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Filmspotting Message Boards => Marathons => Topic started by: Corndog on March 12, 2010, 12:09:35 AM

Title: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 12, 2010, 12:09:35 AM
Finally I get to do this. It was supposed to be a direct follow-up, recovery marathon for my Mind Blowing Marathon (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7069.0) back in December, but the timing and resources saw otherwise. So instead I am now doing it as an end of the quarter, recovery marathon. I may not get to it for the next couple of days because I do plan on doing it in a day or two. I hope it does not exceed 48 hours as to ensure the most amount of joy in me at one time. So as a reminder, here is what is on the docket:

My Neighbor Totoro (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7494.msg421549#msg421549)
Toy Story 2 (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7494.msg421808#msg421808)
Amelie (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7494.msg423603#msg423603)
His Girl Friday (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7494.msg424187#msg424187)
Singin' in the Rain (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7494.msg428421#msg428421)

Awards (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7494.msg428444#msg428444)

Hope this long awaited marathon lives up to it, and is completed in a timely, and joy filled manner.

And again, thanks to 'Noke, stevekimes, and ferris.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: oneaprilday on March 12, 2010, 12:11:23 AM
These are all ones you haven't seen?

(Can't wait 'til #4!! :)  )
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on March 12, 2010, 12:20:01 AM
How is this marathon geared? I'm completely lost as to what unifies these films.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 12, 2010, 12:27:02 AM
These are all ones you haven't seen?

(Can't wait 'til #4!! :)  )

yep. Here was the whole list of candidates: Corndog Recovery Marathon Poll (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7027.0)

How is this marathon geared? I'm completely lost as to what unifies these films.

Like I said, it was originally geared to help me recover from my Mind Blowing Marathon back in December, but it didn't work out that way. I still wanted to do it at some point, but in essence what ties the films together is that they are all supposed to generate the most happiness possible. And that is why I will be watching them in close proximity to one another, with no other films in between. I forgot to post the link in the first post, so here is the Mind Blowing Marathon thread (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7069.0).
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: 'Noke on March 12, 2010, 04:18:25 AM
This is going to be amazing.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Emiliana on March 12, 2010, 05:11:40 AM
Make sure to brush up on your superlatives before you start writing these films up! Can't wait!
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on March 12, 2010, 09:52:17 AM
How is this marathon geared? I'm completely lost as to what unifies these films.

Like I said, it was originally geared to help me recover from my Mind Blowing Marathon back in December, but it didn't work out that way. I still wanted to do it at some point, but in essence what ties the films together is that they are all supposed to generate the most happiness possible. And that is why I will be watching them in close proximity to one another, with no other films in between. I forgot to post the link in the first post, so here is the Mind Blowing Marathon thread (http://www.filmspotting.net/boards/index.php?topic=7069.0).
Ahh, that makes sense. I was perhaps taking the title of the marathon a bit too literally.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 15, 2010, 09:22:01 PM
#1.
(http://i40.tinypic.com/1i1tl1.jpg)
My Neighbor Totoro
Written & Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Will Most Likely Contain Spoilers
The long awaited marathon gets its start with the second Miyazaki I have seen. The first I saw was Spirited Away, so I know what I'm getting myself into. I liked Spirited Away, but I think maybe because I had not seen anything quite like it before that I was unsure what to make of it. I probably need to go back to it after I got this one under my belt. But anyway, my previous experience definitely helped me get through and enjoy this as much as I did. I was not shocked to see the creatures and such like I was with Spirited Away. That said, I think this was the perfect film to start this marathon as it was the most "out there", given I was supposed to follow up on my Mind Blowing Marathon with this quite quickly. Alas it has been three and a half months, but finally I am here, and I am already loving it.

My Neighbor Totoro opens with a family moving into a new home in the countryside. There are two little girls and their father (the mother is in the hospital for a reason we never learn). The house looks as though it has not been inhabited for some time, with many soot spirits, which are explained by the ever so gentle and wise Granny, an elderly neighbor who was the caretaker of the house. Also nearby is a giant tree. And let me just say that if I lived there I would climb the CINECAST! out of that tree, anyone else with me? The girls have such great imaginations thanks to the great imagination of Miyazaki. They collectively create the wonder that is Totoro, a giant fur ball of a troll. He is the perfect neighbor, always helping out and being there for the comfort of the girls, Mei and Satsuki. Mei is the first to find him, but Satsuki, and their father, quickly believe her and encourage her vivid imagination. The main conflict in the film comes late, as Mei is concerned that their mother will die soon because of sickness, though it never appears to the audience that she is ever in that bad of a condition. As such, the 4 year old runs off to the hospital, which is a long way away. She gets lost and must be found by her sister and their faithful neighbors. To no amazement, Totoro, and his CatBus, come to the rescue to find the little girl.

In a movie like this, a perfect world is created. There are no bad guys, nothing scary, no real conflict. Even though we see Mei concerned at her mothers health, I never was worried that she might get worse and face fatal sickness. In that case, the only conflict is that this family loves each other too much. And who can blame little Mei for being afraid that her mother might die? Happiness exudes in this film and I found it to be the product of soaring moments and a great score to go along with it.  For instance, I was first sold when the family is bathing for the first time in the house that seems like it may be haunted. The father takes initiative and begins laughing, encouraging his children to laugh and the ghosts will not haunt them. It is a great family scene, but then it cuts to the soot spirits flying away, because they like the new family according to Granny. They fly away into a beautiful night sky with that great theme playing them away. Then we have the awesome tunnel made out of the bushes that Mei follows the mini Totoro down to find the lair that contains the sleeping giant. This first encounter is awesome, seeing the tiny Mei playfully sitting upon the giant, slumbering Totoro. I knew then the creature would be harmless and the friendship would be great. Of course the famous screenshot, which I used at the top, depicts Satsuki offering her fathers umbrella to Totoro as they stand out in the rain, waiting for their father's bus to arrive. Then there is the magic of the acorn seeds. Totoro gives the girls the gift of a few acorns, so they plant them in the yard and watch intently as they fail to grow. Then one night they spy Totoro doing a dance around them to make them grow, they join him, the trees grow huge in seconds and they are whisked away to a night in the sky on what appears to be Totoro's magic draddle. They awake the next morning to see that the trees have finally sprouted, but are not fully grown.

Family is what this is all about and its awesome. The "conflict" comes from concern for their mother, which turns into concern for their daughter/sister. The moment in the bath, the fact that the girls went to greet their father at the bus stop, and Totoro came too. Family also means community and we see that with Granny and Totoro, but also with the young boy neighbor, who Satsuki seems to hold a bit of disdain for, but when the time comes, he lends them his umbrella when they have forgotten theirs. One day, Satsuki is at school and Mei is left with Granny, but she longs to be with her sister, so she ends up spending the day at school with Satusuki, much to Satsuki's dismay, but at the end, all the students enthusiastically say goodbye to Mei, as though they had a great time with her there and would miss her. The girls have great manners too, greeting Granny respectfully and remembering to thank the moving man for helping them in the beginning.

What makes this film so great is the magic in it. Totoro is full of it, yes, but Mei and Satsuki are the true heroes with their great imagination and overall great approach to life. Yes, they are children, but they clearly learned from their father and mother, who also have a great attitude. The father is great at thinking on his feet to explain the littlest of things to the girls to their amazement. Miyasaki is a visionary. After now seeing two of his films, I can say that with confidence. I look forward to more of his magic, but for now I am fully satisfied with the smile he has managed to plant all over my face with this great film.

****

Mind Status: Living with a smile all up on my face.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 15, 2010, 09:28:01 PM
I watched three of them today, but I am going to post one each day to allow for reaction/discussion. But I promise the marathon itself with in actuality be over no later than Wednesday, maybe even by tomorrow, but I doubt that.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Bill Thompson on March 15, 2010, 09:29:00 PM
Great stuff, and so happy you loved this. It really is such a simple picture that effortlessly creates a feeling of contentment in the viewer, at least that's what it did with me. Also, little bit of trivia on the whole non-conflict thing, there is a scene that involves statues, this is when Satsuki is searching for Mei. The statues are actually an old Japanese myth and their presence was meant to signal to every viewer to not worry, Mei is fine, Satsuki will find her, you have nothing to worry about.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: smirnoff on March 15, 2010, 10:50:44 PM
This is the only Miyazaki that hasn't stuck in my memory for some reason. I really would like to revisit it.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: ferris on March 16, 2010, 10:51:48 AM
My Neighbor Totoro
Will Most Likely Contain Spoilers

Ah, then I will wait about two weeks to read this then!
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 16, 2010, 04:50:17 PM
#2.
(http://i41.tinypic.com/2dkn906.jpg)
Toy Story 2
Directed by John Lasseter; Written by Andrew Stanton, Rita Hsiao, Doug Chamberlain & Chris Webb
Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter & Ash Brannon

Will Most Likely Contain Spoilers
I have always asked myself why I had never seen Toy Story 2. I never could come up with a very good answer. I loved Toy Story and pretty much everything else Pixar. And now with Toy Story 3 coming out a week before my birthday this year I knew I really had to get my butt in gear and see it. Luckily it came up for this marathon and gave me an easy excuse to finally get around to it. The characters are all so endearing. I had not seen Toy Story for a long time and had forgotten how great they all are. Now they are all veterans of Andy's room and ready for whatever is thrown their way. The whole gang is back, and they even manage to add a few friends along the way.

What we have here is a caper ladies and gentlemen, pure and simple. The fact that it is a caper with toys that can walk and talk just makes it that much greater. We have Wheezy you see. Wheezy is a squeaky penguin toy, but he has lost his squeak and has been shelved. When Woody nearly loses his arm, he too is shelved, but not for long. When Andy's mom decides to have a yard sale, Wheezy is casually thrown into a bin marked 25 cents. This will not do for the toys. Woody daringly goes on a rescue mission to save Wheezy. He succeeds, but in the process gets himself stolen by a sleazy, greedy, toy collector who owns a poultry themed toy store downtown (he wears a chicken suit in the commercials). Buzz and the gang must then run their own rescue mission to save their buddy Woody. But once captured, Woody meets newcomers Jessie, Bulls-eye and Stinky Pete, who are all part of his "Round Up" making him a valuable collectors item for sleazeball. Woody ends up dealing with the idea of mortality oddly enough. How long will he last with Andy? He will be immortalized and protected if he goes to the buyer in Japan. Woody seriously considers it, and if quite persuaded by the mint condition, never out of the box Stinky Pete. Jessie just does not want to experience heart break again like when Emily, her owner, simply donated her away.

In the end the gang ends up together with a few new friends. But really, this was quite the action, buddy comedy in full toy world. One must save the other as happened in the first. There is great comedy to go all around, and great action too. There is even an iconic shot near the end with Buzz, Woody, Jessie, and Bulls-Eye that is the perfect shot for such a film. What makes it great is the pacing. There is never a dull moment, something is always happening, just like the perfect action thriller. And on top of that you have first rate gags which work on another level because of the fact that we are dealing with toys here. You have the alternate Buzz Lightyear, the arch nemesis Zurg, who appears in a video game and in real life. The barbie dolls are awesome. The musical number to the Beach Boys, the tour guide and the one at the end are all fantastically hilarious.

There is plenty for the adult to chew on too if they look. I noticed at the beginning they used a lot of different sounds from Star Wars in the opening video game segment. The humor can be geared to adults as well, while still not losing the youngsters. But at the core of this film you have a great message. Much like My Neighbor Totoro, family plays a huge role. Maybe not in the same manner, but the toys are a family, and Andy is family. They stick together, risk life and limb, literally, for each other, and they do it all to get back to Andy because they love him, because he loves them. As I said before, we even have Woody contemplating his own mortality. Leave it to Pixar to put in such a deep plot point in an animated kids film.

I may have liked this better than the first one just based on pure adrenaline and characterization. The toys are so funny and so genuine. Again, this takes place in that perfect world of animation and toys where nothing bad happens as everything will be resolved as it should be, but I like those kinds of films because, though I may be a dreamer, I'm not the only one that thinks that some of what is presented in this film is not existent in the world today and in need of more people loving each other, having each others back, and trying to build that perfect world, even if it never comes. I think the next film in the marathon may build on this thought a little bit. In summary: awesome sauce.

****

Mind Status: Life is looking pretty good, even if I'm not a toy.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Bill Thompson on March 16, 2010, 04:55:07 PM
Have you seen the Toy Story 3 trailer, Corndog?
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 16, 2010, 05:01:39 PM
Have you seen the Toy Story 3 trailer, Corndog?

I have and now I am even more interested.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Bill Thompson on March 16, 2010, 05:04:20 PM
Have you seen the Toy Story 3 trailer, Corndog?

I have and now I am even more interested.

Did you see the little tidbit from your first movie in this marathon in the TS3 trailer?
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 16, 2010, 05:05:17 PM
Have you seen the Toy Story 3 trailer, Corndog?

I have and now I am even more interested.

Did you see the little tidbit from your first movie in this marathon in the TS3 trailer?

no...
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: 'Noke on March 16, 2010, 05:07:00 PM
Have you seen the Toy Story 3 trailer, Corndog?

I have and now I am even more interested.

Did you see the little tidbit from your first movie in this marathon in the TS3 trailer?

no...

(http://i49.tinypic.com/977iom.jpg)
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 16, 2010, 05:11:59 PM
Totoro! And that kind of looks like a tiny Winnie the Pooh on there on the left, except he's got a tight 80s afro like Oates from Hall & Oates.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Junior on March 16, 2010, 05:20:01 PM
Isn't TS2 one of the few movies to have 100 on metacritic?
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: ferris on March 16, 2010, 07:27:07 PM
Toy Story 2

...I may have liked this better than the first one just based on pure adrenaline and characterization.......In summary: awesome sauce.

****

Yep you're right!  :)

You didn't mention the best scene in the movie:  Maybe an all-time great scene in the history of film:

(http://i40.tinypic.com/23hmyk1.jpg)
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 20, 2010, 10:24:35 AM
I've done it again. Bad timing for a marathon like this. It's hard to get a good couple of days set aside for this, but I will try to do my write-up on Amelie today and get it up, but being home in Columbus I don't have access to Singin' in the Rain, but I might watch His Girl Friday on Netflix instant and get that one in soon.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: FLYmeatwad on March 20, 2010, 11:02:34 AM
Singin' isn't on Instant anymore? Odd.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 20, 2010, 11:03:12 AM
Singin' isn't on Instant anymore? Odd.

Yea, I just looked it up expecting it to be because I thought I remembered it being there.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on March 20, 2010, 01:52:12 PM
Singin' isn't on Instant anymore? Odd.

Yea, I just looked it up expecting it to be because I thought I remembered it being there.
It was for a good while because I watched it on two occasions. Or at least bits of it.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 21, 2010, 10:29:14 AM
#3.
(http://i40.tinypic.com/12330k7.jpg)
Amelie
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Written by Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Guillaume Laurant

Will Most Likely Contain Spoilers
A most beloved French film that I had yet to explore, Amelie was something of a silent killer. Despite the reputation, I did not know much about it, and when it came time to watch it, I found myself enjoying it about a million times more than I could have ever have hoped. There was such charm with the character and the film itself that I just loved and really connected with.

The story follows the title character of Amelie (Audrey Tautou) and her life as a waitress in Paris. It begins with her as a child, giving specific events and characteristics that helped shape her adult persona, then it moves on to her adulthood, as a twenty something waitress at a café. Her life changes when she finds an old box of childhood goodies in a nook in her apartment. She sets out to return the box to its owner, and when she does she experiences such a thrill that she sets out to improve the lives of those who deserve it, and pester those that do not.

The important story here though is not the stories of those around her, though they are great as well, but rather the story of Amelie.  She seems to be living her life through the thrills of her friends and associates instead of through herself. This stems from her childhood and a stunted social development. She finds Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) picking up discarded photos from one of those photo booths. The progression of their relationship is magnificent. The way that she leads him on and through hoops and ladders in her little sly game to protect her shyness about liking him is so charming.

Like everything in this film, charming rules the day, and I love charming. It is all of the little things that make this so brilliant. How Amelie finds relaxation by skipping stones (and we see her throughout scouting for new stones to throw), how she also finds relaxation through sticking her hand into a bag of rice or beans (something that I too find relaxing), but these are not commonplace things that usually bear mentioning, but they give Amelie such life, a vibrant personality despite her social shyness. I also loved how each character got their due. Although Amelie was the main character, the other employees at her café got storylines, her neighbors and produce men got their storylines. Everybody was involved.

This has quickly shot up my favorite films list because it is just my kind of film. Charming, happy, gorgeous (Bruno Delbonnel as Director of Photography), and just strange enough to make it interesting too. Not to mention how pretty and attractive the character of Amelie is (Audrey is a new crush). In a marathon thus far of otherwise great and spectacular films, this one might have been my favorite to date. Just two more to go: His Girl Friday and Singin’ in the Rain. Here is to hoping the brilliance continues!

****

Mind Status: I am ready to go out, live life and love everyone I see.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on March 21, 2010, 11:30:22 AM
Why do people love this film? I don't get it. Yea, it's charming, but what makes it so great?
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: 'Noke on March 21, 2010, 02:02:37 PM
Corndog, I forgive you for anything you will ever write in the Corndog rates all his music thread. I adore Amelie, it's somewhere in my top 50, and it is utterly charming and amazing and all other superlatives.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: ferris on March 21, 2010, 03:39:50 PM
Great review, Corndog :)

I'm glad you mentioned the skipping stones thing.  I liked that too.  There are a lot nice little touches like that.  I just listened to the Damn Movie Podcast review of this.  If you haven't heard that yet, you might like it. 

I'm kinda between Noke and Sam.  for me this is  really really super nice, but not quite "great".  I anticipate high rewatchability however which might get it to great eventually!
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: smirnoff on March 21, 2010, 04:49:16 PM
Why do people love this film? I don't get it. Yea, it's charming, but what makes it so great?

see sig
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Sam the Cinema Snob on March 21, 2010, 06:26:16 PM
Why do people love this film? I don't get it. Yea, it's charming, but what makes it so great?

see sig
Not the worst, but it's pretty low on my scale.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Melvil on March 21, 2010, 09:52:39 PM
Why do people love this film? I don't get it. Yea, it's charming, but what makes it so great?

see sig

I really love that quote. Harlan should post more.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: smirnoff on March 21, 2010, 10:33:35 PM
Why do people love this film? I don't get it. Yea, it's charming, but what makes it so great?

see sig

I really love that quote. Harlan should post more.

I agree :)
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 22, 2010, 11:36:49 AM
#4.
(http://i41.tinypic.com/30x9ch1.jpg)
His Girl Friday
Directed by Howard Hawks
Written by Charles Lederer

Will Most Likely Contain Spoiler
A change of gears for this marathon, His Girl Friday is not only a much older film than the others thus far, but it is more conventional. Toy Story 2 and My neighbor Totoro were animated, and Amelie was fantastical. This film on the other hand is about two newspaper "men" and their relationship with the story, and with each other. Now I know what screwball comedy means, and I think I like it. The proceedings, while touching on serious and sometimes very plot driven, was a little ridiculous. The acting, the dialogue; there were laughs to be sure.

The story begins with a 15 minute scene where we learn that a newspaper editor's ex-wife is going to remarry and will no longer be working for the Post. From there Walter Burns (Cary Grant), the newspaper editor, tries to win back Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) in only the way a newspaper man could. He uses the story of Earl Williams, a man who shot a police officer, as a backdrop and a reason for keeping Hildy in town to cover it for one more story before she goes off to Albany with her new husband Bruce Baldwin (Ralph Bellamy). When the story falls right into Hildy's lap, she remember how much she loves being a reporter and how much she loves Walter. It is a romantic comedy of the strangest proportions.

There are multiple scenes here that are set up so well and I found it mostly to the credit of Cary Grant. In the first scene I was taken back by his delivery, finding it to be oddly hammy, but then it just hit me, it was perfect. That was his character and the style the film was going for and it ended up be hilarious. For instance, the scene where Walter meets Bruce for the first time. He mistakes an elderly man for Bruce, clearly intentional, and ignores the real Bruce. Then, when trying to find a way of keeping Hildy in town, he calls his office to see how they could stop the train. The person on the other line jokingly says that they could dynamite it and without missing a beat  Grant fires back a hopeful, "Could we?" before realizing they could not. And probably my favorite thing in the whole film, when describing Bruce to a woman to be used to frame him, Walter Burns says that he looks like the movie star Ralph Bellamy! Ralph Bellamy plays Bruce Baldwin!

Cary Grant was clearly the best thing about the film and I found myself waiting for him to get back on screen when he was not, but Rosalind Russell was good too. She had a good sense of humor and played well off of Grant as they had pretty good chemistry. Bellamy played the helpless fiance very well too. Overall I had a lot of fun with this film. I was never blown away, though I did love Cary Grant a lot, but definitely worthy of this marathon and a good addition to the list of films that make me happy. Now it all leads up to this. One more film to go. The ever so beloved Singin' in the Rain!

***1/2

Mind Status: Happy, smiling, laughing, now time to go make beautiful music. And Go Bearcats!
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Junior on March 22, 2010, 11:42:41 AM
The fastest movie in history!
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: THATguy on March 22, 2010, 12:36:21 PM
I think I'm the only person out there who didn't particularly like HGF, and I'm a huge Grant fan. It just never really clicked for me.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: oneaprilday on March 22, 2010, 12:41:53 PM
I think I'm the only person out there who didn't particularly like HGF, and I'm a huge Grant fan. It just never really clicked for me.
No, you're not the only person. And I'm a huge Grant fan, too.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: 'Noke on March 22, 2010, 03:02:34 PM
I enjoyed it. Didn't love it. though was I the only person who was depressed when Russell went back on the newspaper? That's an unhappy ending for me.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 22, 2010, 03:35:21 PM
The fastest movie in history!

Indeed it did go by fast. And I didn't think it was the greatest thing ever either. Don't get me wrong, I really liked it and think it's great, but you'll notice that it is the only one in the marathon so far to not get a perfect ****.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: oneaprilday on March 22, 2010, 03:37:48 PM
I enjoyed it. Didn't love it. though was I the only person who was depressed when Russell went back on the newspaper? That's an unhappy ending for me.
Same - enjoyed it, didn't love it. I think you've hit on part of the reason why I didn't love the movie more. I think it bothered me that Russell was essentially bullied into going back to the paper - or rather, she was taken in hand by a man who knew what she wanted better than she did herself. I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing, 'Noke, but anyway, I think it's the sexual politics of the film that bother me. I try not to be bothered, but I am.

(For me, Bringing up Baby > His Girl Friday. There, the woman knows better than the man about what will make him happy. ;D Though that's not the main reason I love it, of course!)
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 22, 2010, 03:42:47 PM
Walter was kind of pushy and leading Hildy into coming back, but let's not forget that she was swept back up into the thrill of being a reporter with the Earl Williams story once it happened. The gun shots, the bells going off in the distance, they called her attention like she was extremely interested to continue reporting. I see what you're saying about the situation, but I don't think it was all Walter's doing; she had an interest in staying and questions about quitting for Bruce. She just needed that push and challenge to persuade her. imo.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: 'Noke on March 22, 2010, 03:49:39 PM
I enjoyed it. Didn't love it. though was I the only person who was depressed when Russell went back on the newspaper? That's an unhappy ending for me.
Same - enjoyed it, didn't love it. I think you've hit on part of the reason why I didn't love the movie more. I think it bothered me that Russell was essentially bullied into going back to the paper - or rather, she was taken in hand by a man who knew what she wanted better than she did herself. I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing, 'Noke, but anyway, I think it's the sexual politics of the film that bother me. I try not to be bothered, but I am.

(For me, Bringing up Baby > His Girl Friday. There, the woman knows better than the man about what will make him happy. ;D Though that's not the main reason I love it, of course!)

I don't think we're talking about the same thing but I do agree with everything you said. I enjoy watching Grant work, he's fun, but I was rooting for her and Ralph Bellamy to end up together, so I was quite saddened by the end. But, it is true, Grant's editor is domineering and kinda unlovable.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: sdedalus on March 22, 2010, 05:43:41 PM
I enjoyed it. Didn't love it. though was I the only person who was depressed when Russell went back on the newspaper? That's an unhappy ending for me.
Same - enjoyed it, didn't love it. I think you've hit on part of the reason why I didn't love the movie more. I think it bothered me that Russell was essentially bullied into going back to the paper - or rather, she was taken in hand by a man who knew what she wanted better than she did herself. I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing, 'Noke, but anyway, I think it's the sexual politics of the film that bother me. I try not to be bothered, but I am.

I think it's society that wants her to marry Bruce and settle down, not her.  Walter knows how she really feels and encourages her to follow her heart, not what a woman is expected to do.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: roujin on March 22, 2010, 06:06:51 PM
No one can resist Cary Grant.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: mańana on March 22, 2010, 06:11:29 PM
Bringing up Baby > His Girl Friday.
And I thought I knew you.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Junior on March 22, 2010, 06:39:16 PM
The Awful Truth also features Cary Grant stealing a woman away from Ralph Bellamy.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: oneaprilday on March 22, 2010, 08:09:21 PM
For me, Bringing up Baby > His Girl Friday

 8)
flieger's awesomeness confirmed.


I enjoyed it. Didn't love it. though was I the only person who was depressed when Russell went back on the newspaper? That's an unhappy ending for me.
Same - enjoyed it, didn't love it. I think you've hit on part of the reason why I didn't love the movie more. I think it bothered me that Russell was essentially bullied into going back to the paper - or rather, she was taken in hand by a man who knew what she wanted better than she did herself. I'm not sure if we're talking about the same thing, 'Noke, but anyway, I think it's the sexual politics of the film that bother me. I try not to be bothered, but I am.

I think it's society that wants her to marry Bruce and settle down, not her.  Walter knows how she really feels and encourages her to follow her heart, not what a woman is expected to do.
I get that she really was a reporter at heart and settling down with Bruce wasn't "her," so to speak. It just bothered me that it took a man (the suave, irresistable Grant) to help her see her mistake and to help her see what she really wanted. I don't feel strongly enough about it to argue about it too much (I do like the film), but anyway, I just felt the film patronized her. Even if what she ended up doing - not settling down - wasn't what a woman was "supposed to do" so that she was bucking the system in the end, it was still a man who was helping her see she should buck society and not settle down, so the man still seems the person in power still, relative to her life. A man is still telling a woman what it is she really wants, either way, even if the man is right. Does that make any sense?
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: sdedalus on March 23, 2010, 03:32:36 AM
Sure, that makes sense.  I just think the feminist bits outweigh the anti-feminist bits.

The Philadelphia Story, though, much as I love it, I will not defend.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: oneaprilday on March 23, 2010, 10:32:51 AM
Sure, that makes sense.  I just think the feminist bits outweigh the anti-feminist bits.

The Philadelphia Story, though, much as I love it, I will not defend.
Yeah, you're probably right. I should re-watch it.

Funny. I love The Philadelphia Story. Probably has something to do with the fact that it was a film I loved growing up - in the days before I knew what feminism was. :)
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 29, 2010, 03:22:56 PM
#5
(http://i44.tinypic.com/mhczkh.jpg)
Singin' in the Rain
Directed by Stanley Donen
Written by Adolph Green & Betty Comden
Will Most Likely Contain Spoilers
There has not been one single disappointment in this entire marathon, and Gene Kelly and company are no exception. Or maybe they are an exception. An exception in that fact that they act like nobody else in this marathon, talk like no one else, perform like no one else, tell jokes, and most assuredly dance and sing like no one else. Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds are all exceptions. Exceptions to the hum-drum world and the single threat. All of these actors are triple threats and every single one of them make this a great film with everything they do in it. I always says musicals are not really my thing, but I think I used to say that because I had not seen many. After seeing a few and now the ever so famous Singin' in the Rain, I would say that musicals might be my thing. They are just so much fun.

The story is about two silent film stars of the screen, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen). They are a big pair and star together all of the time. The film studio they work for, Monumental Pictures, has fabricated a story that they have moved their on-screen romance to the real world, a concept embraced by Lina, but not by Don. At an after party of one of their premiers, the concept of the "talkie" is presented, only problem is Lina Lamont has a horrible speaking voice, and is a little stupid to boot. While at this party, Don bumps into somebody that helped him escape a mob situation earlier in the film by giving him a lift in her car. What is special about this girl, Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), is that she can sing and dance too, but puts Don's self-esteem into question by proclaiming that silent film stars are not real actors, only stars of the stage are the real actors. In order to compete with the "talkie" boom, Monumental Studios makes the next Lockwood and Lamont film a talkie, but it is horrendous at a pre-screening. Lockwood and longtime buddy Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor) rework the story and make it into a modern musical, with the part of Lina Lamont being dubbed over by the lovely Kathy without Lina knowing about it. The resulting film is 'The Dancing Cavalier' , a major hit. But when Lina is asked to give a speech for the audience and sing a song for them, she is laughed at when the curtain is raised behind her for everyone to see Kathy singing for her. Her career is over, as it should be given her ridiculous behavior and lack of talent. Kathy and Don are the stars now, and their love is just beginning to blossom.

It really is a lovely story, and amazing to think they developed it around the idea of the songs, all of which were written before the rest of the script. Every single musical number was awesome though. The dancing and singing talents of the cast were great. Gene Kelly is the man, plain and simple. The man can do it all and even in his "silent film" acting he was not only great, but hilarious too. I know it is known for the great dance numbers, but the acting and some of the dialogue make this one of the best comedies ever too I think. The opening sequence where Don is talking about how he came to be such a star is really funny. Pretty much everything he says contradicts what we are seeing on screen to be the reality and the stunt sequences are probably the best part of that. But as great as Gene Kelly is, I think my favorite sequence was the "Make 'em Laugh" number by Donald O'Connor. And the sequence with the dialect coach would probably be a second.

The look of the film was great too. Especially the set design, those sets were awesome! I wish I could go walk around on them today, especially the one in the Broadway sequence where it dissolves from the night club to a great big open room with the girl having an extremely long scarf, just awesome. I may have had more fun with this one than with any of the other films in this short marathon. It certainly lived up to the hype and I think letting it settle before doing this write-up made me appreciate it that much more. Will be in serious serious contention when I make my revised Top 100 at some point later this year. It might even climb higher than I expect, especially with a rewatch or two, which are certain to come at this point.

****

Mind Status: I wish this marathon had been what it was supposed to be, back-to-back and so on and so forth, because even now at the end of it I can feel the full effects of each and every one of these films. And after Singin' in the Rain, that is just what I want to do, because singing is great, rain is great, and life in general is great!
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: pixote on March 29, 2010, 03:27:42 PM
Heh, the one film that didn't earn four stars is the one that's far and away my favorite.  Oh well, at least one of us is dancing in the clouds.  ;)

pixote
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Melvil on March 29, 2010, 03:34:56 PM
So glad you loved Singin' in the Rain. I was totally surprised by it as well, it's an amazingly fun and uplifting movie.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: 'Noke on March 29, 2010, 03:38:19 PM
So many great movies being review today. I completely agree corndog. Great review.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: ses on March 29, 2010, 03:39:53 PM
Great review Corndog, it's my dad's favorite movie.  I have seen it so many times, and I never get tired of it.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 29, 2010, 03:46:48 PM
So I finally finished it, so it's time to hand out some awards too.

Fun Facts
Total Run Time: 8 Hours, 15 Minutes
Time between 1st minute and last minute: 8 Days, 3 Hours
Times Cheated: 4 (Boondock Saints II, Tarzan, Dinosaur, How to Train Your Dragon) [none of which killed the mood]

Awards:

Best Picture:
1. Amelie
2. Singin' in the Rain
3. Toy Story 2
4. My Neighbor Totoro
5. His Girl Friday

Best Actor:
Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood in Singin' in the Rain

Best Actress:
Audrey Tautou as Amelie Poulain in Amelie

Best Supporting Actor:
Donald O'Connor as Cosmo Brown in Singin' in the Rain

Best Supporting Actress:
Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden in Singin' in the Rain

Happiest Film:
My Neighbor Totoro

Most Fun:
Toy Story 2

Favorite Character:
Amelie

Favorite Moment:
Totoro at the bus stop
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: smirnoff on March 29, 2010, 04:37:53 PM
Favorite Moment:
Totoro at the bus stop

:) Right on!
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: ferris on March 29, 2010, 05:04:55 PM
Fun marathon!  Can't wait to see Totoro in a week or so.  I can't argue with any of your other picks
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: FLYmeatwad on March 29, 2010, 06:24:07 PM
Ugh, C Dub, you let me down.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 29, 2010, 08:05:01 PM
Ugh, C Dub, you let me down.

in what way?
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Junior on March 29, 2010, 08:08:04 PM
Probably because you hated HGF. Which means you have no soul or somesuch.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Corndog on March 29, 2010, 08:14:09 PM
Probably because you hated HGF. Which means you have no soul or somesuch.

when was the last time ***1/2 out of **** ever = hated?
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: FLYmeatwad on March 29, 2010, 09:27:54 PM
Ugh, C Dub, you let me down.

in what way?

Singin' in the Plain ain't that great.
Title: Re: Corndog Is Dancing in the Clouds Marathon
Post by: Junior on March 29, 2010, 11:15:03 PM
Probably because you hated HGF. Which means you have no soul or somesuch.

when was the last time ***1/2 out of **** ever = hated?

Since the beginning of time!