Author Topic: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)  (Read 9818 times)

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #60 on: August 26, 2013, 12:58:08 PM »

Shrek
Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson, 2001


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

Great lines, great characters, just all around entertaining.

Shrek really isn't interesting or funny...

When it’s not being “irreverent” and crude, it’s loaded with horribly tired gags, vacuous pop culture parodies, and uninspired attempts at fairy tale irony.  However, it wasn’t a total loss.  The animation is quite good for its era, even managing to avoid the “uncanny valley” on the human characters most of the time.  The story, when stripped of the awful sense of humor, is actually rather engaging and charming.  And I truly enjoyed Eddie Murphy’s performance, his delivery of “Look at my eye twitching” even made me laugh out loud.  It made me long for the days when he did funny movies.  But at the end, the movie pissed away any goodwill it had earned with a jokey montage, over a cover of “I’m a Believer” by… CINECAST!ing Smash Mouth.  So painful.  So painful.
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 #61 on: August 26, 2013, 01:19:39 PM »

Braveheart
Mel Gibson, 1995


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

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

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

Honestly, Gibson comes off like a psychopath, reveling in heaps of violence (not even entertaining violence... at least Road Warrior is kinda fun), smugly smirking over his own awesomeness.  Incredibly simplistic, almost childlike view of good guys and bad guys.  From what I've read, it's also extremely inaccurate, but I'm no expert on Scottish history so that didn't matter to me.  It was just exceedingly unpleasant to watch.  Points for competent cinematography, convincing enough period detail, and some lovely views of the countryside.  The rest of it is shit.
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 #62 on: August 26, 2013, 01:48:01 PM »

F—king Amal
Lukas Moodysson, 1998


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

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

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

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

Fortunately, the movie was neither as lurid nor as simple-minded as I feared, and is actually a fairly honest depiction of the pitfalls, confusion and cruelty of adolescence.  The two young actresses at the center of the film are both exceptionally good, and although Moodysson's simple camera style doesn't leave much to discuss, it does lend everything a Cassavetes-like intimacy.  There is a certain predictability to it, however, and the ending seems a little too easy given how generally realistic the rest of it is.  But perhaps it's warranted... for these characters, it's the moment that matters, not the future.  Agnes even tells us as much.  Let them have the moment they've earned, cynicism be damned.
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 #63 on: August 26, 2013, 02:20:47 PM »

Labyrinth
Jim Henson, 1986


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Yup throwing a baby around is awesome! :p

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

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

That's exactly what keeps me coming back. I just look at it and shake my head in disbelief. What imagination.
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 #64 on: August 26, 2013, 02:51:55 PM »

Life Is Beautiful
Roberto Benigni, 1997


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

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

I couldn't sit through it.

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

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

Over the years I’ve watched a lot of Holocaust movies and read many concentration camp novels, but two works stand out among the rest, hitting me harder than anything else. One is Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus I and II. The other is Life is beautiful, the story of the father who makes his son believe that the death camp is an entertaining competition, as a way to protect him from the horrors. For its dark theme it’s strangely uplifting.
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 #65 on: August 26, 2013, 05:22:13 PM »

A. I. Artificial Intelligence
Steven Spielberg, 2001


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

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

Spielberg's masterpiece.

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

A.I. is a movie I keep wanting to go back to, whenever I think of it I go back and forth between really liking it and 'meh'... I need to finally put it to rest.
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 #66 on: August 27, 2013, 12:24:00 PM »

Sleeping Beauty
Clyde Geronimi, 1959


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

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

This was a joy to watch. ... The animation did not stun me ever, except maybe the dark stuff, that was cool. But the story was so strong, as were the characters, that the film was still laid out quite beautifully.
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 #67 on: August 27, 2013, 12:51:35 PM »

Grey Gardens
Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer, 1975


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

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

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

Old senile ladies, constantly bickering, conflicting emotions on my part; am I allowed to laugh at these people, so socially and mentally unsound? There is something sad here, yet nothing about the film is exploitative. The Maysles just sit back and observe, they let the Edie's do the talking. In some ways this is a very fascinating sociological study about isolation and old age.
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 #68 on: August 27, 2013, 01:41:25 PM »

Andrei Rublev
Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966


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

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

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

I fully see the error in my rating, for in no way is this actually an average film. I suppose the term "average" only fits with my experience with the film, as lackluster and uninspiring as I found it. It just feels like something that I have to piece together over time to finally come to fully appreciate. If I muster the courage and patience to watch the film again, and potentially again, I fully expect my appreciation of the art of this film to only grow. I will let you know if I even ever have the nerve.
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 #69 on: August 27, 2013, 02:14:06 PM »

Jurassic Park
Steven Spielberg, 1993


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

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

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

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