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Filmspotting Message Boards => Filmspotter Pantheon => Brackets => Topic started by: skjerva on June 27, 2009, 03:52:50 AM

Title: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on June 27, 2009, 03:52:50 AM
Round 1
Ghostbusters versus Near Dark (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg279806#msg279806) - roujin
Pretty in Pink versus Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg280719#msg280719) - FLYmeatwad
Dressed to Kill versus Four Friends (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg280866#msg280866) - THATguy
The Natural versus My Dinner with Andre (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg282575#msg282575) - skjerva
A Nightmare on Elm Street versus Tongues Untied (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg282801#msg282801) - roujin
Glory versus Re-Animator (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg283763#msg283763) - Bill Thompson
Popeye versus Lost in America (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg283770#msg283770) - matt the movie watcher
Stand by Me versus Paris, Texas (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg284281#msg284281) - Clovis8
The Evil Dead versus Escape from New York (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg285466#msg285466) - skjerva
Damned If You Don't versus Eat a Bowl of Tea (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg286273#msg286273) - skjerva
Blue Velvet versus Melvin and Howard (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg286314#msg286314) - ses593
Dead Poets Society versus The Fly (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg286314#msg286314) - worm@work
Stardust Memories versus Working Girls (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg286429#msg286429) - roujin
Beetlejuice versus Down by Law (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg287088#msg287088) - smirnoff
The Karate Kid versus Sixteen Candles (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg288104#msg288104) - ferris
Dirty Dancing versus Hopscotch (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg289924#msg289924) - smirnoff
Bird versus Ms. 45 (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg293851#msg293851) - smirnoff
Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn versus Amadeus (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg295233#msg295233) - skjerva
Chameleon Street versus The Sure Thing (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg296086#msg296086) - Melvil
Tootsie versus Sex, Lies & Videotape (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg296457#msg296457) - smirnoff
The Untouchables versus Friday the 13th (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg298227#msg298227) - skjerva
On Golden Pond versus The Verdict (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg301352#msg301352) - BlueVoid
Broadcast News versus Gloria (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg308099#msg308099) - Emiliana
Radio Days versus The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg309092#msg309092) - Melvil
History of the World versus Water and Power (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg311669#msg311669) - smirnoff
They All Laughed versus Gremlins (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg321044#msg321044) - skjerva
Mystery Train versus An American Werewolf in London (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg329487#msg329487) - smirnoff
Model versus Raiders of the Lost Ark (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg330648#msg330648) - matt the movie watcher
Coming to America versus Kiss of the Spider Woman (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg337142#msg337142) - roujin
Navajo Talking Picture versus The Last Temptation of Christ (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg338427#msg338427) - 'Noke
El Norte versus Repo Man (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg338631#msg338631) - ferris
Barfly versus The Breakfast Club (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg340924#msg340924) - Melvil
The Goonies versus Wall Street (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg347507#msg347507) - smirnoff
Enemies: A Love Story versus Hannah and Her Sisters (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg354782#msg354782) - BlueVoid
Pennies from Heaven versus Reds (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg407607#msg407607) - Bill Thompson
Talk Radio versus The Secret of NIMH (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg416205#msg416205) - smirnoff
The Terminator versus The King of Comedy (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg445150#msg445150) - Bondo
Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers versus Working Girl (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg451468#msg451468) - Bondo
Top Gun versus Let's Get Lost (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg453651#msg453651) - Bondo
Batman versus Heathers (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg454379#msg454379) - smirnoff
Hoosiers versus Swing Shift (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg459432#msg459432) - Bondo
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? versus Another Woman (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg460205#msg460205) - michael x
Who Killed Vincent Chin? versus After Hours (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg461782#msg461782) - smirnoff
Forevermore: Biography of a Leach Lord versus The Drums of Winter (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg461927#msg461927) - Bondo
The Thing versus Dangerous Liaisons (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg463684#msg463684) - michael x
The Loveless versus Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg464175#msg464175) - tinyholidays
Housekeeping versus Vampire’s Kiss (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg465581#msg465581) - Bondo
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial versus Jimi Plays Monterey [& Shake!…] (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg466385#msg466385) - Corndog
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid versus Risky Business (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg467382#msg467382) - tinyholidays
The Naked Gun versus Before Stonewall (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg467411#msg467411) - NeutralGrey
When Harry Met Sally versus Secret Honor (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg468146#msg468146) - GothamCity151
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt versus Trading Places (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg468160#msg468160) - Bondo
Say Anything… versus Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg468752#msg468752) - GothamCity151
Blade Runner versus Better Off Dead (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg469021#msg469021) - GothamCity151
Sleepwalk versus Slumber Party Massacre (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg469074#msg469074) - flieger
Top Secret! versus Year of the Dragon (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg469384#msg469384) - michael x
St Elmo's Fire versus Reassemblage (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg469434#msg469434) - GothamCity151
Ferris Bueller's Day Off versus Mr. Hoover and I (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg469494#msg469494) - smirnoff
The Fox and the Hound versus Platoon (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg469537#msg469537) - flieger
To Live and Die in L.A. versus Streetwise (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg470057#msg470057) - GothamCity151
The Shining versus Siesta (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg470221#msg470221) - flieger
Airplane! versus The World According to Garp (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg470512#msg470512) - GothamCity151
Robocop versus Pumping Iron II: The Women (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg470559#msg470559) - Beavermoose
Once Upon a Time in America versus Tron (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg470681#msg470681) - GothamCity151
Blood Simple versus The Times of Harvey Milk (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg471058#msg471058) - GothamCity151
Desperately Seeking Susan versus Stripes (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg471177#msg471177) - Bondo
The Big Red One versus Vernon, Florida (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg471343#msg471343) - GothamCity151
Rembrandt Laughing versus The Great Mouse Detective (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg471542#msg471542) - flieger
White Dog versus House of Games (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg471705#msg471705) - GothamCity151
Real Genius versus Sherman's March (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg472041#msg472041) - GothamCity151
Running on Empty versus Born in Flames (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg472095#msg472095) - jbissell
The Elephant Man versus Commando (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg472201#msg472201) - GothamCity151
Mala Noche versus Return of the Jedi (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg472273#msg472273) - matt the movie watcher
Silkwood versus All of Me (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg472494#msg472494) - GothamCity151
River's Edge versus Border Radio (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg472686#msg472686) - roujin
Crimes & Misdemeanors versus Body Double (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473006#msg473006) - GothamCity151
Empire of the Sun versus The Little Mermaid (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473096#msg473096) - GothamCity151
This is Spinal Tap versus Hammett (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473211#msg473211) - GothamCity151
Yes: 9012 Live versus The Atomic Café (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473359#msg473359) - GothamCity151
She's Gotta Have It versus My Brother's Wedding (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473417#msg473417) - NeutralGrey
The Princess Bride versus Witness (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473501#msg473501) - Beavermoose
Koyaanisqatsi versus American Gigolo (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473504#msg473504) - GothamCity151
Prince of the City versus Cruising (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473715#msg473715) - GothamCity151
Choose Me versus Cracking Up (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473947#msg473947) - roujin
Cutter's Way versus The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg473954#msg473954) - GothamCity151
Dead Ringers versus Chan Is Missing (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg474209#msg474209) - GothamCity151
Never Cry Wolf versus The Ties That Bind (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg474260#msg474260) - tinyholidays
Bull Durham versus Drugstore Cowboy (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg474581#msg474581) - tinyholidays
The Blues Brothers versus Spaceballs (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg474592#msg474592) - GothamCity151
Broadway Danny Rose versus Hairspray (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg474835#msg474835) - GothamCity151
Midnight Run versus Ishtar (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg475356#msg475356) - Bondo
Forest of Bliss versus Oliver & Company (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg475950#msg475950) - jbissell
Missing versus The Big Chill (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg476370#msg476370) - michael x
Raising Arizona versus Heaven's Gate (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg476515#msg476515) - GothamCity151
Out of the Blue versus Runaway Train (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg476885#msg476885) - flieger
Rain Man versus The Dead (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg477558#msg477558) - BlueVoid
Thief versus The Outsiders (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg477581#msg477581) - smirnoff
Big versus The Man Who Envied Women (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg477723#msg477723) - Bondo
Modern Romance versus Parents (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg478181#msg478181) - GothamCity151
Zelig versus The Lost Boys (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg478553#msg478553) - Bill Thompson
The Ninth Configuration versus Variety (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg478758#msg478758) - GothamCity151
Wargames versus Stop Making Sense (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg478809#msg478809) - lotr-sam0711
Hardly Working versus Blow Out (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg478939#msg478939) - flieger
Talking to Strangers versus Fast Times at Ridgemont High (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg479295#msg479295) - Bondo
Raging Bull versus Far From Poland (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg479860#msg479860) - matt tmw
Naked Spaces: Living is Round versus Roger & Me (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg480239#msg480239) - Bondo
Cat People versus The Empire Strikes Back (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg480859#msg480859) - roujin
The Unbelievable Truth versus Diner (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg481123#msg481123) - BlueVoid
Back to the Future versus Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg481379#msg481379) - michael x
Surname Viet Given Name Nam versus The Right Stuff (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg481416#msg481416) - flieger
Field of Dreams versus Liquid Sky (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg481882#msg481882) - Bondo
Full Metal Jacket versus Walker (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg483613#msg483613) - Beavermoose
The Purple Rose of Cairo versus Caddyshack (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg485123#msg485123) - StudentOFilm
China Girl versus Labyrinth (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg486097#msg486097) - michael x
Return of the Secaucus Seven versus flieger (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg487058#msg487058) - flieger
Southern Comfort versus Steven O. Selsnik (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg488335#msg488335) - Steven O. Selsnik
The Man With Two Brains versus jbissell (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg488527#msg488527) - jbissell
The Color of Money versus lotr-sam0711 (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg488593#msg488593) - lotr-sam0711
One From the Heart versus Bill Thompson (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg489616#msg489616) - Bill Thompson
The Thin Blue Line versus NeutralGrey (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg490725#msg490725) - NeutralGrey
Scarface versus ses593 (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg493511#msg493511) - ses593
Golub versus tinyholidays (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg493575#msg493575) - tinyholidays
New York Stories versus tinyholidays (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg493895#msg493895) - tinyholidays
Atlantic City versus ¡Keith! (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg498141#msg498141) - ¡Keith!
Die Hard versus Day of the Dead (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg500824#msg500824) - StudentOFilm
Burden of Dreams versus The Blob (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg502651#msg502651) - flieger
Ghostbusters versus A Christmas Story (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg509393#msg509393) - flieger
Amadeus versus Stranger Than Paradise (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg510393#msg510393) - GothamCity151
Beverly Hills Cop versus Love Streams (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg525623#msg525623) - pixote
The Empire Strikes Back versus Eight Men Out (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg526451#msg526451) - Beavermoose
They Live versus The Decline of Western Civilization (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg531567#msg531567) - Bondo
The Times of Harvey Milk versus Purple Rain (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg532050#msg532050) - smirnoff
The Fabulous Baker Boys versus Clue (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg536310#msg536310) - flieger
Stop Making Sense versus Under the Volcano (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg537086#msg537086) - flieger
Landscape Suicide versus ¡Three Amigos! (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg540127#msg540127) - flieger
Tough Guys Don't Dance versus A Fish Called Wanda (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg541030#msg541030) - flieger
For All Mankind versus The King of Comedy (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg541045#msg541045) - michael x
A Christmas Story versus Predator (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg541343#msg541343) - Mosca
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? versus Major League (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg541730#msg541730) - matt tmw
Aliens versus Manhunter (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg544053#msg544053) - Bondo

Round 2
My Dinner With André versus Mala Noche (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg500240#msg500240) - GothamCity151
Top Secret! versus Ferris Bueller's Day Off (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg500742#msg500742) - GothamCity151
Chameleon Street versus Escape from New York (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg500770#msg500770) - Beavermoose
Hannah and Her Sisters versus The Naked Gun (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg500880#msg500880) - flieger
The Last Temptation of Christ versus The Verdict (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg501148#msg501148) - GothamCity151
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters versus Four Friends (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg501762#msg501762) - Bondo
China Girl versus Broadcast News (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg502242#msg502242) - flieger
Raiders of the Lost Ark versus The Fox and the Hound (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg502803#msg502803) - Beavermoose
Beetlejuice versus To Live and Die in L.A. (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg503004#msg503004) - StudentOFilm
Crimes & Misdemeanors versus Desperately Seeking Susan (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg503051#msg503051) - flieger
Uksuum Cauyai: The Drums of Winter versus Choose Me (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg503803#msg503803) - flieger
Blade Runner versus Say Anything… (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg504138#msg504138) - THATguy
Working Girl versus Broadway Danny Rose (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg504386#msg504386) - matt tmw
Friday the 13th versus The Unbelievable Truth (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg504503#msg504503) - flieger
The Blues Brothers versus Dead Ringers (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg505202#msg505202) - flieger
Water and Power versus Hoosiers (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg506313#msg506313) - flieger
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure versus Damned If You Don’t (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg507193#msg507193) - GothamCity151
Bull Durham versus Gremlins (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg508144#msg508144) - smirnoff
Running on Empty versus The Terminator (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg508156#msg508156) - Beavermoose
Paris, Texas versus Out of Africa (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg508326#msg508326) - flieger
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels versus Zelig (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg509099#msg509099) - Bondo
Blood Simple versus An American Werewolf in London (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg509697#msg509697) - matt tmw
When Harry Met Sally versus Forest of Bliss (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg510162#msg510162) - Bondo
Lost in America versus Raging Bull (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg510509#msg510509) - flieger
Evil Dead II versus She's Gotta Have It (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg511351#msg511351) - flieger
Kiss of the Spider Woman versus Re-Animator (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg512350#msg512350) - StudentOFilm
A Nightmare on Elm Street versus Modern Romance (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg513717#msg513717) - Bill Thompson
Stardust Memories versus Sex, Lies and Videotape (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg513807#msg513807) - Bondo
Cat People versus Cutter's Way (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg514314#msg514314) - michael x
Ghostbusters versus The Fly (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg514780#msg514780) - Mosca
Rain Man versus Thief (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg516422#msg516422) - GothamCity151
Out of the Blue versus Poltergeist (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg517996#msg517996) - Bondo
Sixteen Candles versus After Hours (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg519524#msg519524) - BlueVoid
Talking to Strangers versus Full Metal Jacket (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg520834#msg520834) - flieger
The Princess Bride versus Midnight Run (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg522496#msg522496) - matt tmw
Big versus Rembrandt Laughing (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg529703#msg529703) - matt tmw
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure versus Koyaanisqatsi (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg529777#msg529777) - Bondo
Do the Right Thing versus Surname Viet Given Name Nam (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg530815#msg530815) - michael x
Top Gun versus The Purple Rose of Cairo (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg531535#msg531535) - Mosca
Sleepwalk versus River's Edge (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg534476#msg534476) - michael x
Prince of the City versus The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg534497#msg534497) - flieger
The Empire Strikes Back versus Style Wars (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg535347#msg535347) - Bondo
Silkwood versus They Live (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg536608#msg536608) - Mosca
Robocop versus The Loveless (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg540478#msg540478) - ses
Amadeus versus The Atomic Café (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg541036#msg541036) - smirnoff
Die Hard versus Beverly Hills Cop (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg542348#msg542348) - Mosca
White Dog versus The Big Red One (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg544821#msg544821) - Bill Thompson
Back to the Future versus Near Death (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg545223#msg545223) - BlueVoid
Missing versus Landscape Suicide (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg546017#msg546017) - Bondo
Wall Street versus St Elmo's Fire (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg546684#msg546684) - Beavermoose
The Thing versus The Fabulous Baker Boys (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg547625#msg547625) - Mosca
Hollywood Shuffle versus Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg558457#msg558457) - Beavermoose
Stop Making Sense versus Matewan (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg561038#msg561038) - smirnoff
For All Mankind versus Reds (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg563230#msg563230) - BlueVoid
Aliens versus Near Dark (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg577262#msg577262) - Bill Thompson
Blue Velvet versus Empire of the Sun (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg577821#msg577821) - FroHam
Burden of Dreams versus Hollywood Shuffle (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg577942#msg577942) - StudentOFilm
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? versus Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg578582#msg578582) - smirnoff
Airplane! versus Rumble Fish (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg579573#msg579573) - tinyholidays
Raising Arizona versus Bird (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg579751#msg579751) - Mosca
The Ninth Configuration versus Dirty Dancing (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg579805#msg579805) - 'Noke
Starman versus Altered States (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg580080#msg580080) - ses
Sherman's March versus Hardly Working (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg580533#msg580533) - tinyholidays
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial versus A Christmas Story (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg580681#msg580681) - matt tmw
This is Spinal Tap versus Repo Man (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg581745#msg581745) - jbissell
Ordinary People versus The Shining (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg582819#msg582819) - Bondo
Never Cry Wolf versus Naked Spaces: Living is Round (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg586262#msg586262) - roujin
Starman versus Wargames (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg593107#msg593107) - tinyholidays
Tough Guys Don't Dance versus Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg595365#msg595365) - matt tmw
Once Upon a Time in America versus The Unbearable Lightness of Being (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg596836#msg596836) - Beavermoose
The Times of Harvey Milk versus Heathers (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg599849#msg599849) - flieger
The Breakfast Club versus Talk Radio (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg600351#msg600351) - Junior
Another Woman versus Housekeeping (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg600727#msg600727) - pixote
The Elephant Man versus Field of Dreams (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg603127#msg603127) - ¡Keith!

Round 2.5
Once Upon a Time in America versus Ferris Bueller's Day Off (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6084.msg606575#msg606575) - flieger
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 28, 2009, 03:09:33 PM
roujin's first foray into this disgusting thing called the 80s US Bracket

Ghostbusters vs. Near Dark

(http://i41.tinypic.com/9vktx4.jpg) (http://i39.tinypic.com/2hhqex2.png)
Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow, 1987)

Small Texas towns with teenagers taking the truck out for the night and looking for opportunity. Of course, there is a girl and that girl brings trouble. The Lesson: if something wants to feed off you, don't let it. Our hero will learn that lesson well. There is a strange beauty to these slightly idyllic magic hour moments, they straddle the two absolutes that the film deals in: night and day. After meeting the pretty cute girl, all he will know is night. One of the things that I found interesting was just the setting and the kind of people that are in this film - dusty small towns along the highway, rough and tumble truckers with knives ready to flash. It's not that different of a setting from something like No Country For Old Men. Motels play a key role in this film as well. The night is so bright and loud and the feeding scenes between the boy and the girl are quasi-orgasmic (keeping with all that vampiric shit). But the boy isn't part of the crew yet. I don't really know what I'm saying. Something about how bad ass and scary it is when the crew goes out the bar. They test him, show him their strength. Who needs the day anyway? This movie is simply bad ass, Tangerine Dream score and all and, at its best, is ridiculously exciting and compelling (and when it actually goes thru with the whole western/vampire thing, it's pretty awesome). The performances are pretty good for what they are, you know? Bill Paxton is fantastically over the top as Severin and Lance Henrikson is all quiet leader bad ass. The boy and the girl are nice and all but it's not really about them. It's about the pull and that magic hour and wanting to live in the sun and wanting to die at night. Shit's good and it's filmed pretty well, too and all that stuff. Right away, its textures are interesting and all that stuff. eh, life sux, get over it.

(http://i42.tinypic.com/2tsfr.jpg) (http://i41.tinypic.com/2lbmj42.jpg)
Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984)

I didn't laugh that much. I mean, it was pleasant and all. There's something very nice about it which I liked. I think Sean mentioned it wasn't cynical and all that stuff. Yeah, there's something very wide-eyed and optimistic about the film. I dug that. But, I just didn't laugh that much. Bill Murray was pretty funny being his usual smug self. His face by itself could just make laugh. The rest of the cast was good but not up to his level (although Harold Ramis's line readings were kind of funny). I don't know what to tell you. I've never seen this movie before because I figured it was a nostalgia thing, you know? I can see some of the merits but I don't see what makes this all that great. I must say that the ending with the Stay Puft Marshmallow man deserves its iconic status and all that junk.

This bracket is going to be insane. CINECAST! this shit. Kill yr idols, Near Dark moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on June 28, 2009, 03:14:37 PM
Well, there's one that's going to be resurrected.  I knew you would go with Near Dark.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 28, 2009, 03:26:32 PM
(http://media.entertainment.sky.com/image/unscaled/2008/8/19/Step-Brothers-63.jpg)
"We're here to CINECAST! shit up"
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FLYmeatwad on June 28, 2009, 03:27:43 PM
You're a good man roujin, way to kick things off!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Tequila on June 28, 2009, 03:36:18 PM
I knew you would go with Near Dark.
What she said. Roujin should be kept away from things duder likes in the Bracket.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Junior on June 28, 2009, 03:38:29 PM
I don't like Ghostbusters.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 28, 2009, 03:45:32 PM
I don't like Ghostbusters.

I don't like you.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on June 28, 2009, 03:46:54 PM
Yeah, I don't get Ghostbusters. Rewatched Near Dark yesterday, some of the dialogue is kinda dumb ("remember that fire we started in Chicago?" ::)), but everything else is tops.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 28, 2009, 03:51:06 PM
What she said. Roujin should be kept away from things duder likes in the Bracket.

(http://thelifecinematic.com/board/images/smilies/icon_lol.gif)

I kicked out Strange Days from the 90s one! I don't like Valkyrie!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on June 28, 2009, 03:52:07 PM
What she said. Roujin should be kept away from things duder likes in the Bracket.

(http://thelifecinematic.com/board/images/smilies/icon_lol.gif)

I kicked out Strange Days from the 90s one! I don't like Valkyrie!

You kicked out Bad Lieutenant, too. Bastard.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Basil on June 28, 2009, 03:55:40 PM
Hooray!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 28, 2009, 04:40:24 PM
Nice job, roujin. I LOVED Ghostbusters when I was a kid, but when I revisited it about a year and a half ago I totally didn't get why it's still so revered. Other than the hilarious Rick Moranis, I thought it was seriously OKish. Haven't seen Near Dark. I'm not invested in this one, but it has resurrection written all over it.     
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 28, 2009, 06:22:43 PM
I always preferred the second one to be honest. Dancing toaster ftw. Ernie Hudson is a kickass Winston.

Haven't seen Near Dark so I have no idea how to feel.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on June 28, 2009, 09:51:40 PM
Way to kick off the bracket, roujin!

I love Ghostbusters, but I'm interested in checking out Near Dark now, and introducing me to new movies is what I love about the brackets.

It doesn't hurt that Ghostbusters seems like an easy resurrection though. ;D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ¡Keith! on June 29, 2009, 01:38:38 PM
Mostly getting into this bracket to check out early Kathrine Bigelow so I guess I approve.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on June 29, 2009, 07:34:27 PM
Mother Puss Bucket!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FLYmeatwad on June 29, 2009, 09:47:19 PM
Pretty in Pink - Jumping back in time and taking a trip to the 80's to check in with the high school crowd I found myself in the halls of what I assume to be a normal high school in suburbia when the damn richies and the normies seem to coexist, mostly in financial conflict that would provide a ton of fodder for an excellent satire about the classless American society or about class struggle or something like that. However, that does not seem to be the case with this film as Pretty in Pink proves to mostly be a love letter to the 80's culture. Bolstered by a top notch soundtrack, sure the 80's tunes occasionally begin to grate on my nerves but they do have a sort of charm to them sometimes, the film seems to mostly always be playing music that compliments what is going on and enhances the 80's factor of the film while also avoiding feeling overly 'hip,' as Molly Ringwald's character would say. Aside from the soundtrack the script is pretty solid, the plot is a bit generic, as is the ending, but the dialogue is great and most of the scenes are just a joy to watch.

These scenes are helped along immensely by the acting talent involved in the film. Ringwald is solid to good in the lead role and she gives a heartfelt performance, but little really stood out about her character or her performance, aside from when she interacted with her father and one scene in her bedroom with Duckie, which is a shame because the plot with her father seems kind of forced and despite her relationship with Duckie being believable her relationship with Andrew McCarthy's character just feels off. I suspect this is because McCarthy only turns in a solid to mediocre performance and simply does not compliment Ringwald the way that Jon Cryer does in the Duckie role. He is not only a top notch character, but Cryer's performance is so pitch perfect that I am almost tempted to call the film a triumph because of him. Of course that would discredit the brilliant performance that James Spader turns in as Steff, another one that I ought to be raving about. It kind of disappoints me that all the supporting actors are better than the leads though. Still, the film is really enjoyable to watch despite being generic and it has me wanting to check out Sixteen Candles because I really enjoy these high school teen coming of age films.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - The comedic duo has long been a staple of comedy I suppose, so seeing what appears on the surface to be another tandem of talent, Steve Martin and Michael Caine, in what I assume must be a comedic film had me expecting great things despite only seeing Martin once before in The Jerk. Well, as a straight up comedy I must say that I finished this film immensely disappointed. I don't know if I just was not in the mood for comedy, if the humor just wasn't my style, or if I was still having a Duckie hangover from earlier, but aside from one or two scenes I did not really have many big laughs and could only chuckle ever ten minutes or so as one of Martin's or Caine's jokes hit. Luckily, the film does not fall back on the Step Brothers mentality of just letting guys go for laughs without any sort of plot. In fact, the plot is what helps keep the film very much afloat during the comedic gaps. Now I'm not one who has much exposure to conman movies, actually The Brothers Bloom may be the only one I have ever watched, but I really enjoyed the way the film always kept me on my toes and guessing what was going on without, usually, abandoning logical explanations for some of the events that were occurring. The plot is really compelling and ties together well with an ending that, completely opposite of Pretty in Pink, had me mostly surprised and really impressed that it never took an easy way out while still delivering a satisfying conclusion.

The leads were pretty spectacular as well. Martin was a shot of electricity to compliment Caine nicely and the constant competition between the two con men was incredibly fun to watch and made for a rather compelling film. The introduction of Headly's character allowed for another pretty good performance that really helps keep things fresh between the two men and assuring that the plot does not dull, she really does exactly what she needs to and she does it incredibly well. The other thing that I wanted to compliment was the direction. While it is nothing spectacular, though I guess the cinematography is really good, it is above solid and there is a certain visual flair to the film that makes it pretty interesting to watch from a technical level. This visual flair proves really helpful with the humor as well because a fair amount of what Martin does is visual humor and it is always good if a director makes things easy on the eyes and interesting to watch instead of just telling to audience to watch and be content. The film is really enjoyable and a good deal of fun. Nothing spectacular or mind blowing, but pretty good.

Verdict

So I held off on letter and number grades because, before writing, I thought that this would be closer and, looking back, it probably should be since I had an enjoyable time with both films but cannot see either one advancing very far beyond the first round. Still, the leads in Scoundrels were better, the direction much better and actually distinct, and the film is just as if not more compelling, plus it rarely becomes generic. I'm sad to see Duckie and Steff go because they are great and I hope everyone gets to see Pretty in Pink simply for them and for the three or four great scenes in the film, but ultimately I think I would be doing a disservice to the bracket if I did not advance Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to the second round.

Pretty in Pink - C+/B- or 3.789204723185723180957347501
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - B or 4.019237219847230851723857120581732
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FroHam X on June 29, 2009, 09:51:01 PM
Good reviews FLY.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 29, 2009, 09:54:48 PM
I want to watch Scoundrels now. Nice job on the verdict
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 29, 2009, 10:04:04 PM
I loved DRS as a kid, but I saw it about a year ago or so, Steve Martin has some nice moments but I mostly thought it was pretty boring. I saw Pretty in Pink in high school and it didn't do much for me.

Long story short, I don't feel too strongly about this matchup. Nice job, FLY.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: worm@work on June 29, 2009, 10:11:35 PM
I loved DRS as a kid,....

I refuse to believe anything else. "Not Mother?" :D.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: THATguy on June 29, 2009, 10:17:19 PM
Pretty in Pink is easily Hughes' worst 80s work.  Haven't seen DRS, but I have no issue with this verdict.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 29, 2009, 10:19:11 PM
Pretty in Pink is easily Hughes' worst 80s work.

Planes, Trains is 80's, right? That would be my pick.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 29, 2009, 10:22:47 PM
Pretty in Pink is easily Hughes' worst 80s work.

Planes, Trains is 80's, right? That would be my pick.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is hilarious, although the drama with Steve Martin and his wife is admittedly awful.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: THATguy on June 29, 2009, 10:52:58 PM
DRESSED TO KILL vs. FOUR FRIENDS
TALE OF THE TAPE
Year Released
1980 - 1981
Director
Brian De Palma - Arthur Penn
IMDB
7.1 - 6.7
RT
84 - 86

Dressed To Kill

(http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq97/ccslc/vlcsnap-5562475.png)
(http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq97/ccslc/vlcsnap-5563165.png)
(http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq97/ccslc/vlcsnap-5563414.png)
(http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq97/ccslc/vlcsnap-5563552.png)

What I Liked: Strong performances here by most of the leads, including what might be one of Michael Caine's finest, and Angie Dickinson impressing in her time on screen.  The supporting cast works.  The cinematography is extremely well done, as I hope some of the shots above show, minus one of the things I'll be discussing in the next part of this review.  As an exercise for building suspense, although the twist is one of the most obvious ones I can ever remember, it works in large part, even though I had several quibbles with the film.

What I Disliked: If you were looking for logic, you might as well check out now... unfortunately, I like my thrillers with a little bit of logic, so that's something that really worked against the film here.  The Hitchcock apings are obvious and in abundance, and honestly, I'd rather just watch the CINECAST!ing Hitchcock films rather than see someone else half-assing his work.  A lot of the dialogue is extremely clumsy, for example, in the interrogation scene, where Caine and Franz try to work miracles around some really piss poor written stuff.  For a few times in the film, a call-back is used, as seen above, and these really didn't fit the rest of the tone and just felt out of place.  To be honest, the rest of these criticisms fall small compared to my next one.  Nancy Allen is absolutely CINECAST!ing DREADFUL here.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is why it's rarely a good idea to give your spouse a part, especially when they're expected to carry a portion of the film.  If they can't do it, the movie suffers, and you get booted in round one of the 80s bracket.

Four Friends

(http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq97/ccslc/vlcsnap-5536468.png)
(http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq97/ccslc/vlcsnap-5560860.png)
(http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq97/ccslc/vlcsnap-5559603.png)
(http://i437.photobucket.com/albums/qq97/ccslc/vlcsnap-5560590.png)

What I Liked: Craig Wasson is very good here, the kind of good where you wonder what the hell happened to his career and why he never really went anywhere.  The music wasn't nearly as heavy handed as sixty films that followed it, and that is a very good thing.  The supporting characters largely fill the film with depth and warmness, and most of them I preferred seeing to the leads, if that meant anything.  When you were supposed to be shocked, I was genuinely shocked, and although not all of the film worked for me, a large part of it did.

What I Disliked: What is this, the night of the weak female leads?  Jodi Thelen, while being very nice to look at, did nothing for me in her portrayal of the loopy Georgia, often taking it to the point of annoyance, leaving it hard to find any real compassion for the character.  The film feels very much more like an assortment of random shorts rather than a feature at points, with several of the moments feeling heavy handed and artificial.  The film seemed like it ran too long, or too long without some of the voiceover that was featured in some parts... it was a film that half-way through, I was really expecting to like more when it was over.  As it ended, it was just kind of forgettable, nice, but nothing I'd expect to be a Cinderella story in the bracket. 

Verdict: Four Friends.  Although I didn't love it, I still found it the better film here, although
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 29, 2009, 10:59:32 PM
poor duder.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on June 29, 2009, 11:01:15 PM
poor duder.

I wish I'd seen it recently so I knew what the hell THATguy is talking about.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FroHam X on June 29, 2009, 11:04:06 PM
I don't like Ghostbusters.

I don't like you.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Verite on June 30, 2009, 01:02:00 AM
Pretty in Pink is easily Hughes' worst 80s work.

Planes, Trains is 80's, right? That would be my pick.

What star rating would you give PT&A, roujin?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on June 30, 2009, 01:11:03 AM
nice write-ups, both :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on June 30, 2009, 01:11:24 AM
I loved DRS as a kid,....

I refuse to believe anything else. "Not Mother?" :D.

"Why is the cork on the fork?" is a favorite catchphrase in the Thor household.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 30, 2009, 08:22:48 AM
Pretty in Pink is easily Hughes' worst 80s work.

That honor belongs to the thoroughly disappointing Weird Science.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: THATguy on June 30, 2009, 12:35:15 PM
That statement makes no sense, as after Ferris Bueller, Weird Science is Hughes's best.

Here's how I'd rank them..

1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
2. Weird Science
3. The Breakfast Club
4. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
5. Sixteen Candles
6. Uncle Buck
7. Pretty in Pink

Not seen: She's Having a Baby
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 30, 2009, 12:56:39 PM
That statement makes no sense, as after Ferris Bueller, Weird Science is Hughes's best.

Weird Science is probably last in my rankings, terribly misogynistic and mean just for the sake of being mean, plus it wasn't smart like the rest of Hughes work, it was broad and stupid.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on June 30, 2009, 01:41:43 PM
That statement makes no sense, as after Ferris Bueller, Weird Science is Hughes's best.

Weird Science is probably last in my rankings, terribly misogynistic and mean just for the sake of being mean, plus it wasn't smart like the rest of Hughes work, it was broad and stupid.

i knew you were an ally in the good fight :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: THATguy on June 30, 2009, 01:49:30 PM
While I see something like Sixteen Candles as a teenage female fantasy, Weird Science is the ultimate teenage male fantasy film, and it ultimately succeeds as that more than just about anything else Hughes has done.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 30, 2009, 03:48:42 PM
That statement makes no sense, as after Ferris Bueller, Weird Science is Hughes's best.

Weird Science is probably last in my rankings, terribly misogynistic and mean just for the sake of being mean, plus it wasn't smart like the rest of Hughes work, it was broad and stupid.

i knew you were an ally in the good fight :)

I do try.  :D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 03, 2009, 02:19:43 PM
The Natural
1984, Barry Levinson
vs.
My Dinner with Andre
1981, Louis Malle


The Natural - disgusting
My Dinner with Andre - delicious

some spoilers

I can't quite believe The Natural is an admired film.  From the typically saccharine Newman score that opens (punctuates and closes) the film, to Redford dully filling the simpleton golden boy role with the occasional beefcakey shots of him in odd poses, the film offers nothing but cliché on cliché riffing on the good-ol'-boy institution of baseball.  the women in the film fill ridiculous roles of dangerous (when they are dressed in black) and angelic (in white).  if they have "a past" they are certainly bad (Basinger's character); she also relies on her "womanly ways" to get what she wants - money, attention, men - and this is clearly bad.  Iris (Close) is a cipher that is introduced as an early love and appears much later as a fuzzy angel in white that somehow gives Roy Hobbs (Redford) the power to fulfill his nature.  the film closes on iris disclosing she had Hobbes' kid 16 years ago, this is somehow heartwarming, the family coming together.  vomit.  the film trades heavily on rigid gender roles and hierarchy.  there is some crap line about "think of all the boys you've influenced", and this film is clearly about baseball for boys - as players and fans.  i suspect that for every scene at the ballpark Levinson cuts to crowd reaction shots that feature head shots of boys basking in the game.  more vomit.  while there is some mild critique of the greedy owners and gamblers attached to the game (mild i suspect because boys will be boys, which also forgives Hobbs any responsibility for abandoning the mother and son - gasp - out of wedlock), the greatest critique is awkwardly leveled at Max Mercy (Duvall) the baseball writer, when Hobbs sneers at him and drawls did you ever play ball, Max?, it is certainly unclear where this problem with the baseball writer comes from, the assumption is that baseball writers "market" players and the game, whereas really, the game just is.  the prominence of the locomotive as a tedious motif of the film suggests this fate-like movement of players to greatness, of women to men, and baseball to all that is right.  fortunately enough for those of us that don't believe in those certainties, the film is so shabbily constructed that we're not seduced by those oppressive ideas.  despite how much i hated this one, it was still fun to dip into the 80s with it :)

My Dinner with Andre easily critiqued the culture that The Natural represents - one of lazy, non-thinking habit.  with the exception of a minute at the film's open and close, the duration plays out at a dinner table with Wally (Wallace Shawn) and Andre (Andre Gregory) in philosophical conversation led by Andre, broadly about the meaning of life.  Wally becomes more prominent as he is made uncomfortable by the stated beliefs of Andre, which plays perfectly to Andre's (and we suspect, the film's) ideas (this is also suggested by the clever self-effacement Wally sets the film up with as he introduces the audience to the conceit).  Andre justifies the film's form as he critiques so much of the mass culture we are bombarded with as both common and as is - what we need is a new language, exactly what My Dinner with Andre delivers.  this new language, to a new world of joy and expression - living with abandon - is suggested to be too much.  we prefer to live in comfort and habit.  when we are shown ourselves - and made uncomfortable - we recoil, sickened.  while this film doesn't quite work as the antidote it might desire itself to be - sadly affirmed by the fitting closing of Wally on the platform: i came home, there was debbie, home from work, and i i told her everything about my dinner with andre - it is still a breath of fresh air.  sadly there aren't more like this.  i'll have more to say on this one as i revisit it soon, especially once i track down the new Criterion edition with some of the additional features
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 03, 2009, 02:51:54 PM
I can't wait to watch My Dinner With Andre, whether it's for this bracket or just. I read the first few sentences of your review and I was sold. Sounds like the right choice to me. Nice write up skjerva.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 03, 2009, 02:53:06 PM
Yeah, My Dinner With Andre sounds pretty good.

plus baseball sucks
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on July 03, 2009, 03:01:24 PM
I think you are completely wrong about The Natural, but I have never seen My Dinner with Andre, so I can't say which film I think should move forward. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 03, 2009, 03:11:56 PM
The Natural is so boring, but I do like the score. I'm fine with this verdict. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 03, 2009, 03:21:32 PM
I think you are completely wrong about The Natural

which part? 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 03, 2009, 03:21:52 PM
the part where it loses :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 03, 2009, 03:28:11 PM
the part where it loses :)

i had that feeling.  also, i am guessing ses is uncomfortable with my critique of it as portraying a "traditional society" where the women are there for the men and the men are there for baseball.  again, vomit.  but hey, i'm open to other interpretations  ;D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on July 03, 2009, 03:40:03 PM
the part where it loses :)

i had that feeling.  also, i am guessing ses is uncomfortable with my critique of it as portraying a "traditional society" where the women are there for the men and the men are there for baseball.  again, vomit.  but hey, i'm open to other interpretations  ;D

That's a little insulting, i am not going to get into a discussion about this with you skjerva, I just disagree with a lot of what you said let's just leave it at that.  And like I said before, I am okay with it losing because I have not seen My Dinner with Andre, so I can't say which movie should move forward
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 03, 2009, 05:38:52 PM
Yeah, My Dinner With Andre sounds pretty good.

plus baseball sucks

You sucks.

I love baseball, but I never loved The Natural.  Haven't seen My Dinner with Andre in many years but remember liking it quite a bit.

Not that anyone cares.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 03, 2009, 09:02:19 PM
the part where it loses :)

i had that feeling.  also, i am guessing ses is uncomfortable with my critique of it as portraying a "traditional society" where the women are there for the men and the men are there for baseball.  again, vomit.  but hey, i'm open to other interpretations  ;D

That's a little insulting, i am not going to get into a discussion about this with you skjerva, I just disagree with a lot of what you said let's just leave it at that.  And like I said before, I am okay with it losing because I have not seen My Dinner with Andre, so I can't say which movie should move forward

sorry the playfulness didn't come across  :-\  but i am interested in what you disagree with me about :) 

Not that anyone cares.

i care  ::)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 04, 2009, 10:58:40 AM
roujin's 2nd verdict. what are you doing to yourself?

A Nightmare on Elm Street vs. Tongues Untied

(http://i39.tinypic.com/7164k7.png) (http://i44.tinypic.com/jhtvk6.png)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (Wes Craven, 1984)

Another 80s classic that I've never seen before. I think I saw Freddy vs. Jason once and it was one of the most terrible movies I'd ever seen. Long story short: I didn't really know what to expect from this. I know Wes Craven isn't really involved with the other movies so it should be different. I mean, the first one is always the best one, right? Turns out I had a lot of fun with it. It seems different from other horror films. It's kind of about dread more than the violence (although the violence ramps up the feeling of dread). The concept is also kind of perfect. A villain who attacks you in your dreams. You can't really stop yourself from sleeping for too long. He'll get you either way. I enjoyed the way the film toyed with my expectations during the beginning as it opens with that one girl but then switches. Is this another case of the slutty teen dying first? Stupid horror movies. Anyway, who cares about these demons. What I meant to say was, the true horror of this being set in a dream world is that our dream worlds can be changed and not to our advantage. That's scary. Plus that Johnny Depp set piece is bananas. Too bad he wasn't tortured and beaten in a savage commentary on American foreign policy. What am I talking about?

(http://i40.tinypic.com/wmed6t.png) (http://i40.tinypic.com/29qi7a1.png)
Tongues Untied (Marlon Riggs, 1989/1990)

Fascinating stuff. The film is about how black men loving black men is a revolutionary act. No, really, the movie says that. The film uses a variety of methods to explore this, from direct address (by the filmmaker and others) to poetry/spoken word to documentary methods (found footage + other) to whatever else is needed. There's also a fair bit of personal testimony from Marlon Riggs himself covering his own experience (as one of many). The film covers a little bit of the same ground as something like Paris is Burning does (I think I even spotted one of the vogue dancers from that film in here) but in a much more interesting way.

Faceboy, in his review of Black Is... Black Ain't (also by Marlon Riggs), described this film's style fairly accurately with its "lone actor in front of the black background making movements meant to be thematically evocative" all while the actor also recites poetry that is meant to be profound and relevant and beautiful. It comes off as a bit silly but it kind of gets to you after a while and the poetry and the images and the cadences that the speakers imbue the words with, give it a certain kind of slant and oddness which is refreshing.

What I personally thought the most interesting was the segment when the film dispels the notion that being Gay and Black presented a conflict because, as they say, who will you be loyal to you? By film's end, the silence is gone, the music is back, black men loving black men is presented as something beautiful and wonderful. Also, Eddie Murphy's stand up routine from way back when was pretty homophobic. I should rewatch those films. . .

To be honest, I don't really know where to go. I know that I would probably rather watch Nightmare, not because Tongues isn't entertaining or illuminating in its own right, but because it's just a lot of fun. Tongues is certainly the more ambitious work but I kept wishing it was longer, specially to flesh out the final passages.

I think I'll give it to Nightmare, but I really want to check out Ethnic Notions and Black Is... Black Ain't now.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 04, 2009, 12:51:39 PM
Yeah, Elm Street is fun. Shame about Tongues Untied, it seems worthy of discovery.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 04, 2009, 02:13:33 PM
not shocking, haven't seen Tongues, but Black Is has a certain raw/DIY feel to it, reckon that doesn't help matters.  agree with dude that more exposure for Tongues would prolly be good.  anywho, been ages since i've seen Nightmare, maybe next round :)

rouj, wanna next?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 04, 2009, 02:15:05 PM
Freddy vs Jason was so idiotic.

Here's what they should've done.

(http://www.ugo.com/movies/all-star-slashers/images/freddy-krueger.jpg) vs. (http://i33.tinypic.com/3599s37.jpg)

&

(http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/3/33118/668221-jason_voorhees_3352_large.jpg) vs. (http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/140/195920-casey_jones_large.jpg)

Now tell me that not 9000x cooler.

Good write up btw roujin!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 04, 2009, 02:17:42 PM
Freddy vs Jason was so idiotic.

Yes it was, but I loved every second of it, bad horror done awesomely.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 04, 2009, 02:18:45 PM
Freddy vs Jason was so idiotic.

Yes it was, but I loved every second of it, bad horror done awesomely.
To be fair, I've never seen it. :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 06, 2009, 11:52:51 PM
Glory (1989)

As Glory begins we are given a not so kind look at war. The Battle of Antietam comes across as pointless and senseless, what reason could there possibly be for such violence and bloodshed? Glory spends the next two hours providing reasons for such battles. By the time we reach the Siege of Ft. Wagner the idea of war as senseless has left our minds, not because our minds have been changed, but because we have been given people to care about and have seen why they go to war and thus it is no longer senseless to us.

If the above wasn’t enough of a giveaway, I have been a fan of Glory for many years now. Like most I was first introduced to the film in history class, albeit I was lucky enough to have a history teacher who refused to show the school only PG version and instead treated us to the wonders of the R rated version. His reasoning made perfect sense, “There’s no point in sugarcoating the violence in the film, if I do that then I would be lying to you about not only this movie, but life.” Obviously I don’t know if that’s exactly what he said, but it was something like that. My little brother also is a big fan of Glory and because of this I tend to revisit Glory at least once every year. I didn’t want that coloring my views going into this bracket match-up, but as a fair warning it’s pretty darn hard to be impartial about a film I’ve seen and loved many times.

I could go on and on about the acting of the film, universally excellent, or the music, also universally excellent, or even the cinematography, set design, costumes and battle scenes, once again all universally excellent. But, by this point in time I think many a person has posited on the usual suspects as far as Glory’s strong points are concerned. Rather I’m hoping to delve into a narrative thread I picked up on this viewing of Glory that had never occurred to me in any of my previous travails through this particular movie.

As Glory rolled along I became very interested in where the film was going with its characters. In essence Glory can be distilled down to a series of relationship tests. At the start all of the characters are unsure of one another. Each and every character brings a bit of trepidation to the military camp, for whatever reason they not only have trouble trusting the soldier next to them. Throughout the movie we are given little moments where the characters learn to trust each other. This culminates in the Siege of Ft. Wagner, where they prove themselves to each other, to their enemy and to their nation. It’s as if every moment in the film exists for the characters to test one another, learn and move on to the one ultimate moment at the end when there are the same throughout and trust each other completely.

For as much as I have extolled the virtues of Glory, it isn’t without its faults. The drama between Cary Elwes and Matthew Broderick never sits well with me. Instead of adding to the picture it feels forced and out of place compared to the rest of the drama taking place. But Glory’s biggest flaw comes in the form of the obstacle villains as I like to call them. Whether it is the Quartermaster, Gen. Harker or Col. Montgomery, the internal obstacles put in the place of the 54th come across as one note. They seem to exist only to serve the plot and thus don’t pack the edge that they should.

After so many viewings Glory still holds up as a quality piece of movie making. It’s emotional without overdoing it, understands how to handle melodrama, and features some incredible performances from the supporting cast. There’s a reason why Glory is still shown across the United States in grade school/high school history classes, it’s a powerful film, a well made film and a film worth seeing.

Vs.

Re-Animator (1985)

I’m as into cerebral movies as much as anyone you will find. I love movies that make me think, I love well made movies, I love genre films that belong at the highest level of cinema, even if others vehemently disagree. But, I also love cheesy movies, I love movies so terrible they end up awesome. Before I go any further, no, Re-Animator isn’t a movie so terrible it’s awesome. Re-Animator is something we should all look for in our movies, pure, unbridled fun! That’s where Re-Animator fits into the mix, it threads the line between a movie so terrible it is awesome and a movie that knows what it is doing. I don’t want to say it’s a movie that just wants to have fun, but in a lot of ways that is the best way to describe it. At the same time such a description does a great disservice to the movie, because Re-Animator is so much more than a movie that just wants to have fun.

Okay, I’m getting a little side tracked in my point, so let me try again. Re-Animator knows what genre it is, it knows what its fans expect, and it knows how to play with every single one of those expectations and have a great time while doing so. As I said earlier, I love movies that make me think, but I also love movies that cause me to laugh out loud almost every minute. I love a movie that doesn’t take itself seriously and doesn’t want you to take its seriously, a movie that says, “This is cheesy, you know it’s cheesy, we know it’s cheesy, but that is why this movie is awesome and you will love it.” I don’t know if I’m doing a good job of describing why I had such an honestly enthusiastic reaction to Re-Animator, so I present to you what made Re-Animator so darn awesome (as well as an exclamation mark bonanza),

–Awesome dead cat mayhem!

–The plot just jumped ahead about three hundred steps, but who the CINECAST! needs a cohesive plot?

–Dead man mayhem, blood and gore everywhere!

–Creepy old doctor stalker love!

–Shovel through the throat, twitching body, severed head!!

–Headless body attacks!!!

–Emotional break-up, wait, reconciliation, never mind, it’s dead daddy time!!

–Naked unconscious chick!

–The headless body is copping a feel and now naked chick is awake!

–We have now reached zenith, or as I like to call it, a decapitated head sucking a naked woman’s nipple and licking a bloody trail down her body!

–Holy shit, the decapitated head was about to see if the carpet matched the drapes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

–You seriously can’t beat this dialogue, “You’ll never get credit for my discovery. Who’s going to believe a talking head? Get a job in a sideshow!” Go ahead, try and beat that, I dare you!!

–Mutant intestines!!!

There’s plenty more, I guarantee you that. But, I just wanted to give you a taste. The basic gist is that Re-Animator is oodles of fun, it knows what it is and what it wants to accomplish and it does so in perfect fashion. I am often guilty of focusing on great technical achievements and great acting, and great this or great that. But, Re-Animator is a perfect example of how a movie can look terrible in almost every aspect, yet be a great and darn near perfect film. That’s not to say there aren’t legitimately great things in Re-Animator, but raving about the make-up work or the acting of Jeffrey Combs would go against the motif of my review. To keep it very simple, I’m happy as all get out that the Filmspotting 80’s US bracket allowed me to discover Re-Animator, because it is a joy to watch and a transcendent experience of awesomeness!

Verdict:

Needless to say I as expecting this match-up to be a lopsided destruction when I first received it. Boy was I wrong, and in epic fashion. Glory is a great film, it does so many things wonderfully well. But, the same can be said for Re-Animator, it is a joy to watch and does everything it intends to and more. As shocking as this will be to some, Re-Animator moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 07, 2009, 12:12:07 AM
Popeye (Robert Altman, 1980)
(http://i32.tinypic.com/2envsdh.png) (http://i31.tinypic.com/15s2zw1.png)

I think Mick Martin and Marsha Porter (who else had those books?) said it best: Turkey. My goodness do I dislike this movie. Nothing works. It’s not funny, the art direction is hideous, and the songs are the opposite of memorable; it’s hard to believe they were written by the same guy who gave us “Everybody’s Talkin’” and “Coconut”. Ironically Robin Williams, who you’d expect to be unbearably hammy in this role, is relatively restrained here. I guess in his early roles he didn’t yet have the confidence to eat the scenery for lunch.  Now I’m sure something that is this much of a misfire must have its cult of defenders, but I’ll be very surprised if my assessment garners much of a backlash.

Lost in America (Albert Brooks, 1985)
(http://i26.tinypic.com/6o0pxv.png) (http://i29.tinypic.com/2j11mw2.png)
It's the story of two white-collar DINKs who decide to drop out of the rat race and live the bohemian lifestyle they never experienced in their youth. Considering this subject matter, Lost in America has to be among the most specifically 80s movies in the bracket. And the setup is pretty darn clever, our hero hits the open road to find himself and America (“touch an Indian”), yet cannot shake his obsession with decidedly un-Captain America things like nest eggs and microwaves. This is the second time I’ve seen Lost in America and my reaction is more or less the same. It’s a pretty decent movie but for me it didn’t have a lot of big laughs for a film that is considered something of a comedy classic.

It’s true that I’m not a Baby Boomer that became a yuppie in the 80s, and maybe that cultural experience is the key to really digging this movie. But more importantly I think my problem is Albert Brooks, I just don’t find him all that funny. I’m not saying he isn’t funny, he just doesn’t get a lot of laughs out of me. For instance, his meeting with Garry Marshall at the casino, this is a good scene, but Brooks kind of gets on my nerves and I don’t think I laughed once during it. Worst of all is when he has one of his tantrums, some of his lines are funny in those screaming fits, but he’s just irksome. But I don’t really hold this personal dislike against the movie, as the 80s bracket goes on, my man Woody is going to come up a lot and not everybody is going to think he’s as funny as I do. But I digress.

Verdict: After two viewings Lost in America still isn’t as funny as I hoped it would be, but Popeye is a total bomb. It's a landslide for the Winnebago.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 07, 2009, 12:18:30 AM
awesome!!!  :)  i recently experienced Re-Animator and also was struck by how great it is (i also really liked Bride of Re-Animator).  i haven't seen Glory, but now feel like i owe it a try. nice write-up, you ready for a next?

i'm almost sad to see Popeye go, i was thinking the bracket would be the kick i needed to revisit it (i haven't seen it since release).  i think i have a similar blah-reaction to Brooks, i feel like i should like him, but don't think i ever do.  perhaps i'll catch this one in a future round :)  matt, you want a next?  (sorry you got two stinkers this time out, hopefully it wasn't all bad)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 07, 2009, 12:26:22 AM
nice write-up, you ready for a next?

Thanks, and sure, I'll take another.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 07, 2009, 12:32:02 AM
i'm almost sad to see Popeye go, i was thinking the bracket would be the kick i needed to revisit it (i haven't seen it since release).  i think i have a similar blah-reaction to Brooks, i feel like i should like him, but don't think i ever do.  perhaps i'll catch this one in a future round :)  matt, you want a next?  (sorry you got two stinkers this time out, hopefully it wasn't all bad)
I was really hoping to love Popeye so it could be a bracket discovery for me, but alas it wasn't meant to be. Not all bad at all though, Lost in America didn't excite very much, but I wouldn't call it a stinker either. Yeah, give me another for sure, check your PM box. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 07, 2009, 12:33:25 AM
awesome!!!  :)  i recently experienced Re-Animator and also was struck by how great it is

Hmmm, you sure about this Skjer? Whenever I rate a new movie on Netflix I always click on the movie to see what my friends thought of it, and Skjerva didn't like it.  ???
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Clovis8 on July 07, 2009, 12:40:51 AM
i wanna play
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 07, 2009, 12:47:01 AM
awesome!!!  :)  i recently experienced Re-Animator and also was struck by how great it is

Hmmm, you sure about this Skjer? Whenever I rate a new movie on Netflix I always click on the movie to see what my friends thought of it, and Skjerva didn't like it.  ???

weird, i actually remember having a fun time watching it.  i wonder if that rating is from my last viewing...i best change that :) but i think i might have liked bride more [goes to check], yeah, i gave that one 4 stars

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 07, 2009, 12:52:03 AM
Nice write-ups, roujin and Bill. I haven't seen any of the four movies in question so I don't really have an opinion on your verdicts.

I had Black Is... Black Ain't in the 90s bracket, roujin. It's a mess but I liked it, definitely check it out sometime.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 07, 2009, 12:54:06 AM

Thanks, and sure, I'll take another.

just to keep things running on the fated path, the next up is You Are Not I vs A Christmas Story, i suspect You Are Not I is just going to get tossed back, i'll do a mini-search after posting this...if hard to find we'll get you a new one :)

Yeah, give me another for sure

Raiders of the Lost Ark vs Model

i wanna play

Stand By Me vs Paris, Texas - a pair likely envied by many
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 07, 2009, 12:55:00 AM
Nice write-ups, roujin and Bill. I haven't seen any of the four movies in question so I don't really have an opinion on your verdicts.

Same back to you, except I had the misfortune of seeing Popeye a long time ago, it still haunts the recesses of my brain to this very day.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 07, 2009, 12:57:42 AM
Nice write-ups, roujin and Bill. I haven't seen any of the four movies in question so I don't really have an opinion on your verdicts.
Same back to you, except I had the misfortune of seeing Popeye a long time ago, it still haunts the recesses of my brain to this very day.
:D

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 07, 2009, 01:01:26 AM
just to keep things running on the fated path, the next up is You Are Not I vs A Christmas Story, i suspect You Are Not I is just going to get tossed back, i'll do a mini-search after posting this...if hard to find we'll get you a new one :)

I just did a quick search myself, and while I came across 89 million entries for a Michael Jackson video, I couldn't find that movie through my usual beautiful thang source. Looks like I'll need another one, sorry.

Stand By Me vs Paris, Texas - a pair likely envied by many

If Paris, Texas doesn't crush Stand By Me I will be a sad panda, not that SBM is bad, it's just no Paris, Texas.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 07, 2009, 01:04:36 AM
just to keep things running on the fated path, the next up is You Are Not I vs A Christmas Story, i suspect You Are Not I is just going to get tossed back, i'll do a mini-search after posting this...if hard to find we'll get you a new one :)

I just did a quick search myself, and while I came across 89 million entries for a Michael Jackson video, I couldn't find that movie through my usual beautiful thang source. Looks like I'll need another one, sorry.


yeah, my searches came up empty.  i think i did some looking for it before and prospects seemed pretty dim...

Diner vs The Unbelievable Truth - that should work, eh?

Stand By Me vs Paris, Texas - a pair likely envied by many

If Paris, Texas doesn't crush Stand By Me I will be a sad panda, not that SBM is bad, it's just no Paris, Texas.

yeah, as much as i didn't love P, T as much as most everyone else, i expect it to roll past SBM
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 07, 2009, 01:08:01 AM
yeah, my searches came up empty.  i think i did some looking for it before and prospects seemed pretty dim...

Diner vs The Unbelievable Truth - that should work, eh?

If I'm being difficult, let me know, but is there any chance I could have something else? I only ask because I just watched Diner a few weeks ago and don't really want to revisit it so soon. If I am being too difficult then I'll take that match-up, but I wanted to check first.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Clovis8 on July 07, 2009, 01:14:02 AM

i wanna play

Stand By Me vs Paris, Texas - a pair likely envied by many

This is awesome I need to see Paris for my Clovis watches the greatest thread anyway. Two birds, one stone etc. :D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 07, 2009, 01:14:16 AM
yeah, my searches came up empty.  i think i did some looking for it before and prospects seemed pretty dim...

Diner vs The Unbelievable Truth - that should work, eh?

If I'm being difficult, let me know, but is there any chance I could have something else? I only ask because I just watched Diner a few weeks ago and don't really want to revisit it so soon. If I am being too difficult then I'll take that match-up, but I wanted to check first.

well, not too difficult :)  i built in the toss-back option that can be used once in the bracket just so folks wouldn't keep rejecting pairs (that are readily available) - is it cool to use your toss-back now?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 07, 2009, 01:14:53 AM
yeah, my searches came up empty.  i think i did some looking for it before and prospects seemed pretty dim...

Diner vs The Unbelievable Truth - that should work, eh?

If I'm being difficult, let me know, but is there any chance I could have something else? I only ask because I just watched Diner a few weeks ago and don't really want to revisit it so soon. If I am being too difficult then I'll take that match-up, but I wanted to check first.

well, not too difficult :)  i built in the toss-back option that can be used once in the bracket just so folks wouldn't keep rejecting pairs (that are readily available) - is it cool to use your toss-back now?

Yeah sure, go ahead.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 07, 2009, 02:14:48 AM
yeah, my searches came up empty.  i think i did some looking for it before and prospects seemed pretty dim...

Diner vs The Unbelievable Truth - that should work, eh?

If I'm being difficult, let me know, but is there any chance I could have something else? I only ask because I just watched Diner a few weeks ago and don't really want to revisit it so soon. If I am being too difficult then I'll take that match-up, but I wanted to check first.

well, not too difficult :)  i built in the toss-back option that can be used once in the bracket just so folks wouldn't keep rejecting pairs (that are readily available) - is it cool to use your toss-back now?

Yeah sure, go ahead.

next up:  Pennies from Heaven vs Reds, i'm pretty envious of this one, having seen neither
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on July 07, 2009, 08:10:30 AM
Commendable verdicts all round!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 07, 2009, 08:25:56 AM
yeah, my searches came up empty.  i think i did some looking for it before and prospects seemed pretty dim...

Diner vs The Unbelievable Truth - that should work, eh?

If I'm being difficult, let me know, but is there any chance I could have something else? I only ask because I just watched Diner a few weeks ago and don't really want to revisit it so soon. If I am being too difficult then I'll take that match-up, but I wanted to check first.

well, not too difficult :)  i built in the toss-back option that can be used once in the bracket just so folks wouldn't keep rejecting pairs (that are readily available) - is it cool to use your toss-back now?

Yeah sure, go ahead.

next up:  Pennies from Heaven vs Reds, i'm pretty envious of this one, having seen neither

Added both to the queue.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Clovis8 on July 07, 2009, 11:11:42 PM
Stand By Me vs. Paris, Texas

Stand By Me

***1/2 /****

(http://unrealitymag.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/skstandbyme.jpg)


I have seen this movie several times now and every time I love it. Its the king of all coming of age stories. Its funny, touching, joyous, and sad. It makes you long for the friends you have and the friends you have lost. Its makes you long for your childhood.

The acting talent is amazing. Its a shame we lost Phoenix so early. He really is the best of the bunch.

It also reminds me that King really is at his best when he is not writing horror. The best movies based on his work are all non-horror; Stand by Me, The Shawshank Redemption, Misery, Apt Pupil, and The Green Mile.

While I always love this movie, and can not really think of any flaws, it never comes to mind when I think of my favorites. Sometimes a films final impact is hard to explain.

Paris, Texas

****/****

"Sex and violence was never really my cup of tea; I was always more into sax and violins."- Wil Wenders

(http://billsmovieemporium.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/paris_texas.jpg)

While watching this movie was part of the 80's bracket, it was also part of my  recent attempt (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6111.0) to fill in the gaps in my film knowledge. To that end, I have been watching some of the most highly acclaimed movies ever made. This has resulted in several ****/**** reviews. It also makes it hard to have perspective when every film you watch is great. Nonetheless, Paris, Texas, stands above even these films.

I am not going to discuss the plot because I went into it knowing nothing, and I think this is the best way to experience this movie. Besides others  (http://billsmovieemporium.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/review-paris-texas-1984) on the board have written great reviews. I know I will be watching this film many times in my life. Like great literature, the film contains, within its simple plot, deep cinematic and narrative layers. There are no throw-away scenes.

I will point out one great aspect which I have not seen addressed elsewhere. The movie uses physical space as a metaphor for emotional distance. Its subtle, but very powerful. This begins when Travis is first picked up by his brother and he sits in the backseat. It continues to the great scene when Travis walks Hunter home, allowing him to walk on the other side of the street most of the way, until a connection is made, at which point he joins him. We see this again when Travis and Hunter chase Jane, in her red car, down the highway. Perhaps the best example of this is the final scene in the peepshow, when Travis is separated from Jane by the mirror.

Sam Shepard wrote an perfectly paced screenplay about human connections. Wendors, with the help of his cinematographer Muller, capture the beauty of the Texas landscape, and allow the screenplay to breath.  Cooder's simple score is the perfect musical narration to the story. While the acting is great overall, the performances of Stanton and Kinski are sublime. There is no other word. There final scene is simply one of the greatest acted scenes I have ever experienced.

I could not breath during large portions of this film. Its emotional impact is powerful. I hate to say this, having just seen this film, but I cannot see how this does not make my top 5 all time.


Verdict: It should be clear at this point that Paris, Texas moves on. While Stand by Me is great, it's really not close. The word masterpiece is used too often, but sometimes it is simply appropriate.

Paris, Texas is a masterpiece!

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 07, 2009, 11:30:28 PM
nice write-up, and quick turn-around.  pix would be happy for your Paris love, but disappointed in your naming Stand the kind of coming of age stories instead of Wild Reeds :)  i'm looking forward to revisiting Paris, i have a feeling i wasn't in the right frame of mind when i last experienced - and didn't love - it

wanna next?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Clovis8 on July 07, 2009, 11:32:54 PM

wanna next?

Sure but I am heading out of town this week so the turn around will be less swift.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 07, 2009, 11:42:29 PM
I could not breath during large portions of this film. Its emotional impact is powerful.

I know what you mean here, especially the final "confrontation" scene between Stanton and Kinski, I was having trouble through that entire sequence it was so amazing.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 08, 2009, 11:19:27 AM
I should really see Paris, Texas. It sounds like it's going to go deep in this bracket though, so maybe I'll wait and see if I get it in a future matchup first.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 08, 2009, 12:16:10 PM

wanna next?

Sure but I am heading out of town this week so the turn around will be less swift.

no problem on the swiftness:)  your pair:

Ordinary People vs Southern Comfort
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on July 08, 2009, 01:13:30 PM

wanna next?

Sure but I am heading out of town this week so the turn around will be less swift.

no problem on the swiftness:)  your pair:

Ordinary People vs Southern Comfort

Hmmm. I really hope Southern Comfort makes it through that. It deserves much more recognition and I was hoping it would make a dark horse run in the bracket.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 09, 2009, 08:23:53 PM
The Evil Dead
1981, Sam Raimi
vs.
Escape from New York
1981, John Carpenter

The Evil Dead - disgusting
Escape from New York - meh

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa216/skjerva/Picture1-16.png)

i really don't know what to say about the violent and gratuitous rape scene that Raimi constructs here, seemingly trying to be clever with effects, it is completely disgusting and misogynist.  if it were only the rape scene the film would be bad enough, but there is the dialogue Hit her! Hit her! Hit it!, which is actually used twice, the second time seemingly internalized by our hero Ash

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa216/skjerva/Picture1-13.png)

the three female characters are all dealt the most violence, compered to the one male that is "turned", and as turned the females take on exaggerated female looks with caked on make-up

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa216/skjerva/Picture2-11.png)

while screaming the most horrifically shrill demonic laughs.  the women are clearly being punished in a different way, and seemingly for being women, as the make-up and audio-track suggest.

this film is an artifact of rape culture, it is misogynist, and i really don't suggest anyone submit themselves to it.

Which means that Escape from New York would have to be abysmal not to go forward, and it isn't.  but it isn't very good, either.  what is a great premise - crime skyrockets, the US prison system allows the inmates to run the asylum (here Manhattan) - is dully left to a fairly linear escape through various fairly dull challenges.  Isaac Hayes, Ernest Borgnine, Harry Dean Stanton and Adrienne Barbeau are virtually unused - anyone could have filled their roles and the film would have been unchanged.  there is at least some rebellion left over from the 70s here, so all isn't lost.  i can't imagine this one will make it out of the next round.

could someone please give me a number for my next films  ::)  thanks
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 09, 2009, 08:35:00 PM
22
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 09, 2009, 08:39:11 PM
22

thanks.  i landed on a previously tossed back pair:

Damned if You Don't versus Eat a Bowl of Tea

i'll spend a little time trying to figure out if i can track it down, if i can't and nobody else can, we'll relegate it to the end of the queue and deal with a replacement after everything else is completed
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Verite on July 09, 2009, 09:12:23 PM
thanks.  i landed on a previously tossed back pair:

Damned if You Don't versus Eat a Bowl of Tea

i'll spend a little time trying to figure out if i can track it down, if i can't and nobody else can, we'll relegate it to the end of the queue and deal with a replacement after everything else is completed

They're both available on Netflix.  Whether or not either of them or both are on "very long wait" status is another issue.  Sometimes it takes just a week for such DVDs to ship from a different shipping center (sometimes across country) and sometimes it takes months depending on inventory.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 09, 2009, 09:16:48 PM
thanks.  i landed on a previously tossed back pair:

Damned if You Don't versus Eat a Bowl of Tea

i'll spend a little time trying to figure out if i can track it down, if i can't and nobody else can, we'll relegate it to the end of the queue and deal with a replacement after everything else is completed

They're both available on Netflix.  Whether or not either of them or both are on "very long wait" status is another issue.  Sometimes it takes just a week for such DVDs to ship from a different shipping center (sometimes across country) and sometimes it takes months depending on inventory.

damn!  i thought i checked this at some point in the past.  thanks :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 11, 2009, 08:19:25 PM
Damned If You Don't
1987, Su Friedrich
vs.
Eat a Bowl of Tea
1989, Wayne Wang

Damned If You Don't: Stirring
Eat a Bowl of Tea: Simple


Damned If You Don't is a queer little film.  Just over 40 minutes, it has several nun-related story-lines and a lot going on: there is archival nunny footage; aural analysis of Powell and Pressburger's Black Narcissus (which I feel like I should be familiar with to better appreciate what Friedrich is doing) while a character watches the film on a tiny B&W teevee, the watching character - The Other Woman, as credited - develops interest in The Nun; there is voice-over reading from Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun In Renaissance Italy which is a 1986 scholarly work on an early 1600s inquest of a nun; the voice-over reading of Immodest Acts is also queered as mis-readings and direction are kept in the audio; there is also audio of an interview/conversation/recollection of a woman growing up Catholic and her changing perception of the sisters.  i'm looking forward to revisiting this one to get a better sense of what is going on, but it was a fascinating experience.

Eat a Bowl of Tea shares the ailment of the main character - it is just flaccid.  Just as a flaccid cock doesn't need to be a problem, this film had promise, but banked too much on this one device.  The film is roughly about Chinese-Americans trying to reconstitute family in America post-Exclusion Act circa WWII, leaning heavily on the fact that most Chinese in America pre-WWII were men, meaning Chinese-American families were often incomplete with family lines often dying off.  The film has a critique of the US and capitalism at its root, but uneasily avoids bringing the point home, instead drifting into cute moments, often family-related.  I'm not sure why I had higher hopes for this one, but it was a bit disappointing - when the movie finished, my partner who had been nearby for the final 30min, said "was that as bad as it sounded" - unfortunately, it pretty much was.  Aside from the above, the acting, script, and soundtrack were all a bit weak; very conventional in most regards.  That said, I don't think it is a complete waste of time, just probably not a very high priority.

Damned If You Don't moves on (I'm looking forward to reports from the next round :) ).  AND, DIYD is now an Instant Watch, if you're curious.

anyone have a number for me?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 11, 2009, 08:29:50 PM
The Evil Dead - disgusting
Escape from New York - meh
I haven't seen The Evil Dead so I can't comment on your write-up. I know it has a big following so I'm hoping some of its fans respond. I hope you're wrong about Escape From New York 'cause I'm kind of looking forward to.

Damned If You Don't: Stirring
Eat a Bowl of Tea: Simple
I haven't seen either so I'll have to take your word for it.

anyone have a number for me?
34
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 11, 2009, 08:37:08 PM
The Evil Dead - disgusting
Escape from New York - meh
I haven't seen The Evil Dead so I can't comment on your write-up. I know it has a big following so I'm hoping some of its fans respond. I hope you're wrong about Escape From New York 'cause I'm kind of looking forward to.

that would be nice.  i do get some of the appreciation of it, it has some early-Raimi effects work, which is fine, but that is pretty much all it has going for it, and that isn't much. 

On Escape, i was kinda looking forward to it, too.  i'm hoping whoever gets it next has a better defense of it.  it has something good going for it, just not as much as the premise might lead us to believe.

ad thanks for the number, it lands me on - get this - Amadeus vs Evil Dead II.  i'll let duder check his sheet to verify, but it seems to be the case
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 11, 2009, 08:40:21 PM
Amadeus vs. Evil Dead II confirmed. I think Evil Dead II is just supposed to be a remake of Evil Dead with a few changes? :-\
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on July 11, 2009, 08:56:04 PM
Amadeus vs. Evil Dead II confirmed. I think Evil Dead II is just supposed to be a remake of Evil Dead with a few changes? :-\

Yeah, I mean, maybe we should give someone else a shot at the Evil Dead trilogy. If it's anything like the original you are going to hate it, skjerva.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on July 11, 2009, 09:53:16 PM
Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
vs
Melvin and Howard (Jonathon Demme, 1980)

Blue Velvet

I had never seen Blue Velvet, but I had heard a lot about it, and I had seen some of the key scenes before.  As I watch more and more Lynch, I must say, nobody does creepy like David Lynch.  This film starts of by showing you idyllic suburban scenes.  The flowers and white picket fences, the fire truck (complete with dalmatian), and the gentleman leisurely mowing his lawn.  But wait, that man is having a heart attack, now let's pan slowly across the scene and zoom in on the ground, now under the grass where bugs are devouring who knows what.  Ah, there we are.  Now I am watching a Lynch film.  

I don't want to say too much about the plot, as to not spoil things, but briefly, Kyle Maclachlan (son of the man who had a heart attack) is home visiting his father.  When walking home from the hospital he comes across a severed human ear.  He brings it to a family friend who is a detective.  The detective's daughter, played by Laura Dern, gives Machlachlan some information about a woman (Isabella Rosselini) who she has overheard her father talking about, thinking she may be involved with the ear somehow.  Machlachlan decides to do some investigating on his own, and soon becomes involved with this woman, and many other characters, including Frank Booth, played by Dennis Hopper.  I can't write this verdict without mentioning Hopper's performance.  It is immensely creepy, scary, manic, brutal, and funny all at the same time.  This is what Frank Booth thinks about Jeffrey's (Maclachlan) choice of beer."Heineken! F*ck that! Pabst! Blue! Ribbon!"

This film has quite a few disturbing scenes.  The sex scenes are brutal and creepy.  This film has gotten some heat for being misogynistic (most notably by Roger Ebert), and I can see why one can get that impression, but it didn't necessarily seem that way to me. However, it is hard for me to watch when a woman is being brutalized on screen, and there were multiple scenes in this film that hit me on a visceral level.  

As far as Lynch films are concerned, this story is pretty straightforward.  I don't what I was expecting, but I went in thinking I was going to have to put all the pieces together, but it was pretty much all on the screen for me.  You don't really get a back story, but that is about the only piece missing.  This isn't a flaw, I liked being thrown into the situation, without knowing why things were the way they were. The more Lynch films I watch, the more he seems to surprise me.  (faceboy dictated me Eraserhead, which I plan on watching soon, I can't wait to see what that is about)


Melvin and Howard *mild spoilers*

Melvin and Howard is based on a true story about a man who, while driving through the Nevada desert, gave a ride to a man who may or may not have been Howard Hughes.  Melvin is a down on his luck miner/milk man/gas station attendant, who can never seem to get ahead.  His car is constantly being repossessed, he is getting docked pay at his work, and his wife just left him.  He gets the wife back, but as soon as it looks like they might make it, he blows what little money they have on a new car and boat.  The wife leaves again. I don't want to say anything e :)lse, but the Hughes storyline does pop up again.

Melvin and Howard reminded me a lot of other films of the early 80s, films like Terms of Endearment and Tender Mercies.  It has a slow lyrical quality to it, and a pleasant score.  Whenever I see films from this era it makes me smile because of the clothing and the furniture and the hairstyles always remind me of my childhood.  I think that the real heart of the film is not Melvin, but his wife, played by Mary Steenburgen.  She really is lovely in this film, and when she isn't on screen, the film wanes a bit for me.  I think that is where the main problem of the film was for me, I just wasn't sympathetic towards the character of Melvin.  He kept doing things that sabotaged his family's financial security, and making silly decisions.  He seemed to be a bit selfish and put himself in front of his family, and I found little sympathy towards him.  Ultimately, I think this film is pleasant and sweet and definitely captures a piece of time that is very special to me.

Verdict:  Like I just mentioned, Melvin and Howard is pleasant, and if you got a spare 90 minutes, it is worth checking out, but Blue Velvet hit me on gut level, and I know I will be thinking about it for some time.  Blue Velvet moves on.

Next matchup please... :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 11, 2009, 10:00:12 PM
nice write-up, i am actually intrigued by Melvin and Howard

next up:

Poltergeist vs Scarface
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 11, 2009, 10:01:40 PM
Blue Velvet hit me on gut level
:)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on July 11, 2009, 10:02:08 PM
nice write-up, i am actually intrigued by Melvin and Howard

it's worth a watch
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 11, 2009, 10:03:41 PM
"Heineken! F*ck that! Pabst! Blue! Ribbon!"

 :D

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 11, 2009, 10:16:24 PM
Amadeus vs. Evil Dead II confirmed. I think Evil Dead II is just supposed to be a remake of Evil Dead with a few changes? :-\

Yeah, I mean, maybe we should give someone else a shot at the Evil Dead trilogy. If it's anything like the original you are going to hate it, skjerva.

pretty sure i saw II 15ish years ago and don't remember it as a remake - it isn't actually a remake, is it?  i don't feel like i'm going in with a negative vibe on it, just assuming it will be a different picture.  while i didn't emphasize the positives of TED, i'd imagine Raimi's style will have evolved a bit and he'll have certainly dropped the bad plot points, right? there should be plenty of goodness there as long as i don't get crazy again :)  that said, i think it would get weird if we were to start pulling matches if folks get a film that they really like or hate, it's happened in the 90s bracket and we've somehow gotten by :)  if folks really want me off it, i have no problem giving it up, but then i think the same should hold for other folks :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on July 11, 2009, 10:26:32 PM
Amadeus vs. Evil Dead II confirmed. I think Evil Dead II is just supposed to be a remake of Evil Dead with a few changes? :-\

Yeah, I mean, maybe we should give someone else a shot at the Evil Dead trilogy. If it's anything like the original you are going to hate it, skjerva.

pretty sure i saw II 15ish years ago and don't remember it as a remake - it isn't actually a remake, is it?  i don't feel like i'm going in with a negative vibe on it, just assuming it will be a different picture.  while i didn't emphasize the positives of TED, i'd imagine Raimi's style will have evolved a bit and he'll have certainly dropped the bad plot points, right? there should be plenty of goodness there as long as i don't get crazy again :)  that said, i think it would get weird if we were to start pulling matches if folks get a film that they really like or hate, it's happened in the 90s bracket and we've somehow gotten by :)  if folks really want me off it, i have no problem giving it up, but then i think the same should hold for other folks :)

No, you make some good points. I know that you will be open minded about the second one.  :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 11, 2009, 10:27:55 PM
I had the idea that it was a remake of sorts, dunno why. I haven't seen the first one.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 11, 2009, 10:29:29 PM
Amadeus vs. Evil Dead II confirmed. I think Evil Dead II is just supposed to be a remake of Evil Dead with a few changes? :-\

Yeah, I mean, maybe we should give someone else a shot at the Evil Dead trilogy. If it's anything like the original you are going to hate it, skjerva.

pretty sure i saw II 15ish years ago and don't remember it as a remake - it isn't actually a remake, is it?  i don't feel like i'm going in with a negative vibe on it, just assuming it will be a different picture.  while i didn't emphasize the positives of TED, i'd imagine Raimi's style will have evolved a bit and he'll have certainly dropped the bad plot points, right? there should be plenty of goodness there as long as i don't get crazy again :)  that said, i think it would get weird if we were to start pulling matches if folks get a film that they really like or hate, it's happened in the 90s bracket and we've somehow gotten by :)  if folks really want me off it, i have no problem giving it up, but then i think the same should hold for other folks :)

No, you make some good points. I know that you will be open minded about the second one.  :)

tanks  :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 11, 2009, 11:41:43 PM
ED II is a riot. You'll have fun I think.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Verite on July 11, 2009, 11:46:01 PM
Damned If You Don't
1987, Su Friedrich
vs.
Eat a Bowl of Tea
1989, Wayne Wang

Damned If You Don't: Stirring
Eat a Bowl of Tea: Simple


Damned If You Don't is a queer little film.  Just over 40 minutes, it has several nun-related story-lines and a lot going on: there is archival nunny footage; aural analysis of Powell and Pressburger's Black Narcissus (which I feel like I should be familiar with to better appreciate what Friedrich is doing) while a character watches the film on a tiny B&W teevee, the watching character - The Other Woman, as credited - develops interest in The Nun; there is voice-over reading from Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun In Renaissance Italy which is a 1986 scholarly work on an early 1600s inquest of a nun; the voice-over reading of Immodest Acts is also queered as mis-readings and direction are kept in the audio; there is also audio of an interview/conversation/recollection of a woman growing up Catholic and her changing perception of the sisters.  i'm looking forward to revisiting this one to get a better sense of what is going on, but it was a fascinating experience.

Eat a Bowl of Tea shares the ailment of the main character - it is just flaccid.  Just as a flaccid cock doesn't need to be a problem, this film had promise, but banked too much on this one device.  The film is roughly about Chinese-Americans trying to reconstitute family in America post-Exclusion Act circa WWII, leaning heavily on the fact that most Chinese in America pre-WWII were men, meaning Chinese-American families were often incomplete with family lines often dying off.  The film has a critique of the US and capitalism at its root, but uneasily avoids bringing the point home, instead drifting into cute moments, often family-related.  I'm not sure why I had higher hopes for this one, but it was a bit disappointing - when the movie finished, my partner who had been nearby for the final 30min, said "was that as bad as it sounded" - unfortunately, it pretty much was.  Aside from the above, the acting, script, and soundtrack were all a bit weak; very conventional in most regards.  That said, I don't think it is a complete waste of time, just probably not a very high priority.

Damned If You Don't moves on (I'm looking forward to reports from the next round :) ).  AND, DIYD is now an Instant Watch, if you're curious.

anyone have a number for me?

First, let me say that I, myself, would have picked the same film to move on.

However, with a negative review of the Wayne Wang film, I'm sure at least one person is wondering why the hell I nominated it.

This film has personal value for me with me being a first generation Asian-American growing up in an Asian-American community.  The biggest reason I nominated the film is because simply it's an Asian/Asian-American story directed by an Asian/Asian-American and I think to get a decent survey of 80s US film we should include fringe items with Wayne Wang being a major figure for Asian-American artists.

Overall, it's a patchy film with some very good moments.  At its best, good enough, personally, to be included in this bracket.

I don't think the film relied to heavily on the device that skjerva mentioned.  Masculinity (tied in with virility and sexuality) within that Asian community and their notion of it (whether or not an outsider sees it as silly or not is irrelevant) is a huge part of the film.

As much as a critique with the intellectual rigor of The Wire or Wendy and Lucy would be to most people including me preferable, I think wanting that from this film is wanting it to be what it didn't set out to be.  I think, above all, this is a light dramedy that is about family, romance, masculinity, and community. 

Russell Wong is terrible; it hurts the film, absolutely, with his character being intergral and all.  On the other hand, I think Victor Wong who played the father was excellent and so was Eric Tsang.  I thought Cora Miao was good.

Wayne Wang's Chan Is Missing is a better film than Eat a Bowl of Tea, way better.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 11, 2009, 11:49:33 PM
I had the idea that it was a remake of sorts, dunno why. I haven't seen the first one.

It's a quasi-remake. Raimi couldn't get the rights to use any footage from TED as a segue into the sequel, so the first seven minutes of ED2 is the condensed version of TED, only it's entirely new footage and with most of the actors cut out, I believe Campbell and his girlfriend are the only two that remain, although I could be wrong on that point.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: worm@work on July 12, 2009, 09:46:17 AM
(http://i26.tinypic.com/28krgjm.jpg)
Dead Poets Society (Peter Weir, 1989)

Huh, this movie turned out to be nowhere as good as I remembered it being :-\.

I remember watching this when I was about 16 and being pretty moved by it. It felt tragic and weighty and having spent my entire schooling in these strict schools that took conformity to an absurd level (happy to share traumatic anecdotes), this film spoke to me at the time.

Now that I'm (thankfully) grown up, this film just made me angry. It falls victim to the very thing it chooses to deride. It pretends to celebrate non-conformity and yet the film conforms to every cliche in the book. It's predictable and sappy and perhaps the most damning criticism of them all, bland and boring!

I had a lot of nagging issues with the execution - lots of scenes that just feel too contrived and ridiculous and don't feel remotely credible. But I could've forgiven all that if the film was at least interesting in terms of ideas. I thought for a while that it was. When Keating first comes into the classroom, he comes across as a rebel teacher who is opposed to the learning by rote, accepting what is in the books approach and instead seems to be asking his students to think for themselves and to pursue their passions. All well and good so far.

Somewhere along the line, we see Keating having a discussion with another teacher who questions Keating about whether these students are ready to handle so much freedom and independent thinking. When Keating accuses him of being a cynic, he refutes Keating by claiming that he's just being a realist. Aha, I said to myself at this point. This is why I liked the film so much. Now we're going to see these two opposing philosophies battle it out. Cool.

But no. The realist guy just pretty much drops out of the film after posing this question. Yeah, he's still around but just in a couple of scenes in the background. And this somewhat pragmatic and cautious philosophy is not what is set up as an opposition to Keating and his line of thought. Instead, we have these ridiculous villains on the other side. A headmaster who seems to be stuck in the past and a parent who seems cruel and uncaring (apparently a pattern with the kids at this school).

The last straw? Ultimately, by the time the movie ends, what we learn is that the realist guy.. remember? He was right after all! At least some of these kids don't yet have the emotional strength and maturity to be able to deal with following their passions with no regard for the consequences. There's one scene where Keating sort of mouths something about how one has to be self-preserving even as one follows one's passions but it really feels like it was stuck on.

I am really okay with that conclusion too and I think I would've still really liked this film if it had taken up this idea of a well-meaning teacher who inadvertently ends up encouraging his students to be too unfettered with tragic consequences. But the film doesn't do that either. Keating is still characterized as the heroic teacher who is made a scapegoat by the system.

I think I've already written too much about this film and I could go on and on with specific complaints about individual scenes. Keating's techniques come across as rather new-agey and I found myself rolling my eyes on more than one occasion. His approach seems to be to tease / mock the students about the very thing they are most embarrassed about. I guess it could work but what he does to Ethan Hawke's character felt a bit like harassment to me. That whole romance feels totally unnecessary and didn't do anything for me.

I am not a fan of Robin Williams most of the time and all his theatrical Brando impersonations while teaching Shakespeare didn't really help the cause either.

Thankfully, the movie has Wilson in it and he makes the whole thing a little more bearable but I'd much rather be watching an episode of House instead of this one.
It also has some pretty photography (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=3241.msg286370#msg286370). I'll give it that. Pity it doesn't deserve any of it.

(http://i29.tinypic.com/2zp2t95.jpg)
The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)

Despite all the enthusiasm this film generated over at smirnoff's brilliant marathon (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6004.30), somewhere in my head I wasn't yet convinced and believed that some of the love for this film is driven by nostalgia and that it's mostly a cheesy splatter fest.

One of the many reasons I love these brackets is that when I discover a film that I end up loving, it so easily outweighs the burden of having to watch these duds. This was no exception. This movie charmed the hell out of me.

It's absolutely schlocky and cheesy and typically 80s in its aesthetic and its also brilliant, funny, poignant and heart-wrenchingly romantic.

Yes, there is tons of ridiculous science in the film. Computers that are are ridiculously wise and respond in plainspeak.
(http://i30.tinypic.com/28atkly.jpg)

Yes, the film is gory, gleefully and wonderfully so.

(http://i28.tinypic.com/351bfbr.jpg) (http://i26.tinypic.com/uoorr.jpg)

But all of this just made me love the film even more. Because underneath all this gore and all these special effects, the film manages to be so devastatingly sad without resorting to all the silly emotional manipulation of DPS. I've rarely seen a film examine such basic human fears while being so entertaining at the same time. Aren't we all, at some level, dissatisfied with and insecure about our own bodies? And don't we all wish (and maybe even think) that we have some control over this unpredictable machine?

I love the way Brundle's initial reaction to the changes his body undergoes after the reconstruction is to imagine that his body has been purified and improved. He decides that the hair growing on his back will finally give him the macho, masculine persona he has never been able to have in the past. And then as he starts to realize what is happening to him, the film taps into all these ideas about aging and illness and how we and the people we love respond to it. The spiral of extreme behavior and depression that Brundle seems to be going through as his body parts stop responding the way he expects them to is hardly science fiction!

And ultimately, it's just a really sad and really beautiful story about love and loss. And an infinitely better one than those silly movies where dead husbands leave letters lying around for their wives and what not.

It's also pretty much perfectly cast. I've always liked Jeff Goldblum for some reason but here his intensity, his tendency to seem self-absorbed, his nervous frenetic energy - they make him perfect for the role of Seth Brundle. Geena Davis is fine as well and she and Goldblum seem to share great chemistry (I read somewhere that they got into a relationship while making the film?).

The film that I expected to be touching and tragic made me want to tear my hair out in boredom. The film that I expected would make me roll my eyes ripped my heart straight out. This decision is too easy.

Goodbye, Dead Poets Society.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 12, 2009, 09:54:01 AM
Any Cronenberg love is always much appreciated.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 12, 2009, 10:48:04 AM
roujin's 3rd verdict: a testimony of his insanity and hatred of women

Stardust Memories vs. Working girls

(http://i25.tinypic.com/mm786u.jpg) (http://i29.tinypic.com/54ew0j.png)
Stardust Memories (Woody Allen, 1980)

A filmmaker visits a small town that's showing a retrospective of his early, funny films. Wait, this is a Woody Allen film? A Fellini film? A Bergman film? I haven't seen that many Woody films but this seems extremely self-referential. At one point, the audience screams out "why do all comedians turn out to be sentimental bores?" A scene of perfect joy and wonder is critiqued the moment after. It's so morose and awkward as Woody juggles the women of his life, not wanting to get married, discussing Bicycle Thieves with the eyebrows of a cello/violin player, remembering the love of his life (even though she was insane and he knows it). The cinematography is excellent with vibrant b&w throwing you back to the 60s european arthouse days but still with the woody trademarks (just as he would've wanted). It's kind of too morose and self-involved (in the greatest ways) but there's a pain there that I haven't felt in any of the other Woody films I've seen. It's an endless cycle, the cinema.

(http://i31.tinypic.com/akaflz.png) (http://i26.tinypic.com/seot1y.png)
Working Girls (Lizzie Borden, 1986)

Endless cycle. That's how the film plays out. It's a day in the life of a working girl. Molly goes by bike to work, an apartment with all the thingies you need inside it. What I found most interesting about is the routines and details that made up the life. How you learn about the closet with all the towels, and about the clients having to be "completely comfortable" before they can accept any money. The observations about how this line of work is just like any line of work with the endless bitching about the boss and the routines and showing the new kid how it all works are striking and interesting. It's too bad it's [noembed]marred by extremely amateurish acting (http://vimeo.com/5562076)[/noembed] which destroys any type of emotional connection possible. Also, yeah, this movie is repetitive. Molly has sex with some random guy (each one slightly different) then comes back to the main room to keep talking to the other girls. The film only really takes place in this single space so it feels kind of claustrophobic (and I guess that says something about how these women are stuck in this role, or are kept there or whatever). eh, whateverz,

so, Stardust Memories takes it. Let's talk, skjerva.

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 12, 2009, 11:08:57 AM
Huh, this movie turned out to be nowhere as good as I remembered it being :-\.
I used to like it as well and had this same experience a couple of years ago. It's still the only Peter Weir movie I don't like (haven't seen Green Card). Am glad The Fly hit you on a gut level (it's catching on! (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg286321;topicseen#msg286321)). Also, that's some good writing.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FLYmeatwad on July 12, 2009, 11:12:54 AM
(http://i30.tinypic.com/28atkly.jpg)


Must be hypothetical because, as is known, FLY is always the primary element.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on July 12, 2009, 11:19:51 AM
I was deeply traumatized when I saw part of The Fly on TV at about age six, haven't seen it since. I'm hoping this bracket will finally give me that chance. ;D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 12, 2009, 11:20:21 AM
roujin's 3rd verdict: a testimony of his insanity and hatred of women

 :D I need to watch Stardust Memories, I really do.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 12, 2009, 12:29:14 PM
Dead Poets Society (Peter Weir, 1989)
Huh, this movie turned out to be nowhere as good as I remembered it being :-\.
The Fly (David Cronenberg, 1986)
And ultimately, it's just a really sad and really beautiful story about love and loss.
Goodbye, Dead Poets Society.
(http://i31.tinypic.com/2j3lj05.png)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 12, 2009, 01:19:44 PM

Damned If You Don't: Stirring
Eat a Bowl of Tea: Simple


First, let me say that I, myself, would have picked the same film to move on.

However, with a negative review of the Wayne Wang film, I'm sure at least one person is wondering why the hell I nominated it.

This film has personal value for me with me being a first generation Asian-American growing up in an Asian-American community.  The biggest reason I nominated the film is because simply it's an Asian/Asian-American story directed by an Asian/Asian-American and I think to get a decent survey of 80s US film we should include fringe items with Wayne Wang being a major figure for Asian-American artists.

Overall, it's a patchy film with some very good moments.  At its best, good enough, personally, to be included in this bracket.

I don't think the film relied to heavily on the device that skjerva mentioned.  Masculinity (tied in with virility and sexuality) within that Asian community and their notion of it (whether or not an outsider sees it as silly or not is irrelevant) is a huge part of the film.

As much as a critique with the intellectual rigor of The Wire or Wendy and Lucy would be to most people including me preferable, I think wanting that from this film is wanting it to be what it didn't set out to be.  I think, above all, this is a light dramedy that is about family, romance, masculinity, and community. 

Russell Wong is terrible; it hurts the film, absolutely, with his character being intergral and all.  On the other hand, I think Victor Wong who played the father was excellent and so was Eric Tsang.  I thought Cora Miao was good.

Wayne Wang's Chan Is Missing is a better film than Eat a Bowl of Tea, way better.

if i had spent more time writing on Eat a Bowl of Tea, i am sure i would have done a better job of singing its praises - it does have much to offer - i am glad i saw it and do think others should also give it a chance.  perhaps i addressed The Erection in the wrong way in my earlier writing, it seems to be a symbol for the exchange of Chinese values for American values, and the trepidation about buying into American values.  the film seems to struggle with this issue a bit, conjoined with the critique of capitalism, but as much as the film is about these struggles with values, it tries not to be.  i think i realized this on some level while watching it, that some of its value is in the mere fact of its existence and representing Chinese-American culture filmically which is a rarity and valuable in itself.  i think that in doing this it disregards some of the nuance it should have shown for easy formula to satisfy a wider audience.  i also agree that Victor Wong was great in his role as the father


Goodbye, Dead Poets Society.


it has been ages since i have experienced either of these, but i suspect i would have the same take. nice write-up :)

roujin's 3rd verdict: a testimony of his insanity and hatred of women

Stardust Memories vs. Working girls

so, Stardust Memories takes it. Let's talk, skjerva.



 :'(

yes, i agree that some of the acting in Working Girls is bad to awful, but i think you got the movie quite wrong otherwise.  it isn't about a cycle, or being stuck, but about sex work.  Molly isn't in a cycle, the film takes place over the course of a day and at the end of the day she has quit her job.  the film tracks the mundane details that go on around sex work, it humanizes the women by showing them eating lunch, talking to one another, trading shifts.  this isn't the typical sex film that titillates, instead it shows sex work as work.  more later on this one.  i had a feeling this one would get the boot when it came up against Woody, i am guessing it will be a front-runner for resurrection if i earn one :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 12, 2009, 01:27:52 PM
I didn't mean the character's life is an endless cycle. That's just how the film played for me. It's just one john after the other, always repeating, which although true, gets boring and repetitive.

I actually don't think I missed what you're saying. That's actually what I found most interesting about it. All those little details about how this job is just like any other job (just add sex). One of the more interesting parts was when they're having sex, one of the customers requests to do something, then the girl says "that's $30 more." It isn't about sex or enjoyment, it's about money. Hence, work. The ending was actually my least favourite part of the film (aside from the acting). Seemed too consciously outside of the character or trying to inflect a change that I don't think was there.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 12, 2009, 01:53:24 PM
gotcha, but i thought that the repetitiveness merely emphasized the work of it.  i liked the ending, and agree it seemed a bit jarring, but i think that was the point :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 12, 2009, 04:33:28 PM
I'm so glad to see The Fly move on! You really captured the surprising power of the film in your review worm :) What did you make of the score?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: worm@work on July 12, 2009, 04:49:23 PM
I'm so glad to see The Fly move on! You really captured the surprising power of the film in your review worm :) What did you make of the score?

Loved the score :). You were sooo right, smirnoff!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 12, 2009, 05:04:17 PM
Thanks to you for prompting the monster marathon in the first place, and suggesting it! <3 filmspotting :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 13, 2009, 10:12:40 AM
Dead Poets Society (Peter Weir, 1989)

Huh, this movie turned out to be nowhere as good as I remembered it being :-\.

The film that I expected to be touching and tragic made me want to tear my hair out in boredom. The film that I expected would make me roll my eyes ripped my heart straight out. This decision is too easy.

Goodbye, Dead Poets Society.


Told you!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on July 13, 2009, 10:35:28 AM
My verdict: everyone did great.

I'm hoping Blue Velvet and The Fly make deep runs in this bracket. They are, after all, two of the best romantic comedy-dramas ever made.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 13, 2009, 09:24:28 PM
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/beetlejuice%20%281%29.jpg)

I've probably seen this movie 20 or 30 times, but not once in the last 15 years. You know how it is. When you're a kid you just get hooked on this movie or that movie, and you watch it everyday until you've got it memorized. Me and my friend had a great time with this one. It had lots of wacky gross-out scenes, which is what we wanted, but it didn't have any of the sex or swearing that the grown ups wouldn't allow. Only so many films met this criteria.

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/beetlejuice%20%282%29.jpg)

As I sat down to watch it a couple weeks ago I couldn't remember anything about it outside of a few scenes. I had doubts that I would enjoy the experience. I sort of figured the humour would be too slapstick for my oh-so-mature tastes. Thankfully I was completely wrong. It really cracked me up at times. For all it's weirdness, the film has a lighthearted, charming quality. It grabbed me like a catchy song. The humour was silly but matched the spirit of the film perfectly, and I usually couldn't help but laugh. The performances were a huge part of this. Mainly Michael Keaton, but the supporting cast did their part too.

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/beetlejuice%20%283%29.jpg)

Visually the movie is just an explosion of creativity and imagination. Much like The Labyrinth, Neverending Story, and Hitchhiker's Guide. It's this quality that I think gives Beetlejuice universal appeal. The humour might not be for everybody, but people of all ages can enjoy the wacky sights. It's really spectacular. The effects shots show there age at times, but it's nothing I'm going to take points off for.

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/beetlejuice%20%284%29.jpg)

I think the film is smart in that it doesn't get carried away. At 90 minutes long, it's over before it becomes tiresome. I'm glad to have had the chance to revisit it. It was a tonne of fun.

__________________________


Almost any film that gets paired up with Beetlejuice is going to make for an odd match-up, and Down by Law is no different. In a sentence, it's the mellow jazz of the prison break genre. The humour is subtle, and merely makes you smirk. The black and white cinematography is slow and cool. The music comes and goes, but never raises its voice. And each scene has an unhurried improvised feel. The only thing you'd call lively in this film is Roberto Benigni. He really is the life of the party. Without him I think I might have been lulled to sleep.

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/Jim%20Jarmusch%20-%20Down%20by%20Law%5B21-11-21%5D.PNG)(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/Jim%20Jarmusch%20-%20Down%20by%20Law%5B21-12-22%5D.PNG)

For the right person, on the right day, this movie might really hit to spot. I sort of look at it like Scotch; I don't want it every day, but I always keep a bottle on my shelf. Once it got going (40 minutes in) I found myself more interested, but even then my enjoyment was rather mild. Maybe it just wasn't the ideal time. That can happen.

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/Jim%20Jarmusch%20-%20Down%20by%20Law%5B21-13-15%5D.PNG)(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/Jim%20Jarmusch%20-%20Down%20by%20Law%5B21-13-41%5D.PNG)

For what it is Down by Law might be an A+ film, but it was my experience that each scene ran a little long and in turn the movie seemed to drag it's heels. I'd still give it a 3/4, but it's not going to move on in this bracket I'm afraid.  :'(

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/Jim%20Jarmusch%20-%20Down%20by%20Law%5B21-14-35%5D.PNG)(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/Jim%20Jarmusch%20-%20Down%20by%20Law%5B21-15-14%5D.PNG)

__________________________


Beetlejuice, say hello to round two!
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/action0006658.jpg)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 13, 2009, 09:50:41 PM
Resurrection!!

Nice write-up, smirnoff. Beetlejuice is pretty great too, I just happen to love Down by Law.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 13, 2009, 09:57:18 PM
I imagine a lot of people do. :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 13, 2009, 10:04:30 PM
Resurrection!!

Nice write-up, smirnoff. Beetlejuice is pretty great too, I just happen to love Down by Law.

Yeah, this is a tough one.  Haven't seen Beetlejuice in quite a while, imagine I probably would've gone with Down By Law.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on July 13, 2009, 10:13:36 PM
I haven't seen Down By Law, but I fully approve of Beetlejuice moving on. It's a really fun movie.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 13, 2009, 10:53:42 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54YhQZN5Uq8# (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54YhQZN5Uq8#)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Clovis8 on July 13, 2009, 11:12:27 PM
If I made a movie, Tom Waits would write the score.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FLYmeatwad on July 13, 2009, 11:14:44 PM
I haven't seen Down By Law, but I fully approve of Beetlejuice moving on. It's a really fun movie.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 13, 2009, 11:48:57 PM
i haven't seen Beetlejuice forever, hopefully i'll make it happen for the bracket.  as much as i love Jarmusch, i've been kinda luke-warm on DBL over the past several years (it might be my least favorite of his, aside from Permanent Vacation) and smirnoff's write-up makes perfect sense to me.

smirnoff, let us know if you want new flicks
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 14, 2009, 06:56:29 AM
smirnoff, let us know if you want new flicks

Yes please!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on July 14, 2009, 08:04:16 AM
Great stuff Smirnoff. Haven't seen DBL, but watched Beetlejuice last year and it still holds up as a fun time and a great performance from Keaton.

Your metaphors always crack me up.

For the right person, on the right day, this movie might really hit to spot. I sort of look at it like Scotch; I don't want it every day, but I always keep a bottle on my shelf. Once it got going (40 minutes in) I found myself more interested, but even then my enjoyment was rather mild. Maybe it just wasn't the ideal time. That can happen.

40 minutes into a bottle of Scotch, i always seem a bit more interested and lively myself.  :D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 14, 2009, 08:15:26 AM
40 minutes into a bottle of Scotch, i always seem a bit more interested and lively myself.  :D

Haha! ;D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: worm@work on July 14, 2009, 08:18:04 AM
I remember liking Down by Law but I love Beetlejuice which i've watched multiple times although not recently. I'm good with this :). Fun writeup, smirnoff.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 15, 2009, 03:54:56 PM
The Karate Kid vs Sixteen Candles

Wish I had a lot more time to write about these two movies.  I've seen both of these dozens of times and both in the theater at age 15.  They've come to represent all that is wrong and good about 80's teen movies.  It's been funny to watch the evolution of these go from "cool" to "everyone's seen it" to passe', to corny, to ketch, to classics to "films that define a generation".   Be careful decade of 2000.  You never know what movies people are going to look back on to find out what YOUR teen years were like :).


This is what you would learn about the 80's watching these two movies:

1) You couldn't go anywhere in the greater Los Angeles area without being following by roving bands of motorcycle dudes

2) The best way to look tough was to feather back your blond hair and wear a red Michael Jackson jacket

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/592166471_XVw98-S.jpg)

3) All young Asians used to be funny because they came with their own gong sound and couldn't hold their liquor.  Old Asians were kind, wise and could fix your leg by rubbing their hands together.  Both liked to say "Bonzai!"

4) Every high schooler was given a convertible to drive

5) They hadn't evented Midol yet.  Apparently.

6) Date rape was encouraged as the best way for a freshman to win the affection of the prom queen

7) It was possible for a dork to date a popular rich kid, but not without jerking around even poorer, dorkier kids first

8. You could excel at a craft that take others years to master by doing household chores for a few weeks.

9) Handicapped people were funnier back then

10) We definitely had a different idea of what was hot:

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/592159935_qKCQQ-M.jpg)


Kidding aside, I recall both of these movies with some fondness.  I can see how either of these could be resurrected at some point because each has a bit of charm .  But I can also see how either of these really doesn't have a shot to move past the first few rounds.  Both of these center around well drawn characters but are surrounded by thin characetures.  But I'm ok with that.  Many of the 80's teen movies drew teenages as seeing the entire world outside themselves as pretty 1 dimensional while at the same time trying to teach some lesson about seeing other people for who they are.  So yeah - fun, a bit vacuus, but ultimately harmless.   

I give both a B- or so.  Slight edge to Sixteen Candles because Anthony Micheal Hall is just plain brilliant in this.

VERDICT:  Sixteen Candles 
 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 15, 2009, 04:03:09 PM
Be careful decade of 2000.  You never know what movies people are going to look back on to find out what YOUR teen years were like :).

Haha. Interesting to imagine.

I'm sad to see KK go in the first round, but if anyone has a comeback in 'em it's Danial-san.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 15, 2009, 04:11:44 PM
11) We definitely had a different idea of what was hot:

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/592159935_qKCQQ-M.jpg)

Elisabeth Shue still wins.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 15, 2009, 04:12:49 PM
11) We definitely had a different idea of what was hot:

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/592159935_qKCQQ-M.jpg)

Elisabeth Shue still wins.

Yeah, she looked good in a swimsuit as I recall....
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 15, 2009, 04:14:59 PM
Yeah, she looked good in a swimsuit as I recall....

I just noticed Cocktail missed the bracket  :(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 19, 2009, 07:44:51 PM
Dirty Dancing

So is this what all the girls were watching growing up, while I was watching Karate Kid and its sequels? The two aren't so dissimilar when you stop and think about it.  It's the story of an older master and a younger apprentice. Replace Mr. Miyagi with a more virile Partrick Swayze and you're halfway there. And the similarities don't stop with the plot structure and character traits. These two physical art forms, dancing and karate, have a lot in common.

Balance is important.
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/dd1.jpg)

Reacting to your partners actions is the name of the game.
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/dd2.jpg)

Heck, the two titles even have the same alliterative quality.
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/Dirty_Dancing.jpg)(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/karate_kid.jpg)

I also find it a tremendous coincidence that both Mr. Miyagi and Swayze's character have an affinity for old American cars. Anyways, I could go on pointing out similarities, but my point is that unless you have some aversion to dancing I find no reason why you wouldn't enjoy Dirty Dancing as much as you enjoy Karate Kid. I had a fun time watching it.

Some pros:

- There's something cool about the way dancing is portrayed here. It's not some algorithmic series of movements, so much as it is a headspace. As Swayze says at one point "The steps aren't enough. Feel the music". As cheesy and cliche as that sounds, I believe it. It's something all good sports movies cover. The zone, as some might call it, exists. And movies about people getting in it are interesting to me.

- The movie starts with narration, which made me like it immediately. "That was the summer of 1963, when everybody called me Baby and it didn't occur to me to mind."

- The music. Some of it is just great. And when it isn't great, it's hilarious. I was pretty much dying of laughter through the whole "Hungry Eyes" and "Time of My Life" bits. Don't get me wrong, those are good sequences and the music fits, but it's also unabashedly cheesy! It's funny in the way only an 80's film can be.

Dirty dancers require watermelon.
(http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/dynamic/imgs/080129/Dirty-Dancing_l.jpg)

Lame people.
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/dd3.jpg)

Cool people.
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/dd4.jpg)

It's simply a good story with good characters. Sometimes you'll laugh with the movie, and sometimes you'll laugh at it, but either way if you sit down and watch it, you'll have a good time.  :)


Hopscotch

Quote from: IMDB summary
CIA agent Miles Kendig decides to get out of 'the game' and to ensure he's left alone he threatens to send his memoirs to the world's intelligence agencies. When the CIA doesn't believe him, he calls their bluff and starts writing and sending out chapters one by one. Realizing that their operations would be compromised, the CIA set out to put an end to Kendig's plan by whatever means necessary. The heart of the movie follows a game of cat and mouse between a fumbling CIA and an artful Kendig.

It's an enjoyable movie and Matthau was a pleasure to watch. While it's never laugh out loud funny, it's always fairly entertaining. Quite simply, if that sounds like something you might enjoy then I recommend it. After one viewing I feel like I've gotten all I'm going to get out of it. I really can't think of anything else I want or need to say. Good, but not round two good.


Verdict:

Dirty Dancing moves on!  ;D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 19, 2009, 07:46:32 PM
Yes!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Clovis8 on July 19, 2009, 07:52:02 PM
Nobody puts baby in a corner.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on July 19, 2009, 10:41:16 PM
Did I miss something?  Why are there 2 match ups with Karate Kid?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 19, 2009, 10:52:16 PM
Did I miss something?  Why are there 2 match ups with Karate Kid?

There aren't. I was just making inane comparisons.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on July 20, 2009, 02:46:34 AM
Wow. Such enthusiasm! I think it's pretty clear what your next marathon has to be: 80s dance flicks.

Here. I'll get the line-up going for you:

(http://hilarityensuesmovieblog.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/xanadu1.jpg)
(http://www.filtersage.com/uploads/fame.jpg)
(http://popple.us/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/footloose.jpg)
(http://pinkybeat.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/flashdance.jpg)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f0/Stayingalive.jpg)
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ae/Breakin%27_movie_poster.jpg)

I think it's going to be the best one yet!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 20, 2009, 06:57:05 AM
Oh wow! That's not a bad idea. Especially because I've never seen any of those movies before.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: worm@work on July 20, 2009, 08:42:09 AM
Oh yes, please!! Xanadu!!! Roller disco ftw!
I think this clip could easily bear reposting but here (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=1028.msg252667;topicseen#msg252667).

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 20, 2009, 09:10:03 AM
Uh oh worm. It's a musical, isn't it? Are any of the other ones musicals too?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 20, 2009, 09:13:55 AM
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f0/Stayingalive.jpg)

Directed by Sylvester Stallone! I agree with Thor, this would be awesome. Thom Andersen tried to make Xanadu look bad in Los Angeles Plays Itself... major fail (edit: what worm said :| )
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: worm@work on July 20, 2009, 09:15:15 AM
Directed by Sylvester Stallone! I agree with Thor, this would be awesome. Thom Andersen tried to make Xanadu look bad in Los Angeles Plays Itself... major fail.

Seriously, I had to write down the others that looked interesting but this one? It's etched in my brain :).
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 20, 2009, 09:21:19 AM
Directed by Sylvester Stallone!
That pretty much settles it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 20, 2009, 09:34:42 AM
 :D

Saturday Night Fever for preparation (even though it's not 80s)?

http://www.vimeo.com/5546721 (http://www.vimeo.com/5546721)

I'll bring it up again when (if) you decide to do this.

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 20, 2009, 09:35:14 AM
(I get way too excited about smirnoff marathons :-[)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on July 20, 2009, 09:42:13 AM
Directed by Sylvester Stallone!
That pretty much settles it.

Yes!

Xanadu isn't just a movie. It's a lifetime commitment.

Uh oh worm. It's a musical, isn't it? Are any of the other ones musicals too?

Well, yes. Breakin' and Fame are, for sure. But really, isn't cinema at its highest level when you get the combination of music, lights, dance and ankle-warmers?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 20, 2009, 10:10:33 AM
Uh oh worm. It's a musical, isn't it? Are any of the other ones musicals too?

Well, yes. Breakin' and Fame are, for sure. But really, isn't cinema at its highest level when you get the combination of music, lights, dance and ankle-warmers?
Good point. 8) 80's dance movies it is then!

(I get way too excited about smirnoff marathons :-[)
It keeps me motivated :)

/thread hijack  :-*
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Tequila on July 20, 2009, 03:42:30 PM
So whatever happend to this (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=3852.msg267764#msg267764), smirnoff? You promised (kinda)!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 20, 2009, 04:11:05 PM
So whatever happend to this (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=3852.msg267764#msg267764), smirnoff? You promised (kinda)!
Oh, you're right! :o

Both have excellent potential to be a fun marathons... Hmm. TO THE POLLS (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6225.new#new)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 28, 2009, 11:48:23 AM
Bird

Unless you're already a big Charlie Parker fan, this isn't the movie for you. That's the biggest problem with Bird, the film. The man is widely considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time, but, unless you've got an ear for good jazz, this movie does little to convince you of it. It's the complete opposite of films like Amadeus and Ray (#8 and #10 respectively, in my all-time top 10). This was a huge stumbling block for me. At 160minutes long this film focuses almost entirely on the lows of Parker's life. And not having developed a love for the man at any point in the film, it became a real chore to watch. We see so much of the ugly side of Parker (the drugs, the alcohol, the adultery), that it overshadows what little about him is good. Not to be disrespectful to a man who I'm sure is worthy of praise and sympathy, but for me this film was more like 'the plight of a junkie' then 'the tragedy of a legend'. Someone who already understands what Parker means to Jazz, and music, would see this movie differently... They'd see it how I imagine Eastwood wanted it to be seen. With compassion.

The film has other problems too, though not as severe. I thought Whitaker's performance was weak, the pacing was too slow, and the dialogue was hokey. I'm willing to chalk most of it up to a bad script, except the acting.

This is one of Jonathan Rosenbaum's 1000 Essential Films. I'm not familiar with JR, or his tastes, but here's what he has to say about Bird:

Quote
Clint Eastwood's ambitious 1988 feature about the great Charlie Parker (Forest Whitaker) is the most serious, conscientious, and accomplished jazz biopic ever made, and almost certainly Eastwood's best picture as well. Joel Oliansky's script accounts for much of the movie's distinction. Alto player Lennie Niehaus's score electronically isolates Parker's solos from his original recordings and substitutes contemporary sidemen (including Monty Alexander, Ray Brown, Walter Davis Jr., Jon Faddis, and John Guerin), with pretty good results. The film is less sensitive than it might have been to Parker's status as an avant-garde innovator and his brushes with racism, and only occasionally are we allowed to hear his electrifying solos without interruption or interference, but in most other respects Eastwood's grasp of the jazz world and Parker's life is exemplary. The extreme darkness of the film, visual as well as conceptual, is haunting. With Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker, and Samuel E. Wright as Dizzy Gillespie.

Obviously we had a much different experience.

______________


Ms. 45

The plot of Ms. 45 is more or less exactly the same as Death Wish (which I didn't like either). A woman is assulted and something inside of her snaps. She spends most of the movie wandering around bad neighbourhoods waiting for trouble, and then she pulls out her gun and starts shootin'. Now, as much as I thought I might enjoy seeing random thugs, pimps, and sleazeballs get killed by an angry female mute, at a mere 80 minutes long the film was boring before it was over. The one thing I can say that I liked about it is that because she can't speak, she doesn't waste a lot of time killing people. It's just "bang", dead, next scene. From the cheesy music to the bright red blood, this is a B-movie through and through. I'd guess more of a cult classic than anything. It's not bad, but it's not special in any way either. If you love it, I'm sorry, but I don't think it has any business moving on to round two.

______________


Verdict: Bird
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 28, 2009, 01:43:08 PM
Rosenbaum is a huge jazz buff so that probably colored his experience.

Also, LOL.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 28, 2009, 01:50:30 PM
Ah, ok. And sweet new avatar btw. :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 28, 2009, 02:00:11 PM
reading your unenthusiastic Bird write-up and getting to the bolded Ms. 45 I thought cool, 45 is moving on :(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 28, 2009, 02:14:25 PM
Sorry skjerva :( I hope it wasn't one of your absolute favs in the bracket.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 28, 2009, 11:06:56 PM
Sorry skjerva :( I hope it wasn't one of your absolute favs in the bracket.

nah, but i did enjoy it just a couple months ago for the first time :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: THATguy on July 30, 2009, 01:53:37 AM
Man, I need to be paying more attention to this thing.  Although it is late, note adamant disapproval over a film as charming as Hopscotch getting bounced by something as shitty as Dirty Dancing.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 30, 2009, 07:05:43 AM
You're right about Hopscotch being charming, and it's a lot of fun too. The decision wasn't as easy as I probably made it sound. But in general DD was even more charming and fun, albeit in very a different way.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 30, 2009, 04:23:10 PM
Remember that had this been randomly assigned to anyone else, there is likelihood that the verdict would be the same.  I feel that if I take down EDII it will be about not giving it a fair chance and if I take down Amadeus it will be dismissed as the typical madness I exhibit in not liking what is assuredly Great Art.   Just remember that there are several opportunities to resurrect, and if you are committed enough to bring back a loser it is within your power :)

Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn
1987, Sam Raimi
versus
Amadeus
1984, Milos Forman

Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn – tedious
Amadeus – condescending

While I can understand how people love Amadeus, any kind of immense love for Evil Dead II escapes me.  It looks and feels like a sample reel of effects strung together for some work in the future.  Unfortunately for EDII, I tend to care nothing for effects, and was utterly unimpressed by the various camerawork.  Beyond effects, the film itself is a reimagining of The Evil Dead and Raimi fortunately dropped the forest rape scene for this installment.  Aside that, there are few improvements to remark upon.  The story remains thin and uninteresting, nothing more than the flimsiest pretext for the effects - it is an utter mystery to me why Raimi would have wanted to work with this material again instead of going on to something else.  The acting is horrid, though I suspect some fans will bristle at judging Campbell as an actor, as he must be something else to have developed such cult status.  As one of TSPDT’s 1000, there was a treatment by Kevin Lee where he credits the film with masterfully playing the comic and horror elements off of one another – not something I am sold on, as I don’t think much of either aspect of the film – perhaps that means something to someone.  I think the status of this as a Top 1000 speaks to the fanboy cult that haunts movie criticism.

Amadeus is quite the contrast as the genteel offering a good script, fine costuming, awarded acting, with all the expected bells and whistles.  It seems so many people credit Amadeus with centering the biopic through Saliere’s (F. Murray Abraham) perspective, I’m not sure there is anything very unique with this treatment, though Abraham’s performance was top-notch.  For better or worse – worse for me – this structure worked too well as the stroke job for Mozart that this film is (and, of course it would be, it is his story after all).  For 2:20 Saliere gushes about the genius of one Mozart composition after another in For Dummies style monologues, only punctuated by too long performances of the pieces that offer nothing aside from the music.  This nonsense peaks as they work together and Saliere becomes overwhelmed with the brilliance of Amadeus – ‘no wait, I don’t get it’  as he tries to take dictation – capped by the ‘I am mediocre, you are mediocre’ nonsense – just too infuriating.  Again, I get why people like it (though not to the point of calling it a Top 10-type film), but it is “well crafted”.

That said, forced to choose between a moralizing case for refined aesthetic sensibility and a seemingly pointless exercise in gore and effects, I lean to the more lively and raw Evil Dead II

could you give me a number please for my next match :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 30, 2009, 05:08:11 PM
don't necessarily have a problem with your verdict since I enjoy ED2 but I hope Amadeus gets resurrected since it's one of those prestige films I've never seen.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 30, 2009, 05:16:15 PM
I think I've seen both of those films, although I don't remember either very well, so I'm pretty indifferent to this verdict. I do however hope fans of both chime in 'cause I know both are loved. I'd be very surprised if Amadeus isn't resurrected, and it probably should be.   
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 30, 2009, 11:13:39 PM
*gutshot*

I don't think... I'm gunna... make it. *bleh*

Obviously I had a very different experience with Amadeus then you skjerva, and really wasn't able to understand your gripes. Not for lack of explaining mind you, but they just don't resonate with me at all so I have no idea how to respond. I'll just have to chalk it up to a difference in tastes.

Salieri is such a amazing character. His relationship with God is so earnest and tragic. I don't think I've ever sensed such intense feelings of bitterness and passion from a fictional character before. And given the situation and his beliefs, I can't say I blame him. Part of me roots for him every time I watch it, which makes it such a engaging experience. I love the storytelling too, the narration adds sooo much. And the music, I love how it always serves the story. Sometimes used to simply build the tension, and other times as an integral part of the tale.

I'll do my best to see it resurrected, on the off chance that someone who hasn't seen it yet might get the chance to do so.

EDII is mindless fun. Too stupid to ever make deep in this bracket, but not the worst film in the world to see move on by any means. 

 :'(

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on July 31, 2009, 10:31:08 AM
I'd generally agree with your take on EDII. It's fun if you're 14 years old, but shouldn't be taken much more seriously than that.

I haven't seen Amadeus the film, but I did see the play in Chicago last year, and would agree with Smirnoff that the theme of the Peter Shaffer's story is less "a stroke job for Mozart" than of one man's struggles with jealousy, mediocrity and his raging against God for bestowing such gifts on such a prick. The play is not a biopic of Mozart at all, and it is not really "his story." Mozart, being accepted by many for many centuries now as a genius, just represents any figure who is annoying to mere mortals who futilely strive to great works, because it comes easily to him.

Did the movie skip these themes, or did they just not register for you at all?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 31, 2009, 11:05:37 AM
Amadeus is a top 20 for me.  I guess I never thought of it as 'great art' - a film you're "supposed to like".  I just always liked it.  I would echo some of Thor and smirnoff's comments.  I found it consistantly engaging.  Yeah - it's a bit heavy-handed about the mediocrity thing, but this kind of jealousy is such a resonant and current thing in all walks of life.  I've never seen that theme tackled in this way in a movie before or since.   

People talk alot about Abrahams's performance but I love Tom Hulce in this too.  Not necessarily because it is "great acting" but because I can't imagine another person pulling off that role. 

Another thing that's great about Amadeus, In almost every "biopic of genius" from Immortal Beloved to Walk the Line seems to follow the same arc of this disturbed, lonly, self-destructive, misunderstand man who's true genius is not recognized until after his death.  Here we basically have a pompous spoiled brat who consistently succeeds despite himself, and who's death is portrayed really as a come-uppins we're not asked to empahsize with....I don't recall another film that does this? I actually think this movie tries to poke holes in the question of what is great art.

So here's another vote for a resurrection.  Unlike Karate Kid, Ghostbusters and some other sentimental favorites that got kicked out early, Amedeus should have a chance to go really far in this bracket.

I've never seen EDII, and I have little interest in horror films so chances are I never will. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on July 31, 2009, 11:23:42 AM
I'd generally agree with your take on EDII. It's fun if you're 14 years old, but shouldn't be taken much more seriously than that.

I haven't seen Amadeus the film, but I did see the play in Chicago last year, and would agree with Smirnoff that the theme of the Peter Shaffer's story is less "a stroke job for Mozart" than of one man's struggles with jealousy, mediocrity and his raging against God for bestowing such gifts on such a prick. The play is not a biopic of Mozart at all, and it is not really "his story." Mozart, being accepted by many for many centuries now as a genius, just represents any figure who is annoying to mere mortals who futilely strive to great works, because it comes easily to him.

Did the movie skip these themes, or did they just not register for you at all?

yeah, i'd say Salieri's struggles you cite are of equal emphasis, just not very well developed, or developed in such a way that i cared anything about them.  really, the mediocrity and raging against god are really not developed at all, just punctuate the end and ends, respectively.  for the structure to work Salieri obviously has to tell his tale to someone, but the priest confession didn't work for me, either, especially the priest's tear-filled face at story's end.  weak.  as much as the film isn't a biopic, or Mozart's story, it certainly rests on the related exploits and zany characterization - something else that i didn't think worked very well.  i suspect a staged version would be better.

on smirnoff's claim that Salieri's relationship with god is so earnest, i didn't buy into this, either.  the whole relationship is set-up with a child's prayer followed by the father's death, thus freeing Salieri to study music, it just didn't work for me.  that Salieri in this film continues to complain to/question god for not being Mozart-good, but smart enough to recognize Mozart's gift, is also very tiring for me.  gets to the whole fetishizing of "talent"; kinda funny that this theme played out against something as "amateur" as EDII.  anyway, Salieri's complaints merely irritated me - he is, after all, still a court composer.  i get the character's frustration, and i think Abraham does a great job in the role, but it just didn't work for me.  on the music adding to the story, perhaps this is a combination of not knowing Mozart and paying attention to the themes that played out, but the music added nothing for me.  it was nice, mind you, but i really don't need three-ish minutes of music every time something is played to get that there is a concert going on.  again, maybe the themes of the music spoke to some kind of plot development/enrichment, but i didn't get that, it felt like it was merely a chronological greatest hits.

ferris, i'd be interested in reading more on how you think the film questions what is great art.  i think the film leans heavily on the artist as outsider, with Hulce playing Mozart as an asocial, unrefined, petulant child, but i don't think it ever questions whether we ought to value something like what Mozart produced because it came from someone like this.  the film also suggests that politics are at play in getting positions (and thus defining what is considered worthwhile), and of course this is the case, but i don't think the film does anything with this material.  there are probably a half-dozen times that Salieri explains one of Amadeus' works in such glowing terms, suggesting why it is so great and deserves attention, that i have trouble imagining a view of art coming out of this film that isn't anything but elitist.

again, i get why people do like this one, it just really does little for me while providing a lot of content i find ideologically problematic.  whether or not it would make some bracket-waves if resurrected, that's always a roll of the dice :) 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on August 01, 2009, 05:13:50 PM
(http://i31.tinypic.com/kq3o7.jpg)

Chameleon Street (Wendell B. Harris Jr., 1989)

I think therefore I scam
I think the air is sweet
I know not what I am
I am Chameleon Street


Directed, written, and starring Wendell B. Harris Jr., Chameleon Street is reportedly a semi-biographical telling of the life of William Douglas Street, Jr..

(http://i27.tinypic.com/8z1m2p.jpg)
Hmm, sounds dubious.

Mr. Street is a con-man. He comes across as very intelligent man who means no harm, it's just what he does (a point that is made several times over, but maybe best during the closing credits). At one point in the film he boasts that within seconds of meeting a person, he can identify exactly what they want him to be, and it is merely his personality to oblige them.

Of course, if he can get a few bucks out of it he's more than willing to do that too. Most notably out of his many impersonations, he takes on the role of:

(http://i27.tinypic.com/2gtxdp0.jpg)

A reporter.

(http://i26.tinypic.com/2a6vazp.jpg)

A doctor.

(http://i27.tinypic.com/14icwzl.jpg)

A lawyer.

(http://i29.tinypic.com/sncpqp.jpg)

A French exchange student.

(http://i30.tinypic.com/iv9xeb.jpg)

The beast from Beauty and the Beast. (That one's not so notable)

Inevitably his charades are found out, but he succeeds at fooling people for a surprisingly long time due to his charm and on-his-feet thinking. As a doctor, he even bluffs his way through performing surgeries, successfully (according to wikipedia, the real Street performed 36 before being found out).

Street is a larger than life character. I can't really fault it for portraying things that, apparently, actually happened, but some of the stylistic choices didn't quite work for me. If I were to sum up the movie in a word, it would probably be witty. Street's wit is the real star of the movie, and most of the time it worked, but unfortunately when this kind of wit fails it tends to fail magnificently.



The Sure Thing (Rob Reiner, 1985)

"A sure thing. No questions asked, no strings attached, no guilt involved. A sure thing."

Thus sets out Gibson (John Cusack), a college freshman, on a trip to California where his best friend has set up said "sure thing". At the same time, Alison (Daphne Zuniga), a fellow student that Gib has been after but who has come to regard him with nothing less than disgust, leaves to visit her boyfriend also in California. Sure enough, come their depature they find themselves sharing the same ride.

(http://i27.tinypic.com/2la9fr6.jpg)

I don't really have a lot to say about this movie, it's entertaining but entirely predictable. Everything you expect to happen in a roadtrip comedy happens, and the story is about as obvious as it gets. The cast is decent and I got a few smiles out of it, but it's not overly funny and that just doesn't leave much else.

(http://i30.tinypic.com/2iatxf6.jpg)
Begging won't help, Gib.



Verdict

Neither movie was life changing, but Chameleon Street is the far more interesting movie, so the decision is pretty easy.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FroHam X on August 01, 2009, 05:59:09 PM
Amadeus losing to Evil Dead 2 is a travesty. That is all.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 01, 2009, 06:11:16 PM
again, i get why people do like this one, it just really does little for me while providing a lot of content i find ideologically problematic.  whether or not it would make some bracket-waves if resurrected, that's always a roll of the dice :) 

Thanks for explaining yourself. It's unfortunate neither film really worked for you, but hopefully that won't be the case for the next match.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 01, 2009, 06:16:30 PM
Chameleon Street sounds like something I could enjoy, going by your description. It'll be interesting to see where it goes from here. As for Sure Thing, I've never heard of it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 02, 2009, 12:07:50 PM
nice little write-up M.  i saw CS when it first came out, with Sundance buzz, and i remember being a bit unimpressed with it, too.  i wouldn't mind catching it next round for a refresher.  let us know if you want a new pair

Amadeus losing to Evil Dead 2 is a travesty. That is all.

yeah, i suspect there are a couple/few folks that might think that, at least there are plenty of resurrection slots available for it if the will is there :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on August 02, 2009, 12:34:39 PM
Nice job, Melvil.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 02, 2009, 04:31:26 PM
Tootsie vs. Sex, Lies and Videotape

Tootsie turned out to be much better than I expected going into it and I chalk a lot of that up to the great dialogue and quick pacing. Not all the jokes hit, but the dialogue (especially Hoffman's) is delivered in such a flurry that it's sort of funny anyways. And when there isn't humour in the dialogue, there are laughs in the cringe inducing awkwardness. Some of the best laughs come when Hoffman is backed into a corner and is desperately coming up with excuses for this or that. It all has a improvised feel to it and keeps you engaged. What I'm getting at is that there are layers of comedy in each scene and the film never falls flat.

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/Tootsie.jpg)

It's a movie about a guy who dresses up as a woman to get an acting role, but then becomes such a hit that he has to continue playing the part longer than he expected. From the get go you kind of know what the climax of the film is going to entail. Hoffman, one way or another, is going to get busted or be revealed for what he really is. Even so, everything leading up to that point was great. And surprisingly the scenes that come after are some of the best of the whole film. All in all it's a great comedy, and amazingly fresh for a 25 year old film. I could recommend this to anybody. 3.5/4

Best line: "I'd like to make her look a little more attractive... how far can you pull back?"
"How do you feel about Cleveland?"

____________________


Sex, Lies and Videotape is not quite like anything else I've seen before. I seem to get that feeling a lot with Soderbergh.

Quote from: IMDB
A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/sexliesvideotape.jpg)

Four great characters and four good performances. After one viewing, all I can really say for sure is that I want to see it again. It's always a thrill to come across a film that can keep you so engaged, but without anything fancy. It is, stylistically, a very simple movie. I love Neil LaBute's observation in the dvd commentary that "the beautiful thing about this, being a sort of vanguard of this independent film movement, is that it doesn't feel like a calling card saying here's everything I've ever thought of doing in a movie, and I'm going to cram it in..." and Soderberg responds by admitting that "it was hard to resist, especially when you think this might be the only chance you're ever going to get." Hearing that gives me the confidence to check out any of Soderbergh's films I've yet to see. It's an excellent dvd commentary overall, and particularly interesting because of course it's been recorded years after the original release of the film. It's fun to here a director criticize their own work. At one point Soderbergh says "here's an example of bad writing". Sorry, I'm getting sidetracked. This is about the film and not the commentary. But Both are excellent. :) 3.5/4

___________

Verdict: Very tough decision, and an unhappy one no matter which way I go. I'm glad to have seen both films but I choose Sex, Lies and Videotape to move on to round two.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Basil on August 02, 2009, 04:32:04 PM
Win!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 02, 2009, 05:44:27 PM
I wondered if you'd sniff this out :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 03, 2009, 01:43:37 AM
i think i'm gonna give Tootsie a rent, i have a weird sense of loss with this one, need to see if it is worthy of mounting a campaign for.

we also now have two Round 2 matches set:
Sex, Lies, and Videotape versus Stardust Memories in Bracket 9, and
Escape From New York versus Chameleon Street in Bracket 1
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Colleen on August 04, 2009, 10:31:05 PM
I think Tootsie should definitely be resurrected.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: THATguy on August 05, 2009, 09:56:23 AM
Tootsie is one great scene, and the rest of the movie's kind of blah.  I wouldn't be heartbroken if it wasn't resurrected.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FroHam X on August 05, 2009, 11:55:35 AM
I saw Tootsie recently. Funny and very good. But totally overrated.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 05, 2009, 12:08:22 PM
The Untouchables
1987, Brian DePalma
versus
Friday the 13th
1980, Sean S. Cunningham

The Untouchables - wow
Friday the 13th - wow!

**spoilers**

Thanks to The Guardian's list, The Untouchables made it into the 80s bracket; thanks to me, none of you will have to suffer this film in later rounds.  Most of the short paragraph write-ups The Guardian gives explain why they included the film in their Top 1000, not so with The Untouchables.  Instead, they have a weird little plot synopsis that notes cast, highlighting (but not stopping at) Costner, De Niro, and Connery, also mentioning the scene on the stairs.  And yes, that scene on the stairs is pretty damn good, but there is no way that makes up for the other two hours of excrement.  The film has the most ridiculous score.  Just because it was done by Morricone doesn't mean it works - it doesn't - and i dare you to try defending it.  Costner is at his bad worst here.  Connery is the late-Connery stereotype, which isn't all bad, but after the first 30 seconds of "isn't he charming" wears off, there is pretty much nothing left.  De Niro is also the typical brash and yelling gangster most of us are tired of watching him perform, he isn't good here, he mails this one in.  Really, why wouldn't he?  The script is a ridiculous piece of garbage, as is the story.  Outside of the stairs scene, the direction is bland while trying to be interesting - uncalled for overhead shots, canted angles, and even though some of the focus pulls are nice they really add nothing.

Friday the 13th actually shocked me with some interesting camera work, good editing, and excellent sound-work.  Much of the film plays out at night and the filming in darkness is done to great effect, sometimes punctuated by black screens, overall nice light design.  The acting by the disposable cast is better than what I suffered from the A-listers in TU, though the roles don't demand much, and aside from two smaller parts, everyone was solid.  Even the story is pretty fun, though I am not entirely clear on what work the film is actually doing, I'm looking forward to finding some good writing on the film as well the thoughts of whoever catches this one next round, I wouldn't be surprised to see this one make some waves in the bracket. 

Friday the 13th easily moves on.

could you give me a new number, please?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on August 05, 2009, 12:18:08 PM
you're number 1 in my book, skjerva
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 05, 2009, 12:38:09 PM
The Untouchables tells a really good story, and imo tells it well. A solid 3/4 in my books. Friday the 13th is beyond memory for me.

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 05, 2009, 12:49:19 PM
The Untouchables tells a really good story, and imo tells it well. A solid 3/4 in my books. Friday the 13th is beyond memory for me.



what is the story it tells? 

i would prolly give it 3/4 as well, out of ten, that is :)

aside from the stairs, my favorite part was reading the address on the matchbook where Malone (Connery) lived - 1634 Racine - which is just a block from where i live :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on August 05, 2009, 12:52:38 PM
The Untouchables tells a really good story, and imo tells it well. A solid 3/4 in my books. Friday the 13th is beyond memory for me.



what is the story it tells? 

i would prolly give it 3/4 as well, out of ten, that is :)

aside from the stairs, my favorite part was reading the address on the matchbook where Malone (Connery) lived - 1634 Racine - which is just a block from where i live :)

That's a busy neighborhood:
Quote from: Imdb.com trivia page for "The Lake House"
The address of the building in Chicago at which Sandra Bullock lives is 1620 Racine. This would place it in the same block as the apartment belonging to Sean Connery in The Untouchables (1987) (Connery's character lived at 1634 Racine).
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 05, 2009, 01:05:40 PM
The Untouchables tells a really good story, and imo tells it well. A solid 3/4 in my books. Friday the 13th is beyond memory for me.
what is the story it tells? 
The whole Ness and company versus Capone thing. I think it's a good story. I like the odd ball team Ness assembles. I like that whole sequence at the bridge. I like the courtroom stuff. I don't know how accurate any of that stuff is to actual events (and I don't care), it's interesting and entertaining.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 05, 2009, 01:15:41 PM
The Untouchables tells a really good story, and imo tells it well. A solid 3/4 in my books. Friday the 13th is beyond memory for me.



what is the story it tells? 

i would prolly give it 3/4 as well, out of ten, that is :)

aside from the stairs, my favorite part was reading the address on the matchbook where Malone (Connery) lived - 1634 Racine - which is just a block from where i live :)

That's a busy neighborhood:
Quote from: Imdb.com trivia page for "The Lake House"
The address of the building in Chicago at which Sandra Bullock lives is 1620 Racine. This would place it in the same block as the apartment belonging to Sean Connery in The Untouchables (1987) (Connery's character lived at 1634 Racine).

weird, i forgot that.  

and, ahhhhhhh, The Lake House, another bit of evidence of my syndrome :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on August 05, 2009, 01:17:52 PM
you're number 1 in my book, skjerva

And the next match-up is?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 05, 2009, 01:26:18 PM
you're number 1 in my book, skjerva

And the next match-up is?

it crossed my mind that was the idea, next up (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=4946.msg298276#msg298276)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on August 05, 2009, 02:36:44 PM
I can't believe skjerva negatively reviewed The Untouchables without calling it pro-police state fascist propaganda. Seemed like easy pickins for you.

I thought TU was better than excrement but I'm not a huge fan. Haven't seen Friday the 13th, but I guess it was time you let a horror movie through.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 05, 2009, 04:15:44 PM
next up (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=4946.msg298276#msg298276)
heh, more Costner for you.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 05, 2009, 11:41:33 PM
next up (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=4946.msg298276#msg298276)
heh, more Costner for you.

is there Costner in there?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 05, 2009, 11:44:26 PM
next up (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=4946.msg298276#msg298276)
heh, more Costner for you.

is there Costner in there?
oops! I guess when I went to imdb Swing Shift I typed in Swing Vote by accident. Didn't mean to scare you.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 05, 2009, 11:45:40 PM
next up (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=4946.msg298276#msg298276)
heh, more Costner for you.

is there Costner in there?
oops! I guess when I went to imdb Swing Shift I typed in Swing Vote by accident. Didn't mean to scare you.

it kinda did, though there was a bit of car-wreck interest bubbling, too :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on August 05, 2009, 11:55:02 PM
Swing Vote will probably win the 00s Bracket.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 05, 2009, 11:57:00 PM
Swing Vote will probably win the 00s Bracket.

pixote

it isn't even in the first batch of films yet, is it?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on August 06, 2009, 12:01:51 AM
Swing Vote will probably win the 00s Bracket.

it isn't even in the first batch of films yet, is it?

The odds seem good that it'll be on the Rosenbaum list.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 06, 2009, 12:05:26 AM
Swing Vote will probably win the 00s Bracket.

it isn't even in the first batch of films yet, is it?

The odds seem good that it'll be on the Rosenbaum list.

pixote

:)  ouch
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on August 10, 2009, 11:04:03 PM
On Golden Pond
1981
Mark Rydell

vs

The Verdict
1982
Sidney Lumet






(http://i32.tinypic.com/t0i2c3.jpg)

On Golden Pond: A quiet story about an elderly retired professor and his wife whose relaxing summer at their lake house is interrupted by an unexpected stay of a precocious young teen.  This was Henry Fonda's last role and he won an Oscar for it along with Katharine Hepburn.  Henry Fonda plays an old curmudgeon perfectly, managing to be just witty enough in his ill-tempered jabs to be charming in his own respect.  I can't say the same for Hepburn's character whose overly dramatic, verbose and batty was more irritating than endearing. 

It took awhile for the film to grow onto me.  At first the obsessing about death and the old bickering couple was draining.  Listening about old people moan about being old is a bit of a bore.  When the boy is introduced into the story things started to look up a bit more.  Instead of being a melancholy tale of dying, it became a tender story about a grumpy old man warming to a rambunctious youth.  While it was heartwarming, there was very little to the story.  There was never much tension between the boy and the family.  There was only one brief scene where there was any friction whatsoever.  There was a secondary plot of a strife in the relationship between the elderly Fonda and his screen daughter (Jane Fonda), but this was not fleshed out at all and she was hardly in the movie.  Before any real friction was ever shown, they had wrapped up that relationship in a nice convenient package.  The entire film had a very "Lifetime movie of the week" feel to it, complete with an overly melodramatic score and needlessly long shots of nature.  It was a pleasant film on aging and relationships, but it lacked any real meat and didn't push any emotional buttons.




(http://i32.tinypic.com/suukpj.jpg)

The Verdict: In 'The Verdict' an ambulance chasing attorney who has fallen on tough times gets a case that slaps him back into reality and ignites him to fight for what's right.  It takes a special kind movie to pull this type of plot off.  Fortunately this film has the unique combination of a superb actor at the top of his game, sharp dialog and a director who knows how to make those two ingredients mesh together. 

It would have been all to easy for this to be a painfully slow and dull legal drama, but with Sidney Lumet in the director chair there was no way that was going to happen.  Lumet is a master at directing dialog and a courtroom is the perfect stage for this master to conduct his craft.  There is a certain pacing and intensity to dialog in Lumet films which make it all that much more compelling.  As good as Lumet's direction is, without a talented actor to deliver the lines, it would still fall flat.  Paul Newman is that talented actor in this case.  He is fantastic, delivering a rich, emotional, and intensity filled performance.  Beyond the acting and dialog, this was a fine examination of the boundaries of the judicial process.  Pressing the jury to do what they feel is right and not to over think and get bogged down in bureaucratic nonsense.  More than just a courtroom drama, however, it is an interesting look into the life of a ruined man and the extents of his personal will power.  With so much going for it, I was a bit disappointed with the way that it ended.   There were some dull points, but for the most part it felt like the story kept building up emotionally and was gaining momentum going into the final act only to just kind of fizzle out.  It may not be Lumet's best work, but it is a very strong, powerfully acted and emotionally charged drama.

----------------------------------------
Verdict:  I can't pretend this is all that hard of a decision.  The Verdict is the clear winner here.  It's not a flawless film, but certainly better than 'On Golden Pond'.  This was a good match up.  It would have been very easy for either one of these films to get paired with a classic 80's comedy or action film and either one would have been hard pressed to come out the victor.  Both are quiet type dramas.  There is not a lot of action or pop to them.  Out of the quiet films though, The Verdict had more heart, more passion and just more meat on the bones.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on August 11, 2009, 01:40:06 AM
Nice job, BlueVoid.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 11, 2009, 07:00:18 AM
I wasn't a huge fan of The Verdict when I watched it, but it sounds like the right film to move forward. Nice write-up :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 13, 2009, 08:40:43 AM
nice write-up.  i haven't seen either film, but seems like the way to go here, and i know there is some love for The Verdict around here.

(can't believe there was only one verdict completed over my few days gone :( :) )
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on August 13, 2009, 08:45:14 AM
(can't believe there was only one verdict completed over my few days gone :( :) )

Same with the Far East bracket.  It definitely seems to be Top 100 season.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Basil on August 13, 2009, 01:18:42 PM
i know there is some love for The Verdict around here.

Yes. Yes there is.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Emiliana on August 21, 2009, 04:13:15 AM
Broadcast News (James L. Brooks, 1987) vs. Gloria (John Cassavetes, 1980)

I don't have any screenshots of my own because I watched them both on the old school TV. What a shame... (And huh, I hadn't expected to write something this long  :-\)

(http://film.virginia.org/about_virginia/Image_big/1987_BroadcastNews02.jpg)

Broadcast News follows the story of TV news producer Jane (Holly Hunter), her longtime reporter colleague and best friend Aaron (Albert Brooks), and upstart News Anchor Tim (William Hurt).

The film introduces us to these characters as kids, where we get one scene each that is supposed to sum up their characters for us in a nutshell. These scenes unfortunately didn't work for me. But then, we switch into adulthood, and the story proper starts: the ups and downs of their career and the romantic entanglements of their little love triangle. The first half hour demanded some serious patience from me, because Holly Hunter's character borders on the neurotic, attempts at slapstick comedy (mostly involving Joan Cusack) fell completely flat, and the general pacing of the film and especially the dialogue seemed much slower than I would have liked for a film of this genre. The film found its footing half an hour in, at the latest when these people are shown at work, producing their first live news report. After that, I was completely with them for the rest of the film.

While Holly Hunter's character is the center of the film, the one I need to highlight is Albert Brooks. He is wonderful as Hunter's best friend who wishes he was more than that - he delivers the funniest lines and the most touching emotional moments equally well. It doesn't hurt that he has amazing chemistry with Hunter - the depiction of their friendship was one of my favourite parts of the film. William Hurt is also very good in the role of the journalist who gets ahead more on looks and charm than on actual ability and dedication. His character is the focal point for a lot of interesting questions about the ethics of journalism. Some would say that the challanges and changes of journalism is what the film is about, but to me, the personal stories were much more important. And I really liked how the film played these out and wrapped them up. Every relationship worked - I already mentioned Hunter and Brooks' friendship, but the rocky romance between Hurt and Hunter rings completely true as well, and I found the professional and romantic rivalry between the two men extremely convincing and even touching.

One thing about the film's style - it was just so deliciously eighties: video tapes the size of an encyclopedia, hideous mullets, and even an extended scene about shoulderpads! I absolutely loved all that.

So after some serious problems at the start, there were so many great little moments (some of them literally laugh-out-loud funny) that I ended up really delighted by it.


(http://www.critikat.com/IMG/jpg/gloria.jpg)

Gloria was my first ever experience with director John Cassavetes.

A family is wiped out by the mafia in their NY apartment, only a young boy manages to get away and hide at their neighbour Gloria's place. Gloria (Geena Rowlands) doesn't like kids and has no idea what to do with the boy, but they are stuck with each other. The boy has something the mafia wants, so they have to run and hide.

I was immediately intrigued and drawn into the story, because Cassavetes throws you straight into the action without bothering to explain anything at first. His style is extremely naturalistic - the lack of artificial lights and the general feel of the film actually reminded me of some of the Dogme-films that I've seen. Anyway - we follow the unlikely couple aroundand watch them develop their awkward relationship with each other. On the one hand, an eight year-old that oscillates between grief-stricken little boy and annoyingly precocious kid who tries to play "the man in the family". On the other, this middle-aged single woman who is used to live on her own and mind her own business, but who may have a past and a few hidden qualities.

I didn't know anything about the film when I started watching it, and I think that was an absolute blessing - because there is one aspect of the character Gloria that is mentioned in every synopsis and review that I've read after seeing that film, but that I was so happy not to have known because it made for a brilliant revelatory moment half an hour into the film.

As far as the acting goes - the kid is pretty awful for the majority of the film. Annoying little brat. However, there are two crucial scenes at two different cemetaries which require him to deliver short monologues that carry the emotional impact of the film. He managed to pull those off and truly move me. If only they had not ruined the second moment with putting the next bit into cheesy slow motion.... Gena Rowlands on the other hand was a revelation to me: she is grumpy and tough, then kind and motherly (almost against her will) before going back to being a total badass. It is a stunning performance.

I really liked the orchestral score that I wouldn't have expected in a film in this style and genre. It illustrated the more action-packed scenes beautifully. And I really appreciated that the film didn't play out as a typical on-the-run/road movie: the characters never quite do what you expect them to do, or go where you think they'll go - thus, I remained quite excited and engaged the whole time. In all, it's a gritty little film with quite a few imperfections, but it is very well worth seeing.



Verdict: Oh boy. The day I watched Gloria, I thought that it might very well win this matchup. Last night right after finishing Broadcast News, I was so full of sheer happiness that I had no doubt in my mind that it should move on. Now, as I write about Gloria again, I remember what I liked about it. But, I'll stick with Broadcast News. I'm sad to see you go Gloria, but the unevenness of the film and the grating performance of the kid lost this one for you. BN, however, is a very good film about journalism, friendship and love. It is both funny and smart and for the most part extremely entertaining, and thus, it moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 21, 2009, 07:05:34 AM
Broadcast News sounds pretty great.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: worm@work on August 21, 2009, 08:10:51 AM
One thing about the film's style - it was just so deliciously eighties: video tapes the size of an encyclopedia, hideous mullets, and even an extended scene about shoulderpads! I absolutely loved all that.

:D

Nice verdict, Em :). I remember similarly enjoying Broadcast News when I watched it although its been a while now. But your writeup totally made me want to watch Gloria!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on August 21, 2009, 09:58:05 AM
I love On Golden Pond.  In fact it's #21 in my top 100, so I'm very sorry to hear it lost in the first round.  There is something so real about the realationship between Fonda and Hepburn...what happens when your whole life is behind you - and all that's left is coexisting with a lifetime of regrets and waiting for death.  There is something very tragic about outliving your physical and emotional ability to enjoy life - one that all of us may have the good or bad fortune to experience. 

I loved it as a teenager and love it even more now as the prospect of being old becomes a lot more tangible -  as I watch my parents go through it, and as I see more and more of those two characters in my wife (the eternal optimist) and I (the eternal crumugen).   So when this young "punk" shows up it's fun to watch the walls they've both built up around themselves slowly and realistically break down, but in the end each are left with what they came with. 

I think the screenplay/dialog is downright brilliant

I totally respect BlueVoid's review, but I hope it doesn't keep others from someday giving this a chance. 

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on August 21, 2009, 01:00:38 PM
One thing about the film's style - it was just so deliciously eighties: video tapes the size of an encyclopedia, hideous mullets, and even an extended scene about shoulderpads! I absolutely loved all that.

:D

Nice verdict, Em :). I remember similarly enjoying Broadcast News when I watched it although its been a while now. But your writeup totally made me want to watch Gloria!

Yeah, I haven't seen it in a long while either but I remember really liking Hunter.  Was hoping to catch up with Gloria because it's one of the Cassavetes I haven't seen yet.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 21, 2009, 01:13:34 PM
nice write-up em, wanna new one?

and, yeah, i also have fond memories of BN, and i never like Cassavetes as much as i feel like i should
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: oneaprilday on August 22, 2009, 02:09:58 AM
I love On Golden Pond.  In fact it's #21 in my top 100, so I'm very sorry to hear it lost in the first round.  There is something so real about the realationship between Fonda and Hepburn...what happens when your whole life is behind you - and all that's left is coexisting with a lifetime of regrets and waiting for death.  There is something very tragic about outliving your physical and emotional ability to enjoy life - one that all of us may have the good or bad fortune to experience. 

I loved it as a teenager and love it even more now as the prospect of being old becomes a lot more tangible -  as I watch my parents go through it, and as I see more and more of those two characters in my wife (the eternal optimist) and I (the eternal crumugen).   So when this young "punk" shows up it's fun to watch the walls they've both built up around themselves slowly and realistically break down, but in the end each are left with what they came with. 

I think the screenplay/dialog is downright brilliant

I totally respect BlueVoid's review, but I hope it doesn't keep others from someday giving this a chance. 

This has been on my list of "Really Should See That Sometime" for ages. I love what you write about it here, ferris. I will definitely check it out soon now.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on August 23, 2009, 08:58:55 PM
I love On Golden Pond.  In fact it's #21 in my top 100, so I'm very sorry to hear it lost in the first round.  There is something so real about the realationship between Fonda and Hepburn...what happens when your whole life is behind you - and all that's left is coexisting with a lifetime of regrets and waiting for death.  There is something very tragic about outliving your physical and emotional ability to enjoy life - one that all of us may have the good or bad fortune to experience. 

I loved it as a teenager and love it even more now as the prospect of being old becomes a lot more tangible -  as I watch my parents go through it, and as I see more and more of those two characters in my wife (the eternal optimist) and I (the eternal crumugen).   So when this young "punk" shows up it's fun to watch the walls they've both built up around themselves slowly and realistically break down, but in the end each are left with what they came with. 

I think the screenplay/dialog is downright brilliant

I totally respect BlueVoid's review, but I hope it doesn't keep others from someday giving this a chance. 

This has been on my list of "Really Should See That Sometime" for ages. I love what you write about it here, ferris. I will definitely check it out soon now.

Good :)  I hope you end up liking it
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on August 24, 2009, 12:34:31 AM
(http://i28.tinypic.com/24ci29x.jpg)

Radio Days (Woody Allen, 1987)

Radio Days is Woody Allen's nostalgic look back at the hay-day of radio. Narrated by Allen and presumably inspired by his real experiences and memories, the story follows his young self (played by Seth Green) in something of a coming-of-age fashion, with scenes usually at least tangentially related to radio. Throughout the movie various vignettes are included depicting anecdotes or legends relating to the radio business and its stars.

(http://i31.tinypic.com/2prvj13.jpg)

Being way too young for radio to have played any significant part in my life, my distance from the subject may have affected my enjoyment of it. While I liked the nostalgic 1930's setting, most of it didn't capture anything substantial for me. But there were exceptions, a few moments where it succeeded and succeeded really well.

It's a fine movie, but I think without sharing a similiar background from that era it's too personal of a thing for me to really appreciate.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (W.D. Ricther, 1984)

Buckaroo Banzai.

Rocket car driver.

(http://i25.tinypic.com/szd64y.jpg)

Neurosurgeon.

(http://i27.tinypic.com/2s0z5a0.jpg)

Rock Star.

(http://i25.tinypic.com/i5qgqu.jpg)

Lady's man.

(http://i30.tinypic.com/11uvvip.jpg)

Yes, Buckaroo Banzai is surely a multi-talented guy, and we're only 15 minutes in! He's also a particle physicist, samurai (Wah?), and has his own comic book line. If you haven't guessed yet, this movie is ridiculous. Gloriously ridiculous. I mean, check out this gettup.

(http://i28.tinypic.com/167pjx2.jpg)

Wait, is that...

(http://i32.tinypic.com/5ethsk.jpg)

Yes, it is Jeff Goldblum!

The story is not surprisingly pretty ridiculous as well. Going into too much detail about it would be missing the point, so suffice it to say it involves inter-dimensional aliens and the fate of the world. And also John Lithgow as a batshit crazy mad scientist speaking in some undefinable accent that I think is supposed to be reminiscent of Russian.

(http://i27.tinypic.com/j6ijiq.jpg)

The movie knows what it is and openly embraces how over the top and silly it is, it's full of cliches and cringe-inducing dialouge, but it never stops being fun.

And you've got Christopher Lloyd kidnapping some asian dude.

(http://i30.tinypic.com/wv60qg.jpg)

And Vincent Schiavelli and Dan Hedaya as undercover aliens.

(http://i31.tinypic.com/fciutt.jpg)

...See where I'm going with this? So yeah, this may not be high art, but it's a darn fun time.



Verdict

A movie like Buckaroo Banzai is tough in matchups like this, because I really can't compare the two movies in any meaningful way. What I do know is I had significantly more fun watching one than the other. Buckaroo Banzai rockets through the 8th dimension and into the second round.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on August 24, 2009, 12:51:49 AM
Nice job, Melvil. I'm a big Woody Allen fan, but this alone is better than Radio Days.

Buckaroo Banzai End Credits (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WzB1Rtr7Q0#normal)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 24, 2009, 02:20:17 AM
sweet.  hopefully i'll catch Buckaroo for the bracket :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on August 24, 2009, 08:25:21 AM
God I hate Buckaroo Banzai, such an incredibly unfunny movie.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on August 24, 2009, 09:25:47 AM
God I hate Buckaroo Banzai, such an incredibly unfunny movie.

I've watched the first 10 minutes or so a hundred times as it was my older brother's favorite movie.  Can't say I ever made past the 20 minute mark.  My brother's other favorite movie from that era was Remo Williams - The Adventure Begins
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on August 24, 2009, 09:28:57 AM
God I hate Buckaroo Banzai, such an incredibly unfunny movie.

I've watched the first 10 minutes or so a hundred times as it was my older brother's favorite movie.  Can't say I ever made past the 20 minute mark.  My brother's other favorite movie from that era was Remo Williams - The Adventure Begins

I'm a big fan of cheesy sci-fi, but I struggled to get through BB, I actually fell asleep four different times while trying to watch it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on August 24, 2009, 09:32:05 AM
Nice job, Melvil. I'm a big Woody Allen fan, but this alone is better than Radio Days.

Buckaroo Banzai End Credits (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WzB1Rtr7Q0#normal)

Oh man.  Great clip.  I might have to reconsider this whole thing
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on August 24, 2009, 10:59:46 AM
Thanks, matt, I forgot to mention how incredibly awesome the end credits were. :)

I really don't know how you could watch this movie and not have fun with it. This is the kind of movie I want to put on with a group of friends when you know you're not going to quietly watch something serious. Add icecream and rootbeer, and it's the perfect evening!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Colleen on August 24, 2009, 11:08:26 AM
Woot!  I LOVE Buckaroo Banzai.  Maybe because it came out my freshman year in college when I was living with a bunch of other nerds but we ALL loved it.

I'm so happy it made it past the first round.  It's a movie I've watched over and over.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Colleen on August 24, 2009, 11:17:26 AM
God I hate Buckaroo Banzai, such an incredibly unfunny movie.

I've watched the first 10 minutes or so a hundred times as it was my older brother's favorite movie.  Can't say I ever made past the 20 minute mark.  My brother's other favorite movie from that era was Remo Williams - The Adventure Begins

I never cared for Remo Williams, although it has the same sort of cult following that Buckaroo Banzai does.

I had no freakin' clue what was going on the first time I watched Buckaroo Banzai.  It made no sense.  Then I tried watching it again with friends who explained that it wasn't exactly supposed to make any sense, just be fun.  Then I liked it. 

It also helps to know the backstory as told to me by a friend who said he heard it from the film-makers at a sci fi convention.  Some eccentric millionaire guy funded the movie and was all interfering in the making of it; the more he asked annoying questions about what the point of this or that was, the more things they stuck in there for no reason--thus the President in the STryker frame, the watermelon with electrical probes, etc.  The funding people and the moviemakers were in more or less open warfare by the time the movie was finished.  It's amazing it was ever released at all.  I think DVD was held up for quite a while because of lingering arguments around the rights. 

This is also the reason that despite the "next adventure" tag at the end of the movie, there never has been a sequel and probably never will.  Last I heard (and this was in the early 90s) the millionaires family still held the rights to make another movie and wouldn't relinquish them.

That's what was told to me anyway.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on August 24, 2009, 11:37:15 AM
I was surprised at how much the story actually did make sense. It makes sense in a crazy way, but you can totally follow the internal logic.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Colleen on August 24, 2009, 06:03:09 PM
Absolutely, it's like any other fantasy/SF story (or really, any other work of fiction):  you agree to accept the premises of the story and the author agrees to stay within those premises and not violate the previously agreed-upon rules.

It's just that the threshold of stuff you have to accept at the outset (Buckaroo is a physicist/rock star/neurosurgeon etc who is also a sort of crime fighting superhero with a band of followers) is pretty high.  But it's not like they don't tell you he's a neurosurgeon until 3/4 of the way through the movie when the story suddenly requires him to perform emergency surgery.

I think the other thing people have so much trouble with is that the movie is so completely deadpan and serious inside of its absurd universe.  There isn't any winking and nodding at the audience to let them know that this is all a joke.  There are people running around named Buckaroo Banzai and Reno etc. and they are all totally serious about what they are doing.  Dr. Lizardo is batshit crazy but he really is torturing Buckaroo, even if he wants him to type his answers into a Casio keyboard.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on August 24, 2009, 06:24:09 PM
 :D Very well said, Colleen.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 27, 2009, 10:28:27 PM
History of the World

Wow, this is so f'ing bad! By far the worst spoof I have ever seen. Ever. It's worse than Epic Movie. The jokes are so unfunny that they piss you off for wasting your time.

Here's a 10 minute clip.
Dom DeLuise in History of the World Part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTH8_elwCpA#normal)

And here's a list of every gag that appears in that clip, in order. (If I miss anything it's because I'm not sure it was even an attempt at humour)

1) Gay secretary. Not funny.
2) Caeser played by a fat guy. Not funny.
3) Caeser scratches the nuts of secretary. Not funny.
4) People giving Caeser a Nazi-like salute? I dunno. Not funny
5) Caeser blows a kiss to someone in the crowd. Not funny.
6) Caeser burps. Not funny.
7) Caeser scratches own nuts. Not funny.
8) Caeser farts. Not funny.
9) Caeser spits out food. Not funny.
10) A joke about a guy named Markus Vendictus. Not funny.
11) A joke about cretins in sparta... or Spatans in Crete. Not funny.
12) Remember thou art mortal joke. Not funny.
13) Vendictus hurts his hand. Not funny.
14) Caeser burps. Not funny.
15) Caeser spits out food. Not funny.
16) Joke about an alabaster bathing vessel.
17) Curtain #2 joke. Not funny.
18) Treasure bath joke. Not funny.
19) Joke between Vendictus and Nympho. Not funny.
20) Caeser pulls treasure out off his ass and says "wash this" . Not funny.
21) Caeser throws chicken wing. Not funny.
22) Joke about a small lyre and small liar. Not funny.
23) Joke about pouring wine. Not funny.
24) Caeser falls off his chair. Not funny.
25) Caeser calls gay secretary a faggot. Not funny.
26) A comic named Comicus. And a joke about Comicus. Not funny.
27) Musical introduction for Comicus. Not funny.
28) Half a dozen jokes from Comicus. Not funny.
29) Caeser spits out drink when laughing. Not funny.
30) Comicus calls the gay guy a fag. Not funny.
31) Big fat pig joke. Not funny.
32) Comicus bombs. Not funny.
33) Caeser spits out more food. Not funny.
34) Sword handle comes off, gag. Not funny.
35) Another comicus joke. Not funny.
36) Wine spilling joke. Not funny.
37) Caeser pretends to have come up with an idea. Not funny.
38) Joke about fighting to the death during dessert. Not funny.
39) Nympho wipes hand off after Caeser kisses it. Not funny.
40) Slave knocks sword out of Comicus's hand. Not funny.
41) Fight scene, with jokes. Not funny.

So that works out to about 4-5 jokes a minute, 0% of with are funny and the rest of the movie is just as awful.

Mel Brooks laid one helluva an egg here. Men in Tights & Spaceballs were both completely stupid but somewhat funny, but this is just shit. I hated every second of it. I hated it so much that I actually started to hate Mel Brooks. By the end I was rooting for the film to fail and was laughing at how badly he was bombing.

This is such a disappointment. I love parodies. Hell I thought even Date Movie was hilarious! Do yourself a favour and never see this film, no matter how much you like Mel Brooks.

0/4

Power and Water

Baraka-like, except the images aren't nearly so brilliant, beautiful, mesmerizing, fascinating or graceful. The music is like something out of Loony Toons. It was a mess and I didn't get anything out of it. The video and sound quality were atrocious but I don't think it would've made any difference.

0/4

Verdict

If this match-up were between History of the World Part 1 and a kick in the balls, I would move a kick in the balls on to round two. Power and Water moves on because... I dunno.... if you are on mushrooms or something it might actually be worth watching. Also it's shorter.

But look on the bright side, if you draw P&W in round two it won't have anything to live up to.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on August 27, 2009, 11:02:18 PM
I'm so sorry.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 27, 2009, 11:06:19 PM
Thanks. The doctors say I'll make a full recovery. :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on August 27, 2009, 11:35:42 PM
It's the 80s.  A kick in the balls would have a good shot at the final four.  :D

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on August 28, 2009, 12:24:15 AM
Smirnoff I don't know if the film is funny but that post sure was.  At least the film spawned SOME humor
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 28, 2009, 07:05:41 AM
Rosenbaum is the dog house now.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on August 28, 2009, 10:18:03 AM
I loved Mel Brooks when I was a kid, but unlike the mighty ZAZ filmography, Mel's work has not aged well at all. I haven't even heard of the other one you had in this match up. Bummer you had two duds.

It's the 80s.  A kick in the balls would have a good shot at the final four.  :D
(http://thelifecinematic.com/board/images/smilies/snob.gif)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on August 28, 2009, 10:47:52 AM
I loved Mel Brooks when I was a kid, but unlike the mighty ZAZ filmography, Mel's work has not aged well at all.

I agree. I find it's more hardy-har-har than lol now. :-\
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on August 28, 2009, 10:57:56 AM
I loved Mel Brooks when I was a kid, but unlike the mighty ZAZ filmography, Mel's work has not aged well at all.
I agree. I find it's more hardy-har-har than lol now. :-\
I haven't seen it in a long time, but I still think of Young Frankenstein as good, not sure if it actually holds up. I saw Spaceballs a while ago and it wasn't as good as I remembered but it had its moments and I liked Rick Moranis a lot. I saw Men in Tights in the theater as a kid and my stomach hurt from laughing, no idea what I'd think now. 

I'm pretty sure I'd now think Silent Movie, High Anxiety, and History of the World, Part I were all unwatchable...just so many awful gay jokes and bits about cleavage. I never really liked Blazing Saddles.   
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on August 28, 2009, 03:10:04 PM
I never really liked Blazing Saddles.   

I didn't make it past the first twenty minutes.  No real desire to try to see the rest.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on August 28, 2009, 09:10:06 PM
I never really liked Blazing Saddles.   
I didn't make it past the first twenty minutes.  No real desire to try to see the rest.
Then you missed the ridiculously stupid ending when the characters from Blazing Saddles run on to other movie sets. I guess it's a clever fourth wall break for its time, but it's so unfunny. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on August 29, 2009, 12:54:01 PM
I haven't seen it in a long time, but I still think of Young Frankenstein as good, not sure if it actually holds up. I saw Spaceballs a while ago and it wasn't as good as I remembered but it had its moments and I liked Rick Moranis a lot.

Spaceballs is so CINECAST!ing horribly unfunny.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on August 29, 2009, 01:01:25 PM
I haven't seen it in a long time, but I still think of Young Frankenstein as good, not sure if it actually holds up. I saw Spaceballs a while ago and it wasn't as good as I remembered but it had its moments and I liked Rick Moranis a lot.
Spaceballs is so CINECAST!ing horribly unfunny.
Yeah, I agree, but Rick Moranis is good, and the Spaceballs home video bit was cute. But yeah, Mel Brooks has just generally not aged well at all.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on August 29, 2009, 01:38:53 PM
I found Spaceballs to be funnier than most of Brooks' material, unfunny at times, uneven on the whole, but still pretty funny.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on August 31, 2009, 01:05:20 AM

Verdict

If this match-up were between History of the World Part 1 and a kick in the balls, I would move a kick in the balls on to round two. Power and Water moves on because... I dunno.... if you are on mushrooms or something it might actually be worth watching. Also it's shorter.

But look on the bright side, if you draw P&W in round two it won't have anything to live up to.

great write-up, sorry you had to shit through that crap (i hope i get P&W next round :) )
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on September 13, 2009, 01:22:32 PM
They All Laughed
1981, Peter Bogdanovich
versus
Gremlins
1984, Joe Dante

They All Laughed - silly
Gremlins - surprising

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa216/skjerva/atheyalllaughedbogdanovichTHEY_ALL_.jpg)

So, Ben Gazzara plays a ladies man, John, makes sense, eh?  He picks up a hot 23 year old cabbie and develops an odd relationship with her, he has another attractive young ex that conflictedly pines for him, then he lands an old Audrey Hepburn character that brings nothing to the film.  John works with Charles (John Ritter) as detectives.  Ritter plays Charles just as we'd expect him to - the naive straight-guy [hello Cera and Bateman] with lots of "body comedy", and yeah, it doesn't really work watching him fall over and bump into things every few minutes.  There is some other detective dude that looks like some character in a Miyazaki film, he has the massive head of curly hair, roller skates, picks up ladies at will, wears sunglasses, and smokes the dope.  The men more or less snoop on ladies, but the ladies are pretty up on stuff, too (well, probably more than the guys).  The dialog is pretty bad, tries for some witty, quick exchanges, but they come off just stilted; other times the dialogue is just bad.  I have a feeling there might be something worthwhile about the pic, but it escapes me...i guess the way it moves through The City is kinda nice.  The film feels like a bad Altman, and I don't really like Altman.

(http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa216/skjerva/gremlins2.jpg)

I probably haven't seen Gremlins since it was released and had no real memory of it, it really surprises me that this is a PG film, scary and some pretty gory kills for a kid-flick.  I never associate this one with good cultural criticism, but the film ends on the lazy message delivered by the Grandfather, something about the stupid Americans not responsible enough to deal with the Other; tied into that, there is also the critique of consumer culture and money grubbing.  There are some cool shots, mostly close-ups of the creatures.  At 1:45 the movie is about 30 min too long.  It is still pretty darn entertaining and won't mind revisiting it soon, I'm not sure I get the raving love for it, but it is pretty good and easily makes it by They All Laughed.  Sorry rouj, why do you like this one (or did you just want to see it in for some other reason)?



i'll take another number
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on September 13, 2009, 02:12:52 PM
or did you just want to see it in for some other reason)?

Yeah, this.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on September 14, 2009, 09:41:58 AM
or did you just want to see it in for some other reason)?

Yeah, this.

like?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Colleen on September 14, 2009, 10:10:33 AM

 it really surprises me that this is a PG film, scary and some pretty gory kills for a kid-flick.  



As I recall, people at the time were pretty horrified too.  It was the gore in this movie and in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom that led to the development of the PG-13 rating.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on September 14, 2009, 10:12:34 AM

 it really surprises me that this is a PG film, scary and some pretty gory kills for a kid-flick.  



As I recall, people at the time were pretty horrified too.  It was the gore in this movie and in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom that led to the development of the PG-13 rating.

i forgot this would have been pre PG-13, thanks for the history lesson :) 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on September 14, 2009, 12:05:51 PM
like?

Oh, some weirdo person said it was "maybe the best self-reflexive film about Hollywood conventions ever made" or something and had it as the #1 of the 80s. I figure anybody's #1 should probably be in contention.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on September 14, 2009, 12:27:47 PM
like?

Oh, some weirdo person said it was "maybe the best self-reflexive film about Hollywood conventions ever made" or something and had it as the #1 of the 80s. I figure anybody's #1 should probably be in contention.

yeah, i read some takes on it that mention the riff on Hollywood conventions.  i'm not sure if i just don't care about that, if i wasn't impressed with that after giving it some thought, or if i just didn't get how smart it was - i am guessing it is some combination of the three.  taking that out of the equation (and really, leaving it in, for me) leaves an utterly uninteresting movie. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on September 18, 2009, 05:14:45 PM
Nice reviews skjerva.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on September 18, 2009, 07:55:28 PM
(http://i33.tinypic.com/2i9to9d.png)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on September 26, 2009, 05:01:02 PM
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/MT1.jpg)

I found Mystery Train to be a lot like Down by Law, which I watched in a previous match-up (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=6084.msg287088#msg287088). It moves at a leisurely pace and doesn't seem to be headed in any particular direction. It's the film equivalent of going for a stroll, or more accurately, an evening stroll in a rough part of Memphis.

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/MT5.jpg)

The movie is split into three parts, and each part is focused on a different character or group of characters. The events of each story occur during the same time of day and in the same neighbourhood, but instead of inter-cutting the stories Jarmusch tells them one at a time from start to finish. So in effect you watch the same Memphis evening unfold 3 times, from three different perspectives. Things like songs playing on the radio, gunshots that ring out in the night, and the distant sound of police sirens are heard in the background throughout each story thereby allowing you to put things into alignment. This is as close as the stories ever come to crossing paths though.

I guess I've probably seen this style of storytelling before. Usually things are much more intertwined though, which is neat I guess, but here the connection is loose. It makes me wonder, why bother? Is it just originality for originality's sake? I guess I should give Jarmusch more credit than that. I'm sure he has his reasons. I just wish I had his reasons. You know?

I probably wouldn't be harping on this if I'd found the film more compelling. It was quirky and mildly amusing, but rarely entertaining. And outside of a few foggy philosophies, I'm not convinced it had that much to say. For the record, I enjoyed the story of the Japanese couple most, which came first.

Jarmusch just doesn't connect with me like he seems to with others.

2/4

______________


(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/werewolf4.jpg)

Oh boy, John Landis sure turned out some popular comedies in his day. Kentucky Fried Movie, Animal House, Blues Brothers, Trading Places, Spies Like Us. Sadly I haven't seen any of these films so I can't say how AAWIL stacks up, but I can tell you it's pretty good entertainment. There is humour, sure, but there's also fantastically gruesome effects, a surprisingly engaging story, and some good thrills too. Music wise, the film makes especially good use of CCR's Bad Moon Rising, and Morrison's Moondance. Fun!

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/werewolf1.jpg)
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/werewolf2.jpg)
(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/80s bracket/werewolf3.jpg)

Whatever they are looking at must be scary indeed! Fortunately AAWIL sticks to the idea that less is more when it comes to actually showing us the Werewolf. Not that it's silly looking necessarily, but you do need to use your imagination a bit. It's no worse than the CGI version they'd probably come up with today.  ;)

This film doesn't take itself too seriously. The characters know full well how ridicules the idea of a werewolf is. And yet, AAWIL is more than just a romp. It's got heart too. I reminded me of The Fly a bit. The Fly is truly great though, and this is just good. Nevertheless, I'm still glad to have watched it. It makes a good rainy day comedy-horror.

3/4

______________

I hate to have to be the guy who kills two of Jarmusch's three films in the bracket, but that's just how the match-ups got dished out. I've seen 6 Jarmusch films now... I don't really want to see any more. :-\ I feel An American Werewolf in London is good enough to move on to round 2.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Holly Harry on September 26, 2009, 05:25:28 PM
"Down By Law", "The Untouchables" and "Radio Days" getting knocked out? Sometimes you come face to face with things you don't understand. Sometimes all you can do is shake your head.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on September 26, 2009, 05:28:56 PM
Nice writeups Smirnoff.  I've only been subjected to one Jarmusch film (Dead Man), and he certainly didn't connect with me with that one.  I thought AAWIL was a pretty decent film. I only saw it once years ago, but for whatever reason I still quote the line "A naked American man stole my balloons." whenever its not appropriate.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on September 26, 2009, 06:45:58 PM
"Down By Law", "The Untouchables" and "Radio Days" getting knocked out? Sometimes you come face to face with things you don't understand. Sometimes all you can do is shake your head.

I know how you feel. It comforts me to look at the brackets as a measure of universal appeal more than anything. It's not perfect but still very interesting.

But yeah, sorry about DBL :(

for whatever reason I still quote the line "A naked American man stole my balloons." whenever its not appropriate.
Thanks BV. Great line. That whole scene at the zoo is pretty funny. I love this shot especially:

(http://i37.tinypic.com/1088bh3.jpg)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on September 28, 2009, 12:11:18 AM
I feel An American Werewolf in London is good enough to move on to round 2.

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/519197154_AEKr7-M.jpg)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on September 29, 2009, 04:59:14 PM
Model (Frederick Wiseman, 1980)
(http://i33.tinypic.com/2j2j9d3.png) (http://i33.tinypic.com/339t7op.png)

In Model Wiseman explores fantasy and image making through the world of fashion and advertising. Throughout the film he returns to ‘real life’ shots of buildings, buses, genuine political expression, and regular folks on the street to sharply contrast from the fantasy factories of the fashion world. We observe fashion shoots that offer an unrealistic hyper-reality intended to shape desires, sell products, and in the process manufacture an artificial perception of how we ought to be and look. He touches on all his biggest hits: consumption, advertising, capitalism, and it’s Wiseman so you know it’s pretty great. With that said however, there were times when the constant juxtaposition of real life to advertising fantasy seemed a little cliché and obvious. Go to it a couple times and it’s insightful, over use it and the power of the contrast is diluted.  

I suppose in an effort to strip away the glamour and reveal the monotonous nature of the process, again and again Wiseman dwells on the fashion shoot. Numerous long sequences are of a photographer directing a model. We get a sense of how contrived the images are, but the length and quantity of these sequences could get a little boring. Although his work is certainly not for the purposes of advertising products, Wiseman seemed to also be implicating himself as an image maker and therefore shaper of perception. Anyway, for whatever reason, Wiseman was a little more fascinated by the photographer-model dynamic than I was.

Where I really felt the film was clicking was during scenes at the Zoli Agency, where prospective models come to be assessed by their scout. “You’re really more of an Avon look rather than print”, he tells one hopeful. He also quite politely tells one young woman to drop a few. I have no idea where he expected her to lose it from. Also, the pantyhose TV spot shoot is a great scene. The director of the ad is about 25% away from being a Christopher Guest character. A wonderful and fascinating sequence. Anyway, long story short, Model is a great film.  

Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)
(http://i37.tinypic.com/18g1hu.png) (http://i34.tinypic.com/bg66p0.png)

I’d like to take this opportunity to champion this overlooked little gem. It’s about Nazis and this guy who’s into whips. Kinky, eh?

I’m not a big fan of adventure films. They tend to just jump from lame set piece to lame set piece, and intersperse them with unmemorable characters and awkward humour. Fortunately Raiders corrects all these problems and replaces all my negative adjectives with positive ones. Raiders isn’t ambitious in terms of themes or concepts, rather than the myth and genre deconstructions of 70s American cinema, Raiders is content with embracing the myths and genres of old-fashioned Hollywood. And boy does it ever embrace them! With the exception of the Ark opening climax that falls a little flat, and to be fair it was probably scary in 1981, almost every darn sequence is a bullseye in terms of excitement. Some might find how packed it is to be exhausting, but I’m always struck by how engaged I am throughout. It’s not as elegant as ET or Jaws, and thematically it may not be complicated, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an achievement.

Verdict: Two masters go head-to-head with two films so disparate it’s absolutely ridiculous to even try to compare them. With Raiders Spielberg embraces fantasy while Wiseman seeks to expose it. In my mind, both are worthy endeavours. I wish Model had met something else in this early round because it’s a great film, but after much deliberation I’m going to go with Raiders.  
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on September 29, 2009, 05:17:44 PM
Good read! A closer call than I would've expected, by the sounds of things.

I was quietly rooting for Model to win, just to see the fallout. ;)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on September 29, 2009, 05:58:57 PM
I’m going to go with Raiders.  

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/519891128_ev4RD-S.jpg)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on September 29, 2009, 06:27:25 PM
Nice that they were both good.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on September 30, 2009, 03:54:14 PM
Good read! A closer call than I would've expected, by the sounds of things.

I was quietly rooting for Model to win, just to see the fallout. ;)
Thanks. I considered giving it to Model assuming Raiders would be resurrected, but then I decided not to play games.

Nice that they were both good.
Indeed. My last match-up was a pair of duds.

I’m going to go with Raiders
(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/519891128_ev4RD-S.jpg)
:)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on September 30, 2009, 03:59:03 PM
Request a new matchup, I want to see what you get! :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Holly Harry on September 30, 2009, 04:07:48 PM
"
But yeah, sorry about DBL :(



It's all good.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on October 12, 2009, 08:55:27 PM
roujin's 4th verdict in the US bracket: an exploration of a fragmented persona

Coming to America vs. Kiss of the Spider Woman

(http://i33.tinypic.com/2rdyups.jpg) (http://i38.tinypic.com/dfk38g.jpg)
Coming to America (John Landis, 1988)

This is definitely Eddie Murphy's finest moment. He plays it completely straight, always sticking to his character. His naivete and sweet honesty are the real anchor of the film while everyone else does a bunch of hilarious stuff. The barbershop stuff is completely hilarious and Murphy's interactions with Arsenio Hall are incredible, too. Yeah, yeah, everything's funny. The romance elements are pretty good even if by the end of the film the movie forgets to be funny and gets all sentimental on you, you don't really mind because Murphy is so great. It's hard to dislike a movie that incorporates zebras running in the background as a joke. Get it, it's AFRICA! What's also funny is that there's pretty much three people white people in the entire movie - Louis Anderson is one of them. This is Eddie Murphy's America. Funny, funny, funny. Soul GLO is one of the funniest things I've ever seen/heard in my life. The royal penis is clean, roujin. Well, what can you do?

(http://i37.tinypic.com/eesu9.jpg) (http://i38.tinypic.com/2mgv5gg.jpg)
Kiss of the Spider Woman (Hector Babenco, 1985)

Although taking place in Brazil and being directed by a Brazilian director, I'm gonna say this is going to count as an American film. My main reasoning is that the film is entirely in English. Anyway, this was pretty good. William Hurt and Raul Julia are both really good as two cellmates who over the course of the movie get to know each other better. Julia is a political prisoners, Hurt had sex with a minor. As a way to escape from the drudgery of his everyday existence, Hurt relates some of his favorite movies to Julia. The film recreates his movies in a totally stylistically excessive way. They're lots of fun to watch. Naturally, Hurt and Julia butt heads. First, about Hurt's dismissal of all things political and sometimes about Hurt's sexuality, but, naturally, they get closer. Of course, it isn't that simple and what seems to be happening isn't really happening. At least not for the reasons that the viewer thinks it is. Some fine acting all across the board and it never felt stagy to me even when it was just confined to the dude's prison cells. Very, very interesting...

Anyway, even though SOUL GLO is probably the epitome of 80s American cinema, I'm gonna give it to Kiss of the Spider Woman because it seems not a lot of people have seen it and although I do have problems with it, it still manages to very thematically and emotionally resonant while being very dramatic and entertaining. give it to me, broheem...
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Basil on October 12, 2009, 09:03:05 PM
Your beauty, roujin, is a mystery.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on October 12, 2009, 09:11:26 PM
I think it's quite obvious.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 1SO on October 13, 2009, 12:43:12 AM
Good pick.  I remember how Kiss is completely enjoyable, and then you learn there's a whole lot more going on than you think there is.  Which made it extraordinary.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Emiliana on October 13, 2009, 01:28:40 AM
Coming to America used to be on TV all the time when I was young, so I have seen it lots of times, but funnily enough, never in English. I absolutely adore that film, but by the end of your reviews, roujin, you had convinced me that I now really want to see Kiss of the Spiderwoman, it sounds pretty great. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on October 13, 2009, 12:11:47 PM
I can go along with this pick.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on October 13, 2009, 09:22:29 PM
Anyway, even though SOUL GLO is probably the epitome of 80s American cinema, I'm gonna give it to Kiss of the Spider Woman because it seems not a lot of people have seen it and although I do have problems with it, it still manages to very thematically and emotionally resonant while being very dramatic and entertaining. give it to me, broheem...

great write-up. perhaps CtA will get resurrected?  i'm looking forward to KotSW.  if i'm not mistaken, next up:

Return of the Jedi
versus
Mala Noche


oops, i mean:

Border Radio
versus
River's Edge

enjoy :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 'Noke on October 15, 2009, 04:36:32 PM
(http://mooviemart.com/Catalogue/Image_Files/LastTemptationJC.jpg)

The Last Temptation of Christ

My father is a person who has many guests over to the house constantly and one time last year we had a man who was a film buff but also a Christian priest, and dealt mainly in the religious aspects of film. Now, this was a very religious man. Straight down the line, bible is everything Christian. I recently had the chance to read his book, Movies that matter, a list of Christian movies. Its ok, it’s not incredibly incisive. The book includes some normal picks, your Shawshank’s, your Philadelphia’s, although it also strangely had the Three Colours Trilogy. But I digress. The final entry was Passion of the Christ and I was surprised to see that Last Temptation of Christ was not. It seemed like it should. It’s also about crucifixion and is a very good movie. But the more I think about it, the more it made sense.

Scorsese has always been a Christian man, but not like my friend. He has wrestled with the subject in his movies, as shown even by the opening line of his breakthrough into film. “You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it.” He seems like a man who wants to devote himself to good but is always in conflict with the contents of the bible.

And never more explicitly then here. Jesus is not the messiah. He is a man confused by his power, a man who is not able to take the handle of the leader of men. Jesus is never head strong. He goes from peace to hate to hard love to parables and it feels so great to watch someone deal with Jesus in such a way. He fails. Jesus fails at something. Scorsese feels like the Jesus of the bible feels false and I’m so happy he decided to challenge these preconceived notions.

This is the most apparent in the last thirty minutes, and I won’t try and spoil the movie too much, but if you haven’t seen last temptation I would recommend you skip this paragraph. We watch Dafoe destroy himself on the cross in order to serve the people but then Scorsese gives Jesus the chance to leave the cross, and he takes it! I love how he does that because it’s what I’ve been talking about all this time, that Jesus wavers and is not the perfect messiah. He is the messiah, but he’s not the ideal one. He doesn’t want this. And then we get the Harvey Keitel Confrontation scene, which is amazing. When Jesus gets confronted for not caring enough to save the people, and it has such an emotional punch.

The cinematography is great as well, because Scorsese doesn’t lose his style completely in order to make a biblical epic. There may be no virtuoso colca cabana shots, but his quick tracks and cuts fit with his Christian confrontational style of story.

I love Willem Dafoe, and I don’t think he’s gotten a role better then this. He captures the confusion, the love, the anger, the melting pot of emtions that is Martin Scorsese’s Jesus. He gives a masterful performance. I also like Harvey Keitel, who surprisingly worked in a biblical epic which I was not expecting.

(http://i34.tinypic.com/27ybfvs.png)

Najavo Talking Picture

Najavo Talking Picture is a strange beast. It feels strange because if this movie was directed by someone else, it would be a very good film. But it felt strange that it was directed Arlene Bowman herself, it feels strange. Because it worked best a look at this character of Bowman, of her naivety of trying to film someone whose culture is one that believes filmmaking is not a valuable exercise.

Najavo Talking Picture is a student documentary following a descendant of the Najavo’s who has very much been assimilated into American culture and she makes a film about her grandmother whose life is very much rooted in Najavo Tradition.

The first half of Najavo Talking Picture is Bowman describing her mother and her relationship with her mother. The other half consists of a confrontation between Bowman and her mother over the movie and that’s where the interest in this movie lies for me. I was fascinated by the naivety of Bowman, who seems to be challenging the lifestyle her mother has created for herself.

It’s well edited by Bowman, and you would think she was editing a different person’s movie because she shows the situation as it lays. She doesn't make herself seem the hero, she lets the audience decide. It’s nice to see that in a world where documentarians can be susceptible to bias, that there’s still some people who don’t even need to put themselves in a good light.

Verdict: I don’t know. Comparing Najavo and Last Temptation is sort of like comparing apples and oranges. Fortunately I like apples better. Last Temptation moves on.

I won’t take another matchup now Skjerva, I've got too much other stuff to do. I'll come back if I want some more.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on October 15, 2009, 08:50:53 PM
Nice write-ups.  I agree that Bowman's näiveté kinda makes this much more interesting that it might otherwise be.  I thought it worked really well at raising questions around expectations of audience regarding roles such as "filmmaker" and "artist" that I think also had parallels with the explicit questions regarding identity.  Of course, there were also the issues of the ethics of documenting.  I thought there was something pretty interesting - almost charming - about the rough aesthetics of the film.  I'm glad I saw it, but it was a tall order to take on Scorsese, though I can imagine it having slipped by some more popular or quirky films of the bracket.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on October 15, 2009, 10:55:59 PM
Enjoyed the writeups.  I haven't seen either, but I'm glad Temptation moved on.  Definitely on my to-watch list, while Najavo Talking Picture seems... well... not up my alley.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on October 16, 2009, 01:40:33 AM
El Norte (1983, Gregory Nava)  vs Repo Man (1984, Alex Cox)

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682341895_LJjD8-L.png)


El Norte

El Norte is an American and English-made independent Spanish-language film about a Mayan brother and sister attempting to escape an oppressive military regieme in in their small indigenous villiage of San Pedro, Guatamala.   (They are referred to as "Indians" in the subtitles.  No matter what the label they are clearly an unwelcome element in their own homeland.)

The film is broken up into three chapters and is labelled as such.

The flim opens with a scene of peasant workers harvesting coffee beans in the misty hills of Central America.  As work wraps up for the day there it is soon obvious that a clandestine meeting is afoot.  Some of the villiagers, unhappy with the status quo, seek to form a union and risk meeting after dusk. The line "To the rich, the peasant is just a pair of strong arms."  opens one of the central themes of this film: the haves and the have nots.  When this rendezvous ends in tragedy, our hero and heroine are forced to flee.  Our story follows our main characters through a long journey that takes them through the mountains of Central America, through the deserts and poverty of Mexico, to the dusty underbelly of Los Angeles.  The movie is a great expose on the challenge of illegals in the US and a trestice on the dichotomy of class.  It asks important questions (that are just that much more pertinent some 28 years later) about the difference between the promise of what is to be found in 'the north' and the reality once you get there.  

We are treated throughout the film with some very invocative imagery and some beautiful landscape cinematography.  I gained some important perspectives about illegals and insights on the plight of those attempting to across the border.  I suppose I never had any easy answers like the policians d'jour always seem to have on this matter.  Watching this film will likely not make the issue any more black and white!

However, the themes social econonic disparity are really heavy handed.  A more subtle approach would have been much more effective.  Just seeing the cover of a Good Housekeeping magazine in an early scene tells us everything we need to know about what's ahead.  At one point late in the film the sister remarks "In our homeland there's no place for us, they want to kill us. In Mexico, there's only poverty. And in the north, we aren't accepted...".  The comment rings hollow - they are aided by good samaritans all along their journey in three different countries - the conflict of acceptance may have been the discussion director Gregory Nava wanted to have, but it is not the story he told.  Be it through the acting or direction, I think the film really fails to convey the gravity of all the losses they have suffered and the emptiness they feel- even through the final frame.  

I really honor the story told and the lessons this film is trying to teach, but I'm sorry to say I found it quite a chore to get through.  I could see the ending coming after about an hour.  At 2:20 it could have been easily a full 30 minutes shorter.  I didn't do any research into the actor and actress playing the main roles.  I found them to be way in over their head.  I suppose I'd feel pretty bad to find out some backstory that legitimizes the performances!

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682321075_kXPdb-M.png)

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682320751_vHjbL-M.png)

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682320261_B5rQj-M.png)

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682320553_xYLB6-M.png)

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682320958_4moUh-M.png)



Repo Man

Incidently, another film about the lower classes of Los Angeles!  Hmm didn't anticipate there being anything common to these two!

I'd seen Repo Man come and go from the theaters in the early 80's.  From the trailers I remember this looking like a Beverly Hills Cop knock off - or just another vehicle money grab for Emelio Estavez of the ever-bankable brat back.   I never saw it and quick forgot about it.  Well - it only took 30 seconds into this film for me to be completely corrected as to what universe it resides in and for me to be completely captivated by what was to come.

Well this is far from a perfect film, but I had a ton of fun with it.  You can put this in the genre of "guilty pleasure".  I've since discovered what a cult following this movie had.

Unfortunately it's been a few weeks since I put the disk back in the mail, so my thoughts aren't as fresh.  I'm going to send this movie along to the next round and let someone else elaborate more.  

Nevertheless the basic premise is that Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton are Repo Men.  They have a variety of tricks they employ to repossess cars and get them back to the lot.  They soon get caught up in a strange conspiracy involving some dudes in black suits, a strange girl and a 64 Chevy Malibu.  The beauty of this film is how it seems to reside simultaneously in two parallel worlds -one that's violent, serious, and social commentary and one that's off-beat, sarcastic and too-cool-for-school.  Suffice to say it's pretty clever.  Some nice sight gags.  

If you do watch this, make sure you get the DVD with the Alex Cox commentary and the interview with Harry Dean Stanton.  This interview is amazing I must say.  In fact, you may want to watch that interview first - because it adds a nuance to everything that happens in the film - especially some of the nihilistic overtones in key scenes with Tracy Walker.

The commentary gives you some great insights into some of the sight gags - including the little pine tree air fresheners.  It also gets into how the director and Alex Cox really had it out on a few occasions during filming.  So much so that entire scenes were rewritten with other actors.  It's not hard to figure out which scenes those are - they kinda stick out like a sore thumb.  It just adds to the camp factor.

It is definitely a film of it's time.  Heck, Estevez's earring is all you need to know about the era this was filmed in!  But great one-liners give this a timeless quality.  I'm sure there are groups of guys still quoting entire scenes line for line.  There is a bit on John Wayne being gay that - well you just wouldn't see that scene in a movie made today.

I don't anticipate this film getting two much further than the next round but it's a fun little discovery.  Glad I got to see it.

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682318055_VBD9N-M.jpg)

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682318029_QUKCK-M.jpg)

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682318027_wSTth-M.jpg)  (http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/682318028_xkMzh-M.jpg)



RESULT:  Repo Man
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: skjerva on October 16, 2009, 10:33:20 AM
yay Repo Man
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on October 16, 2009, 10:52:34 AM
Dang, I haven't seen any of these recently reviewed films before.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on October 16, 2009, 12:11:46 PM
Great reviews Ferris.  I'm dissapointed that you didn't like El Norte more since I just bought the blu-ray and I've found our tastes generally match up.  Ah well, sounds like you picked the right one to move on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on October 20, 2009, 08:44:04 PM
(http://i34.tinypic.com/2m79sn4.jpg)

Barfly (Barbet Schroeder, 1987)

I apologize for not writing about this sooner, because I really don't remember a lot about it in detail. Unfortunately that speaks toward my experience with it. The gist of the story is that Mickey Rourke plays a drunk named Henry. Henry prides himself in being an unproductive member of society, so he mostly just drinks, gets in fights (and loses), and occasionally writes. He meets a woman named Wanda, played by Faye Dunaway, another barfly(title!). They enter into a turbulent relationship, and many hijinks ensue. Or at least it seems likely, the rest of the movie kinda blurs together.

I did overall enjoy the two lead performances, Rourke more than Faye. He plays a good bum, managing to be likable and not just despicable. I guess the big fault I have with the movie is it just never did anything to stand out to me. Scenes would happen and I would instantly forget about them, nothing ever added up to anything worth remembering. There were very few instances where the humor got any reaction out of me, and without that I found very little to take from it.



The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985)

This is one of those movies I've really never had any interest in despite the amount of love there is for it. I think I just assumed I was of the wrong generation to appreciate it. Luckily that was not the case.

I think what I admire most about this movie is how simple the premise is. It barely strays from the setup of 5 characters in a room, and when it does it does it organically. It doesn't fall back on flashbacks or anything to flesh out the characters for the audience, it sticks to its guns and builds a really great character study out of just this one days events. And the characters are all really good. Not all of them are likable, but even the ones who aren't have depth to them, and you're given the opportunity to view them from different perspectives throughout the movie.

It succeeds at being a very funny comedy, but also as an introspective and philosophical experience. I was pretty amazed at how great a scene such as the five main characters sitting in a circle talking could be. It's really long, but maybe the most compelling scene in the movie.

I had a few minor quibbles with the story. For instance, marijauna could be construed as an awfully convenient way to have the characters warm up to each other enough to open up some. It works, but I think it would have been more interesting if it was earned without that intervention. I also thought Allison's makeover was a completely unnecessary cliche that also undermined her character (and my favorite character).

But those are minor points



Verdict

The Breakfast Club takes this one easily. Sorry Mickey, looks like some more drinking is in order.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on October 20, 2009, 11:40:20 PM
I'm happy with this verdict!

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/519891128_ev4RD-S.jpg)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on October 20, 2009, 11:48:16 PM
Totally behind in this thread. Nice write-ups Melvil, ferris, 'Noke, and roujin.

Sorry to see Coming to America go so quickly. I saw it ages ago but I remember Kiss being good, but Eddie Murphy is so great in C to A.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 'Noke on October 21, 2009, 04:10:52 AM
I also thought Allison's makeover was a completely unnecessary cliche that also undermined her character (and my favorite character).

I agree with your verdict, especially this. She was my favourite charcter and I really didnt like how the film made her change.

We need a what breakfast club character are you poll. I'm on it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Tequila on October 21, 2009, 04:27:09 AM
I'm gonna give it to Kiss of the Spider Woman because it seems not a lot of people have seen it and although I do have problems with it [...]
Not in the review you didn't! Too conventional?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on October 21, 2009, 06:57:58 AM
Good stuff Mel!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on October 21, 2009, 10:49:42 AM
Nice job Mel.  It would have been devistating to have BC gone in the first round.  It's got to be one if the favorites to make it to the finals.  It kind of defines the 80s.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on October 21, 2009, 12:46:57 PM
yay Repo Man

Gotta love Harry
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on October 31, 2009, 01:08:44 PM
Wallstreet

The beauty of Wall Street is that it perfectly captures the allure of the stock market. The most attractive part being the nearly limitless potential profits, but it also nails the sexiness of it. And what's more, it's filled with characters that absolutely exist in real life. The most memorable being Douglas's Gordon Gecko. Not only is the performance one of the best of the decade, but the writing behind it is equally brilliant. He's a complete bastard, but he's also always right. Almost everything he says contains a grain of truth, no matter how despicable it sounds.

(http://i34.tinypic.com/2j1aou8.jpg)

And the movie has so much more going for it than one good character. The main storyline, Bud Fox's rise and fall, is compelling and often thrilling. His master and apprentice relationship with Gecko is wonderfully detailed. Throw in John C. McGinley and Martin Sheen with some great supporting performances and you've got yourself an exceptional film.

(http://i33.tinypic.com/sdlbag.jpg)

With each viewing I come to appreciate Wall Street more. It may look it's age, but I doubt it will ever feel it. It's a surprisingly insightful film.

3.5/4


The Goonies

I made little or no connection with this film. It's a bunch of little rascals on a treasure hunt. If I were a kid I could see myself enjoying it and wishing I were part of the adventure but as an adult it never captured my imagination. The stakes were too small to interest me and the characters were too annoying to root for. It was like watching Tomb Raider with kids instead of Angelina Jolie, and water pistols instead of rocket launchers. Tough to get excited about.

I think the most interesting part about the movie for me was seeing all of these actors as kids.

(http://i35.tinypic.com/24q4dhg.jpg)(http://i33.tinypic.com/2929t1l.jpg)
(http://i33.tinypic.com/65pkk0.jpg)(http://i37.tinypic.com/16gcpwj.jpg)

I don't have anything else to say about this one.  :-\

1/4


Vedict: Wall Street easily moves on. I hope it does well in future rounds!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on October 31, 2009, 01:51:18 PM
Ouch, Goonies takes a beating. I'm not as much of a Wall Street fan, but I'd make the same decision.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on October 31, 2009, 01:57:32 PM
I'm not as much of a Wall Street fan, but I'd make the same decision.

Same with me, I think.

Love the before and after shots, smirnoff!

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on October 31, 2009, 03:33:31 PM

Vedict: Wall Street easily moves on. I hope it does well in future rounds!

(http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/Professional/Misc/SealOfAwesomeness/519891503_QZQ4d-L.jpg)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on November 12, 2009, 11:02:55 PM
Enemies: A Love Story
1989
Paul Mazursky


VS.

Hannah and Her Sisters
1986
Woody Allen



(http://i37.tinypic.com/28syn4g.jpg)
Enemies: A Love Story
Talk about a love tangle.  Our hero, Herman(Ron Silver), a Jewish Holocaust survivor, has managed to get himself involved with three women at once.  Taking place in New York City shortly after the conclusion of World War II, there is an interesting dynamic of a host of Jewish survivors dealing with what they went through.  Many, like Herman, have all but given up on their faith, questioning how a God could be so cruel to them, and hence how Herman got himself into his predicament.  There is a lot to like about the themes presented here.  There are the struggles of faith, coping with tragedy as well as the factors of love and what commitment means.  The problem is that its utterly bland.  I couldn't get invested in any of Herman's struggles.  Not only did I think he was a miserable person, but he wasn't even an interesting miserable person.  I have no idea how he managed to get one person to love him, never mind three.  The entire movie felt disorganized and didn't feel like it really knew what it was trying to tell.  Its definitely more drama than anything, and yet it does play to the comedy side as well.  Only I didn't find the plight of the woman funny, I only felt pity.  There is plenty of meat to sink your teeth into with this film, only its too unfocused to really reign in what could have been a meaningful story.

(http://i36.tinypic.com/34pde38.jpg)
Hannah and Her Sisters
The heart is a resilient muscle, or so Woody Allen proclaims.  Like so many of his works, 'Hannah and Her Sisters' is a masterful examination of love, life and relationships.  Allen sensationalizes relationships, pushing them to the boarders of morality, in order to test the deepest depths of love.  By focusing on three sisters and the tangle of relationship that they weave, we can examine differences between love, lust, structure and comfort.
 
There is no one better than deconstructing these themes and presenting them in a humorous, witty manner than Allen  By heightening the inner turmoil within his characters he illuminates our own fears, worries, and emotions.  This is Woody Allen at his finest.  A complex love story with enough humor to make an intellectual movie feel light and easily absorbable.  Although the characters might do immoral things, Allen doesn't demonize anyone for their actions, or particularly for their thoughts.  Allowing us to sympathize with even flawed characters allows the audience to focus on the themes and place themselves in the characters shoes to ponder what they would do in their situation rather then simply dismiss them as reprehensible.  This is key in telling a story of this nature.  So many times I'm turned off, not because of the story being told, but because I can't get behind the characters.  

There is the ever present 'Allen' character present in the film.  The neurotic, hopeless, fearful man, who is always seeking his next tragedy.  It's easy to dismiss this as Allen repeating himself, but this character is key to the heart of the themes Allen conveys in his movies.  Life is chaotic, random, and usually awful, but it's the best we have.  In the end we all die.  Is it permissible then to be immoral if it makes us happy in what little time we have?  Its this postmodern philosophy that tie his films together.  The film embodies the best qualities of Woody Allen filmography, and is an achievement not only as a thought provoking film, but also as good entertainment.

Verdict:  This was a perfect pairing of movies.  Both deal with sticky loves tangles and explore the boundaries of morality when it comes to love.  One film accomplishes this much better than the other.  This is an easy pick.  Everything that was lacking in Enemies, was shining through in Hannah and Her Sisters.  Hannah and Her Sisters made a decent movie in Enemies, look completely inferior.  It moves on easily.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on November 13, 2009, 12:29:00 AM
I haven't seen Enemies: A Love Story, but I completely agree with this decision. Nice write-ups, BlueVoid.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on November 13, 2009, 09:14:55 AM
Nice write ups.  Don't know anything about Enemies: I Love Story, but it would seem to me...

(http://i34.tinypic.com/2ljl16f.png)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on November 28, 2009, 12:38:28 PM
Hi.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on November 28, 2009, 01:01:17 PM
Hi.

Darn you had me excited there for  a minute
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on February 12, 2010, 03:05:50 PM
Pennies From Heaven (1981)

I find music to be far more subjective than film, simply because for me music can be and often is even more of an emotional reaction product than film. Musicals are much the same, because so much of their focus is on the music it often doesn’t matter whether a film is well made in every way, your emotional reaction guides your feelings on said film. Pennies From Heaven takes this even a step further by modifying its musical aesthetic to the point where it is a take it or leave it situation. From the moment Steve Martin started “singing” I fell into the latter category and I never stopped wanting to leave Pennies From Heaven behind.

Going back to the idea of music and emotion for a second, I have very strong feelings on music and what it means to me. That isn’t to say that I am stuck in my ways, simply that I feel very strongly about music and the affect it can have on people, particularly this guy. The best kind of music leaves me feeling like something has been put into my soul, a thought, an idea, a feeling, whatever that “something” may be, there is definitely a new entry in my soul cistern. Conversely the worst kind of music is the kind that leaves me feeling empty or flat, the music that doesn’t move me or involve me in any fashion. Before I go any further let me reveal what this has to do with Pennies From Heaven, it left me very, very empty. The music was so produced that it failed to do anything for me time after time, to the point where near the middle of the movie the musical numbers were like another slap in the face after the continuous slaps from the woefully ridiculous and underdeveloped story.

Before I wrap this up, one small thing that really, really bugged me, I found Pennies From Heaven to be terribly misogynistic. I usually don’t like to point that out in a film because if anyone wants to they can find misogyny in any film. However, with Pennies From Heaven I feel the need to point out just how misogynistic it was. Steve Martin’s character is the main offender, the camera often tries to paint him in a “oh man, his life sucks, feel sorry for him” light, but it does this by portraying him as a hypocrite and a cheater while portraying his women as a pair of idiots. I know a certain someone who would have a field day with the misogyny in Pennies From Heaven, but I am not that guy.

I don’t think I want to go on any longer with this review, it seems pretty pointless to me. I don’t like being pessimistic or a Debbie Downer, and if I were to write my usual length review for Pennies From Heaven that’s all you would get, negative comment after negative comment. Hey, wait, I forgot, the Christopher Walken tap dance sequence is an epic win. It’s Walken with an awesome ’stache tap dancing like a crazy fool, you can’t beat that, you just can’t. But that’s all Pennies From Heaven has going for it, as I was alternately bored and disgusted with the rest of the picture and more than happy when the end credits finally came along. If you are ever going to take my word on anything, I beg and plead that you listen to me now, avoid Pennies From Heaven, don’t even give it the time of the day, your life will be better for it.

Vs.

Reds (1981)

As a portrait of the times, Reds is most definitely an astounding success. The film moves quickly from setting to setting, yet it stays long enough at each entry in its travelogue that I constantly felt that I was present during important moments in history. The fault in Reds isn’t its length or its attempts to be an epic film, it manages both of those quite well, rather the fault with Reds resides in its cumbersome and uninteresting love story between Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton. If that love story had stayed as a simple backdrop to the painting of the times that was taking place then it wouldn’t be an issue, but it becomes the focal point of the movie far too often and leaves Reds a well made and engaging but ultimately uneven film.

The moments spent with the IWW, the Socialist Party or the Bolshevik Revolution are wonderful little bits of film making from Beatty. Not only does he recreate the era of the early 1900’s visually as well as through dialogue and the mannerisms of his actors, but he manages to capture the feeling of that particular place and time perfectly. When Beatty storms into a Socialist Party meeting in Chicago in 1919 I believe that meeting is actually taking place, I believe he ends up in a Finnish prison, I believe in every setting, place, costume and character. That amount of belief isn’t easy for a film to produce and in many ways the ability of Reds to completely engross me in its setting is its greatest asset.

On the flip side of the coin there is the aforementioned romance between Keaton and Beatty, a romance that I never quite cared about because I wanted more of the Bolsheviks, the Socialists, more of history and less of a romance that I didn’t find worth my time. The characters of John Reed and Louis Bryant are hard to relate to from the start, at least as far as romantic ideas are concerned, and they never cross that line to where their relationship is one I want to succeed, fail or see play out in shape or form. That’s not to say I need an on-screen couple to adhere to my romantics ideals, but I do need their relationship to be interesting and that wasn’t the case with the relationship in Reds.

The film remains tethered to that relationship, much to its detriment, especially in the last hour or so. At various times it breaks from its historical setting to handle relationship issues and this results in the flow of the film becoming fractured. Narrative flow is an important part of a film, at least in my eyes, and in that realm Reds fails in a very big way. Reds is two distinctly different films, two films that never quite work together, one film that is interesting and another that is highly forgettable. If the romantic angle had been dropped I am confident that Reds would have been a much better picture.

I think what I’ve written so far lays out my feelings on Reds in adequate fashion. Warren Beatty made the film he wanted to make, and half of it was a film I really wanted to see. The other half I could have done without, but Beatty included the love story and there isn’t anything I can do about that. For its amazing depiction of the early 1900’s Communist movement in America, and abroad, Reds is a film that is worth seeing, I merely wish it hadn’t tied itself down with such a woefully inept love story.

Verdict:

Reds certainly isn't a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it is vastly superior to Pennies From Heaven and easily moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on February 13, 2010, 09:44:20 AM
Great verdict, Bill.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on February 13, 2010, 11:15:44 AM
Reds sounds like an interesting slice of history. I'm not dying to see it, but am curious. Good write up.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on February 13, 2010, 12:28:25 PM
Nice job, Bill. In Reds, what did you think of the witness interviews?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on February 13, 2010, 01:28:09 PM
Nice job, Bill. In Reds, what did you think of the witness interviews?

I liked them at first, but they did become a bit repetitive as the movie progressed. They didn't detract from the film in any way, if anything they added a bit of a realistic touch, being real and all that sounds redundant, but I do wish the later ones hasn't repeated the same information as the initial ones.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on February 18, 2010, 12:10:35 AM
Reds sounds like an interesting slice of history. I'm not dying to see it, but am curious. Good write up.

Agree.

Thanks for helping to get the 80's Brackets rolling again!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on March 02, 2010, 03:41:34 PM
Talk Radio (Oliver Stone, 1988)

Barry Champlain is a talk radio host who doesn't mince words. He'll berate you, tease you or ignore you completely. Whether you're a big fan or you hate his guts he'll treat you with the same abrasive honesty that made him popular in the first place. He's the kind of host who always wins arguments because he can talk louder and longer. If all else fails he disconnects you. Much of his audience seems to despise him, and yet they continue to listen to his show or even call in.

Eric Bogosian, who I'd never heard of before, brings a ton of intensity to the role. I immediately found myself wondering "who is this guy and when can I see more of him?". Great character, great performance. He talks a mile a minute so you have no choice but to pay close attention. Also, his scenes in the studio just seem to go on forever, but in a good way.

I thoroughly enjoyed Talk radio. Champlain isn't the kid of character you'll fall in love with, but it's interesting to learn what it is to be the man behind the mike, and the toll it can take. A fascinating story. The only movie about radio I like more is Private Parts. One of the great comedies of the 90's.
(http://i50.tinypic.com/280ulap.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096219/)


(http://i47.tinypic.com/rmp4rn.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084649/)
The Secret of NIMH (Don Bluth, 1982)

It was back in August of 09 that I watched NIMH for the first time. I liked it as a technical achievement, but as a piece of entertainment I needed more. Not much has changed since then. The magic of the film doesn't have the same hold on me as it would if I were young. And to some degree this is true for all classic Disney and Disney-like films. When I saw Aladdin as a kid I don't think I even blinked. That's how rapt I was. There's no way it would have that same power over me today. There was a time when I wasn't sure I'd feel that way about an animated film ever again. Eventually, though, I discovered Miyazaki (and anime in general).

Anyways, I don't have much else to say about NIMH except that if you're going to watch it, watch it with your kids. Channel their enthusiasm. I'm sure they'll love it.


Verdict: Talk Radio moves on
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on March 02, 2010, 03:49:37 PM
yea!!! love seeing another 80's bracket verdict.  These two films are pretty close for me, but I think you got it right by just a hair.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 1SO on March 02, 2010, 04:04:56 PM
Talk Radio is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time.  (Currently #26)  I love that you discovered it.  I hope others will follow.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on March 02, 2010, 04:15:54 PM
I think it could do very well in this bracket.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on May 02, 2010, 10:53:19 PM
The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984)

Back before McG was driving the franchise into the ground, The Terminator was a cultural touchstone. My experience when I was young was of watching Terminator 2 first and preferring it to The Terminator when I eventually caught up with it. And watching The Terminator again a decade or some such later, it still rather pales in comparison. T2 has a lot of really memorable action set pieces that The Terminator lacks, though you also realize how many T2 scenes are rather uncreative adaptations of scenes from the first one.

The Terminator seems a rather sparse movie. It has long bits with rather little dialogue and sticks to a fairly simple plot arc of the Terminator chasing and Sarah Connor and Reese evading. There are only a few points where it tries to break this simple progression of set pieces to actually deal with the philosophical aspects. Whereas T2 is ambitious, The Terminator seems to be just an action film. It is capable but unspectacular aside from its cultural impact.

I do want to comment on one final thing. The effects here are really dated. There are various points where The Terminator fails to seem like Arnold as they either have a dummy or heavy makeup that does not look authentic. There are other points where the movement involved has a jerkiness reminiscent of Harryhausen. In this way The Terminator hasn't aged all that well.
(http://goremasterfx.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/the-terminator.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088247/)


(http://1000filma.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/jerry-lewis-the-king-of-comedy.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085794/)
The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1982)

When I first heard about this film I thought it odd that Robert DeNiro would be playing a stand-up comic. Fockers aside, he hasn't really been considered a comedic actor. Then I dove further into the premise. His character starts out seeming a bit pathetic but quickly the character segues into crazy, a bit reminiscent of Travis Bickle as he keeps upping the ante to get the host of a late-night show to let him do his routine. This starts to sound very much like a Scorsese/DeNiro film. Sad to say, it did not change my opinion that I like Scorsese best without DeNiro. I think when the character shifts from pathetic to delusional, it makes it less interesting. I much preferred my time with Sandra Bernhard to that with DeNiro.

While I was watching this I kind of pictured a modern remake where instead of a terrible comic kidnapping Jerry Lewis' Johnny Carson type character to get on his show, it would be a terrible singer kidnapping Simon Cowell to get on American Idol. Only American Idol's celebration of the terrible in its opening weeks would render that plot utterly unnecessary. This made me very sad about the current state of entertainment.

Frankly, if I had the power, I'd move for a double elimination here and use it to save something else (like the above Secret of NIHM). While I do actually enjoy The Terminator, I still find it ultimately unnecessary to this bracket. But I didn't quite enjoy The King of Comedy so given that The Terminator wins due to soft competition.

Verdict: The Terminator moves on
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on May 03, 2010, 12:35:34 AM
I was afraid of this. I'm sure I won't be the only one pushing for KoC's resurrection, though it's been a few years since I've seen it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: oneaprilday on May 03, 2010, 11:00:35 PM
I was afraid of this. I'm sure I won't be the only one pushing for KoC's resurrection, though it's been a few years since I've seen it.
I saw it for the first time pretty recently - it's fantastic. I didn't expect to like it, and I was taken completely by surprise. I hope it's resurrected.

KoC >>>>>>>>>> Funny People
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on May 13, 2010, 09:11:39 PM
Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (Les Blank, 1980)

I’m a foodie. I like cooking and Italian is my specialty (because there is no value in specializing in Norwegian) so I am rather familiar with garlic. As such, I think I was rather a receptive audience for this documentary and enjoyed it more than I would have without this background. I say this because it isn’t a particularly good documentary.

At 50 minutes it is short, but the informational content is even slighter. There is about 5 minutes of this film that addresses facts about garlic and the role of garlic in culture. It talks about potential health benefits, ties to Dracula legend, and other such places where garlic pops up, but always in the vaguest terms. The other 45 minutes are spent watching people cook using garlic. Sometimes this is mouthwatering and sometimes, as a near vegetarian, it is rather disgusting.

Now, we could certainly get into a debate about the proper role of a documentary. I came of age in the modern documentary revolution, where documentaries are heavy-handed narratives that use glitzy editing and effects to really package the material. This being a film from 1980, it comes from an older brand of documentary that is much more inclined to just set a camera down and press record. I have to admit a strong preference for the modern style. I would have liked to get more information density out of this. Rather than vague comments about where and how it is grown and in what varieties, be a bit more comprehensive. Talk to me about the various ways and methods for converting it from the base plant to food. Give me more perspective on its alleged health benefits; include more footage of attractive, nude French women getting olive oil rub-downs. Whatever it is, this film just needs a bit more. If you can find it and are a foodie, it isn’t bad, but on the whole, people aren’t missing much by this film’s inaccessibility.
(http://www.loc.gov/wiseguide/feb05/images/mothers-a.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080776/)


(http://lovingthetasmaniandevil.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/working-girl.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096463/)
Working Girl (Mike Nichols, 1988)

Feminism! When I saw the title I was pretty sure this film was about a prostitute. I like films about prostitutes. But apparently by working they meant a proper 9-5 job. This film does seem to be a celebration of a certain feminist idea (I’m going with second wave). It is about a woman who is not going to be degraded by where society has placed her and lives down to its expectations of her capabilities. It is a world where she can be both sexy and smart. It is a world where all the men are cads, though perhaps we can forgive a guy who looks like Harrison Ford.

Of course, it is a film that also features cat-fighting. I’m not sure I’d say it glamorizes women acting like men as the path to success (well, how they perceive men to be), but it certainly plays upon that notion. That said, the film has some charming moments. It is passable.

Again, I’m not thrilled about this pairing and would probably be just as happy with a double elimination. Despite my natural thematic preference for Garlic, Working Girl does what it is better, and being more available for those in the next round doesn’t hurt. There seemed to be some dispute about whether I could reclaim this pairing so count it or not, but I thought I'd go ahead and submit the verdict.

Verdict: Working Girl moves on
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on May 15, 2010, 08:58:23 AM
I'd never heard of either of these films before but Working Girl looks/sounds better so I'm glad it's moving on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on May 15, 2010, 09:48:51 AM
Garlic sounds better to me  :-\
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on May 15, 2010, 12:19:02 PM
Nice job, Bondo. I've never heard of Garlic and have never seen more than a few minutes of WG but it didn't seem very good. Hopefully you'll like something from your next match-up.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on May 18, 2010, 04:18:07 PM
Let’s Get Lost (Bruce Weber, 1988)

Oh dear God. Somehow they made a 120 minute, largely unstructured documentary wherein the image rarely matches directly to the topic. Rather, interviews are played to images of jazz music sets or driving down the highway or whatever else. This is a setting that would demand a spectacularly fascinating topic to work. Personally, some jazz trumpeter’s life is not one that qualifies. I would talk about how this style of documentary is old and inferior, but the film it reminds me of most is Of Time And The City, last year’s Filmspot nominated doc about Liverpool…that I hated. So I guess it is more inferior than old. I neither appreciate the style nor the material. I guess this is the 16 seed to Top Gun’s 1 seed.

Ok, that probably isn’t entirely fair to Let’s Get Lost. It does eventually get around to a bit more coherence. I think the problem is ultimately the topic more than the style. Nothing about Chet Baker seems all that interesting to me that I’d desire to spend time (especially a long two hours) on his life story. Five iPhones out of five is all I’m saying.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2340/2237910989_77f596dd9c.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095515/)


(http://www.movieprop.com/tvandmovie/reviews/topgun.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092099/)
Top Gun (Tony Scott, 1986)

I’ve got a theory that you can judge the quality of a film by the quality of its spoof. Thus, because Hot Shots > Mafia, Top Gun > Godfather. Similarly, Star Wars > Top Gun because Spaceballs > Hot Shots. That a film could so closely structure itself off Top Gun in parody, and be effective is a testament to the cultural significance of Top Gun.

Sure, the romance, though handled with good chemistry, seems a little off-tone and Maverick gets on your nerves in the first half with his wild behaviors that not only go beyond standard protocols in the name of amazing results, but just petty disobedience. But on the other hand you get a classic soundtrack (top 5 all time?), you get incredible aerial stunts…we’re talking real jets with real pilots at the helm. No CGI here. You also get moments of surprising emotional heft.

Top Gun may not deliver any transcendent depth of meaning, but in the spirit of the blockbuster it is, it is an indisputable blast to watch, as it was again in what is probably my fourth or fifth complete viewing. I’m afraid it was always a long shot for Let’s Get Lost.

Verdict: Top Gun in a landslide
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on May 18, 2010, 04:23:51 PM
Yuck. Top Gun is horrible.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on May 18, 2010, 04:25:47 PM
I liked Let's Get Lost a lot more than you (thought I reviewed it, guess not — Grade: B), but Top Gun is the greatest film of all time, so okay.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on May 18, 2010, 04:26:06 PM
Yuck. Top Gun is horrible.

If you can't get behind it's cheesy goodness then something might be wrong with you Sam.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on May 18, 2010, 04:26:40 PM
That's too bad about Let’s Get Lost, I've heard good things about it. I've always been curious about it because when I was a kid I had a friend and his mom had that poster  (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2340/2237910989_77f596dd9c.jpg)hanging in their living room and it always fascinated me.

Re: Top Gun, but what about the volleyball scene?  :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on May 18, 2010, 04:31:42 PM
Yeah, sam, I listened to your podcast  :P

I get the macho complaint about summer blockbusters generally, but I think it fits here. The military environment is one prone to competitive and macho vibes.

Re: Top Gun, but what about the volleyball scene?  :)

I like oiled up, shirtless men as much as the next guy but I'm not sure how relevant it is.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on May 18, 2010, 04:35:34 PM
You can be my wingman any time, Bondo. (http://www.greendaycommunity.org/Forum/public/style_emoticons/Dark/eyebrow.gif)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on May 18, 2010, 04:36:31 PM
I like oiled up, shirtless men as much as the next guy but I'm not sure how relevant it is.
It's relevant to homo-awesomeness. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on May 18, 2010, 04:45:59 PM
I like oiled up, shirtless men as much as the next guy but I'm not sure how relevant it is.
It's relevant to homo-awesomeness.  

Truth.

Edit: Actually this made my day, and homo-awesomeness has now become my new favorite awesome word.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on May 18, 2010, 06:28:43 PM
homo-awesomeness is the only awesomeness.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on May 18, 2010, 06:31:51 PM
homo-awesomeness is the only awesomeness.

Truth.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on May 19, 2010, 05:56:48 PM
Batman

Tim Burton's 1989 Batman came to us two decades after the classic and zany television series starring Adam West, and two decades before Christopher Nolan's considerably rougher and more downbeat productions. The character has been played by half a dozen actors and starred in at least as many films. It's not been an evolution so much as a constant reconstruction process, and each incarnation has produced dramatically different results. Some good for watching, others good for Happy Meals. So, in a journey with definite peaks and valleys where does Burton's Batman land?

(http://i45.tinypic.com/20rpksz.jpg)

For me this film is one of the good ones and, in some ways, the best. Let me start with Danny Elfman's score which is my favourite element, the theme in particular. It's dark and moody unlike the 60's television music and builds into something that gets you pumped. But most importantly, to me anyways, is that it's instantly recognizable. That's something I feel has been lost with Hans Zimmer's work on Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Good scores, but they don't scream "I'm Batman!". The themes from Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever and Batman & Robin are recognizable but also try way too hard to be hip (which means that 15 years later they sound really stupid). Elfman's work has aged very well. For me it defines Batman music and it will leave you humming the theme when the movie is over. And people will hear you humming and say "hey, that's Batman" and you'll say "damn right". Do THAT with The Dark Knight theme. You'll be humming and people will say "what are you humming" and you'll say "The Dark Knight" and they'll be like "it sounds like nothing" and you'll go home and weep into your pillow (which may or may not have a Batman pillowcase on it).

Now that I've biased your opinions, please check out this poll (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=8110.0) and decide for yourself :)

Moving on. Lots of high quality actors have played Batman, with varying degrees of success. Adam West, who I mentioned ealier, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale. Those last four are pretty big names. Michael Keaton, the star of this movie, might be the best Batman. I dunno why but I like the performance a lot. What he isn't though is the best Bruce Wayne. That title goes to Christian Bale. I LOVE how Bruce Wayne is protrayed in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. A huge personality, charismatic, a bit of a jerk, and he doesn't live like a schnook... it's a drastically different take on what has always been a predictable character. This is where Keaton's portrayal falters a bit (not his fault mind you). As Bruce Wayne he's nice, charming... boring. So faithful to the well-known source that it becomes a bit dry. As for Val Kilmer and George Clooney, who even remembers their performances? Jim Carrey and Arnold Schwarzenegger stole the show.

Let's poll it though (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=8113.0).

Personally I'm not a fan of Jack Nicholson's Joker (though I'm not blaming the actor). He's too silly and his desires are so generic. Gain power, rule the world. It never feels like there's a chance he could actually make good on his goals or that he poses any real threat to Batman. He's more of a joke than a Joker. And to make matters worse anything that was scary about him is stripped away in that unfortunate musical number midway through the film. A Prince song comes on (one written specifically for this movie) and the Joker jumps around and sings, all the while losing his credibility.

The song... (http://i47.tinypic.com/2mw7d55.gif)
Batman Soundtrack - Prince - Partyman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaAQNdzpA_A#)

So who is the best Batman villain then? Maybe I'm wrong maybe it is Nicholson's Joker. Better poll it (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=8112.0). On a related note, wiki says that Tim Curry was Burton's second choice to play the Joker. Imagine that. It still would've been silly, but I think Curry could've done that job just as well as Nicholson. His face is much better suited to the character imho.

The look and feel of this movie is excellent (though Batman Returns looks a little better even). The world Burton creates is dark, gothic... let's call it Burtony. I liked all of the design choices. The Batmobile might be the best Batmobile in any of the films. It's a jet engine with 4 wheels and a cockpit, but more than that she's a real looker. Maybe less capable than the monster truck that Christian Bale drives, but it still seems to get the job done. Here's a Batmobile poll (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=8111.0). As for Batman's suit, it looks okay. Rubbery yes, but that's better than the hard plastic look and certainly an improvement over grey spandex with black undies. The trick is to light it poorly enough so that you don't see it, otherwise it's gunna look pretty goofy.

The plot is kind of whatever. It doesn't resonate like Watchmen or V for Vendetta, and it certainly isn't as grand. It's just good 'ol fashioned Batman, kicking ass in a Burton environment. And as far as that goes, it's pretty enjoyable. There's lots of familiar faces in supporting roles which adds to the fun. Lando Calrissian plays Harvey Dent, Jack Palace plays some mob boss, and Kim Basinger is the damsel in distress. All in all Batman is an enjoyable film



Heathers


I didn't investigate this movie much before watching it so I was surprised and pleased to discover just how edgy it was. A dark comedy set in an ordinary suburban high school. It had Strangers with Candy (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0369994/)'s absurdity, Juno (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0467406/)'s hipness, and a John Waters (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000691/)-like sense of humour. The story was ludicrous and the characters were extreme stereotypes, but it all served the comedy. It was a very enjoyable, very unique, and plenty quotable film. It made me wish I had been a teenager when it came out. It has aged somewhat, but really most of the jokes still land.

(http://i45.tinypic.com/2jd1au8.jpg)

I don't want to say to much about this one or spoil any of the jokes for those who haven't seen it yet... maybe I'll leave that up to the person who is forced to kick it out of the bracket. That's not gunna be me though.


Verdict: Batman is a good film with great moments, but I'm not sure it has much to offer modern day audiences. It's my feeling that Nolan and Bale have surpassed this superhero classic (and it is a classic). Heathers on the other hand should succeed in getting more than a few good laugh out of people, even if they've seen it before. Will it go deep in the bracket? Not likely. But I'll send it on to round to and we'll see what happens. Batman you'll have to revisit on your own time... and I hope you do ;)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on May 19, 2010, 06:13:17 PM
Batman is not that good, and I say that as a big batman fan.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on May 19, 2010, 06:20:15 PM
Batman is not that good, and I say that as a big batman fan.

I'm on and off with Batman. I watched it 2 years ago and got bored, this time around I had a good time.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Tequila on May 19, 2010, 06:27:27 PM
I love Batman in most of its incarnations, but Slater was pretty good when he was still on drugs.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on May 19, 2010, 08:17:58 PM
I loved Heathers when I saw it in high school, I'm glad it's going through.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on May 19, 2010, 09:36:49 PM
Slater was pretty good when he was still on drugs.

Has Pump Up the Volume won the 90s bracket yet?

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on May 20, 2010, 01:26:17 AM
I loved Heathers when I saw it in high school, I'm glad it's going through.

Me too. I watched it a few years ago and it didn't hold up very well. Still has some pretty funny moments though.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 01, 2010, 10:43:31 PM
Hoosiers (David Anspaugh, 1986)

So the key question, if a movie is so pivotal to film history that it may well be the origin of a lot of film clichés, should it then be excused for feeling cliché? I’m not enough of an expert on sports films, certainly not those that came before Hoosiers, to know the degree to which it would have seemed fresh at the time, but it does feel a bit routine when it comes down to it. The first time you see a character and get a basic description, you pretty much know how they will factor in to the story. I’d go through the whole list, but to save time and avoid spoilers I won’t.

Of course, maybe if I didn’t detest the sport of basketball, this film would rise above decent sports film to something that holds a place of meaning. The actual game scenes are the least interesting in the film by far. It is a strong performance from Hackman and the first act definitely creates a compelling narrative with just enough tension and mystery so I will recommend this, but it certainly doesn’t rise to any special level I haven’t seen a million times at this point.
(http://www.overthinkingit.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/hoosiers.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091217/)


(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f0/Swing_shift.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088213/)
Swing Shift (Jonathan Demme, 1984))

As a swing shift working myself, I was a little disappointed that the fact that they worked the swing shift was pretty much irrelevant. Anyway, I kind of figure this film is Closer by way of Rosie The Riveter. You’ve got Kay (Goldie Hawn) whose husband (Ed Harris) goes off to fight in WWII and she goes to work in the factory where she meets Lucky (Kurt Russell) and befriends the neighbor who had previously remained at a distance. Cue cascading betrayals and hurt fee-fees.

I don’t know if this was going for a feminist angle by covering the problematic gender politics of the post-war “ladies, back to the kitchen or by suggesting a lady’s got to get some. But nothing anything really connected. The film does, however, feature a great drunk chick screaming match. It seems hammy at first glance, but having seen (well, at least heard) a few in my apartment complex, I can give it the seal of approval.

Neither film blew me away, but when it comes down to it, Hoosiers is a better film and certainly a more significant film within film history.

Verdict: Hoosiers sinks the buzzer beater.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 02, 2010, 05:56:56 AM
Goldie Hawn is such a babe in that movie :) Oh well.

One of these days I'll catch up with Hoosiers.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 02, 2010, 08:03:06 AM
Goldie Hawn is such a babe in that movie :) Oh well.

Well, this is true. Goldie Hawn > Meg Ryan. Plus in the chesty/artificially enhanced Hollywood culture, you've got to dig a woman who rocks the A-cups.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Colleen on June 02, 2010, 08:19:18 AM
And the Swing Shift poster/video cover is so sexy.  I never watched the movie back then but I think I looked at that video every time we went to the video store (back when there really were video stores, and they weren't all Blockbusters either).  Between that and my fascination with Annie Lenox, I really should have had a clue about my leanings way before I actually did.  (As a friend of mine says, "The letter was in your pocket, you just weren't ready to open it and read it yet.")

It also reminds me that I loved 1940s culture/fashion/hair even way back then and wanted to look like Katherine Hepburn when I grew up.  Dismal failure on that front.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 03, 2010, 12:55:01 PM
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
IMDb: 7.6 (52,240 votes)

(http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/4301/rogerrabbit1.jpg)   (http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/2851/rogerrabbit2.jpg)

There's a lot of love in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? for classic animation and old Hollywood. Combining hand-drawn animations with live shots must have been a difficult and time-consuming process, and overall, it looks quite good. Roger Rabbit is a comedy set down in a world of film noir tropes and events, so I'm disappointed to report that it's not very funny. Some of you might be able to enjoy the comedy and gags on a nostalgic or meta level, but there was little in the first half that actually worked for me. It's only once Valiant ventures into Toon Town later in the film that we get wittiness injected into the formula, and I found myself chuckling at the jokes for the first time. The live actors' style of acting is very cartoonish in itself, but none of them had the great lines or the charisma necessary to pull off a memorable character. This was one or two steps above those weird Sunday School live-action films I had to watch growing up. So, all in all, this was a rather disappointing watch, given director Robert Zemeckis's other achievements.

Another Woman (1988)
IMDb: 7.3 (4,348 votes)

(http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/1872/anotherwoman1.jpg)   (http://img710.imageshack.us/img710/4540/anotherwoman2.jpg)

This was my first Woody Allen film I've ever seen, and I was a little surprised that there's no comedy. Another Woman is a a simple, elegant drama about a philosophy professor in her early 50s who takes a short sabbatical to write another book. She rents a separate apartment downtown for writing in isolation, even blocking up the vents so she can't hear the next-door psychiatrist and his patients conversing. She dozes off one afternoon, and is woken up by a woman's voice that seems to be talking about her own life. Of course, it's just one of the patients next door, but the professor (Marion, played by Gena Rowlands) can't shake the thoughts that are in her head now. Over the course of the next few days, she remembers many of the important events in her life, and realizes that she's not perceived by friends and family quite like she thought she was.

By the end of the film, the title "Another woman" has at least four possible meanings, and that's just one example of the subtle, understated nature of the film. (The trajectory of the woman in the psychiatrist's office is another.) The acting is excellent, especially Gene Hackman in a supporting performance. The perfectly bittersweet ending calls to mind Jason Reitman's recent Up in the Air (also about someone in their early 50s going through a crisis of awareness). While the characters themselves are very sophisticated here, the film itself is rawer, less controlled, and somehow more genuine. And as much as I enjoyed Up in the Air, Woody Allen's slight drama puts it to shame.


Verdict: Another Woman by K.O. in the first act.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 03, 2010, 12:58:08 PM
Yeah, disagree, a lot, Another Woman was okay, I barely remember it, WFRR isn't just an awesome noir, an awesome animated film or an awesome blend of live-action and animation, it's just an awesome film period.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 03, 2010, 01:04:39 PM
Yeah, disagree, a lot, Another Woman was okay, I barely remember it, WFRR isn't just an awesome noir, an awesome animated film or an awesome blend of live-action and animation, it's just an awesome film period.

I figured this would be unpopular, but the decision was clear for me. WFRR? wasn't funny or interesting at all after my admiration at the technical achievement faded.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 1SO on June 03, 2010, 01:24:28 PM
THIS IS NOT WHY I... I MEAN OF ALL THE LOUSY STINKIN.... I MEAN COME ON. IT'S JUST....

AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!
 >:( :-[ >:( >:( :-[ :-[ :'( >:( ??? >:( :-[ :'(
(just letting off a little steam)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 03, 2010, 01:31:50 PM
Real nice write-up there, michael!

I too was very impressed with Another Woman when I first watched it. It's one of my favourite Woody's so seeing it move on to round 2 makes me really happy. Roger Rabbit... I have no idea. I was a kid last time I watched it. Not much interest in watching it again. Your review kind of confirms my suspicions. :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on June 03, 2010, 01:37:31 PM
Another Woman sounds a lot like Wild Strawberries.

Nice write ups!  I can barely remember WFRR so its no big loss for me.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 03, 2010, 01:40:08 PM
Nice write-ups, michael x. I like both of those films but would have gone with Roger. I love the modernist transportation planning conspiracy aspects of it; private interests dismantling the transit system in favour of freeway construction which requires the razing of a minority community (Toontown in this case). Good stuff that is.  
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 03, 2010, 01:42:50 PM
Another Woman sounds a lot like Wild Strawberries.
I think Woody even uses Bergman's cinematographer.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 03, 2010, 01:50:57 PM
I haven't seen Another Woman, but you've made me curious about it with your review, michael. I've seen Roger Rabbit dozens of times, although it's probably been a decade since I last saw it. I think there's a lot to love there, but I'm excited to have something new brought to my attention. So, well done. (That's part of the purpose of these brackets, right?)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 03, 2010, 02:22:50 PM
Another Woman sounds a lot like Wild Strawberries.

Nice write ups!  I can barely remember WFRR so its no big loss for me.

I'm very interested in seeing Wild Strawberries. Roger Ebert made the same connection in his review: "Allen's film is not a remake of "Wild Strawberries" in any sense, but a meditation on the same theme: the story of a thoughtful person, thoughtfully discovering why she might have benefitted from being a little less thoughtful."

I haven't seen Another Woman, but you've made me curious about it with your review, michael. I've seen Roger Rabbit dozens of times, although it's probably been a decade since I last saw it. I think there's a lot to love there, but I'm excited to have something new brought to my attention. So, well done. (That's part of the purpose of these brackets, right?)

I do hope people check out Another Woman, even if they only come to the conclusion that I'm insane. (Though I do think you'll like it quite a bit.)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 04, 2010, 12:30:16 PM
Of course, maybe if I didn’t detest the sport of basketball, this film would rise above decent sports film to something that holds a place of meaning.

I knew I never liked you.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 04, 2010, 01:33:02 PM
Of course, maybe if I didn’t detest the sport of basketball, this film would rise above decent sports film to something that holds a place of meaning.

I knew I never liked you.

I just can't respect a sport that makes playing defense a penalty. Isn't impeding someone's path to the basket kind of the point? No, wait, that's a blocking foul.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 04, 2010, 02:47:12 PM
Of course, maybe if I didn’t detest the sport of basketball, this film would rise above decent sports film to something that holds a place of meaning.

I knew I never liked you.

I just can't respect a sport that makes playing defense a penalty. Isn't impeding someone's path to the basket kind of the point? No, wait, that's a blocking foul.

You can impede someone's path to the basket, your feet just need to be set before you get in their way. It's like in football, you can defend against a receiver catching a ball, you just can't grab him before the ball gets there.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 04, 2010, 02:53:20 PM
Of course, maybe if I didn’t detest the sport of basketball, this film would rise above decent sports film to something that holds a place of meaning.

I knew I never liked you.

I just can't respect a sport that makes playing defense a penalty. Isn't impeding someone's path to the basket kind of the point? No, wait, that's a blocking foul.

You can impede someone's path to the basket, your feet just need to be set before you get in their way. It's like in football, you can defend against a receiver catching a ball, you just can't grab him before the ball gets there.

Exactly, I don't see how it's any different. If that's where your lack of respect stems from, I don't know what to tell you. I can understand having issues with the way games are officiated, but that's just silly.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 04, 2010, 02:54:48 PM
I assumed Bondo was joking, maybe I'm wrong.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 04, 2010, 03:14:37 PM
I assumed Bondo was joking, maybe I'm wrong.

Not joking and I don't think that analogy to a good sport works. I define contact as movement into. If you move sideways and someone runs into your front, you aren't making contact with them, they are making contact with you. It's like T-boning a car and saying they hit you. What sense does that make? Whether your feet are "set" is entirely irrelevant to that point. I'm not debating that if you hit someone's hand or body while they shoot, the real equivalent to your example, it should be a foul.

Anyway, not ultimately relevant to Hoosiers. It was more of a rhetorical point to illustrate that Hoosiers can win you over even if you don't care about/for basketball.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 04, 2010, 03:17:40 PM
I assumed Bondo was joking, maybe I'm wrong.

Not joking and I don't think that analogy to a good sport works. I define contact as movement into. If you move sideways and someone runs into your front, you aren't making contact with them, they are making contact with you. It's like T-boning a car and saying they hit you. What sense does that make? Whether your feet are "set" is entirely irrelevant to that point. I'm not debating that if you hit someone's hand or body while they shoot, the real equivalent to your example, it should be a foul.

Anyway, not ultimately relevant to Hoosiers. It was more of a rhetorical point to illustrate that Hoosiers can win you over even if you don't care about/for basketball.

Do you like football then, because the analogy totally holds up, maybe even better if you reverse it a little. If I as the receiver decide to run over the defender to make sure I can catch the ball then that is a penalty. It's not allowing contact, and that was the reason you used for not liking basketball.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 04, 2010, 03:43:09 PM
Yeah, it just strikes me as a weird reason to totally dismiss a sport. Like I'm not really a fan of the DH, but I still manage to love baseball just fine.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 04, 2010, 03:45:43 PM
Everything you said pretty much applies to soccer as well. Which is cool by me - hate on what you want to, just don't mess with my rugby.  ;)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 04, 2010, 06:02:40 PM
I assumed Bondo was joking, maybe I'm wrong.
Not joking
Well, in that case, you're ridiculous.  ;)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 'Noke on June 04, 2010, 06:04:29 PM
Slater was pretty good when he was still on drugs.

Has Pump Up the Volume won the 90s bracket yet?

pixote

Yes.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 04, 2010, 06:55:35 PM
I assumed Bondo was joking, maybe I'm wrong.
Not joking
Well, in that case, you're ridiculous.  ;)

At least I know my place in the world :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 06, 2010, 07:40:31 PM
After Hours
(Martin Scorsese 1985)

(http://i46.tinypic.com/2mmir82.jpg)

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
(http://i46.tinypic.com/2w4h7j4.jpg)

Bringing Out the Dead
(http://i47.tinypic.com/2pow2lx.jpg)

The King of Comedy
(http://i50.tinypic.com/2ilc975.jpg)

Kundun
(http://i50.tinypic.com/1zn0ggz.jpg)

The Age of Innocence
(http://i46.tinypic.com/11rdcoj.jpg)


"Overlooked Masterpiece", "Underrated Masterpiece", "Ignored Masterpiece"... poor Scorsese. It seems all his lesser known films are being unfairly shunned! Could After Hours be another under-appreciated masterpiece? Once again, let's look to imdb for the definitive answer.

(http://i49.tinypic.com/9hlufr.jpg)
(http://i47.tinypic.com/ranrmb.jpg)

Oh the humanity!
(http://i46.tinypic.com/2ewz0pe.jpg)

Shame on you film loving world! SHAME!



Okay, serious review time. Is After Hours really a masterpiece? Well lemme put it this way, if you called it a 'minor-masterpiece' I wouldn't call you crazy.

To me After Hours felt like Scorsese was challenging himself... trying to see how much he could do and how little he could do it with. The film has no major names in it (well, nobody on the "De Niro" level anyways), it didn't have a big budget (4.5M), and the locations are simple and there's not many of them. A small scale production with big ambitions. 

(http://i48.tinypic.com/20gy3pw.jpg)(http://i47.tinypic.com/2rh4t2g.jpg)
(http://i50.tinypic.com/2i6pcb7.jpg)(http://i47.tinypic.com/rjqnba.jpg)

It's one of those films that starts simply and gets more and more twisted as it goes along, and it's up to Scorsese not to lose control... and he doesn't. It's a comedy with a mad intensity to it. Funny and suspenseful at the same time. Paul Hackett meets a woman one night at a coffee shop, he get's her number, and later that evening he joins up with her at her apartment. The next few hours of his life are like some zany nightmare. And yet somehow this movie more than just a spectacle. I was really wrapped up in what was going on, crazy as it got.

Now that I know what to expect from After Hours if I were to watch it again I think I'd like it even more. One this is for sure, it's not some stupid acid-trip freak out movie that doesn't make sense. It weird sure, but accessible too.




Who Killed Vincent Chin (Christine Choy & Renee Tajima-Pena, 1987)

This academy-award nominated documentary is about the murder of Chinese-American citizen that occured at a strip club in Michigan. At that time there was a recession in the country, and Japanese automakers were flooding the market with cheap cars. It was taking a toll on the local workforce. An argument broke out in a bar one night, and Vincent Chin was beaten to death with a baseball bat because his attackers thought he was Japanese. Or at least that's the way some people tell it.

What's true for sure is that Ronald Ebens, a white family man working for Chrysler at the time, plead guilty to manslaughter and served absolutely no jail time whatsoever and was fined $3000. The Chin family and supporters took the case to the federal level, and after initially receiving a guilty verdict in their favour, upon retrial Ebens was found not guilty. Again, he has never served any jail time for his crime, which he admitted to.

This documentary covers many different sides of the story. You hear from Ebens himself, his family, Chin's Mother, the judge who gave Ebens a slap on the wrist, reporters, eye-witnesses, police. It's very thorough, AND very well put together. The whole thing just makes you shake your head as you watch it. What blew me away was that Ebens didn't seem to be the least bit remorseful. He admitted he did it, he says it never should've gotten that far, he admits he was drunk... and yet, I got no sense that he was sorry. The guy murdered a man... he should be in jail but isn't. What more can you say about it? It's bullshit!

Very good documentary.
(http://i47.tinypic.com/2r592qv.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096440/)




Verdict: Who Killed Vincent Chin is an excellent doc, but also very straightforward. If you've seen it once, you've seen it enough. It's unfortunate that I'm going to have to kick it out, while being forced to advance films like Bird and Power & Water. Such is the bracket life. *sigh*

After Hours is neat. I could see it having a pretty good run in the brackets, lest it runs into a powerhouse film. For a cinephile I think it has a lot to offer. After Hours moves on. My apologies to the documentary genre.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 06, 2010, 08:15:51 PM
After Hours was one of my most disappointing viewing experiences ever.  I should revisit it, but I can't imagine ever doing do.  Vincent Chin sounds worth a look, though.  BOO!

Love the IMDb quotes, by the way.  Awesome.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 06, 2010, 09:27:52 PM
After Hours was one of my most disappointing viewing experiences ever.  I should revisit it, but I can't imagine ever doing do.

Had you heard much about it going in?

It wasn't until about halfway through that it really won me over, when stuff started really getting odd.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 06, 2010, 10:13:56 PM
After Hours was one of my most disappointing viewing experiences ever.  I should revisit it, but I can't imagine ever doing do.

Had you heard much about it going in?

It wasn't until about halfway through that it really won me over, when stuff started really getting odd.

I haven't seen it in many years, but I remember it being a fun ride.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 07, 2010, 01:37:56 AM
Forevermore: Biography of a Leech Lord (Eric Saks, 1989)

This film is listed as an “experimental documentary.” That scares me greatly. It is vaguely about toxic waste. The main framing device is based on fictional diaries spanning 50 years of a toxic-waste dumper. So I guess what I’m saying is this isn’t a documentary. It is recording actors playing fictional material.

I could be interested to find out about toxic waste. I care about it in theory, though I’ve grown a bit too fatalistic to really care. I’d rather die of cancer than have to constantly fret whether this or that product is safe. But this film is just so useless. 99% of this would be left on the cutting room floor by a competent documentarian. There were points where I was convinced he left the lens cap on.

The film doesn’t particularly tell us any useful information, it doesn’t do much to entertain. It just exists to show random pictures while reading diary entries that touch around a culture of waste, in monotone. This is the kind of film that holds contempt for its viewer by not putting any effort into coherent structure and I return it in kind. Sure, the filmmaker will probably go on and on about how it needs to be this way and I’m just not getting it, man. If sam’s review of Slumdog Millionaire was a condemnation of “movies” in some way, this is my condemnation of avant garde filmmaking. It is every bit as useless as Jackson Pollock.

Plus this bastard spells his name wrong, Erik is spelled with a k.
(http://www.bartamaha.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/toxic-waste.jpg)
Yup, that is a good description of this film's quality.
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1653005/)


(http://farm1.static.flickr.com/35/69451199_a6686f5552.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0929487/)
Uksuum Cauyai: The Drums of Winter (Sarah Elder and Leonard Kamerling, 1989)

This film, about the importance of drums and dance to Eskimo culture starts with scrolling text about this importance and that it is dying out under pressure from the West. You know, I’ll believe a lot of anti-imperialistic pressure, but blaming us for taking away their dance? That seems a little paranoid. Let’s hope the film backs this up in some way.

If the early goings are any indication, this is pretty much just going to be showing them playing the drums and Buster…can’t you do that outside? I know it is cultural and all that, but the drumming/dancing isn’t good. There is a lot of interview content here mixed in with clips of the dancing so we can be thankful of that at least. It isn’t a film with a notable narrative structure; just people talking about a topic.

This is where it is more about preference in documentaries than objective quality. It happens that I like fairly heavy-handed narrative structure out of both documentaries and fiction film so this ultimately doesn’t interest me much. But I can actually recognize value here. This provides a sort of ethnographic style, for those who like such things.

Oh, and the film does back up the claim about Western pressure on the cultural practices, so another point in its favor.

Verdict: For not inspiring my fiery contempt, The Drums of Winter is the winner. Still, I hope whomever has this next round enjoys it more.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 09, 2010, 11:52:37 PM
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
IMDb: 7.7 (25,336 votes)

(http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/9175/dangerousliaisons2.jpg)   (http://img812.imageshack.us/img812/3681/dangerousliaisons1.jpg)


Dangerous Liaisons follows the machinations and affairs of bored French nobility. Despite the costumes and music, this is not a BBC period drama - the subject matter must be considered rather trashy. Indeed, the source of the screenplay is a scandalous 18th century novel intended to condemn the nobility for their excesses and detachment. Glenn Close and John Malkovich are fantastic - Michelle Pfeiffer and Uma Thurman's nipple are quite good, and Keanu Reeves, well, he's rather Keanu-Reeves-ish. This film revolves around dialogue, plot, and character, and generally succeeds. Malkovich couldn't quite believably pull off all the twists and turns his character must take, but his character leaves an indelible mark on the screen. I found the denouement unexpectedly melodramatic, but perhaps there is no other possible ending. My other concern is that I'm unsure if director Stephen Frears relays the intentions of his source material (and if he doesn't, the corollary is, of course, whether he should. I'd prefer, at the least, some sort of strong viewpoint, but that doesn't seem to be his M.O.)



The Thing (1982)
IMDb: 8.2 (75,257 votes)

(http://img820.imageshack.us/img820/6624/thing2.jpg)   (http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/1507/thing1r.jpg)


In many ways, The Thing is the polar opposite of Dangerous Liaisons. The characters are little more than sketches, yet they behave and interact completely believably. I really appreciate that there's no "stupid camper" syndrome present in the movie. The movie starts off as a slow burn, but it kicks up the pace and gore later on. In fact, the gore was too much for Roger Ebert, who declared that the movie had no justification to exist except as a gross-out film for teenage boys. While Ebert definitely missed a lot, there's no denying this is a boys' film. Just as DL is essentially a dirty romance paperback story, replete with bodice-ripping, rape, and forbidden love, The Thing is a story straight from a cheap sci-fi/horror paperback, replacing the sex with explosions and gore-dripping monsters. Both offer titillation through psychology of groups under abnormal stresses, but obviously go about it in entirely different fashions. From this perspective, the two films are mirror images, rather than complete opposites. There are several essays in here somewhere. I felt that The Thing is elevated by the methodical pacing and relentless realism in behavior, but weak characters are a strong negative.



Verdict: The Thing advances, just barely.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 09, 2010, 11:55:25 PM
Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
Uma Thurman's nipple are quite good

I think this is the only part of the film I've seen, but it was still better than anything I saw in The Thing.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on June 10, 2010, 12:05:50 AM
Wooooow. You are crazy good sir, The Thing is awesome.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 10, 2010, 12:39:25 AM
Really nice verdict, mx!  Very nice and concise takes on both films.  Glad to see The Thing advance, too.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Melvil on June 10, 2010, 12:59:03 AM
Nicely done! The Thing has really grown on me since I first watched it and I've been recently feeling like seeing it again. I approve!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: oneaprilday on June 10, 2010, 01:42:42 AM
Glad to see The Thing advance!! Such a great movie.

(I'm not a big fan of DL - mostly because I find Malkovich icky, I think. Much ickier than any of the awesome gross out stuff in The Thing for sure. Ebert's just wrong, you know, not just partly wrong. :) )
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 10, 2010, 06:01:43 AM
Good write ups Bondo and michael. I would've been happy to see Dangerous Liasons or the Thing move on. :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 10, 2010, 01:50:39 PM
Nice job, Bondo and mx. Of those four, The Thing is the only one I've seen, and I like it so I'm cool with it going on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 10, 2010, 08:38:29 PM
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/indiana_jones_and_the_last_crusade2.jpg)

VS

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/51Y82TW0T7L_SL500_.jpg)

I like to do a lot of screencaps for reviews, but neither of these discs would load up on my VLC player, so, y'all are just gonna have to use your 'maginations. I'm pretty sure most of you would've seen Last Crusade already anyway.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

1989. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Screenplay by Jeffrey Boam. Story by George Lucas and Menno Meyjes.

There's no denying that Last Crusade is a fun movie. From beginning to end, it says to the audience, Hey. We're friends. All these people, we're all friends having a romp. You're going to have a good time here. There are a lot of self-references, encouraging the audience to delight in their relationship to the franchise.

When I think about Last Crusade, I think about the end sequence, and that remains the most interesting part of this movie. Somewhere in the middle, around a Nazi tank camel chase situation, I was, like, this whole movie is one long chase scene. It's like my dreams. (I have a lot of chase dreams.)

It felt familiar, but it was designed to feel familiar, you know?

---------------

The Loveless

1982. Written and directed by Kathryn Bigelow and Monty Montgomery.

What a strange little art film. The Loveless, set in 1959 south Georgia, focuses on Vance (Willem Dafoe) and his group of ex-con motorcyclists. They roll into town and spend time fixing a bike. 82 minutes, and it's a slow burn. You can feel the tension of the Georgia heat. Every character pauses an uncomfortable amount of time between words, every interaction is laden with sexual desire and violence. There's a lot of time where the camera just sits as people move about their small activities in the corner of the shot. At the same time, the film is dynamic, and it's going someplace.

When I finished watching this, I immediately started the audio commentary because I just wanted to understand why this thing existed. I was not surprised to discover that Monty Montgomery went on to work as a producer with David Lynch. There's a recognizable Lynch flavor here.

--------------

Verdict:  While I am confident that 95% of the people who watch these two films would prefer to see Last Crusade again, I felt a lot more stimulated by The Loveless. It's a curious piece, and it's full of people trying things, as opposed to people trying to sell movie tickets. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 10, 2010, 08:46:56 PM
Let me be the first to say.

You choose...poorly.

How can you boot out the best Indiana Jones film in the first round  :'( Resurrection I say.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 10, 2010, 09:04:28 PM
Loveless sounds interesting, and it took down a titan :) Nice job TH.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 10, 2010, 09:37:05 PM
Between her Oscar and her bracket defeats of Ghostbusters and Last Crusade, Bigelow's gonna get a big head.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 10, 2010, 09:53:09 PM
I <3 Last Crusade, but I don't really mind it losing since it's not serious bracket contender in my mind. And The Loveless certainly sounds interesting.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 11, 2010, 12:53:51 AM
Let me be the first to say.

You choose...poorly.

How can you boot out the best Indiana Jones film in the first round  :'( Resurrection I say.

Since I am completely impoverished, I do everything poorly.

I would not hesitate to say that Raiders is the best Indiana Jones movie. The supporting characters work so much better there, and the film doesn't rely upon the audience's ready familiarity with its subject.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 11, 2010, 06:14:19 AM
Raiders doesn't need any more exposure anyways ;)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 14, 2010, 03:42:50 AM
Vampire’s Kiss (Robert Bierman, 1988)

This is a very Nick Cage performance and I’m sure people who like big, silly Nick Cage performances in terrible films, like Bad Lieutenant, might like it. He is so over the top and seems to be speaking in a brand new accent. Worse yet the character is at no point likable, and if There Will Be Blood proves anything, it is that I can’t stand big, unlikable protagonists.

Another pet peeve of mine that this managed to violate was non-nudity nudity. This is to say, we get an early sex scene between Cage and Jennifer Beals, playing the vampire, where she is topless but we can see clearly that she is wearing pasties. It isn’t that her character is supposed to be wearing them. The character is supposed to be nude and we are supposed to just ignore that clearly she isn’t. This completely takes me out of the film. There are two solutions to this. Actually have the actress be naked (and cast an actress willing to do the scene or get a body double) or shoot the scene in such a way as to not see the pasties. Either one works, but what doesn’t work is to just film it as a nude scene without actually having the actress be naked. It is just sloppy. Oh, and they use the exact same clip at two different points in the film. I’m sure someone will say this is intentional but I’m not intentionally bad is still bad.

So the film starts two points down and unfortunately does little to climb out. There isn’t an interesting character progression. There is a descent into madness, and I suppose that could be interesting, but since you never care about the character to begin with, it isn’t affecting. If you are someone who likes very big, over-the-top performances, go ahead and try this. But otherwise you should probably go ahead and stay away.
(http://www.fancast.com/blogs/wp-content/post_images/vampires-kiss.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098577/)


(http://dryden.eastmanhouse.org/media/housekeeping.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093225/)
Housekeeping (Bill Forsyth, 1987)

Well, this was a bit of a relief after watching Vampire’s Kiss. It is a pretty restrained family drama. It starts with a mother dropping her two kids at their grandmother’s and then running off and driving her car into a lake. We then follow the girls as they grow up, first under the care of the grandmother, then great aunts and finally a rather strange aunt.

We see the effect that their mother’s abandoning/death has had on them and the effect that their grandfather’s death in a train accident, has had on their relatives. This all takes place set in a small town somewhere in the northern Rockies, perhaps Montana or Idaho, and has that kind of snow-bound, Lutheran demeanor you get there. That which stands out or operates at a higher emotional range is rather looked down upon.

Verdict: There is nothing particularly special about Housekeeping, but it is a passable little film; the kind of thing I might expect to play at Sundance these days. This makes it still far better than the excessive and frustrating Vampire’s Kiss.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 14, 2010, 03:57:06 AM
The Jonathan Rosenbaum-approved Housekeeping will face Woody Allen's Another Woman in the next round, while the duder-approved Vampire's Kiss goes the way of the duder-approved The Addiction.  That boy sure loves his vampires.  I'm pretty sure the reason he's not posting more is that he's been camped out for Twilight: Eclipse since mid-April.

Nice verdict, by the way.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 14, 2010, 04:08:14 AM
Thanks. I guess I just prefer my vampires teenaged, moody and sparkly.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 'Noke on June 14, 2010, 07:44:06 AM
I'm pretty sure the reason he's not posting more is that he's been camped out for Twilight: Eclipse since mid-April.

pixote

 :D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Corndog on June 15, 2010, 10:43:41 PM
Preface: I must apologize for the text only verdict tonight, but due to my recent computer problems it must be this way. I promis that in the future I will make it much more pretty.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial v. Jimi Plays Monterey

The Alien: Let's be honest, Jimi Hendrix was an alien. The man had chops and an imagination like none other. He could go seemlessly from a psychodelic blues romp like "Purple Haze" straight into a melodic masterpiece like "The Wind Cries Mary". He could write, he could play, and he could certainly perform. So that brings us to his performance at the International Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. It was his first appearence back in America as he had gained notoreity in England by joining forces with the great Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell to form The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Experience was the perfect name for James Marshall Hendrix's band because that is what it must have been like to see him perform live. I will not make the fact that, in my opinion, Jimi Hendrix was the greatest guitar player that ever lived.

So that now brings us to the film by D.A. Pennebaker. At 49 minutes it is a short film and it mostly contains the concert performance of the Experience, but it does have a nifty opening sequence where we observe an artist making a wall rendering of Jimi which is cool. There are also a few segments about the history of Jimi before Monterey but in the end it is mostly hallow and does not cover everything that it should and easily could.

The performance itself is iconic. It is famous for a few reasons. For one, Pete Townshend of The Who had so much respect for Jimi he did not want to have to follow him in the show, but Jimi took this as Pete wanting to destroy his guitar on stage first. Eventually the feud was solved with a coin flip and Jimi went second. The Who did their thing, the usual theatrics, but once Jimi got on stage, it was a performance that will always be remembered. Some standout numbers would include a rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, which, in my opinion, improves on the original, as well as Jimi’s own song, “Hey Joe”. He also has two blistering covers of classic blues tunes “Killing Floor” and “Rock Me Baby”. Now what the concert is most famous for is his version of The Troggs “Wild Thing”. It was the last song of the night for Jimi and he proceeded to essentially &*%# the guitar against the amplifier as well as light the guitar on fire as a manner of sacrifice. Oh yea, and then he busted the guitar up too.

Needless to say the performance was amazing and unforgettable and as a Hendrix fan I thoroughly enjoyed myself. But what are its merits as a film. Well honestly it was not much more than a concert film and did not do much to make me think it was more than just what Jimi had to offer. Kudos to Pennebaker for capturing the performance, but he did not seem to add anything to it to make it noteworthy as far as film in concerned.

Shake! Otis at Monterey: This film also comes on the same disc, and for Redding fans I would say it is a must. It is a very brief performance, but Otis comes to pack a punch. Recommended for Redding and music fans alike.

The Other Alien: So E.T. is a film that I had also, amazing never seen. I had known about it and been told how great it was and I knew of the Reese’s Pieces and the flying across the moon. I had even heard about the atrocious CGI editing of the film, taking the guns out of the hands of the cops. Well that last one, honestly, I forgot about while watching the film, and I can say, it did not change a thing in terms of my reception of the picture looking back on it. So to all those who claim Spielberg robbed your childhood with those edits, grow up, it did not ruin it.

I loved this film, and had the privilege of watching it with my mom and dad when I was home over the past weekend. The film opens and we see E.T. in the forest, getting left behind and chased down by faceless mystery men. We do not know who these men are, why they are there, and why they are chasing the little alien, and we do not have to, it is not their story. So then E.T. winds up at Elliot’s (Henry Thomas) house and befriends the three young kids there. But soon the alien is found out and the chase is on to protect him from the evil adults who want to run tests on him.

So I loved pretty much everything here. Drew Barrymore is cuter than the cutest thing I have ever witnessed with these two eyes, as it E.T. for that matter. The film manages to be very funny while at the same time being very touching, which is marked by a great child performance by Henry Thomas. I soared with the two and my heart broke with the two. It seemed like just the thing that I was missing in my life: a little alien friend. I also came up with a theory that E.T. represented Elliot’s childhood, I do not know if that is a theory or not, but that is how I saw it. I told that to my brother and he just called my snooty, looking for meaning that is not there, because apparently he believes that Spielberg only makes films for entertainment and money, which he does, but come on, Schindler’s List did not mean anything? So anyway, yea, his childhood, that is what I think. I am curious to know if anyone sees what I am talking about or agrees/disagrees with me on that.

Verdict: These were two things I loves, however they were not two films I loved. One I saw as being much more significant as compared to the other. I would recommend both of them strongly, but for different reasons. So therefore I must say that E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial moves on from this match-up. Cherrio.

Oh, and pix, I’ll take another please and thank you 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 15, 2010, 11:36:30 PM
I haven't seen Jimi Plays Monterey but I'm sure it's as good as you say. I fully approve of E.T. advancing. Nice that you had two good ones.

Also, nice job to Bondo and tiny.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 16, 2010, 09:02:51 AM
I haven't seen Jimi Plays Monterey but I'm sure it's as good as you say. I fully approve of E.T. advancing. Nice that you had two good ones.

Also, nice job to Bondo and tiny.

I'm not too upset about this one since Jimi probably didn't need to be in this bracket anyways and I do like ET.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 16, 2010, 10:52:24 AM
I haven't seen Jimi Plays Monterey but I'm sure it's as good as you say. I fully approve of E.T. advancing. Nice that you had two good ones.

Also, nice job to Bondo and tiny.

Yeah nice write ups Corndog, Bondo and TH.  Not sure how I missed this verdicts until this morning.  Nice to see ET advance.  I'm not too sad about Last Crusade, and I've never heard ot he other films, so there you go
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on June 17, 2010, 03:22:46 AM
(http://i50.tinypic.com/2mg1g8n.png)

Yay, I love E.T.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 'Noke on June 17, 2010, 04:18:28 AM
I think this is my cue to go see ET.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Corndog on June 17, 2010, 04:20:53 PM
I think this is my cue to go see ET.

For real, I couldn't believe I had never seen it before.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 17, 2010, 04:21:46 PM
I think this is my cue to go see ET.
Maybe you'll get it in round 2...so like 5 years from now.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 18, 2010, 01:03:38 AM
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/risky_business.jpg)

1983. Written and directed by Paul Brickman.

I've seen Risky Business several times before, mainly because of my previously-noted interest in Rebecca De Mornay. I love her. I blame the 1987 Cannon Movie Tales adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which I watched most days of my childhood, in between turns with The Land Before Time.

But this is before that. This is 1983. Hey! I was born that year! This is about me! (Thank you for your indulgence.)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/riskyshower.jpg)

Hey, y'all. This is gonna be sexy!

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/ishowertoo.jpg)

Did someone say sexy? I would like to participate in that, but I'm afraid that pursuing my base desires will lead me to fail life.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/talktoyouviewer.jpg)

Bye, son and camera! We're going out of town! Don't fail life! And don't forget to water the garden!

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/feellikethisisprobseuphemistik.jpg)

Feel like this is probably euphemistic.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/livinthehilife.jpg)

Remembered to light the candle, but that meal is totally frozen. The bonds of your existence are loosening!

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/noliejreatskene.jpg)

And the bonds on your pants! (This is a great scene, though, really, guys.)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/ladies.jpg)

Now we've moved on to direct disobedience. Only one more step necessary on your path to moral disorder...

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/jakkie.jpg)

Prostitutes!

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/ishowertoo.jpg)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/jakkiefrown.jpg)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/fairyjodmother.jpg)

Actually, Jackie there is like the Fairy Godmother of prostitution. She hooks Tommo up with a phone #.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/useprotektion.jpg)

Tommy knows that you should always use protection when dialing a hooker.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/kitty.jpg)

Meow. Now we can really get this movie started.

Yeah, so, basically, Risky Business contains almost every 80s teen flick trope. Suburban kid wants more than the rat race, needs to learn how to be kerrrazy. When his parents go out of town, his life is gonna change! Throw off the oppression of your middle class life, Tom Cruise!

---------------------------------

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/dead_men_dont_wear_plaid_ver1.jpg)

1982. Directed by Carl Reiner. Written by Carl Reiner, George Gipe, and Steve Martin.

I'd never heard of Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid before taking up this assignment. It's a strange film, merging a satirical story with actual footage from noir films such as The Killers, Notorious, and The Bribe. But also, it's hilarious. Check out the first scene, where the dame (played by Rachel Ward) faints in Steve's office:

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-06-17-18h03m26s2.png)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-06-17-18h04m34s172.png)

It's accompanied by the line, “I hadn’t seen a body like that since I solved the case of the murdered girl with the big tits.”

Yes. I am on board. Also, 1982 noir Steven Martin in black and white reminds me of Paul F. Tompkins, which can only increase my affection.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-06-17-18h08m05s3.png)

Does anyone else see it?

-----------------------------------

Verdict:  Risky Business is a solid movie. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid has flaws, and I don't see it going too far in these brackets, but I laughed a lot while watching it. The funny parts in Dead Men felt current, unlike the totally dated Risky Business. So, I'm advancing Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. I hope the next person who gets it has as much fun as I did.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 18, 2010, 01:07:19 AM
How about that Tangerine Dream score?

Sometimes you just have to say cinecast.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 18, 2010, 01:13:36 AM
Meow.
Indeed!

Does anyone else see it?
Kinda. The eyebrows maybe?


Great job, tiny. I've never seen either of these films in their entirety so I didn't really have a horse in this race. Both kinda look like fun.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 18, 2010, 01:16:12 AM
(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/useprotektion.jpg)

Tommy knows that you should always use protection when dialing a hooker.
This was especially great, btw.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 18, 2010, 01:22:32 AM
Loved your reviews.  Hard to debate your verdict.


Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 18, 2010, 01:34:35 AM
How about that Tangerine Dream score?

Sometimes you just have to say cinecast.

Oh, man. That score. It's as distracting and awful as the repeating themes of Twin Peaks.

Does anyone else see it?
Kinda. The eyebrows maybe?

And the suits!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Abomination on June 18, 2010, 01:40:15 AM
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (David Zucker, 1988)
(http://i48.tinypic.com/25f5a2s.jpg)

Before watching The Naked Gun for this bracket match-up, I don't think I had ever seen it in its entirety, but I had certainly seen most, if not all, of the memorable moments in comedy montages and in catching bits of it while it was playing on TV.  Now that I've seen it in full, I feel no need to outline the plot, because it doesn't matter in the slightest.  What matters is that I had to have a bottle of wine while watching it to match the amount of cheese that exists in every frame.  I mean, look at that image that I started with.

This is a classic parody movie, just a series of ridiculous lines delivered seriously and weird sight gags shown in a nonchalant manner. I have to admire the lengths they go to for a throwaway joke, such as during a stakeout where our protagonist is eating pistachios in his car while waiting for the bad guy to leave a building, and we see this:
(http://i47.tinypic.com/4uz59c.jpg)
which is a horrible, terrible joke that I can not help but chuckle at as I watch it played completely straight and then think about the poor prop guy who had to set up a comically piled mound of nut shells.  

And Leslie Nielsen is in his element here of course, never even letting as much as a small facial tick betray the fact that he is in on the joke.  Ricardo Montalbán plays the villain here, and though he doesn't get the chance to do anything too crazy, I still loved the way he interacted with Nielsen, kind of like a polite nobleman trying to listen to the village idiot.

While not every joke lands for me, the sheer amount of them and the conviction with which they are put forth are enough to create a great parody film that makes me laugh and roll my eyes at the same time.

Oh, and two people have sex in full-body condoms.  Yeah, that happened.


  
Before Stonewall (John Scagliotti and Greta Schiller, 1985)
(http://i45.tinypic.com/2zq97qe.jpg)

Before Stonewall is a pretty straightforward documentary that examines the lives and treatment of homosexuals before the Stonewall Riots (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots) of 1969, which is commonly cited as one of the first steps in the gay rights movement.

So, when I started watching this and the first frame that showed up was this:
(http://i46.tinypic.com/wuqtk7.jpg)
I got a little worried, but then:
(http://i47.tinypic.com/2d7ziw4.jpg)
Oh, Before Stonewall, you cad!  Tricking me like that.  

Unfortunately, what follows is the usual talking heads and archival footage sort of business that I am not usually a huge fan of.  While a number of the people interviewed and their stories are interesting and entertaining, I found myself wishing for more of a focus or through-line to the film, rather than the broad overview I got.  

To top it off, I didn't really feel as if I gained much new insight into the gay and lesbian community.  I think this could have worked a lot better for me if we stuck with just a few people and told their stories in a coherent manner, but instead we get it spread out chronologically across quite a few different people in order to show the changing situation as a whole.  It kind of feels like a history textbook rather than a piece about those involved, and thus loses the personal connection I was looking for.

While some of the archival material is very neat, such as seeing some of the first gay rights picketers marching together and hearing songs with overtly gay lyrics, much of what the interviewees are speaking about were never captured on film or in photos, and thus more generic imagery is used while they are telling their stories, which I found disappointing.  However, this is a very interesting period of time for an interesting community though, and it makes me want to seek out more material that deals with the same subject.

Verdict:  

I wanted to like Before Stonewall a lot more than I did, which was still a decent amount despite my negative thoughts above, so I've got to give this one to The Naked Gun for the sheer brilliance of its stupidity.  
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 18, 2010, 01:45:19 AM
Yea!  Two bracket verdicts this evening!  Awesome!!!!

I don't envy you having to pick against a politically charged documentary, but I can't complain about your verdict.  The Naked Gun is pretty hillarious (1988 though?  wow seems older - especially when you consider OJ is in this...prominantly!)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 18, 2010, 01:49:42 AM
Drebin 4eva! Nice write-ups, NeutralGrey.

BTW, there's a new doc about Stonewall (http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/movies/16stone.html?ref=movies) coming out this year.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Abomination on June 18, 2010, 01:51:16 AM
Yea!  Two bracket verdicts this evening!  Awesome!!!!

I don't envy you having to pick against a politically charged documentary, but I can't complain about your verdict.  The Naked Gun is pretty hillarious (1988 though?  wow seems older - especially when you consider OJ is in this...prominantly!)

You know, OJ doesn't really do much in it.  He's more of the MacGuffin.  But yeah, still weird.

And Before Stonewall was just a little bland for me, but by no means a bad film.  The Naked Gun, however, is a pretty damn great comedy.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 18, 2010, 01:52:41 AM
I wanted to like Before Stonewall a lot more than I did, which was still a decent amount despite my negative thoughts above, so I've got to give this one to The Naked Gun for the sheer brilliance of its stupidity.  

Yeah, I don't think I'd seen more than scenes from The Naked Gun on tv, but your review and the caps you put up made me interested in seeing this in a later round.

I watched Before Stonewall in a Gay and Lesbian Politics course in my undergraduate studies about five years ago, and I don't really remember anything remarkable about it as a film. Talking heads, footage. It gets its information across, and that's about it.

Thanks for the link, Matt. I hadn't heard about that.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 18, 2010, 01:54:08 AM
Yeah, I don't think I'd seen more than scenes from The Naked Gun on tv,
:o
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Abomination on June 18, 2010, 01:54:18 AM
Drebin 4eva! Nice write-ups, NeutralGrey.

BTW, there's a new doc about Stonewall (http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/06/16/movies/16stone.html?ref=movies) coming out this year.

I will definitely try to check that out.  I had actually never heard of Stonewall before now, and Before Stonewall doesn't really touch on the event much (the before is key), so I'm very curious.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 18, 2010, 01:55:16 AM
Before Stonewall would have won if it was a Richard Linklater movie where Ethan Hawke hooks up with Julie Delpy's brother.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Abomination on June 18, 2010, 01:57:02 AM
I watched Before Stonewall in a Gay and Lesbian Politics course in my undergraduate studies about five years ago, and I don't really remember anything remarkable about it as a film. Talking heads, footage. It gets its information across, and that's about it.

Exactly, it plays like a history textbook on film for me.

Before Stonewall would have won if it was a Richard Linklater movie where Ethan Hawke hooks up with Julie Delpy's brother.

pixote

Now that sounds like something I can get behind.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 18, 2010, 01:59:21 AM
Yeah, I don't think I'd seen more than scenes from The Naked Gun on tv,
:o

Well, I've also seen a lot of the VHS covers at Blockbuster.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 18, 2010, 06:04:11 AM
I'm digging both of these verdicts. This bracket needs comedy :) Great write-ups guys.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 18, 2010, 06:53:15 AM
Great write-ups. Go comedy!

I've seen both Before and After Stonewall and found them competent but unremarkable documentaries that just happen to be about a topic I find interesting. No where good enough to best Naked Gun though, can't help but love that series.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on June 18, 2010, 07:16:21 AM

Great write-ups, tiny and NeutralGrey!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Corndog on June 18, 2010, 07:31:55 AM
Does anyone else see it?
Kinda. The eyebrows maybe?

And the suits!

I see it. The man is classy. And he does look like him.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 18, 2010, 09:58:03 AM
Great write-ups, guys! Dead Men is going in my queue now.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 19, 2010, 06:43:37 PM
Secret Honor vs. When Harry Met Sally...

Previously before this I had not seen either film. So, I came into these without any preconceived notions.

Secret Honor

(http://i45.tinypic.com/ddjo0m.jpg)

I, sadly, have not had much previous experience with Robert Altman. The only films I had seen prior to this were M*A*S*H and A Prairie Home Companion, which I was not too fond of. From the way this film is directed, I can see why he is considered a legend. The films confides itself to one room, and Altman successfully breathes into it to where it does not become bothersome. He puts the camera in the right spot at the right moment. That, however, is the only truly positive aspect of the film. Phillip Baker Hall, an actor I love, plays Richard Nixon, and the only performer in the film (it was adapted from a one-man show). They express at the beginning of the film that this is a blatantly fictitious Nixon. However, all it resorts down to is Baker Hall yelling into a microphone, a security camera, an imaginary court judge, and pictures of former presidents on the walls. After about 30 minutes, he seemingly has chewed all the scenery in the room, but it continues for another hour with more of it. I understand how the performance would have worked on the stage, but on the screen, it is so over the top that it is down right laughable. Another problem it that it does not reveal anything new about Nixon. I was wondering the entire film whether or not I was supposed to sympathize with the man, fear him, respect him, etc. It is all over the place. The script really is not that tight. It portrays Nixon as a man who can not keep a straight thought throughout a sentence. Constantly, mid-sentence, he will just yell out a random curse word, start another sentence, or mumble under his breath. There is no insight into the character. I think it is an interesting experiment and a directorial achievement, but as a whole, I do not think the film entirely works. I do look forward to seeing Altman’s other films though.


When Harry Met Sally...

(http://i48.tinypic.com/wix4wk.jpg)

Rob Reiner has directed two of my favorite comedies of all time in This Is Spinal Tap and The Princess Bride, so when his credit came up, I was very excited. Now, this film is not as funny as those to, but it is still a very funny picture. Nora Ephron’s script is very tight and witty. It’s leading man, Billy Crystal, is at the top of his game, and he has pitch-perfect chemistry with Meg Ryan. One problem with the film, however, is Ryan’s performance. Yes, the chemistry works between the two stars, but she does not have the comic chops to match Crystal’s, who is on another stratosphere in his timing and ability to make every line funny. Every time Crystal is not on screen, the movie suffers and screeches to a halt. This is because the scenes of Ryan and her friends are not that interesting. None of them have the personality that Crystal has, and it feels like the film meanders. Another thing I was not too keen on was the vignettes of the old, married couples talking about how long they have been together. It took away from the pacing of  the action in the film and, frankly, were unnecessary. Having said that, I did laugh, basically, from start to finish in this movie. True, it is a bit dated from the time period, but it holds up better than most. The chemistry between the two leads works enough that the payoff at the end was satisfying. I need to see the film in order to catch the lines I missed while laughing, and am eagerly looking forward to it.



Winner To Advance To The Next Round: When Harry Met Sally...
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 19, 2010, 06:56:54 PM
Nice writeup!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 19, 2010, 07:10:52 PM
Nice write-up, GC151. I haven't seen Secret Honor, but this seems like the right call to me.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 19, 2010, 07:48:06 PM
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Feldman, 1989)

I’m too young to have really been cognizant during the peak of the AIDS epidemic. I can’t even imagine the sheer fear, especially in the gay community, at a time before we had knowledge of how HIV was spread and how to prevent and control it. This documentary provides a number of snippets of the loved ones of those who died from AIDS, eulogizing them. And of course, like Philadelphia, it makes sure to point out clearly that this isn’t just a gay disease.

Cut among these stories is a progression of news reports to show how the attitude and knowledge about the disease opened over time and various other social ramifications. It does a really good job tackling all the various facets of the story and feels like a pretty complete education about HIV/AIDS in 1980s America, and one that has a very bittersweet impact. The quilt project has got to be one of the most powerful displays; it definitely gets dusty at the end of the doc.

If I’m thinking about double feature potential, Philadelphia certainly would fit, but I am also wondering if there is a more recent documentary that focuses on HIV in Africa. While HIV has been largely stabilized as a public health issue in the developed world, the toll in the developing world is even more brutal than what is shown here. I think it is definitely a credit to the film that it makes me want to seek out more on the topic.
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_Qzd9HIsRWeA/R3aFf7-tZWI/AAAAAAAAFB0/lR5D8IJn0dA/Common+Threads.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097099/)


(http://www.scene-stealers.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/trading_places_xl_01-film-b.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086465/)
Trading Places (John Landis, 1983)

Having seen bits and pieces of this film before and knowing the premise, I could see it being very fresh given the current climate’s wariness with the gilded wall street types and their sense of superiority. It opens on a rich guy (Dan Akroyd) and a poor con man (Eddie Murphy) and moves to two super rich brothers who get into a debate over nurture vs. nature in making a man. They devise a bet where they will switch the two men to “test” the role of genetics (also race) in making the man. We’ll ignore how sloppy this would be as a matter of experimental design.

Random Female Nudity alert!

The film is a pretty fun ride through the set-up and the payoff of the bet, but the final act gets completely silly and not in a particularly fun way. And while I wouldn’t really fault the film for not being a particularly accurate portrayal of human nature by my accounting, I’m not sure anyone here is all that believable, except Jamie Lee Curtis’ prostitute. It disguises its lack of message behind the impression of being a comment on something.

Verdict: I enjoyed both of these films, but the last third of Trading Places in particular dragged it down. It isn’t complete enough or funny enough to top the really powerful documentary it is up against. Common Threads moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 19, 2010, 07:53:09 PM
Haven't seen Common Threads or Trading Places, Bondo, but Common Threads has been in my queue for awhile. Maybe I'll get it next round!

I haven't seen Secret Honor either, GC, but When Harry Met Sally... is an extremely strong romcom, so I'm glad that you pushed it through.

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on June 19, 2010, 08:46:25 PM
Loved the write ups GC and Bondo.  Seems like the right movies went on.

I'm liking that this bracket is staying hot.  At this rate we MAY make it to the second round by 2011!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 19, 2010, 09:01:22 PM
Another thing I was not too keen on was the vignettes of the old, married couples talking about how long they have been together. It took away from the pacing of  the action in the film and, frankly, were unnecessary.



Ohhh!  I LLLOVE the vignettes.  I thought they work perfectly with the themes of the film.  Each couple has some tick that illustrates the imperfection of the whole concept and institution of marriage - but how it can still just work...some how: Not perfectly, instead rather IMperfectly!

That one comment aside, I really enjoyed both your write ups.  cool to see you jump into the fray in the brackets.  Here's to many more !
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 21, 2010, 01:39:01 PM
Say Anything... vs Dear America - Letters Home From Vietnam


Say Anything...

(http://i49.tinypic.com/2e0i6ix.jpg)

For many years I have wanted to watch this film. I had heard nothing but good things about it. Just my luck to get this in a bracket match. Needless to say, I was a bit underwhelmed. Does the chemistry work between the two leads? Yes. Did I get emotionally involved with the story? Yes. Did the dramatic suspense of the love story intrigue me? Yes. Did I laugh in this romantic comedy? No. The film is charming, sweet, adorable, or whatever you want to call it, but when a film is a comedy, it should make me laugh. It didn’t. I may have smirked or lightly chuckled or thought “Oh, that was clever,” but I did not laugh. Then again, I am not quite sure that this comedy was trying to make me laugh out loud. Maybe it just wanted to be a charming, “oh, that was pleasant” comedy. There is no way of knowing. The performances are great by John Cusack, Ione Skye, and, especially, John Mahoney. The story is relatable, especially because I am at that point in my life right now. I wish I liked this movie more, not to say that I didn’t. I do not think it could have exceeded the hype surrounding it. I wanted it to be a great movie, and it turned out just being a good movie.



Dear America - Letters Home From Vietnam

(http://i47.tinypic.com/21jdhxt.png)

This documentary is a very interesting documentary about the Vietnam War because all you here are the words of soldiers. You get this whether it is in interviews with the men, actual archival footage, or in voice-over letters written by the soldiers. This is a very effective device that they use. However, the insight that they bring into it is hardly anything new. It shows that Vietnam is a hostile place that no one wanted to step foot into, as if the audience did not already know that. It shows that the war gets out of hand as it progresses, again, nothing new here. All you get is the same things that had already been heard straight from the source to tell us, "Yeah. 'Nam sucked." Also, you are unable to form a single connection to one of the soldiers because all the time one is given is through one letter, then we are whisked off to another soldier to get his 90 seconds. The film wants us to connect with as many points of view as we can, but in trying to do this, we miss a connection all together. Sure, we feel bad because of the battle scenes, but we do not form a heart to heart connection to a soldier in order to say, "That was a real person, with a family, a home, a life, and he won't come back." The soundtrack for the film is the stereotypical Vietnam soundtrack, packed with tunes like The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" and Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," songs that I love, but are now staples in Vietnam films. I am not saying that the film is bad, but it could have done so much more with the concept of the soldier's perspective. A let down.



Winner To Advance To Next Round: Say Anything...
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on June 21, 2010, 01:48:02 PM
Say Anything...

For many years I have wanted to watch this film. I had heard nothing but good things about it. Just my luck to get this in a bracket match. Needless to say, I was a bit underwhelmed. Does the chemistry work between the two leads? Yes. Did I get emotionally involved with the story? Yes. Did the dramatic suspense of the love story intrigue me? Yes. Did I laugh in this romantic comedy? No. The film is charming, sweet, adorable, or whatever you want to call it, but when a film is a comedy, it should make me laugh. It didn’t. I may have smirked or lightly chuckled or thought “Oh, that was clever,” but I did not laugh. Then again, I am not quite sure that this comedy was trying to make me laugh out loud. Maybe it just wanted to be a charming, “oh, that was pleasant” comedy. There is no way of knowing. The performances are great by John Cusack, Ione Skye, and, especially, John Mahoney. The story is relatable, especially because I am at that point in my life right now. I wish I liked this movie more, not to say that I didn’t. I do not think it could have exceeded the hype surrounding it. I wanted it to be a great movie, and it turned out just being a good movie.
It's a comedy? Since when? For me, this is one of my favorite romance movies. I don't think it's trying to be all that funny, it's just a romance that has some funny moments in it.

For me, this is my personal bar for greatness. If you aren't as good as this film, you aren't a great film.

Still, I'm glad it's movie on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 21, 2010, 01:53:21 PM
Say Anything... vs Dear America - Letters Home From Vietnam


Great reviews once again :)

Yeah - I know Say Anything has a pretty big following, but for me it's always been an odd little duck.  Outside of the one obvious money shot, i don't think I can recall another scene in the entire film.  Not lousy, not terrible, but just kinda THERE for me.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 21, 2010, 01:57:02 PM
I like the main storyline of Say Anything... a fair amount, but the whole daddy issues subplots kinda kills the movie for me.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on June 21, 2010, 02:00:01 PM
I like the main storyline of Say Anything... a fair amount, but the whole daddy issues subplots kinda kills the movie for me.

pixote
You're crazy. It's part of what makes the film work so well.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 21, 2010, 02:37:44 PM
Say Anything... is another I haven't seen, aside from, you know, famous clips on the tv. So many things I want to see next round!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on June 21, 2010, 02:38:35 PM
Say Anything... is another I haven't seen, aside from, you know, famous clips on the tv. So many things I want to see next round!
Don't wait till then, watch it now!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 21, 2010, 09:59:22 PM
Nice job, GC151. I love how quickly you get your verdicts up!

Back when I worked at a vid store, I think nearly rented Dear America about a dozen times but never actually did. I think we're on the same page when it comes to Say Anything..., I thought it was OK but it didn't really turn my crank. Not enough Lili Taylor.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 21, 2010, 11:39:36 PM
Blade Runner: The Final Cut vs. Better Off Dead...

I was able to get this one done very quickly. (I own one and was able to get the other at a local rental shop today.)


Blade Runner: The Final Cut

(http://i48.tinypic.com/2958ojs.jpg)

Prior to this matchup, Blade Runner was in my top 100 films of all time. After another viewing, it will steadily remain there, and, perhaps, climb the ladder even more. This is easily one of the five greatest science fiction films of all time, and the only Ridley Scott film that I thouroughly enjoy. Everything about the film is nearly perfect. The acting, the special effects (which hold up), the dark cinematography of the city are all fantastic. The high point of the film is the art direction, which seems like it could actually be a portrayal of the future. Every detail of the world created is concentrated on. This film is part action thriller and part character discovery. Harrison Ford is terrific as Rick Deckard, who may or may not be who he thinks he is. The action scenes are done brilliantly, as many people know Scott is able to capture, but the quiet moments are also done well. There is quite a bit of subtlety in this film, which seems to be absent from his other films. I think all the praise that has been heaped on this film by critics and fans alike is all valid. It is one of the premiere films of all time. Enough said.



Better Off Dead...

(http://i50.tinypic.com/9t04g4.jpg)

I have to say that I really enjoyed this film. I laughed quite a a lot. John Cusack definitely is charming and in seeing this and Say Anything... in my last matchup, I finally see why there is draw to him. He is quirky and has a very strong screen charisma. However, at times, the films gets too quirky and too broad for its own good. The bits with the bully paper boy who breaks the garage windows I do not find too funny and out of place in the style of the rest of the film. The dark, subtle humor works much better than the broad stuff. The mom character is an embodiment of a joke gone wrong. Too many things like this are wasted. Saying this, I did laugh, but it just wasn't enough to make this a great comedy. Despite my saying this, I do recommend this film. Had it been in a different matchup, there was a much greater chance of it winning.

Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 22, 2010, 12:35:12 AM
Blade Runner: The Final Cut vs. Better Off Dead...

Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Blade Runner: The Final Cut[/center]

That was a rough match up to be sure.  I think you got both reviews exactly right, as well as your verdict...  

But I want my two dollars
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on June 22, 2010, 01:18:01 AM
Hey I want in on this, sign me up for the next round :) As well as for the other brackets (90's).
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 22, 2010, 01:40:51 AM
Great write-ups. Added Sleepwalk into my Netflix queue.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 22, 2010, 01:49:37 AM
I actually just realized I added the wrong film in the queue......it isn't
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 22, 2010, 07:33:26 AM
80s bracket fever. Good job guys!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 22, 2010, 08:16:05 AM
I actually just realized I added the wrong film in the queue......it isn't

Did you add the recent Sleepwalking by any chance? That's a pretty decent movie.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 22, 2010, 11:06:02 AM
I actually just realized I added the wrong film in the queue......it isn't

Did you add the recent Sleepwalking by any chance? That's a pretty decent movie.

Yes.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 22, 2010, 05:27:11 PM
Year of the Dragon (1985)
IMDb: 6.7 (5,173 votes)

(http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/8910/yotd1.jpg)   (http://img17.imageshack.us/img17/2152/yotd2.jpg)


Year of the Dragon is a crime/police drama directed by Michael Cimino from a script by Oliver Stone. A young Mickey Rourke dyes his hair grey and tries to play a Polish-American Vietnam vet returning home and joining the police force in NYC. He gets assigned to the Chinatown district and proceeds to go on a crusade against the organized crime there, because he hates Asians. The idea is pretty good, I suppose. Unfortunately, not much else is. The characters are one-dimensional. Rourke tries to give his character some depth, but the script and his mis-casting work against him. (Sidenote: It's striking how similar Rourke's work here is with what Bruce Willis would do a few years later in Die Hard.) The story is the bare bones of a boilerplate script. It strikes me as possible that there's a 3+ hour cut out there somewhere that actually makes sense and works from scene to scene. As it is, there's entirely too much exposition throughout the entire movie, and too little drama. This isn't an action movie, so it ends up a gigantic mess, pretty much. I will grant that the end is pretty alright, but nothing else works in the slightest. It took me at least five sessions to actually watch the entire movie - that's how boring it was. I saw that this was one of duder's picks for the bracket - I apologize and look forward to hearing what he has to say about the movie and my review.


Top Secret! (1984)
IMDb: 7.0 (20,079 votes)

(http://img444.imageshack.us/img444/8959/topsecret2.jpg)   (http://img94.imageshack.us/img94/3994/topsecret1.jpg)

This is a parody movie in the style of Mel Brooks. The draw here is all the sight gags, puns, and general zaniness within every scene that play off your knowledge of those small conventions of movies. What there is of a story in Top Secret! revolves around a rock and roll star (played by Val Kilmer) coming to East Germany during the Cold War to give a concert. As usual, Kilmer is good. He's the anchor to the movie, and he plays that familiar completely-dopey-yet-super-handsome-rock-star, but it's a real character here, and not just caricature. I don't generally like these movies much - I find movies that build jokes over multiple scenes and use genuine character work and real story much funnier, personally. However, this seems to be a pretty good example of this style of parody done right. Sure, many of the jokes fall flat, but there's some real wit here, too. A perfect example is the opening song ("Skeet Surfing"), which really cracked me up. To be honest, I'd rather eliminate both of the films and send on Dangerous Liaisons, the loser from my previous matchup. But, that's not an option here.


Verdict: Top Secret! moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 22, 2010, 05:36:23 PM
(http://i45.tinypic.com/25oufyb.jpg)
(http://i50.tinypic.com/v8cw34.jpg)

Three cheers for the Anal Intruder!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 22, 2010, 05:40:00 PM
Top Secret= Ford Pinto ftw.

I saw Top Secret a few years back and was mildly amused. Tough luck on having a rather dreary pairing though and not feeling like you really want one to go on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on June 22, 2010, 06:52:47 PM
Top Secret! is the right choice.

Wait a minute... Trading Places is already out? Bah.

90's Europe bracket!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 22, 2010, 07:41:24 PM
Reassemblage vs. St. Elmo’s Fire


Reassemblage

(http://i45.tinypic.com/hsrv6c.jpg)

I am not so sure that this film should be included in this bracket, considering that it is a 40 minute short. But since it was assigned, I shall review it. I did not get this movie. It is boring and infuriating. The director wants to be really artistic and show what she can do as a filmmaker. I’ll give you an example. Throughout the movie, she will deliberately cut the sound. I thought it was a problem with the copy of it that I had, but, actually, after having done research, I found out that it was supposed to happen. Is this profound? Frankly, I found it annoying. Also, she will cut to a closeup of a woman’s bare breasts constantly to go, “Look, in Senegal not all women wear tops.” Yes, we get this after one cut to it. You do not need to do it 45 times. There is no narrative to be found in this “experimental” film. No person to latch onto. It is just a filming of their daily routines, which is not that interesting. They farm and mash corn. That’s about as much insight as you get in this. I am glad that it was only 40 minutes. I wish it was shorter because that is time I will never get back. Do not see this film.


St. Elmo’s Fire

(http://i45.tinypic.com/augx0g.jpg)

Joel Schumacher, one of my least favorite filmmakers, presents the Razzi winning film St. Elmo’s Fire. The IMDb synopsis for this film reads: “A Group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood. Their main problem is that they're all self-centered and obnoxious.” That is exactly one of the big problems with this movie is that the characters are so annoying and obnoxious that you just do not care about any of them. The movie personifies everything that people want to forget about the 80s (the big hair, synth music, and Rob Lowe). If you want to know why many people want to forget the 80s, watch this film because it has it. The acting in the film is terrible, capped off by the Razzi winning performance of the before-mentioned Rob Lowe. Schumacher and Carl Kurlander’s script is filled with awful dialogue and a structure which is annoying. I think that is the perfect word for this movie: annoying. Everything about it is annoying. I hope to never catch this film again.


Winner And Advancement To Next Round: I wish I could not pick either of these and choose the loser of my last matchup Better Of Dead..., but I guess I’ll choose St. Elmo’s Fire and just hope in the next round it loses.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 22, 2010, 07:47:18 PM
At this rate you are going to do half the bracket :D

Good call on tossing out experimental documentaries. Those two words do not belong together.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 22, 2010, 07:51:37 PM
Shame you had a bad pairing.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 22, 2010, 07:56:44 PM
I know what the problem was: no ellipses in the titles.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 22, 2010, 09:22:49 PM
experimental documentaries

The greatest.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 22, 2010, 09:31:56 PM
Mr. Hoover & I
(http://i45.tinypic.com/a0xukk.jpg)

Disclaimer: I’d never heard of De Antonio before watching this film (his last), and I’ve never seen his previous work, so any opinions I have formed about him while watching this autobiographical documentary are sure to lack context.

I’m not sure what to make of Emile De Antonio, the director and subject of this film. He’s a political and social activist, and the “controversial” director of 10 documentaries on subjects ranging from the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings to the New York art scene from 1940-1970. This film is a memoir of sorts about De Antonio’s experiences living under J. Edgar Hoover’s watchful eye.

Apartently the FBI had a file on De Antonio no less that ten thousand pages long. He talks about being under surveilance and being threatened by men in black suits because of his marxist views. But that’s not all he talks about... the documentary really wanders around. We see his wife giving him a haircut and the somewhat awkward conversation they have while the camera is rolling (I guess an attempt to show De Antonio’s personable side), they don’t talk about anything of consequence. We see him talking philosophy in the kitchen of a friend's apartment. We see footage of De Antonio giving a lecture to a half-full auditorium of students (it’s really him telling anecdotes about his run ins with the law). We see archival footage of Hoover and McCarthy yelling into microphones. And sometimes all we see is De Antonio standing in front of the camera, set up somewhere in his home, and he speaks on different political subjects of past and present (present being 1989). All these scenes come and go in a mixed up manner.

If I had an interest in this man’s career then Mr Hoover and I might’ve been fascinating, but I don’t, and it wasn’t (Sorry, that came out all In Bruges-y). The doc just dives right in and assumes you know everything about the man and what he’s done. I literally had to stop 10 minutes in, go on imdb, and look up who he was and what he’d done because there wasn’t so much as a title card to set anything up (even his name was a mystery!). After reading his wiki and other internet blurbs all I really wanted to do was go back and watch his other work, all the stuff that made him famous in the first place (I think I will). Would I come back and watch this film afterward? Probably not. It still doesn’t strike me as being a particularly interesting doc.

Mr Hoover and I is out. It's just wrong for the bracket. Maybe we can switch it for his other film from the decade, In The King Of Prussia (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084130/)... *shrugs*


Ferris Bueller's Day Off
(http://i48.tinypic.com/2w380mc.jpg)
Favourite frame

Disclaimer: I've been receiving subtle threats via private message from ferris every day since I got this match-up. Let me quote one: "Oh hai, it's ferris again. Did I ever tell you about how I have a bunch of friends in high places in Winnipeg? Neat huh? Well, anywho... have a nice day". Lately though they've been less subtle: "Hey, it's ferris again. If you don't move FBDO through to round 2 I'll firebomb your house, and then firebomb the ashes that used to be your house. Well, anywho... have a nice day". I just figured I should mention that up front.

Obviously I'm just kidding around, ferris never sent me any private messages. But if he had I would've told him not to sweat it; I really like Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's just one of those movies that makes you feel good through sheer fun-ness. Every scene gives you something to different to remember the movie by. A line, a shot, a song... there's a reason it's such an iconic film.

The cast deserves as much credit for this movie as John Hughes. They're great! Every one of the them! Maybe too good. I mean 25 years later it's still the first movie that comes to mind when I think of Broderick or Ruck.

Anyways, I've run out of things to say. I think everyone is pretty familiar with this movie already, so I'll end it here. Bueller is moving on :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 22, 2010, 09:40:14 PM
Glad to see Bueller moving forward.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 22, 2010, 09:41:37 PM
Glad to see Bueller moving forward.

...even though First Contact is better.  :P

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 22, 2010, 09:42:16 PM
Glad to see Bueller moving forward.
...even though First Contact is better.  :P
Totally ;D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 22, 2010, 10:19:18 PM
God, you guys need to slow down with these verdicts.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 22, 2010, 10:20:18 PM
Yay, FBDO moves through!

Emile De Antonio sounds paranoid. But maybe there really was a 10,000 page FBI file on an obscure documentarian.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 22, 2010, 10:24:51 PM
I guess I’ll choose St. Elmo’s Fire and just hope in the next round it loses.

It'll face off against Wall Street.

Top Secret! and Ferris Bueller's Day Off will meet in round two.  As will Blade Runner and Say Anything.

The Naked Gun will meet Hannah and Her Sisters.

Sixteen Candles matches up against After Hours.

I think those are all the updates.

edit: Goddamnit, The Fox and the Hound will meet the very inferior Raiders of the Lost Ark.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 22, 2010, 10:25:15 PM
I don't remember being too fond of Fox and the Hound as a child, but I know that I do not care for Platoon.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 22, 2010, 10:27:20 PM
Great write-up flieger (and everyone else). Man, this bracket is buzzing.

I've heard that most Vietnam vets pick Platoon as the best representation of their Vietnam experience in movies. Might be hogwash.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on June 22, 2010, 10:31:20 PM
Great write-up flieger (and everyone else). Man, this bracket is buzzing.

Right? I love it! I think the pressure you put on the Far East bracket, pixote, extended over here.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on June 22, 2010, 11:12:16 PM
Platoon is horrible. It's corny, over the top, heavy-handed moralizing at its worst.

Fox and the Hound made me weep as a kid. It was pretty pathetic.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 22, 2010, 11:20:44 PM
The Naked Gun will meet Hannah and Her Sisters.
:o
We need to re-seed!

edit: Goddamnit, The Fox and the Hound will meet the very inferior Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I should have put Model through.

Man, this bracket is buzzing.
Love it!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on June 23, 2010, 04:20:32 AM
Great write-up flieger (and everyone else). Man, this bracket is buzzing.

Right? I love it! I think the pressure you put on the Far East bracket, pixote, extended over here.

Flieger,  can not believe you did not pick Platoon. I only saw it for the first time last year and loved it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 23, 2010, 05:55:13 AM
Great write-ups guys. This bracket is unstoppable :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 23, 2010, 11:14:39 AM
When I saw Mickey Rooney's name in the opening credits of The Fox and the Hound, I thought, "Christ, it's gonna be Breakfast at Tiffany's all over again."  But he didn't bother me as much as I expected.  I was too caught up in the story/characters.  And the last act forgives all.  Can't wait to watch it again.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on June 23, 2010, 01:17:03 PM
It's tripe. Pure, unmitigated tripe.


(Sorry!  :-[ )

 :'(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on June 23, 2010, 02:50:29 PM
I saw that this was one of duder's picks for the bracket - I apologize and look forward to hearing what he has to say about the movie and my review.

I haven't seen it :D Top Secret! is top 100 though, woo!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 23, 2010, 03:59:39 PM
I saw that this was one of duder's picks for the bracket - I apologize and look forward to hearing what he has to say about the movie and my review.

I haven't seen it :D Top Secret! is top 100 though, woo!

 :D :D :D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 23, 2010, 04:24:23 PM
Streetwise vs. To Live And Die In L.A.


Streetwise

(http://i46.tinypic.com/2afjxat.jpg)

I liked this film, surprisingly, because I am not a big fan of documentaries. Granted, I am not eager to revisit the film due to the subject matter, but it is a very engrossing picture. It tells the stories of these kids who are living on the streets of Seattle, Washington. They try to make it by drug dealing, dumpster diving, peddling, and prostitution. You get to know each of the characters intimately for the most part, which is really a great insight. I did have some problems with it, with this being an observance style documentary. The director always has the camera in the right place at the right time, and at some instances where it seems as though two cameras are rolling at the same time, but from the way the shots are framed the other camera would have to be in the shot, and it isn’t. That, for me, brings out an artificiality in the piece. I do know most of it is real, but it is those little kinds of things that draw me out of it. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised by this film.


To Live And Die In L.A.

(http://i48.tinypic.com/312zkg6.jpg)

I had so much fun with this movie. This a cop story that we have seen many, many times before. I think the script that William Friedkin co-wrote knows that too. He knows that the story is familiar, so he decided to have some fun with it. All of the performers look like they are having the time of their lives, especially Willem Dafoe as the counterfeiting villain. I think everything is done with a hint of camp that makes the tone of the picture perfect. There is a large car chase in the film that is so much fun to watch, even if you already know how it ends. Sure, the films seems a bit dated due to its soundtrack, but other than that, it has a sort of timeless appeal about it. Had you watched the film with the soundtrack removed, I do not think you would be able to guess if it was made in the 70s, 80s, or 90s. This a great thing because sometimes the aging of a picture hurts it. I think this film has aged very well. The film has a high re-watchability factor, in my opinion. This was such a pleasant surprise and a lot of fun.


Winner And Advancement To Next Round: To Live And Die In L.A. (It was very close)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on June 23, 2010, 04:33:21 PM
The director always has the camera in the right place at the right time, and at some instances where it seems as though two cameras are rolling at the same time, but from the way the shots are framed the other camera would have to be in the shot, and it isn’t. That, for me, brings out an artificiality in the piece.

I hate that, too. Good writeup. I haven't seen either movie, but Streetwise sounds slightly more interesting. I'll try to catch up with both.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 23, 2010, 04:33:38 PM
My main experience with To Live And Die In L.A. is as a crossword puzzle clue. Would be interesting to see the film behind the clue, though the documentary sounds interesting too (a bit like a Polish narrative film I saw last year called Piggies, which I liked).

Nice work again on the quick turnaround GC, at this rate you'll get into the top 3 on number of verdicts delivered and qualify for one of the resurrection picks. I need to up my game if I hope to qualify as well (I think I'm at 7 verdicts at this point with an eight by this weekend). Perhaps I can distract you by suggesting you go check out the 90s Far East bracket :D.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 23, 2010, 05:41:19 PM
pixote gots no luck
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 23, 2010, 05:44:46 PM
Resurrection!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 23, 2010, 05:45:53 PM
Resurrection!

If someone wanted to resurrect that, I would be fully up for it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 23, 2010, 09:04:33 PM
Perhaps I can distract you by suggesting you go check out the 90s Far East bracket :D.

After kicking out my beloved Streetwise, GC is no longer welcome over there.  :P

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 23, 2010, 09:37:06 PM
Streetwise is in my Top 100, incidentally.  As for that other film:

(http://i31.tinypic.com/wso3sy.jpg)
To Live and Die in L.A.  (William Friedkin, 1985)
I have no idea what I watched here.  I want to take a Masculinity class just so I have an excuse to dissect this shit shot by shot.  So frickin' weird.  Everybody should Wang Chung tonight, though.
Grade: C
Hmm, yeah, I guess there's still room for greatness there.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 23, 2010, 11:01:08 PM
To Live and Die in L.A. will face Beetlejuice in the next round, by the way.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 23, 2010, 11:48:13 PM
Siesta seems kinda awesome.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 24, 2010, 12:21:19 AM
I still prefer the King approved TV movie version of The Shining (filmed at the actual Stanley Hotel, natch) to Kubrick's. Though Kubrick's certainly is packed full of historic moments. Fun fact about the Stanley. It is pretty much right in Estes Park...in no way isolated from society and snowed in all winter. But that would ruin the suspense.

We also get bedroom scenes where Jodie and Julian (wearing a pearl necklace) get it on, while a newly shorn Barkin lies next to them, having flashbacks of her own tryst with Gabriel.

Must resist pearl necklace joke.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 24, 2010, 10:12:06 AM
Siesta seems kinda awesome.

Seriously! Somehow I'd never even heard of it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 24, 2010, 01:10:46 PM
Great verdict, flieger.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 24, 2010, 04:04:36 PM
The World According To Garp vs. Airplane!


The World According To Garp

(http://i47.tinypic.com/91b8d3.jpg)

This film was very nice. It was not great; it was not bad. It was, just, nice. Robin Williams gives a really great performance has T.S. Garp. It shows that he really has some great acting chops. Glenn Close is great in the first half of the movie, but then for about 75 minutes her character disappears in the middle of the film, which is a shame because then the female lead is taken over by Garp's wife Helen, played by Mary Beth Hart, who really is not that intriguing. John Lithgow is amusing as the former football tight end turned woman, and adds some interesting comedic relief, but is ultimately underused as well. The story is your typical coming of age flick, nothing new thrown into the genre. The plot is satisfying, but, frankly, well, let's just stick with satisfying. A problem with the film is that too many things happen for no reason and do not serve the plot. Two spring to mind instantly. One is that there is this crazy driver in the neighborhood that Robin Williams will always chase after when he comes through the neighborhood. Why is this necessary? It isn't. Another aside is that a plane flies into the house that they are about to buy, and is never mentioned again. Also, why could the film not have ended about 2 minutes earlier than it did? The ending put forth is not needed. All in all, it is a good film, just not a great one.



Airplane!

(http://i46.tinypic.com/t9z2gg.jpg)

Coming into this matchup, Airplane! was one of my all time favorite comedies. After another viewing, it strongly remains there. It is in my belief that every joke lands in this film, and holds up from viewing to viewing. The writing in the film is so dry and so literal that I crack up on almost every line. The actors are able to deliver the dialogue beautifully in such a great dead-pan manor. Leslie Nielsen is amazing as Dr. Rumack, who gets to say the best lines of the film, including the most famous: "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley." Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Robert Hays, and Julie Hagerty are also brilliant in their respective roles. The film is a perfect parody of disaster films, whether they take place on a plane or not. It is immensely quotable, and many, if not most, of the lines have entered my daily vernacular. I love this film, and, most likely, always will.


Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Airplane!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 24, 2010, 04:09:25 PM
Yay!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 24, 2010, 04:37:10 PM
Yay!

Good stuff GC.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on June 24, 2010, 04:58:55 PM
Robocop vs. Pumping Iron 2: The Women

Robocop

(http://www.matusiak.eu/numerodix/blog/wp-content/uploads/robocop_in_action.jpg)
Here's a review I wrote a year ago (because I'm lazy):
Robocop is a brilliant Verhoeven's satire of corporate america and the media engine that drives it.
There are a few things that make this first Robocop movie so epic. The super violent and gory action scenes, the dated stop motion effects, the humor and satirical nature of the film, the robocop theme and memorable gun spinning move he does all contribute to making this movie great. Even the acting is great with Red Foreman playing the crazy crime boss and Ronny Cox and Miguel Ferrer as the two businessman competing for their super robot technology to be used by the city. The movie doesn't take it self to seriously, as the super destroyer robot is unable to go down stairs, Robocop also shoots a thug in the junk by shooting through a girls skirt, there's also the toxic waste scene that is hilariously gory. Robocop's premise (a man gets killed comes back to life and then takes revenge on the people that took his life away) inspired a lot of films in the early 90's like the Crow and Darkman. But Robocop was one of the first. This movie is awesome and still relevant in this day and age. I mean Kanye has a song on his new album named after it, what does that say?!


The movie is just really clever, it's a whole lot of fun. The actors know exactly what they're doing, Peter Weller plays it straight while Kurtwood Smith hams it up, and it still all works amazingly.

Pumping Iron 2: The Women

(http://www.builtreport.com/mclish/019.jpg)

Like Hoop Dreams or the original Pumping Iron, this sequel follows the average sports doc formula. Follow a small group of contestants leading up to a competition. The interesting thing in this movie is the actual sport itself and the questions that arise from it. What is femininity? What does it mean to be a women? In male bodybuilding the competitions are about the size and definition of the actual muscles, strong, muscular, toned bodies are an expression of manliness. They are what define the alpha male, the leading man. How this translates to female bodybuilding is difficult to understand. In some ways female bodybuilding is oxymoronic, how are women supposed to express their femininity through these very masculine muscle building process. The sport actually question its own meaning in this film and for this reason, this sequel is in some ways more interesting than the first movie, which never asks any questions about the actual sport. The film doesn't really answer any of the questions asked but I don't think it really matters. The problem that this film has, that films like Hoop Dreams or the original PI don't have, is that we do not spend enough time with these women to care about them. The movie spends too much time on training montages and not enough on the contestants, what I wanna know is why these women got into this, what it means for them. They should have chosen to follow one or two contestants not 4. The only contestant that even the least bit interesting is Bev Francis, the one that has gotten to the point where she looks like a man and her struggle to keep her femininity. This was the 80's so there was no talks of steroids back then, but that would have been an interesting topic to look into with these incredibly muscular women. We spend almost two hours with these women but know almost nothing about them.


Verdict: Robocop is an entertaining movie and a great satire, PI 2 has an interesting topic but does not cover it in the right way. It also doesn't have this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7rjLQuW2nQ

Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Robocop
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 24, 2010, 05:27:04 PM
You chose well.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 24, 2010, 05:39:02 PM
Woohoo! Verhoeven!  8)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on June 24, 2010, 05:58:02 PM
"I like my men like I like my coffee: black."

Great stuff in Airplane!

O yea, and Robocop is pretty great too.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 24, 2010, 07:49:40 PM
"I like my men like I like my coffee: black."

Great stuff in Airplane!

O yea, and Robocop is pretty great too.

The quote is "No, thank you, I take it black, like my men."
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 24, 2010, 09:32:19 PM
Once Upon A Time In America vs. Tron


Once Upon A Time In America

(http://i49.tinypic.com/xdth5.jpg)

Aside from GoodFellas, this is my favorite gangster picture (yes, this includes The Godfather). Sergio Leone has crafted a master epic that has been sadly overlooked by many. Granted I am sure many have overlooked it because it is 229 minutes long, but each and every second is great. The story is an intercutting between gangsters who seem to be retired and their rise to the top of the mob from the time they were kids.  It stars Robert De Niro in one of the best performances of his career, and James Woods in THE best performance of his career. James Woods is unbelievable in this picture. However, the biggest surprise of the film is how good the child actors are. They act like they have been around for 10 to 15 years. Also, I was shocked at how much the kids look like their adult counterparts. It is almost scary. The film is an epic in every sense of the word. It is large on scale and stretches about 50 years in length. Ennio Moricone’s score captures the epic nature and, as always with Morricone, is beautiful. The sweeping cinematography captures the city perfectly. It is an absolutely gorgeous film to look at. Everything in this film clicks. This was Sergio Leone’s last picture, and it is truly a masterpiece. When I redo my top 100 films, this will easily fit in the top 20.



Tron

(http://i48.tinypic.com/hvxk6f.jpg)

This was a very pleasant fun movie. Is it completely implausible? Sure. That does not mean you can not have some fun with it. Jeff Bridges, as always, is fantastic. Easily one of the most charismatic actors working the past 40 years. However, the other “lead” characters are purely cardboard cutouts with no sense of depth. Are the special effects outdated? Yes they are. Does it hurt the enjoyment factor of the picture? I don’t think so. It dates it, but does not diminish it. I did have quite a few problems with the film. As I said before, the performances other than Bridges’ are not that interesting. The world of the computer isn’t very imaginative. If they were going to do more with the VFX, they could have varied the world a bit more from a series of colored lines. It is not that interesting to look at. I know there were some limitations back then, but the artists surely could have done some more. Yes the film draws a lot from its science fiction predecessors, like 2001 (for an evil computer), but because we are mostly in an artificial world, the threats do not feel as menacing as in the other film. I did enjoy the film and recommend it, and I look forward to the forthcoming sequel, but it is my no means a really great picture. It’s a fun popcorn flick.


Winner And Advancement To The Next Round: Once Upon A Time In America
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 25, 2010, 02:10:54 PM
Great reviews.  I've got to go see Once Upon a Time... - I'm long overdue. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on June 25, 2010, 02:15:24 PM
Great reviews.  I've got to go see Once Upon a Time... - I'm long overdue. 

...in America is Leone's second best Once Upon a Time story  ;)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 25, 2010, 03:41:44 PM
Blood Simple vs. The Times Of Harvey Milk


Blood Simple

(http://i50.tinypic.com/28vb11.jpg)

The Coen Brothers have crafted a master thriller in Blood Simple. This is yet another film to enter into my top 100 films of all time from this 80s bracket. The central premise is not anything new. A bar owner (Dan Hedaya) hires a private investigator (M. Emmit Walsh) to kill his wife (Frances McDormand) and her lover (John Getz). However, what the Coen Brothers do with the premise is incredibly new and adds even more suspense into the mix. The film unfolds in such a unique way that you have no idea what is going to come next, even if you know all the thriller conventions that are used in countless others. Every performance here is solid, especially from M. Emmit Walsh, who relishes every second he is on screen. The Carter Burwell score is haunting and gets your heart pumping fast at all the right moments. Barry Sonnenfeld’s cinematography is not afraid of the dark or the intense sunlight of Texas. The Coens’ story here is able to allow things to get messy and confusing, yet everything seems to tie up together. The dialogue, as always from them, is fantastic and interesting to listen to. I absolutely loved this film, and second to The Big Lebowski, is my favorite Coen Brothers film.



The Times Of Harvey Milk

(http://i49.tinypic.com/s5vji9.jpg)

I think I come at this film at a disadvantage. I say this because I have already seen Gus Van Sant’s picture Milk. The reason I say that is because I believe that film does a better job a giving a well-rounded portrayal of Harvey Milk. This film is very vague and feels almost like a Wikipedia biography. All it does is go through the career point by point listing accomplishments. I mean the film does keep you engaged in some respect because Harvey Milk is an interesting figure. Another problem with the film is that its agenda is so one-sided that it beats you over the head with it. I mean I agree with the political statements being put forth, but I prefer my documentaries to be as objective as possible. The film portrays Milk as a saint from the word go and never, really, has a misstep. Emotionally, the film does its work with the footage of the candlelight march. Overall, I was very underwhelmed with this film. It feels too much like an hour-long History Channel piece, and not a great documentary, as it is hailed to be. I did not dislike the film, just disappointed.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Blood Simple
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 25, 2010, 04:14:01 PM
Tragic.  :'(

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 25, 2010, 04:22:39 PM
I remember hearing the criticism of No Country that it was technically solid but otherwise a hallow movie. This never really rang true for me, but then I saw Blood Simple and it's the first thing that came to mind. :-\ It sounds like you really connected with it though GC, so that's good. Always nice to hear when people find a new top 100 type film. Sounds like you made the right call. Good write-up.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 25, 2010, 04:25:20 PM
Blood Simple will face An American Werewolf in London in the next round.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 25, 2010, 04:28:05 PM
Hmm, I was hoping Never Cry Wolf and An American Werewolf would face off. :(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 25, 2010, 04:30:39 PM
Hmm, I was hoping Never Cry Wolf and An American Werewolf would face off. :(

Never Cry Wolf might well face Back to the Future in round two.  And then either Blue Velvet, Little Mermaid, or Empire of the Sun in round three.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on June 25, 2010, 04:33:49 PM
My beef with Blood Simple was that I didn't get that the guy though that Frances McDormand had killed her husband and kept asking myself why he decided to dispose of the body instead of calling the cops.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 25, 2010, 04:36:29 PM
Hmm, I was hoping Never Cry Wolf and An American Werewolf would face off. :(

Never Cry Wolf might well face Back to the Future in round two.  And then either Blue Velvet, Little Mermaid, or Empire of the Sun in round three.

pixote
No problem. I'm extremely confident in what that movie has to offer.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 25, 2010, 04:37:19 PM
It's tough to beat a guy peeing in the snow.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 25, 2010, 04:41:11 PM
My beef with Blood Simple was that I didn't get that the guy though that Frances McDormand had killed her husband and kept asking myself why he decided to dispose of the body instead of calling the cops.

The reason that he did not call the cops is because the other bartender was in the other room, and he panicked.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 25, 2010, 04:52:18 PM
I like Blood Simple but would have gone the other way.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on June 25, 2010, 05:00:30 PM
Yay Robocop
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 25, 2010, 05:07:01 PM
Hmm, I was hoping Never Cry Wolf and An American Werewolf would face off. :(

wait!  was there a verdict on NCW?  I didn't see one?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 25, 2010, 05:12:06 PM

Ferris Bueller's Day Off
(http://i48.tinypic.com/2w380mc.jpg)

Disclaimer: I've been receiving subtle threats via private message from ferris every day since I got this match-up. Let me quote one: "Oh hai, it's ferris again. Did I ever tell you about how I have a bunch of friends in high places in Winnipeg? Neat huh? Well, anywho... have a nice day". Lately though they've been less subtle: "Hey, it's ferris again. If you don't move FBDO through to round 2 I'll firebomb your house, and then firebomb the ashes that used to be your house. Well, anywho... have a nice day". I just figured I should mention that up front.

Obviously I'm just kidding around, ferris never sent me any private messages...

oh shoot was I accidentally sending those to "smurfman988" by mistake...

Seriously though...Can't believe I missed this!  Wow bracket verdicts are coming fact and furious!  Glad to see this advance :)

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 25, 2010, 06:30:21 PM
Tragic.  :'(

pixote

Times of Harvey Milk > Milk > Coen films I haven't seen.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 25, 2010, 06:32:35 PM
Hmm, I was hoping Never Cry Wolf and An American Werewolf would face off. :(

wait!  was there a verdict on NCW?  I didn't see one?

Not yet... I guess it's possible it won't even make it out of round 1. That would be poopy though.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 25, 2010, 10:37:15 PM
Stripes (Ivan Reitman, 1981)

Well, that was a train wreck. This is definitely one of those comedies that doesn’t age well. It has such a dudebro aesthetic with ample gratuitous nudity (freaking mud wrestling) and even the main female characters are treated in a horribly condescending and objectifying manner. This is supposed to be a comedy, but I can’t remember ever laughing and probably only smiled once or twice.

And the story just isn’t interesting. When you think of military parodies, the two Hot Shots movies manage to be so much more successful. It is just the annoying fantasy of being the slacker male who can be openly oppositional to commanding officers but eventually will get the girls and become the hero. It may be a nice fantasy but it is a terrible message.

Even the experimental documentary deserves to move on over this.
(http://www.movieposter.com/posters/archive/main/14/A70-7122)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083131/)


(http://marypmadigan.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/desperately-seeking-susan.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089017/)
Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman, 1985)

I’m a big fan of young Madonna. Yeah, her music’s fine and her acting may or may not be dubious, but she had such a natural beauty back in those days. The basic plot here is you’ve got a bored housewife (Rosanna Arquette) who takes up voyeurism for a bit of excitement, scouting out a meeting between the titular Susan (Madonna) and the man who placed the personal ad in the paper in Battery Park. But it turns out Susan is in a bit of a bind and Roberta steps right into it (it being a pole) and develops amnesia and begins to think she is Susan. Cue the intrigue.

Public Service Announcement: If you or someone near you seems to be suffering from amnesia; please seek medical attention for traumatic brain injury. Do not continue with movie plot that finds it does not need to concern itself with the true medical ramifications of the plot device…THRICE.

Meta: Madonna songs playing at a dance club in the movie.

Given the role of amnesia, it seems suitable that there is some confusion involved in the plot’s twists and turns and it is interesting how things sort of mirror in a way. That said, it does take its time in opening up and has more confusions based on simple misunderstanding than is probably believable. That said, I found it enjoyable enough.

Verdict: Desperately Seeking Susan is only a decent film. I have no investment in it going forward, but I'm still glad I can put it through on its own merits and not just because Stripes irked me thoroughly and completely.

BTW, this isn't linked yet in the other thread:
Verdict: I enjoyed both of these films, but the last third of Trading Places in particular dragged it down. It isn’t complete enough or funny enough to top the really powerful documentary it is up against. Common Threads moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on June 26, 2010, 01:46:48 AM
Any verdict that rids us of Ivan Reitman films is a good verdict.
First Nolan, now Reitman, get thee to a nunnery.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Corndog on June 26, 2010, 09:49:13 AM
Stripes is a funny movie.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 26, 2010, 04:44:36 PM
Vernon, Florida vs. The Thin Red Line


Vernon, Florida

(http://i50.tinypic.com/3165cea.jpg)

What exactly did I just watch? I have no idea what this is supposed to be. It is a bunch of old people talking “cooky-talk”. That’s it. It was as if I was with my relatives telling me long, boring stories that have no relevance to anything. I am so befuddled. What was the point of this documentary? It just felt like a collection of scenes compiled together of rambling about anything that came to the persons head. I did not learn anything interesting. Is this just some practical joke that Errol Morris is playing on us that some have mistaken as a profound masterpiece? I’ll stick with the practical joke theory. I think I need to end this review with the only response I find appropriate: ...........huh?



The Big Red One

(http://i48.tinypic.com/otnhg3.jpg)

This feels like one of the most authentic war films I have seen. It shows that the writer and director is writing from his own personal experiences from his time in World War II. The battles scenes are gritty and feel very real. Lee Marvin is SPECTACULAR as The Sergeant. He is a veteran tough guy and it shows. The supporting cast is strong with Mark Hamill, who does his best, and Robert Carradine. The personalities of the soldiers seem very realistic to what an actual soldier would be like. They get that people come over to fight and die. They understand that, and they seem to shrug it off. In war, I am assuming that would be something you have to become accustomed to do. You can tell Fuller has tapped into the mind of a soldier and knows exactly how they behave, because he once had to do the same thing. This is a war film that has been very overlooked by more commercial WWII flicks, like Saving Private Ryan, to which I feel The Big Red One is superior. I really enjoyed this film.

Winner And Advancement To Next Round: The Big Red One


I find it interesting how both of these films have appeared in previous Filmspotting marathons.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 26, 2010, 04:51:59 PM
Wow, I'm the opposite I found The Big Red One to far too commercial and lifeless, as well as boring, when compared to something like SPR that is much more personal and full of life.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on June 26, 2010, 05:21:04 PM
Vernon, Florida vs. The Thin Red Line
???
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: oneaprilday on June 26, 2010, 05:27:23 PM
I haven't seen The Big Red One, but I wished Vernon, Florida had done more for you. I think it's strange and kind of great.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 26, 2010, 06:12:32 PM
Gotham, love your Vernon, FL review. Haven't actually seen it, but it seems like the kind of review I'd give an 80s documentary that lacks narrative force behind it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 26, 2010, 07:09:45 PM
I haven't seen The Big Red One, but I wished Vernon, Florida had done more for you. I think it's strange and kind of great.

I think I feel the same way. I think Vernon is the Morris doc I like least, but I still found it quite entertaining. I do love Lee Marvin though.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Holly Harry on June 26, 2010, 07:15:34 PM
Wow, I'm the opposite I found The Big Red One to far too commercial and lifeless, as well as boring, when compared to something like SPR that is much more personal and full of life.

I'm confused. How is "Saving Private Ryan" much more personal than "The Big Red One" since Spielberg was never in WWII and Fuller was not only in WWII, he was in the titular infantry? How does that work?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 26, 2010, 07:30:29 PM
Wow, I'm the opposite I found The Big Red One to far too commercial and lifeless, as well as boring, when compared to something like SPR that is much more personal and full of life.

I'm confused. How is "Saving Private Ryan" much more personal than "The Big Red One" since Spielberg was never in WWII and Fuller was not only in WWII, he was in the titular infantry? How does that work?

Whether or not the author was in the war matters not. My grandpa was in the war, but hearing him talk about the war was a detached and emotionless experience. Conversely my sophomore history teacher was never in the war, but when he talked about it he infused emotion into his speech and you could feel how personal the topic was for him, for whatever reason.

The same holds true for Fuller versus Spielberg, Fuller may have been there, but his tale is dry and without emotion, it doesn't feel personal, it feels like someone talking about the war without actually wanting to get into the truth of the war to them. Spielberg wasn't there, but you can tell the war meant something to him and that personal connection drips from every moment of SPR.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Holly Harry on June 26, 2010, 08:00:28 PM
So, how personal something is is dependant on the level of enthusiasm and energy? A morose telling can't be deeply personal? Sorry, I'm not really buying it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 26, 2010, 08:24:01 PM
you can tell the war meant something to him and that personal connection drips from every moment of SPR.

And it often leads to poor decisions like the sappy bookends.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 26, 2010, 08:30:22 PM
So, how personal something is is dependant on the level of enthusiasm and energy? A morose telling can't be deeply personal? Sorry, I'm not really buying it.

Morose has to have feeling and life to it as well, Fuller's tale didn't. Energy is perhaps the wrong word, but no matter how personal the tale you are telling is, it has to make me care and make me think you care, I didn't get that from Fuller's tale at all, I got a drab, lifeless monstrosity that simply rolled on and on, and in any form wasn't personal at all. Idi I Smotri was a very morose WWII tale, but it has life, it felt personal.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Holly Harry on June 26, 2010, 08:41:39 PM
Actually, it "rolling on and on" is sort of the point. War, while you're in it, is not like a movie (I can imagine, anyway). It is not seperated into big setpieces, the battles meld together. The "lifelessness" of the film is precisely why it's so deeply personal.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 26, 2010, 08:52:37 PM
Ah, but SPR and Idi I Smotri are both the same way, they roll on almost endlessly, but you feel every minute and every moment. Those films are alive with the reality of war, Fuller's The Big Red One is bland and dead. I know what he was going for, but I don't think he exactly succeeded because it doesn't come across as a personal film that mattered to him but a droll film that he felt he needed to make.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 26, 2010, 10:56:16 PM
Fuller's The Big Red One is bland and dead

Fuller? Bland and dead? I really need to rewatch this. (Bland and dead? Really? Fuller?)  :)

It is my only exposure to Fuller, so his other work might not be like that at all, I don't know.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 27, 2010, 11:27:15 AM
How sad you have made me flieger, how truly sad, The Great Mouse Detective is such an awesome, fun and just downright funny film.  :'(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 27, 2010, 12:25:33 PM
How sad you have made me flieger, how truly sad, The Great Mouse Detective is such an awesome, fun and just downright funny film.  :'(

Agreed.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 27, 2010, 01:20:54 PM
I haven't seen either (that I remember) so I'll just assume flieger's right.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 27, 2010, 05:08:32 PM
House Of Games vs. White Dog


House Of Games

(http://i48.tinypic.com/dz81ef.jpg)

David Mamet as we all know is a great writer. This is directorial debut. I think that it is a success. I believe he has crafted a great con man film in this. I love the fact that all of the characters, mean and women, have equal weight. He does not just shrug the women off, which is strange because he usually writes testosterone filled scripts. Lindsay Crouse and Joe Mantengna are both great in their respective roles, her as a psychiatrist with her own empty life and him as the charismatic con-man. The con plot is meticulous, just as Mamet wants it do be. I like the fact that Mamet is not flashy in his directorial style. He just wants his actors to say his dialogue, and that is basically it, which, when it is Mamet dialogue, is enough for me. Granted there are some people who can not pull it off (I am looking at you Ricky Jay). Overall, this is a very well-crafted con film which I can not wait to re-watch again.



White Dog

(http://i49.tinypic.com/2i2c6eq.jpg)

This is a very interesting film. It focuses on a beautiful, white German Shepherd, whoi hit by a woman in an accident. She takes the dog to the vet, and, after an encounter with a rapist, takes in the dog. Unbeknownst to her, the former owner was a racist and trained the dog to attack black people. It has some interesting things to say about race relations. It treats the issue as a mental deficiency that, overtime, can be cured. Sam Fuller has crafted a terribly haunting film that is now burned into my brain. The film is shocking and actually disturbing. It is not one that I am itching to pop into the DVD player again. However, it is a truly great film. More people need to seek out this film and see it. On its initial release, it only grossed around $45,000. I want this to get a new life on DVD. Big recommendation by me, if that accounts for anything.


Winner And Advancement To Next Round: White Dog
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 27, 2010, 05:12:27 PM
Interesting choice. White Dog sounds unique if nothing else.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on June 27, 2010, 05:14:34 PM
White Dog is amazing.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Holly Harry on June 27, 2010, 05:52:52 PM
It is quite good, though I don't consider it top-tier Fuller.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 27, 2010, 08:18:43 PM
House Of Games
Lindsay Crouse and Joe Mantengna are both great in their respective roles, her as a psychiatrist with her own empty life and him as the charismatic con-man. The con plot is meticulous, just as Mamet wants it do be. I like the fact that Mamet is not flashy in his directorial style. He just wants his actors to say his dialogue, and that is basically it, which, when it is Mamet dialogue, is enough for me. Granted there are some people who can not pull it off (I am looking at you Ricky Jay). Overall, this is a very well-crafted con film which I can not wait to re-watch again.

Awww, Ricky Jay is awesome. I've always thought Crouse wasn't very good (though probably a little better than Rebecca Pidgeon in later Mamet films) and she holds the film back from being great.

I like House of Games, but look forward to White Dog.

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on June 27, 2010, 08:25:03 PM
Basil the Great Mouse Detective vs. Rembrandt Laughing

Verdict: Rembrandt Laughing was up against a weak, weak opponent, but it succeeded on its own terms, and thoroughly deserves to move on to the next round.

Noooo!!!!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 27, 2010, 08:27:04 PM
Mamet puts my feet to sleep and White Dog seems pretty interesting. I approve of this verdict.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 27, 2010, 08:47:39 PM
are you working off of pleasant childhood memories?
That's gonna happen in this bracket from time to time.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on June 27, 2010, 09:12:39 PM
Seriously, have you people seen The Great Mouse Detective recently, or are you working off of pleasant childhood memories?

It. Was. AWFUL!  :)

Refresher anyone?

Great Mouse Detective part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6BXQQp-AJo#)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on June 27, 2010, 09:25:35 PM
Seriously, have you people seen The Great Mouse Detective recently, or are you working off of pleasant childhood memories?

It. Was. AWFUL!  :)

I just watched it a month ago, for the first time, it was awesome!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 27, 2010, 11:47:47 PM
Seriously, have you people seen The Great Mouse Detective recently, or are you working off of pleasant childhood memories?
The former! (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=3045.msg81194#msg81194)

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 28, 2010, 03:38:48 PM
Real Genius vs. Sherman’s March


Real Genius

(http://i49.tinypic.com/5nn986.jpg)

I was so looking forward to seeing this. I am a huge Val Kilmer fan, and this coming off of Top Secret!, which I found very funny, was just on the upside of his career. As you can tell by this opening, I was disappointed. This movie really is not funny. Every joke just lies there on the screen. Kilmer is trying all he can being zany and crazy, but it does not lift the material. Gabe Jarret can not be the center of the film. The kid, at the time, can not act and is very awkward on screen. There are throw away characters that serve no purpose to the plot. There are scenes and scenarios that serve no purpose to anything. For those fans of the Nostalgia Critic, most of these scenes are known as “Big Lipped Alligator Moments”. The story is boring, the characters are boring and one-dimensional. I sat in front of the screen shrugging, waiting for a funny moment, and I do not remember there being a moment where I laughed. That’s a problem in a comedy.



Sherman’s March

(http://i49.tinypic.com/aw2oon.jpg)

An experiment to document Sherman’s march through the South turns into a personal and beautiful portrayal of finding love in the South, and of the South in general. This film accomplishes what Vernon, Florida could not. Ross McElwee puts real, identifiable people up on the screen who we can feel for and relate to. All of the characters are full of life and are so interesting to hear talk about their lives. We get to see their day to day lives in a very personal manner, and I feel like that really hits home. Occasionally, McElwee goes back into his original plan and gives us some information about General Sherman, but that is by no means the through thread. I found this film to be heartwarming and very emotionally satisfying. I enjoyed spending time with the people McElwee spends time with. This is an interesting experiment of a documentary that truly works on all levels, and I laughed more in this than I did in the film above. Go check out this film.


Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Sherman's March
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 28, 2010, 03:45:03 PM
Yay. I've never seen Real Science but I get the feeling I'd react the same way.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on June 28, 2010, 04:13:00 PM
GothamCity owns this bracket!
Very true, he is going to get indigestion eating so many films so fast.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 28, 2010, 05:19:19 PM
Ugh, Sherman's March is terrible and Real Genius is great. I'm boycotting this bracket!

Ok, not really, but after my next verdict I'm taking a break because it has been dominating my Netflix in a way the far east bracket doesn't and would like to do some other things.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 28, 2010, 05:37:23 PM
Yay. I've never seen Real Science but I get the feeling I'd react the same way.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 28, 2010, 05:38:35 PM
Running On Empty (Sidney Lumet, 1988) vs. Born In Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)

(http://i48.tinypic.com/23wqwqc.jpg)
Running On Empty

Sidney Lumet’s Running On Empty follows the Pope (later Mansfield) family as they move from town to town. See Judd Hirsch & Christine Lahti, former anti-Vietnam War radicals, have been in hiding ever since their bombing of a napalm lab went awry. The couple has two children, River Phoenix and some weird kid, that are constantly being uprooted. The family functions as a sort of military unit, though it’s clear that there is a lot of love. The opening of the film introduces us to their process of setting up a new life in a new city. The family dog gets left by the side of the road, the kids get new haircuts, a new vehicle is purchased, new jobs are acquired, and the kids are enrolled in their new schools (of course any records from previous schools were “lost in the move”). Phoenix takes a music class and it turns out he’s a talented piano player. One day after skipping school (can’t participate in school picture day), Phoenix goes to the teacher’s house, but no one is home so he goes in and starts playing the piano. But wait, surprise! The teacher’s daughter, Martha Plimpton, has also ditched. She seems unfazed by the stranger in her house and before you know it, there’s a connection between the two. She shows up for Lahti's birthday dinner and the family likes her. We even get a family dance to "Fire and Rain" (my life would be just fine if I didn’t have to hear this song ever again). Mr. Phillips thinks Phoenix should go to Juilliard. He auditions, but doesn't tell his parents; reveals his family secret to Plimpton. Lahti finds out about Juilliard and arranges for a meeting with her father (they’ve been out of contact for 15 years). She wants her father to take in Phoenix so he can go to Juilliard and – IRONY ALERT – the big reveal is that she was also a talented piano player who rejected Juilliard and her parents lifestyle but now wants her son to be a part of that world! Of course Judd Hirsch has no interest in breaking up the family unit but the movie ends exactly as you expect.
(http://i47.tinypic.com/24gov2p.jpg)(http://i45.tinypic.com/2r6ef45.jpg)(http://i46.tinypic.com/288nink.jpg)
The performances are all solid, but nothing really blew me away. Some of River's mannerisms got annoying, especially his constant use of the "Kristen Stewart in Adventureland hand through hair" technique. I was a little surprised to see that he was nominated for best supporting actor (especially since I think he’s the lead). The little brother gets very little screen time, which is ok because there was something about him that just weirded me out. I've always liked Martha Plimpton. The screenplay was nominated for an Oscar, not a surprise since it definitely feels like “one of those movies”. The best word for me to describe Running On Empty is “adequate”.

(http://i46.tinypic.com/ojgg0w.jpg)
Born In Flames

This verdict took me a few days to write because I was having a hard time articulating my thoughts on Born In Flames. I didn’t want to shit on it because, from what I’ve read, there are people who view this film as an important subculture artifact and I’m obviously not the target audience. Unfortunately, regardless of intention, bad filmmaking is bad filmmaking and there’s a whole lot of it on display here. The film takes place in a US, 10 years after a “war of liberation” implemented a social labor party. Counter-revolutionary groups, specifically the “Women’s Army”(a group of women on bikes that attack men harassing women) and 2 different radical pirate radio stations – Phoenix & Radio Regazza, are growing disillusioned with this government. The leader of The Women’s Army dies in jail from suicide (or more likely, nefarious government involvement!) and the two groups join together in protest. The structure of the film is almost pseudo-documentary, intercut with TV & radio broadcasts, talking heads, numerous montages of everyday activity set to the Red Crayola song “Born In Flames” (I didn’t mind the song, but I’m certain 90% of people would HATE IT), and conversations amongst the women.
(http://i48.tinypic.com/sosow7.jpg)(http://i45.tinypic.com/678h1z.jpg)(http://i45.tinypic.com/1tanh2.jpg)
This film has some of the worst acting you will ever see. We’re talking low-rent high school theater production bad. The editing is often very sloppy and not in an endearing way. Katheryn Bigelow shows up a few times as one of the editors of a socialist newspaper and I’m really glad she didn’t stick to acting. None of the characters felt real; if anything, they were nothing more than delivery devices for the message of the film and the dialogue felt like something you’d hear being spouted by “radical” college freshmen. I’m really not well-versed enough on the subject to pick it apart or anything, that was just my basic impression. The entire film is on [noembed]YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/clickofdeath#grid/user/7313D54BEFE86476)[/noembed], I recommend just picking a section at random for a taste (also Instant Netflix). I wish skjerva was around because I'm sure he has a very interesting take on this one.

Verdict
I'd love to advance Born In Flames, if nothing else so that someone else would have to watch it. If the films were closer in quality I'd give it an edge for trying something different. Running On Empty isn't anything special, but it's not a total mess and is the winner.

Running On Empty 6/10
Born In Flames 3/10
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 28, 2010, 05:41:24 PM
GC, you have me genuinely interested in Sherman's March now.  Maybe I'll see it in a future round.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 28, 2010, 09:03:02 PM
The Elephant Man vs. Commando


The Elephant Man

(http://i47.tinypic.com/m7x1ea.jpg)

Why can’t David Lynch go back to making these kinds of films? I am saying this because it is a masterpiece. This is an emotionally heavy film but has the story and characters to back it up. John Hurt portrays John Merrick so beautifully that it became more than a little dusty in the room where I was watching the film. Anthony Hopkins is also great as his doctor and mentor. I applaud Lynch for shooting the film in black and white, as the cinematography is beautifully dark and get every nuance of that period in England. The production and costume designs also put you right back in that period seamlessly. I also loved John Morris’ wonderful score for the film a lot. I really hope Lynch gets off this ride of making films that are totally incomprehensible and returns to the style of this and Blue Velvet. He can have his surreal moments, as he does in this film, but it needs to have interesting things happen through the film, and this sure delivers. This is yet another addition to my top 100 films of all time.



Commando

(http://i46.tinypic.com/119w07o.jpg)

How in the world did this film end up in a matchup with The Elephant Man? Anyway, I want to make some very clear: I love this movie. Why exactly? It is because it is so over the top stupid. It gets down just about every action movie cliche from the 1980s and distills it into one movie. There’s the cheesy one-liners, explosions, and ARNOLD. It portrays everything that we love about Arnold and everything we don’t like about him. It shows the bad acting, but it also shows the total badass that is Schwarzenegger. This film essentially has no plot, but, you know what, THERE ARE EXPLOSIONS! If you want the full experience of this, get some big and loud speakers and watch it on a huge screen. So put on your black, stripe camouflage makeup that does not camouflage anything because you are huge Austrian man and enjoy the ride. This is the definition of it is so bad its good.


Winner And Advancement To Next Round: The Elephant Man
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 28, 2010, 10:15:02 PM
Quote
Running On Empty (Sidney Lumet, 1988) vs. Born In Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)
Yeah, "adequate" is how I remember Running on Empty. I haven't seen in in years, but for some reason always remember the scene in his music class when he explains the difference between dance and classical music. Bummer about Born in Flames, I guess that's how it goes with experimental stuffs. Lizzie Borden isn't doing well in this bracket, I beleive roujin already kicked one of hers out.

Quote
Real Genius vs. Sherman’s March
I haven't seen either, but this seems like the right choice.

Quote
The Elephant Man vs. Commando
It's too bad these faced off in round one. I'm considering supporting this for resurrection.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 28, 2010, 11:08:30 PM
I’m gonna break this down Round 1 90s US style.

(http://i46.tinypic.com/2rmms2c.png) (http://i48.tinypic.com/abs494.png)
Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant, 1985)

Flaws: At times it feels like inexperienced filmmaking and it’s distracting. Particularly in the early scenes I didn’t like how quickly GVS cuts away from some scenes, it’s not that it’s frenetically paced, it just seems like the rhythm isn’t right or something. Also related to the inexperience issue, there are a couple of scenes that just go thud and reek of student; scenes are meant to play out as “off the cuff” but they just feel awkward. My biggest complaint with the film is that I never really got a sense of the neighbourhood/community that these characters lived in. Maybe it’s not fair to criticize a film for not being the film I wanted it to be. In my defense, I think just a little more would have satisfied. I like a strong sense of place, and it’s there but not big time, y’know? Also, the narration, which is often pretty good, is a little overused.

Strengths: The flip side of GVS’s inexperience is he’s willing to try angles and compositions an older fuddy-duddy might shy away from. Similarly, the high contrast lighting looks great, I assume it’s a product of budget constraints but aesthetically it works. As a matter of fact, in a few scenes there’s a noir-ish type feel and in one scene in particular it’s really effective. In general really, the cheapness is quite beautiful and I love when it’s meant to have a home movie quality. The lead, Tim Streeter (http://i50.tinypic.com/2qbhgs0.png), does a nice job. He’s such a GVS lead, handsome in a Keanu/Matt Dillon type way and sweet and likable in a River kind of way. The two boys that play the Mexican migrant workers, who I believe are not professional actors, are terrific; great presence and great faces. I absolutely loved the ending, Walt drives by Johnny, so bittersweet and lovely. Mala Noche handles lust, love, and crushes so wonderfully; sometimes romantic, sometimes uncomfortable, always honest. Also, I think I liked the music, but it’s been a while so I don’t actually remember.

(http://i48.tinypic.com/166lqpj.png) (http://i48.tinypic.com/htahjr.png)
Return of the Jedi (Richard Marquand, 1983)

Flaws: Ewoks. They never bothered me as a kid, and even now they’re just so familiar so it’s not really an issue for me. But when I do think stop and think about it, it’s hard to deny how stupid it is. Here’s another nerdy and well-documented complaint, another Death Star? Kinda lame. Aside from the Ewoks, the biggest problem with Jedi has to be Mark Hamill. He’s much better here than he was in A New Hope, I’ll take mature Luke over whippersnapper Luke any day, but his performance isn’t particularly good or anything. He’s kind of a charisma free zone. And it seems like he should, you know, not be.
  
Strengths: In my estimation, Jedi has two central strengths: art direction and set pieces. I think the visual design of this film is great. There are some awesome Leni Riefenstahl militarism moments, and the Emperor’s royal guards, no complaints there. In terms of set pieces, everything in and around Jabba’s palace is pretty great, I love the Han rescue and shootout at the sarlacc. And of course the Rebel assault on the Death Star is pretty darn spectacular. Also, spoiler alert, Vader takes his mask off. His eyebrows are hideously bushy.


Verdict: I’m not going to pretend I don’t like Jedi. It’s good fun, has some terrific sequences, and brings a satisfying conclusion to the series. Mala Noche very much feels like the work of a young filmmaker, which turned out to be both an asset and a weakness. Let’s put Mala Noche through and see what others think of it. Besides, this  (http://i50.tinypic.com/suwz8x.png)is totally hotter than this (http://i45.tinypic.com/10z71pw.jpg).
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 28, 2010, 11:12:50 PM
I’m gonna break this down Round 1 90s US style.

Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant, 1985)
vs
Return of the Jedi (Richard Marquand, 1983)

Verdict: I’m not going to pretend I don’t like Jedi. It’s good fun, has some terrific sequences, and brings a satisfying conclusion to the series. Mala Noche very much feels like the work of a young filmmaker, which turned out to be both an asset and a weakness. Let’s put Mala Noche through and see what others think of it. Besides, this  (http://i50.tinypic.com/suwz8x.png)is totally hotter than this (http://i45.tinypic.com/10z71pw.jpg).

You had me right until that second last statement.   But I can understand your logic.  Any energy put into ROTJ potentially pulls energy away from the vastly superior predecessor from earlier that decade - so yeah - why not get another set of eyes on Mala Noche....
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 28, 2010, 11:19:14 PM
More reason for me to abandon this bracket. Now we've got the best Indiana Jones AND the best Star Wars out of the bracket in the first round.
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 28, 2010, 11:24:48 PM
More reason for me to abandon this bracket. Now we've got the best Indiana Jones AND the best Star Wars out of the bracket in the first round.
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Take another look, Bondo, Empire and Raiders are still alive and kicking.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 28, 2010, 11:28:05 PM
More reason for me to abandon this bracket. Now we've got the best Indiana Jones AND the best Star Wars out of the bracket in the first round.
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(
Take another look, Bondo, Empire and Raiders are still alive and kicking.

I will never accept those as the best entries in their respective series. Though being serious I'd probably give A New Hope the edge over Jedi.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 28, 2010, 11:33:02 PM
I haven't seen Mala Noche, but I'm just gonna assume it's better than the other one.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 28, 2010, 11:40:11 PM
I’m gonna break this down Round 1 90s US style.
Mala Noche (Gus Van Sant, 1985)
vs
Return of the Jedi (Richard Marquand, 1983)
Verdict: I’m not going to pretend I don’t like Jedi. It’s good fun, has some terrific sequences, and brings a satisfying conclusion to the series. Mala Noche very much feels like the work of a young filmmaker, which turned out to be both an asset and a weakness. Let’s put Mala Noche through and see what others think of it. Besides, this  (http://i50.tinypic.com/suwz8x.png)is totally hotter than this (http://i45.tinypic.com/10z71pw.jpg).
You had me right until that second last statement.   But I can understand your logic.  Any energy put into ROTJ potentially pulls energy away from the vastly superior predecessor from earlier that decade - so yeah - why not get another set of eyes on Mala Noche....
Yeah, but just to be clear, Mala Noche is a good film. The words I chose in the verdict might imply that I wasn't into it. I did like it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Abomination on June 28, 2010, 11:44:17 PM
The Elephant Man

Why can’t David Lynch go back to making these kinds of films?

I completely agree with this and would like to throw in my early support for this movie as the winner!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 28, 2010, 11:48:15 PM
He should never make that kind of movie again (http://thelifecinematic.com/board/images/smilies/snob.gif)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 29, 2010, 12:05:29 AM
Quote
Running On Empty (Sidney Lumet, 1988) vs. Born In Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)
Yeah, "adequate" is how I remember Running on Empty. I haven't seen in in years, but for some reason always remember the scene in his music class when he explains the difference between dance and classical music.

I actually made note of that scene because when "Lucky Star" started playing and some kids started dancing in front of the class, I got real worried.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 29, 2010, 01:16:23 AM
Quote
Running On Empty (Sidney Lumet, 1988) vs. Born In Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)
Yeah, "adequate" is how I remember Running on Empty. I haven't seen in in years, but for some reason always remember the scene in his music class when he explains the difference between dance and classical music.
I actually made note of that scene because when "Lucky Star" started playing and some kids started dancing in front of the class, I got real worried.
Heh, I was pretty sure it was Madonna but wasn't 100%.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 29, 2010, 01:23:05 AM
Quote
Running On Empty (Sidney Lumet, 1988) vs. Born In Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983)
Yeah, "adequate" is how I remember Running on Empty. I haven't seen in in years, but for some reason always remember the scene in his music class when he explains the difference between dance and classical music.
I actually made note of that scene because when "Lucky Star" started playing and some kids started dancing in front of the class, I got real worried.
Heh, I was pretty sure it was Madonna but wasn't 100% sure.

You can't dance to Beethoven, matt.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 29, 2010, 01:24:11 AM
There's no beat!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 29, 2010, 03:31:32 AM
In the next round:

- Running on Empty will face The Terminator
- The Elephant Man will face either Liquid Sky or Field of Dreams
- Mala Noche will face My Dinner With André

Good luck, moviefilms!

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on June 29, 2010, 08:08:55 AM
Quote
The Elephant Man vs. Commando
It's too bad these faced off in round one. I'm considering supporting this for resurrection.

I might have to back you up on that.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on June 29, 2010, 08:44:18 AM
Yea, looking back, ROTJ was just as stupid as some of the prequels, it just had better actors.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on June 29, 2010, 09:06:41 AM
ROTJ is the best SW movie imo. This is a sad day. Also, I will resurrect Commando if I can. Cruel bracket!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 29, 2010, 04:02:23 PM
All Of Me vs. Silkwood


All Of Me

(http://i45.tinypic.com/affojl.jpg)

This is such a pleasant film to watch. It is delightfully funny with an interesting premise: Can two souls coexist in one body? Steve Martin, I believe, deserved an Academy Award nomination for his performance in this film. Lily Tomlin is also very good in the film, but at the quality of Martin. But Martin's brand of physical comedy in this film is so magnificent to watch that I believe this may be his best on screen performance, at least in the top three. I mean the film does rely more on being charming than being laugh at loud funny, which seems to be most of the cases in the 1980s. However, Martin delivers on some big laughs, and I believe that this film is worth seeing purely for his performance. This would be a solid weekend rental for a couple date night staying in.



Silkwood

(http://i48.tinypic.com/30v2idz.jpg)

This film is frightening in its portrayal of poverty, or, well, on the edge of poverty. It's also scary that this is based on an actual person. The cast in this film is absolutely superb, including Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, and Cher, yes, even Cher. What is really fascinating about the film is that in these films about people who live poverty are often about hope. This film is not about hope; it is about surviving. This film deals a lot with fear. It deals with the fear of the unknown at the experiences at the power plant. It deals with the fear of losing someone to illness, in this case cancer. It deals with the fear of no one being around to support you of your decisions. And as the film progresses, these fears become even more and more prevalent, and it makes you as the audience very frightened. This film is a difficult sit through. It is one of those 'one-timers' you were glad to see. I recommend people watch this film, no matter how relentless the misery is. The payoff of the film is worth it, but I understand if you do not really want to but it back in the DVD player.


Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Silkwood
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on June 29, 2010, 04:08:54 PM
Did you shower afterwards?

[/rimshot]
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 29, 2010, 04:19:06 PM
I'm getting a sense of "tie goes to the serious film" vibe from a few recent verdicts. Just because it is heavier or more depressing does not mean it is better.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 29, 2010, 04:21:18 PM
I'm getting a sense of "tie goes to the serious film" vibe from a few recent verdicts. Just because it is heavier or more depressing does not mean it is better.

It was not a tie. All All Of Me really had going for it was Steve Martin to elevate from a standard comedy.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 29, 2010, 05:20:37 PM
I'm getting a sense of "tie goes to the serious film" vibe from a few recent verdicts. Just because it is heavier or more depressing does not mean it is better.

It was not a tie. All All Of Me really had going for it was Steve Martin to elevate from a standard comedy.

glad you liked All of Me as much as you did.  It was one of like 7 vhs tapes we had in the house growing up.  I've seen it more than a couple times!  But you're right - as funny as it can be in places and as good a performance Martin gives, it's no Silkwood. 

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 29, 2010, 10:47:59 PM
ROTJ is the best SW movie imo. This is a sad day. Also, I will resurrect Commando if I can. Cruel bracket!
Sorry, 'noff. Sometimes brackets make us hurt the ones we love.

I'm getting a sense of "tie goes to the serious film" vibe from a few recent verdicts. Just because it is heavier or more depressing does not mean it is better.
You're absolutely right, serious doesn't mean better, but I don't know if that's what's been going on. There's been some tough competition lately.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 30, 2010, 12:58:26 AM
roujin's 5th verdict: taking back what's mine

River's Edge vs. Border Radio

(http://i46.tinypic.com/2h5jqr4.jpg) (http://i50.tinypic.com/29zvv4j.jpg)
River's Edge Tim Hunter, 1986

That one dude from Lost randomly kills his girl. He leaves the body next to the river and goes back to the school and tells a few friends. Then he takes them back and they all see the body. This is their friend. Yet they barely have a reaction. The film is kind of about their non-reaction, about how seemingly desensitized they are to what should be something that is jarring. Interesting stuff, for sure. But do you really need an entire character (their teacher) lecturing to his students about this very topic? (he's more ranting against his students than anything and it's extremely annoying) The film boasts some solid filmmaking, but its continually screwed over by its acting and its writing. Crispin Glover is awful in this movie. Just horrible. I couldn't stand to look at him, to listen to him, he's just wrong; and because of this whatever emotional connection there could've been was pretty much impossible. On the writing side, Keanu's kid brother is just ridiculous. His little subplot with the gun (and the last minute reversal - maybe there's hope for this newer generation!) is just baffling. What is this doing in this movie? Anyway, I didn't really like this movie, but it's not all that bad. It shouldn't be in the 2nd round though.

(http://i46.tinypic.com/3346yh2.jpg) (http://i49.tinypic.com/149705d.jpg)
Border Radio Allison Anders + Kurt Voss + Dean Lent, 1987

And River's Edge wouldn't be in the 2nd round if this movie hadn't turned out to be awful. It's the story of... uh, what the CINECAST! is the story? I think it has something to do with some musicians who steal some money and run down to Mexico to hide for a while. But, it doesn't really matter cuz any interest in the happenings in the movie is ruined at any point by any of the following things: no pacing, awful semi-improvised dialogue, absolutely no form, no structure, just nothingness. The whole thing just blerghs along until it just stops. I'll be completely honest: I really wanted to turn it off about 30 minutes in. Aside from an insider's look at the 80's Los Angeles punk scene (and a great soundtrack), I do not see the positives. Maybe you had to be there. What the CINECAST! is this doing with a criterion release? The whole thing just reeks of student film nonsense.

River's Edge moves on, I guess.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on June 30, 2010, 03:30:57 AM
Dennis Hopper owns this bracket.

River's Edge faces Sleepwalk in round two.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 30, 2010, 03:32:27 PM
Do The Right Thing vs. Eyes On The Prize: Bridge To Freedom


Do The Right Thing

(http://i50.tinypic.com/k21mde.jpg)

Spike Lee has crafted something very special and very peculiar in this film. Granted the film is a bit too messy and a bit too preachy, but it is still a very powerful film. Spike Lee uses interesting camera tricks and framing that add a lot to the power of the story and makes everything a lot more interesting. Lee knows New York City very well, and it shows in every frame of the film. However, there are many things in the film that seem to disrupt what otherwise could have been a “masterpiece”. One, many of the characters are only caricatures and are freakishly annoying, namely Giancarlo Esposito as Buggin Out. Every moment he is on screen you just want to punch him the face and wish he never existed. Also, this is Rosie Perez’s debut role, and is wasted, even if her voice is twice as annoying as Fran Drescher’s. That is another problem: there is too much going on. There unnecessary subplots that really do not go anywhere, like Mookie not being at home enough or Sal being overly nice to Jade and Mookie thinks he is coming on to her. Theese things are unnecessary. The only place where almost everything clicks involves anything in the pizzeria, run by Sal (played exceptionally by Danny Aiello) and his two sons (also played exceptionally by John Turturro and Richard Edson). The reason this works is because they play their characters like real life people, as does Spike Lee. Ossie Davis who plays Da Mayor is fantastic too. This, for the most part, is a really great film, but I have my quibbles with its preachiness, especially towards the end, and unnecessary sequences (the most unnecessary being the opening credits. Just open with Sam Jackson as the DJ). I know it seems I am harping on the film but it is a pretty great movie.



Eyes On The Prize: Bridge To Freedom

(http://i49.tinypic.com/1q5mpu.jpg)

I remember first watching this a couple of years ago in school. Of course, at school, you do not think much of the videos you watch in class. This is because everything school does you are against. Anyway, it was interesting to watch this in the context of my own home. I think this is a case where I needed to watch the series from start to finish (it was a 14 episode TV series on PBS). This is because I am not sure what was covered in the previous and future episodes. Anyway, from what I saw, this is a very interesting film. As in most cases with documentaries, it overstays its welcome a bit. The reason I say this is because every segment in the film has to do with the Selma, Alabama police brutality during the Civil Rights Movement. It is effective, I think, for about the first three times they show it, but then it feels like the filmmakers are just shoving it down your throats. I mean, the movie does make you want to go out onto the street and fight for civil liberties, but I think that they are to reliant on the brutal stock footage to hammer that point home. There are plenty of other ways to get to the point of getting civil rights. It is still a well made film, but I think they needed to tone down the stock footage and add in more interviews with people who participated in the marches and riots of the time. I am not sure this would be worth it had they put it in the cinemas, but as a TV documentary, it is quite well made.


Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Do The Right Thing
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on June 30, 2010, 03:47:17 PM
I remember first watching this a couple of years ago in school. Of course, at school, you do not think much of the videos you watch in class. This is because everything school does you are against.

I know this is mostly just a fun set up for the review but I didn't find this to be true in my case. Most notably, I watched 1776 in my civics class and Lonesome Dove in my US History class. Both rank highly for me and I could find many more films I first encountered through one class or another.

Anyway, I liked DTRT a good deal so I'm happy with the verdict.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 30, 2010, 03:52:23 PM
I remember first watching this a couple of years ago in school. Of course, at school, you do not think much of the videos you watch in class. This is because everything school does you are against.

I know this is mostly just a fun set up for the review but I didn't find this to be true in my case. Most notably, I watched 1776 in my civics class and Lonesome Dove in my US History class. Both rank highly for me and I could find many more films I first encountered through one class or another.

Anyway, I liked DTRT a good deal so I'm happy with the verdict.

I wish I could have watched Lonesome Dove in my history class, but my statement applies with a PBS documentary in a 10th grade English class....don't ask why it was an English class.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on June 30, 2010, 04:30:05 PM
you can tell from my recent review that I'm totally behind this verdict.  I can't disagree with your hangups - the preachiness, the gaudy opening, and some of the broadly drawn characters, but for some reason I was willing to go along with all of it.   I enjoyed this immensely.

I haven't seen the other film - so I guess I'll have to take your word for it!

BTW: awesome job powering through these!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on June 30, 2010, 04:36:50 PM
I haven't seen Bridge To Freedom (I'm only through episode 3) but I'm sorry to see it exit so early, not that I'm complaining about Do The Right Thing advancing.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on June 30, 2010, 07:21:42 PM
Body Double vs. Crimes And Misdemeanors


Body Double

(http://i49.tinypic.com/wki788.jpg)

I can not believe that is movie actually exists. This is one of the most unintentionally funny films I have ever seen, but mainly the laughs come out of embarrassment. Everything is ridiculous, from the acting to the score to the writing. I have attempted to defend Brian De Palma in the past, making one of my favorite films in The Untouchables, but I can not defend him any more. This film is a travesty. It is no wonder he was nominated for Worst Director at the Razzies for this movie. I will never understand the appeal of these “erotic thrillers”, especially this one. We are meant to follow the story of a whiny pervert, where are we supposed to have empathy invested in him. You can tell that De Palma is trying to do something interesting with his camera moves and what not, but everything just falls flat. This isn’t bad enough to be so bad it’s good. It is just bad.



Crimes And Misdemeanors

(http://i49.tinypic.com/2sdxv.jpg)

I, sadly, have only been shown Woody Allen’s films from this past decade, with only Vicky Cristina Barcelona making a huge impression on me. I have never seen classic Woody Allen like Annie Hall or Sleeper, so this is my first real exposure to what as regarded as great Woody Allen. Needless to say, I loved it. He is able to blend the comedy and seriously intense drama seamlessly together. The writing in the film is just impeccably done. He also knows who can deliver those lines the best. This is why he hires Martin Landau, Alan Alda, and Anjelica Huston, who are all spectacular. This is my first film seeing Woody as an actor, and I love the character he has created for himself. He plays neurotic exceptionally well. This is also my first New York Allen picture, and the love of the city shines through from every character to every scene where it is mentioned or shown. Woody Allen, after only a couple of films of his that I have seen, especially including this one, has lifted himself into the plateau of some of my favorite filmmakers. I can not wait until I see more of his films.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Crimes And Misdemeanors
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on June 30, 2010, 07:36:16 PM
Body Double sounds great.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 01, 2010, 12:21:23 AM
The Little Mermaid vs. Empire Of The Sun


The Little Mermaid

(http://i50.tinypic.com/2mzwfwn.jpg)

This film is a Disney film, therefore it was a large part of my childhood. I wore out the first copy of it I had on VHS from watching it so much. It has probably been at least nine years since I last had seen it, so it was an interesting revisit. As always with Disney animation, the visuals are beautiful to look at and all of the songs are top notch and will be stuck in your head for days on end. However, as part of the Disney Renaissance, it is on the bottom end. This film is much more catered towards little kids, so it focuses more on being whimsical and funny rather than a plot driven narrative that is not afraid to delve into more universal, and sometimes adult, material (i.e. Beauty And The Beast, The Lion King, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame) which is the Disney I prefer. I mean it is not afraid to worry the little kids, because Ursala is a pretty scary villain, with a great villain song in “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, but I was not as engaged in the film as I wanted to be. No doubt it will please the youngsters, and I still did enjoy a lot of the film, but I was hoping for a little bit more to grab onto. Overall, though, it is still a very good film.



Empire Of The Sun

(http://i45.tinypic.com/208wmq8.jpg)

When I think of top tier Spielberg, I think of the Indiana Jones quadrilogy, E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial, and Schindler's List. This, I believe, belongs right up there with those films. It is about a wealthy British boy, Jim 'Jamie' Graham (Christian Bale, in his second role), living in British controlled states of China during World War II, who is fascinated with aviation. When the Japanese army invades, he is torn from his parents and placed in a camp for British citizens. Christian Bale shows that at the age of twelve that he is a fantastic actor. However, the best thing about this film is the absolutely gorgeous cinematography by Allen Daviau. Every shot in this film is gorgeous to look at. It is rare where each shot could be a picture hanging on a wall. Bob Ringwood's costume design puts you in the time period perfectly, as does the production design by Norman Reynolds and Harry Cordwell. John Williams score suits the film exceptionally well, as do most of his scores. Steven Spielberg proves, once again, he can make an incredibly well crafted film with a heavy emotional punch, as he does in, well, two of the films I mentioned above. This, I think, is Spielberg's second best World War II film, next to Schindler's List.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Empire Of The Sun
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 01, 2010, 12:32:00 AM
 :'( :'( :'(

Why so serious?

J/K Like you I find The Little Mermaid is lower-tier from the peak Disney years so I'm not attached to it specifically, just continue to see all the feel-good films bow out. I think I tried to watch Empire of the Sun once but didn't get into it very far and since it was Instant Watch didn't push on very much...it has gotten enough praise that I do plan on watching it as part of my Spielberg marathon later this year.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 1SO on July 01, 2010, 12:47:14 AM
I remember really liking Empire of the Sun for the first couple of hours.  Then there is a major plot change and the film becomes less plot and more arty, dream imagery.

And I agree with you about Mermaid.  It ushered in the 2nd Golden Age, but the magic is in the songs (and the villain), not in the animation.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 01, 2010, 11:20:00 AM
This Is Spinal Tap vs. Hammett


This Is Spinal Tap

(http://i50.tinypic.com/1449q9x.jpg)

I absolutely adore this film. As soon as “Tonight We’re Gonna Rock You Tonight” clicks on, I am hooked and can not turn the film. Every line in the movie is pure comedic gold. Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer play their roles so well and so straight and with so much conviction that it elevates the comedy to something truly transcendent. This film could only have been made in the mockumentary style that it is placed in, and it adds so much to the characters as it portrays them as real as possible. In fact, as a mockumentary, it feels more real than a lot of documentaries. This film is a perfect satire on 1980s hair rock, and points out how terrible the music is (well, that is just a personal opinion of mine). Not only are the dialogue scenes hilarious, but the songs are also a laugh out loud riot. It is hard to get a better comedic 5 minutes than the “Stonehenge” sequence. I use so many of the lines in this film in my daily life, just because they are hilarious. Almost in every instance where I show this film to a friend of mine who has not seen it, it becomes one of their favorite films. It is easy to see why. The film is endlessly re-watchable and will stand the test of time as one of the all time greatest comedies, and they will not be able to make comedies like this ever again.



Hammett

(http://i48.tinypic.com/ng4rgn.jpg)

This is a pretty good little homage to the classic film noir style of filmmaking. It focuses on a fictionalized portrayal of writer Dashiell Hammett, played by Frederic Forrest, who is drawn back into the world of cops and criminals after trying to escape it by writing crime novels. This is partially directed by Wim Wenders, who is given credit for the film, but 70% of the footage shot was done by Francis Ford Coppola, who is only given an Executive Producer credit. The interesting thing is that the two sets of footage blend so well together that it is hard to tell where Wenders left off and Coppola picked up. The best thing about the film is the performance given by Peter Boyle. He plays Jimmy Ryan, a cop colleague of Hammett's. He is able to nail the heightened film noir acting style that existed in all of those early studio films, but he is able to make it seem real and believable, which is important, otherwise it just becomes laughable. This was a neat little discovery in the bracket. It is very enjoyable film that is a perfect homage to film noir. I think the film would have been escalated to a truly great film had it been shot in black and white, but the color cinematography here is pretty nicely done. I just feel black and white is better for these styles of stories. All in all, a pretty good movie.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: This Is Spinal Tap
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 01, 2010, 12:00:45 PM
Spinal Tap is just outside of my all-time top 20 so I approve, though Hammett sounds like it might be worth checking out.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 01, 2010, 12:06:50 PM
Spinal Tap is just outside of my all-time top 20 so I approve, though Hammett sounds like it might be worth checking out.

It is definitely worth checking out. It's a good film, just not as good as Spinal Tap
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 01, 2010, 01:29:14 PM
Spinal Tap vs. Repo Man next round.  That could be good.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 01, 2010, 04:16:45 PM
Yes: 9012 Live vs. The Atomic Cafe


Yes: 9012 Live

(http://i45.tinypic.com/bfl7ch.jpg)

This is not a documentary. This is a concert film. I am not a fan of the band Yes, so that may have limited my enjoyment of the film. However, based on the actual performance aspect, they are nothing special. After having seen concert films like Queen: Live At Wembley or Shine A Light, I expect a lot from a concert based film as far as the performance. The members of Yes, essentially stand in one spot throughout the entire film, or if they feel daring, take three steps to the left or right. They do not put anything creative into their performances. This is why Soderbergh is forced to cut to footage of people living in the 1950s or using Terry Gilliam knock off animation for no apparent reason. Now, because the performance factor is lacking, they have to rely on the music, which, in my opinion, is nothing too stand out. It’s standard late 70s, early 80s rock. They do not really put in too much originality or personality to distinguish themselves. They had one or two good songs, which I could tell were from their early dyas, but other than that, I was just quite bored by the whole thing.



The Atomic Cafe

(http://i49.tinypic.com/55nyid.jpg)

This documentary is quite perplexing. I hope that most of this film was put together in order to be funny because I laughed quite a bit at this, even if it is dealing with a serious subject matter. The director uses a lot of stock footage, in fact it is all stock footage, and most of it is this ridiculous American propaganda in order to use the atomic bomb. The propaganda is hilariously bad. It is so blatant and badly produced that it is hard that so many people bought into this kind of stuff. The footages of the actual bombs though do their work and show you the horror of the outcome of it. I like the fact that all of what is shown is stock footage. There is no modern perspective looking back, which I feel would decrease the impact of the film. It is true that the film does run its course. With what they put in the film, much of it becomes redundant. The film could have easily been cut to about 55 minutes and still had the same, or even greater, resonance. However, it is still a well put together documentary that I do recommend for people to see, if you are able to laugh a serious subject matter.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: The Atomic Cafe
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 01, 2010, 04:39:17 PM
Yes!

pixote


The has been another classic installment of pixote's Generic Joke of the Week.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Abomination on July 01, 2010, 07:11:45 PM
She’s Gotta Have It (Spike Lee, 1986)
(http://i50.tinypic.com/xgbqv.jpg)


I've only seen one Spike Lee “joint” prior to sitting down for this, and that was Do The Right Thing which I remember enjoying quite a bit.  She’s Gotta Have It isn’t nearly as good as that film, but it does have a lot of great elements and moments that show the promise that Lee would later fulfill.  I particularly enjoyed the use of the jazz score provided by Spike’s father Bill, which heavily factors into what I would describe as the best undressing man scene in all of cinema.  The story here of a young nymphomaniac woman in Brooklyn who winds up having to choose between three very different jealous lovers starts off a little slow, but really grew on me as I became more and more invested in these different characters.  There’s nothing too special here, but it’s a pleasant little film from a notable filmmaker.


(http://i46.tinypic.com/bi5qhj.jpg) (http://i46.tinypic.com/ouqftl.jpg)


Also, I just want to point out how creepy and weird it is that in both Spike Lee films I have seen, he casts himself as a character that has a gratuitous scene with the topless female lead.



My Brother’s Wedding (Charles Burnett, 1983)
(http://i45.tinypic.com/r8ic77.jpg)


I should note here that I decided to watch the 1983 Original Version of this film instead of the 2007 Director’s Cut in keeping with the name of the bracket.  I’m not sure if this was the best choice, but I don’t think a different edit would have saved this film.  I never connected with it at all, the acting was stiff with lines delivered as if the actors were reading off cue cards, and I didn’t understand what the movie was trying to say.  The best thing I can say for it is that there are a fair number of visually interesting shots and some interesting scenes in which a wide angled view is held for a long period of time.  Some of these can be seen here:


(http://i47.tinypic.com/i74ink.jpg) (http://i46.tinypic.com/1447j0p.jpg)


There, you saw the best part of the movie now.  I do not recommend seeking it out for the rest of it.



Verdict:  She’s Gotta Have It moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 1SO on July 01, 2010, 07:37:00 PM
She’s Gotta Have It (Spike Lee, 1986)

Also, I just want to point out how creepy and weird it is that in both Spike Lee films I have seen, he casts himself as a character that has a gratuitous scene with the topless female lead.
I wonder if that's because he'd be in the room anyway directing the scene, and this way the actress may actually feel more comfortable since the director is guiding the scene on-camera.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 01, 2010, 07:42:24 PM
Verdict:  She’s Gotta Have It moves on.

I really need to catch up with both films. Too bad to see Burnett get booted because I love his Killer of Sheep.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Abomination on July 01, 2010, 07:52:51 PM
Verdict:  She’s Gotta Have It moves on.

I really need to catch up with both films. Too bad to see Burnett get booted because I love his Killer of Sheep.

I'd be interested to hear someone else's thoughts on My Brother's Wedding, because it felt a lot like a high school production to me. Maybe I'm missing something.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 01, 2010, 07:57:43 PM
*groans*
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 01, 2010, 07:58:49 PM
I liked My Brother's Wedding, but I remember next to nothing about it.  I'm useless here.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 01, 2010, 07:59:30 PM
Also, I just want to point out how creepy and weird it is that in both Spike Lee films I have seen, he casts himself as a character that has a gratuitous scene with the topless female lead.

Wouldn't you? ;)

He's still less creepy than Vincent Gallo.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Abomination on July 01, 2010, 08:04:38 PM
He's still less creepy than Vincent Gallo.

Good point.

*groans*

 ???
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on July 01, 2010, 10:28:00 PM
The Princess Bride Vs Witness

The Princess Bride
(http://alicia-logic.com/capsimages/pbr_038Duel.jpg)
I watched the Princess Bride a few years ago and found it to be a pretty average film, but with the amount of praise that people seem to give to the film I thought maybe I'd missed something. So I decided to rewatch it for the match-up.I enjoyed it a bit more this time around but I still don't think it deserve all the praise it gets.
The humor is very satirical and clever and witty. It reminded me of a very toned down Mel Brooks movie or a Monty Python.
Its got that kind of humor that will put a big grin on my face but won't actually make me laugh. I'll be thinking "That's pretty clever" but never will I let out a giggle. The funniest line was near the beginning: "Back in my day TV was called books." I think the problem is that there are no punchlines, just witty banter. The film also lacks physical humor, okay there's the falling down the hill part and the whole dead body stuff but very much like the dialogue I just found it to be mildly amusing.
Its a very fun, charming and enjoyable film. I did like it but it's no where near as good as so many make it out to be.

Witness
(http://atthelighthouse.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/witness2.jpg)
Yeah so I thought this was gonna be some kind of action cop drama thing with Harrison Ford kicking ass, but about 30 minutes in, it turns into freaking Avatar.
So Ford has to escape to an Amish village to protect an Amish kid that is a witness to a murder from the evil corrupt cops that are after them. He knows who the bad guys are and that they're after him but instead of doing anything he decides to wait it out... I guess he thinks that they'll just go turn themselves in or something. Anyway while he's there he also decides to learn the ways of the Amish and falls in love with the awkward yet sexy Amish girl that doesn't like him originally but eventually falls madly in love with him. Sound familiar? To tell the truth I actually enjoyed how Peter Weir handled the love story, he kept teasing at it, holding it back. So instead of me being: "Wow... they're gonna kiss, how original... :-X"  I was: "Come on kiss her! You love her! Do it! Do it now!  >:("  There are some great character moments, a very good final showdown at the end that satisfied my need for ass kicking and McGillis and Ford play their roles really really well. *Oscar Nom. for Ford
Let's get to some serious stuff now.
My biggest beef with this film and the thing that almost ruined the whole film for me is: the freaking soundtrack! I'm aware that this is the 80's and Danny Glover is in the film, but this isn't Lethal CINECAST!ing Weapon. Why do we need a freaking Synth soundtrack?! We're in an Amish village without any technology and the filmmakers decided that the music for this type of setting would be these horrible computer generated sounds. Seriously? Speaking of bad musical choices. Ford, at some point in the film, decides to sing a song to the sexy Amish girl. He sings Sam Cooke's Wonderful World... I suggest you google the lyrics. He's an Amish village singing about not knowing about science and math. So bloody clever Harrison.
I've been hating a bit on the film, it does have some pretty bad moments and a horrible soundtrack but overall I found that Peter Weir made some really good decisions and succeeded at making an interesting and exciting flick.


This one could have gone either way but I'm going to go with The Princess Bride.
1. Because I don't want any of you guys to hate me too much.
2. Synth. soundtrack argh...
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 01, 2010, 10:33:08 PM
Koyaanisqatsi vs. American Gigolo


Koyaanisqatsi

(http://i48.tinypic.com/20j0gmq.jpg)

Koyaanisqatsi isn't a complete waste of time but it is edging towards that. The cinematography is beautiful and it is well edited. However, this film really isn't much of a movie. Now I want to stress that I do care about the environment and feel that mankind is doing it bit too much to hurt it. On this level the film works but there is no plot at all. And as a documentary it doesn't work either as it's just a bunch of scenes strung together. There really is no through line to latch onto. All it is doing is showing you pictures and wanting you to react. It is an ineffective strategy. I was hoping more from a film with this kind of title, but was sadly, sadly disappointed. I wish I had more to say about this film.


American Gigolo

(http://i45.tinypic.com/2hejcqq.jpg)

There are three huge problems with this movie. One, Richard Gere is notthat good of an actor to carry the role this early in his career. Two, Lauren Hutton is too too young and pretty in real life for her character to be believable as an "older woman"paying a male escort. Third, Paul Schrader's mix of trying to be sexy and redemption do not always work, in fact it does not work at all. The ending makes it clear that Schrader is aiming for the redemption angle. Hector Elizondo whose character is Detective Sunday is no accident, considering Schrader's conservative religious background. In addition, Hutton's character, though always watchable, simply fails to spend enough screen time with Gere to make what happens in the film believable enough. This is a sleazefest that I hope to never encounter again.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Both films are bad, but the next viewer might need something interesting to look at so I’ll give it to Koyaanisqatsi
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 01, 2010, 10:33:16 PM
I watched Witness a few years back and was totally underwhelmed.  I don't know if it was an expectations thing or what, but it just seemed so lackluster.

The Princess Bride seems destined to be upset at some point early in this bracket (Ishtar?).

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 01, 2010, 10:59:52 PM
I’ll give it to Koyaanisqatsi

Good job.  I was worried there for a second.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 01, 2010, 11:03:17 PM
The Princess Bride seems destined to be upset at some point early in this bracket (Ishtar?).
pixote

I'll be the judge of that (well, whether Ishtar even gets past the first round). I was delaying a bit but since we are trying to wrap up round one I'll make a priority. I should also get to my next FE pair since I have them. After that I'll start picking off some availability toss-backs.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 01, 2010, 11:04:24 PM
I'm sure Ishtar is better. Paul Williams!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 01, 2010, 11:06:34 PM
There could potentially be an all Philip Glass matchup in round two, with Koyaanisqatsi squaring off against The Thin Blue Line.  Danny Elfman has something to say about that, though.

Weird to see a Koyaanisqatsi verdict that doesn't mention the music.  It's the 31st best score of all time! (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6140.0)

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 01, 2010, 11:09:25 PM
There could potentially be an all Philip Glass matchup in round two, with Koyaanisqatsi squaring off against The Thin Blue Line.  Danny Elfman has something to say about that, though.

Weird to see a Koyaanisqatsi verdict that doesn't mention the music.  It's the 31st best score of all time! (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6140.0)

pixote

I did not really find the music all that enticing. Sorry.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 01, 2010, 11:33:54 PM
There could potentially be an all Philip Glass matchup in round two, with Koyaanisqatsi squaring off against The Thin Blue Line.  Danny Elfman has something to say about that, though.

Weird to see a Koyaanisqatsi verdict that doesn't mention the music.  It's the 31st best score of all time! (http://www.filmspotting.net/forum/index.php?topic=6140.0)

pixote

I did not really find the music all that enticing. Sorry.

...Dude.

That is my articulate response.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 01, 2010, 11:41:53 PM
This one could have gone either way but I'm going to go with The Princess Bride.
1. Because I don't want any of you guys to hate me too much.
2. Synth. soundtrack argh...
Yea, most '80s soundtracks have not aged well.

I need to see Witness.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 02, 2010, 06:55:35 AM
I’ll give it to Koyaanisqatsi

Good job.  I was worried there for a second.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 02, 2010, 09:24:34 AM
Yea, most '80s soundtracks have not aged well.


They were all so bitchin' when they first came out.

Makes me wonder what soundtracks from the last few years aren't going to stand the test of time.... ?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 02, 2010, 09:34:49 AM
This one could have gone either way but I'm going to go with The Princess Bride.
1. Because I don't want any of you guys to hate me too much.
2. Synth. soundtrack argh...
Yea, most '80s soundtracks have not aged well.


They were all so bitchin' when they first came out.

Makes me wonder what soundtracks from the last few years aren't going to stand the test of time.... ?
[/quote]

Juno, etc.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 02, 2010, 10:23:15 AM
Is Juno's soundtrack actually good or just fitting of the film? Garden State of course is timeless.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 02, 2010, 12:27:20 PM
Prince Of The City vs. Cruising


Prince Of The City

(http://i50.tinypic.com/s2yvj9.jpg)

Before this film had come out, Sidney Lumet had already created a great film about morality and police corruption in the NYPD in Serpico. Well, he has done is again in this film as well. Treat Williams stars as Daniel Ciello, a corrupt New York narcotics detective who volunteers himself to go out and expose corrupt cops. It is a shame he was not nominated for Academy Award for his performance. He did get a Golden Globe nomination, which is nice. Even with that said, it is Jerry Orbach who steals the movie as Gus Levy. The only Oscar nod this film received was for it’s screenplay, which is brilliant. The film is structured so well and Lumet and his writing partnerJay Presson Allen are able to nail down cop dialogue brilliantly. Sidney Lumet has proven time and time again that he can make a really great drama an/or thriller. More people need to check this film out because it is right up there, I feel, with Serpico as a great cop film.



Cruising

(http://i47.tinypic.com/34rx4xl.jpg)

I defended William Friedkin last time on this bracket because I had a lot of fun with To Live And Die In L.A.. However, with this film, I can not. This film is chaotic, incoherent, and homophobic. In fact, when this was originally released, one man went into a gay bar and shot two men after seeing this film. It portrays just about all gay men as those who are always strapped in leather. Some say that this is just a portrait of that section of the gay community, but you never see any other section in the film to compare it to. I think that the filmmakers believed this was an accurate portrayal of the gay community. But the film itself is just lousy on its own terms. The plot is ridiculous and Pacino is just on the verge from going from Dog Day Afternoon to full on “Hoo-Ahh!”. This film is a mess, avoid it.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Prince Of The City
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 02, 2010, 12:32:05 PM
full on “Hoo-Ahh!”
:D

Keep up the good work.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 02, 2010, 12:43:18 PM
Is Juno's soundtrack actually good or just fitting of the film? Garden State of course is timeless.

I was thinking more along the lines of popular. Obviously Juno has a few good tunes (Kinks!). I could see Garden State feeling pretty dated. Or at least hating it for what it spawned.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 02, 2010, 01:00:50 PM
Is Juno's soundtrack actually good or just fitting of the film? Garden State of course is timeless.

I was thinking more along the lines of popular. Obviously Juno has a few good tunes (Kinks!). I could see Garden State feeling pretty dated. Or at least hating it for what it spawned.

Yes. Juno has "Piazza, New York Catcher" and Cat Power's "Sea of Love" cover on it. Those are two perfect perfect songs.

I feel like every person I knew in 2004-2005 who liked music but didn't know how to go about figuring it out on their own had the Garden State soundtrack. And then they were, like, oh! Iron & Wine is that "Such Great Heights" band! And then I had to be angry for awhile.

Okay. I've tried to eradicate many of my snobbish feelings and behaviors, but I'm realizing that I'm a snob about soundtracks. Anyway, sorry. Probably not the place for this conversation. ...The 80s!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 02, 2010, 05:31:54 PM
I feel like every person I knew in 2004-2005 who liked music but didn't know how to go about figuring it out on their own had the Garden State soundtrack. And then they were, like, oh! Iron & Wine is that "Such Great Heights" band! And then I had to be angry for awhile.

Are you upset because Iron & Wine isn't just that "Such Great Heights" band or because the Such Great Heights band is really The Postal Service (who is vastly better than I&W :P)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 02, 2010, 07:45:05 PM
I feel like every person I knew in 2004-2005 who liked music but didn't know how to go about figuring it out on their own had the Garden State soundtrack. And then they were, like, oh! Iron & Wine is that "Such Great Heights" band! And then I had to be angry for awhile.

Are you upset because Iron & Wine isn't just that "Such Great Heights" band or because the Such Great Heights band is really The Postal Service (who is vastly better than I&W :P)

Well, I was going to say both until you got to the end of that statement, which is mired in factual inaccuracy. There are three good songs on that Postal Service album, and they still don't manage to avoid the laugh-out-loud melodramaticism that is the trademark of Ben Gibbard's writing. I couldn't follow I&W through The Shepherd's Dog, but Sam Beam writes delicate, subtle, surreal, beautiful lyrics in The Creek Drank the Cradle and Our Endless Numbered Days, and I will probably treasure those albums forever.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 02, 2010, 08:02:36 PM
As a big Death Cab fan as well I'm just going to ignore that slander :D

I rate my music much like I rate my movies so it means quite a bit that for a ten song CD, 6 are 5 star and another one each are 3 or 4 star. But I'm drifting off topic.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 02, 2010, 09:00:39 PM
There was a brief time when I thought I might prefer Iron & Wine's cover of "Such Great Heights" to the original.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 02, 2010, 09:10:18 PM
roujin's 6th verdict: no surprises remix

Cracking Up vs. Choose Me

(http://i48.tinypic.com/35kuzom.jpg) (http://i50.tinypic.com/5ydhth.jpg)
Cracking Up Jerry Lewis, 1983

Lewis reaches back to the loose and open structures of The Bellboy for a tale of the biggest loser on the planet. The film opens on two hilariously botched suicide attempts and then turns Jerry's struggle with the world into a comic set piece - he constantly keeps slipping on the floor of his psychiatrist's office while his psychiatrist can walk totally fine. He's a walking disaster, bringing destruction everywhere he goes. The film follows him on small adventures in the world, but often goes on lengthy digressions into other random jokes with other characters (often played by Jerry - this is actually very similar to how The Family Jewels works except in this film there is no overall plot progression, it all just somehow comes back to the psychiatrist's office). I loved a lot of the set pieces - my favorite is definitely is the bank robbery, which is just as hilarious as the one in Godard's Prenom Carmen, from the same year. Ultimately, it's a really funny film, but uneven, and liking the film might be dependent on appreciation of the man himself. Anyway, the world will descend into chaos someday, but Jerry will be all right. **

(http://i46.tinypic.com/2hnqeed.jpg) (http://i47.tinypic.com/2pyvvqt.jpg)
Choose Me Alan Rudolph, 1984

The brilliant opening sequence sets the mood. Neon lights, dancing men and women out in the street getting it on, lonely individuals seeking connections over some sweet ass Teddy Pendergrass jams - CINECAST! yes. The film's sensibility is part adult contemporary / part l'amour fou nonsense and is full of some silly plot shenanigans (lots of coincidences and things keep being connected) plus some questionable acting (the actress who plays the love dj is mostly just wooden and strange), but I can't deny that it wasn't pretty good. Keith Carradine plays a guy who might be a little crazy and who only kisses women he marries. Geneviève Bujold plays the bar owner who is too much in love with love and doesn't think she will ever marry. Lesley Ann Warren plays the love dj who hears all their love troubles, but doesn't let anyone know that she's never been in love. You have to meet the film halfway and trust in its ridiculousness. I did. Now Teddy Pendergrass is taking off my pants.

I think there's a higher chance that people will respond to Choose Me than to Cracking Up, which is a shame cuz the Lewis film is pretty good (it just isn't the proper introduction to this man's genius - watch his movies already, damn it!) So, with that in mind, Choose Me moves on.

** I love Fernando F. Croce's review of Cracking Up: "A twilight Smorgasbord, serenely avant-garde, and the culmination of the development of Lewis' cinematic language, capped formidably by a cyclical reversal of cosmic order: the universe turns back to chaos as man at last reaches enlightenment."
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 02, 2010, 09:17:49 PM
(http://i47.tinypic.com/198snl.jpg)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 02, 2010, 09:24:30 PM
You have to meet the film halfway and trust in its ridiculousness. I did. Now Teddy Pendergrass is taking off my pants.

I want this to happen to me.

Wonderful write-up, roujin. I'm very curious about Choose Me.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 02, 2010, 09:47:01 PM
Cutter’s Way vs. The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years


Cutter’s Way

(http://i49.tinypic.com/5n9k49.jpg)

This is a classic example of where great actors elevate a mediocre script. Jeff Bridges, as expected, is fantastic, as are John Heard and Lisa Eichhorn. Heard has the juiciest role playing a disfigured Vietnam vet with a poor attitude, Bridges plays a disinterested con man, and Eichhorn plays an alcoholic who has lost her self esteem. What is very interesting about the film is that none of the characters are sympathetic. The script does not really add anything knew to its respective genre, but it is still pretty entertaining, despite the below average script. It is still fun to see performers perform. I do understand that many other folks who watch the film will think that the performances are not enough to lift up the film, but it was for me. I am not truly eagerly awaiting to see the film again, but it was a nice film. I think it would be a solid rental for most though.



The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

(http://i47.tinypic.com/2ic1kbt.jpg)

I want to put this out in the open. I do not like metal music. I was not alive to experience this craze and time period, so I come into this with so repercussions. What I did not like about this film is that all the people it covers seem to lead pitiful, sad lives. It frankly was not the entertaining to watch. It is a little inspiring when you get the small bands who are struggling to make it and keep saying that the one day will come come when they hit the big time. My main problem with the film, though, is that I do not like the music. I am sure for someone who does enjoy the music will find a lot more appreciation for the film, because it does put this music up on a pedestal. I do not deny that it paints an accurate portrayal of the time and the artists, but that was not enough to fully captivate me into this film. Oh, and P.S.: The Ozzy Osbourne orange juice scene is faked.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Cutter’s Way
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 1SO on July 02, 2010, 09:47:06 PM
I'm very happy to see Choose Me move on.  It's one of the key films in my early cinematic development that opened my mind to the way mood can enhance the narrative.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 03, 2010, 12:02:21 AM
I'm very happy to see Choose Me move on.  It's one of the key films in my early cinematic development that opened my mind to the way mood can enhance the narrative.

I like the blinky lights /homer
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 03, 2010, 01:14:38 AM
Too bad The Metal Years got knocked out. I'm not really a metal fan myself but I remember enjoying it a lot.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on July 03, 2010, 07:49:49 AM
The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

Oh, and P.S.: The Ozzy Osbourne orange juice scene is faked.

Oh well shows you how gullible I must have been/still are.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 03, 2010, 02:38:20 PM
No new verdicts in like seventeen hours.  Quick, somebody end this unprecedented drought!

pixote



(http://i46.tinypic.com/ji00me.jpg)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 03, 2010, 02:43:38 PM
No new verdicts in like seventeen hours.  Quick, somebody end this unprecedented drought!

Hehe, well, I won't have mine until Tuesday. My FE bracket verdict should be up tonight though.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 03, 2010, 02:49:01 PM
Dead Ringers vs. Chan Is Missing


Dead Ringers

(http://i49.tinypic.com/2ynkjud.jpg)

I have only seen previously two Cronenberg films (A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises) so I am still not sure about what themes and such run throughout his films. Even with that lack of knowledge, I really enjoyed this film. One of my favorite actors, Jeremy Irons, is staggeringly brilliant in this film in his dual role as twins who share the love of a woman. He is able to play the characters so distinctly different that it is occasionally hard to grasp that it is the same actor doing both roles. It is amazing how Cronenberg is able to incorporate so many styles and genres into this film. It is a horror film, a psychological thriller, and a love story all wrapped up in one, and they work together seamlessly. I also love the cinematography by Peter Suschitzky and Carol Spier’s production design. I thoroughly had an interesting and great time with this film, and I think that after multiple viewings the film will still hold up as a truly great piece of work.



Chan Is Missing

(http://i47.tinypic.com/23vdtt1.jpg)

This is a film that is very hit and miss. The beginning is very engrossing as these two cabbies are looking for the missing Chan, to which the cabbies are a lot of fun to watch. The actors are fun to watch, and I had no idea who any of them were. I am not sure if they even acted after or before this film. However, the cinema verite style that is employed is so distracting and becomes rather tedious as the film progresses forward and, sometimes, rather clumsy. The pacing of the film, I felt, was also rather clumsy. The film itself, story wise, is a very charming little film. I like the fact that it was not large budgeted. It makes the film much more realistic, and, frankly, it does not need a higher budget. I like the black and white and all natural light used, and I think this does paint and accurate portrayal of Chinatown in San Francisco. I just wish that the film added up to more of something.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Dead Ringers

Drought is over.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 03, 2010, 02:59:45 PM
Great verdict, GC, as the biggest fan of Cronenberg you will find on these boards, I obviously agree with your decision. :)

As for this,

I have only seen previously two Cronenberg films (A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises) so I am still not sure about what themes and such run throughout his films.

Violence and sexuality are his two biggest themes, but his focus changes as he does have two distinct periods in his career. There's basically pre-Crash Cronenberg ad post-Crash Cronenberg. Crash is teh perfect summation of the way Cronenberg wanted to explore the idea of humanity through our flesh, and after Crash he gets a tad more into the psychological aspect of humanity.

I wonder what you thought of, the moment near the end, I believe that is where it takes place, where Cronenberg goes a bit gory in Dead Ringers? I am always the guy defending the way Cronenberg uses gore, how he builds to it and makes it mean something, But, the gore in Dead Ringers was the one instance where I felt there was no need for it and it felt really out of place to me. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 03, 2010, 03:07:46 PM
Great verdict, GC, as the biggest fan of Cronenberg you will find on these boards, I obviously agree with your decision. :)

As for this,

I have only seen previously two Cronenberg films (A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises) so I am still not sure about what themes and such run throughout his films.

Violence and sexuality are his two biggest themes, but his focus changes as he does have two distinct periods in his career. There's basically pre-Crash Cronenberg ad post-Crash Cronenberg. Crash is teh perfect summation of the way Cronenberg wanted to explore the idea of humanity through our flesh, and after Crash he gets a tad more into the psychological aspect of humanity.

I wonder what you thought of, the moment near the end, I believe that is where it takes place, where Cronenberg goes a bit gory in Dead Ringers? I am always the guy defending the way Cronenberg uses gore, how he builds to it and makes it mean something, But, the gore in Dead Ringers was the one instance where I felt there was no need for it and it felt really out of place to me. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts?

I thought the gore was very effective. I mean I understand how some people could be turned off by it because it is a rather large jump to get to it, but I think it fits. To give another example, in There Will Be Blood, the violence at the end does not make a lot of sense to most people, but I find it works perfectly in the story. I may be one of the few who thinks it works in both cases, but I understand your distaste for it.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 03, 2010, 04:52:45 PM
The Ties That Bind vs. Never Cry Wolf


(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/51NKLyVZqcL.jpg)

1985. Directed by Su Friedrich.

A 55-minute documentary shot in black and white, The Ties That Bind feels a bit more like a student art film than something that would garner a theatrical release. Much of the photography is beautiful and performative. As Friedrich's mother tells her story of being a teenager in Germany during the rise of Hitler and the Second World War, we see shots of body parts interspersed with film of someone drawing in magazines, making a model house, and peeling vegetables.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/hand.jpg)(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/homemaking.jpg)

The story is told through question and answer. We see the documentarian’s voice in scratched letters across the screen.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/scrawl.jpg)

This element really slows the film down and makes it feel like a PBS children’s show. And the questions when done one word at a time started to piss me off. One sentence:  “Couldn’t your family help you out?” Well, that would’ve worked just fine as “Couldn’t your family help?” or “Couldn’t your family help you?” I mean, the film is only 55 minutes long; it doesn’t need to be drawn out like this. And at least one sentence has a possessive error.

In the end, the slow pace and the quietness and all the blank screentime make the story seem more rather uninteresting. The story itself doesn't help too much either.



(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/never_cry_wolf.jpg)

I was a bit glad when The Ties That Bind didn't turn out so well, since it took some pressure off of Never Cry Wolf, a film apparently rather beloved by a few folks around these parts. Also, I saw on IMDb that Never Cry Wolf came out one day after I was born, which also inclines me to smile upon it. Also also, Never Cry Wolf has cute wolf cubs, so, it’s automatically at an advantage for that reason.

Charles Martin Smith plays Tyler, who is sent up to the Arctic by the government to figure out if wolves are killing all the caribou or something. It doesn't really seem to matter why he's there. But dude looks and sounds and has several of the same postures as David Cross in Arrested Development. It really felt as if Tobias Fünke were the main character of this film. And that was weird. So, I tried to ignore the narration and focus on the footage of beautiful Alaska’s snowy mountain peaks. Then, when the Inuits show up, the diary voice-over is so Dances with Wolves-y (or, rather, Dances with Wolves is so Never Cry Wolf-y) that I get super-distracted. Costner uses the same cadence, and the subject matter and one particular scene are strikingly similar. I want to rename this film Tobias Fünke Never Cries While Dancing with Wolves.

Some other notes: 



Verdict:  Never Cry Wolf moves on. It probably won't go much further, but it certainly has merit. Alaska, puppies, buttcheeks. I can't believe my family never watched this when I was a kid. I mean, we had The Adventures of the Wilderness Family on tape.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 03, 2010, 04:53:43 PM
Too bad The Metal Years got knocked out. I'm not really a metal fan myself but I remember enjoying it a lot.
I like the first one more.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 03, 2010, 07:19:48 PM
Verdict:  Never Cry Wolf moves on.

Hooray! Well I'm glad you didn't hate it or anything. It's funny though, I LOVE the narration... like, it's one of my favourite parts. Basically Charles Martin Smith is my hero in this movie, and I want to do what he did (including eating mice, and running around naked with caribou).  ;) Obviously, I'm beyond being able to look at this movie with any kind of objectivity, so you're criticisms are probably spot on. But yay anyways.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 03, 2010, 07:40:54 PM
Verdict:  Never Cry Wolf moves on.

Hooray! Well I'm glad you didn't hate it or anything. It's funny though, I LOVE the narration... like, it's one of my favourite parts. Basically Charles Martin Smith is my hero in this movie, and I want to do what he did (including eating mice, and running around naked with caribou).  ;) Obviously, I'm beyond being able to look at this movie with any kind of objectivity, so you're criticisms are probably spot on. But yay anyways.

:)

No, I didn't hate it at all. And, actually, I wouldn't describe any of my notes as criticisms or even objective. Really, I was so distracted by how much he reminded me of Tobias that I really couldn't concentrate on anything else. It was, like Oh, that's pretty OMG Tobias once clutched his fists to his mouth just like that!! So... yeah. Yay!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 03, 2010, 08:21:08 PM
Too bad The Metal Years got knocked out. I'm not really a metal fan myself but I remember enjoying it a lot.
I like the first one more.

As do I, and not just because I like the music more. Worm has a tough decision ahead of her between that and They Live.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on July 03, 2010, 09:28:34 PM
They Live is so good, but I have not seen The Punk years. So I am going to have to barrack for They Live
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 04, 2010, 12:50:58 AM
Too bad The Metal Years got knocked out. I'm not really a metal fan myself but I remember enjoying it a lot.
I like the first one more.
As do I, and not just because I like the music more. Worm has a tough decision ahead of her between that and They Live.
I trust worm will make the right decision (I haven't actually seen They Live).
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 04, 2010, 12:42:22 PM
Drugstore Cowboy vs. Bull Durham



(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/drugstorecowboy.jpg)

1989. Directed by Gus Van Sant. Screenplay by Gus Van Sant and Daniel Yost. Based on the novel by James Fogel.

“For Christ’s sake, get this goddamn hat off the bed!”

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-15h39m11s9.png)

Drugstore Cowboy is a solid, solid Gus Van Sant film that stars Matt Dillon, an actor who makes me want to avert my eyes from the screen. I don't know that he's a bad actor. I'm sure he isn't. But there's something about him that I very much do not want to watch. Which didn't help Drugstore Cowboy. Really, if it starred almost anyone else, I would probably be raving about the film right now. I mean, William S. Burroughs is in it!

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-15h42m14s47.png)

For much of the film, my horror of Dillon as main character Bob was nearly canceled out by Heather Graham, who is gorgeous and wonderful in everything I’ve seen her in and an Arrested Development alum and I love her and think she should get massive amounts of cred. (The Twin Peaks thing wasn't her fault. I blame Kyle MacLachlan for that storyline.)

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-17h50m39s55.png)(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-16h16m38s228.png)

And there's Dexter’s dad (James Remar)! And Laura Palmer’s mom (Grace Zabriskie)!

But Dillon's main interactions are with Kelly Lynch, who plays his wife, Diane. Most of the time that Dillon and Lynch are in dialogue, I feel kicked out of the film. They don’t seem engaged with one another. Maybe that's because they're drugged up. Idk.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-15h51m01s203.png)

So, if I didn't go in for most of the acting, what did I like about Drugstore Cowboy? Quite a lot, actually. The surreal elements of this really work. Van Sant gets us into Bob’s head, his drug-induced megalomaniacal experience. And even though I don’t feel like rooting for Bob and Diane, I have to stay watching them anyway. It’s a filmmaking predicament, and Van Sant doesn’t attempt to sway the audience in favor of their plight. He doesn’t even depict it as a plight. This is their situation. He lets Bob tell his story in voice-over, but Bob does not come off as the hero of that story. No one does. The statements about junkies here feel truthful to me, and they seem unexaggerated as well.

Also, Elliot Goldenthal’s piano score and the whole soundtrack are completely appropriate and lovely.

I do have one other complaint, aside from Dillon and Lynch. And that concerns a major plot point:  When Nadine dies and Bob decides to go into the methadone program, we don't understand what has changed in Bob. At the end of the film, Diane, speaking for the audience, asks him what made him give up drugs, and he explains it, kind of. But this is so show don't tell that it really undermines what has reversed in Bob's character.

So, that's Drugstore Cowboy.



(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/billd0.jpg)

1988. Written and directed by Ron Shelton.

“Step outside and party, man.”

So, we go from Matt Dillon to Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Costner - three people who have never drawn me into a cinema. Gosh, I sound like a real Disgrunted Grunhilda, don't I?

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-20h31m51s4.png)

But Bull Durham is actually a pretty charming movie. I mean, at first I was, like, Oh, Christ. Because I knew Susan Sarandon would have a supposedly southern accent in this, but I didn’t know it would happen in voice-over. But then she won me over with this line: “Women do not get lured. They are too strong and powerful for that. Now, say it: I did not get lured. I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

There's a lot of great dialogue in this script. “If you can’t strike him, just kill him!” I lolled. In fact, I had three laughs in the first nine minutes. That’s not bad.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-20h27m48s108.png)(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-20h36m50s179.png)

It’s weird watching Costner play a supposedly battle-wearied baseball player this young, since he’ll be making a career off of it for decades to come. And I don’t really think of him as being that much older than Tim Robbins. In fact, he was 33 and Robbins was 30 at the time of Bull Durham’s release.

(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-20h49m04s89.png)(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-20h49m26s53.png)(http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d171/flourish_leslie/movies/vlcsnap-2010-07-03-20h49m32s128.png)

About midway through, Bull Durham gets into a groove that had me grinning. It had me. I was fully there.

And then, it ends with an extended sexytimes sequence that I just didn't understand. I was, like, how is this furthering anything? Stop playing that sax music!



Verdict: So, as you can see, I'm in a bit of a pickle. Either of these films would have handily beat anything else I've watched so far for this bracket. I slept over my review last night, and, when I woke up, I thought I had a decision. But now I'm not sure again. So... here's some elements I'm thinking about.

Acting:  Bull Durham.
Music:  Drugstore Cowboy.
Photography: Drugstore Cowboy
Writing: Bull Durham
Experimentation:  Drugstore Cowboy
Charm:  Bull Durham

...Sigh. Well, that wasn't too helpful. Now I will just have to search myself. Drugstore Cowboy is a very good film. But which of these would I rather watch again? Bull Durham. In fact, I want to watch Bull Durham again.

Bull Durham moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Corndog on July 04, 2010, 12:44:15 PM
LOVE Bull Durham. Never seen Drugstore Cowboy, but still happy that Bull Durham moved on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 04, 2010, 12:45:26 PM
LOVE Bull Durham. Never seen Drugstore Cowboy, but still happy that Bull Durham moved on.

Corndog, I have a feeling that I will need your support in this time.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 04, 2010, 12:47:36 PM
 :-\
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 04, 2010, 12:50:42 PM
:-\
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 04, 2010, 01:08:57 PM
The Blues Brothers vs. Spaceballs


I want to start off by saying that this was the most difficult matchup I have had.


The Blues Brothers

(http://i48.tinypic.com/2jam16u.jpg)

This film is one of the funniest films I have ever seen. Almost every line uttered is quotable, and I do quote a lot of them. However, what separates this film from any other comedy is the musical performances. John Landis throws in every possible way to incorporate a song into the film, and they all work brilliantly. The songs themselves are also great blues tunes, which is a style of music that I really enjoy. John Belushi is a phenomenal talent and this film shows what a guy we have lost. Despite me saying that, it is Dan Akroyd who garners the biggest laughs from me. He says all his lines in this monotone, dead pan manner that just cracks me up after every sentence. I love all the cameos used in the film from James Brown to John Lee Hooker to, the best cameo, Ray Charles. Who knew Ray Charles could be this funny? The car chases and action scenes are hilariously over the top. I could watch this movie over and over and never get tired of it. i love this film, and it is one of the all time great comedies.



Spaceballs

(http://i50.tinypic.com/msbo0n.jpg)

This is also one of my favorite comedies. I, personally, think Mel Brooks is a genius. I do not think I have disliked one of his films (Yes, I even like Dracula: Dead And Loving It). This is definitely top tier Brooks with this film. Brooks does a superb job and spoofing the beloved classic Star Wars, a film I enjoy seeing get made fun of. The thing about Mel Brooks is that he knows exactly what jokes work and what actors can deliver them, and he casts the perfect actors for this film. The two best performances come from John Candy and Rick Moranis. John Candy plays Barf, a half man, half dog (a mog), who is the sidekick for Lone Star (so he is the Chewbacca). His comic timing is unbelievable, as is his delivery. Rick Moranis plays Dark Helmet (Darth Vader). Every thing he does in the film gets a huge laugh from me. He gets all of the best lines and delivers them exceptionally well. The rest of the cast is great as well. The special effects and production design are great too, perhaps even better than Star Wars itself. I would not put the film up there with Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, or Silent Movie as far as Mel Brooks films go, but I still get a kick out of watching this film time and time again.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: The Blues Brothers
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 04, 2010, 01:21:13 PM
The special effects and production design are great too, perhaps even better than Star Wars itself.

Whoa there little doggie. I like Spaceballs plenty, but this is just not right, Spaceballs looks bad, but it looks bad on purpose.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 04, 2010, 01:27:17 PM
The special effects and production design are great too, perhaps even better than Star Wars itself.

Whoa there little doggie. I like Spaceballs plenty, but this is just not right, Spaceballs looks bad, but it looks bad on purpose.

It purposely looks like Star Wars. They even brought on the folks who worked on that film to do just that.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 04, 2010, 01:28:33 PM
The special effects and production design are great too, perhaps even better than Star Wars itself.

Whoa there little doggie. I like Spaceballs plenty, but this is just not right, Spaceballs looks bad, but it looks bad on purpose.

It purposely looks like Star Wars. They even brought on the folks who worked on that film to do just that.

I don't think it looks like Star Wars at all, it looks like cheap B science fiction to my eyes. Some of the set design is close, but as far as special effects go Spaceballs looks really average/bad.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 04, 2010, 01:29:33 PM
The special effects and production design are great too, perhaps even better than Star Wars itself.

Whoa there little doggie. I like Spaceballs plenty, but this is just not right, Spaceballs looks bad, but it looks bad on purpose.

It purposely looks like Star Wars. They even brought on the folks who worked on that film to do just that.

I don't think it looks like Star Wars at all, it looks like cheap B science fiction to my eyes. Some of the set design is close, but as far as special effects go Spaceballs looks really average/bad.

I say that about Star Wars nowadays. I am sure that at the time the FX were good, but both have aged badly.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 04, 2010, 01:30:59 PM
The special effects and production design are great too, perhaps even better than Star Wars itself.

Whoa there little doggie. I like Spaceballs plenty, but this is just not right, Spaceballs looks bad, but it looks bad on purpose.

It purposely looks like Star Wars. They even brought on the folks who worked on that film to do just that.

I don't think it looks like Star Wars at all, it looks like cheap B science fiction to my eyes. Some of the set design is close, but as far as special effects go Spaceballs looks really average/bad.

I say that about Star Wars nowadays. I am sure that at the time the FX were good, but both have aged badly.

I would disagree about Star Wars greatly, I don't even like A New Hope, but it looks amazing to this very day. Empire Strikes back has always and still looks incredible, on par with the effects that are being used today.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 04, 2010, 01:34:03 PM
The special effects and production design are great too, perhaps even better than Star Wars itself.

Whoa there little doggie. I like Spaceballs plenty, but this is just not right, Spaceballs looks bad, but it looks bad on purpose.

It purposely looks like Star Wars. They even brought on the folks who worked on that film to do just that.

I don't think it looks like Star Wars at all, it looks like cheap B science fiction to my eyes. Some of the set design is close, but as far as special effects go Spaceballs looks really average/bad.

I say that about Star Wars nowadays. I am sure that at the time the FX were good, but both have aged badly.

I would disagree about Star Wars greatly, I don't even like A New Hope, but it looks amazing to this very day. Empire Strikes back has always and still looks incredible, on par with the effects that are being used today.

Well, I think they look terrible, but, hey, that is just my opinion.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 04, 2010, 03:20:30 PM
Obviously I'm bummed that Bull Durham knocked out the superior Drugstore Cowboy (C'MON, WHAT ABOUT JAMES LEGROS!?!).

Glad Spaceballs is gone. It's one of those comedies that I only first saw as an adult, with no nostalgic connection, and thought it was painfully unfunny.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on July 04, 2010, 03:35:55 PM
I am soooo glad The Blues Brothers made it through.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Verite on July 04, 2010, 06:14:01 PM
Chan Is Missing

(http://i47.tinypic.com/23vdtt1.jpg)

I just wish that the film added up to more of something.

While I agree with the verdict, I do think your review shortchanges Chan is Missing as it doesn't mention the things it does with Asians-in-film stereotypes, the detective story, and Chinese-American identity.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on July 04, 2010, 07:45:28 PM
Glad Spaceballs is gone. It's one of those comedies that I only first saw as an adult, with no nostalgic connection, and thought it was painfully unfunny.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 04, 2010, 10:23:20 PM
Glad Spaceballs is gone. It's one of those comedies that I only first saw as an adult, with no nostalgic connection, and thought it was painfully unfunny.

Thought it missed on a huge opportunity.  It has a few funny bits, but for the most part it was really disappointing.  (saw it in the theater when it first came out)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 04, 2010, 10:25:49 PM
<---yet another disappointed Spaceballs viewer. It's just not funny (anymore).
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 04, 2010, 10:42:39 PM
Verdict:  Never Cry Wolf moves on.

Hooray! Well I'm glad you didn't hate it or anything. It's funny though, I LOVE the narration... like, it's one of my favourite parts. Basically Charles Martin Smith is my hero in this movie, and I want to do what he did (including eating mice, and running around naked with caribou).  ;) Obviously, I'm beyond being able to look at this movie with any kind of objectivity, so you're criticisms are probably spot on. But yay anyways.

I was about to post thie exact same response...word for word...
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 04, 2010, 10:46:01 PM
TinyHolidays, I got 404'd on my nicely quoted and formatted reply to your Bull Durham review, so i'm going to make it short and sweet the second time around:  Great Review...Glad you liked it so much!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 04, 2010, 11:42:15 PM
Missed a lot of talk so I'll keep it simple. Spaceballs is really really funny and classic. It should not be out. It should certainly not be out in favor of the unfunny Blues Brothers. Spaceballs will be high on my resurrection priority list. I kind of feel like 4 out of every 5 verdicts that has a film I care about, the film I care about is losing. It makes me a sad Bondo. :'( :'(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on July 04, 2010, 11:53:25 PM
Missed a lot of talk so I'll keep it simple. Spaceballs is really really funny and classic. It should not be out. It should certainly not be out in favor of the unfunny Blues Brothers. Spaceballs will be high on my resurrection priority list. I kind of feel like 4 out of every 5 verdicts that has a film I care about, the film I care about is losing. It makes me a sad Bondo. :'( :'(

 :(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 05, 2010, 12:01:32 AM
Missed a lot of talk so I'll keep it simple. Spaceballs is really really funny and classic. It should not be out. It should certainly not be out in favor of the unfunny Blues Brothers. Spaceballs will be high on my resurrection priority list. I kind of feel like 4 out of every 5 verdicts that has a film I care about, the film I care about is losing. It makes me a sad Bondo. :'( :'(

 :(

There are way more films that deserve to be resurrected than Spaceballs.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 05, 2010, 01:32:36 AM
TinyHolidays, I got 404'd on my nicely quoted and formatted reply to your Bull Durham review, so i'm going to make it short and sweet the second time around:  Great Review...Glad you liked it so much!

Thanks, ferris! Glad you and Corndog aren't disappointed in me!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 05, 2010, 07:49:09 AM
Missed a lot of talk so I'll keep it simple. Spaceballs is really really funny and classic. It should not be out. It should certainly not be out in favor of the unfunny Blues Brothers. Spaceballs will be high on my resurrection priority list. I kind of feel like 4 out of every 5 verdicts that has a film I care about, the film I care about is losing. It makes me a sad Bondo. :'( :'(

 :(

There are way more films that deserve to be resurrected than Spaceballs.

The Schwartz is so not with you. :P
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 05, 2010, 08:43:41 AM
<---yet another disappointed Spaceballs viewer. It's just not funny (anymore).
Yea, I watched a few scenes and I was like "people think this is funny?"
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on July 05, 2010, 09:15:19 AM
The Blues Brothers vs. Spaceballs


I want to start off by saying that this was the most difficult matchup I have had.

Winner And Advancement To Next Round: The Blues Brothers

You made the right decision.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: IDrinkYourMilkshake on July 05, 2010, 12:31:41 PM
<---yet another disappointed Spaceballs viewer. It's just not funny (anymore).
Yea, I watched a few scenes and I was like "people think this is funny?"

I didnt even like it when I was 13. Mel Brooks has sucked since 1976.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 05, 2010, 12:36:25 PM
<---yet another disappointed Spaceballs viewer. It's just not funny (anymore).
Yea, I watched a few scenes and I was like "people think this is funny?"

I didnt even like it when I was 13. Mel Brooks has sucked since 1976.
Yea, I didn't like Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein either. Not sure what the appeal is...Then again, I don't see why Jerry Seinfeld or Woody Allen are so funny either.

*Wonders if Brooks is an angry Jew too*



He totally is! His parents were Polish Jews!


Call me a racist but angry Jews = not funny.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 05, 2010, 01:02:55 PM
<---yet another disappointed Spaceballs viewer. It's just not funny (anymore).
Yea, I watched a few scenes and I was like "people think this is funny?"

I didnt even like it when I was 13. Mel Brooks has sucked since 1976.
Yea, I didn't like Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein either. Not sure what the appeal is...Then again, I don't see why Jerry Seinfeld or Woody Allen are so funny either.

*Wonders if Brooks is an angry Jew too*



He totally is! His parents were Polish Jews!


Call me a racist but angry Jews = not funny.

Most of the jokes in Spaceballs allude to Brook's jewishness!  (the "Schwartz"!)  

There definitely is an arc of self-deprecation and neurosis about "classic jewish humor" - I trust that's where you were going with that comment. But that is about the only thing that i see in common between those three examples you mention.

Is Jerry Seinfeld an "angry Jew"?  I've seen every episdoe about 30 times, and the subject of his heritage seems to come up pretty infrequently - (I remember when Tim Watley converted to Judiasm for the jokes - but I'm an anti-dentite)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: IDrinkYourMilkshake on July 05, 2010, 01:08:18 PM
<---yet another disappointed Spaceballs viewer. It's just not funny (anymore).
Yea, I watched a few scenes and I was like "people think this is funny?"

I didnt even like it when I was 13. Mel Brooks has sucked since 1976.
Yea, I didn't like Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein either. Not sure what the appeal is...Then again, I don't see why Jerry Seinfeld or Woody Allen are so funny either.

*Wonders if Brooks is an angry Jew too*



He totally is! His parents were Polish Jews!


Call me a racist but angry Jews = not funny.

Most of the jokes in Spaceballs allude to Brook's jewishness!  (the "Schwartz"!)  

There definitely is an arc of self-deprecation and neurosis about "classic jewish humor" - I trust that's where you were going with that comment. But that is about the only thing that i see in common between those three examples you mention.

Is Jerry Seinfeld an "angry Jew"?  I've seen every episdoe about 30 times, and the subject of his heritage seems to come up pretty infrequently - (I remember when Tim Watley converted to Judiasm for the jokes - but I'm an anti-dentite)

I think its clear that Sam is simply a massive racist.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 05, 2010, 01:19:16 PM
Hairspray vs. Broadway Danny Rose


Hairspray

(http://i46.tinypic.com/2j2xro5.jpg)

I think I come at this film at a disadvantage, having already seen the 2007 remake. I say this because I believe the remake does a better job at handling the material than this film. This film has a weaker script, subpar performances, virtually no character development, and way too many dance sequences. The film really has only two things going for it and that is Jerry Stiller and Harry Milstead a.k.a Divine, who are both criminally underused due to their comic abilities. Each line they say is gold. The rest of the cast is rather annoying, especially Ricki Lake as the lead character Tracy, who is an obnoxious, self-centered kid from the word go who you basically want to strangle the entire film. She has no appeal because all she cares about is herself throughout the entire film, and she has none of the charm or likability that Nikki Blonsky, who plays Tracy in the remake. You get no insight into the other dancers, her love interest, her rival, or the host of the television show. Everything is done on a very superficial level that it just becomes boring, as do the dance sequences, for which they essentially have five dances that they just rotate.If you want to see this film, go see the remake, and then watch some Seinfeld to capitalize on Jerry Stiller.



Broadway Danny Rose

(http://i46.tinypic.com/141m62g.jpg)

I am so glad to be discovering Woody Allen in this bracket. First with Crimes And Misdemeanors and not this, I think I am safe to say that I love Woody Allen films and have added what I haven’t seen into my Netflix queue. This film is hilariously brilliant. What I like about the film is how it blends the intellectual comedy like we get in Crimes and this over the top slapstick humor wonderfully together. I that Allen decided to shoot the film in black and white. It adds such a classic appeal to the film. I believe all the jokes land. Woody Allen, as a performer, seems like he is having the time of his life playing his character. Mia Farrow is also very strong as Tina Vitale. I love the script because you never know what is going to be thrown at you next in the film. Everything is a surprise. This film is just a funny, sweet, light-hearted affair that I would recommend to anyone who wants a great comedy to watch. After the film is over, you will leave with a big smile on your face. I eagerly await to watch it again.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Broadway Danny Rose
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 05, 2010, 01:22:33 PM
Gotham, your timing is impeccable...No sooner does Seinfeld and Woody Allen come up in conversation....
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 05, 2010, 01:29:17 PM
Gotham, since you voice an appreciation for the newer Hairspray (the version I've seen and loved), I am definitely trusting you that the older version isn't as effective. It all sounds about right so I'm glad to see Woody Allen move on (though not one of his I've seen).
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 05, 2010, 03:59:46 PM
I think its clear that Sam is simply a massive racist.
This.

I've only see like two episodes of Seinfeld, and both eluded to his Jewish heritage so I just assumed it was a running gag.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 05, 2010, 04:04:43 PM
I think its clear that Sam is simply a massive racist.
This.

I've only see like two episodes of Seinfeld, and both eluded to his Jewish heritage so I just assumed it was a running gag.

I can see that.  there are a couple episodes that deal with it for sure...
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 05, 2010, 05:32:50 PM
One of these days I'll catch up with the show.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 05, 2010, 06:18:09 PM
Is Jerry Seinfeld an "angry Jew"?  I've seen every episdoe about 30 times, and the subject of his heritage seems to come up pretty infrequently - (I remember when Tim Watley converted to Judiasm for the jokes - but I'm an anti-dentite)
I was just talking about this with somebody, other than that one Tim Watley episode, Jerry's Judaism is rarely explicitly referred to ("He converted for the jokes, it doesn't offend me as a Jew, it offends me as a comedian"). More importantly, Jerry Seinfeld's humour isn't remotely angry, so as usual I have no idea what Sam's talking about. Neither is Mel Brooks' for that matter.



Nice to see Broadway Danny Rose go through, Woody is so funny in that one. ("Never took a lesson")

tiny, I haven't seen all of Drugstore Cowboy, but I'm 100% sure you've lost your mind.  ;)

As for Blues Brothers v Spaceballs, I'm so glad I wasn't dealt that dog of a match-up.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 05, 2010, 06:35:29 PM
Yea, I need to catch up on Seinfeld. I'm not sure if it's really angry, but there's something about his style that's a bit more aggressive than most comedians...or maybe it's just me.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on July 05, 2010, 06:39:30 PM
I think you're confusing angry jew for whiny jew.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 05, 2010, 06:39:52 PM
Yea, I need to catch up on Seinfeld. I'm not sure if it's really angry, but there's something about his style that's a bit more aggressive than most comedians...or maybe it's just me.

The "aggressive" humor is more from Larry David not Seinfeld, who is actually a very light hearted comedian.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 05, 2010, 06:40:11 PM
Yea, I need to catch up on Seinfeld. I'm not sure if it's really angry, but there's something about his style that's a bit more aggressive than most comedians...or maybe it's just me.

If you think Seinfeld is angry or aggressive, you should probably be exposed to more comedians.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 05, 2010, 06:42:16 PM
That might require a restraining order.  :P
I think you're confusing angry jew for whiny jew.
Ahh, yes, this is what I was looking for.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: saltine on July 05, 2010, 07:25:11 PM
I think you're confusing angry jew for whiny jew.

Hey, guys, could we knock off the derogatory stereotyping, please? (even in jest)  Our forum is an open one and we love it that way.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on July 05, 2010, 10:05:07 PM
Sorry Candice. Didn't mean it as an insult or anything.
Maybe neurotic is a better word for the type of characters Seinfeld,Woody Allen and Larry David play.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: oneaprilday on July 05, 2010, 10:16:15 PM
Matt Dillon, an actor who makes me want to avert my eyes from the screen. I don't know that he's a bad actor. I'm sure he isn't. But there's something about him that I very much do not want to watch.
:o
I didn't know anyone else felt this way, too!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 06, 2010, 12:36:21 AM
Matt Dillon, an actor who makes me want to avert my eyes from the screen. I don't know that he's a bad actor. I'm sure he isn't. But there's something about him that I very much do not want to watch.
:o
I didn't know anyone else felt this way, too!

I mostly like him. We'll see how my Matt Dillon film fares.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 06, 2010, 02:37:27 AM
tiny, I haven't seen all of Drugstore Cowboy, but I'm 100% sure you've lost your mind.  ;)

 :P

Bull Durham made me laugh! I value that!

Matt Dillon, an actor who makes me want to avert my eyes from the screen. I don't know that he's a bad actor. I'm sure he isn't. But there's something about him that I very much do not want to watch.
:o
I didn't know anyone else felt this way, too!

Ladyperson, the degree to which our actor distastes align. 
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 06, 2010, 01:02:55 PM
tiny, I haven't seen all of Drugstore Cowboy, but I'm 100% sure you've lost your mind.  ;)
:P
Bull Durham made me laugh! I value that!
Amen to that. I thought Tim Robbins was fun and I liked some of the on-field stuff. Sadly that was all negated by that awful Costner [noembed]speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBfdl6hNZ9k)[/noembed].
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 06, 2010, 01:14:52 PM
tiny, I haven't seen all of Drugstore Cowboy, but I'm 100% sure you've lost your mind.  ;)
:P
Bull Durham made me laugh! I value that!
Amen to that. I thought Tim Robbins was fun and I liked some of the on-field stuff. Sadly that was all negated by that awful Costner [noembed]speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBfdl6hNZ9k)[/noembed].

The funniest part of Bull Durham is watching Robbins pitch.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 06, 2010, 04:55:16 PM
tiny, I haven't seen all of Drugstore Cowboy, but I'm 100% sure you've lost your mind.  ;)
:P
Bull Durham made me laugh! I value that!
Amen to that. I thought Tim Robbins was fun and I liked some of the on-field stuff. Sadly that was all negated by that awful Costner [noembed]speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBfdl6hNZ9k)[/noembed].

It helps to have heard that speech before anyone knew who Kevin Costner was (hey look, there's that guy from the Untouchables, right?)

Girl in my dorm in college had a full door poster of Costner leaning against that wall with the words of the speech overlaying it.   
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 06, 2010, 05:38:24 PM
Ishtar (Elaine May, 1987)

So your premise is that you’ve got this terrible duo (played by Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty) that think they compare well to Simon and Garfunkel. They find an agent who books them for a gig in Morocco. They get caught up in a local struggle there between a left-wing rebellion against a CIA supported tough man. And they do the bumbling idiot routine and hijinks ensue. Aside from the excuse to have really terrible music (yeah, it fits, but I still don’t want to listen to it), the premise is actually pretty intriguing. I like a satire of misguided cold war policy as much as the next guy.

The problem is that I just don’t find the main characters very endearing in their idiocy to the extreme act. It would be easy enough to make it a story about two men over their heads by raising the stakes rather than lowering their competence. The film needs to take itself a little more seriously. It can still be a comedy but it needs to build the humor within a frame of self-respect. Kind of a waste ultimately.
(http://christiandivine.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/top-11-buddy-movies-ishtar.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093278/)


(http://www.scene-stealers.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/midnight-run.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095631/)
Midnight Run (Martin Brest, 1988)

Now here’s a film that manages to be fun without going out of its way to be funny. You’ve got Robert DeNiro playing a bounty hunter who is trying to escort an accountant (Charles Grodin) who embezzled funds from the mob from NYC to LA in order to collect a big paycheck from the bail bondsman he works for. Problem is the FBI and the mob are both trying to get at him.

This film works largely because the interplay of DeNiro’s blue collar tough guy and Grodin’s neurotic white collar. It is the heart of the light, fluffy adventure. The supporting cast is also strong with the likes of Dennis Farina and Joey Pants. Nothing fantastic but thoroughly entertaining. It does go on a bit longer than is necessary.

Verdict: Ishtar may reach for grander social meaning, but it fails pretty miserably to pull off much of interest. Midnight Run wins due to its base competence.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 06, 2010, 06:18:59 PM
Correct choice.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 06, 2010, 06:59:27 PM
Correct choice.

I haven't seen either of them, but that sure seems like the right choice to me too.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 06, 2010, 07:07:29 PM
Correct choice.

I haven't seen either of them, but that sure seems like the right choice to me too.

It has 2x the IMDB rating that Ishtar has. Admittedly Ishtar made one critics best movies list but when we start having films with 3.7 ratings at imdb I'm wondering whether we actually included every 80s US movie :D

I've now watched 18 films for the bracket and of those there are none I would give a 5/5 and probably only two I would give a 4/5 (Top Gun and Common Threads). Meanwhile there are about a dozen films that I would rate 4/5 or better on my "hope they are resurrected because they lost in the first round" list. Talk about bad luck of the draw.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 06, 2010, 07:11:48 PM
Correct choice.

I haven't seen either of them, but that sure seems like the right choice to me too.

It has 2x the IMDB rating that Ishtar has. Admittedly Ishtar made one critics best movies list but when we start having films with 3.7 ratings at imdb I'm wondering whether we actually included every 80s US movie :D

I've now watched 18 films for the bracket and of those there are none I would give a 5/5 and probably only two I would give a 4/5 (Top Gun and Common Threads). Meanwhile there are about a dozen films that I would rate 4/5 or better on my "hope they are resurrected because they lost in the first round" list. Talk about bad luck of the draw.

When Ishtar came out (apologies if this is still in the collective awareness) it was hailed pretty much as hands-down the biggest flop, and perhaps the worst film ever made.  If you think of the reception Gigli received, then you're pretty close.

The fact it hasn't garnered some kind of cult status probably means it was bad in a bad way.

Sounds like you were able to find some redeemable qualities...
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 06, 2010, 07:14:24 PM
Correct choice.

I haven't seen either of them, but that sure seems like the right choice to me too.

It has 2x the IMDB rating that Ishtar has. Admittedly Ishtar made one critics best movies list but when we start having films with 3.7 ratings at imdb I'm wondering whether we actually included every 80s US movie :D


Well, I'd like to think that a big part of the brackets is straying from the norm, including films that the majority think are terrible but a few think are good for whatever reason. It gets pretty boring discussing the same set number of widely accepted great films after all.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 06, 2010, 07:29:34 PM
Correct choice.

I haven't seen either of them, but that sure seems like the right choice to me too.

It has 2x the IMDB rating that Ishtar has. Admittedly Ishtar made one critics best movies list but when we start having films with 3.7 ratings at imdb I'm wondering whether we actually included every 80s US movie :D


Well, I'd like to think that a big part of the brackets is straying from the norm, including films that the majority think are terrible but a few think are good for whatever reason. It gets pretty boring discussing the same set number of widely accepted great films after all.

Yeah, I totally get this and have discovered some smaller ones in the other bracket. Like I said, more a case of bad luck here I think.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 06, 2010, 07:40:05 PM
Well, I'd like to think that a big part of the brackets is straying from the norm, including films that the majority think are terrible but a few think are good for whatever reason. It gets pretty boring discussing the same set number of widely accepted great films after all.

I totally get the sentiment - finding diamonds in the rough can be a cool thing.  But I hope no one is out there giving out "little guy discounts"!  The better movie is the better movie!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 06, 2010, 09:32:37 PM
tiny, I haven't seen all of Drugstore Cowboy, but I'm 100% sure you've lost your mind.  ;)
:P
Bull Durham made me laugh! I value that!
Amen to that. I thought Tim Robbins was fun and I liked some of the on-field stuff. Sadly that was all negated by that awful Costner [noembed]speech (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBfdl6hNZ9k)[/noembed].

My face at the "slow, wet kisses that last for days" statement:   :-X

The funniest part of Bull Durham is watching Robbins pitch.

Jbizz does speak truth.

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ses on July 06, 2010, 09:38:28 PM
TinyHolidays, I got 404'd on my nicely quoted and formatted reply to your Bull Durham review, so i'm going to make it short and sweet the second time around:  Great Review...Glad you liked it so much!

Thanks, ferris! Glad you and Corndog aren't disappointed in me!

Add me to the list.  I love Bull Durham, great review!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 07, 2010, 09:08:50 AM
Correct choice.

I haven't seen either of them, but that sure seems like the right choice to me too.

It has 2x the IMDB rating that Ishtar has. Admittedly Ishtar made one critics best movies list but when we start having films with 3.7 ratings at imdb I'm wondering whether we actually included every 80s US movie :D


Well, I'd like to think that a big part of the brackets is straying from the norm, including films that the majority think are terrible but a few think are good for whatever reason. It gets pretty boring discussing the same set number of widely accepted great films after all.

Yeah, I totally get this and have discovered some smaller ones in the other bracket. Like I said, more a case of bad luck here I think.

Yeah, there are plenty of films in the bracket that I'm interested it seeing, they just haven't come my way. Of course, if I hadn't taken an entire year on my first verdict...

Which reminds me - I need to finish my Oliver verdict.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 08, 2010, 02:01:21 AM
Oliver & Company (George Scribner, 1988) vs. Forest Of Bliss (Robert Gardner, 1986)

(http://i47.tinypic.com/25pshz6.jpg)
Oliver & Company

This is one of the few Disney films I didn't own on VHS growing up and watching it as an adult I can see why. Good god is this dull. The most redeeming part is the Happy Meal toys that were pretty adorable. It's unfortunate because the film actually gets quite dark at times, but the rest of it is just so boring it's not even worth it (and it's only 74 min!). There's a few songs, none of them particularly memorable, and they all feel like absolute relics. Perhaps this film is the reason I've always hated Billy Joel. He also voices the "cool" dog, Dodger, and really brings nothing to the table. The rest of the voicework varies in quality, mostly a lot of 80s types like little Joey Lawrence or career low appearances from the likes of Bette Midler, Robert Loggia, and Dom DeLuise. We also get the lazy Hispanic caricature chihuahua, voiced by Cheech. The animation is equally dull. This has to be towards the very bottom of Disney animated films, a fact made even more apparent by the classics that followed it only a few years later.
(http://i45.tinypic.com/2s17kth.jpg)(http://i47.tinypic.com/wkmqm8.jpg)(http://i49.tinypic.com/2exafco.jpg)

(http://i27.tinypic.com/vxjibq.jpg)
Forest Of Bliss

Not a whole lot to write about this one. Gardner just follows a day in Benares, India. No voiceover, no soundtrack, no acknowledgment of the camera at all, what you see is what you get. Wild dogs fighting for food, people at work, religious rituals, eating, it's all here. The primary focus seems to be on death - plenty of bodies being wrapped, dumped in the water, etc. I never found myself bored, but I did often wish that the image quality was better. Colors that should absolutely pop don't, but that's to be expected from a dub (they look much better shrunken down). There were times when I wouldn't have minded some context, specifically during a lot of the rituals, but that would have been an entirely different film. Oh, and that first dog is a million times better than anything in Oliver & Company.
(http://i28.tinypic.com/huivqb.jpg)(http://i26.tinypic.com/19shnp.jpg)(http://i25.tinypic.com/avobp1.jpg)
(http://i27.tinypic.com/5z1gjk.jpg)(http://i27.tinypic.com/2nsmctg.jpg)(http://i26.tinypic.com/2qsc7sp.jpg)

Verdict
I imagine Forest Of Bliss won't make it out of the second round, but there is no way in hell I could let Oliver & Company advance.

Oliver & Company 3/10
Forest Of Bliss 6.5/10
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 08, 2010, 08:17:35 AM
Yeah J, I didn't like O&C at all when I watched it recently for my animated marathon, it's just not good.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 08, 2010, 03:06:11 PM
Both Midnight Run and Forest of Bliss will be in trouble in the second round against unstoppable force Rob Reiner.  (They're facing The Princness Bride and When Harry Met Sally, respectively.)

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on July 09, 2010, 02:19:11 AM
Missing (1982)
IMDb: 7.7 (5,880 votes)

(http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/2718/missing1j.jpg)   (http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/886/missing2d.jpg)


Missing is a slow-burn political thriller about the coup in Chile. The film oddly provides little in context or broader scope. While cities and political affiliations are mentioned, "Chile", "Allende", "Pinochet" are noticeably absent. A short primer: in 1973, US semi-secretly provided aid and support for right-wing military figures to overthrow the (elected) Marxist president, Salvador Allende. You've probably heard the name Pinochet. He led the junta and assumed presidency for close to two decades, cracking down on opposition through human rights violations. It's a dark moment in US foreign policy history.

The story told in the film is smaller in scope, following U.S. citizen and independent journalist Charles Horman's case. Horman disappears three days into the coup, and his wife (Sissy Spacek) fears the worst, since he was left-wing, idealistic, and a bit loud-mouthed. Jack Lemmon, in a fantastic performance, plays Horman's father stuck in all the red tape. He slowly comes to the realization that the U.S. officials in Chile are intentionally obstructing him in his search. I'll be honest - the film starts off very slowly. I was feeling like I was watching the international version of a prestige picture - quality acting, but just formulaic and uninspired. Yet, the film builds to a great climax and becomes more and more agonizing to watch, especially for an American. The last 40 minutes or so are a real firecracker. Full recommendation for those into political thrillers and/or Jack Lemmon. The soundtrack is very synth-heavy, but it's probably one of the better soundtracks of that kind.


The Big Chill (1983)
IMDb: 7.0 (13,549 votes)

(http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/6825/bigchill1.jpg)   (http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/5610/bigchill2.jpg)

The premise here is that a bunch of counter-cultural friends who came of age in the '60s are all grown up. They gather for a funeral of a friend and catch up. They chill out. Funerals can be like that - it's a time when friends or families all travel to the same place, and awkward fellowship ensues. Unfortunately, the tone rang false to me. The awkward edge during reunions of this sort was missing from the film. It was like the writers tried to write in little times during the film when it was "awkward time", but it never worked. Glenn Close was fantastic in Dangerous Liaisons, yet she had nothing interesting to work with in this film. In fact, the actor who stood out was Jeff Goldblum, as the awkward, un-suave guy.

I think The Big Chill may resonate for Baby Boomers who can fill in the character holes with their own life experiences. The characters have had rather archetypal trajectories prior to the events in the film, perhaps to tap into the audience's experiences in that way. Unfortunately, that leaves younger people (like myself) out in the cold, and the film seems to have no interest in explicating the Baby Boomer experience for outsiders. If the movie is going to be about chilling out, I'd like to gain authentic insights into the characters. And there's no excuse for resorting to "classic song + montage of everyone doing stuff" three times in the first 40 minutes alone.


Verdict: Missing is the better crafted film with superior performances, so it moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 09, 2010, 09:06:42 AM
The Big Chill
... And there's no excuse for resorting to "classic song + montage of everyone doing stuff" three times in the first 40 minutes alone.


I've never seen either film, but I'm thinking the Big Chill should lose based on this alone!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 09, 2010, 12:36:42 PM
Raising Arizona vs. Heaven’s Gate


Raising Arizona

(http://i30.tinypic.com/29vbcpt.jpg)

Everything about this film clicks together perfectly. The acting, the writing, the music, the pacing, and the directing make this a completely over the top ball to watch. I laugh at a rate of about 3-4 laughs every 5 minutes (which is a pretty astounding rate). I can not believe the brilliant casting of Nicolas Cage in the lead role. He is perfect in his performance, but if I were making the film, he would not be anyone I would have thought of for the part, and I am glad the Coens did. Holly Hunter is also terrific as Cage's ex-cop wife. And, of course, you have wonderful supporting turns from Coen regulars Frances McDormand and John Goodman. The plot, of course, is completely ridiculous, and it is so much fun. The legendary diaper robbery and subsequent chase are some of the most enjoyable minutes of comedy you will find on screen. I am a big supporter of the Coen Brothers and like everything they do (aside from Intolerable Cruelty and No Country) and they have crafted another great film here. Time to buy it on DVD for me.



Heaven’s Gate

(http://i25.tinypic.com/w1xx6c.jpg)

What’s the point of beating a dead horse?



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Raising Arizona
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 09, 2010, 12:38:19 PM
Heaven's Gate  (Michael Cimino, 1980)
Almost as good as Kevin's Gate (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099348/)!
Grade: B+
Unlike me, you'll have to elaborate.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 09, 2010, 12:50:02 PM
Hey Gotham...I loved your Raising Arizona review.  Reading it makes me want to watch it again this afternoon :)

Any chance I could talk you into giving us a few sentences on Heaven's Gate? Quick plot synopsis and a quick thought on why you didn't like it?

thanks!


(BTW: following your reviews throughout this thread - I'm getting to the point now where I need to sync up my Netflix queue with your Top 100)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 09, 2010, 12:52:31 PM
I haven't seen Heaven’s Gate so I can't make the fashionable claim that it's actually a great film, although I am very much interested in seeing it. Since it's likely not going to get resurrected, I kinda wish your verdict included a little more about the film.

I like parts of Raising Arizona, particularly the beginning, but I'm not a big fan but I know others are.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 09, 2010, 12:58:41 PM
Raising Arizona is soo good, like probably one of the best comedies ever. I need to see Heaven's Gate at some point.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 09, 2010, 01:06:54 PM
Heaven's Gate  (Michael Cimino, 1980)
Almost as good as Kevin's Gate (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099348/)!
Grade: B+
Unlike me, you'll have to elaborate.

pixote

Let's see...What annoyed me most? The extra long dance scene in the beginning watching people twirling around so much I got dizzy, which was all part of a college graduation that had nothing to do with the rest of the film. Or perhaps it was the fact that each and every scene lasted about fifteen minutes longer than they had to. This film just drags on. And possibly the most annoying aspect is the bad guys are so bad, so obviously horrible that it seems as if the director were making this film for second graders. "These people are bad...These people are good". Whenever a movie has its agenda on its sleeve I can not stand it. There are long drawn-out love scenes with the main character and a Russian prostitute that seems more like a rock star and his sexy groupie. John Hurt's character, who is part of the overlong beginning scene, drinks and disagrees with the overdone villains. His death scene could very well be the stupidest in history. And I hear everyone, even the haters of this film, talk about how gorgeous the cinematography is. I think it looks washed-out. This movie is even worse than the anti-hype. It's pointless. The epilogue, showing the main character in a yacht, was almost as dumb as the prologue. The battle scenes are tedious and dizzying. This movie is really bad. Avoid it unless you love bad movies, because this is the king.

Enough elaboration?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 09, 2010, 01:08:15 PM
Enough elaboration?

I just want to point out that if the answer to this question is not "That'll do, pig," it'll be a missed opportunity.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 09, 2010, 01:21:16 PM
Enough elaboration?

I just want to point out that if the answer to this question is not "That'll do, pig," it'll be a missed opportunity.

Nicely played.

Thanks Gotham...  See it was going to eat you up inside if I didn't give you an opportunity to vent :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 09, 2010, 08:46:12 PM
Note to self: Post a defense of The Big Chill later.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on July 10, 2010, 12:35:35 AM
 :bow: Great reviews, flieger.


Note to self: Post a defense of The Big Chill later.

pixote

So your horse was the other horse.  :(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 10, 2010, 02:24:19 AM
Verdict: normally Runaway Train would have a very good chance against much of the fare of the 1980s. It's fantastic, it really is, but there's no matching Out of the Blue for the sheer thrill of watching cinema unfold before your eyes. Linda and Dennis move on to the next round, easy.

Really interested in checking both of these out. It's too bad one of them couldn't have faced off with some of my shitty pairings.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 10, 2010, 06:57:06 AM
I haven't been buried
but I've been pushed around


Great movie.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 10, 2010, 09:37:23 AM
I need to see Out of the Blue but haven't been able to find it anywhere yet.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on July 11, 2010, 05:30:50 PM
Rain Man
vs.
The Dead




Rain Man
1988
Barry Levinson

(http://i26.tinypic.com/2znzxqe.jpg)

A coming together story of a self centered business man and his autistic brother, based on a real person named Kim Peek, a high functioning autistic savant with amazing mental abilities.  The film is more about the relationship between Raymond Babbitt(Dustin Hoffman) and his brother Charlie(Tom Cruise).  It is a sweet story, but altogether too formulaic.  Cruise plays a very one note detestable egomaniac, who only discovers his brother after his father dies.  This was my biggest problem with the movie.  It was the classic case of the bad guy finding a heart.  It wasn't the worst execution of it, but there was nothing new there.  I would have liked more focus on Raymond since he was by far the more interesting character, but it was more focused on Cruise's character.  Rain Man was charming, but there just wasn't enough happening plot wise to make this a remarkable experience.




The Dead
1987
John Huston

(http://i32.tinypic.com/zxo0zr.jpg) (http://i25.tinypic.com/2n21j47.jpg) (http://i26.tinypic.com/261cia0.jpg)

It is poetic that in John Huston's last film 'The Dead', he himself is dying while filming it.  Directing the film in a wheelchair, he adapts a short story about Gabriel (Donal McCann) and his wife Gretta (Angelica Huston), who attend a family holiday party at the turn of the century in Ireland.  The party evokes strong emotions from Gretta after she hears a song that makes her remember a love who died long ago.

This is a brutally dull film.  There just isn't anyway around it.  From the first scene, to nearly the end, we are cramped inside a stuffy house party with guests so boring its nearly painful.  There is subtlety in the things they say to one another, and it does eventually contribute to the ultimate payoff, but it doesn't make watching it any more enjoyable.  The acting is oddly stiff, and there is absolutely zero connection between anyone making the whole thing very uncomfortable. It's entirely reminiscent of one of those bland Hallmark channel movies that you immediately click off of when you stumble upon it and wonder why anyone would watch it.  From the lighting to the monotone dialog it's enough to put anyone to sleep.  It's not the slow pace which I have a problem with, its just the lack of anything interesting to latch on to.

I was all set to hate this film until the very end, when we mercifully leave the party.  It's at this point that Gretta is effected by the memory of her formal love, and her husband coaxes out of her what's wrong.  The final monolog is so eloquent and moving that it just about makes up for the drivel which came before it.  It was if I were watching two completely different movies.  It's a shame that I had to sit through the first part, as the ending was actually a film I could recommend.  While Huston ultimately goes out on a high note, it was too little too late. 



Verdict: I don't love Rain Man like a lot of people seem to.  I was fully prepared to have it packing its bags in the first round.  But I just don't have it in me to send The Dead on.  It really was a pretty painful watch.  Rain Man moves on comfortably.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 11, 2010, 06:23:51 PM
The Outsiders
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1983)

(http://i27.tinypic.com/ekkxo9.jpg)

Not much to get excited about here. Bad bad acting by almost everybody. It's too bad Swayze didn't have a bigger role, because he was the only one I could take seriously. Matt Dillon was atrocious. Ralph Macchio and whoever played Ponyboy were awful too. The bad acting combined with lines like "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold" just make you role your eyes. This film gave me no reason to overlook the cheesiness. The Romeo & Juliet-like lover story, the rich kids versus the poor kids dilemma... (http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/econs/bored.gif). I was not into it at all.

Seriously?
(http://i26.tinypic.com/j8zke8.jpg)

I'll give the story credit though, not everything is black and white. Yes the Greasers are hooligans, and jerks, but they are also products of their environment. As are the Socs. It's complicated I guess. The moral of the story is life's not fair, but stay positive anyways. Do what's right, because it's right.


The Thief
(Michael Mann, 1987)

This film feels exactly like what it is. Mann's first film.  It's Heat ver. 1.0.  Similar in every way, and worse in every way. There's no reason to watch it unless you just have too see every Michael Mann film. It's not bad... it's actually quite decent and sometimes good. The thing is, watching it is like using Windows 95 again. Why would you?

Quote from: lotrsam
What’s not so arresting is the bombastic, grating ‘80s synth score. Most of the electronic music of the ‘80s just couldn’t compete with a proper musical score. It’s the same here. It also doesn’t help that the sound mixer often brings it up to be the key sound element in the film. The odd, otherworldly tones don’t fit in with what is a fairly typical crime drama.

Yes. AWFUL!

In short, skip The Thief, watch Heat, and know that Michael Mann came a long way as a director in the 14 years between the two films.


Verdict: But wait, you can't skip The Thief because it's moving on to Round 2 where it will (and should) lose to Rainman.

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 11, 2010, 06:26:18 PM
Rain Man

A coming together story of a self centered business man and his autistic brother, based on a real person named Kim Peek, a high functioning autistic savant with amazing mental abilities.  The film is more about the relationship between Raymond Babbitt(Dustin Hoffman) and his brother Charlie(Tom Cruise).  It is a sweet story, but altogether too formulaic.  Cruise plays a very one note detestable egomaniac, who only discovers his brother after his father dies.  This was my biggest problem with the movie.  It was the classic case of the bad guy finding a heart.  It wasn't the worst execution of it, but there was nothing new there.  I would have liked more focus on Raymond since he was by far the more interesting character, but it was more focused on Cruise's character.  Rain Man was charming, but there just wasn't enough happening plot wise to make this a remarkable experience.

I'm glad it moved on. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it more. :-\ How'd you like the soundtrack? :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 11, 2010, 06:35:47 PM
Nice work, smirnoff. Yes, it's Heat 1.0, but it's not that bad. In fact, it's pretty good.
It should walk all over Levinson's nicely managed, but pretty shallow Rain Man in the next round. Especially if I "randomly" get the match-up.  :-*

(http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/econs/icon_axe.gif)

;)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 11, 2010, 06:42:23 PM
Yay for getting quoted about bad 80s music! :D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 11, 2010, 11:31:47 PM
The Man Who Envied Women (Yvonne Rainer, 1985)

Huh?

This film overloaded my mental circuits. It switches between a lot of random and seemingly unrelated snippets. A man being interviewed, a movie showing behind him, sometimes the audio is the man, sometimes the movie. Sometimes we get something that looks like standard film, but sometimes there is voice-over from an unknown narrator. It has really terrible line deliveries and acting, generally speaking.

The overarching point of the film seems to be left-wing politics and feminism. It is like if Linklater had a poorly made, uninteresting film that made me want to punch hippies. One moment in particular, the narrator is talking angrily about how the New York Times started up a column about men’s lives (to mirror a one already existing about women’s lives, but with better placement), especially highlighting how it is written in the perspective of the negative effects of a certain thing on men rather than focusing on the negative effects on others (namely women). This kind of thinking treats gender as a zero-sum contest and is one of the critical failings of “feminisms” compared to egalitarianism.

There are too many big words and boring lectures. There is actually a long scene of a guy lecturing with the camera wandering and the sound often includes people chatting in the background. Very annoying and amateur. Sometimes someone like Guy Maddin comes along and makes avant garde work, but for the most part I have no use for it.

Anyway, this one really is quite terrible. It is like someone observed me over my life to figure out what would best represent hell to me and then sent that information back in time to when I was born in order to make a film that would capture that hell so that I might happen to watch it 25 years later and experience that hell.
(http://archive.sensesofcinema.com/images/directors/03/27/manwho.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131467/)


(http://wizbangpop.com/images/2009/01/philadelphia_museum_receives_b/tom-hanks-big-keyboard-dance-1988-stixs.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094737/)
Big (Penny Marshall, 1988)

Note, do not do a Google images search for Big. Good grief.

History has been kind to this film. I mean, there is so much that can be interpreted with the age theme. Sure, there is the classical sense in which youth is wasted on the young who want to be older and do adult things and adults may well wish for the simpler times of childhood. It is about a children who for one reason or another have to grow up too quickly and about the failure of adults to remain young at heart where it would be best for them to do so. Yet, today we've got the popular theme of arrested development; the 20 or 30-something man who has not taken on the responsibilities previously identified with adulthood (whether that is marriage and parenthood or living independently from one's parents). Also, watching him play the child in a man's body makes one think of a person with autism, an affliction that has been on the rise in the intervening years. All of this makes the age-bending premise of Big very fresh.

It does of course have the classic scenes, especially the big piano, that are just very touching. Tom Hanks really is an American treasure. His versatility in doing comedy here and the drama that would come in the 90s is a depth of resume that not many can match.

All this said, I can't say I hold this film in any special place in my heart. It isn't quite funny enough or quite touching enough to take it to the next level. But naturally, it makes me long for various experiences I could relive with a child's uncynical eyes (also, too, the moment of awe in being with a woman the first time which is so magically captured here). What's more, not having seen this for at least a decade, it is amazing the degree to which getting older and having some of these experiences makes me appreciate it more.

Verdict: I have seen Big before and having seen the first half of this pairing I can already announce the verdict. I will watch Big again tomorrow and do a proper write-up on why it is moving on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 12, 2010, 12:17:27 AM
do a proper write-up on why it is moving on.[/b][/center]

Hopefully because it is incredible.

Seriously, I love Big, and I want it to go far in this bracket. It's a wonderful, charming, touching, funny film. I want it to tuck me in to bed at night.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 12, 2010, 12:22:37 AM
How can I put this?
Huh?
Yeah, that's it.
 ???

I'm just saying traditional feminism has prioritized getting women ahead in the face of patriarchy over true gender equality and I find it counter-productive and a product of the identity politics present in far-left ideology. I use egalitarianism as a preferable gender neutral term. This example from the film is basically saying men aren't allowed to be sissies that think about how social norms disadvantage them...that is women's work. I think this is a problematic statement in many ways.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on July 12, 2010, 12:34:04 AM

I'm glad it moved on. Sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it more. :-\ How'd you like the soundtrack? :)

I actually watched it a while back so I don't remember the soundtrack.  I can't remember it sticking out to me, but then again sound tracks rarely do.  I actually own the movie, so I will probably watch it again
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 12, 2010, 02:32:19 AM
I was just grasping at one moment that was particularly notable to me, not because it was of importance in the film, thematically, but because it is a topic of particular interest to me. I think the broader problem is with the avant garde style for which I have minimal tolerance as someone who likes plot or narrative above all else. So combining stylistic annoyance with feeling like I'm sitting in on a lecture that I'm not finding very rewarding (because it comes from a perspective that I find deeply flawed), it just doesn't work and my antipathy toward the politics was not even the crucial element here.

I really do think the best comparison is Waking Life in that it combines many snippets of fairly high-minded discussion woven around a basic narrative. It happens to be more stylistically satisfying and coherent while also being on a topic that captures my attention. It manages to have a greater breadth of perspective around its topic (which is a bit easier since there aren't really ideological fault lines involved in such questions). One of the things I think is most effective is actually the images/articles on the wall for which the NYT article is one and how she ties together a few themes. If it had stuck more to this and abandoned some of the less effective choices, I think that would have made a big difference.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 12, 2010, 09:38:34 AM
The Outsiders
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1983)

(http://i27.tinypic.com/ekkxo9.jpg)

Not much to get excited about here. Bad bad acting by almost everybody. It's too bad Swayze didn't have a bigger role, because he was the only one I could take seriously. Matt Dillon was atrocious. Ralph Macchio and whoever played Ponyboy were awful too. The bad acting combined with lines like "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold" just make you role your eyes. This film gave me no reason to overlook the cheesiness. The Romeo & Juliet-like lover story, the rich kids versus the poor kids dilemma... (http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/econs/bored.gif). I was not into it at all.


Apparently you weren't a 13 year old girl in the early 80's... (one of my wife's all time favorite films - I've never been able to get through the whole thing)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 12, 2010, 11:06:33 AM
The Outsiders
(Francis Ford Coppola, 1983)

(http://i27.tinypic.com/ekkxo9.jpg)

Not much to get excited about here. Bad bad acting by almost everybody. It's too bad Swayze didn't have a bigger role, because he was the only one I could take seriously. Matt Dillon was atrocious. Ralph Macchio and whoever played Ponyboy were awful too. The bad acting combined with lines like "Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold" just make you role your eyes. This film gave me no reason to overlook the cheesiness. The Romeo & Juliet-like lover story, the rich kids versus the poor kids dilemma... (http://noffload.net/uploader/files/1/econs/bored.gif). I was not into it at all.


Apparently you weren't a 13 year old girl in the early 80's... (one of my wife's all time favorite films - I've never been able to get through the whole thing)

Gimme Dirty Dancing any day. One of the best in the bracket.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 12, 2010, 12:51:52 PM
Hey smirnoff, those stills you posted from The Outsiders has made me fall in love with that film all over again. I haven't seen Thief.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 12, 2010, 12:54:10 PM
Hey smirnoff, those stills you posted from The Outsiders has made me fall in love with that film all over again.

;D It's so cheesy! But I understand... love it blind and stuff.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 12, 2010, 12:59:01 PM
Hey smirnoff, those stills you posted from The Outsiders has made me fall in love with that film all over again.
;D It's so cheesy! But I understand... love it blind and stuff.
I have very happy memories of watching The Outsiders, The Jericho Mile (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079366/) (Michael Mann!), and The Wanderers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wanderers_%281979_film%29) on A&E on Saturday afternoons as a kid.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: duder on July 12, 2010, 01:09:21 PM
Stay gold, Ponyboy :'(
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 12, 2010, 09:37:19 PM
Parents vs. Modern Romance


Parents

(http://i32.tinypic.com/ztart5.png)

I am sure if you are almost passed out drunk on a Saturday night around 11 o’clock that this would be a great film. However, the sober individual I am, this was not the case I saw this film under the circumstance of normalcy. This film is unadulterated tacky schlock. I am not a fan of this style of film. I think it is very well crafted, but the payoff of that craft is nowhere to be fulfilled. The story itself is slow and predictable from the opening frame. It is graphically violent for no reason and very, very disturbing. It is not a fun watch if you have your senses. It is nonsense. Graphic nonsense. Even if their is some sort of directorial craft behind this, that does not change that it is, ultimately, nonsense. I wish I could enjoy this film, because I occasionally enjoy schlock, but this was not one of those instances. Be warned: this film is not for the squeamish or for those who do not enjoy gruesome violence.



Modern Romance

(http://i29.tinypic.com/xmpogi.jpg)

Now, I would not say this is a bad movie. It just did not make me laugh. Most of the jokes in this movie are very hit and miss. Albert Brooks has some good ideas here lampooning the B-movie business, but, in most respects, it feels like an Annie Hall knock off. I think Brooks is a very amusing actor, and he is quite good in his role in the film. He can play neurotic quite well, but that does not bode well for the Annie Hall knock-off comparisons. As a writer and director, I am sure their was plenty of room in the future for Brooks to develop. I personally have not seen any other Brooks film aside from this one so am not able to judge on his development. This film, however, just seems to fall flat. It is a shame because I feel the fire was their in Brooks' mind and heart, but it just does not work. I do want to seek out his later films to see if what I think could be there is.



Winner And Advancement To Next Round: Modern Romance
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 12, 2010, 09:39:53 PM
I think Modern Romance is funny. Just in a sad and increasingly troublesome way. It would make a good double feature with Raging Bull. I don't think it has much to do with Annie Hall.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 12, 2010, 10:57:41 PM
My Big write-up:

Big (Penny Marshall, 1988)

Note, do not do a Google images search for Big. Good grief.

History has been kind to this film. I mean, there is so much that can be interpreted with the age theme. Sure, there is the classical sense in which youth is wasted on the young who want to be older and do adult things and adults may well wish for the simpler times of childhood. It is about a children who for one reason or another have to grow up too quickly and about the failure of adults to remain young at heart where it would be best for them to do so. Yet, today we've got the popular theme of arrested development; the 20 or 30-something man who has not taken on the responsibilities previously identified with adulthood (whether that is marriage and parenthood or living independently from one's parents). Also, watching him play the child in a man's body makes one think of a person with autism, an affliction that has been on the rise in the intervening years. All of this makes the age-bending premise of Big very fresh.

It does of course have the classic scenes, especially the big piano, that are just very touching. Tom Hanks really is an American treasure. His versatility in doing comedy here and the drama that would come in the 90s is a depth of resume that not many can match.

All this said, I can't say I hold this film in any special place in my heart. It isn't quite funny enough or quite touching enough to take it to the next level. But naturally, it makes me long for various experiences I could relive with a child's uncynical eyes (also, too, the moment of awe in being with a woman the first time which is so magically captured here). What's more, not having seen this for at least a decade, it is amazing the degree to which getting older and having some of these experiences makes me appreciate it more.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 13, 2010, 01:50:58 PM
The Lost Boys (1987)

I have, over the years, had many people tell me that The Lost Boys is a fantastic movie. I must now ask those people what movie they were watching, or better yet what substances they were on while watching said movie. Actually, that’s too harsh, The Lost Boys just didn’t work for me, there’s no need for me to be snotty about it. It is a cult classic and many people do love it. I wish I could say the same, but I spent the majority of The Lost Boys wondering why I should care about what was happening on my screen and the rest of the time I was wondering just how homoerotic Joel Schumacher could get in a film without people noticing?

There are certainly elements to The Lost Boys that I feel were interesting and could have helped to form a good film with a competent guiding hand and a well written script to bolster them. The Peter Pan correlation is interesting, as is the idea of the vampires as allegories of wasted youth dealing with the cultural divide that existed in the 1980′s. Unfortunately Schumacher, never does anything with any of these ideas. Schumacher doesn’t do anything period, and one has to wonder what mark he meant to leave on The Lost Boys. The writing isn’t great either and the writers squander all kinds of interesting avenues, but I believe the director is most responsible for what we see on screen and thus I place much of the blame for my dislike of The Lost Boys on the shoulders of Schumacher.

My biggest complaint against The Lost Boys would have to be its inability to make me care. It’s a film that can’t decide what it wants to be, it spends a good chunk of its run time attempting to be a serious vampire film, creating a dense and foggy atmosphere. Then out of nowhere it turns into a schlocky B movie that is interested more in being a comedy than anything else, and at other times it is an ineffective family drama. And that family is what I am referencing when I talk about the inability of The Lost Boys to make me care. Schumacher tries for these dramatic beats, beats that are never earned. Michael is supposedly flying off the deep end, but we are never really shown this, we are simply expected to accept that he has been losing touch with his mother. But then we find out that it has only been a day since the beginning of the film, when he was all hunky dory with mommy. That is a leap in logic I couldn’t take and I could never quite justify it in my logic addled brain.

For those of you who do like The Lost Boys and view it as a cult classic, more power to you. I wanted to like it, and I tried, searching for things to like about the film at every turn. But, I can’t sit here and lie to you just to make you happy. Well, I could, but then how would you ever be able to trust another review I published? I can’t join you in championing this “cult classic,” in fact I’m going to do the exact opposite and warn all others off of The Lost Boys, it’s a waste of time in my estimation and a film that no one really needs to see. Even if it is running rampant with boatloads of homoeroticism, and trust me, everyone needs more of that in their lives.

Vs.

Zelig (1983)

In Zelig, Woody Allen is clearly attempting a satire on the media, both past and present, and the bias they can place on any given situation. I am including the documentary filmmaker as a part of the media by the way, because you know that I view all documentaries as con-jobs for the most part, sue me if you don’t like it. Sprinkled throughout Allen’s satirical take on the media are the usual neurotic bits of humor and the standard theme of love that always populate a Woody Allen film. But when all is stripped away from Zelig I was left with one fact that stopped me from really liking it, it just didn’t engage me as much as I would have liked.

Zelig is a well made faux documentary, but I don’t consider it an interesting film. I know what Allen was going for and I actually think he succeeds, but I was pretty darn bored when he was succeeding the most. Maybe it’s just where my taste in comedy always goes back to, but I was more engaged when Woody Allen was being the typically neurotic Woody Allen. I was drawn to what was being shown on screen when it was absurd and thus absurdly funny. Those moments were enough for me to like Zelig, but they were not enough for me to really like Zelig, if you get the distinction I am making there.

One area where I will give Mr. Allen some major props is in the way he was able to make the 1920′s-1930′s footage look like footage from that era. No matter what you may think of Allen as a person or even if you don’t like his films I don’t think a person can deny his innate ability to bring a place or a period in time to life. Every time the film switches to grainy and scratched “footage” from the so called jazz era I believed that I was really seeing Leonard Zelig in that time and place. The cinematography deserves a lot of credit for this, but so does Allen, who has once again evoked a particular setting and a particular time with minimal effort.

I wish that Zelig gave me more to talk about, but truth be told it doesn’t. It is easily the most straight forward film I have ever seen from Allen. Either the idea of a faux documentary that pokes fun at media bias will engage you or it won’t. I respect the craftsmanship on display in Zelig, and I laughed more than a few times. But, I was never as engaged in Zelig as I should have been and that is why Zelig ends up a relatively average Woody Allen film in my estimation. If you are a fellow Allen completest like I am then I do suggest at the very least giving Zelig a twirl, but if you aren’t then Zelig is a film you could skip and not feel bad about doing so in the slightest.

Verdict:

It's not a great film by any means, but Zelig easily moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 1SO on July 13, 2010, 02:11:52 PM
I was in High School back in 1987 and everyone at school loved The Lost Boys.  I was disappointed and felt like an outsider because I didn't think it was cool.  Then later that year I saw Near Dark, which is everything Lost Boys isn't.  A true modern vampire film where the style matches the substance.  I could get people to watch Near Dark, but they always felt that The Lost Boys was better.  Now I feel that time has proven me correct.  Excellent evaluation.

Also...

(http://i29.tinypic.com/2sacvw0.jpg)
No teenage boy should have that poster on his wall.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 13, 2010, 02:27:28 PM
(http://i29.tinypic.com/2sacvw0.jpg)
No teenage boy should have that poster on his wall.
Why not?

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 13, 2010, 02:32:18 PM
Rob Lowe is a very pretty man.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 13, 2010, 02:35:02 PM
You put a Woody Allen film through? We may not be on speaking terms anymore, Bill.  :P
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 13, 2010, 02:37:01 PM
Is there a reason we are using spoiler tag on verdicts? :D

I've seen it on a few of them recently. I don't know what we are saving it for.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 13, 2010, 02:39:32 PM
To maintain suspense.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 13, 2010, 02:45:19 PM
To maintain suspense.

It always makes me chuckle when the verdict is in spoiler text but the very next post is "Yay for..." the winning film.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 13, 2010, 03:00:02 PM
To maintain suspense.

It always makes me chuckle when the verdict is in spoiler text but the very next post is "Yay for..." the winning film.

pixote

I appreciate people putting the verdict in spoiler tags, but my mouse seems to hover right to it unconsciously anyways... Kinda like when you're at the dentist and you can't seem to keep your tongue from investigating whatever the dentist shoves in your mouth...
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 13, 2010, 03:55:28 PM
To maintain suspense.

It always makes me chuckle when the verdict is in spoiler text but the very next post is "Yay for..." the winning film.

pixote

I appreciate people putting the verdict in spoiler tags, but my mouse seems to hover right to it unconsciously anyways... Kinda like when you're at the dentist and you can't seem to keep your tongue from investigating whatever the dentist shoves in your mouth...

Yeah, heh. We need superspoiler tags that require decoder rings to read. :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 13, 2010, 07:56:40 PM
Variety vs. The Ninth Configuration


Variety

(http://i28.tinypic.com/2r27l0h.png)

If the plot synopsis or the quotes on the poster urge you to seek out this film, I am here to tell you that you should not. First off, that plot synopsis is misleading because there is virtually no plot.  It is very slow and very confusing and you have no idea what is going on. All of the character lie there completely flat on the screen, with close to zero development. The long scenes just meander, many of which are completely pointless, which did not help the lack of a story. The climax resolves nothing at all. This film is just self-indulgent, and in the most annoying way. It tries to be hip and indie and cool, but it just comes off as annoying. This is such a dull film in which nothing happens. I nearly fell asleep at least four of five times during the 97 minute running time. It was an agonizing experience.



The Ninth Configuration

(http://i32.tinypic.com/2q2jqbo.jpg)

As a huge fan of The Exorcist, when I saw William Peter Blatty’s name attached to this, I became instantly excited. This film took me completely by surprise. This is one of those hidden gem films that I want everyone to go out and see. For those seeing this under a bit of skepticism, be patient because it will be rewarded. This film takes its audience seriously, which I really appreciate. We are never spoon fed anything. It requires the participation of its audience to pay careful attention to what is going on. This film is deep in its theme and subject matter, as it is a variation of the Christ story. The script to this film is absolutely spectacular. It is so well constructed and fluid and the dialogue is so interesting to listen to. The performances of Stacy Keach and Scott Wilson are powerhouses. I was just totally caught up in this film and will soon purchase the DVD.



Winner Advancement To Next Round: The Ninth Configuration
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FLYmeatwad on July 13, 2010, 07:58:38 PM
Indeed, Ninth Config is great. Don't think it's on DVD though.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 13, 2010, 07:59:53 PM
Indeed, Ninth Config is great. Don't think it's on DVD though.

It went out of print, but you can still get it if you know where to look. I watched it on a DVD that I borrowed so....
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 1SO on July 13, 2010, 08:00:45 PM
THAT'S THE CORRECT ANSWER!


HOORAY!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 13, 2010, 09:09:16 PM
Variety

If the plot synopsis or the quotes on the poster urge you to seek out this film, I am here to tell you that you should not. First off, that plot synopsis is misleading because there is virtually no plot.  It is very slow and very confusing and you have no idea what is going on. All of the character lie there completely flat on the screen, with close to zero development. The long scenes just meander, many of which are completely pointless, which did not help the lack of a story. The climax resolves nothing at all. This film is just self-indulgent, and in the most annoying way. It tries to be hip and indie and cool, but it just comes off as annoying. This is such a dull film in which nothing happens. I nearly fell asleep at least four of five times during the 97 minute running time. It was an agonizing experience.

Promising.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 13, 2010, 09:15:42 PM
You've got me curious about Nine Config., GC. Good write-up, as always.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 13, 2010, 10:00:35 PM
Stop Making Sense vs. WarGames

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/stopmakingsensetitle.jpg)

I don’t actually watch concert videos, I don’t even know if I would even consider them films given that most I’ve “seen” consists of two or three shots that are cut between for two hours. Usually, I just pop one in and let it play in the background as I do something else. However, Stop Making Sense is most certainly a film and makes me interested in checking out if there are other films like this.

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/stopmakingsense-crazyvisualstyle.jpg)

In part, I think it’s because this concert is clearly played for the camera. The visual style, lighting, the staging of certain shots demands a kind of foresight that actual filmmaking requires. So while it makes for a great film, I wonder if it was all that great of a concert because a lot of it seemed staged more for the camera than anything else. However, we do get a wide shot of what the audience would see and I guess it looks interesting enough. I’m not much of a concert guy either so I wouldn’t know how this compares to seeing a group like this live.

Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense - PsychoKiller (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pCZ5E5tn4I#ws)

As far as the music goes, I guess it’s good. I’m not really a big music person. The tunes are catchy and the lyrics are usually smart and better a lot of the dumb stuff that passes for music lyrics which is why I’m turned off by music in the first place. The style is unique, which is my nice way of saying it sounded really strange. I can’t really give much more insight than that. Just watch a little clip up above and form your own thoughts. I’m no barometer for music quality. However, I will say that the one solo the backup guitarist gave sucked. That girl can’t sing at all.

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/stopmakingsense-bigband.jpg)

What I do think is particularity clever in the setup of performances is how the show gradually adds more and more members and performers to the group until the finale. At the beginning it’s just a one man show and by the end you’ve got this stage with a big group of people. It’s a cool progression and evolution throughout the show that keeps everything from being static and stale.

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/stopmakingsense-greatvisuallook.jpg)

The same thing could be said for the constant shifting in lighting, sets and visual style that kept me interested in actually looking at the film in addition to watching it. Plus, the wardrobe is constantly changing and Alex Weir actually ends up being a surprising kind of Charlie Chaplinesque physical performer.

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/stopmakingsense-justendhere.jpg)

However, for me the last couple of songs peter out and the energy that this whole film is gradually building up towards just dissipates before reaching fruition. To me, the show could have ended a couple songs earlier where the music, performances and staging seemed to be at its peak. Still, I was surprised by how well-crafted and engaging this film was given that it’s about something most of us just listen to and rarely ever watch.



(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-title.jpg)

So I’ve seen this one before and had a blast with it. I expected some dumb ‘80s flick and actually ended up watching a surprisingly sophisticated, thoughtful and compelling blockbuster. It’s way better than any of the blockbusters I’ve seen this summer, that’s for sure. As I watched it again, I marveled it how well-crafted this film actually is.

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-thestakes.jpg)
 
Take the big opening sequence about the missle test. What could have been just a simple setup of tone and the stakes actually has a lot of energy and intensity to it and brings up the big conflict that carries the entire film: the depersonalization of war. All this man has to do is flip a switch and he’ll have killed millions. How as humans do we deal with that of thing?

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-inthemoniter.jpg)

But instead of being this serious, self-important pondering on the nature of the cold war, the film is through the eyes of a kid. This might seem gimmicky and silly to have the film be about Matthew Broderick, but I think it reinforces the human element even more as the David character actually goes through quite an interesting development throughout the story.

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-cutestgirlever.jpg)
(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-couldyougetanycuter.jpg)
(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-socute.jpg)

Plus, it has Ally Sheedy which is God’s gift to ‘80s teenagers. You guys were so lucky back then. Who did my generation have? The Olsen twins? Man, we got jipped. Now most guys are interested in girls with the big rack or something, but I like my girls to be cute and Ally Sheedy might be one of the cutest women I’ve ever seen. One of her goofy smiles and she’s won me over. I mean, she’s even really-- no especially—cute when she’s all sweaty from working out.

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-needlesscrash.jpg)

However, far be it from me to paint this film as perfect, because it isn’t. I think the big flaw is that some of the dramatics are a bit too heavy. Sometimes it seems like the film is going too far out of its way to make something rather simple turn into something with some gravitas. There’s a bit late in the film when they are rushing somewhere and instead of just getting there it ends in a big crash that the film doesn’t need at all. It’s little bits like that which take the film just a tiny bit over the edge.

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-samisscared.jpg)

However, all is forgiven moments later with this harrowing scene. I swear, this is one of the most frightening moments I’ve seen on film. The flashing white and the dulled sound effects give this ghostly feel to the map as we watch the visualization of nuclear bombs wiping out America. I get a few chills just thinking about the scene. 

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-inthescreen.jpg)

I think this also demonstrates the strong visual style of the film. What surprised me is how Badham takes a lot of shots of what could just be what is on a screen and actually placed the faces of the performers in the reflection. This makes what could be very stale shots visually interesting. It’s these kinds of little visual flourishes that made the film gripping to watch.

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/wargames%20and%20stopmakingsense/wargames-itsagamenotawar.jpg)

The ‘80s may be known for a lot of corniness, and maybe this is a bit corny, but damn this is a fine thriller that is just as relevant and powerful today, if not more so, as it was 27 years ago. I think the cautionary tale of technology depersonalizing war and the faults of computers running things is something that we need even more of in this day and age. We’ve become far too complacent and it’s amazing that 27 years ago someone could see where we’ve essentially ended up even if we aren’t on the verge of total destruction.



So I've guess I've got to choose between these two. Both are solid in their own rights and I find both kind of lose energy by the end. But for me, one of these clearly--Oh, wait, what's that? Turns out that sneaky little WORP slipped a nuke past the radar system and made a sneak attack. Wonder what he hit...

(http://i777.photobucket.com/albums/yy56/lotr-sam0711/Myverdict.jpg)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on July 13, 2010, 10:07:25 PM
Seems like both were pretty fun movies.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 13, 2010, 10:08:17 PM
The totally were. I hope Stop Making Sense gets resurrected.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FLYmeatwad on July 13, 2010, 11:10:23 PM
DEFCON has me wanting to see WarGames.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 13, 2010, 11:15:33 PM
You should. It's on netflix instant.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FLYmeatwad on July 13, 2010, 11:16:40 PM
Perhaps after I get through the other 400 films in my Instant Queue  :P
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 14, 2010, 09:06:58 AM
The totally were. I hope Stop Making Sense gets resurrected.

I'm pleasantly surprised that you liked it, though obviously I disagree with your ultimate decision.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: 1SO on July 14, 2010, 10:24:17 AM
You overpraise Blow Out, which does have its greatness, but Nancy Allen performs in a high squeaky affected New Yawk voice that - much as I love her - she is nowhere near qualified to pull off.  So much of the film rests on her shoulders it sinks the entire enterprise.

I'm fairly certain it would get destroyed in the next round.

Then again, Hardly Working isn't going much further either, but I like your reasons for advancing it.  These kinds of films can really stick with a person, even when they're painful to watch.  And the opening comes from The Shootist, which was meant as a cap on John Wayne's career.  It opens with a montage of early Wayne films, meant to be the history of the character he was playing in that one film.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 14, 2010, 11:19:41 AM
woo, Jerry Lewis in the next round. Cracking Up for resurrection!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 14, 2010, 01:00:58 PM
Stop sucking up to roujin, flieger.

Sorry to see Stop Making Sense get the boot, but I'm glad you got something out of it, Sam.

However, for me the last couple of songs peter out and the energy that this whole film is gradually building up towards just dissipates before reaching fruition.
But the suit doesn't even come out until the last couple songs!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 14, 2010, 01:03:06 PM
lol, that suit was pretty crazy.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 14, 2010, 02:05:53 PM
lol, that suit was pretty crazy.

the DVD also has a bizarre video of Byrne interviewing himself
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 14, 2010, 02:10:49 PM
Stop sucking up to roujin, flieger.

Jerry Lewis Cabal in the making.

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 14, 2010, 02:12:01 PM
Stop sucking up to roujin, flieger.
Jerry Lewis Cabal in the making.
:)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 14, 2010, 09:34:28 PM
Talking To Strangers (Rob Tregenza, 1988)

For fans of long takes, this 90 minute film is composed of just nine, capturing nine different vignettes (with a common character). The first for example places the camera on a balcony high up over an intersection following a man as he wanders from corner to corner, seemingly thinking about getting on various buses before changing his mind. As he wanders out of the range of the camera it subtly switches focus and then subtly switches back at a point when he comes back into the scene. There is no dialogue (just background noise).

There is the downside to this style, especially once dialogue is introduced. I noticed a few times some of the dialogue out of sync with the picture. My inclination is that this means dubbing, which makes the single take a bit less of an achievement compared to some of the truly brilliant long dialogue takes I’ve seen. It is possible of course that there is a technical problem involved.

Anyway, this film plays to my a priori that talking to strangers (or really people generally) just isn’t worth it. The film is certainly presents interesting moments, though it doesn’t really come together as something of distinct quality. The acting is kind of community theatre melodrama. Still, for fans of vignette style films, it isn’t a horrible one to check out, though one of the latter segments is a bit vile. And by the end it is a bit like watching paint dry.
(http://www.cinemaparallel.com/TalkingToStrangers.gif)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096220/)


(http://sofarfromshore.com/blag/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/fast-times-at-ridgemont-high-1982-sean-penn-pic-3.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083929/)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling, 1982)

See, Twilight gets a lot of crap about sending bad messages, but I watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High and see a far more dangerous message. A message of pressuring young teens to have sex whenever and wherever they can get it from, even if they don’t seem ready for it or don’t have any emotional bond with the person they are getting it from. It portrays sex as something to be demanded of a relationship, not earned. At least this is what it says if you only look at the superficial message (which is how Twilight seems to be viewed). I’m not into slut shaming but I don’t see why this is any more valid a perspective than the one in Twilight. John Hughes never seems so sleazy (ok, maybe in Weird Science).

And don’t get me started on the Spicoli character. I’ve not generally liked Sean Penn as an actor and this is no exception. He’s so big in this part. The film does start to turn around later on. The sibling relationship of Stacy and Brad is really touching. Still, this doesn’t do much to speak to the high school experience and it isn’t all that funny.

Also, too, Jennifer Jason Leigh > Phoebe Cates. This film may have legendary nude scenes, but it just isn’t enough. Both Cameron Crowe and Amy Heckerling have come a long way since this film.

Verdict: This surprised me quite a lot. My memories of previously seeing Fast Times was somewhat favorable, but it didn’t work for me this time. I did appreciate a lot of what Talking To Strangers was going for even if it was inconsistent in delivery. Strangers moves on.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 14, 2010, 09:36:20 PM
Interesting.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 14, 2010, 10:12:58 PM
It is a film that revels in teenage promiscuity (not just having sex, but having cheap sex, unrewarding sex and then lying about it to further the everyone should do it at any chance pressure). And I do think that if you dig in you can find that by showing the unrewarding nature of this lifestyle the film is actually saying something else; it cops to a "but we learned our lesson in the end" sort of thing and all. But this seems a bit hypocritical coming from a film that takes such pride in its lewd content.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 14, 2010, 10:17:25 PM
It is a film that revels in teenage promiscuity (not just having sex, but having cheap sex, unrewarding sex and then lying about it to further the everyone should do it at any chance pressure). And I do think that if you dig in you can find that by showing the unrewarding nature of this lifestyle the film is actually saying something else; it cops to a "but we learned our lesson in the end" sort of thing and all. But this seems a bit hypocritical coming from a film that takes such pride in its lewd content.

I don't think it takes pride in it. It's not a deep film but I think Fast Times demonizes all the pro sex characters to a certain extent.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 14, 2010, 10:22:40 PM
I've never seen Talking To Strangers but I do love Fast Times. Resurrection!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 14, 2010, 10:26:10 PM
It is a film that revels in teenage promiscuity (not just having sex, but having cheap sex, unrewarding sex and then lying about it to further the everyone should do it at any chance pressure). And I do think that if you dig in you can find that by showing the unrewarding nature of this lifestyle the film is actually saying something else; it cops to a "but we learned our lesson in the end" sort of thing and all. But this seems a bit hypocritical coming from a film that takes such pride in its lewd content.

I don't think it takes pride in it. It's not a deep film but I think Fast Times demonizes all the pro sex characters to a certain extent.

I wouldn't say it particularly demonizes either of the girls (who only talk about boys, thus failing the Bechdel Test). This is for the best in one case. Stacy's abortion is carried off matter of factly without indication that it was emotionally challenging. I saw an article recently about Friday Night Lights where a character was thinking about an abortion and this feminist author was hoping she'd go through it and not be emotionally scarred. 1982 was basically the peak of abortion rates in the US (and also basically when I was born...I'm a survivor) so it is interesting how this film represents a very different world than the world of Juno. Though I kind of like the world of Juno and Eclipse. I guess I'm just a bit of a social conservative (though in personal choice, not in politics). Ultimately I figure if people can so easily dismiss the Twilight series based on what they interpret to be problematic social norms, I can dismiss Fast Times in a similar way.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on July 14, 2010, 11:00:11 PM
I feel like every post these days has to relate to twilight in some ways... can't we just look at Fast Times on its own merits. It's a great movie.
Although it doesn't demonize the characters, a lot of them are unsympathetic. Realistically so, as they're all teenage kids/stereotypes.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 14, 2010, 11:26:14 PM
I watched Fast Times fairly recently.  I was surprised at how bad it was.  Very unfunny, for the most part.  Elizabethtown is substantially better, I think.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 15, 2010, 12:09:13 AM
I watched Fast Times fairly recently.  I was surprised at how bad it was.  Very unfunny, for the most part.  Elizabethtown is substantially better, I think.
But the cut to Led Zep playing on their date...the sweetness of Judge Reinhold waiting for Jennifer Jason Leigh outside the clinic...Spicoli. Spicoli!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 15, 2010, 12:15:31 AM
I watched Fast Times fairly recently.  I was surprised at how bad it was.  Very unfunny, for the most part.  Elizabethtown is substantially better, I think.
But the cut to Led Zep playing on their date...the sweetness of Judge Reinhold waiting for Jennifer Jason Leigh outside the clinic...Spicoli. Spicoli!
Hmm, maybe it's finally time for another Random Movie Death Match (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079813/).

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 15, 2010, 12:34:21 AM
I feel like every post these days has to relate to twilight in some ways.

It is called a frame, a rhetorical device that I thought would be a fun way of getting into my concerns. I didn't realize I was being held to film essayist standards in these verdicts. On its own merits I found Fast Times unfunny and largely morally questionable (and unrealistic) in delivery if not in ultimate intention. I thought most of the performances/characters were not great. Matt does hit upon the very best moment with Brad waiting for Stacy and generally being supportive. More of that would be welcome Twilight has nothing to do with my not connecting with it.

At the end of the day, let's remember that there is another side to this verdict, the really interesting, unconventional film that I quite liked and I hope the next person to get it will appreciate.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 15, 2010, 12:36:43 AM
I watched Fast Times fairly recently.  I was surprised at how bad it was.  Very unfunny, for the most part.  Elizabethtown is substantially better, I think.
But the cut to Led Zep playing on their date...the sweetness of Judge Reinhold waiting for Jennifer Jason Leigh outside the clinic...Spicoli. Spicoli!
Hmm, maybe it's finally time for another Random Movie Death Match (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079813/).
I'd wait in line for Ramones tickets with Riff Randell any day of the week.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 15, 2010, 12:40:07 AM
I like Fast Times a lot more than Bondo, but I have no problem with the manner he chose to analyze the film.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 16, 2010, 12:36:46 PM
(http://i27.tinypic.com/2j5ki20.png)
My sense is there’s a large camp of Filmspotters who admire this film’s technique, but don’t particularly like it. And I totally get that reaction, but it’s not mine. From a filmmaking standpoint it’s beyond reproach. This isn’t news or anything, but during the fight scenes in particular, Scorsese flexes his wizardry; lighting, editing, changing speeds, sound design, frame composition, it really is remarkable. But at the heart of this film we have a character study. It’s about male insecurity and how it’s channelled into rage. I think a lot of folks have a hard time “enjoying” the film because LaMotta is such a cruel prick. I can appreciate that, there are plenty of unpleasant things I choose to avoid for similar reasons, but for me the performance and themes of male insecurity breeding violence make it a fascinating experience. Robert De Niro is very good in this film. You’ve probably heard that before so let’s not dwell on him. How about that supporting cast? Cathy Moriarty is terrific as Vickie. An amazing blend of sexiness, detachment, and strength. I also loved Frank Vincent (best known for Goodfellas and The Sopranos) and Nicholas Colasanto. I read that the Mafia aspect of the film had at one point played a larger part, I probably would have enjoyed that stuff, but it was a good idea to keep the film focused as a character study. With that said I love Nicholas Colasanto in this role. After growing up with him on Cheers, it’s been great to recently re-discover him as a character actor. One final thing about Raging Bull, everybody remembers it as brutal and uncompromising, but it’s also so funny. LaMotta’s stand-up during the nightclub epilogue, that’s genius.  I also love Pesci and De Niro’s chemistry, during the rare moments that Jake isn’t expressing anger, they’re pretty darn funny together. Best of all is De Niro’s dead bird line. That killed me.
(http://i31.tinypic.com/qs828z.png) (http://i25.tinypic.com/mtksqg.png)



(http://i31.tinypic.com/2eme9lx.png)
The film opens with Godmilow introducing herself as an American who was living in Poland in 1980 during the founding of Solidarity. She describes her excitement and responds by rushing home to the US to raise money and a film crew so she can document this movement. However, after returning to the US Godmilow is denied re-entry to Poland, so she does what any socialist-intellectual-experimental-documentarian-deconstructionist would do, she makes her film about the Gdańsk Shipyard from New York City. Obviously this film isn’t really about Solidarity. It’s more a (very) self-conscious examination of documentary filmmaking and politics. Of course Godmilow would probably insist the film is about Solidarity, you know what these types are like.

There is next to no footage of Poland in the film – Those images cannot be trusted! The documentarian deceits you through image selection which constructs a subjective context! Stop lying to me, vérité! – or something like that (for the record, she never says any of those things). I have my suspicions that Godmilow stumbled into this deconstructionist thesis only because she couldn’t actually get her hands on much primary footage. I’m cynical that way. Although she has basically built her academic career on this idea, so maybe I'm not being fair. Anywho, instead the film mainly consists of actors re-enacting interviews with workers that originally appeared in Solidarity publications, some other acted vignettes, and Godmilow playing herself in autobiographical scenes that express her intellectual struggles about politics and filmmaking. The worker interviews are at times engaging, but too often feel like the dullest little play you’d ever see at some fringe festival. The autobiographical scenes are very poorly acted, but it’s there where at least Godmilow says something of interest. Her collaborator (and boyfriend) often mocks her about her political earnestness. At one point he answers the phone and tells her it’s Karl Marx calling from Workers Utopia. They argue some more and she smokes some more. The scenes are really stagey; I assume they’re working from a script inspired by actual conversations, which is kinda neat, but my goodness these two are awkward actors. Awkward in a Littlest Hobo kind of way. Who’s with me?

From Godmilow’s introduction and wrap-up, to a voiceover stating the names of the actors playing the workers in the interview re-enactments, the film routinely reminds us of its artificiality. I suppose one could make the claim that the bad acting in the autobiographical scenes also reinforces the notion that the film is a construction, but that just seems like an elaborate argument to excuse shittiness. I admire the film in terms of its willingness to experiment and use a variety of techniques, in one scene Godmilow explores the complications of being an artist within a socialist state through a fictional conversation with Fidel Castro. That’s kinda fun. But the main problem with the film is its execution. I’m willing to engage with these ideas and I’m open to an experimental form, but it’s all just so graceless and at times tediously self-conscious. I dig the public access visual aesthetic of the film, but too much of the filmmaking just doesn’t work. In recent years we’ve been treated to some very good films that blur the line between fact and fiction and use actors. But while My Winnipeg and 24 City are engaging and entertaining while also being challenging in terms of form, Far From Poland feels like homework. As film criticism it asks some interesting questions, but as a film it’s pretty unsatisfying. Godmilow is committed to her intellectual assertion that documentary cannot be objective, which is all well and good, but I’m not sure Far From Poland is the best expression of that idea. Hmm, I worry that I’m too heavily emphasizing the negative. I’m too tired to write about what works, just trust me that occasionally there’s stuff that does.

(http://i30.tinypic.com/vobuxt.png) (http://i31.tinypic.com/261owae.png)



Verdict
I get the sense that skjerva cast a really wide net with this bracket so all the experimental and unseen stuff would get inclusion. And I’m glad he did. Far From Poland is far from a home run, but it was an interesting if not entirely successful film. Assignment or not, I probably would have watched at least part of Far From Poland had I stumbled upon it on public TV or something. I’m gonna go predictable rather than iconoclast this time around, Raging Bull moves on. It won’t crack my top 100 of anything, but I really do think it’s an achievement.  Ordinary People better be really good, pix.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 16, 2010, 12:41:30 PM
Awesome verdict, matt tomorrow.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 16, 2010, 12:43:30 PM
...adding that my one problem with Raging Bull (which I think is near great) is that the abusive relationship stuff feels heavy-handed and repetitive after a while.  Otherwise, yeah.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 16, 2010, 12:46:21 PM
...thirdly, it's funny that, in the second round, Raging Bull will be meeting up with the first film you sent through in this bracket (Lost in America).  No contest, huh?

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 16, 2010, 12:51:27 PM
Awesome verdict, matt tomorrow.
Thanks, pix.

...adding that my one problem with Raging Bull (which I think is near great) is that the abusive relationship stuff feels heavy-handed and repetitive after a while.  Otherwise, yeah.
Yeah, that's fair. That crossed my mind once or twice.

...thirdly, it's funny that, in the second round, Raging Bull will be meeting up with the first film you sent through in this bracket (Lost in America).  No contest, huh?
None whatsoever. I've yet to have my Albert Brooks breakthrough.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 16, 2010, 12:52:54 PM
I've yet to have my Albert Brooks breakthrough.

I was going to scream NEMO! until I remembered that his character is probably the one flaw in that movie.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 16, 2010, 05:59:07 PM
NEMO!
Meh. Sorry.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: pixote on July 16, 2010, 06:12:44 PM
NEMO!
Meh. Sorry.

Ah, right.  Sometimes I forget that you're eighty years my senior.

pixote
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 16, 2010, 06:15:10 PM
 :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Emiliana on July 16, 2010, 07:16:05 PM
I've yet to have my Albert Brooks breakthrough.

pix, can matt be randomly assigned Broadcast News vs. whatever in round 2, please? ;)

matt, have you seen that one?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 16, 2010, 07:18:12 PM
matt, have you seen that one?
Yep, he's pretty good in that one, but not as good as Holly Hunter. Although, I was thinking more films that he wrote/directed.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Emiliana on July 16, 2010, 07:30:14 PM
Cool, though he was the heart and soul of that film for me. As for him as a writer/director - I have no opinion.  ;)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 16, 2010, 07:37:44 PM
I've yet to have my Albert Brooks breakthrough.

I'd like to join your not impressed by Brooks cabal.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 17, 2010, 12:09:48 AM
Roger and Me (Michael Moore, 1989)

I’ll probably get yelled at again, but I don’t think it is sufficient to look only at the film’s technical merits when comparing films. Especially with documentaries, I also want to feel they are saying something useful, which brings in the subjective more strongly. I’m certainly not opposed to Moore’s style. Bowling For Columbine is one of my favorite films of all time and I’m also partial to Sicko and to a lesser degree Fahrenheit 9/11. That said, Michael Moore doesn’t understand capitalism.  It isn’t just that I disagree with Moore ideologically with things he said in a film like Capitalism: A Love Story, it is that he is factually inaccurate in many ways.

Sad to say, Roger and Me is a bit more in line with CALS than those other films. His logic works a little like this “people lost their jobs while GM was profitable, ergo GM is being evil.” At least this is what his badgering of Roger Smith implies. But that is not how the global market works. You don’t get to keep people employed just to be nice. GM realized robots can do a lot of people’s job much more effectively and this means people lose their job, but it is good for society. You can’t apply moral constraints such as an obligation not to downsize or automate on only part of a competitive marketplace.

Of course, left out of the discussion is the role of the unions here. The exchange of present day pay for rigid retirement benefits has been the millstone around the neck of American auto manufacturing. Unions have had some role in preventing the kind of health care reform that would remove that competitive disadvantage. All these are reasons that the plight of Flint probably goes beyond the evilness of GM executives. None is mentioned in the least.

Look, there is an interesting story to be told about economic hardship related to these factors (or in the modern Great Recession) but Moore has failed on both accounts to address squarely the issue, focusing on these populist crusades that don’t have much grounding in reality. I’m sure this is very personal to Moore, but it is all a bit unfocused and has no great intellectual impact. He spends a lot of time with Bob Eubanks or Pat Boone or Anita Bryant because they have certain ties to Flint, but no clear tie to the point.

However, the little glimpses of people finding new businesses, whether it is being scammed by Amway or raising rabbits, are relatively interesting and take less of a distinct viewpoint about the situation, which considering the result when Moore does imply a viewpoint, is good. Talking about the rising crime rates and other toll on the town shows that this matters, no matter who or what is to blame. The second half of the film definitely starts to find this more useful tone. But then he gets back up to stunts and they simply don’t work here. The interesting moments are simply too far between.
(http://www.fundaciondoctordepando.com/CARATULAS-JPG/1989/Roger%20&%20Moi%20(Roger%20&%20Me)%20(1989).jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098213/)


(http://www.secession.at/art/images/2001_minh-ha/minh-ha_01.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0089666/)
Naked Spaces: Living Is Round (Trinh T. Minh-ha, 1985)

“Not Descriptive. Not Informative. Not Interesting.” So uttered are among the first words in this loosely narrated film that captures clips of tribal life in West Africa. Apparently the film is self-reviewing so I’m not exactly sure what I’m here for, though of course I kid.

The film very much has the feel of a slightly artier version of a National Geographic video, which is fine to an extent but at 135 minutes it is longer than you would find in such videos. The imagery here is quite captivating. However, mixing between having natural sound, no sound, and somewhat obscure poetic narration was a bit off-putting, reminding me in some sense of the things that drove me crazy with Of Time And The City, yet didn’t really grate on me in the same way.

The filmmaker is described as taking a post-colonial view. This certainly comes out in some statements. One such, in talking about religious view, states that violence only exists within the black culture when something from outside has intervened, which is to say colonial views. This is a profoundly absurd statement. Colonialism is certainly to blame for a lot in Africa, but I don’t think it was peaceful utopia prior to colonial intervention. But these bolder statements are rare, more general statements are much more the norm.

I don’t really have a lot to say about this, it is what it is. Being a sucker for music and dance as I am, the often prominent role of that here certainly made

Verdict: While Roger and Me seems to be manipulating you into a certain perspective that it can’t deliver on, Naked Spaces mostly does a good job sitting back and observing. I may like docs that have a stronger hand, but if you are going to use that hand you need to deliver. Naked Spaces advances. I don’t really anticipate extended success in the bracket though.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 18, 2010, 09:48:52 AM
woo! experimental documentary!

CONTEXT

(http://i31.tinypic.com/33m94zn.jpg)
Star Wars* George Lucas, 1977

I don't really remember when I watched this for the first time, but I'm assuming it was at some point during middle school or high school (on vhs!) I was unimpressed. And I still am. The story's all archetypical nonsense about the young man going on an adventure and... having adventures... huh. Except it's all in space. So, cool, an adventure movie in space with butt-kicking princesses, morally ambiguous mercenaries, robot sidekicks, who doesn't want all of that stuff? I guess it all has the feel of a WB saturday morning cartoon and not a good one. I do get a kick out of all the iconic characters though, but not in a genuine way, more of a "huh, so that's what people get all excited about" way and all the big iconic moments are really just cultural references that I feel I should know for whenever they come up in conversation (not really). I don't like it beyond that.


(http://i26.tinypic.com/2uzdl4l.jpg)
Cat People Jacques Tourneur, 1942

What a strange movie. It's a poem of shadows, of the foreign "other" threatening the apple pie eatin' American couple that is meant to be, of 8 or 9 sets. That's all I have to say. Not really. But, yes. That's all.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 18, 2010, 09:50:15 AM
roujin's 7th verdict: the one where i needlessly annoy you

Cat People vs. The Empire Strikes Back

(http://i27.tinypic.com/2ns4eaa.jpg) (http://i27.tinypic.com/2nltz46.jpg)
Cat People Paul Schrader, 1982

Cat People is all sticky and sweaty in the New Orleans heat. It opens in some African desert magical land where virgins of the village are sacrificed to the leopards. Anyway, Nastassja Kinski moves in with her half brother, Malcolm McDowell, who is incapable of ever looking creepy. He then later goes on to do creepy things. The repressed sexuality of the original Cat People with Simone Simon never been kissed newlywed is updated into Nastassja Kinski's virgin (who has still fooled around and stuff). I'll be upfront about it: Kinski is hot; and Schrader knows this. What else to make of a brilliant shot where Kinski takes off her clothes, gazes back at the camera and invites it to keep following her (sure, it's a POV shot, but... what was my point again?) The original's plot is reshuffled a little bit, but we still get a few of the more classic scenes (the swimming pool scene except now there's nudity!) Anyway, it's a pretty good movie, and Kinski acquits herself admirably, even in the face of some silliness, but it's a silliness that's inherent in the film's story, I guess. The whole movie climaxes for me in a dream sequence where Kinski walks through some train terminal all alone and somehow finds herself in the leopard kingdom and finds herself giving in, or at least being fascinated by, her own repressed nature. Plus, this really awesome Giorgio Moroder song plays throughout, and it's amazing.  Anyway, Ed Begley, Jr. watches soap operas with an orangutan.

(http://i27.tinypic.com/iylqh0.jpg) (http://i26.tinypic.com/351xzlz.jpg)
The Empire Strikes Back Irvin Kershner, 1980

Cat People moves on to the next round. I guess I really don't see what the big deal is? I don't really see what's so special about this film that people all over the world are seeing. But, it doesn't matter. This film will be resurrected anyway. Anyway, this movie is undeniably better than the first one. The increase in budget shows - the special effects are grander, the production design is fantastic, etc. Not only that, the staging of its set pieces is done in surprisingly elegant ways that go a long way toward explaining why this stuff achieved such iconic status (the swamp set with Yoda, the freezing place, Hoth). It's also way funnier. Harrison Ford made me laugh a lot, even though I don't think he does all that much. Anyway, It's a wonderful universe, I just don't like the movie all that much. At this point, if I wanted to get my jedi fix, I would just turn toward the original Knights of the Old Republic. And if I wanted to get an adventure fix, I'd just watch Cowboy Bebop. sari, kill yr idols.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on July 18, 2010, 09:58:11 AM
 :D :D :D

I'm not a Star Wars fan at all, but I do like Empire Strikes Back quite a bit. I haven't seen Cat People, and I wish you'd have written a little more about what makes it good in your eyes.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FLYmeatwad on July 18, 2010, 09:59:39 AM
At this point, if I wanted to get my jedi fix, I would just turn toward the original Knights of the Old Republic.

The video game? If so, you're making me happy.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 18, 2010, 10:44:39 AM
Correct choice, roujin!  :D
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on July 18, 2010, 12:17:14 PM
Why doesn't this board have an emoticon of a face banging it's head into the wall?  I'd post that for the next 1000 posts.

Such a waste of a resurrection.  You're not sending RoTJ home, you're probably sending another great film that's now not going to get that resurrection spot.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 18, 2010, 12:31:25 PM
Such a sad, sad day...
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 18, 2010, 12:35:29 PM
Such a sad, sad day...
I had no idea you were such a Michael Moore fan, Bill.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bill Thompson on July 18, 2010, 12:41:36 PM
Such a sad, sad day...
I had no idea you were such a Michael Moore fan, Bill.

Listen tomorrow man, your wit is not welcome here.  :)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: mañana on July 18, 2010, 12:48:46 PM
 ;)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: smirnoff on July 18, 2010, 01:02:06 PM
Cat People won't make it out of round 2 alive. It looks ridonkulous.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Thor on July 18, 2010, 02:12:59 PM
Cat People won't make it out of round 2 alive. It looks ridonkulous.

Cat People is awesome. Roujin is such a good boy.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on July 18, 2010, 03:43:07 PM
roujin, you are so wrong about this. Empire is a fantastic space action flick with a conclusion that is...

(http://i32.tinypic.com/2l87yhy.jpg)

Wait, what was I saying?
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on July 18, 2010, 04:03:00 PM
Why doesn't this board have an emoticon of a face banging it's head into the wall?  I'd post that for the next 1000 posts.

Such a waste of a resurrection.  You're not sending RoTJ home, you're probably sending another great film that's now not going to get that resurrection spot.

Here you go BlueVoid:

(http://www.msn-names.co.uk/emoticons/wall.gif)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on July 18, 2010, 04:10:35 PM
The Unbelievable Truth

vs.

Diner



The Unbelievable Truth
1989
Hal Hartley

(http://i25.tinypic.com/121wnc7.jpg) (http://i31.tinypic.com/52xifk.jpg)
(http://i26.tinypic.com/120ht6o.jpg) (http://i29.tinypic.com/2rwp34w.jpg)

Sometimes a movie can be a complete mess and yet still be totally enjoyable.  'The Unbelievable Truth' pretty much defines this category of film.  Hal Hartley's debut feature is about Audry(Adrienne Shelly), a gifted high school student who has been rendered apathetic after the realization that everything is pointless since the world is in it's final days due to the atomic bomb.  Convinced that the human race is not responsible enough to hold such a powerful weapon she spends her days waiting for the bombs to start falling in a zombie state of depression.  That is until the day the dark and mysterious Josh(Robert Burke) strolls back into town after a long stint in prison and she falls in love.  The only problem is that he was involved in the deaths of Audry's friend's sister and father.

I have no idea what to make of this film.  I can't slap any one label on it.  On one hand its a comedy, on the other hand its dark and dramatic.  It's terribly acted and the dialog sounds like its being read directly from a script, and yet it somehow all works.   When I first started watching it, I was confused.  It seemed like the quality of a bottom of the barrel straight to video piece of garbage, and yet it just draws you in.  The lines are so stiff and awkward that I had to laugh out loud, and I'm not entirely sure that this was done accidently.  The film also takes you by surprise.  I'm going along laughing at the absurdity then suddenly it switches in an instant and a line really lands, and its meaningful.  To be able to juggle these kind of elements in a film is nothing short of remarkable, and I'm not sure I've seen it done quite like this before.

It had everything I love in a movie.  It has a campy 80's feel, some great lines and some material that actually makes you think. It's not by any stretch of the imagination flawless.  The plot borders on ridiculous and the characters are all entirely one sided caricatures, and yet, its great because of those flaws.  It's not taking itself to seriously, even if it pretends to be.  I'm surprised this hasn't obtained more of a cult following.  It's one of those films that is endlessly re-watchable and quotable.  One of those few films that I'd love to own so that I could pop it in when I'm down and feel better.  I'm not even going to try and explain what makes it so great, it simply works and I had a great time with it.





Diner
1982
Barry Levinson

(http://i31.tinypic.com/2dshklw.jpg) (http://i30.tinypic.com/119p5s1.jpg)
(http://i32.tinypic.com/f5avz8.jpg) (http://i30.tinypic.com/20r1iqs.jpg)

A bunch of guys hanging out.  That's the way it was for the group of friends in highschool, and now in their 20's its still the same.  No matter where life has taken them, or the problems in their personal lives, these group of friends can find safe haven in the Diner, where they instantly get taken back to a less complicated era and can just have a good time.  The film takes place in Baltimore in 1959, as the group of friends gather for one of the guy's wedding. The group as a whole is the star, played by a great ensemble cast early in their careers consisting of Steven Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Tim Daly and Paul Reiser.  There isn't so much a narrative as it is a series of situations that take place leading up to one of the friend's weddings.

In the beginning everyone in the clan seems to only be interested in extending their highschool antics.  Wanting to live the care free, wild, days of their youth for as long as possible.  Meeting at the diner and hanging around their old friends allows them to prolong this.  The Diner almost seems like a support group immaturity.  Life has a habit of catching up, however.  They aren't teenagers anymore, and slowly this fact starts to sink in.  They learn that they don't have to give up having fun, and lose comradery simply because they are maturing.

I had a hard time buying into some of the complete pig-headedness of some of the group.  In general the film paints women in a pretty poor light, and while the film is meant to highlight the maturing of the boys, and eventual respect of women, it never quite got there.  What little narrative there was felt shallow, never quite earning the payoff.  The turnaround from immature boys to mature men happens all too quickly for a feeling of authenticity.  What does work is the banter between the group.  It feels like this group of friends have been hanging around the diner of years.  It's very natural feeling and I'm a sucker for good quick dialog.  The problem is, the film isn't funny enough to be taken too lightly, nor poignant enough to be taken seriously.  I was left being mildly amused, but not really getting much out of it.


Verdict: I had a good time with both films, but it's really not that hard of a choice.  I had a much better time with The Unbelievable Truth and it moves on.  On the plus side for Diner though, is that it has a great cast.  Seeing a young Mickey Rourke is enough reason to check it out.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: tinyholidays on July 18, 2010, 04:22:12 PM
Thanks so much for these reviews, BlueVoid. Your caps of The Unbelievable Truth are gorgeous and very much make me want to see it. And Diner sounds right up my alley too. Sounds like you had a pretty fun pairing!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 18, 2010, 04:56:23 PM
Woo! The Unbelievable Truth!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on July 18, 2010, 10:38:52 PM

Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy (1988)
IMDb: 6.5 (22 votes)

(http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/5420/braddock1.jpg)   (http://img834.imageshack.us/img834/8728/braddock2.jpg)

Lightning Over Braddock is a low-budget hybrid documentary/drama about Braddock, Pennsylvania. The director is Tony Buba, a local who had made several documentaries prior to this. He's an activist concerned with documenting the closing of the steel mills in Western PA during the late 70s and 80s and trying to stop the closings. This film in particular is partly a documentary about Tony Buba himself and his documentaries and partly a story about a fictional film director named Tony Buba (played by Tony Buba) struggling to make documentaries about Braddock. The fictional aspect gives Buba the ability to create amusing and ridiculous vignettes and little stories, like him confessing to a priest his desire to make a Devo-style music video (which we then see). The other main character is Sweet Sal, a hustler whom Buba featured in a documentary and now thinks he's the real star of the show.

I grew up less than two hours from Braddock. This is authentic western Pennsylvania on display, though Buba's not concerned with ethnography. It's the part of WePA that had more recent immigrants than my own, and the culture has retained some Eastern European aspects - but other than that, it could be a story of my home town. There were parts I smiled at and parts I cringed at. (Buba is obviously a born-and-bred local, and his earnest contemplations of how to be politically correct made me laugh and cringe simultaneously.) The film itself is alright (and to see a fellow Pennsylvanian make something edgy and a bit experimental warms my heart), though the whole project feels a bit narcissistic. It'd probably go to my head, too, were Werner Herzog to tell me he liked my film (Sweet Sal in Buba's case) and demand to see more.



Back to the Future (1985)
IMDb: 8.4 (195,274 votes)

(http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/3407/bttf2.jpg)   (http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/3113/bttf1.jpg)

Back to the Future is a classic. I hadn't watched this for a long time, and it was better than I remembered*. The story is well-crafted, fun, and heart-warming. I enjoyed the innocuous but truthful message about carpe diem. The film says something valuable without pretense or airs. It was also stupider than I remembered. The setup of all the parts in the beginning is abrasive and artificial. I also felt that some of the set-pieces and plot devices were very childish, but my biggest problem with BttF is how the weirdness and paradoxes inherent in time-travel were sampled but not examined. The Matrix does the same thing with philosophy of the mind.

Ultimately, though, this is isn't a science-fiction story. Time travel paradoxes are just a plot device to give our protagonist some obstacles to overcome. It's a story about a kid being empowered to change his parents' lives for the better. Imagining the movie you wish was made instead of judging the movie that was actually made is a trap that I find easy to fall into. BttF was neither life-changing nor deeply inspiring for me, but I do see how it could be for certain people. And it's certainly a very fun movie for what it is.



Verdict: I'm not an idiot. Back to the Future advances. But if Lightning Over Braddock sounds like your cup of tea, please do check it out.


*Die Hard is still better, but I now can see that BttF > Ghostbusters.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Mike Shutt on July 18, 2010, 11:02:42 PM
Correct choice

And Die Hard is better
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 18, 2010, 11:06:01 PM
Woo! The Unbelievable Truth!

This movie needs to go deep, deep into this bracket. One of the greatest!

Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: jbissell on July 19, 2010, 12:57:40 AM
Glad to see the Hartley move on. I like Diner but am more interested in The Unbelievable Truth.

As for roujin's verdict, well, it was exactly what I expected from a roujin verdict. I haven't seen Cat People (I only know the Bowie) and I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, but I think Empire is pretty great (my #73). I'll be surprised/disappointed if it doesn't get resurrected.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: michael x on July 19, 2010, 01:19:35 AM
I love The Right Stuff. Resurrection!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 19, 2010, 01:33:13 AM
Trinh's making a run at it here. I would have picked The Right Stuff over my Trinh film, but that wasn't the pairing. So are the twists of fate.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 19, 2010, 11:00:26 AM
WarGames

However, all is forgiven moments later with this harrowing scene. I swear, this is one of the most frightening moments I’ve seen on film. The flashing white and the dulled sound effects give this ghostly feel to the map as we watch the visualization of nuclear bombs wiping out America. I get a few chills just thinking about the scene. 

That scene gave me nightmares as a teenager!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 19, 2010, 11:36:22 AM
Thanks so much for these reviews, BlueVoid. Your caps of The Unbelievable Truth are gorgeous and very much make me want to see it. And Diner sounds right up my alley too. Sounds like you had a pretty fun pairing!

Agree with this comment.  I had the same experience with Trust that you had with The Unbelievable Truth.  Taken a piece at a time none of it works, but as a whole it just manages somehow to win you over!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Bondo on July 19, 2010, 10:29:17 PM
Liquid Sky (Slava Tsukerman, 1982)

So you’ve got this grating synth soundtrack, kind of random mix of visual choices and a pretty pathetic script with lines delivered as if the character was mind-blowing stoned, which I guess seems entirely possible given the film’s drug themes, though really terrible acting seems more likely. The film throws in a lot of drugs, a good amount of sex (well, rape really) and some aliens. The plot only loosely hangs together, adding up to not much…I guess some sort of self-destructive bliss. Still, I had a better time with The Room because it actually had interesting thematic backdrop for its terrible production quality.
(http://www.cyberpunkreview.com/images/liquidsky04.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085852/)


(http://notes-from-offcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/field-of-dreams.jpg)
IMDB link (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0097351/)
Field of Dreams (Phil Alden Robinson, 1989)

This is such a breathtakingly emotional film. Between Ray’s own issue, Terrance Mann, Doc Graham and the Black Sox, there are so many regrets and lost dreams swirling around in the mists of the film’s fantasy. This is such a known quantity that I don’t really feel the need to go on at length. It isn’t something that would make my top-100, but maybe 200 or 250. I just really dig it.

Verdict: Field of Dreams really had it pretty much sewn up from the start. Clearly my favorite film watched so far in the bracket, and my favorite to win its section. A freaky little indie with stilted acting just never really stood a chance.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: ferris on July 19, 2010, 10:31:33 PM
Field of Dreams - a film that breaks just about every rule that I have for what makes a great film, yet it has a solid place in my top 100.  Good verdict (I'm guessing, since I haven't seen liquid sky)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 19, 2010, 11:22:51 PM
Liquid Sky is great.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: BlueVoid on July 19, 2010, 11:33:18 PM
Liquid Sky seems like torture.  Good choice Bondo!
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: roujin on July 19, 2010, 11:34:22 PM
Me And My Rhythmbox - Adrian Sings (Liquid Sky) Danceteria/ The Cavern (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wv0PYG1g_iY#)
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Dave the Necrobumper on July 20, 2010, 06:44:38 AM
Pleased Hal Hartley made it through.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: FLYmeatwad on July 20, 2010, 08:31:41 AM
I should watch Liquid Sky. Field of Dreams is terrible.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
Post by: Beavermoose on July 24, 2010, 01:27:32 AM
Walker VS Full Metal Jacket

Walker
(http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews35/a%20walker%20ed%20harris/walker%20%20PDVD_027.jpg)
It took me about 30 minutes to realize that Walker is actually a comedy. Based on the cover art for the DVD I thought this was going to be a serious western film with Ed Harris as an bad-ass gunslinger, it isn't. The film is a satirical take on the life of William Walker, a American filibuster who invaded Nicaragua and made himself president during the 1850's. I think the strongest part of this film is its very subtle humor, unfortunately I was only able to appreciate it once I realized that the film was meant to be played for laughs. Walker is somewhat of a ridiculous figure and the events that occur are also pretty silly. I think a re-watch with the actual knowledge that the film is a satire might make it much more enjoyable. Good flick, I think it deserves a watch, its fun to see Harris in this kind of role as well.


Full Metal Jacket
(http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews46/full_metal_jacket_blu-ray/large/large_full_metal_jacket_blu-ray1.jpg)
What more needs to be said about this film, the first half is incredible. Lee Ermey is such an incredible asshole, D'Onofrio is great as are the rest of the cast. Kubrick's ominous symmetrical visuals are always a treat to look at. The tension he creates is almost unmatched. I still get chills during the bathroom scene every time. The second half might not as good as the first but I'm still a big fan of it, plus its got Vietnamese hookers.

This film has got to be one of my top 3 war movies of all time. Full Metal Jacket, me love you long time.

Verdict: Full Metal Jacket, Yeah well its Kubrick.
Title: Re: 1980s US Bracket: Verdicts
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