Author Topic: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)  (Read 9805 times)

pixote

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Re: The Ratings Project: Top 100 Most Divisive Films (2013)
« Reply #80 on: August 28, 2013, 05:47:32 PM »

I'm Not There.
Todd Haynes, 2007


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It's more of a cerebral experience than anything and those are the kind of films that I admire more than I genuinely like.

I re-watched it yesterday and I've gone from cautious appreciation to enthusiasm. With that said I can't imagine non-Bobmaniacs getting in to this film. Except maybe film geeks who like to spot the Fellini and Godard references.

I'm not a Bobmaniac (though what I've heard of his I generally like) and I'm not yet geeky enough (I hope to attain geekdom one day) to spot Fellini and Godard references, but I absolutely loved I'm Not There. Partly because the performances are so good, partly because the whole concept of approaching a biopic in this way appeals to my post-modern and/or literary sensibilities.

Haynes steadfastly refuses to engage the question of who Bob Dylan is. Far more interesting (and knowable) is the question of what our idea of Bob Dylan is. ... I was always going to be a sucker for this film, huge Dylan fan that I am, so it's not really a surprise that I'd rate it this highly. There's far too much to it to take in in only one viewing, and there's no 2007 film I look forward to revisiting more again and again.
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 #81 on: August 28, 2013, 06:04:51 PM »

Lost Highway
David Lynch, 1997


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It's David Lynch... His films are crazy and weird and operate on their own dream logic. I don't think that's what makes this film remarkable though. The man can do creepy better than just about anybody else. I kept playing the first Mystery Man scene over and over again and it kept creeping me out so much. I also loved all the noir stuff even though I haven't seen many of those type of films. If nothing else, the film has given me one of my new all-time favorite sequences which not only proves that Lynch can do more than just weird, it proves that he can do pure cinema as the best of them (all while setting up Arquette as an awesome femme fatale). ... It's a trip but it's one well-worth taking.

It's a fascinating, trashy piece of mind-blowing pulp.  And it's hard to think of anyone besides Lynch who could pull something like this off...

There are so many things that I don't understand about this film, and I think Lynch wanted it that way.

Lost Highway ... drew me in from start to finish, and put me on an emotional roller coaster ride. There is such a distinct look and feel to the film, it is a director‘s vision completely realized on film.

The interplay of sound + vision is so unnerving (unlike Eraserhead which is simply shocking) and yet riveting at the same time.  Obviously script and plot take a back seat in these films but there is enough there to propel you thru the madness.

i didn't love the first act as much as most people i guess ... it feels so empty after the credit sequence ... and it's all kind of borderline camp (which seems to interest lynch) ... i kept thinking how much fun mst3k could have with it ... i do prefer lynch when he does like pure mood, though ... pullman disappearing into the blackness, etc ... at times i thought it overly reliant on the music to create the mood ... when he's not doing pure atmosphere, lynch and i don't really seem to gel ...
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 #82 on: August 28, 2013, 06:43:39 PM »

Blowup
Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966


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I have to admit, I don’t know what to think.  Not that I found the movie confusing, just that my reaction to it is very lukewarm.  I found it intriguing, engaging, very well photographed, and unique.  I would even say I liked it.  And yet… I don’t like it a lot.

The enlargement sequence is one of the best process scenes ever; and the ending is sublime. You can hate the other stuff, I suppose, but not that! And not the Yardbirds!

I hate Blow-up.

I should clarify that my hatred of Blow-up might be because I saw it when I was in middle school. I'm thinking it probably went over my head. ... It's a fun film to hate though...

Apart from the two scenes pix mentioned... I don't much care for it either.

Blow Up suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.
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 #83 on: September 03, 2013, 05:13:49 PM »

Across the Universe
Julie Taymor, 2007


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Laughable. Embarrassingly bad. If I had seen this when they were doing the poll for biggest turkeys, well, this would be my choice.

Best when Max is onscreen. Some songs worked, others didn't. When they worked they were above average, but when they didn't, they sucked hard. And Joe Cocker was awesome as a bum/pimp/hippie.

Not terrible, but not great either.  A totally unfocussed mess, but that's never really a negative for me.  I think it needed either better actors or a better story, it might have been great with one of those things.  Instead, the leads are depressingly uncharismatic and the, I think intentionally, generic story isn't interesting enough to carry the weight (ahem) of the songs.  I think the Powerpuff Girls episode "Meet The Beat-Alls" is undoubtedly the superior Beatles-based work.

Fun musical, but proof again that the only people who should do the Beatles' music is the Beatles.

Now that's a kiss.

The narrative felt too haphazard to cater to getting as many Beatles classics in as possible... And in relation to that thought, it was a little too weird for my liking... I liked it at the end of the day, and probably because I am such a huge Beatles fan. Did you notice how Prudence comes in through the bathroom window? I thought it was a nice touch. Little things like that.
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 #84 on: September 03, 2013, 06:14:15 PM »

Kids
Larry Clark, 1995


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...exploitive kiddie porn in lefty art clothing...

Kids is really good.

One of the most impressive things about Kids, for me, is the way it captured the largely monotonous lives of its characters without becoming monotonous itself. ... There are some bad moments (the editing early on between the boys' conversation and the girls' conversation only exacerbates the script's didacticism in that sequence), but for the most part the very subtle direction is really effective at maintaining energy and engagement through these scenes, despite the unpleasantness on display. Also, despite the nature of the characters, I think the film does a really excellent job of capturing the vibrancy of a youthful summer in the city — better than either Raising Victor Vargas or Chop Shop, for example.

I certainly wouldn't call Kids bad filmmaking, in fact I remember a few sequences that were quite impressive. For instance the party scenes in the last act unfolds in a very natural vérité-like style that I really liked. ... I think my main problem with the film is that it has nothing much to say; for me it was little more than indie/art-film does moral panic exploitation film. ... And the ending is so bad. 

It's said Kids is cautionary tale, made to show us the kinds of things young teens end up doing when they have nothing else to do. Okay, what else? The answer is, nothing. This movie could've been made into a short public service announcement and achieved just as much. You know those World's Wildest Police Chase shows, it's the same gimmick here, only this is the perverted teenage version. It's above and beyond what is necessary to make the point, but unlike police chases this isn't fun to watch. And I'm not even sure I believe this movie is meant as a wake up call. I find the lack of moral reckoning is cause for suspicion. It makes me wonder about the director. He seems content to merely observe. It's like he wanted to make a documentary, but since a documentary wouldn't be as graphic he made a movie instead. I find the whole thing a rather dubious accomplishment.
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 #85 on: September 03, 2013, 06:41:04 PM »

Un Chien Andalou
Luis Buñuel, 1929


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Un Chien Andalou is always easy to return to, not just because it’s only 16 minutes long, but it’s also so damn enjoyable.  I love how it practically DEFIES you to interpret it (where do you even begin with a man who steals his woman’s armpit hair and replaces his mouth with it??)… and yet you can’t help but try to attach meanings to the strange, and sometimes contradictory, events unfolding.  And it’s just CINECAST!ing hilarious too.

Meh. ... Does very little for me, unfortunately. I thought I would get a kick out of some pretty cool images untethered to anything but that didn't happen for me unfortunately. Mostly, I was just bored. SARI EVERYONE OMG

Bunuel's first film is on youtube, so I gave it a watch. This one is for the Eraserhead type crowd, which fortunately I consider myself a part of. some really grisly images, including the famous shot involving an eye near the beginning. I just had a cold shiver thinking about it. A "fun" exercise in surrealism.

This is pretentious garbage.
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 #86 on: September 04, 2013, 11:32:23 AM »

Domino
Tony Scott, 2005


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Lays on everything too thick — big explosions, loud soundtrack, shaky zoomy camera, overly “cool” characters with lots of zippy one-liners.  Also, kinda confusing.  But not too bad, Rourke and Knightley are charismatic enough to carry the picture and make it entertaining.  I’m not sure how I feel about the bizarro cameo by Tom Waits.  It was like “oh that’s funny” and then “oh that’s kinda dumb”.

...like having sex with a tornado...

All the different elements kind of harmonize right at the end, and suddenly you're making the jump to light speed.

The nadir of Tony Scott's developing hyper-kinetic style. This wasn't a wild ride like True Romance, it was a headache.
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 #87 on: September 04, 2013, 11:52:07 AM »

Being There
Hal Ashby, 1979


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A clever movie, but not as smart as people seem to think it is. Peter Sellers is great. It's one joke gets a little tiresome after awhile.

While I liked how it started and the overall concept, I didn't quite buy it in the end.  I just didn't think they would all be fooled into thinking he was this brilliant person.  Maybe I shouldn't say fooled, as Peter Seller's character was not trying to do something intentionally, but I don't think they would have all misunderstood him to be some genius that is able to convey a message for the common man.

... the first film that really made me realize how all films communicate, not just the big ones ... I'd seen Peter Sellers do his usual slapstick routine and his multiple personality deal, but this movie was subtle and quiet and funny, but not in a laugh out loud way.  I understood the political satire and the funny sadness that made Chauncey such a great character. ... So I think that it was when I saw this film, two years after Star Wars, that I realized what the power of film was.  Not just an entertainment, but a force that can change minds, and so change lives.

The performance here from Sellers is an interesting, highly mannered one. Yet that manner is so dry that it makes the film a bit aching at times. The film feels hours long under the weight of its overly formal nature. It's an interesting idea that just doesn't pan out.
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 #88 on: September 04, 2013, 01:03:05 PM »

The New World
Terrence Malick, 2005


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So while I've spent a lot of time here complaining about the film's sentimentilzation and idealization in the first act, ultimately, I do like this film a lot - the performances were all so good (even Farrell's), I loved the pacing, and of course, I was rewarded once again by the amazing sensuality and beauty of the cinematography.

Malick shows us the Indians through the eyes of the colonists, and then shows the colonists through the eyes of the Indians.  The trip to England is, for me, the crucial sequence of the whole film.  It crystalizes the idea that the meeting between the two peoples was a dual discovery of two new worlds.  Wes Studi wandering through the geometrically manicured gardens is as full of awe and terror as Colin Ferrell lost in the swamp.  This is a radical decentering of perspective in film, wherein the focus on contact between European and Indian is always the discovery of one by the other and where one side is always demonized (Dances With Wolves).

so what if malick is a tree f—ker.  maybe the guy just like sap on his gonads.

I love everything about this film. Most romantic film ever?

The New World was so dreadfully boring that I've blocked out most memory of it.

Never have I been more disappointed at not seeing a film on the big screen. ... This is one of the finest crafted films ever made, and full of power and emotion.

Editorially, a fascinating work, unfolding in constant ellipses whereby the dialogue of a scene is voiced over its 'establishing' shot(s) and great, complex use is made of the Kuleshov effect. It lends a real sweep to the narrative, a deeply suggestive and elusive sophistication tempered by a childish curiosity and romanticised whimsicality that embodies the duality of explorative science and imperial expansion, the latter being at the intrinsic expense of an alluring foreign people. It's a seductive work that both complicates and problematizes its own subject matter, and builds through ever-shifting perspectives to an extraordinary climactic sequence. Lubezki's cinematography is beautifully naturalistic, his imagery edited together to imbue an associative symbolism; its finest achievement might be the humane authenticity with which it combines two transitional processes: that by which a female holds onto a past romance whilst a more enduring love carries her along with a certain inevitability, and that by which two new worlds clash with a cyclical, to-and-fro tension with one another, their history forever entwined thereafter if determined by the more advanced oppressor.

Obviously I do have some complaints, of which some might have to do with that I watched it "the wrong way". On the other hand I'm not immune against all the beauty and his efforts to make movie poetry. It's a good movie for someone like me who like nature photography and bittersweet love stories.

You know when a movie works? It's when you finish and realize that before watching it, you were functioning half asleep and now never want to go back to that state again.
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 #89 on: September 04, 2013, 02:43:50 PM »

Dead Man
Jim Jarmusch, 1995


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There is much to like about this movie. Sharp, beautiful black and white cinematography; A sound track that really works wonderfully; Bizarre characters that were fun to watch; and a story that befitting any good western. So are you waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well, it's the pacing. It's too slow. I was nearly entranced with the first half, interested in the third quarter, and getting very restless for the last 20 minutes. Ultimately, what does one make of this film? My experience with it paralleled that of the main character, a steadily fading interest for a steadily fading man.

Dead Man is (are you ready for this? it will shake you to your very foundation. if you don't already know what i'm going to say here go back through my voluminous post history and find all of the times i have commented on dead man. it's not a small number. my feelings are well known.) a pretty great film. ... It has one of the best scores for this whole decade (tied with Last of the Mohicans?) and it's pretty to look at, too.

...an intense visceral experience...

Why can't Depp stop making Pirate and Burton movies and make more with Jarmusch?
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.