Author Topic: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)  (Read 7260 times)

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2013, 06:02:40 PM »

Kind Hearts and Coronets
Robert Hamer, 1949


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

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

Odd and oddly enjoyable.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2013, 11:55:25 AM »

Happy Together
Wong Kar-Wai, 1997


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If I have one standard as to my taste in films it is that plot>character>mood. This film is much more about characters and mood than plot. If I am to like a character driven film, one place it can go wrong is by having characters without redeemable qualities. Sadly, the couple at focus here is constantly bickering, and it is this dependent misery that is the focus of the film. I spend the whole film wondering why they are together and donít have enough reason to get emotional when they break-up (as they do on many occasions).

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

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

For me, when that kind of rendering of emotions and mood works, it really works.  Huge reason as to why I love Happy Together and Friday Night.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2013, 12:43:31 PM »

Rushmore
Wes Anderson, 1998


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Quote from: sdedalus
It's Anderson's best because it isn't nearly as silly as The Life Aquatic or Bottle Rocket, but still has the sense of fun and play that is sorely missing from the depressing The Royal Tenenbaums.

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

Rushmore doesnít hit me like the tonne of bricks it once did, and there are more references to hand jobs than I remembered, but I still do really like it. Itís original, very funny, and quirky before that was such a dirty word. All of Andersonís trademarks are here, albeit presented in a more restrained fashion: a stylized heightened reality, characters centered in the frame and often staring into the camera, slow-motion, terrific selections of and use of music, and so on. But for me, unlike in his last two films, here he gets the balance right and his characters arenít suffocated by his attention to the art direction, soundtrack, and costumes. Rushmore is the last time Anderson made a film that resembles our world.

After this film, I had a big smile on my face, and I think it is because the ending of the film works especially well. I kept thinking about the film for a few days, and a while after that smile had died away a little, I came to the following realisation: If you strip away the quirk, this is THE standard coming-of-age story/high school comedy. Of course I truly enjoyed discovering all the creative Wes Anderson touches that DID make this film more special than the run-off-the-mill high school film, but believe it or not, there was a certain "WOW"-feeling that wasn't there.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2013, 01:13:09 PM »

Demolition Man
Marco Brambilla, 1993


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

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

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

I used to watch this on repeat. Terribly underappreciated satire, and the funniest Stallone has ever been in a film. Wesley Snipes at his most formidable, Sandra Bullock's first crack at being lovely. Denis Leary gets to rant. It's a pretty amazing cast. Even Rob Schneider is used to good effect. The fingerprints of writer Daniel Waters (Heathers, Batman returns) are all over this.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2013, 10:56:06 AM »

The 400 Blows
FranÁois Truffaut, 1959


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

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

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

I thought this was going to be a somewhat gritty tale of a kid on the street. What it actually is, is the tale of a spoiled brat living a ragamuffin fantasy. Sure, he comes from a strained home, but he inspires little sympathy. For most of it I don't see what his big beef is with the world that he rebels against and the stakes are rather reduced, it is only when he's merited a certain amount of karmic punishment that the film arbitrarily piles on the emotional context in which you might grant him some sympathy.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2013, 05:42:22 PM »

My Dinner with Andre
Louis Malle, 1981


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

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

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

It certainly does have moments that piqued my interest and I suppose I admire its unique structure (or maybe I donít admire it as much as Iím cognizant of the fact that others do), but by and large Iím not particularly enthusiastic about the ideas expressed here or how they're presented. Too much of their conversation, for me, seemed obvious. I donít know, maybe obvious isn't the right word. I think Iím trying to say I just donít care. Love that waiter, though.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2013, 06:12:48 PM »

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Peter Jackson, 2003


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

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

The Return of the King by itself is a mess of plotting and pacing, mired in sentimentality and self-importance. ... The effects here hold up far better than in the first installment.  In fact, all of the technical qualities are at their zenith.  The performance by Andy Serkis is really something special.  And the Battle of Pelennor Fields is still the most epic fight scene ever.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2013, 06:54:51 PM »

All Quiet on the Western Front
Lewis Milestone, 1930


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

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

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

This is a movie that takes some brain dividing. The acting is as amateur as it comes with lines delivered like they're being read for the first time, or in the case of the lead, Lew Ayres, the emoting delivery is almost unwatchable, but... BUT, get a load of the action scenes! Can this really be 1930? The intricacies confuse me. How could so much detail be put into the placement of a series of explosions, but the painfully stilted dialogue be overlooked? It truly was like watching two movies spliced together.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2013, 12:01:23 PM »

Touch of Evil
Orson Welles, 1958


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

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

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

But it's so, so funny.
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2013, 12:25:33 PM »

Superbad
Greg Mattola, 2007


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It was amusing, and reasonably genuine, but I probably wouldnít watch it again.  Jonah Hill was the highlight.

Superbad sucks superhard.

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

I could only suffer through 20 minutes of Jonah Hill before I walked out of Superbad...
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.