromise or to make small changes in the world that they loved.  It just ate at me a bit.

How Green Was My Valley-- 3/5
All That Heaven Allows-- 3.5/5
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on April 25, 2018, 03:22:55 PM
Ball of Fire

This film comes loaded with enormous baggage of excellence. A screwball comedy, directed by Howard Hawks, written and based on a story by Billy Wilder, staring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper.  Hawks had just directed Stanwyck and Cooper in Meet John Doe, and Wilder learned from Hawks the craft of directing by watching him direct this film. On top of this, it is on Sandy's Top 100 and is a huge favorite of 1SO's as well!  That's a lot of weight for a little comedy.

Although Wilder based the story idea on the Seven Dwarfs, it reminds me much more of Sister Act.  A woman is running from danger because her boyfriend is a mobster, so she joins a conclave of people inexperience in real life to hide.  She ends up turning the whole community upside down. Both films have a low-culture-influences-high-culture theme. And both are just fun.

I was disappointed at how few LOL moments I had with the film, although a couple of the lines by Stanwyk were gold... "It's as red as The Daily Worker and just as sore!" "Who's Richard ill?"  Some of them were so quick, I'd have to go back to catch them all.  But the best part of the film is the team of "professors", played by a fine set of character actors, whose timing and cooperation were magnificent. I loved them all, which make us believe Stanwyck's affection for them all.

Certainly a great showcase for all involved.

3.5/5
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on April 25, 2018, 06:53:48 PM
1. Has anyone heard from Sandy?

2. Meet John Doe is Frank Capra.

3. Ball of Fire benefits from the Austin Powers effect of being funnier as you spend time away from it. When I first saw it, the only part that made me really laugh was the Yum-Yum scene, but now I look forward to hearing many of the lines again. Comic timing here is unparalleled, from Cooper chiming in with “boogie” at the wrong time to the usage of “hoi toy toy”.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 25, 2018, 09:25:08 PM
1. Has anyone heard from Sandy?

I'm here! Been up in the mountains, but am back on the grid now and replying to reviews...
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 25, 2018, 11:21:22 PM
3 films left in my Curtiz Marathon. After that, I have BOTH Penelope and Becoming Jane, which I will review like the Bracket Tournaments, recommending the best one to everyone else. After that, I plan to flow into Music of May with a continuation of our conversation about The Greatest Showman.

You've been busy! I just saw that you posted about The Greatest Showman and can't wait to sit with it and reply (hopefully tomorrow). I also saw your review of Taking Off and may watch it it for Music of May. Something about the generational clash, especially of the 60's and 70's catches my interest.

(https://imgur.com/3gOsIME.jpg)
               VS               
(https://imgur.com/w7QeeHM.jpg)

Can you tell I like James McAvoy? :))


Quote
Penelope

I knew James McAvoy was in this, but I was not prepared for Peter Dinkledge, who makes every film he's in better. You know who else will nudge me towards liking a film? Nick Frost. He doesn't have a big role, but he floats my goodwill to where I'm elated to see Reese Witherspoon show up much later in. It's also one of Reese's most likable characters.

While I miss early period Tim Burton, I wish this director trusted himself enough to develop his own style and not just do Burton crossed with Jean-Pierre Jeunet. That said it works better here than it should, building the fable world that allows the heavy metaphor to float by lightly. I liked the film's main message of acceptance and how it was just as strong in the relationship between mother and daughter as it is in Penelope's relationships with men.

The way men react to Penelope's looks is a constant problem because whatever degree of hideous we may find her nose is offset but the rest of Christina Ricci's physical features. Even the snout is kind of cute and Penelope herself is such a sweet character. It can be taken as the extreme rebuke of the upper class, but again, Ricci is too beautiful for a little snout to lead to such a constant, extreme reaction.

Peter Dinkledge is awesome. He's always awesome. It's like he can't help it.


Yes, he is. And the more I see Penelope, the more I'm grateful for Dinkledge's presence in it. That goes for Cahterine O'Hara too. I think she is hilarious and each time I see the movie, she gets funnier. She makes me laugh and cringe so much! 

As for Ricci, you're right, she's much too pretty to be so rejected, but I find she's the metaphor for the statement, "It's not the power of the curse, it's the power you give the curse." I just went and looked over my top 100. Each and every one of them have lessons that speak to me personally and the higher up the list, the more personal and important (to me) they get. Maybe that's a strange way to make a top 100 list, but I'm trying to navigate my way through this world and film is an excellent way for me to find road maps.

*SPOILERY*
Being isolated and seen as less than, can make for a powerful curse, yet it is an illusion. Whether others create it, or it comes from the self, there is a way through. Like Johnny said, she wanted "to be free" and the way through was to like herself the way she was. So simple, but hard to do. Yes, you're right, acceptance. I'm not saying anything you didn't already get from the film, but writing this down helps me solidify why it means so much to me. I'm very happy you watched it. :)

Quote
Becoming Jane

There are some good names in the cast here too, and I didn't realize I was having a James McAvoy double feature. There's the conceit of presenting Jane Austin's life as if she were the heroine of a Jane Austin novel. It works like all those biopics where a famous person's real life inspires their art in a very direct way, but here it's like Jane always sees the world through a filter that will serve her well. It's like learning J.K. Rowling actually went to Hogwarts when she was young.

Problem is, I'm still not that deep into Jane Austin, so this was like sitting through yet another of her stories of love and money and social standing. It's really not my thing, though I could see it working as the ultimate meta mega mix of Austin's style.

Meta Mega Mix! Exactly! There are many details in Becoming Jane where she is picking up inspiration for her novels and whether they are true or not, I enjoy seeing them.



"My characters shall have, after a little trouble, all that they desire." --Jane Austen

This was not to be for Austen herself, so I find her giving it to her characters such a sweet gift. More than the details of her gathering "copy", I am most interested in her as a person and the impossibility it was to be a woman with a literary gift in her time period. She stood up to the expectations of family and society and lived as she thought best. She also let go of her love, for the sake of others. These things I find inspiration in.

oldkid linked to an article about women and the arts, which garnered some discussion. I found it to contain some truths. In it were the words, "There is likely quite a bit more to the female text than we initially see." Being a woman, it gives me an advantage to Austen type texts, just like The Godfather is a man's film through and through. I love being here and seeing film through other's eyes and mostly men's at that. The perspective is not my own and so is valuable to me. Becoming Jane is written and directed by men, which isn't wrong, but I wonder if I would have connected with it even more, through women artists.

Quote
VERDICT: Sadly no contest. I got a lot out of Penelope, which is flawed but very interesting. Plus it has Peter Dinkledge.

Well, Penelope is higher on my list, so I have no problem with your verdict! :) Thanks for your reviews, 1SO!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on April 26, 2018, 12:15:01 AM
1. Has anyone heard from Sandy?

2. Meet John Doe is Frank Capra.

3. Ball of Fire benefits from the Austin Powers effect of being funnier as you spend time away from it. When I first saw it, the only part that made me really laugh was the Yum-Yum scene, but now I look forward to hearing many of the lines again. Comic timing here is unparalleled, from Cooper chiming in with “boogie” at the wrong time to the usage of “hoi toy toy”.

1. Yes, I know she wrote something around here, somewhere.

2. Capra, Hawks, what's the diff?  :-[

3. I could tell that by searching for quotes which were better in my memory than the first time I saw it.  I wonder if it isn't like when I saw His Girl Friday, which was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen, but it didn't give me enough time to laugh!  It so happens that the easiest way for me to watch Ball of Fire was to buy it so I'll have many an opportunity to watch it again and laugh.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Teproc on April 26, 2018, 08:32:00 AM
Across the Universe (Julie Taymor, 2007)

This movie is a mess. I'm pretty sure that's what it's trying to be that, if it's trying anything at all beyond "hey, let's take a bunch of Beatles song and try to connect them with some kind of a narrative". I don't know that Taymor has anything to say about The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix (right?), Janis Joplin, the 60s, Vietnam, drugs, the relationship between the UK and the US, the music industry and the counterculture in general, in fact it seems to me that she actively wants to avoid saying anything about it at all: the whole film basically amounts to "the 60s, weren't those years something ?"

WHich is not to say I didn't find this enjoyable. I'm not a huge fan of the way the songs are produced, but some of the numbers are quite effective: Come Together and I Want You (She's So Heavy) particularly, and then it's hard to screw Hey, Jude up... and then there's that weird Sgt. Peppers interlude which fills no other purpose than being weird, but in a way that's kind of fun. It's hard to find anything meaningful to say about this film, frankly: its pleasures are all on the surface... and there's nothing wrong with that, but then maybe it shouldn't last for over two hours.

It's also quite remarkable that, of the six main players, all of them young and seemingly talented singers and mediocre (Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther) to good (Joe Anderson, Jim Sturgess) actors, only one is in any way recognizable ten years later. She (Evan Rachel Wood that is) is obviously the best part of the film, if only because - to get back to that surface level pleasures idea - of how perfect she looks. I mean, she's also good in the role, but she doesn't get much to play, and her singing voice - while lovely - is the one that clashes the most with the period, so mostly I'm admiring her beautiful eyes any time she's on screen, and I'm pretty sure that's what the film wants, given that it seems to remember at the end that it actually has something to say: nothing that happens in the 60s matters quite as much as two somewhat bland people loving each other. And maybe they represent America's love for The Beatles, too ? Sure, let's go with that.

Well, enough rambling: despite all of that, I had fun with it. It's a ballsy (well, maybe "gutsy" would be more appropriate) film, and there are enough individual moments that work, I just don't think it all adds up to much of anything.

6/10
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 26, 2018, 07:38:07 PM
Late response but I just rewatched The Florida Project and that fits the community support style of film. Another top 100 film with that aspect is Leave It On The Floor. Arguably that aspect is what made me likeThe Greatest Showman too, even though it papers over a terrible man.

Two very different kinds of movies, but have the through line you speak of. As one who is currently in search of community (having left my own), this theme is especially meaningful right now. Keep curating and I'll continue watching. :) 
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 26, 2018, 09:54:56 PM
How Green Was My Valley/All That Heaven Allows

I've been ill, so I took the time to watch Sandy movies.  A worthwhile endeavor!

Are you feeling better, oldkid? I hope so! I have to be careful when watching movies if I'm sick. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness is permanently fused with a raging fever I had at the time of viewing it. Any time I think of it now, I get a psychosomatic headache. :)

Quote
Despite the disparity of settings and subject matter, both films will remain unified in my mind because they both had a similar trait: that their first half hour turned me off of the film, but my patience rewarded me.

How Green Was My Valley begins, frankly, with extraordinary sentimentality, and it tells you right from the beginning that we are going to be treated to a rose-tinted nostalgia-fest. Not my idea of a good time.  All That Heaven Allows gives us a romantic, even erotic, novel premise with animal love between a widow and a gardener.  And the leads truly look the part, with Rock Hudson at first exemplifying the sexy Elvis and Jane Wyman the young, desired widow.  All very stereotypical and sappy and dull.

But about half way through both films they begin to deconstruct. That, in and of itself, wouldn't necessarily be interesting. In order to maintain a certain stereotypical setting, characters must be shallow and expectations must be met. In deconstruction or the reversal of tropes at least we have the possibility of depth of character and the complexity of situations.  And so we have in these films. The shiny nostalgia is broken, the young gardener has opinions.

Generally, though, I appreciated the approach of Heaven than Valley.  I love Rock Hudson's development in the film and his offering a new life to Wyman, but never forcing her to do anything.  I like the fact that Wyman is not punished for her wishy-washiness, but she obtains what she really wants despite her delay and the negative consequences. I love how Agnes Morehead errs, but never becomes an enemy, always remains a true friend.  It is ideal, but an ideal I can appreciate.

How Green Was My Valley, however, never subverted my expectations.  As soon as I saw the deconstruction, I could see where it was going. I loved Gregory Peck... I mean Walter Pidgon and Donald Crisp, but I kept wondering why Maureen O'Hara didn't get more to do. Okay, honestly, I kept thinking of her in The Quiet Man and how she would make a remarkable lead here. Or even given an important part in one of the main storylines.  It was all fine, and Ford shows his cinematic gold as usual, but I still felt a bit let down by the lack of surprise in the end.

The other common element of both films is how they present their varieties of patriarchy.  Both films have worldviews that clash: the flexible good-natured patriarchy or the harsh, punishing patriarchy.  The socially stagnent patriarchy, or the living-in-nature patriarchy.  At least Rock Hudson gave Jane Wyman a choice, but it was still a choice of his way or the highway.  No one gave women a real voice, an option to compromise or to make small changes in the world that they loved.  It just ate at me a bit.

How Green Was My Valley-- 3/5
All That Heaven Allows-- 3.5/5

A demure Maureen O'Hara is certainly against type. I really appreciate your descriptions of the varying modes of partriarchy. Whatever the manner, it's still dominion. It eats at you because you see it for what it is. It eats at me too and films like this help me to process what is, what was and what needs to not be in the future.

How Green Was My Valley is a musical. :) It's so pretty to look at and listen to, such a feast for the senses.

All That Heaven Allows contrast between society and real relationships with others and nature, really speaks to me. It's not an easy watch, for the constraints are palpable, but to walk away from that which is false, towards a truer and more authentic life is what I want most. I kept the quote about Ron Kirby's character at my desk for a long time. "He was so secure within himself, because he refused to give importance to unimportant things." This stance is why the movie is in my top 100.

Thanks for watching them and sharing your thoughts about how they played out for you. I enjoyed reading your dual review. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 27, 2018, 01:06:17 PM
Did you notice this was written by Billy Wilder with Charles Brackett. Probably obvious now that I said it. Two writers with a love for words handing a script about word usage to a director who loves to let actors throw dialogue fastballs at each other.

How is this film not in my top 100?  I'll answer my own question with a question, How have I not seen this movie yet?  Running, not walking, to find this one.

Ball of Fire

This film comes loaded with enormous baggage of excellence. A screwball comedy, directed by Howard Hawks, written and based on a story by Billy Wilder, staring Barbara Stanwyck and Gary Cooper.  Hawks had just directed Stanwyck and Cooper in Meet John Doe, and Wilder learned from Hawks the craft of directing by watching him direct this film. On top of this, it is on Sandy's Top 100 and is a huge favorite of 1SO's as well!  That's a lot of weight for a little comedy.

Although Wilder based the story idea on the Seven Dwarfs, it reminds me much more of Sister Act.  A woman is running from danger because her boyfriend is a mobster, so she joins a conclave of people inexperience in real life to hide.  She ends up turning the whole community upside down. Both films have a low-culture-influences-high-culture theme. And both are just fun.

I was disappointed at how few LOL moments I had with the film, although a couple of the lines by Stanwyk were gold... "It's as red as The Daily Worker and just as sore!" "Who's Richard ill?"  Some of them were so quick, I'd have to go back to catch them all.  But the best part of the film is the team of "professors", played by a fine set of character actors, whose timing and cooperation were magnificent. I loved them all, which make us believe Stanwyck's affection for them all.

Certainly a great showcase for all involved.

3.5/5

Baggage indeed! This is the type of movie you want to run across without any prior knowledge and at the end sit back and say, "What was that?!" :)

Besides the word play - "Miss O'Shea, the construction "on account of because" outrages every grammatical law. :)) , I love the vulnerability  between Potts and O'Shea. But, like you, I adore the professors. They are the glue to all of this.

I've only seen it once and wonder how I'd react a second time. If you do see it again, I'd love to hear about your experience.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 27, 2018, 01:23:11 PM
Across the Universe (Julie Taymor, 2007)

This movie is a mess. I'm pretty sure that's what it's trying to be that, if it's trying anything at all beyond "hey, let's take a bunch of Beatles song and try to connect them with some kind of a narrative". I don't know that Taymor has anything to say about The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix (right?), Janis Joplin, the 60s, Vietnam, drugs, the relationship between the UK and the US, the music industry and the counterculture in general, in fact it seems to me that she actively wants to avoid saying anything about it at all: the whole film basically amounts to "the 60s, weren't those years something ?"

WHich is not to say I didn't find this enjoyable. I'm not a huge fan of the way the songs are produced, but some of the numbers are quite effective: Come Together and I Want You (She's So Heavy) particularly, and then it's hard to screw Hey, Jude up... and then there's that weird Sgt. Peppers interlude which fills no other purpose than being weird, but in a way that's kind of fun. It's hard to find anything meaningful to say about this film, frankly: its pleasures are all on the surface... and there's nothing wrong with that, but then maybe it shouldn't last for over two hours.

It's also quite remarkable that, of the six main players, all of them young and seemingly talented singers and mediocre (Dana Fuchs, Martin Luther) to good (Joe Anderson, Jim Sturgess) actors, only one is in any way recognizable ten years later. She (Evan Rachel Wood that is) is obviously the best part of the film, if only because - to get back to that surface level pleasures idea - of how perfect she looks. I mean, she's also good in the role, but she doesn't get much to play, and her singing voice - while lovely - is the one that clashes the most with the period, so mostly I'm admiring her beautiful eyes any time she's on screen, and I'm pretty sure that's what the film wants, given that it seems to remember at the end that it actually has something to say: nothing that happens in the 60s matters quite as much as two somewhat bland people loving each other. And maybe they represent America's love for The Beatles, too ? Sure, let's go with that.

Well, enough rambling: despite all of that, I had fun with it. It's a ballsy (well, maybe "gutsy" would be more appropriate) film, and there are enough individual moments that work, I just don't think it all adds up to much of anything.

6/10

Haha! I don't know what to say, Teproc, because everything you say is completely accurate!

It is a wildly experimental project. I guess with my love for Beatles songs and the heart that was put into it, and the effort to make the music into a narrative, I let it carry me away. Even when I tried to review it, I ended up gathering screen shots because my words failed me then too. Thanks for giving it a shot! And yes, Evan Rachel Wood is lovely. :)

Here's my (non) review.

Across the Universe (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=10828.msg662597#msg662597)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: jdc on April 27, 2018, 07:11:54 PM
Amadeus

I use to be a huge classical music fan where it was what I mostly listened to. I still enjoy it but not as my main goto music. For some reason when I got into it and started exploring composers, it was Mozart that just never resonated with me. I could usually find something from most others of the biggies that I enjoyed and played. But not this guy. Maybe it is cause I knew he just seemed like a spoiled kid with an annoying laugh.

But actually, I enjoyed the movie and it really is just beautiful to look at which makes it hard to turn away. I am sort of sorry I watched it on a TV and not waited till I have the projector up and running. So maybe try it again in a year or so.

My only other thought is whatever happened to that guy, I only could remember him from being the troubled son in Parenthood. Though checking his credits, he did do some work from time to time but seems to have stopped about 10 years ago.

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on April 28, 2018, 03:07:55 PM
Yeah, Tom Hulce moved over to theater: acting and then directing and producing. His role in Amadeus is one of those lightning strike moments where actor and character line up so perfectly, it's hard to imagine anyone else doing it. I bought the album in '84 and listened to it a lot. I think it was my beginnings of seeking out Mozart's music, and then on to other composers. jdc, you and I started in opposite directions. :) The movie is so beautiful, even on a tv! Glad you got a chance to see it.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: jdc on April 28, 2018, 06:36:46 PM
My introduction to classical came from Clockwork Orange so I started with Beethoven then moved out. While I branched out to many different composers and era's, Mortzart and his gang at the time just didn't do it for me. I much preferred the later periods of Classical with the exception being Bach. 
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on April 28, 2018, 11:59:20 PM
It's a push for me whether to remember Tom Hulce for Amadeus or for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on April 29, 2018, 07:12:55 AM
Short Term 12 (2013 - Destin Daniel Cretton)

I had a wonderful time in the care of a group of characters. The wonder was as much apart of their believability as real people. The moments came and went without force, just flowed naturally out of the story. However the shaky camera, intruded into the viewing experience. It took me out of the film and made me a viewer again. The introduction to their work, was superbly done, the crashing of Sammy out the door and bursting across the lawn where they are talking. A scene that beautifully bookends the film.

Overall a delightful film, with troubled people who's realness lifts this film up.

Rating: 79 / 100

Thank you for having this on your list, so I had the excuse to finally watch this film.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on April 29, 2018, 08:42:22 PM
Becoming Jane
I like that the title works both as the story of how a woman became Jane, as well as the story of Jane, who is very becoming, though I wish it was more about the former. Hathaway does a perfectly good job, but she doesn't really command it, and this film really needs someone to dominate the screen in the lead. The text is fine, but it needs something more going on underneath; Emotions and thoughts that go beyond "I want to be a writer, I want to marry for love not money, I put my family above myself" would make Jane an actual person and not just a walking dilemma of torn convictions and contradicting feelings. Those scenes McAvoy gets as his introduction, expository and perfunctory as they are, are more than Jane gets in terms of building a character that stands on its own, her scenes are all plot point to plot point with her development always in contrast or reaction to events. I suppose that could speak to the role of women in her time, always controlled by events and never being able to be truly independent, but that is already seen more interestingly in the way Jane acts and reacts like a caged bird, fiercely independent of thought and word but always constrained by her upbringing and the harsh realities of her society. A peek into her thoughts and beliefs would help us know who she is as an actual human being, otherwise it treads closely to reinforcing the constraints of the time rather than just highlighting them. Jane's sharp wit is the only piece of individuality we really see, even her writing is obscured by montage structures and something we must take on faith from everyone saying she's a good writer. This might seem a really critical review, but I did enjoy the film. It has a nice tonal balance between happy moments and bittersweet ones and doesn't overdo the drama. I like what it does and enjoyed the way it does it, but I feel there's an even better movie in there struggling to get out.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Teproc on April 30, 2018, 02:21:25 AM
Haha! I don't know what to say, Teproc, because everything you say is completely accurate!

It is a wildly experimental project. I guess with my love for Beatles songs and the heart that was put into it, and the effort to make the music into a narrative, I let it carry me away. Even when I tried to review it, I ended up gathering screen shots because my words failed me then too. Thanks for giving it a shot! And yes, Evan Rachel Wood is lovely. :)

Here's my (non) review.

Across the Universe (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=10828.msg662597#msg662597)

I like that review (response?) a lot, because I do get how you appreciate the film that much, by focusing on those individual moments which work really well. Definitely agree on the "Jude, Jude, Juday Juday!" for example.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 01, 2018, 12:49:12 AM
I like that review (response?) a lot, because I do get how you appreciate the film that much, by focusing on those individual moments which work really well. Definitely agree on the "Jude, Jude, Juday Juday!" for example.

Thanks for looking at it. I wasn't sure how to express my thoughts, so tried that instead. Yes, it's a mess as a whole, but there are magical moments!




Dave and PeacefulAnarchy, I'll reply to your reviews tomorrow!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 01, 2018, 03:21:52 PM
Short Term 12 (2013 - Destin Daniel Cretton)

I had a wonderful time in the care of a group of characters. The wonder was as much apart of their believability as real people. The moments came and went without force, just flowed naturally out of the story. However the shaky camera, intruded into the viewing experience. It took me out of the film and made me a viewer again. The introduction to their work, was superbly done, the crashing of Sammy out the door and bursting across the lawn where they are talking. A scene that beautifully bookends the film.

Overall a delightful film, with troubled people who's realness lifts this film up.

Rating: 79 / 100

Thank you for having this on your list, so I had the excuse to finally watch this film.

Shaky cams are highly overrated. Hold still! In spite of that, I'm glad you enjoyed this, Dave. I saw this at a time when I myself was having to use my skills to keep someone safe and moving forward, even though it wasn't appreciated at the time. This movie made me feel understood and in good company. Yes, "troubled people who's realness lifts..."
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 01, 2018, 03:26:37 PM
It's a push for me whether to remember Tom Hulce for Amadeus or for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
 

He has an endearing voice, both in singing and his speech.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on May 01, 2018, 03:35:21 PM
Who's month is May?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 01, 2018, 03:45:14 PM
Who's month is May?

I think it is ses, if she has time.

Does someone want to call ses? :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on May 01, 2018, 03:52:51 PM
Round Four is:

Junior
jdc
oldkid
ses
MartinTeller
Sandy
PeacefulAnarchy
1SO
Bondo
Teproc
Chardy999
pixote
Knocked Out Loaded
Sam the Cinema Snob
DarkeningHumour
Dave the Necrobumper
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 01, 2018, 03:59:29 PM
Becoming Jane
I like that the title works both as the story of how a woman became Jane, as well as the story of Jane, who is very becoming, though I wish it was more about the former. Hathaway does a perfectly good job, but she doesn't really command it, and this film really needs someone to dominate the screen in the lead. The text is fine, but it needs something more going on underneath; Emotions and thoughts that go beyond "I want to be a writer, I want to marry for love not money, I put my family above myself" would make Jane an actual person and not just a walking dilemma of torn convictions and contradicting feelings. Those scenes McAvoy gets as his introduction, expository and perfunctory as they are, are more than Jane gets in terms of building a character that stands on its own, her scenes are all plot point to plot point with her development always in contrast or reaction to events. I suppose that could speak to the role of women in her time, always controlled by events and never being able to be truly independent, but that is already seen more interestingly in the way Jane acts and reacts like a caged bird, fiercely independent of thought and word but always constrained by her upbringing and the harsh realities of her society. A peek into her thoughts and beliefs would help us know who she is as an actual human being, otherwise it treads closely to reinforcing the constraints of the time rather than just highlighting them. Jane's sharp wit is the only piece of individuality we really see, even her writing is obscured by montage structures and something we must take on faith from everyone saying she's a good writer. This might seem a really critical review, but I did enjoy the film. It has a nice tonal balance between happy moments and bittersweet ones and doesn't overdo the drama. I like what it does and enjoyed the way it does it, but I feel there's an even better movie in there struggling to get out.

She is becoming. :)

(https://i.imgur.com/DtxVAMR.jpg)

Thanks for helping me see the title differently! Do you think another actress could have had more presence? I heard Hathaway had studied Austen in college and worked hard to get the accent right. Or, do you think she was hindered by the writing? You cover so many possibilities why her character doesn't stand out as well as you'd hoped for. I'm in complete agreement with your words, "I feel there's an even better movie in there struggling to get out." Truly! I love this movie for what it is, and also for what it wishes to be. I mentioned earlier that it was directed and written by men. Do you think women may be the missing ingredient in the creation of this?

So happy you took the time to see it. You capture everything I feel about it's limitations and many of the things which make it one of my favorites.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 01, 2018, 04:00:52 PM
Yes, this is the lineup. ses was busy and Martin was busy being a new dad! So I stepped in. I'm not sure how May is going to work out yet.

Round Four is:

Junior
jdc
oldkid
ses
MartinTeller
Sandy
PeacefulAnarchy
1SO
Bondo
Teproc
Chardy999
pixote
Knocked Out Loaded
Sam the Cinema Snob
DarkeningHumour
Dave the Necrobumper
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: pixote on May 01, 2018, 05:00:02 PM
I haven't participated in a while (though I keep meaning to; I almost watched 13 Going on 30 last night, for example), but it seems the shift to separate threads for each participant has coincided with a lack of accountability ... which maybe works out well for me, lol.

Anyway, I'll try to catch up soon. I'm not even sure I ever posted my Willa Wonka review for whatever month I finally watched it.

pixote
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 01, 2018, 07:55:33 PM
Willy Wonka counts for me too!

I watched 13 Going on 30 with my 13 year old, for the first time, a few weeks ago. Lots of bonding. :D
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on May 01, 2018, 08:05:21 PM
Becoming Jane
I like that the title works both as the story of how a woman became Jane, as well as the story of Jane, who is very becoming, though I wish it was more about the former. Hathaway does a perfectly good job, but she doesn't really command it, and this film really needs someone to dominate the screen in the lead. The text is fine, but it needs something more going on underneath; Emotions and thoughts that go beyond "I want to be a writer, I want to marry for love not money, I put my family above myself" would make Jane an actual person and not just a walking dilemma of torn convictions and contradicting feelings. Those scenes McAvoy gets as his introduction, expository and perfunctory as they are, are more than Jane gets in terms of building a character that stands on its own, her scenes are all plot point to plot point with her development always in contrast or reaction to events. I suppose that could speak to the role of women in her time, always controlled by events and never being able to be truly independent, but that is already seen more interestingly in the way Jane acts and reacts like a caged bird, fiercely independent of thought and word but always constrained by her upbringing and the harsh realities of her society. A peek into her thoughts and beliefs would help us know who she is as an actual human being, otherwise it treads closely to reinforcing the constraints of the time rather than just highlighting them. Jane's sharp wit is the only piece of individuality we really see, even her writing is obscured by montage structures and something we must take on faith from everyone saying she's a good writer. This might seem a really critical review, but I did enjoy the film. It has a nice tonal balance between happy moments and bittersweet ones and doesn't overdo the drama. I like what it does and enjoyed the way it does it, but I feel there's an even better movie in there struggling to get out.

She is becoming. :)

(https://i.imgur.com/DtxVAMR.jpg)

Thanks for helping me see the title differently! Do you think another actress could have had more presence? I heard Hathaway had studied Austen in college and worked hard to get the accent right. Or, do you think she was hindered by the writing? You cover so many possibilities why her character doesn't stand out as well as you'd hoped for. I'm in complete agreement with your words, "I feel there's an even better movie in there struggling to get out." Truly! I love this movie for what it is, and also for what it wishes to be. I mentioned earlier that it was directed and written by men. Do you think women may be the missing ingredient in the creation of this?

So happy you took the time to see it. You capture everything I feel about it's limitations and many of the things which make it one of my favorites.
I can't think of anyone off hand who would do it better, though I feel I've seen performances that capture what I'm thinking of they're not coming to mind. I quite like Hathaway as an actress and she has good screen presence and I wonder if maybe current Hathaway, 10 years later, could deliver more punch and complexity to the role. I don't really have a mental image of Jane and her personality beyond this film, so that makes it hard to imagine someone else in the role. The writing is ok but yeah, that's part of it. I was thinking of your comment about it being written and directed by men, especially when thinking about McAvoy and the way he's presented vs the way Jane is. He doesn't quite overtake the film, but he takes a big part of the stage in a way that he probably shouldn't if the film is really to be about Jane. Relative to their importance in the film, the writers definitely gave him more to work with, though to his credit he made the most of it without outshining Hathaway. I hesitate to fall back on "a woman would have done it better," the film's (lead?) writer was a woman after all as was the editor, what's important is someone who has an interest in Jane as a person rather than a symbol which probably would be more likely from a woman than a man.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on May 02, 2018, 01:39:31 AM
I'll send ses a message.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 02, 2018, 09:13:51 AM
Thanks, oldkid. :)


I can't think of anyone off hand who would do it better, though I feel I've seen performances that capture what I'm thinking of they're not coming to mind. I quite like Hathaway as an actress and she has good screen presence and I wonder if maybe current Hathaway, 10 years later, could deliver more punch and complexity to the role.

Great observation! At first, I'm right on board, wanting to see this version of her Jane, but then I think of how unfinished I was at a young age, and having such a knowing actress might make Jane too knowing too. Jane was limited in her experience of life. With all her imagination and ability to express herself in writing, she really was in need of her horizons widening. :)

Quote
I don't really have a mental image of Jane and her personality beyond this film, so that makes it hard to imagine someone else in the role. The writing is ok but yeah, that's part of it. I was thinking of your comment about it being written and directed by men, especially when thinking about McAvoy and the way he's presented vs the way Jane is. He doesn't quite overtake the film, but he takes a big part of the stage in a way that he probably shouldn't if the film is really to be about Jane. Relative to their importance in the film, the writers definitely gave him more to work with, though to his credit he made the most of it without outshining Hathaway.

Another great point! Mcavoy's portrayal is a big reason this film is in my top 100 and here you help me see that part of his work is his ability to not upstage, even if he is more skilled and has a better written character. That is a generous actor, indeed.

Quote
I hesitate to fall back on "a woman would have done it better," the film's (lead?) writer was a woman after all as was the editor, what's important is someone who has an interest in Jane as a person rather than a symbol which probably would be more likely from a woman than a man.

Ah, they had Austen herself as the lead writer! Love it. I hesitate with you on making a statement about the gender of the writer and director being the problem. I appreciate the exploration of it with you though. Women and men bring their own unique views of the world and nuance is a real thing. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to sit in contemplation about a film that was already special to me. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on May 02, 2018, 01:35:13 PM
I can't think of anyone off hand who would do it better, though I feel I've seen performances that capture what I'm thinking of they're not coming to mind. I quite like Hathaway as an actress and she has good screen presence and I wonder if maybe current Hathaway, 10 years later, could deliver more punch and complexity to the role.

Great observation! At first, I'm right on board, wanting to see this version of her Jane, but then I think of how unfinished I was at a young age, and having such a knowing actress might make Jane too knowing too. Jane was limited in her experience of life. With all her imagination and ability to express herself in writing, she really was in need of her horizons widening. :)
Yeah, that's the tricky part isn't it. Casting someone who can express complexity while still expressing youthful naivete is not an easy task.


Quote
I hesitate to fall back on "a woman would have done it better," the film's (lead?) writer was a woman after all as was the editor, what's important is someone who has an interest in Jane as a person rather than a symbol which probably would be more likely from a woman than a man.

Ah, they had Austen herself as the lead writer! Love it. I hesitate with you on making a statement about the gender of the writer and director being the problem. I appreciate the exploration of it with you though. Women and men bring their own unique views of the world and nuance is a real thing. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to sit in contemplation about a film that was already special to me. :)
I meant Sarah Williams who wrote the original screenplay and pitched the idea for the film. Another writer (Kevin Hood) was brought in after but it's not clear to me if it was a replacement or addition, hence the question mark. In the end the director chooses what to shoot and the producers probably had final say so it's impossible to say what any one person's vision was.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: MartinTeller on May 02, 2018, 02:41:48 PM
I think I have enough free time to respond to reviews (although my responses may be brief) if ses isn't available and you want to do my list next. However, I skipped Sandy's month so maybe that wouldn't be fair.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on May 02, 2018, 11:24:22 PM
I think I have enough free time to respond to reviews (although my responses may be brief) if ses isn't available and you want to do my list next. However, I skipped Sandy's month so maybe that wouldn't be fair.

As founder of the Top 100 Club, you will always have a top place on the list.

Please, if you have time, go ahead.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 03, 2018, 10:18:40 AM
Yeah, that's the tricky part isn't it. Casting someone who can express complexity while still expressing youthful naivete is not an easy task.

Nope!


Quote
I meant Sarah Williams who wrote the original screenplay and pitched the idea for the film. Another writer (Kevin Hood) was brought in after but it's not clear to me if it was a replacement or addition, hence the question mark. In the end the director chooses what to shoot and the producers probably had final say so it's impossible to say what any one person's vision was.

Oh! I see. She must have had enough story and interesting ideas to catch a producer's eye. Since Kevin got top billing, I wonder if there was a lot of work to be done on it. It's fun to speculate. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: pixote on May 04, 2018, 10:42:49 AM
I watched 13 Going on 30 with my 13 year old, for the first time, a few weeks ago. Lots of bonding. :D

I wish there had been a DVD supplement with commentary from the two of you.

pixote
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 04, 2018, 07:22:28 PM
I wish there had been a DVD supplement with commentary from the two of you.

pixote

:) We're all thirteen year olds, down deep inside.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on May 30, 2018, 08:42:49 PM
Taps (1981)

This film hasn't aged particularly well. Not per se because of the film, but because of society. It's hard not to see this in light of our current gun debate. Careless firearms management leads to a tragedy. The tragedy leads to a proposed entirely reasonable gun control regime. Petulant boys who have the delusion of being heroes rebel against authority. Tragedy after tragedy follows as they remain bound to their tradition in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Now, it would be awful if the film fell solidly behind the boys' motives, thankfully it doesn't fall for the same nonsense they do, simply observing it. Still, by embedding perspective among them it assumes a greater investment than I was able to give.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 30, 2018, 09:28:16 PM
That's because you don't have a huge crush on Timothy Hutton! Way back in 1981, as a young teen, I was totally invested in him. :)) In fact, I still have a scrapbook from that time. Let me grab a few pics from it.

(https://i.imgur.com/urJqWdh.jpg?2)

(https://i.imgur.com/o946vk9.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/l0SvWdG.jpg)

So if I bawled like a baby at the movie theater, you'll understand why. Just a few months ago, I took my 13 year-old to see Maze Runner: The Death Cure and she too cried a lot, because her celebrity crush happens to be Thomas Brodie-Sangster. I got to tell her about Taps and it was another movie bonding moment. :)

Thanks for watching the film, Bondo and investing time in something that is part of my past. The important question is, at the age of 14, who would you have cried buckets of tears over in a sad film?

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on May 30, 2018, 10:21:26 PM
I mean, if Fly Away Home ended with Anna Paquin's character crashing her bird plane and dying, that would have been a bummer. Maybe a Thora Birch or a Kirsten Dunst. Alicia Silverstone as well, though she tended to play some darker characters who met poor ends.

because her celebrity crush happens to be Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Relatable! Though my opinion of The Maze Runner being what it is, maybe she should view this as a happy occasion. He is free to not be in that franchise now.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on May 31, 2018, 11:22:39 PM
I mean, if Fly Away Home ended with Anna Paquin's character crashing her bird plane and dying, that would have been a bummer. Maybe a Thora Birch or a Kirsten Dunst. Alicia Silverstone as well, though she tended to play some darker characters who met poor ends.

You had many crushes! I was more a devotee to one. :))

Quote
because her celebrity crush happens to be Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Relatable! Though my opinion of The Maze Runner being what it is, maybe she should view this as a happy occasion. He is free to not be in that franchise now.

Haha! I'd tell her that, but she's pretty enamored with the whole thing.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: pixote on June 27, 2018, 10:23:23 PM
(https://s3.amazonaws.com/cinepix/screenshots/13Goingon30.jpg)

13 Going on 30  (Gary Winick, 2004)

This is an interesting movie you've got here, Sandy. The opening scenes are impressively cringe-worthy (in a good way), distilling every worst high school fear into a few brief moments. Once Jenna's birthday wish is granted, I found myself marveling at the ingenuity of the premise — specifically, how it merges the high concept of Big with that of Rip Van Winkle. Jenna awakes not only in an adult body but also seventeen years in the future — into the information age. The comedic and thematic potential of that dual concept is off the charts, and I was super eager to see what the film would do with it.

But then, something weird happens. The script sort of ignores its own premise. There’s one scene early in act two where Jenna is baffled by the ring of a cell phone, but, after that, the leap from 1987 to 2004 rarely presents any obstacles. She adapts too quickly. As such, the film owes less to a fantasy movie like Big than it does to a less fantastical movie like Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (or even Regarding Henry), where a character struggles with a job because they don't have the experience they claimed they had (or lost their memory). The script rarely deals with its own core ideas and instead breezes past what I would have thought would be the story's most interesting moments. Ruffalo’s character, for example, is too quick to accept the fact that Jenna's jumped forward seventeen years into the future. And even then, it doesn't interest him at all. He's just like, "Oh, really? Huh. Okay. Anyway, I should go because you're pretty and I'm engaged." (I remain uncomfortable with the classic romantic comedy lack of empathy for the off-screen heartbreak of the non-leads.) Similarly, Jenna, though excited to drink alcohol, isn't at all curious about sex and other possibilities of adulthood; but she's still ready to get married. That's odd to me, to say the least.

I think my favorite scene is when Garner flirts with the boy in the diner. That moment alone hints at everything I hoped the film would be. I think it's also one of Garner's best scenes. She rarely felt like a thirteen year-old in a grown-up body to me, but the diner scene was a great exception.

Criticisms aside, I still had a fun time with 13 Going on 30. As I might have mentioned previously, I think a documentary of you watching the movie together with your daughter would have been better suited to my tastes, but what can you do?

Heartache to heartache.

pixote
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on June 27, 2018, 11:19:52 PM
ooh, I love this! I feel like I've talked about 13 Going on 30 here on the forum, but can't find it. Much to say about this film, but will have to come back tomorrow to reply. I'll try and give you a little taste of that documentary you were hoping for. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on June 29, 2018, 01:22:43 AM
I found it!

13 Going on 30

(http://i60.tinypic.com/2mx1rac.jpg)


Journal Entry: May 12, 2004

I just got back from the late movie. I went and saw 13 Going on 30. I especially liked Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Matt. Here was an idealistic child whom life had damaged, and the adult he became - world weary, resigned and still absolutely kind. Also with an underlying vulnerability. One of the best male characters I've seen in a long time.


Well, that's embarrassing. Three short, stubby sentences, followed by a long disjointed one and then a sloppy sentence fragment. I could excuse it by saying it was written late at night, or that I wasn't a consistent journal keeper, thereby not having kept my writing skills up, and it would be true. But the bigger truth is, I wanted to quickly jot down my thoughts on the man, in case I forgot about him later. I needn't have worried. He's been on my mind a lot over the years, since I haven't seen another character, with so few brush strokes, come off the screen as fully formed. How can such a frothy bit of fluff movie produce such an unforgettable character? It's because of the nature of the film and having now seen Ruffalo inhabit other characters, I put the praise squarely on his shoulders. His authenticity and (borrowing from the Breathing Life thread) sincerity shine through. I watched the movie again yesterday, to see if it I still felt the same way about the character and sure enough, there he was again. And for that, I love this silly movie. Oh, and Jennifer Garner is 13 as far as I can tell.

This is an interesting movie you've got here, Sandy.

:)) It took me a few years of being on the forum before I got enough courage to put it in my top 100. I don't love it all, but I wanted to be honest about my affection for the film and especially this one particular character.

Quote
The opening scenes are impressively cringe-worthy (in a good way), distilling every worst high school fear into a few brief moments. Once Jenna's birthday wish is granted, I found myself marveling at the ingenuity of the premise — specifically, how it merges the high concept of Big with that of Rip Van Winkle. Jenna awakes not only in an adult body but also seventeen years in the future — into the information age. The comedic and thematic potential of that dual concept is off the charts, and I was super eager to see what the film would do with it.

I wish it could have delivered all the potential you had hoped for. :)

Quote
But then, something weird happens. The script sort of ignores its own premise. There’s one scene early in act two where Jenna is baffled by the ring of a cell phone, but, after that, the leap from 1987 to 2004 rarely presents any obstacles. She adapts too quickly. As such, the film owes less to a fantasy movie like Big than it does to a less fantastical movie like Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (or even Regarding Henry), where a character struggles with a job because they don't have the experience they claimed they had (or lost their memory). The script rarely deals with its own core ideas and instead breezes past what I would have thought would be the story's most interesting moments. Ruffalo’s character, for example, is too quick to accept the fact that Jenna's jumped forward seventeen years into the future. And even then, it doesn't interest him at all. He's just like, "Oh, really? Huh. Okay. Anyway, I should go because you're pretty and I'm engaged."

I took it as him liking her in spite of his worry for her sanity. Also, I chalk it up to typical suspension of disbelief in rom-com fare. But you're right, it's all too quick.

Quote
(I remain uncomfortable with the classic romantic comedy lack of empathy for the off-screen heartbreak of the non-leads.)

I hear you. I did appreciate how Ruffalo's Matt did not walk away from the life he had chosen, even though he had love for Jenna. It was another reason I admired his character.

Quote
Similarly, Jenna, though excited to drink alcohol, isn't at all curious about sex and other possibilities of adulthood; but she's still ready to get married. That's odd to me, to say the least.

:)) Um, having been a 13 year old girl and being around other 13 year old girls, I can attest to this phenomenon. I didn't do this, but I knew girls who were making scrapbooks of their future weddings. :P I didn't know anything about sex at 13. Heck, I still don't. I guess I'm trying to say, this isn't as odd to me as maybe it should be!

Quote
I think my favorite scene is when Garner flirts with the boy in the diner. That moment alone hints at everything I hoped the film would be. I think it's also one of Garner's best scenes. She rarely felt like a thirteen year-old in a grown-up body to me, but the diner scene was a great exception.

So great!

Quote
Criticisms aside, I still had a fun time with 13 Going on 30. As I might have mentioned previously, I think a documentary of you watching the movie together with your daughter would have been better suited to my tastes, but what can you do?

Heartache to heartache.

pixote

We stand :)

You're such a good sport for watching this, pixote. Thank you ever so much!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: pixote on June 30, 2018, 06:22:22 PM
I especially liked Mark Ruffalo's portrayal of Matt. Here was an idealistic child whom life had damaged, and the adult he became - world weary, resigned and still absolutely kind. Also with an underlying vulnerability. One of the best male characters I've seen in a long time.

I neglected to single out Ruffalo for praise, but I really liked him here as well. He's the heart of the film. I've always rooted for Ruffalo as an actor, so it was extra rewarding to see him elevate a seemingly ordinary role like this.

pixote
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on July 03, 2018, 04:34:23 PM
I neglected to single out Ruffalo for praise, but I really liked him here as well. He's the heart of the film. I've always rooted for Ruffalo as an actor, so it was extra rewarding to see him elevate a seemingly ordinary role like this.

pixote

How do you say, "Yes, to all of that. Each word is precisely what I wish I had expressed. What you wrote makes me smile." ?

I guess I just did. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on August 01, 2018, 06:35:49 PM
I missed this in the Respond to the last movie thread!

Highly Recommended (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=9073.msg766473#msg766473)

Sandy, I never knew you had baggage with Sullavan. I'm guessing this means you haven't seen The Shopworn Angel, which is an earlier film with her and Stewart?

I hope one day to unload some of Marlene Dietrich's luggage.

I haven't seen The Shopworn Angel. Now I have another film to drag my feet about! ;) I look forward to seeing it, truly.

When you say you hope to unload Detrich's luggage, you mean me right? I do have some that needs to be let go of.

The gif you used in the review you linked makes me smile. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on September 01, 2018, 05:59:23 AM
Yentl (1983)

Better late than never with this other one I had planned back in May.

So there's a bit of a meme about movie plots that could be solved in a minute if they could use a cell phone. I've developed two similar devices that would cut through a substantial amount of exogenous plot drama.

The first is "this movie would be 10 minutes long if they became atheists." Admittedly that would be anachronistic to this time period. The entire world as presented here is Judaism, made more present in that the central barrier is Yentl's desire to study the Talmud. So becoming atheist would be an odd solve for that particular ambition. But whenever a significant theme of the dramatic struggle is religious law, my first instinct is to always say, "ditch that nonsense*" (nonsense here not actually meaning faith in total, but variants of faith that seem unjust and not in keeping with one's inner compass of right and wrong that I suppose could be God-given). But I could choose to picture this as a secular barrier to women studying.

Perhaps more incisive to this film's drama is "this movie would be 10 minutes long if they just embraced polyamory." That so much romantic drama in our stories is produced by a societal assumption that we can and should only be with one person and that upon finding that person we should not so much as lust for another person, is really shocking once you view it from outside that assumption. I really enjoyed watching each spoke of this love triangle form, how initial perceptions change as they view each other not as competition but as fully formed individuals.

So yeah, if I found the drama a bit contrived at times given my a priori, there was still some wonderful character moments to pull me in and along.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on September 01, 2018, 06:24:48 AM
Everything would also be solved in 10 minutes if Yentl would just fully embrace the teachings of the religion she so loves and just accepts her place in society and the restrictions her religion places on her. Not as modern or progressive a solution, but equally effective and more true to life. Also equally absurd in that the difference between these and "if everyone had a cellphone" is that the latter would not, in the vast majority of cases, change who the characters are or what they value, it solves artificial external roadblocks, not internal character driven ones. The entire point of the film is the conflict between her beliefs and her desires, and the varied attempts at reconciling the two. Saying she should just change her beliefs (or her desires) isn't a plot solution, it's a fundamental alteration of the character.

One of my biggest annoyances with a lot of romantic comedies is "this would all be solved much more quickly if they communicated with one another like reasonable adults." A fair complaint in most cases where the film is about romance and the lack of communication is an artificial drama bomb used to extend the plot. It wouldn't be a fair complaint in a film that actually addresses their inability to communicate as a human issue rather than happenstance.

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on September 01, 2018, 08:48:13 PM
Yentl (1983)

Better late than never with this other one I had planned back in May.

What a nice surprise! :)

Quote
So there's a bit of a meme about movie plots that could be solved in a minute if they could use a cell phone. I've developed two similar devices that would cut through a substantial amount of exogenous plot drama.

The first is "this movie would be 10 minutes long if they became atheists." Admittedly that would be anachronistic to this time period. The entire world as presented here is Judaism, made more present in that the central barrier is Yentl's desire to study the Talmud. So becoming atheist would be an odd solve for that particular ambition. But whenever a significant theme of the dramatic struggle is religious law, my first instinct is to always say, "ditch that nonsense*" (nonsense here not actually meaning faith in total, but variants of faith that seem unjust and not in keeping with one's inner compass of right and wrong that I suppose could be God-given). But I could choose to picture this as a secular barrier to women studying.

I would be hard pressed to find secular barriers to women which aren't rooted in religions, so you're stuck either way. :) I tend to lean towards your attitude, because even though I'm not an atheist, some religious practices come across as nonsense. Since being free to use your critical thinking skills has been part of your whole life, or much of it, it becomes a little difficult to share another perspective. It might come across as backward, or subservient, and it can be, but there are reasons people allow strict religions to rule them. It's easier to say it is a historical issue, but it's happening today too. I can share one story and it's mine.

I lived almost 50 years in a religion that has very strict doctrines. Pulling out of it was a very slow and painful process (decades), because it's a patriarchal church which uses the tools of message control, shame and "circling the wagons", so if someone has doubts, the message is reinforced and the person is made to feel unworthy for wavering. Obedience is self perpetuated. It's also community, so to leave is a fearful thing. Historically, losing a community could mean death; today it is old fears carried on. Plus! Salvation itself hinges on staying in the fold. It's hard to bypass the "God Card" especially since the teachings have been instilled since infancy, and since I'm a woman, my worth has always been secondary, so there's that hurdle too. I heard someone say, "Control the women, control the church." Seems to hold truth.

When I was young, Yentl was a clarion call to move boldly even within tight parameters. Now that I'm older, it's a clarion call to move boldly and cast off any unwelcomed parameters.

Another saying I heard (You've Got Mail) is, "You are a lone reed, standing tall, waving boldly, in the corrupt sands..." So be it. :)

Quote
Perhaps more incisive to this film's drama is "this movie would be 10 minutes long if they just embraced polyamory." That so much romantic drama in our stories is produced by a societal assumption that we can and should only be with one person and that upon finding that person we should not so much as lust for another person, is really shocking once you view it from outside that assumption. I really enjoyed watching each spoke of this love triangle form, how initial perceptions change as they view each other not as competition but as fully formed individuals.

:))

Way to bring your own personal problem solving to the situation!

Quote
So yeah, if I found the drama a bit contrived at times given my a priori, there was still some wonderful character moments to pull me in and along.

Thanks for watching it. I too am drawn in by the characters and their situations.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on September 01, 2018, 09:00:20 PM
Everything would also be solved in 10 minutes if Yentl would just fully embrace the teachings of the religion she so loves and just accepts her place in society and the restrictions her religion places on her. Not as modern or progressive a solution, but equally effective and more true to life. Also equally absurd in that the difference between these and "if everyone had a cellphone" is that the latter would not, in the vast majority of cases, change who the characters are or what they value, it solves artificial external roadblocks, not internal character driven ones. The entire point of the film is the conflict between her beliefs and her desires, and the varied attempts at reconciling the two. Saying she should just change her beliefs (or her desires) isn't a plot solution, it's a fundamental alteration of the character.

It was reading this that made me decide to share my own story. Without the experience of being fully immersed in a region, it is tricky to understanding what it's like to have a religion be as wholly a part of a person, as is the need to breathe. It's an alien concept to so many.

What you wrote, "The entire point of the film is the conflict between her beliefs and her desires" is the exact reason it is in my top 100. That conflict is what life was made of, for me.

Quote
One of my biggest annoyances with a lot of romantic comedies is "this would all be solved much more quickly if they communicated with one another like reasonable adults." A fair complaint in most cases where the film is about romance and the lack of communication is an artificial drama bomb used to extend the plot. It wouldn't be a fair complaint in a film that actually addresses their inability to communicate as a human issue rather than happenstance.

These make for the best romance/dramas. Real stakes. Real barriers.

PeacefulAnarchy, do you have a favorite romance/drama, or comedy, which is smart and not artificial in its story telling?

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on September 01, 2018, 09:07:52 PM
My longish review, but I post it to show where I was and where I am. Maybe I'll watch it in another twenty years and write about where I am then. :)


Yentl

(http://i65.tinypic.com/25ggvmt.png)

I haven't learned a thing. I might as well be sixteen years old again, seeing this for the first time. The whole of life is contained in the story and songs; all for the taking. And I thought I did take it. I listened to the album uncountable times, pondering on the lyrics, the lessons. But, here I am again, pondering the same words, wondering why I'm still such a neophyte. I had them practically memorized, so why are they hitting me so hard now, like lightning strikes of awareness? I have to figure this out...


What's right or wrong, where I belong
Within the scheme of things


As a teenager I sang along to these words, wanting to really know and here I am a grown woman, still asking the same questions. And these as well:

And why have eyes that see and arms that reach
Unless you're meant to know there's something more
If not to hunger for the meaning of it all
Then tell me what a soul is for?


I know these are big questions, but I've been on the planet for a good amount of time now. It's aggravating not knowing if I'm making any headway with them.


Hmmm, these next words give me comfort, for time has given me more moments, gifts to know that I'm not where I was, because I am acquiring experiences.

I will always remember this chair, that window
The way the light streams in
The clothes I'm wearing, the words I'm hearing
The faces I'm seeing, the feeling I'm feeling
The smell, the sound, will be written on my mind
Will be written in my heart as long as I live



I believed in these next ones tenuously, for sixteen is an uncertain age by right, and so they became a pale promise.

I've wanted the shadows, I don't anymore
No matter what happens, I won't anymore
I've run from the sunlight, afraid it saw too much
The moon had the one light

I bathed in, I walked in, I held in my feelings
And closed every door
No matter what happens
I can't anymore


But, not having conviction behind that promise, I lost them for a while and as I hear them again tonight, I mourn that loss. I'm not afraid anymore, like I was then, so when the next part comes, my promise now is much bolder:

For too many mornings, the curtains were drawn
It's time they were opened to welcome the dawn
A voice deep inside is getting stronger
I can't keep it quiet any longer
No matter what happens
It can't be the same anymore
I promise it won't be the same, anymore


Whew, there is hope for me yet!! :)


Oh, this next one hits especially hard. And, it's difficult to explain. Suffice it to say, I'm trying to learn that I too get to say, "So am I."

She's mother, she's sister,
She's lover.
She's the wonder of wonders
No man can deny.
So why would he change her?
She's loving-she's tender-
She's woman-

...So am I.



The last song, I could quote all the words, really. It's so full of wonder. I think I posted it somewhere before, but if you don't mind a little spoileriness, it's well worth a listen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT7R-QCrhtg

So why am I still such a beginner? The answer is in the song.

The more I live, the more I learn
The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.


Or as the Rabbi said, "It's by their questions that we choose our students, not only by their answers." I guess, I'm a life long student!

This has been a very useful exercise. If you've read along, you have a lot of patience for my need to process. Thank you. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on September 01, 2018, 09:59:11 PM
PeacefulAnarchy, do you have a favorite romance/drama, or comedy, which is smart and not artificial in its story telling?
Funnily enough my favourite romance movies are incredibly artificial in their storytelling, but intentionally so (Amelie, Eternal Sunshine, The Red Shoes, plus Casablanca which is so perfectly constructed and so influential it's impossible to judge on that scale). Parts of Magnolia might count, though the film as a whole isn't really a romance. So I'd probably have to go with a Rohmer film, like A Summer's Tale even if the focus is one sided. Looking at my list of favourites there are quite a few romance films in there, but they mostly tend towards stories where the frustrations are the core of the film, rather than an impediment to an otherwise perfect romance. I also prefer character driven films, so my romance favourites are ones that lean heavily on the characters and their feelings and frustrations rather than the relationship itself. From my top 100: A Man and a Woman and Marty, though artificial in their own ways, are probably the closest answers to your question.

I'd have to dig deeper to find a comedy that fits the bill, though I don't think it's because they don't exist but rather that they don't speak to me in the way these other films do. I know a number of films I've seen for your list have that genuineness to their construction, even if like most films they rely on occasional contrivances here and there.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on September 01, 2018, 10:05:14 PM
To speak to PA's response, I certainly acknowledge the distinction between my variants and the cell phone thing. Those are not meant so much as critiques of the film so much as a tool for analysis. The film my guidelines would produce would be absurd and undramatic. Even in a modern, progressive setting, a story where a character abandons their religion so as not to be bound by rules they feel are unjust and solves a romantic dilemma by choosing "all of the above" would lack dramatic tension. At best it would work as a 10-15 minute short specifically made to point out how quick things end when all the traditional points of conflict are avoided.

When we speak of Yentl's beliefs being in conflict with her desires...it isn't so much that she feels shame or sinful for wanting to study. She seems to have clarity in her mind that the institution is wrong. There isn't a lot of avenues for her to fight it. Though it isn't set as the purpose, going undercover to study and both argue from this acquired privilege of the injustice of the situation, and to ultimately prove their perception of women as perhaps incapable wrong when she is revealed, would be a fairly strong option.

Sandy, I thank you for sharing your experience and it does match up with Yentl's to a fair degree. The religious institution is totalitarian in the sense it is integrated into every facet of her community. I'm not even sure what escape would mean for Yentl. I guess it is the choice she ultimately makes. Compare that to my own religious upbringing where the church community was a niche, a place and a group of people that occupied a few hours on Sunday but was essentially non-existant in the rest of my life. That makes it extremely easy to walk away, and for more innocuous reasons than we see here or in Gett.

P.S. I feel like the Before Sunrise trilogy would be prime example of non-contrived romance.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on September 06, 2018, 03:20:52 PM
PeacefulAnarchy, do you have a favorite romance/drama, or comedy, which is smart and not artificial in its story telling?
Funnily enough my favourite romance movies are incredibly artificial in their storytelling, but intentionally so (Amelie, Eternal Sunshine, The Red Shoes, plus Casablanca which is so perfectly constructed and so influential it's impossible to judge on that scale). Parts of Magnolia might count, though the film as a whole isn't really a romance. So I'd probably have to go with a Rohmer film, like A Summer's Tale even if the focus is one sided. Looking at my list of favourites there are quite a few romance films in there, but they mostly tend towards stories where the frustrations are the core of the film, rather than an impediment to an otherwise perfect romance. I also prefer character driven films, so my romance favourites are ones that lean heavily on the characters and their feelings and frustrations rather than the relationship itself. From my top 100: A Man and a Woman and Marty, though artificial in their own ways, are probably the closest answers to your question.

I've been looking over your top 100 list and am struck by what you say, "stories where the frustrations are the core of the film." This idea is well represented in Eternal Sunshine and Silver Linings Playbook. Both films could easily fit into my own top 100. Next time around, I'd like to ask for your suggestions on what to watch from your list. Relationships are infinitely fascinating to me and complicated, flawed people make for the best stories. I've seen each of the films you mention above, so we can go from there. :)

Quote
I'd have to dig deeper to find a comedy that fits the bill, though I don't think it's because they don't exist but rather that they don't speak to me in the way these other films do. I know a number of films I've seen for your list have that genuineness to their construction, even if like most films they rely on occasional contrivances here and there.

This feels like a really nice compliment, so I'm going to take it. :) I do like a good dose of realness to balance out the contrivances!

You also wrote, "I also prefer character driven films" and that resonates with me as well. I find that fortitude is a theme running through my favorite relationship/character driven films. I like the idea of overcoming. Can't wait to discover more of your favorites!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on September 06, 2018, 03:40:01 PM
To speak to PA's response, I certainly acknowledge the distinction between my variants and the cell phone thing. Those are not meant so much as critiques of the film so much as a tool for analysis. The film my guidelines would produce would be absurd and undramatic. Even in a modern, progressive setting, a story where a character abandons their religion so as not to be bound by rules they feel are unjust and solves a romantic dilemma by choosing "all of the above" would lack dramatic tension. At best it would work as a 10-15 minute short specifically made to point out how quick things end when all the traditional points of conflict are avoided.

:)

This reminds me of one of my kids' favorite things.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vh06CoC7th8

Quote
When we speak of Yentl's beliefs being in conflict with her desires...it isn't so much that she feels shame or sinful for wanting to study. She seems to have clarity in her mind that the institution is wrong. There isn't a lot of avenues for her to fight it. Though it isn't set as the purpose, going undercover to study and both argue from this acquired privilege of the injustice of the situation, and to ultimately prove their perception of women as perhaps incapable wrong when she is revealed, would be a fairly strong option.

This is where Streisand brings her modern sensibilities to play. We all wish we could rewrite our own history with the knowledge and perspective we have now. Yentl is a wish fulfillment, for women who can't rewrite their past oppression, or the oppression of their progenitors. 

Quote
Sandy, I thank you for sharing your experience and it does match up with Yentl's to a fair degree. The religious institution is totalitarian in the sense it is integrated into every facet of her community. I'm not even sure what escape would mean for Yentl. I guess it is the choice she ultimately makes.

She will still find great barriers in the new world, but they will be less immovable than where she was.

Quote
Compare that to my own religious upbringing where the church community was a niche, a place and a group of people that occupied a few hours on Sunday but was essentially non-existant in the rest of my life. That makes it extremely easy to walk away, and for more innocuous reasons than we see here or in Gett.

Oh! I forgot about Gett. I try and not dwell on the film too much. It's a difficult pill to swallow.

I appreciate a religion that allows a person to pick and choose for him/herself. Teaching good ethics and principles is a completely different thing, than expecting their congregation's complete compliance.

Quote
P.S. I feel like the Before Sunrise trilogy would be prime example of non-contrived romance.

Great example!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on February 01, 2019, 11:17:16 PM
February 2019 is Sandy's turn!  Look at her list (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.0) and make some selections!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on February 01, 2019, 11:48:30 PM
Unseen:
    Jane Eyre 2011
    Persuasion 2007
    The Wiz 1978
    Sarah, Plain and Tall 1991
    Jane Eyre 1996
    Matilda 1996
    The Joy Luck Club 1993
    Hamlet 1996
    Taps 1981
    Summer Stock 1950

I don't know what I'll watch, but I'm always excited by Sandy's month. Even if the films aren't going to be favourites the fact that they're so different from what I'd otherwise watch makes them intriguing experiences. And they always have something to hook me.

PeacefulAnarchy, do you have a favorite romance/drama, or comedy, which is smart and not artificial in its story telling?
Funnily enough my favourite romance movies are incredibly artificial in their storytelling, but intentionally so (Amelie, Eternal Sunshine, The Red Shoes, plus Casablanca which is so perfectly constructed and so influential it's impossible to judge on that scale). Parts of Magnolia might count, though the film as a whole isn't really a romance. So I'd probably have to go with a Rohmer film, like A Summer's Tale even if the focus is one sided. Looking at my list of favourites there are quite a few romance films in there, but they mostly tend towards stories where the frustrations are the core of the film, rather than an impediment to an otherwise perfect romance. I also prefer character driven films, so my romance favourites are ones that lean heavily on the characters and their feelings and frustrations rather than the relationship itself. From my top 100: A Man and a Woman and Marty, though artificial in their own ways, are probably the closest answers to your question.

I've been looking over your top 100 list and am struck by what you say, "stories where the frustrations are the core of the film." This idea is well represented in Eternal Sunshine and Silver Linings Playbook. Both films could easily fit into my own top 100. Next time around, I'd like to ask for your suggestions on what to watch from your list. Relationships are infinitely fascinating to me and complicated, flawed people make for the best stories. I've seen each of the films you mention above, so we can go from there. :)

Quote
I'd have to dig deeper to find a comedy that fits the bill, though I don't think it's because they don't exist but rather that they don't speak to me in the way these other films do. I know a number of films I've seen for your list have that genuineness to their construction, even if like most films they rely on occasional contrivances here and there.

This feels like a really nice compliment, so I'm going to take it. :) I do like a good dose of realness to balance out the contrivances!

You also wrote, "I also prefer character driven films" and that resonates with me as well. I find that fortitude is a theme running through my favorite relationship/character driven films. I like the idea of overcoming. Can't wait to discover more of your favorites!
I missed this post before, but I just want to acknowledge it now. I don't recall what you haven't seen from my list but when we get there that would be a nice exploration. And yes, it was a compliment. I feel like we share an approach to the humanity of characters in film (and probably people in general), so even though our interests and lived experiences are rather far apart I always have an entry way into the films on your list.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on February 02, 2019, 12:41:13 AM
I completed Sandy's list on the last round. I filtered Sandy's films based on Rating, eliminating the titles I haven't seen and the top pick is The Desert Bride (2017). I can look for that or if there's a special request?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on February 02, 2019, 05:26:56 AM
Going off the Letterboxd list I have the following options:
Support Your Local Sheriff
The Poseidon Adventure
Ball of Fire
Shadowlands
Yours, Mine and Ours (68)
Great Expectations (46)
Summer Stock

Based on library availability I'm going with Ball of Fire and Shadowlands.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Knocked Out Loaded on February 02, 2019, 07:02:48 AM
My Top Shame list (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=7245.msg896977#msg896977) at iCheckMovies has some crossover with your list, Sandy. I'll try to have a stab at Singin' In The Rain and/or City Lights and/or The Best Years Of Our Lives.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on February 02, 2019, 01:38:48 PM
Haven't Seen:

Jane Eyre (2011) [Been meaning to watch this one for a while, probably will now]
Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Return to Me
Cast Away
While You Were Sleeping
Penelope
Yentl
Becoming Jane
Little Women
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
Persuasion (2007)
The Wiz
Funny Girl
Truly, Madly, Deeply
Another Year
To Sir, With Love
Dear Frankie
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
The Poseidon Adventure
Benny & Joon
Jane Eyre (1996)
Ordinary People
Secret & Lies
Music from Another Room
Ball of Fire
Much Ado About Nothing
What's Up, Doc?
The Joy Luck Club
Daddy Long Legs
Funny Face
Remains of the Day
Hamlet (1996)
Taps
Notting Hill
13 Going on 30
Strictly Ballroom
Great Expectations (1946)
Now, Voyager
Summer Stock
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on February 02, 2019, 11:52:27 PM
Lots not seen. Possibilities for this month

Becoming Jane (its on Stan)
Pride and Prejudice (on Netflix)

That's all I have been able to find so far. Not sure which one I will get to first.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 12:50:50 AM
Unseen:
    Jane Eyre 2011
    Persuasion 2007
    The Wiz 1978
    Sarah, Plain and Tall 1991
    Jane Eyre 1996
    Matilda 1996
    The Joy Luck Club 1993
    Hamlet 1996
    Taps 1981
    Summer Stock 1950

I don't know what I'll watch, but I'm always excited by Sandy's month. Even if the films aren't going to be favourites the fact that they're so different from what I'd otherwise watch makes them intriguing experiences. And they always have something to hook me.

:))

I'm so happy to hear this and am excited to see what you can glean from any of those films.

Quote
I missed this post before, but I just want to acknowledge it now. I don't recall what you haven't seen from my list but when we get there that would be a nice exploration. And yes, it was a compliment. I feel like we share an approach to the humanity of characters in film (and probably people in general), so even though our interests and lived experiences are rather far apart I always have an entry way into the films on your list.

To find commonality through film is a real privilege and a happy experience. I'm grateful to know you, PeacefulAnarchy.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 01:08:58 AM
I completed Sandy's list on the last round. I filtered Sandy's films based on Rating, eliminating the titles I haven't seen and the top pick is The Desert Bride (2017). I can look for that or if there's a special request?

Oh! How wonderful this made it to the top of your choices! I don't know if you'll enjoy it, but I was so enamored with Paulina Garcia's presence, I find myself thinking about the film a lot. It's a quiet piece. Have you seen Gloria? I'm hoping to watch it soon.

Have you seen A Fantastic Woman? It's one of the films I watched this past year that I remember being impressed with. If you'd rather see that than The Desert Bride, it's an option. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 01:15:24 AM
Going off the Letterboxd list I have the following options:
Support Your Local Sheriff
The Poseidon Adventure
Ball of Fire
Shadowlands
Yours, Mine and Ours (68)
Great Expectations (46)
Summer Stock

Based on library availability I'm going with Ball of Fire and Shadowlands.

The library came through with some good ones! I hope you like them. Those two movies are very different from each other, but there is a common thread of academia! :D
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 01:19:23 AM
My Top Shame list (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=7245.msg896977#msg896977) at iCheckMovies has some crossover with your list, Sandy. I'll try to have a stab at Singin' In The Rain and/or City Lights and/or The Best Years Of Our Lives.

I <3 each of those movies so much!

Looking over your top shames, I see The Treasure Of Sierra Madre. I've been wanting to get to that movie for the longest time! If we find it on someone's top 100, let's review it, K? :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 01:25:22 AM
Haven't Seen:

Jane Eyre (2011) [Been meaning to watch this one for a while, probably will now]
...

You can't go wrong with that one! I'm keeping my fingers crossed you love it, even a little bit. :)

As for the other ones, it really depends on what you're in the mood for. They are all over the place, genre wise. If you want to stay on a literary path, Great Expectations is wonderful. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 01:28:50 AM
Lots not seen. Possibilities for this month

Becoming Jane (its on Stan)
Pride and Prejudice (on Netflix)

That's all I have been able to find so far. Not sure which one I will get to first.

A theme! If I may. Start with Becoming Jane and get to know the author and then watch her magical pen's creation adapted for the screen. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on February 03, 2019, 01:31:15 AM
I completed Sandy's list on the last round. I filtered Sandy's films based on Rating, eliminating the titles I haven't seen and the top pick is The Desert Bride (2017). I can look for that or if there's a special request?

Oh! How wonderful this made it to the top of your choices! I don't know if you'll enjoy it, but I was so enamored with Paulina Garcia's presence, I find myself thinking about the film a lot. It's a quiet piece. Have you seen Gloria? I'm hoping to watch it soon.

Have you seen A Fantastic Woman? It's one of the films I watched this past year that I remember being impressed with. If you'd rather see that than The Desert Bride, it's an option. :)
I watched A Fantastic Woman along with that director's more recent Disobedience the end of last year. I have not seen Gloria.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 02:07:59 AM
I watched A Fantastic Woman along with that director's more recent Disobedience the end of last year. I have not seen Gloria.

I'll tell you what I told smirnoff (who has seen most of my list).

I need to get new movies in there! :D
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on February 03, 2019, 03:58:13 PM
I have 3 ideas.

All That Heaven Allows: Briefly in my Top 100 but a 2nd viewing struck me as emotional torture porn, which is why I've been putting off seeing it again.
Dan in Real Life: Didn't think too much one way or the other at the time. A rewatch?
Roman Holiday: for this reason (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14226.msg896937#msg896937)

I will try for all 3, but can you rank them for me in terms of which discussion you want to have most?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 09:44:26 PM
I have 3 ideas.

All That Heaven Allows: Briefly in my Top 100 but a 2nd viewing struck me as emotional torture porn, which is why I've been putting off seeing it again.
Dan in Real Life: Didn't think too much one way or the other at the time. A rewatch?
Roman Holiday: for this reason (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14226.msg896937#msg896937)

I will try for all 3, but can you rank them for me in terms of which discussion you want to have most?

Interestingly enough, I see Dan in Real Life as high on the emotional torture porn scale as All That Heaven Allows. Even though one is in the guise of comedy, it hits me harder than the drama. The relationship in ATHA doesn't really do it for me. Jane Wyman is a cerebral performer and it's hard for me to really see someone carry a torch for her. It's her journey that really gets to me and the life style Hudson's character embodies is one I want to echo in my own life.

Would you be interested in doing a side by side exploration of All That Heaven Allows and Far from Heaven? They are hard for me to separate completely, since one bleeds into the other.

Every time I see Dan in Real Life, it goes higher on my top 100 list. There's something about Carell's timing and the editing of the shots which captures my heart. It's precision porn. ;)

Roman Holiday is on my list as a place marker of sorts. It's too iconic to leave off, but it would get demoted or booted if/or when something else captures my attention in a big way.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 03, 2019, 10:14:05 PM
The Poseidon Adventure (Ronald Neame, 1975)
(https://i.imgur.com/zqduyph.jpg)

smirnoff: Curious when you last saw Poseidon Adventure... it seems like a film you might have seen at a young age.
Sandy: I did, I was a kid when I saw it
smirnoff: Is that when you saw it last?
Sandy: I saw it again about 10 years ago
Sandy: or more!
Sandy: I can't remember :)
Sandy: does it hold up at all?
smirnoff: Aspects of it hold up I think. Like the production value is still pretty impressive. The sets.
Sandy: no cgi in that film, to bolster the sets
Sandy: I would be surprised if I saw it on it's first run, I was pretty little then
Sandy: when I saw it as an adult, I was surprised how sweary it was
Sandy: 70's movies were that way it seems
smirnoff: I'm not sure I even noticed that. I noticed how all the female characters (less one) was written to disrobe, lol.
Sandy: haha!
Sandy: even Shelley Winters did, didn't she?
Sandy: she had to swim in something doable
smirnoff: "You can't climb in that dress, take it off!" I think three characters get told something like that.
Sandy: :))
Sandy: dresses are such an nuisance!
smirnoff: Nobody tells them to take their heels off. That's how you know it wasn't about mobility
Sandy: :)) :))
Sandy: you're making me want to see this again!
Sandy: Does it surprise you it's in my top 100?
smirnoff: A bit... though it has a very humanist side to it.
smirnoff: I wondered if that's what put it on another level for you...
Sandy: It was a movie that messed with my young head
Sandy: i think i wrote somewhere on the forum
Sandy: that as a kid
Sandy: i would lay on my living room floor and look at the ceiling,
Sandy: and imagine trying to navigate my house upside down.
smirnoff: Yeah, that makes total sense.
Sandy: I also learned at an early age not to gripe about things and just dig in :)
Sandy: many of my top 100 are films that I saw as a kid,
Sandy: because they changed my world a little, or a lot
smirnoff: I like that there was a take away and that you still remember it.
Sandy: It made me want to be able to think outside the box and be a problem solver
Sandy: Hey, use a christmas tree as stairs!
Sandy: :))
smirnoff: Gosh, I can totally see the film through your eyes now. I think I pretty well stopped noticing the upside-downness after they left the ball room.
Sandy: :)
Sandy: when you're a kid,
Sandy: everything is new and exciting
smirnoff: oh 100%
Sandy: it's hard to find films that can be so totally altering as adults
smirnoff: Very true.
smirnoff: Well now it's very clear why it should be on your top 100. :)
Sandy: do you have an early childhood film that did this to you?
smirnoff: Little Monsters comes to mind, if you know it.
Sandy: i don't think I've ever seen it!
smirnoff: Probably my first "alternate universe" type of experience.
smirnoff: Beetlejuice... a similar sort of thing.
Sandy: that messed with my head and I didn't see it until I was an adult!
smirnoff: Poseidon was a strong starter I found.
Sandy: yeah, it didn't waste much time, did it?
smirnoff: That 15 minutes or so minutes before it all goes wrong, was very tense.... and it achieved a great tone. As an audience member it put you in a powerful spot.
Sandy: Well said!
Sandy: "powerful spot" I like that a lot
smirnoff: To make it coincide with the celebration of new years just added to the emotional gap.
Sandy: :)
Sandy: it was tense
Sandy: that was a new experience for me as a kid too
Sandy: i was feeling the trauma
Sandy: early empath experience!
smirnoff: Yeah, that makes total sense.
smirnoff: I found it very unflinching. In a way I didn't expect something called Poseidon *Adventure* to be.
Sandy: What were you thinking it would be like?
smirnoff: Tough to say... less raw I guess (especially in the build up).
Sandy: have you seen the remake?
smirnoff: I was unaware of one until just now. :)
Sandy: oh!
smirnoff: Have you seen it?
Sandy: well, I can't vouch for it, because I can't remember if I've seen all of it or not.
Sandy: it's gone from my memory :)
smirnoff: heh okay.
Sandy: not a good sign, is it?
smirnoff: For the movie, or for your memory?
Sandy: :))
Sandy: yes
smirnoff: :))
smirnoff: You know what I expected...
smirnoff: I expected a character to say "and I'm the happiest I've ever been, and this is going to be a wonderful trip and nothing bad could possible happen".
Sandy: ha!
Sandy: you have been burned too much with bad dialogue!
Sandy: the 70's were a pessimistic time
Sandy: no sugar coating there!
Sandy: they were expecting their cruise to be fair to middling at best
smirnoff: Indeed. And it dispatches characters pretty ruthlessly.
Sandy: it does!
Sandy: i wonder what the body count was
smirnoff: Feels like a few hundred dead overall... and we encounter a few dozen bodies, and withness at least a dozen deaths directly.
Sandy: sheesh
Sandy: when I was young, I kept thinking about all the people stuck in the ballroom during the movie.
Sandy: it haunted me
smirnoff: Yea, that would be hard to shake.
Sandy: the screams
Sandy: i can still hear them in a way
smirnoff: Though I kind of wondered about whether they would simply be able to swim as the water rose them to the level of that platform.
Sandy: oh!
smirnoff: The movie, and Gene Hackman, literally close the door on that possibility.
Sandy: they do. Ruthless
smirnoff: But in reality I wonder.
Sandy: i'd use all my swimming skill to get there!
Sandy: pick some wood and float up, even :)
smirnoff: yea. It hardly seemed the lost cause Hackman felt it was.
Sandy: :)
Sandy: hackman had no vision
smirnoff: I was glad of his presence anyways... I was just lamenting not seeing him in enough stuff lately.
smirnoff: I didn't realize he (or anyone I knew) would be in it before putting it on.
Sandy: as a kid I didn't know they were big names!
Sandy: i was oblivious
smirnoff: I do have some gripes though... once it's down to our core group...
Sandy: do tell!
smirnoff: Just the way they all act is very movie-ish. A lot of monologues and silly arguments that felt like they really wouldn't happy.
Sandy: contrived!
Sandy: that one girl, I wanted her to shut up already!
smirnoff: A lot of the time they make descisions as if there were some force that was making them remain as a group. I was like, if you disagree with Hackman, just go the other way!
Sandy: haha!
smirnoff: Oh god... they do not do the women any favours in this movie...
Sandy: :))
Sandy: no they do not!
smirnoff: They make them out to be the most frail and inept people ever!
Sandy: i know,
Sandy: bummer!
Sandy: I had to find female role models elsewhere!
smirnoff: I mean some of the guys are just as bad, but they don't make ANY of the women very capable (with the exception of one scene maybe).
smirnoff: There's the whole scene with the firehose... do you know the one?
Sandy: help me out,
Sandy: they tie it soemewhere, yes?
smirnoff: It's this ramp they need to get up... because the stairs are upside down.
smirnoff: So they pull each other up this ramp using a fire hose... but it's so lame... they really didn't look like any of them needed assistance.
Sandy: :))
smirnoff: Honestly... most of the women are hindered by the men constantly pulling them around by the elbow.
Sandy: :))
Sandy: i feel like I'm watching it with you!
Sandy: haha!
smirnoff: They treat them so daintily.
smirnoff: :)
smirnoff: It's super old school.
Sandy: I was reading something the other day,
Sandy: and the man said to the woman,
Sandy: that men were the nobler sex.
Sandy: and she didn't refute him!
Sandy: i think it was in Villette,
Sandy: Bronte's book
Sandy: nobler?
Sandy: what does that even mean?
smirnoff: I think I found the quote... lemme see.
smirnoff: "How must it be, then? How accept a man's part, and go on the stage dressed as a woman? This is an amateur affair, it is true—a vaudeville de pensionnat: certain modifications I might sanction, yet something you must have to announce you as of the nobler sex".
Sandy: :))
Sandy: that's it!
Sandy: gross!
smirnoff: lol
Sandy: i was listening while driving and yelled out,
Sandy: WHAT?!
smirnoff: :))
smirnoff: That stuff'll sneak up on you.
Sandy: well, smirnoff,
Sandy: higher moral principles and ideals than i,
Sandy: so it seems
Sandy: and finer personal qualities
Sandy: :))
Sandy: men must be a wonder
smirnoff: :))
Sandy: i think i got off on a tangent!
smirnoff: It leaves you shaking your head anyways.
Sandy: :)
Sandy: it does
Sandy: as for dainty,
Sandy: I've never been dainty a day in my life :)
smirnoff: :D
smirnoff: You would have survived this movie easily.
Sandy: though!
Sandy: in high heels,
Sandy: I'd be rather hopeless
smirnoff: Well so would Hackman.
Sandy: haha!
Sandy: :) As a kid, I sure strategized how I would have survived!
Sandy: no defeat for me!
smirnoff: That reminds me of watching prison movies as a kid!
smirnoff: Though it was more "I'm definitely not tough enough to be there".
Sandy: have you heard Ginger Roger's quote about that?
smirnoff: No.
Sandy: I looked it up so I would quote it correctly,
Sandy: it actually is a quote about her,
Sandy: "Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he (Fred Astaire) did, ...backwards and in high heels"
smirnoff: Nice. That's a great one.
Sandy: she was a great hoofer
Sandy: weird word, "hoofer"
smirnoff: A flattering term, I'm sure.
Sandy: yes, hoofer is a great compliment
smirnoff: I feel like I would get slapped saying it though. :))
Sandy: haha!
Sandy: did Hackman's heroic deed remind you of T2?
smirnoff: No. I'm sorry to say I was a bit fed up with the characters generally. No tears were shed. Though he had his moments.
Sandy: they were a tiresome lot!
smirnoff: If i had to sit through one more argument between Hackman and the other bull-headed guy...oh man.
Sandy: :))
Sandy: what you said earlier about it feeling movie like,
Sandy: that is where they got the movie wrong for sure
Sandy: trumped up conflict is a bad choice always
smirnoff: Absolutely.
smirnoff: There's so much they could have left unsaid that would still have be clearly bubbling under the surface.
Sandy: and wouldn't that have made a much better movie?
smirnoff: I think so yea. And just capturing more realistically how people would behave in a situation like that. Less theatrically for sure, and more animal instinct, and in a state of shock, and terror.
Sandy: yes!
Sandy: if my life was at stake,
Sandy: I wouldn't be wasting my energy belly aching
Sandy: or whining!
smirnoff: Right. And certainly not clutching your pearls. :)
Sandy: :))
Sandy: so we're delicate and superficial!
smirnoff: That's about the long and short of it, according to Poseidon Adventure.
Sandy: :))
Sandy: you're making me rethink my top 100 list. 😉
smirnoff: Nah, I think your reasons make a lot of sense. :)
Sandy: :) some films are hard to deny
Sandy: even if they treat women shabbily and the characters bicker ad nauseam
smirnoff: :))
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on February 03, 2019, 10:41:59 PM
I'm definitely watching Dan in Real Life now. Interested to see the precision.

I don't know if I can give you what you're looking for with the two Heavens. I was thoroughly familiar with Todd Haynes' work before I saw anything by Douglas Sirk. With Far From Heaven, I see Haynes using Sirk as a rock to keep his usual storytelling anchored. By the time of Carol he had fully integrated Sirk so that it was now a part of him and no longer a pastiche.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on February 03, 2019, 10:56:08 PM
The Poseidon Adventure (Ronald Neame, 1975)
I want to jump in, especially since I have recently see The Last Voyage (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14226.msg896839#msg896839), which has a realism and immediacy I think would appeal to smirnoff, (plus George Sanders), but Poseidon will always work for me because of the upside down ship (plus Gene Hackman).

I saw Poseidon in Oct. 2012 because of Sandy (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=9536.msg704924#msg704924), and was surprised how well it worked. Definitely a few notches above all the other 70s disaster movie cheese. (I've been meaning to show it to Mrs. 1SO as a Not-So-Scary Shocktober selection.)

I have also not seen the remake and have yet to come up with any reason to. For a 70s film, I wasn't really thinking how it could be better with more expensive effects.
 
smirnoff: Oh god... they do not do the women any favours in this movie...
Sandy: :))
Sandy: no they do not!
smirnoff: They make them out to be the most frail and inept people ever!
My favorite negative comment about the film comes from pixote.

Equally annoying was that the other primary source of conflict wasn't the ship or the water or the explosions, but rather Nonnie, who just couldn't go on ... she just couldn't.  When she just stalled on ladder, I wanted to throw something at the tv. 
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 10:59:14 PM
I'm definitely watching Dan in Real Life now. Interested to see the precision.

:))

Yikes! Have low expectations and then be pleasantly surprised by it, if you can.

Quote
I don't know if I can give you what you're looking for with the two Heavens. I was thoroughly familiar with Todd Haynes' work before I saw anything by Douglas Sirk. With Far From Heaven, I see Haynes using Sirk as a rock to keep his usual storytelling anchored. By the time of Carol he had fully integrated Sirk so that it was now a part of him and no longer a pastiche.

I think you just accomplished in a paragraph, what many would take a long time to process and write about. :) I haven't seen Carol yet! Must rectify that soon.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 03, 2019, 11:08:36 PM
1SO, I remember reading pixote's quote in your review! Funniest character capture ever! :))

Right now, I want to sit back for a bit and see what you and smirnoff discuss. This is a perfect movie for chat room reviews.

And smirnoff, thanks for watching it!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 04, 2019, 12:52:54 AM
I want to jump in, especially since I have recently see The Last Voyage (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14226.msg896839#msg896839), which has a realism and immediacy I think would appeal to smirnoff, (plus George Sanders), but Poseidon will always work for me because of the upside down ship (plus Gene Hackman).

Going by your review, The Last Voyage sounds like a proto-United 93 in how it goes about capturing the event and where it's priorities are. It's that different (true story) breed of disaster film... except it's not a true story. But the approach would still be a welcome one if that's the case, or anywhere near it.

Quote
I saw Poseidon in Oct. 2012 because of Sandy (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=9536.msg704924#msg704924), and was surprised how well it worked.

Thanks for these links. The film does surprise. Me, you and pixote all seem to have had our expectations exceeded. I might be marginally less taken with it of the three of us, but I relate to everything that was said about it.

I can’t believe the film doesn’t end with a reprise of “The Morning After”. I always thought the lyrics were meant to be a direct reflection of the survivors in that moment. Also, they should’ve done the end credits with one last image of each cast member in their best moment. Perfect opportunity missed.

Any other kind of musical crescendo would have been good at that moment. The ending is quite abrupt, and I like your idea a lot better. There is a score but it is generic and unremkable and sounds like all string-lead ochestrations from that time period (shrill and horrible). It's only useful function was to help drown out the constantly shrieking women.  :P

But for the most part the film succeeds despite these lapses, partly because veteran director Ronald Neame doesn't dwell on them for too long.  He does generally good work here, highlighted, for example, by the very effective cross-cutting between the partygoers and the crew right before the wave hits.

The movie peaked for me here. Very well assembled. And depending on how much credit your willing to extend the filmmakers, it perhaps explains the flatness of Leslie Nielsen's performance. If they knew this is how they were going to cut it together from the beginning, his direction may have been deliberately ultra-flat.

Quote
I have also not seen the remake and have yet to come up with any reason to.
All I can imagine is that it would be weak in the same areas, and worse (overdone) in the visuals department.

*puts on trailer (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXvubYRnVWE#no)*

*stops after 5 seconds*
(https://media.giphy.com/media/11RIDouEyKZ116/giphy.gif)
gaaaawd

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! It literally does THE EXACT THING I said to Sandy in our chat that I worried the original movie was going to do.

Quote
smirnoff: You know what I expected...
smirnoff: I expected a character to say "and I'm the happiest I've ever been, and this is going to be a wonderful trip and nothing bad could possible happen".

*keeps watching**pause*

Omg even the alarm sounds is worse! How is the alarm sound WORSE?

*keeps watching**pause*

(https://i.imgur.com/12D2kO1.gif)

Oh! Alright, the ship capsizing looks pretty good actually.

*keeps watching**pause*

How is every line featured in the movie stupider than the last?

*keeps watching**pause*

(https://i.imgur.com/u1itgvB.gif)

*keeps watching**pause*

(https://i.imgur.com/WrCFBRN.gif)

It's worst than I imagined. Much worse.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 04, 2019, 08:53:05 AM
:)) :)) :))

You’ve outdone yourself, smirnoff!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 04, 2019, 07:35:00 PM
Another Year (Mike Leigh, 2010)

Crazy good. I got up to make myself some tea midway through and just shook my head and kept saying things like "my god". I felt the need to take a breath after some of these scenes... they are profoundly sad. The film itself seems conscious of the need for it too. The scenes that follow these bleak and uncomfortable interactions are such a relief.  Tom and Gerry in bed, or on the couch, or at their allotment garden, reflecting on the strain of last night's dinner. Their companionship makes them resilient, and in turn I am restored and able to keep watching.

Of course the flip side of that are the characters who are desperate for companionship and don't have it, and you never stop thinking about them. Their relief only comes during these moments in which they strain those around them. It's a difficult film to comment on specifically, because the issues branch off in so many ways. Beyond the scope the of the film even. The one years time captured here is not enough to resolve anything... a quality that feels all too true. It reflects how life can stagnate. How an inevitable reckoning can arrive at a glacial pace.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on February 04, 2019, 09:16:02 PM
Does anyone else have a problem with the shift to Tom's brother Ronnie? I like the film tremendously up until that point and while it comes back around by the end, that detour pulls me away from everything I'm loving.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 04, 2019, 09:49:23 PM
All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955)

(https://i.imgur.com/s5THFUP.jpg)
"Who put the sticks up their butts?" - Gamora, GotG

This is the reality of the character's world, and eventually I just accepted it however impossibly uptight it might seem to an outsider like me. Cary Scott has few allies, not even her children have her back. The doctor is the only member of the upper crust who she seems able to turn to for support, and I'm not sure he counts.

(https://i.imgur.com/jCNzDZ3.jpg)

Then there's the humble Rock Hudson with his picturesque tree farm, private acreage, and 5000 sq foot mill turned house. Oh what a quaint little life. Who could bear it? ;)

In spite of my feelings, the film does make the central dilemma into a compelling movie. It puts you in Cary Scotts shoes and forces you to operate within the confines of her life. And under those conditions there was nothing easy about it.

Better than expected. :)


Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 04, 2019, 10:04:59 PM
Does anyone else have a problem with the shift to Tom's brother Ronnie? I like the film tremendously up until that point and while it comes back around by the end, that detour pulls me away from everything I'm loving.

No problem with it here. I liked spending the additional time with Tom and Gerry, and seeing them in a different capacity than we have up that point. Especially Tom, who has some of his best moments during those scenes.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 05, 2019, 06:47:30 PM
Another Year (Mike Leigh, 2010)

Crazy good. I got up to make myself some tea midway through and just shook my head and kept saying things like "my god". I felt the need to take a breath after some of these scenes... they are profoundly sad. The film itself seems conscious of the need for it too. The scenes that follow these bleak and uncomfortable interactions are such a relief.  Tom and Gerry in bed, or on the couch, or at their allotment garden, reflecting on the strain of last night's dinner. Their companionship makes them resilient, and in turn I am restored and able to keep watching.

Of course the flip side of that are the characters who are desperate for companionship and don't have it, and you never stop thinking about them. Their relief only comes during these moments in which they strain those around them. It's a difficult film to comment on specifically, because the issues branch off in so many ways. Beyond the scope the of the film even. The one years time captured here is not enough to resolve anything... a quality that feels all too true. It reflects how life can stagnate. How an inevitable reckoning can arrive at a glacial pace.

You bring it all flooding back. Since the movie affects you too, there is probably no question in your mind why it is in my top 100. :)

It's contentment like I've never know, as well as misery I hope never to experience. Because of that, the film makes me simultaneously wistful and relieved. It's the "haves and the have nots", but instead of affluence, it's wealth of connection and wisdom hewn from life experiences; something that cannot be given to their friends, only shown as a template for living. Neither of their friends are willing or able to comprehend what it really takes to be happy and content. This is the tragedy, underneath an overall hopeful film.

(I would make it a point to watch Pride & Prejudice after this film, because Peter Wight [Ken] plays a very happy, contented character. :) )


Does anyone else have a problem with the shift to Tom's brother Ronnie? I like the film tremendously up until that point and while it comes back around by the end, that detour pulls me away from everything I'm loving.

To me it was just one more bump in the road for them to work through. I learned a lot from each of their encounters.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 05, 2019, 07:04:35 PM
All That Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955)

(https://i.imgur.com/s5THFUP.jpg)
"Who put the sticks up their butts?" - Gamora, GotG

:))

Quote
This is the reality of the character's world, and eventually I just accepted it however impossibly uptight it might seem to an outsider like me. Cary Scott has few allies, not even her children have her back. The doctor is the only member of the upper crust who she seems able to turn to for support, and I'm not sure he counts.

"I am going to die surrounded by the biggest idiots in the galaxy." Gamora, (GotG) ;) Honestly, she was being buried in this stupid, stupid world. I think I wrote about it, but I had to stop the movie and go outside to sit on my porch. I was suffocating.

Quote
(https://i.imgur.com/jCNzDZ3.jpg)

Then there's the humble Rock Hudson with his picturesque tree farm, private acreage, and 5000 sq foot mill turned house. Oh what a quaint little life. Who could bear it? ;)

:))

Don't burst my bubble, smirnoff!!!

I believe he inherited this farm and the business from his landscaper father, who's father was a miller for the county. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

Quote
In spite of my feelings, the film does make the central dilemma into a compelling movie. It puts you in Cary Scotts shoes and forces you to operate within the confines of her life. And under those conditions there was nothing easy about it.

Better than expected. :)

I'm just so glad it was in color, so you'd give it a shot! Pretty color too, yes? :)

Thanks for watching it! It's my fable for "simple" living and it reminds me to keep grounded.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 06, 2019, 05:20:05 PM
You bring it all flooding back. Since the movie affects you too, there is probably no question in your mind why it is in my top 100. :)

None. The only question is why it wasn't in mine! :)

Quote
I'm just so glad it was in color, so you'd give it a shot! Pretty color too, yes? :)

Sometimes it's like a Bob Ross painting, other times it's Norman Rockwell. :) It's a good film. It means business.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 06, 2019, 11:26:26 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/2RXCY8q.jpg)  “There's nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.” - Bob Ross :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 09, 2019, 08:46:37 PM
The Village (M. Night Shyamalan, 2004)
(https://i.imgur.com/We7e1a9.png)

This is one I've put off revisiting since it came out. At the time I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was, and literally surprised by the story itself. I was less engaged this go around, particularly when it got past the point of mystery and it became about seeing things through. I guess it's the kind of thing you only react strongly to the first time.

That said, it still has many good qualities. William Hurt has some scenes I really like. The look of the film is still a great asset. The score, featuring Hilary Hahn, provides great atmosphere (take that fwiw, I've known who Hilary Hahn (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwsnIoFXrt0#no) is for all of 2 months, lol).

So it was an okay viewing, probably as good as can be hoped for. Mostly I still respect the film for that brain-melting first viewing though. Is there anyone here on the boards who hasn't seen it and isn't familiar with it?
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: MartinTeller on February 09, 2019, 10:28:29 PM
Robin Hood - After watching two more modern Disneys, it's startling how slow this movie is. No one would ever make a kid's movie these days with such leisurely opening credits (hampsterdance!). But while some sequences are sluggish by today's manic standards, it was refreshing to take a little time to breathe. It's a film with a lot of character, it's just got its own thing going on. There are some delightful slapstick zings, and lots of charming oddball asides. I really cottoned to Brian Bedford's easygoing portrayal of Robin Hood, I'd even say I prefer it to Errol Flynn's. Ustinov has a lot of fun with Prince John, laying the frustrated, effete "oooh!"s on with wonderful hammy thickness. Still, I must say I did start getting a bit bored near the end. And I would charitably call the animation work "uninspired". It looked little better than the Saturday morning cartoons of my youth. As for the songs, it was weird to have most of them chunked together about 2/3rds of the way through, but they were all pretty decent except "Phony King of England".

Overall, flawed but still entertaining. Rating: Good (77)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on February 10, 2019, 04:49:18 AM
Becoming Jane (2007 Julian Jarrold)

I wonder at times about opening ourselves up to have others comment on our favourite films. Perhaps others do not like it, or worse find it dull or boring or despicable. Do we want to know this. I am left at the end of Becoming Jane thinking of this, for it is a film very much about what others may think of what you do (real or imagined) or say, who you see or are seen with.

It is a film about what Jane Austen's life may have been like, but is steeped in the styling of her novels (at least my small understanding of her novels). This styling works very well.

A lot of this film is set not long before the time of The Favourite, and while aspects of the worlds are similar, they are worlds apart in many ways. Still the candle lit scene on the stairs brings to mind several scenes in the latter film.

Ah, the longing and unrequited love, it is painful.

Rating: 78 / 100



How Green Was My Valley (1941 John Ford)

Poignant, yet with a bit of a rose tinted view of life in coal mining town. Yes there was the wicked tongue wagging and accidents happened at the pit, but nobody appeared to be suffering from any form of lung complaint.

Big surprise was the presence of a very young Roddy McDowell.

I am trying to think why I am rating this higher than Becoming Jane and it comes down to that poignancy, despite itself this film has a power to drive through to your heart (well this one anyway). The focus on life from the boy's perspective, but still dipping in and out of others lifes works. It ties the story together, in a way that the various scene would otherwise be too distant from each other.

I am glad I have finally gotten around to seeing this.

Rating: 79 / 100
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on February 10, 2019, 03:02:31 PM
Jane Eyre (2011)

I first read Jane Eyre while traveling in Europe. Long train-rides through the English countryside were filled with gazing out the window and reading Charlotte Brontë’s rich writing as she evoked a character whose inner monologue was fascinatingly similar to my own at times. I found in her a kindred spirit with her deep inner loneliness and a strict adherence to holding true to her beliefs even in the most troubling times.

Therefore, I’ve always been wary of the idea of an adaptation of this book. Brontë aligns us so close to the character through her inner-musings and deepest thoughts and I knew some of this would inevitably get lost in translation with the film where the inner workings of the mind are often hard to portray on screen.

And it’s fair to say that the 2011 adaptation certainly loses something in translation but it’s not for lack of trying. Mia Wasikowska plays Jane Eyre with the austiure grace depicted in the book and while Michael Fassbender’s Rochester is a bit more prickly than I remember the one in the book being, he gives a captivating performance.

The film tries to work its way into some of the more subjective elements of Jane’s inner mind is by telling the film out of sequence. This allows the film to tinker with moments that will later inform Jane’s actions by drawing certain actions into paralel later actions and moments of decision whereby it begins to make sense why Jane thinks the way she thinks. There’s also a sense in which the entire film plays out as Jane tormented by the events of the book, which plays up the film’s central moral conflict.

And through those means it still captures the quality I found so admirable about the book: the way it captures the moral duty to oneself and God above fulfilling strong desires in moments of passion. Many great romance stories are fits of passion given into with little care about what will happen in the wake of such a storm, but Jane Eyre is acutely interested in the storm such behavior will damage.

This is accentuated throughout the film by the use of locales and weather throughout the film. The English countryside and weather can be fair and lovely during a moment of happiness or barren and harsh when all hope seems lost. It’s a visually affecting film that conveys so much of its emotional weigh through the look and feel of the images.

Any adaptation of Jane Eyre will forever live in the shadows of the book for me, but I think this version tries enough interesting techniques with both the story structure and the filmmaking to make it worth a watch for fans of the story. The core story and central theme still shines through and the film still shows why the story has been adapted so many times. There’s an undeniably potent and timeless story being told here, one worth hearing time and time again.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 10, 2019, 06:01:12 PM
Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993)
(https://i.imgur.com/1BVAljs.jpg)

Aha, now I get it! My introduction to this play was much confused by starting with the wrong adaptation! Joss Whedon produced a version in 2012 which was slick and modern, but that modernity worked against me. The everyday-ness of it, the familiarity of the clothes, the cars, the house... everything about it put me in a state of ease. If the world were recognizable, so to would the characters be. The contemporary setting put me in a contemporary mindset. And in such a mindset the tricks and pranks and twists and turns of the story were processed accordingly. And it didn't work of course.

The goings on of this story were never meant to hold up to 21st century scrutiny, or even the scrutiny of reality! I cannot imagine a time, now or 500 years past, where faking someone's death could be considered a realistic tactic to win a persons heart back. That detail won't blend, no matter how much contextual massaging you do. My blunder, though it was an unconscious one (until now), was in letting myself try to integrate such details. As if it could ever "make sense" in that way, or was ever intended to.

Branagh presents the fairy tale story in a fairy tale world and there is no issue. The actors do not contort themselves trying to make the unnatural appear natural because the presentation does not demand it of them. I could probably now go back and better appreciate Whedon's film, since there is a coolness to being able to deliver such lines casually, but I doubt I would enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this film. And I'm afraid the real depth of the story would be hard to find amongst the gimmicks.

There are many great moments in this film. It has one of the better openings I've seen in a while, the highlight being Denzel on horseback leading the charge over a hill. Denzel looks good on a horse. I like his casting in this piece... and I like how he carries himself. I wish his character had even more scenes. Of the louder characters I think Branagh was best. He even made a moment of slapstick work when his character fumbles with a collapsible chair. Slapstick! I can't believe it but I laughed. It all contributed to new appreciation of this story.

Less of Keaton would have been better, or Keaton doing less of whatever it was he was doing. Even in this, a film of excesses, his shtick was annoying. His was the only low point for me. Everything else landed somewhere in between. I had a very good time with it overall. And that was some final shot. It has me motivated to watch Hamlet again (even though it is twice as long). Or Henry V (which is not on your list). How come? :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 10, 2019, 11:08:11 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/bbI7EIh.gif)

Look at all the reviews! :))


I'll catch up...
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 11, 2019, 12:13:18 AM
The Village

This is one I've put off revisiting since it came out. At the time I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was, and literally surprised by the story itself. I was less engaged this go around, particularly when it got past the point of mystery and it became about seeing things through. I guess it's the kind of thing you only react strongly to the first time.

This is the only movie I've seen four times in the theatre. The second time was to see all the stuff behind the reveal and the next two times were to focus on the characters, especially Ivy and Lucius' interactions. I believe I exhausted my investigation by that point. :) I think I've only seen it once since that time, but would be interested to know how I came at it again now. It could be like you said, "seeing things through."

Quote
That said, it still has many good qualities. William Hurt has some scenes I really like. The look of the film is still a great asset. The score, featuring Hilary Hahn, provides great atmosphere (take that fwiw, I've known who Hilary Hahn (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwsnIoFXrt0#no) is for all of 2 months, lol).

She is a big part of why the film worked for me. The tension and beauty in the violin carried the story along. Haha! about the Ling Ling Challenge! She is not to be thwarted! The looks on the guys faces were priceless. There was no small amount of hero worship going on. She even danced! I thought the only dancing violinist was Lindsey Stirling. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGCsyshUU-A&list=PLOro-w8rjuixoBEeitchSaf2BSDK5pofw

Isn't William Hurt wonderful in this? He carried the weight of making this village seem plausible, at least in a movie magic sense. One thing Shyamalan does so well (and he does many) is the actors he chooses. I became a big fan of Gleeson from this film.

Quote
So it was an okay viewing, probably as good as can be hoped for. Mostly I still respect the film for that brain-melting first viewing though. Is there anyone here on the boards who hasn't seen it and isn't familiar with it?

Okay is good! Okay is more than I could hope for, for this film isn't everyone's cup of tea. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 11, 2019, 12:24:33 AM
Robin Hood - After watching two more modern Disneys, it's startling how slow this movie is. No one would ever make a kid's movie these days with such leisurely opening credits (hampsterdance!). But while some sequences are sluggish by today's manic standards, it was refreshing to take a little time to breathe. It's a film with a lot of character, it's just got its own thing going on. There are some delightful slapstick zings, and lots of charming oddball asides. I really cottoned to Brian Bedford's easygoing portrayal of Robin Hood, I'd even say I prefer it to Errol Flynn's. Ustinov has a lot of fun with Prince John, laying the frustrated, effete "oooh!"s on with wonderful hammy thickness. Still, I must say I did start getting a bit bored near the end. And I would charitably call the animation work "uninspired". It looked little better than the Saturday morning cartoons of my youth. As for the songs, it was weird to have most of them chunked together about 2/3rds of the way through, but they were all pretty decent except "Phony King of England".

Overall, flawed but still entertaining. Rating: Good (77)

This too is more than I could have hoped for! You really came at it with a positive approach. Your pre-cruise challenge is a big one and I'm impressed you're doing something that isn't your favorite, but you're doing it to get into the spirit of things. Bravo. :)

Disney has a lot to do with timing. I just happened to be 6 years old when I saw Robin Hood. Everything is magical at that age (including dull animation!) and the fact that I knew I wasn't going to get to see it again for a long time, helped me hold onto each image and song. I'm sure we had the record too. I'm curious to how Corndog came to love this film, since he is so much younger. I would think Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin would have become his favorite instead. Like you said, maybe it has everything to do with Brian Bedford's characterization which makes Corndog use him as an avatar. Maybe he will chime in to let us know. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 12, 2019, 08:14:34 PM
The Village

This is the only movie I've seen four times in the theatre. The second time was to see all the stuff behind the reveal and the next two times were to focus on the characters, especially Ivy and Lucius' interactions. I believe I exhausted my investigation by that point. :) I think I've only seen it once since that time, but would be interested to know how I came at it again now. It could be like you said, "seeing things through."

Hmm maybe, but I kind of doubt it... it sounds like you connected to this film in a deeper way.

This interaction between Ivy and Lucius kind of reads like something out of Jane Eyre:

Quote
Ivy Walker: When we are married, will you dance with me? I find dancing very agreeable. Why can you not say what is in your head?

Lucius Hunt: Why can you not stop saying what is in yours? Why must you lead, when I want to lead? If I want to dance I will ask you to dance. If I want to speak I will open my mouth and speak. Everyone is forever plaguing me to speak further. Why? What good is it to tell you you are in my every thought from the time I wake? What good can come from my saying that I sometimes cannot think clearly or do my work properly? What gain can rise of my telling you the only time I feel fear as others do is when I think of you in harm? That is why I am on this porch, Ivy Walker. I fear for your safety before all others. And yes, I will dance with you on our wedding night.
                 
Quote
Jane Eyre: Am I a machine with out feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, plain, obscure, and little that I am souless and heartless? I have as much soul as you and full as much heart. And if God had possessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as I to leave you... I'm not speaking to you through mortal flesh. It is my spirit that addresses your spirit, as it passes throguh the grave and stood at God's feet equal. As we are.



Isn't William Hurt wonderful in this? He carried the weight of making this village seem plausible, at least in a movie magic sense. One thing Shyamalan does so well (and he does many) is the actors he chooses. I became a big fan of Gleeson from this film.

It's a very deep bench. I could've used more of those town hall meetings just to have more time with them all! :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on February 13, 2019, 08:07:34 PM
Ok, false start. My library had the PBS version of Shadowland, not the Anthony Hopkins. I have Ball of Fire to watch this weekend though.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on February 14, 2019, 01:02:28 AM
Dan in Real Life

Every time I see Dan in Real Life, it goes higher on my top 100 list. There's something about Carell's timing and the editing of the shots which captures my heart. It's precision porn. ;)
I noticed the precision immediately. Leaving the house for school, Carell's daughter gives him lip about her boyfriend and he responds by simply saying, "Bus." When another daughter begs to drive the car, the film cuts to later when the car pulls into a space, moving the daughters unhappy reaction into the frame.
"If you don't let me, I'll never learn."
"But if I let you, you may not live."

The honest interactions between Carell and his daughters and within the larger family is perfect - Dianne Weist and John Mahoney are such natural parents. Unfortunately, it turns the more dishonest movie interactions into unwanted guests and Juliette Binoche gets the worst of it every time. Her meet cute in the bookshop makes no sense to me. Why is she so daffy? Is she secretly trying to avoid the family? The shower scene is another example, like a deleted scene from the remake of Father of the Bride. (Is it natural for a daughter to be so wrapped up in her problems she also essentially forces a grown woman to strip in front of her?)

This wasn't a constant problem. I'd say the film was 80% precision and 15% Hollywood sitcom. (5% dancing to the music.)

Emily Blunt! I had to research the timeline since I was working on The Office around this time. It was a year after this scene where she flirts with Carell that she met John Krasinski.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Jeff Schroeck on February 14, 2019, 08:24:03 AM
City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)

This was my first Chaplin and was, unfortunately, disappointing in a lot of ways. I like slapstick, I like falling down, but most of the gags left me cold. I can appreciate them as significant points along the physical comedy continuum, but I like my pratfalls with more absurdity: Chris Farley as Matt Foley falling through the coffee table, for example, or Kramer running down the sidewalk with pockets full of change. Most of these gags, like the midnight water debacle, were simply about him sitting or standing in the wrong spot. The worst of the gags was the whistle bit, which was inevitable from the the moment the girl used it herself, and went on too long, though I appreciated the end of it, when the dogs came in.

That’s said, I loved the entire boxing sequence. The choreography of the in-ring stuff was marvellous, especially the bell rope section, and all the locker room sequence was perfectly timed. The only part of “Shrek” that’s stuck with me is the guard punching the hand mirror as a warning, and I got similar vibes from all the warnings the Tramp gets while waiting for his bout.

I don’t know Chaplin’s intended themes regarding the Tramp’s relationship with the girl, whether the viewer is meant to sympathise with him when it appears she doesn’t know him, but I looking at it from 2019 I couldn’t help but feel icked out by his sadness at having been “forgotten” despite having paid for so many things. The vibe I always got from talk surrounding the movie was one of love lost, but the idea of love not being purchasable, something he should’ve learned from the rich man who has everything but lost his love, is a more crucial takeaway.


I have "A Matter Of Life and Death" at home, too. Hopefully that one works better for me.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 15, 2019, 12:04:33 AM
...would be interested to know how I came at it again now. It could be like you said, "seeing things through."

Hmm maybe, but I kind of doubt it... it sounds like you connected to this film in a deeper way.

It felt deep at the time, for sure. It's interesting how movies will resonate so strongly, as if they have something to highlight in your life right at that moment and then after the "lesson is learned", the impact fades. I find that those are the movies that fall from my list on revisits. Sometimes the lessons are short-lived and sometimes, they're needed for a very long time. 

Quote
This interaction between Ivy and Lucius kind of reads like something out of Jane Eyre:

Quote
Ivy Walker: When we are married, will you dance with me? I find dancing very agreeable. Why can you not say what is in your head?

Lucius Hunt: Why can you not stop saying what is in yours? Why must you lead, when I want to lead? If I want to dance I will ask you to dance. If I want to speak I will open my mouth and speak. Everyone is forever plaguing me to speak further. Why? What good is it to tell you you are in my every thought from the time I wake? What good can come from my saying that I sometimes cannot think clearly or do my work properly? What gain can rise of my telling you the only time I feel fear as others do is when I think of you in harm? That is why I am on this porch, Ivy Walker. I fear for your safety before all others. And yes, I will dance with you on our wedding night.
                 
Quote
Jane Eyre: Am I a machine with out feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, plain, obscure, and little that I am souless and heartless? I have as much soul as you and full as much heart. And if God had possessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as I to leave you... I'm not speaking to you through mortal flesh. It is my spirit that addresses your spirit, as it passes throguh the grave and stood at God's feet equal. As we are.

You're really on to something here! I wonder if Shyamalan was reading some Brontë, while working on his script! :D

Isn't William Hurt wonderful in this? He carried the weight of making this village seem plausible, at least in a movie magic sense. One thing Shyamalan does so well (and he does many) is the actors he chooses. I became a big fan of Gleeson from this film.
Quote
It's a very deep bench. I could've used more of those town hall meetings just to have more time with them all! :)

Yes, this! I think it's one of the reasons I kept coming back, to sit with these actors, living these parts.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 15, 2019, 12:52:47 AM
Becoming Jane (2007 Julian Jarrold)

I wonder at times about opening ourselves up to have others comment on our favourite films. Perhaps others do not like it, or worse find it dull or boring or despicable. Do we want to know this. I am left at the end of Becoming Jane thinking of this, for it is a film very much about what others may think of what you do (real or imagined) or say, who you see or are seen with.

I've been sitting with this comment for a while. It intrigues me. :) As for the first part, yes, having people watch and review movies that I have chosen as favorites is always a little bit petrifying. It a vulnerable place to sit in, but as we've been doing this for a handful of rounds, I've gotten less attached and more pragmatic about others' responses as well as about my own choices. It feel more like a microscope of exploration, rather than exchanging briefs in a court. As my perceptions change, my ability to gain from this club increases.

Perseverance is a theme which runs through many of the films in my top 100 and Becoming Jane is a great example. She met with great resistance when it came to her writing and her chance at love. It's difficult to not let others affect our ability to live authentically and to create. Yet, she continued on. I find her pragmatic sacrifices to be inspiring.

Quote
It is a film about what Jane Austen's life may have been like, but is steeped in the styling of her novels (at least my small understanding of her novels). This styling works very well.

Yay! :) I believe they worked very hard to create a bridge between what they knew of her life and what they could glean from her novels.

Quote
A lot of this film is set not long before the time of The Favourite, and while aspects of the worlds are similar, they are worlds apart in many ways. Still the candle lit scene on the stairs brings to mind several scenes in the latter film.

I just saw The Favourite on Monday and those candle lit scenes also made me think about Becoming Jane and Jane Eyre's candle lit scenes! :)) Filming candlelight is tricky business.

Quote
Ah, the longing and unrequited love, it is painful.

Ain't it the truth. :'( I still get choked up when I revisit this film.


Quote
How Green Was My Valley (1941 John Ford)

Poignant, yet with a bit of a rose tinted view of life in coal mining town. Yes there was the wicked tongue wagging and accidents happened at the pit, but nobody appeared to be suffering from any form of lung complaint.

Big surprise was the presence of a very young Roddy McDowell.

I am trying to think why I am rating this higher than Becoming Jane and it comes down to that poignancy, despite itself this film has a power to drive through to your heart (well this one anyway). The focus on life from the boy's perspective, but still dipping in and out of others lifes works. It ties the story together, in a way that the various scene would otherwise be too distant from each other.

I am glad I have finally gotten around to seeing this.

Rating: 79 / 100

What an interesting pairing. Both films span time and are about family love and loss. How Green Was My Valley does come across as somewhat pastoral, but the darkness seeps into the bones and makes me shiver. The singing also sinks in deep. Those rose covered glasses get a bit misty with tears.

I'm glad you saw it too! Thanks, Dave. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 15, 2019, 06:58:34 PM
Jane Eyre (2011)

I first read Jane Eyre while traveling in Europe. Long train-rides through the English countryside were filled with gazing out the window and reading Charlotte Brontë’s rich writing as she evoked a character whose inner monologue was fascinatingly similar to my own at times. I found in her a kindred spirit with her deep inner loneliness and a strict adherence to holding true to her beliefs even in the most troubling times.

Then you and I are kindred spirits too. :) <3

Quote
Therefore, I’ve always been wary of the idea of an adaptation of this book. Brontë aligns us so close to the character through her inner-musings and deepest thoughts and I knew some of this would inevitably get lost in translation with the film where the inner workings of the mind are often hard to portray on screen.

And it’s fair to say that the 2011 adaptation certainly loses something in translation but it’s not for lack of trying. Mia Wasikowska plays Jane Eyre with the austiure grace depicted in the book and while Michael Fassbender’s Rochester is a bit more prickly than I remember the one in the book being, he gives a captivating performance.

The film tries to work its way into some of the more subjective elements of Jane’s inner mind is by telling the film out of sequence. This allows the film to tinker with moments that will later inform Jane’s actions by drawing certain actions into paralel later actions and moments of decision whereby it begins to make sense why Jane thinks the way she thinks. There’s also a sense in which the entire film plays out as Jane tormented by the events of the book, which plays up the film’s central moral conflict.

And through those means it still captures the quality I found so admirable about the book: the way it captures the moral duty to oneself and God above fulfilling strong desires in moments of passion. Many great romance stories are fits of passion given into with little care about what will happen in the wake of such a storm, but Jane Eyre is acutely interested in the storm such behavior will damage.

This is accentuated throughout the film by the use of locales and weather throughout the film. The English countryside and weather can be fair and lovely during a moment of happiness or barren and harsh when all hope seems lost. It’s a visually affecting film that conveys so much of its emotional weigh through the look and feel of the images.

Any adaptation of Jane Eyre will forever live in the shadows of the book for me, but I think this version tries enough interesting techniques with both the story structure and the filmmaking to make it worth a watch for fans of the story. The core story and central theme still shines through and the film still shows why the story has been adapted so many times. There’s an undeniably potent and timeless story being told here, one worth hearing time and time again.

I don't know what to say. You've said it all. :) Honestly, what you've written about the structure of the film, the actors, the imagery... All of it is why this is my favorite adaptation, and what you wrote about the inner workings of her mind, the loneliness, the moral conflicts, all of which makes it one of my very favorite stories. Let's just look at some pics, because your words are complete.

(https://i.imgur.com/M3VZoDO.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/pBmim1O.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/apoIn1o.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/xueKaRM.png)

(https://i.imgur.com/y6JdjV4.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/kr6XgUr.jpg)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on February 15, 2019, 11:22:58 PM
Ball of Fire

Perhaps my tweets say it best...that's where I do my best writing these days:
(http://i65.tinypic.com/118qafl.jpg)

Seriously though, on one hand there is the beautiful and charming Barbara Stanwyck and on the other a conservative scold. Being bad at old movies I had mixed up Gary Cooper with Gregory Peck and wouldn't place Stanwyck (though I'm familiar with her name and certainly have seen her in many things). Still, star power works even if you don't know which names to assign to it.

I do appreciate a film where the men, in this case Prof. Potts (Cooper) and his fellow Encyclopedians, are more socially oblivious than I am. I laugh at the scene where O'Shea (Stanwyck) shows up and the various professors shy away but lurk, like some manner of vulnerable but curious animal. Anyway, fun!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 15, 2019, 11:45:23 PM
You're really on to something here! I wonder if Shyamalan was reading some Brontë, while working on his script! :D

Hmm. Reading Sam's review of Jane Eyre and your response got me thinking about it some more.

The quasi-love triangle in the two films does have more than a few similarities.

Noah and Bertha are both mentally off. Both stories begin with unexplained hauntings. In The Village dead animals are appearing around the property and even the elders don't know the cause. In Jane Eyre, Jane kind of hears things and senses things which are ghost-like going on around the house. And we later find out the real cause is Naoh and Bertha respectively. Then they both have violent, murderous episodes, caused by jealousy.... they think themselves the proper match for Mary and Rochester, not Lucius and Jane. The general disheveled appearance also is a match.
(https://i.imgur.com/m3hWpRX.jpg)(https://i.imgur.com/o7uASVF.jpg)

Mary and Rochester bear similarities too, in that they are both of a higher social class. Mary is the daughter of the leader of the Village, while Lucius is more of a independant misfit. Rochester is rich and has a title, Jane is a servant (of sorts), and an independent misfit.

Then when you factor in the time period which The Village is trying to mimic it could be that Shayamalan was sourcing Jane Eyre for language reasons, and lifted some other elements at the same time.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 18, 2019, 01:44:27 AM
 :o :))  Oh my! Most excellent observations!

Let me see if I can continue this train of thought...

Red!

Jane Eyre

"Take her away to the red-room, and lock her in there." ..."Say your prayers, Miss Eyre, when you are by yourself; for if you don't repent, something bad might be permitted to come down the chimney and fetch you away."

A bed supported on massive pillars of mahogany, hung with curtains of deep red damask, stood out like a tabernacle in the centre; the two large windows, with their blinds always drawn down, were half shrouded in festoons and falls of similar drapery; the carpet was red; the table at the foot of the bed was covered with a crimson cloth;

The Village

Lucius: Be cautious. You are holding the bad color.

Blindness

Jane Eyre

He cannot now see very distinctly... but he can find his way without being led by the hand.
 
The Village

Ivy: You wonder how I recognize you? Some people - just a handful, mind you - give off the tiniest color. It's faint. Like a haze.



You and I would be good conspiracy theorists, if I do say so myself! :D
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 18, 2019, 10:03:10 PM
Red!

(https://i.imgur.com/mDGsZmK.gif)

NICE tie in! I had TOTALLY forgotten about that moment from Jane Eyre and being locked in the bedroom! That scene is SUPER similar to the scene in The Sixth Sense when Cole gets shoved in that closet under the stairs by some bullies. That is the first thing I thought of when I saw that scene from Jane Eyre, but it's only come back to me now that you've mentioned it. Both scenes are horrible to watch. (Cole is wearing a red sweater in that scene as it happens...)

Quote
Blindness

(https://i.imgur.com/tYRoBWl.gif)

Oh jeez, I didn't even THINK of that! You're making great connections!

Quote
You and I would be good conspiracy theorists, if I do say so myself! :D

ᕕ( ՞ ᗜ ՞ )ᕗ
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 19, 2019, 01:00:34 AM
:))

I could watch those gifs all day!



I didn't even think about Cole and his red sweater, in the locked room!!!

(https://i.imgur.com/ikKTc6K.gif)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: jdc on February 19, 2019, 01:30:27 AM
Likely to miss Sandy's month this round.  Just swamped on a project and traveling, plus it is hard for me to find all the goodness that is in Sandy's list.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 19, 2019, 01:43:21 AM
Likely to miss Sandy's month this round.  Just swamped on a project and traveling, plus it is hard for me to find all the goodness that is in Sandy's list.

No worries, jdc! Good luck with all you have going on.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 19, 2019, 01:43:31 AM
Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993)

Aha, now I get it!

The best opening words to a review of a film I love!

Quote
My introduction to this play was much confused by starting with the wrong adaptation! Joss Whedon produced a version in 2012 which was slick and modern, but that modernity worked against me. The everyday-ness of it, the familiarity of the clothes, the cars, the house... everything about it put me in a state of ease. If the world were recognizable, so to would the characters be. The contemporary setting put me in a contemporary mindset. And in such a mindset the tricks and pranks and twists and turns of the story were processed accordingly. And it didn't work of course.

I didn't see this version, in part because the black and white, modern setting felt like the opposite of what I loved so much about the 1993 version.

Quote
The goings on of this story were never meant to hold up to 21st century scrutiny, or even the scrutiny of reality! I cannot imagine a time, now or 500 years past, where faking someone's death could be considered a realistic tactic to win a persons heart back. That detail won't blend, no matter how much contextual massaging you do. My blunder, though it was an unconscious one (until now), was in letting myself try to integrate such details. As if it could ever "make sense" in that way, or was ever intended to.

Branagh presents the fairy tale story in a fairy tale world and there is no issue. The actors do not contort themselves trying to make the unnatural appear natural because the presentation does not demand it of them.

Exactly! It is a sun drenched fairy tale with a dark shadow running through it. The setting is utopian and fuzzy in it's time placement, so reality is rather pushed aside. Like what you wrote further down, the opening with people sitting on the hillside eating grapes and then communal bathing in preparation for the men coming over the hill in slow mo. Fantasy, anyone?

Quote
I could probably now go back and better appreciate Whedon's film, since there is a coolness to being able to deliver such lines casually, but I doubt I would enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this film. And I'm afraid the real depth of the story would be hard to find amongst the gimmicks.

You make me more inclined to let it pass, but maybe someday, I'll give it a go!

Quote
There are many great moments in this film. It has one of the better openings I've seen in a while, the highlight being Denzel on horseback leading the charge over a hill. Denzel looks good on a horse. I like his casting in this piece... and I like how he carries himself. I wish his character had even more scenes.

Agree :)

Quote
Of the louder characters I think Branagh was best. He even made a moment of slapstick work when his character fumbles with a collapsible chair. Slapstick! I can't believe it but I laughed. It all contributed to new appreciation of this story.

:)) I haven't seen the movie in a while, but you just brought that scene back to my mind! So cute. Really, him and Emma are adorable in this film.

Quote
Less of Keaton would have been better, or Keaton doing less of whatever it was he was doing. Even in this, a film of excesses, his shtick was annoying. His was the only low point for me. Everything else landed somewhere in between.

I have no idea what Keaton was doing or saying. bleh. I like him in many other films, but not this one. I haven't studied the character or his lines to know what is going on and Keaton makes it more confusing.

Quote
I had a very good time with it overall. And that was some final shot.

Love it so much! I have a thing about long shots and this one makes my heart soar!

Quote
It has me motivated to watch Hamlet again (even though it is twice as long). Or Henry V (which is not on your list). How come? :)

ummm, I've only seen the "Once more unto the breach" scene. :-[  And Emma Thompson is in that one too?! I am remiss. Anybody have it in their top 100? If so, I'll prioritize it on their month.

So happy you had a good time with this one, smirnoff. Hey nonny nonny!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 19, 2019, 05:18:38 PM
Dan in Real Life

Every time I see Dan in Real Life, it goes higher on my top 100 list. There's something about Carell's timing and the editing of the shots which captures my heart. It's precision porn. ;)
I noticed the precision immediately. Leaving the house for school, Carell's daughter gives him lip about her boyfriend and he responds by simply saying, "Bus." When another daughter begs to drive the car, the film cuts to later when the car pulls into a space, moving the daughters unhappy reaction into the frame.
"If you don't let me, I'll never learn."
"But if I let you, you may not live."

The honest interactions between Carell and his daughters and within the larger family is perfect - Dianne Weist and John Mahoney are such natural parents.

All of that,

(https://i.imgur.com/VEMlJdA.jpg)

One cut I love is when Dan is trying to find fun things for the kids to do and as they're going by a building that has been shut down for the season, he asks if they want to go bowling and the kids jump up and down,

(https://i.imgur.com/TkqXO6a.jpg)

cut to this,

(https://i.imgur.com/j5OroRP.jpg)

with him saying, "Life is full of disappointment. Big and sometimes bigger."

It's one of my favorite things ever. :)

Quote
Unfortunately, it turns the more dishonest movie interactions into unwanted guests and Juliette Binoche gets the worst of it every time. Her meet cute in the bookshop makes no sense to me. Why is she so daffy? Is she secretly trying to avoid the family? The shower scene is another example, like a deleted scene from the remake of Father of the Bride. (Is it natural for a daughter to be so wrapped up in her problems she also essentially forces a grown woman to strip in front of her?)

And all of this?

(https://i.imgur.com/q8ElzrT.gif)

Binoche gets the worst, for sure. She has to do those daffy gymnastics to keep the story going. As for avoiding the family, Marie didn't know they were going to be at the retreat yet. Her relationship with Mitch was brand new, so she was at the bookstore to gather courage and bring a him a gift. Her staying with Dan so long is because he's infinitely more interesting to her than Mitch. :)

My most cringe worthy moment in the film is the too long pig face girl song. It's not funny and it's self indulgent.

Quote
This wasn't a constant problem. I'd say the film was 80% precision and 15% Hollywood sitcom. (5% dancing to the music.)


:D

I agree with your numbers.

Quote
Emily Blunt! I had to research the timeline since I was working on The Office around this time. It was a year after this scene where she flirts with Carell that she met John Krasinski.

I knew her when she wasn't EMILY BLUNT! She was just Ruthy, the surgeon with great dance moves. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 20, 2019, 12:41:49 AM
City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)

This was my first Chaplin and was, unfortunately, disappointing in a lot of ways. I like slapstick, I like falling down, but most of the gags left me cold. I can appreciate them as significant points along the physical comedy continuum, but I like my pratfalls with more absurdity: Chris Farley as Matt Foley falling through the coffee table, for example, or Kramer running down the sidewalk with pockets full of change. Most of these gags, like the midnight water debacle, were simply about him sitting or standing in the wrong spot. The worst of the gags was the whistle bit, which was inevitable from the the moment the girl used it herself, and went on too long, though I appreciated the end of it, when the dogs came in.

That’s said, I loved the entire boxing sequence. The choreography of the in-ring stuff was marvellous, especially the bell rope section, and all the locker room sequence was perfectly timed. The only part of “Shrek” that’s stuck with me is the guard punching the hand mirror as a warning, and I got similar vibes from all the warnings the Tramp gets while waiting for his bout.

I don’t know Chaplin’s intended themes regarding the Tramp’s relationship with the girl, whether the viewer is meant to sympathise with him when it appears she doesn’t know him, but I looking at it from 2019 I couldn’t help but feel icked out by his sadness at having been “forgotten” despite having paid for so many things. The vibe I always got from talk surrounding the movie was one of love lost, but the idea of love not being purchasable, something he should’ve learned from the rich man who has everything but lost his love, is a more crucial takeaway.

I have "A Matter Of Life and Death" at home, too. Hopefully that one works better for me.

It's been a while since I've seen this, but I believe the movie sits in my top 100 in small part because of the opening scene and in large part because of the ending one. Slapstick is hit and miss for me too. (I haven't seen Farley's Foley's folly! Or, Kramer's scene with the coins, but I will make it a point to find them!) But, there are some great Chaplin bits and the statues and the boxing scenes are as "good as it gets."

I get the ick factor and the bigger message of "you can't buy love," but Chaplin's look at the end is so sweet, and the emotion of really being seen by someone is hard to resist, so I hope I can be forgiven for bypassing those two issues. :) 

Your review has put me in a contemplative mood about this film and what it represents for me in my list. Humor, humanity, longing, altruism... these are concepts which are brought to me from a silent movie from over 80 years ago. I could easily put in Lucky Star as an old film which still has the power to speak to me on a very personal level, but I chose City Lights, for now. :)

Jeff, are there old films which you find to be particularly relevant today? They take patience for me to explore them, but if there are special ones, I'm more apt to take the time.

Interestingly enough, A Matter of Life and Death is probably in my top 100, solely on the merits of it's opening scene. I'm a sucker for memorable opening scenes it seems!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 20, 2019, 01:48:57 AM
Ball of Fire

Perhaps my tweets say it best...that's where I do my best writing these days:
(http://i65.tinypic.com/118qafl.jpg)

Seriously though, on one hand there is the beautiful and charming Barbara Stanwyck and on the other a conservative scold. Being bad at old movies I had mixed up Gary Cooper with Gregory Peck and wouldn't place Stanwyck (though I'm familiar with her name and certainly have seen her in many things). Still, star power works even if you don't know which names to assign to it.

I do appreciate a film where the men, in this case Prof. Potts (Cooper) and his fellow Encyclopedians, are more socially oblivious than I am. I laugh at the scene where O'Shea (Stanwyck) shows up and the various professors shy away but lurk, like some manner of vulnerable but curious animal. Anyway, fun!

I want to happily commend you on the use of scold as a noun. To boldly choose this old-fashioned vernacular, is to skillfully keep with the spirit of the film. As for the actors, to easily confuse Cooper and Peck is perfectly understandable. They both choose to stoically portray most every character they take on.

I was hoping you were going to really enjoy this, so having you say it was fun, is great to certainly hear! Also, I'd like to quickly add, I love your line, "... like some manner of vulnerable but curious animal."

(Don't mind me, I'm just here practicing splitting my infinitives. :) )
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Jeff Schroeck on February 20, 2019, 09:55:36 AM
City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)

This was my first Chaplin and was, unfortunately, disappointing in a lot of ways. I like slapstick, I like falling down, but most of the gags left me cold. I can appreciate them as significant points along the physical comedy continuum, but I like my pratfalls with more absurdity: Chris Farley as Matt Foley falling through the coffee table, for example, or Kramer running down the sidewalk with pockets full of change. Most of these gags, like the midnight water debacle, were simply about him sitting or standing in the wrong spot. The worst of the gags was the whistle bit, which was inevitable from the the moment the girl used it herself, and went on too long, though I appreciated the end of it, when the dogs came in.

That’s said, I loved the entire boxing sequence. The choreography of the in-ring stuff was marvellous, especially the bell rope section, and all the locker room sequence was perfectly timed. The only part of “Shrek” that’s stuck with me is the guard punching the hand mirror as a warning, and I got similar vibes from all the warnings the Tramp gets while waiting for his bout.

I don’t know Chaplin’s intended themes regarding the Tramp’s relationship with the girl, whether the viewer is meant to sympathise with him when it appears she doesn’t know him, but I looking at it from 2019 I couldn’t help but feel icked out by his sadness at having been “forgotten” despite having paid for so many things. The vibe I always got from talk surrounding the movie was one of love lost, but the idea of love not being purchasable, something he should’ve learned from the rich man who has everything but lost his love, is a more crucial takeaway.

I have "A Matter Of Life and Death" at home, too. Hopefully that one works better for me.

It's been a while since I've seen this, but I believe the movie sits in my top 100 in small part because of the opening scene and in large part because of the ending one. Slapstick is hit and miss for me too. (I haven't seen Farley's Foley's folly! Or, Kramer's scene with the coins, but I will make it a point to find them!) But, there are some great Chaplin bits and the statues and the boxing scenes are as "good as it gets."

I get the ick factor and the bigger message of "you can't buy love," but Chaplin's look at the end is so sweet, and the emotion of really being seen by someone is hard to resist, so I hope I can be forgiven for bypassing those two issues. :) 

Your review has put me in a contemplative mood about this film and what it represents for me in my list. Humor, humanity, longing, altruism... these are concepts which are brought to me from a silent movie from over 80 years ago. I could easily put in Lucky Star as an old film which still has the power to speak to me on a very personal level, but I chose City Lights, for now. :)

Jeff, are there old films which you find to be particularly relevant today? They take patience for me to explore them, but if there are special ones, I'm more apt to take the time.

Interestingly enough, A Matter of Life and Death is probably in my top 100, solely on the merits of it's opening scene. I'm a sucker for memorable opening scenes it seems!

I think I wouldn't have minded the money for love theme if I'd been won over by the rest of it. And five years ago I probably wouldn't have even given that a second thought!

I'll have to think about which older films still resonate. While going through my Letterboxd films for my list I noticed how few older comedies I have actually seen, most Winsor McCay cartoons and a box set's worth of Charley Bowers short. The only one before the 40s is "Duck Soup", which I also don't like all that much except a couple scenes (mirror doorway & the madcap last ten minutes).

I can also relate to having not seen a Top 100 movie in a while and then being made to dig deep to remember why it's on there; that's how I feel every time it's been my month and anybody picks something I haven't seen in at least a year. :D

And now I'm extra looking forward to getting to "A Matter of Life & Death"!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 20, 2019, 03:27:45 PM
Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993)

It has me motivated to watch Hamlet again (even though it is twice as long). Or Henry V (which is not on your list). How come? :)

ummm, I've only seen the "Once more unto the breach" scene. :-[  And Emma Thompson is in that one too?! I am remiss. Anybody have it in their top 100? If so, I'll prioritize it on their month.

Yea, I was just curious if it was an active dislike, or one you simply hadn't seen yet. It's been a long time since I watched it. I'll join you if it comes up in someone's top 100. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Jeff Schroeck on February 20, 2019, 09:43:15 PM
Interestingly enough, A Matter of Life and Death is probably in my top 100, solely on the merits of it's opening scene. I'm a sucker for memorable opening scenes it seems!

I'll have more on it tomorrow, but I agree with you 100% on this opening scene, and it has a hell of a closing shot, too.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 20, 2019, 11:27:43 PM
I think I wouldn't have minded the money for love theme if I'd been won over by the rest of it. And five years ago I probably wouldn't have even given that a second thought!

You have grown wiser in a short amount of time. :)

Quote
I'll have to think about which older films still resonate. While going through my Letterboxd films for my list I noticed how few older comedies I have actually seen, most Winsor McCay cartoons and a box set's worth of Charley Bowers short. The only one before the 40s is "Duck Soup", which I also don't like all that much except a couple scenes (mirror doorway & the madcap last ten minutes).

I too can only handle small clips of the Marx Brothers at a time. A little goes a very long way.

Quote
I can also relate to having not seen a Top 100 movie in a while and then being made to dig deep to remember why it's on there; that's how I feel every time it's been my month and anybody picks something I haven't seen in at least a year. :D

:D

"I'm sure this film is in here for a reason!" (think, think, think ???)

Quote
And now I'm extra looking forward to getting to "A Matter of Life & Death"!

I'll have more on it tomorrow, but I agree with you 100% on this opening scene, and it has a hell of a closing shot, too.

Hurray!

I'm heading to the Oregon coast for the weekend, but will read your thoughts when I get back!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 20, 2019, 11:29:05 PM
Yea, I was just curious if it was an active dislike, or one you simply hadn't seen yet. It's been a long time since I watched it. I'll join you if it comes up in someone's top 100. :)

Yes, please! I would love that! :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Jeff Schroeck on February 22, 2019, 03:46:31 PM
A Matter Of Life And Death (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1946)

Speaking of old movies that are still funny (see slightly above), I found David Niven in the opening to be a gas. I could see Graham Chapman or maybe John Cleese doing a version of this, the deadpan guy who, facing danger, will not take it seriously or as gravely as he should. Marcus Goring continues the comedy, with lines like his referencing his “surgery” aka getting the guillotine, all in a charmingly fey, slightly manic manner.

I knew the basic premise, its supernatural, spiritual nature, but I wasn’t expecting all the surreal touches, like the opening trip through the universe, or the transition by way of a cell or blood vessel (or something red and bodily.) The camera when he’s getting wheeled into surgery is straight out of Frankenheimer’s “Seconds.” The time pauses are nicely done, though I thought my disc skipped and jumped at the paused ping pong game.

I’m glad to have finally seen an Archers I liked, after feeling cold to lukewarm about “The Red Shoes” and “Black Narcissus.”

Also, this was the first time I’d ever seen Raymond Massey, and it took until two days later why I thought I’d seen him before. Turns out it was because he looks like “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” announcer Joel Godard.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: 1SO on February 23, 2019, 11:48:16 PM
(https://imgur.com/X7gmxL0.jpg)

All That Heaven Allows

The relationship in ATHA doesn't really do it for me. Jane Wyman is a cerebral performer and it's hard for me to really see someone carry a torch for her.
It's this comment that kept poking my brain. I wondered why you saw Wyman as a cerebral performer. ATHA was my 2nd film for her. Since then she's been a part of my Classic Hollywood Actors Marathon and I'm currently at 34 films. Throughout the 1930s, she was blond, wide-eyed and bubbly. In the 40s her hair went brown and she got serious, winning an Oscar for 1948s Johnny Belinda where she plays a mute who gets attacked and impregnated. (Never mind the year of release, it's as harsh a film as The Accused.) None of her work struck me as especially cerebral and calculated.

Re-watching ATHA, I noticed what you're saying. So, she's not a cerebral performer, but this one performance is exactly that. She's constantly calculating what everyone else is thinking - her kids, her "friends", her lover - and trying to find the right balance to please everyone. She's a bit cold because she's trying too hard to make others happy instead of doing what's best for herself.

"Does it matter that much?"
"It shouldn't."

But it does. At times, the movie is as rough as I feared. There's a section of about 20 minutes where it's just one abuse on top of another. Wyman gets hit from all sides and once she makes a decision so that it will all end, it only gets worse. The damage done, can't be undone and the kids move on, contradicting their earlier objections. It's a heartbreaker when Wyman realizes, "It's all been so pointless." Because she couldn't just live for herself and embody Hudson's lifestyle, she turns out to be her own worst enemy.

I do still love this movie and it will stay on my Essentials. Mainly because Douglas Sirk perfectly captures how people can be monsters - This small town is like a rapidly trending twitter lie - who don't notice the damage they cause and if you try to please them, you become an even worse problem. Yet it's what we do time and again.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Teproc on February 24, 2019, 04:25:34 PM
How Green Was My Valley (John Ford, 1941)

(https://i.imgur.com/bCFocgO.jpg)

I'm not entirely sure what this film is supposed to be. A social drama, an ode to pastoral life (well, they're miners but "pastoral" stil seems like it applies to the general vibe here), a period film about industrialization in 19th century Wales, or a family drama ? It's all of these in a certain sense, but part of me wishes Ford had chosen just one. I get the feeling that the family is supposed to be the key element, with the rather effective emotional ending... but I find the characters way too lacking for that. Aside from Donald Crips's patriarch and his wife, none of the characters really register for me. The sister's subplot seems like an afterthought, and the brothers are never presented as individuals really. I suppose there is our boy protagonist, but I didn't quite find him to entirely work either: his decision to become a miner is interesting, but... it kinda just happens ?

I think the core problem here is that this is a literary adaptation, and everything I am missing may be in the source material, but Ford felt obligated (as filmmaker often do) to include every event whether or not it fits into the film he's making: Maureen O'Hara's subplot in particular strikes me as such an obligatory plot point that Ford doesn't know what to do with.

It is, however, quite a striking film visually. Seeing Ford working with landscapes that aren't his beloved Monument Valley is quite nice, and he definitely creates this sense of an idyllic Welsh countryside... which I suppose gets destroyed is what the start of the film implies, but we don't quite see that process happen. That's really how the whole film feels to me: a lot of unfulfilled promises... and yet it still does coalesce into a fine film, in no small part because of those two parent characters (Donald Crisp is really great), just not one that fully works for me.

6/10
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on February 25, 2019, 12:24:33 PM
Much Ado About Nothing

The major criteria for my viewing of an adaptation of Shakespeare is how well the director and actors interpret the script.  We have the "writer's cut" of each play, as the original performances were shorter, but a full length presntation is three hours, at a steady pace.  I am unsure about others, but the difficult language and poetry slows down my comprehension, let alone the centuries-old puns.  So I need an interpretation, whether on stage or screen, that pauses, allowing me to catch up, and uses all tools at hand to explain the script.  Not just the plot, but the jokes as well.

In this, Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing is as good as it gets.  Clearly the script is edited for length's sake, but each line is given it's due, and a proper context for comprehension and enjoyment. Perhaps it has a little too much mugging for the camera, and they spend a bit too much time setting up some scenes, but it all works for the clear presentation of a difficult script.  And I know it's difficult because this play is much different than Joss Whedon's adaptation a few years ago, which was mostly incomprehensable.  Branagh and his team pull every stop to make a fun presentation of all that Shakespeare is about.  The songs, the costumes, the acting, the setting, it all works together.

And then we come to the script.  I find Shakespeare's comedies, with one exception (AMND), to be little more than sitcom-level entertainment. Fun, but rarely laugh-out-loud, and, of course, his situations and lines have been used for centuries.  Generally, I find them tiresome.  But watching these performers are not.  These are some of my favorite performers of the last 20... dare I say 25?... years. Most of them have done better work, but it is fun to see them cheerful and energetic.  Three performances really pushed ahead: Emma Thompson, of course, who speaks the acidic wit as if she were born to it.  Keanu Reeves, who rolls the Elizabethian words naturally off his villianous tongue.  And, surprisingly, Michael Keaton, who stole the show with his idiot clown.

Not a favorite play, but one of the best Shakespeare adaptations I've seen.

3.5/5

Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 25, 2019, 07:58:47 PM
In some ways I had a very similar reaction (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897374#msg897374). Not about Keaton though! On that point we are completet opposites.:))
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on February 25, 2019, 09:08:33 PM
In some ways I had a very similar reaction (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897374#msg897374). Not about Keaton though! On that point we are completet opposites.:))

I love broad-comedy Keaton.  Much better than Keaton Batman.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: smirnoff on February 25, 2019, 09:10:07 PM
In some ways I had a very similar reaction (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897374#msg897374). Not about Keaton though! On that point we are completet opposites.:))

I love broad-comedy Keaton.  Much better than Keaton Batman.

It was like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on February 25, 2019, 09:57:46 PM
In some ways I had a very similar reaction (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897374#msg897374). Not about Keaton though! On that point we are completet opposites.:))

I love broad-comedy Keaton.  Much better than Keaton Batman.

It was like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean!

This adaptation deserved some PotC. 
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 26, 2019, 12:09:49 AM
A Matter Of Life And Death (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1946)

Speaking of old movies that are still funny (see slightly above), I found David Niven in the opening to be a gas. I could see Graham Chapman or maybe John Cleese doing a version of this, the deadpan guy who, facing danger, will not take it seriously or as gravely as he should. Marcus Goring continues the comedy, with lines like his referencing his “surgery” aka getting the guillotine, all in a charmingly fey, slightly manic manner.

I knew the basic premise, its supernatural, spiritual nature, but I wasn’t expecting all the surreal touches, like the opening trip through the universe, or the transition by way of a cell or blood vessel (or something red and bodily.) The camera when he’s getting wheeled into surgery is straight out of Frankenheimer’s “Seconds.” The time pauses are nicely done, though I thought my disc skipped and jumped at the paused ping pong game.

I’m glad to have finally seen an Archers I liked, after feeling cold to lukewarm about “The Red Shoes” and “Black Narcissus.”

Also, this was the first time I’d ever seen Raymond Massey, and it took until two days later why I thought I’d seen him before. Turns out it was because he looks like “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” announcer Joel Godard.

I'm all smiles! I was going to interject with each paragraph, but it seemed silly to just put a happy face after each one. :) Niven is so charming! I'm glad he won you over too. Of the Archers' films, the others I most enjoy are I Know Where I'm Going, A Canterbury Tale and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp. My first and strongest memory of Raymond Massey is from Arsenic and Old Lace. He's scary! :)) I haven't seen Seconds yet, but if I do, I'll keep in mind your words here!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 26, 2019, 12:28:53 AM
(https://imgur.com/X7gmxL0.jpg)

That picture! Her imprisonment behind societal/familial bars.

Quote
All That Heaven Allows

The relationship in ATHA doesn't really do it for me. Jane Wyman is a cerebral performer and it's hard for me to really see someone carry a torch for her.
It's this comment that kept poking my brain. I wondered why you saw Wyman as a cerebral performer. ATHA was my 2nd film for her. Since then she's been a part of my Classic Hollywood Actors Marathon and I'm currently at 34 films. Throughout the 1930s, she was blond, wide-eyed and bubbly. In the 40s her hair went brown and she got serious, winning an Oscar for 1948s Johnny Belinda where she plays a mute who gets attacked and impregnated. (Never mind the year of release, it's as harsh a film as The Accused.) None of her work struck me as especially cerebral and calculated.

34 films! I think I've only seen this one and Magnificent Obsession. So, I've not discovered all the other sides of her yet. :)

Quote
Re-watching ATHA, I noticed what you're saying. So, she's not a cerebral performer, but this one performance is exactly that. She's constantly calculating what everyone else is thinking - her kids, her "friends", her lover - and trying to find the right balance to please everyone. She's a bit cold because she's trying too hard to make others happy instead of doing what's best for herself.

"Does it matter that much?"
"It shouldn't."

But it does. At times, the movie is as rough as I feared. There's a section of about 20 minutes where it's just one abuse on top of another. Wyman gets hit from all sides and once she makes a decision so that it will all end, it only gets worse. The damage done, can't be undone and the kids move on, contradicting their earlier objections. It's a heartbreaker when Wyman realizes, "It's all been so pointless." Because she couldn't just live for herself and embody Hudson's lifestyle, she turns out to be her own worst enemy.

Yes, very much so! You can't blame her for her coldness and careful maneuvering. I like to think Ron Kirby could see past all of that, even if I couldn't :).

Quote
I do still love this movie and it will stay on my Essentials. Mainly because Douglas Sirk perfectly captures how people can be monsters - This small town is like a rapidly trending twitter lie - who don't notice the damage they cause and if you try to please them, you become an even worse problem. Yet it's what we do time and again.

"rapidly trending twitter lie" ugh. It's suffocating.

It's the play of this against the "Waldenesque" alternative, which really captures my attention and makes me wish to run away from it all vicariously through her. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 26, 2019, 09:58:46 PM
How Green Was My Valley (John Ford, 1941)

(https://i.imgur.com/bCFocgO.jpg)

I'm not entirely sure what this film is supposed to be. A social drama, an ode to pastoral life (well, they're miners but "pastoral" still seems like it applies to the general vibe here), a period film about industrialization in 19th century Wales, or a family drama ? It's all of these in a certain sense, but part of me wishes Ford had chosen just one. I get the feeling that the family is supposed to be the key element, with the rather effective emotional ending... but I find the characters way too lacking for that. Aside from Donald Crips's patriarch and his wife, none of the characters really register for me. The sister's subplot seems like an afterthought, and the brothers are never presented as individuals really. I suppose there is our boy protagonist, but I didn't quite find him to entirely work either: his decision to become a miner is interesting, but... it kinda just happens ?

You ask good questions, questions I don't have the answers to, except to say, yes to all those themes. They are all in play, yet are only snapshots like old photos left in an attic, alongside an old phonograph with a few dusty cylinders, leaving us to fill in the blank spaces.

That photo you chose is certainly a fairy tale image of pastoral life. so pretty.

Quote
I think the core problem here is that this is a literary adaptation, and everything I am missing may be in the source material, but Ford felt obligated (as filmmaker often do) to include every event whether or not it fits into the film he's making: Maureen O'Hara's subplot in particular strikes me as such an obligatory plot point that Ford doesn't know what to do with.

He sure doesn't! Angharad is an afterthought in the movie as well as in her community. It's the part of the story which leaves me the saddest -- small minded society thwarting an honest coupling. It was almost a relief to not have more of the movie spent on her and Mr. Gruffydd. It's all too painful.

I have the book on my shelf and it's been there for a long time waiting for me to see what the movie is missing. I too think there is going to be a lot in there which the movie either skimmed over, or left by the wayside.

Quote
It is, however, quite a striking film visually. Seeing Ford working with landscapes that aren't his beloved Monument Valley is quite nice, and he definitely creates this sense of an idyllic Welsh countryside... which I suppose gets destroyed is what the start of the film implies, but we don't quite see that process happen. That's really how the whole film feels to me: a lot of unfulfilled promises... and yet it still does coalesce into a fine film, in no small part because of those two parent characters (Donald Crisp is really great), just not one that fully works for me.

6/10

It sounds like a bit of a good experience, albeit a frustrating one. Glad you caught up with it! :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on February 26, 2019, 10:16:57 PM
Matilda
The lows are just as bad as I feared but the highs are much higher than I expected and, most importantly, more frequent. Devito is probably where I'm most torn because he's so entertaining and I'd watch a movie focused on his character, but as a secondary character in Matilda's story he's too absurd and distracting. Trunchbull has no such positives, she's annoying and such a pure villain that the only value in her existence is in the sense of menace she possesses but neither the acting nor the direction really sells it. Thankfully the story isn't as much about battling the big mean headmistress as a plot summary might indicate. It's a film about a little girl finding herself, finding her happiness and delighting in a love of learning, with a little silly bit of surreal adventure on the side. That film is quite heartwarming and even when it's a little cheesy there's a lovely undercurrent that holds it together. Miss Honey feels as overdone as the other adults to start, but unlike the others she develops a second dimension and provides a necessary balance to Matilda thanks partly to the writing, the reveals about her childhood add a nice extra layer to her character, but also the performance that balances the mannered style of the film with an underlying humanity to the character. I'm sorry I didn't like it more, but I did really enjoy the good parts and many of the not so good parts as well, though in a different way.
 
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 26, 2019, 10:28:23 PM
In some ways I had a very similar reaction (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=14762.msg897374#msg897374). Not about Keaton though! On that point we are completet opposites.:))

I love broad-comedy Keaton.  Much better than Keaton Batman.

It was like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean!

This adaptation deserved some PotC.

:))



Well, he is a Pirates fan.

(https://i.imgur.com/N2EL2XL.jpg)



Much Ado About Nothing

The major criteria for my viewing of an adaptation of Shakespeare is how well the director and actors interpret the script.  We have the "writer's cut" of each play, as the original performances were shorter, but a full length presentation is three hours, at a steady pace.  I am unsure about others, but the difficult language and poetry slows down my comprehension, let alone the centuries-old puns.  So I need an interpretation, whether on stage or screen, that pauses, allowing me to catch up, and uses all tools at hand to explain the script.  Not just the plot, but the jokes as well.

Me too!!!

Quote
In this, Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing is as good as it gets.  Clearly the script is edited for length's sake, but each line is given it's due, and a proper context for comprehension and enjoyment. Perhaps it has a little too much mugging for the camera, and they spend a bit too much time setting up some scenes, but it all works for the clear presentation of a difficult script.  And I know it's difficult because this play is much different than Joss Whedon's adaptation a few years ago, which was mostly incomprehensable.  Branagh and his team pull every stop to make a fun presentation of all that Shakespeare is about.  The songs, the costumes, the acting, the setting, it all works together.

This in no small part is why it's in my top 100. I am starving for understandable Shakespeare. I want to get it, I really do. Branagh's acting and directing bring me the clearest Shakespeare I know. I would put Thompson's ability right there too. They make me feel smarter. :)

Quote
And then we come to the script.  I find Shakespeare's comedies, with one exception (AMND), to be little more than sitcom-level entertainment. Fun, but rarely laugh-out-loud, and, of course, his situations and lines have been used for centuries.  Generally, I find them tiresome.  But watching these performers are not.  These are some of my favorite performers of the last 20... dare I say 25?... years. Most of them have done better work, but it is fun to see them cheerful and energetic.  Three performances really pushed ahead: Emma Thompson, of course, who speaks the acidic wit as if she were born to it.  Keanu Reeves, who rolls the Elizabethian words naturally off his villianous tongue.  And, surprisingly, Michael Keaton, who stole the show with his idiot clown.

Yes, yes and hmmm. I've got some studying to do about Dogberry. I just know if I figure out what he is trying to say and do, I'll appreciate Keaton more.

Quote
Not a favorite play, but one of the best Shakespeare adaptations I've seen.

3.5/5

In agreement! :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 26, 2019, 11:12:56 PM
Matilda
The lows are just as bad as I feared but the highs are much higher than I expected and, most importantly, more frequent. Devito is probably where I'm most torn because he's so entertaining and I'd watch a movie focused on his character, but as a secondary character in Matilda's story he's too absurd and distracting. Trunchbull has no such positives, she's annoying and such a pure villain that the only value in her existence is in the sense of menace she possesses but neither the acting nor the direction really sells it. Thankfully the story isn't as much about battling the big mean headmistress as a plot summary might indicate. It's a film about a little girl finding herself, finding her happiness and delighting in a love of learning, with a little silly bit of surreal adventure on the side. That film is quite heartwarming and even when it's a little cheesy there's a lovely undercurrent that holds it together. Miss Honey feels as overdone as the other adults to start, but unlike the others she develops a second dimension and provides a necessary balance to Matilda thanks partly to the writing, the reveals about her childhood add a nice extra layer to her character, but also the performance that balances the mannered style of the film with an underlying humanity to the character. I'm sorry I didn't like it more, but I did really enjoy the good parts and many of the not so good parts as well, though in a different way.

Your words about the film are more positive than I would have imagined, so I'm very happy! You found the heart amongst all the rest and it's why it lingers on my list. The story is strangely funny and all, but it's this "finding" which really calls to me. We find our oasis in the desert, whether it's through knowledge, or community, or empowerment. And with many of us, I found my way through books. :)

(https://i.imgur.com/qHM0d4t.jpg)

(Devito's narration helped me to not be so utterly turned off by his awful character. It was a good choice to have him do that.)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on February 26, 2019, 11:42:08 PM
Yeah, the part about books was what touched me most. I wish the film had gone more in that direction. Books were my first love too. I didn't get into movies until I was an adult and didn't really watch TV or listen to music until I was a teenager and never had the passion for either that I did for books, so they were with me for a long time. But movies really devoured the book part of my brain and I don't read books much anymore. Now that my passion for movies has waned a bit I hope I can find a way back to books.

And yes the narration worked well too.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on February 27, 2019, 12:14:08 AM
Very nice! Thanks for telling me. :) Books are the best.

(https://i.imgur.com/I2o5UEG.jpg)



Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on February 28, 2019, 01:03:06 AM
Persuasion (2007)
I had some fears about this being a TV production but those were put to rest right from the start with the the wonderful first shots. Honestly the cinematography throughout the whole thing wonderful. There are some tells in the sound design and the general production looking a bit drab, but both those things actually work for me. It's nice not to see pristine costumes and the almost theatrical sound design helps ground the film more than most period pieces. Hawkins is excellent, a wonderfully layered performance that is quite restrained yet always in command. I did want to scream "just say it" at her character sometimes , but unlike most such cases it always feels understandable why she (and he in return) doesn't. Not from a contrived way or from external social norms reasons, though both of those hang around, but at the heart of her decisions is her heart and Hawkins makes sure we can always get a real sense of how she's feeling and what she's thinking. I really enjoyed spending time with her. The climax felt a bit rushed but its execution is so amazing that I doubt any alternative would have been better. Hawkins running back and forth was already really effective, but the zoom in subsequent waiting for the kiss a great cherry on top. I'm going to watch one more tomorrow, but I find it hard to imagine anything can top this.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Teproc on February 28, 2019, 01:30:45 AM
Benny & Joon (Jeremiah S. Chechik, 1993)

(https://i.imgur.com/niGGKUP.jpg)

This feels very representative of a certain brand of 90s American indies which lead into the 2000s idea of the Sundance movie: a comedy with dramatic elements and lot of quirkiness, preferably the type that appeals to cinephiles. It's probably unfair of me to think of this film as part of that category, seeing as this is neither an indie nor a Sundance movie technically, but it fits that mold so well, it's possible it played a role in defining it.

I... did not care for this film, at all. None of these characters ever felt like people to me: Depp is doing his mid-90s Depp thing, Masterson is doing mental illness as a quirk, and Aidan Quinn is perpetuating the proud tradition of the bland, milquetoast protagonist. A charitable view would see him as the "straight man", but that would imply he's enhancing the comedic performances around him, which I didn't find to be the case at all... in general, the film's tone felt very strange to me, as it often can in these types of stories. The plot elements are... ridiculous ? Depp ends up living with our protagonists because of a poker bet ? I guess we're supposed to see that as whimsy and cute, but really everyone involved should probably go to prison just for that. There's also the idea of the group home, which Aidan Quinn decides to send his beloved sister too after suddenly realizing that he doesn't have a life because of her... is this the first time this thought has occured to him ? I guess we're not supposed to think about any of this too much, because the screenplay does not acknowledge any concept of the characters existing outside of the exact role they play here: nothing exists outside of what's on screen.

What is on screen is Johnny Depp doing terrible silent comedy routines. Yes, Chaplin and Keaton were great. That's nice and all, but their comedies had some sort of point to them, some wit. We're supposed to be wowed by Depp's public performance, and he does commit - I'll give him that - but to me it seems that the character (and, given how the film treats it, the screenwriters) understand nothing about what made those silent comedies work. For example, there's a bit where Depp's hat is moving all on its own, and Depp is chasing after it. Why... why is the hat moving ? I guess Depp is making it move, but how does that make sense ? If this were a Keaton gag, you'd have an actual reason (like a mouse trapped under it or something), which would give both the performer and the audience something to react to, as opposed to just watching someone do a trick. Maybe I missed something in there, but all of Depp's bits fell flat to me, which may also be due to the wacky "are we having fun yet?" score accompanying them.

I guess I can see how this may all be endearing and charming if you got on its wavelength... but I didn't.

2/10
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on February 28, 2019, 09:59:09 PM
Summer Stock
That was disappointing. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. It was just there. Garland and Kelly were about as good as they usually are, which for me is steady and reliable but not exciting. The supporting cast doesn't add much though, and a film really doesn't need two bumbling fool comic relief guys (I'd prefer none, but I'll abide one, in this case I'd choose Bracken because at least his character serves a real purpose). Some numbers are fine, some are merely ok, but there's nothing that stood out to me. The story also kind of sputters through with what we're told are big stakes, but they never feel that way.
Probably should have watched Jane Eyre, but I was in the mood for something light.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on March 02, 2019, 12:30:02 AM
Persuasion (2007)
I had some fears about this being a TV production but those were put to rest right from the start with the the wonderful first shots. Honestly the cinematography throughout the whole thing was wonderful. There are some tells in the sound design and the general production looking a bit drab, but both those things actually work for me. It's nice not to see pristine costumes and the almost theatrical sound design helps ground the film more than most period pieces. Hawkins is excellent, a wonderfully layered performance that is quite restrained yet always in command. I did want to scream "just say it" at her character sometimes , but unlike most such cases it always feels understandable why she (and he in return) doesn't. Not from a contrived way or from external social norms reasons, though both of those hang around, but at the heart of her decisions is her heart and Hawkins makes sure we can always get a real sense of how she's feeling and what she's thinking. I really enjoyed spending time with her. The climax felt a bit rushed but its execution is so amazing that I doubt any alternative would have been better. Hawkins running back and forth was already really effective, but the zoom in subsequent waiting for the kiss a great cherry on top. I'm going to watch one more tomorrow, but I find it hard to imagine anything can top this.

Now I want to go back and focus on listening to the sound design! I'm sure it's amazing, but I sometimes get lost in the story and forget to pay attention to the details of why I'm being swept away in the first place. I too really appreciate a period piece which lets the dirt show. Sometimes I look at films with their perfectly costumed and coifed characters and have to remind myself that they didn't have air conditioning or deodorant, so what I'm seeing is basically cosplay; a fantasy of a bygone era.

Once again, PeacefulAnarchy, you find the heart of a film that I love so much. It's my favorite adaptation of Persuasion and Anne Elliott is probably my favorite Austen character. I feel her pain and her regret, as well as understand her need to stay quiet. She is condemned by Fredrick Wentworth and cannot fault him for doing so. She condemns herself as much and more as she has to live with the choice she made as a young and persuaded woman. :(  Sitting with your review brings it all back to me -- the film and the book itself. sigh. It sits heavy on the heart.

My pensive book review. (http://forum.filmspotting.net/index.php?topic=4769.msg876370#msg876370)

I too admire Sally Hawkins' layered portrayal. This was the first movie I saw her in and each one after just added to my appreciation of her abilities. I've always struggled with trying to describe her acting, but you've hit on something just right, "quite restrained yet always in command." Yes! Except for Happy Go Lucky she has that quality about her. The Shape of Water is another perfect example of what you wrote. Thanks for putting words to it! 

I'm so happy you liked the part you put in spoilers! Some people get frustrated at the long anticipatory wait, but I find it to be lovely, seeing the emotions play across her face. No need to rush that moment. :)
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: PeacefulAnarchy on March 02, 2019, 12:48:47 AM

Now I want to go back and focus on listening to the sound design! I'm sure it's amazing,
There's not much to listen to, a couple of notes here and a few piano pieces at some key moments, but for the most part it's ambient sound with a bit of a hollow quality. Which is what I actually like. I dislike films that constantly use the score to tell you how to feel, and that's unfortunately most of them, it's always a breath of fresh air when a film trusts it's actors and the material to do the heavy lifting. It fits well with the visual design which is a bit drab and plain, but not boring and has some flourishes. The camerawork on the visual side and the sound of wind and rain on the sound side.

I like your review of the book. I also laughed at DH's comment, dismissive though it may be.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on March 02, 2019, 01:14:30 AM
Benny & Joon (Jeremiah S. Chechik, 1993)

(https://i.imgur.com/niGGKUP.jpg)

The Oceana Roll! :)) It doesn't get better than this!



... Except for this!

(https://i.imgur.com/rcGhntt.gif)


ah, well. Back to the review.

Quote
This feels very representative of a certain brand of 90s American indies which lead into the 2000s idea of the Sundance movie: a comedy with dramatic elements and lot of quirkiness, preferably the type that appeals to cinephiles. It's probably unfair of me to think of this film as part of that category, seeing as this is neither an indie nor a Sundance movie technically, but it fits that mold so well, it's possible it played a role in defining it.

Maybe it IS the protopunk of this brand. Messy and too quirky by half! :)

Quote
I... did not care for this film, at all. None of these characters ever felt like people to me: Depp is doing his mid-90s Depp thing, Masterson is doing mental illness as a quirk, and Aidan Quinn is perpetuating the proud tradition of the bland, milquetoast protagonist. A charitable view would see him as the "straight man", but that would imply he's enhancing the comedic performances around him, which I didn't find to be the case at all... in general, the film's tone felt very strange to me, as it often can in these types of stories. The plot elements are... ridiculous ? Depp ends up living with our protagonists because of a poker bet ? I guess we're supposed to see that as whimsy and cute, but really everyone involved should probably go to prison just for that. There's also the idea of the group home, which Aidan Quinn decides to send his beloved sister too after suddenly realizing that he doesn't have a life because of her... is this the first time this thought has occured to him ? I guess we're not supposed to think about any of this too much, because the screenplay does not acknowledge any concept of the characters existing outside of the exact role they play here: nothing exists outside of what's on screen.

I can't argue with any of this! I really can't. The implausibilities abound! I do like Quinn's quietness though. Or, it could be that I just like Quinn in general and forgive him much. :)

Quote
What is on screen is Johnny Depp doing terrible silent comedy routines. Yes, Chaplin and Keaton were great. That's nice and all, but their comedies had some sort of point to them, some wit. We're supposed to be wowed by Depp's public performance, and he does commit - I'll give him that - but to me it seems that the character (and, given how the film treats it, the screenwriters) understand nothing about what made those silent comedies work. For example, there's a bit where Depp's hat is moving all on its own, and Depp is chasing after it. Why... why is the hat moving ? I guess Depp is making it move, but how does that make sense ? If this were a Keaton gag, you'd have an actual reason (like a mouse trapped under it or something), which would give both the performer and the audience something to react to, as opposed to just watching someone do a trick. Maybe I missed something in there, but all of Depp's bits fell flat to me, which may also be due to the wacky "are we having fun yet?" score accompanying them.

I guess I can see how this may all be endearing and charming if you got on its wavelength... but I didn't.

2/10

Yes, you're absolutely right. Unless it captures your fancy, it won't be entertaining in the least. I'm a big fan of Rachel Portman and her score for this film, but if you weren't having fun, the music must have driven you nuts!

Not to persuade in any way, but maybe to process my own feelings about the film, I'll see what I come up with...

Way back in 93 (Were you born yet? :) ), Johnny Depp was magical in a strange undefinable way. Now he's a caricature of himself, so it's hard to go back to when his acting was new and surprising. He mesmerized. It also didn't hurt that he was older than me and shockingly handsome. :)  I think of James Dean and his strange, charismatic presence and wonder what our collective opinion of him would be now, had he lived a long life. Would he too have turned into a caricature of himself?

As smirnoff has penned (and is a TM as far as I'm concerned), I had an abundance of goodwill towards the film, because of it's freshness and whimsy. It was playful in a way I hadn't seen before and it was a look into mental illness which was far more immersive than what I had seen portrayed. Yes, very flawed and perhaps too "quirky," but at the time it felt like a step forward. I must admit, I do tend to try and not think too much when watching the film. It's the type of movie where my critical lens gets checked at the door. :)



Thanks for giving it a shot, though!
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on March 02, 2019, 01:25:20 AM
There's not much to listen to, a couple of notes here and a few piano pieces at some key moments, but for the most part it's ambient sound with a bit of a hollow quality. Which is what I actually like. I dislike films that constantly use the score to tell you how to feel, and that's unfortunately most of them, it's always a breath of fresh air when a film trusts it's actors and the material to do the heavy lifting. It fits well with the visual design which is a bit drab and plain, but not boring and has some flourishes. The camerawork on the visual side and the sound of wind and rain on the sound side.

Ah! That's why I couldn't remember the sounds! :D Subtlety is a very underused musical choice. When I see the film again, I will pay close attention.

John Williams and Bernard Herrmann must be particularly frustrating for you! :) They can't let any emotion go by without great big musical cues.

Quote
I like your review of the book. I also laughed at DH's comment, dismissive though it may be.

haha! I just read that too. I can't really blame him though. I had just dismissed a book of his that was near and dear to his heart.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on March 02, 2019, 02:11:51 AM
Summer Stock
That was disappointing. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either. It was just there. Garland and Kelly were about as good as they usually are, which for me is steady and reliable but not exciting. The supporting cast doesn't add much though, and a film really doesn't need two bumbling fool comic relief guys (I'd prefer none, but I'll abide one, in this case I'd choose Bracken because at least his character serves a real purpose). Some numbers are fine, some are merely ok, but there's nothing that stood out to me. The story also kind of sputters through with what we're told are big stakes, but they never feel that way.
Probably should have watched Jane Eyre, but I was in the mood for something light.

The highs and lows of the top 100 club! I'm sorry you didn't end the month with Persuasion. :)

How do I explain Summer Stock? The parts that bother you, bother me too. bleh. I find it to be a rather bland musical in every way, except for when it's not! :) Three numbers in particular are the reasons the film is in my top 100.

The deceptively simple newspaper dance.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0tnHNYpRG8

Both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire loved to use props in their dance routines. It doesn't get more rudimentary than a squeak in the floor and a page of newspaper. It's as if he's saying, I can work magic with anything, and he does!

"Friendly Star"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5WRmTFmaJw

One of my favorite songs Judy Garland sings. You can see right down into her soul; it's like a masterclass to the essence of her acting. Completely professional, wholly committed to the song and fully vulnerable with her character, knowing she's been alone and will most likely continue to be alone, but allowing herself to dream still the same. I get choked up each time I see it.

"Get Happy"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGk3tY4yP7k

Summer Stock was the last film Judy Garland did for MGM. She was not doing well during the filming, having been in the hospital prior for drug dependency. Her story of giving her whole life over to the filmmakers and her audience is a heartbreaking one. Maybe A Star is Born (which was done a few years later) should be in my top 100, but it's too hard for me to watch and to talk about much. This one is a softer view into Garland's life and struggles. "Get Happy" was done after the movie finished, after she had spent some time gathering herself together, and she is as on top of her game as ever she was. It was like that great last push before she said goodbye to the studio.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Teproc on March 02, 2019, 04:32:55 AM
Yes, you're absolutely right. Unless it captures your fancy, it won't be entertaining in the least. I'm a big fan of Rachel Portman and her score for this film, but if you weren't having fun, the music must have driven you nuts!

Not to persuade in any way, but maybe to process my own feelings about the film, I'll see what I come up with...

Way back in 93 (Were you born yet? :) ), Johnny Depp was magical in a strange undefinable way. Now he's a caricature of himself, so it's hard to go back to when his acting was new and surprising. He mesmerized. It also didn't hurt that he was older than me and shockingly handsome. :)  I think of James Dean and his strange, charismatic presence and wonder what our collective opinion of him would be now, had he lived a long life. Would he too have turned into a caricature of himself?

As smirnoff has penned (and is a TM as far as I'm concerned), I had an abundance of goodwill towards the film, because of it's freshness and whimsy. It was playful in a way I hadn't seen before and it was a look into mental illness which was far more immersive than what I had seen portrayed. Yes, very flawed and perhaps too "quirky," but at the time it felt like a step forward. I must admit, I do tend to try and not think too much when watching the film. It's the type of movie where my critical lens gets checked at the door. :)

I certainly get that: our very favorite movies are the ones where what everyone else might see as a flaw doesn't even register as such, and I think I can imagine how Portman's score could be a big part of enjoying that movie.

As for 1993, I was born... just barely (september 1992).  ;D
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Sandy on March 02, 2019, 11:42:50 PM
I certainly get that: our very favorite movies are the ones where what everyone else might see as a flaw doesn't even register as such, and I think I can imagine how Portman's score could be a big part of enjoying that movie.

This is one thing that I love about the top 100 club. We may be miles apart on our experience with a film, but with reviews and conversations, we find places of commonality, or at least understanding about the whys, even if it doesn't change our own take.

Quote
As for 1993, I was born... just barely (september 1992).  ;D

:))

Oh my! Are you our youngest Filmspotter right now?! That is a badge of honor you are wearing.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: oldkid on March 05, 2019, 06:31:44 PM
As for 1993, I was born... just barely (september 1992).  ;D

:))

Oh my! Are you our youngest Filmspotter right now?! That is a badge of honor you are wearing.

What a noble club: Youngest Members of the Forum.
Title: Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
Post by: Bondo on March 05, 2019, 07:22:10 PM
Remember when 'Noke was our youngest active member? And now he's like middle-aged.

JK, he's probably around your age Teproc, but this was like a decade ago.