Author Topic: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)  (Read 20847 times)

Sandy

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #430 on: September 05, 2017, 03:51:32 PM »
Thanks for answering the questions, Bondo! :) Great and intriguing answers! I'd like to ask about many of them, but wonder if I chose a handful, you'd be willing to elaborate on them.

Back in the country after 10 days (more about that to come elsewhere as I get my life back in order)

But first, looking forward to hearing about your trip!

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Are you dating anyone? Maybe?!?

?!?

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We don't understand anything about women. They act strange, the little I know of them. Don't they? They are perfect and divine...perfect and divine puzzles.

This is a very good answer. :)

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My Rooster Prick Poem

Just one rooster prick
Now a prisoner for life
Drawn back to the pain

Is there a story beyond these words? (I'm happy you took the rooster prick poem challenge!)

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Do you consider the book to be autobiographical? Which book, but yeah.

It was Jesse's book that he was promoting.

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Did you ever keep a journal when you were a kid? I think I had a month or so.

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First love, do you even remember who it was? Yes. I reckon I do.

Care to share?
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pixote

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #431 on: September 05, 2017, 04:16:35 PM »
I was able to find all your songs but this one. Is it something you wrote yourself?

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You've been riding down the road, chasing nighttime, but you know, no matter how fast you go, I'll be grown up when you come home.

Ha, when I posted that and saw that the lyrics didn't come up in a Google search, I thought to myself, "This will be an interesting test for Sandy!" :)

It's from the song "I'll Be All Grown Up" by Chad King.

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I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Sandy

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #432 on: September 05, 2017, 10:36:40 PM »
Thanks! :D

Added to the list.


edit: Can't find it on Spotify or youtube. Some time in the future perhaps!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 10:40:42 PM by Sandy »
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pixote

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #433 on: September 06, 2017, 02:55:19 AM »
Don't get offended if I seem absent minded. Just keep telling me facts and keep making me smile.

Golly gee, you folks watched a lot of films in August. If we attack the 1990s Far East Bracket with the same vigor in the coming weeks, we should be able to crown a champion by Christmas. (Final fourth round verdict and resurrections are imminent, sources say.) It's a shame that Fong sai yuk is no longer part of that bracket, but I'm so glad you caught up with it anyway, PeacefulAnarchy. That was one of the best unexpected surprises of the month — both the fact that someone watched it (I half forgot that it was on my list) and the fact that you liked it exactly as much as I did on first viewing. Like you, I'm not particularly drawn to the kung fu comedies of this period, but Fong sai yuk proved a super pleasant exception, both in its humor and action. I will lobby very hard for Josephine Siao in the 1993 Retrospots; she really made the film for me. Fong sai yuk 2, despite bring more ordinary and slight, is still a cut above average and well worth your time.

[Instrumental]

Speaking of the Retrospots, I'll be very happy in this past month gives San Pietro a better shot at a Best Short Film award, thanks to watches by Bondo and MartinTeller, (I still won't hold my breath for an Editing nomination.) I love that you both seemed a bit befuddled as to the film's message. Bondo: "The only thing I ponder is whether this film effort was intended to capture heroism and promote the war cause or simply to capture, because I didn't feel very rah rah." MartinTeller: "I don't know what message Huston is trying to get across, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here and assume he's not just shooting for jingoistic propaganda." That to me speaks to the film's greatness. I mean, think about it: this is a film made for the War Department, and it leaves you unsure how to feel about what you just watched — unsure, too, about war in general and this war in particular. I know that someone famous once said that every war film is inherently anti-war (or was it the other way around), but I'd argue that there's much more nuance in Huston's film than just that. One question for Bondo, though: Is it possible that the "middling film quality" is more a comment on whatever transfer you watched rather than the film itself? I remember the quality being far superior to middling.

I've done the math enough to know the dangers of our second guessing ...

The other Retrospot screening from my list didn't go as well, of course, with The Way to the Stars seemingly living up to all of 1SO's dreaded expectations for an Anthony Asquith film. I'm already bracing myself to be annoyed for when you get to the 198th director in your current marathon and declare Two Living, One Dead to be essential. (Did you skip the original director's thread, by the way?) It worries me (both for myself and others) when our preconceptions too neatly match our perceptions, leaving us to wonder how much the former dictated the latter. It's generally impossible to say, of course. Anyway, I'll be revisiting The Way to the Stars in the coming weeks (or months) for the Retrospots and, assuming the film hasn't fallen too sharply in my eyes, will do my best at the time to respond more directly to your review and celebrate the greatness I see in the movie.

And if there is something else beyond, he isn't scared because it's bound to be less boring than today, bound to be less boring than tomorrow.

Dammit, Junior, you were supposed to love Forbidden Planet more than that. I mean, sure, it's not Stalker, but it's still so good. Don't think I don't know that your B+ is a C- without the curve. This again, though, is where I'd argue for the importance of the theater experience. The best tv can't replicate that. Maybe I can get a grant and make a study out of this. I'll get hundreds of study participants of all ages and have them watch grand spectacle movies from various decades — Forbidden Planet, Poseidon Adventure, Jurassic Park, etc. — that they haven't seen before; but different groups will watch the films on different platforms. Some in the theater, some on a good tv, some on a computer, and some of a tablet (but with really good headphones!), and then there will be a bunch of trend analysis and somehow it'll help boost theater attendance to Depression-era levels. Watching at home, could you appreciate how amazing Anne Francis' entrance is? I wonder. Anyway, I'm surprised you made it through your write-up without referencing Shakespeare.

I never held emotion in the palm of my hand or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree. But now you're here.

DarkeningHumour, I know a 7.5 rating is nothing to scoff off, but I would have predicted To Have and Have Not to be even more of a success with you than that. I'm not even sure why that is; it's not like I have a great handle on your tastes. Maybe I just think the movie has universal appeal, lol. But, yeah, hooray for that dialogue and the delivery thereof. It's hard to watch the movie and still call people by their real names after. I guess I like the story a little more than you. How do you think it compares to Casablanca? I would totally watch Bogart and Bacall's Before Sunrise.

Why you wanna fly, blackbird? You ain't ever gonna fly.

Similarly, Teproc, I thought you'd slightly more of a fan of Dial M for Murder. I mean, the characters are all speaking their natural languages! What more could you ask for? I'm in the middle of a Hitchcock marathon (about to start the 1930s, so 'middle' is an overstatement), and I'll be curious to see how Dial M holds up for me when I watch it at home on Blu-Ray and not in theater in 3D. Hopefully it's just as good. I feel a little like we watched different films because I can't relate much at all to what you wrote; but at least we agree there's a lot of fun to be had. I will add yet again that John Williams is a wonder.

Nothing much to say I guess. You're just the same as all the rest, been tryin' to throw your arms around the world.

It made me smile to see you reference Le trou in your review of Rififi, chardy999, because the former is a movie I just finally caught up with last month (and added to my Top 100), with its reminding me of Rififi (and A Man Escaped). I've seen Rififi twice now, and I shared your same trepidation going into it even on the second viewing. And yet on both occasions the film quickly reeled me in and made me forget my doubts. It sounds like I'm now due for a third viewing, as I can't remember the eponymous song offhand. Perhaps I should follow through on my idea of doing a marathon of French crime films.

They never taught us how to breathe. We learned to listen for the wind outside.

One of my favorite parts of last month was having Bondo and oldkid each crush on a different Marius — Raphaël Personnaz and Pierre Fresnay, respectively. I'll be anxiously waiting to hear what you think of the rest of the trilogy, oldkid. Perhaps you can then be a guinea pig for me and watched the version Bondo watched and let me know how it compares. I'm surprised you made it through your review without mentioning Raimu, who I thought was everything (well, him and the creaking ships). As I've said elsewhere, I think most people like the films in the trilogy in the opposite order that I do, so you likely have even better experiences ahead.

He sang, "Break it up! Oh, I don't understand. Break it up! I can't comprehend."

My Neighbor Totoro deserves some special forum award. I'm not sure either any film has been more 'discovered' here. I watched it originally for this same club (and my year-by-year marathon for 1988; and because it was playing at the local theater), and now got to pay it forward to Dave the Necrobumper, who deserves an award himself for being the first person in the history of the world to compare Totoro to Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring. I love that. Points, too, for using the word "delightful" because any review of Totoro that doesn't is incomplete.

Your true self has become weak and alone and annoying. And a true, ridiculous dumbass.

ses, I'm still mad at you for liking Ordinary People. Screw you, you jerk! It's another movie that I like so much that I got chills from reading your review ("I mean, how wonderfully cast is Mary Tyler Moore?") and picturing the film. And I'm extra grateful for the personal context you provided, Scout. That gave me feels and then made me smile. I liked the film well enough the first time I saw it, but it's gotten better with every viewing. It's not without flaws, but I find them so negligible. It's one of those movies that makes me wish I could meet the characters and just talk to them and maybe help them out. That's a rare thing for me. And I can longer look at autumnal leaves without picturing this film and hearing Pachebel's Canon.

Here I stand, sad and free. I can't cry, and I can't see what I've done— oh God, what have I done?

Jeff Schroeck, I'm extra grateful that you found time to watch one of these films last month and extra relieved that you liked it. That's some nice analysis about the opening scene and the tone it sets for Breaker Morant. It's a film I'd really like to study closely some day, I think (perhaps after reading whatever the great book is about the Boer War). It'd be interesting, too, to draw all the connections between Paths of Glory, 12 Angry Men, Breaker Morant, and A Few Good Men. (I need to remember to encourage smirnoff to watch this one the next time my month rolls around.) And maybe I'll some day get around to reading Scapegoats of the Empire, the amazingly titled book (written by Lewis Fitz-Gerald's character) which was adapted as a play which was in turn adapted as this film.

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain, with the world turning circles running 'round my brain ...

Teproc, a thousand times yes to everything you wrote about Matti Bye's score for The Phantom Carriage — including the implicit questions about authenticity when it comes to silent films. The Phantom Carriage is a film I'm very nervous to revisit. I just have this vague sense that I watched it on the perfect day, in just the right frame of mind to fall in love with it. I'm sure I'll still like it no matter what, but will it still seem a masterpiece? I'm not sure. (I have no similar qualms about Matti Bye's score.) I think I might make it a point to watch the film on mute but with some random Béla Bartók music in the background and see how it plays then. I don't remember sharing the same reaction expressed in your spoiler text, so I'll be curious how I respond to that in a subsequent viewing as well.

This song is the cross that I bear. Bear with me, bear with me, bear with me, be with me tonight.

I agree with everything PeacefulAnarchy writes about Three Days of the Condor, right down to the grade. I especially love this: "It's a film of moments and character, and the connective tissue doesn't have to be perfect, just coherent and reasonable enough to make it all come together which it totally does." Yes, yes, yes. Moments and character. That's it exactly. It sound so simple and yet seems so rare. I'm not sure how this film isn't playing on a double-bill with Day of the Jackal at least once a year in every major city. I'm as glad as you are that you finally watched this one!

We've been out drinking and many times we've shared our thoughts, but did you ever, ever notice the kind of thoughts I got?

I agree, Sandy, that the idea of forgetting a first love is a bit silly — but with the caveat that it can be hard, at a distance, to remember what was really love or might have been love or could have been love — discerning, at a remove, between puppy love and 'true' love (it seemed true at the time, anyway). I remember my first love but the reverse is not necessarily true, alas. And I have seen On the Waterfront, but not recently enough to make me comfortable. I look forward to reevaluating it in the not-too-distant future. I go back and forth on the question of whether you can really change anyone. Maybe it is all a waste of time. I'm not even convinced we can change ourselves (set points, failure to evolve, etc. etc.). It's funny how all these various questions so often have the same answer; perhaps there's a metaphor in that. As for my parents, but only my mom is still together, theoretically waiting to hear what you thought of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Dad is not together, having fallen to pieces. How about Jesse and Celine? Do we root for them to find a way to stay together? Do they belong together? Is there even such a thing? I'm still not even sure about the fact that Before Midnight denies us the chance to love this couple and romanticize their relationship. I get enough real life from real life. But, ugh, it's still so well done, dammit.

You're just jealous cause we're young and in love, you're just jealous cause we're young and in love, you're just jealous cause we're young and in love, you're just jealous cause we're young and in love, you're just jealous cause we're young and in love ...

I've never seen Adam Sandler's Mr. Deeds, Bondo, but I'm much more likely to watch Daniel Auteuil's Fanny. Capra's film definitely lacks bite (especially compared to It's a Wonderful Life), but I've never really looked to it for that. For me it's always just been a fairy tale, one I first enjoyed as a child. Deeds, to me, is the classic fantasy hero, plucked, like Harry Potter, from the ordinary world (muggles/country-folk) and given extraordinary power (magic/money) but beset by evil, et cetera. And ultimately the real power comes from within (love/humanity/decency). The film is my Sleeping Beauty, really. And as much as I like Jimmy Stewart, I don't miss him here at all. Gary Cooper is perfect.

I offer'd her my hand. She took me by the arm. I knew that very instant she meant to do me harm.

DarkeningHumour, your initial experience with The Deer Hunter matches mine exactly. I'd go so far to say that I didn't like it, but it was so ... interesting. And I had to revisit it, once and then twice, and now it's in my Top 100. And I'm still not sure it's place there is safe, because it remains a movie that's ... interesting. And certainly flawed. But impressively so. I'd be curious to poll screenwriting teachers on the structure, though. I don't think it'd pass muster with most of them, not with the acts being as distinct as they are (especially the opening one). Also, I think my favorite thing about The Deer Hunter is that if you went back in time and told fans of it in 1978 that its director's next movie was going to be a notorious failure but also highly regarded and that he'd flame out shortly after that, they'd be like, "Yeah, that makes complete sense."

The room was humming harder as the ceiling flew away. When we called out for another drink, the waiter brought a tray.

MartinTeller, I'm not convinced Ask Me, Don't Tell Me is Top 100 material either, lol, but out of the last 1,500 films I watched, it was definitely one of the Top 80 best experiences. Granted, it had the advantage with me of being a film I went into know zero about and expecting absolutely nothing. If I'd watched it expecting a "Top 100" film, I think the gap between those expectations and the film itself might have perplexed me as well. I wanted to revisit it before responding to your review, but I'm too reluctant to for fear that the pressure of justify my initial reaction will be akin to Phil's trying to recreate magic in the snow with Rita in Groundhog Day. Give me a month or two and I'll try to get back to you.

The anonymous author of days will pass by you like a stranger in the waves, but he is secretly impressed at your failure to try.

Well, damn, that was intense. Thanks to everyone for watching these films and writing about them. I really appreciate it, and I regret not responding in more timely fashion. It would have been great to have more of a conversation about these movies. Extra thanks to anyone who even made half an effort to skim this overly long post. I'm awful, but I mean well.

If there's anything I can say to help you find your way, touch your soul, make it whole, the same for you and I.

pixote
« Last Edit: September 06, 2017, 04:17:00 AM by pixote »
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.

Bondo

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #434 on: September 06, 2017, 05:49:15 AM »
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I've never seen Adam Sandler's Mr. Deeds, Bondo, but I'm much more likely to watch Daniel Auteuil's Fanny.

This would be the correct decision. "It was okay" as filtered through the fog of time is hardly the equal of a modern declaration of love.

As to San Pietro, it is entirely possible I watched a bad transfer (on Netflix), though my calling it middling wasn't meant as a negative so much as acknowledging limitations of shooting in an active war zone, especially in the 1940s.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #435 on: September 06, 2017, 05:56:24 AM »
Oh no you don't. Don't you go anywhere, Mister. I warned you I was not quite through with you. Now, I did not finish Johnny Guitar (sorry not sorry) but I am still throwing one more review your way.

The Last of the Mohicans
Michael Mann (1992)


Watching The Last of the Mohicans is like watching a movie about a marathon - I could swear the characters spend 80% of the time running. Every once in a while they stop to rest and to late Major Fartface be obnoxious. From the title I would have assumed the movie would spend much more of its time reflecting on the condition of the Native American circa 1755 (or whatever the real date is) and teaching us about his way of life. Nope. Running, that's what it's all about. Horizontal progression, physical exertion and the stuff of good drama.

The film is a fine action movie but not one I will ever love I wager. I really don't know enough about any of the characters to care about them - although I do know enough not to care about Fartface. Daniel Day-Lewis, an unlikely lead in such a movie, is a mystery beyond his by the book backstory and I have a vague feeling he likes that one lass. Everyone else I might as well create them a character profile with dice, D&D style, given how much information I ever learn about them. That Mohawk is DDL's brother, right?

I rarely by romances about two people who just met, and this movie is no exception, especially since there is not a single reason given as to why they would be attracted to each other - and that's a problem, because love is the motivation for half of the movie. Story-wise, I am also annoyed at the facile demonization of the enemy, who can never indeed be a gallant adversary, but must always, in Hollywood fare, be made into the scum of the earth. Of course he betrayed them, he's the bad guy - and also French.

The Last of the Mohicans is adequate entertainment that never breaks through that level of general competency. There are no bravura moments, no strokes of genius, the writing never shines. It was somewhat fun for two hours and I suspect a rewatch would bore me.

I think I am being more negative than I mean to be, but I can find little positive to say. I do love historical reconstitutions, and this was a surprisingly large scale effort. We need more movies like this, that take chances, that remember the past extends beyond the XXth century, that build fortresses, sew costumes and talk about peoples, events and times we never talk about.

7/10

That concludes pixote's month for me. Well, I still need to answer his posts, but the reviews are over. Sorry KOL, for stepping on your toes. I will try to make my second review a positive one.

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I've never seen Adam Sandler's Mr. Deeds, Bondo, but I'm much more likely to watch Daniel Auteuil's Fanny.

This would be the correct decision. "It was okay" as filtered through the fog of time is hardly the equal of a modern declaration of love.

The Sandler version is an awful distillation of that man's brand of what he insists is humour, and I believe to be the byproduct of childhood brain injuries.
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chardy999

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #436 on: September 06, 2017, 06:07:10 AM »
It made me smile to see you reference Le trou in your review of Rififi, chardy999, because the former is a movie I just finally caught up with last month (and added to my Top 100), with its reminding me of Rififi (and A Man Escaped). I've seen Rififi twice now, and I shared your same trepidation going into it even on the second viewing. And yet on both occasions the film quickly reeled me in and made me forget my doubts. It sounds like I'm now due for a third viewing, as I can't remember the eponymous song offhand. Perhaps I should follow through on my idea of doing a marathon of French crime films.

I could certainly get behind some French crime films. I've enjoyed the three Clouzot I've seen par exemple.

And the song is so freaking good!
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #437 on: September 06, 2017, 06:14:57 AM »
I never held emotion in the palm of my hand or felt sweet breezes in the top of a tree. But now you're here.

DarkeningHumour, I know a 7.5 rating is nothing to scoff off, but I would have predicted To Have and Have Not to be even more of a success with you than that. I'm not even sure why that is; it's not like I have a great handle on your tastes. Maybe I just think the movie has universal appeal, lol. But, yeah, hooray for that dialogue and the delivery thereof. It's hard to watch the movie and still call people by their real names after. I guess I like the story a little more than you. How do you think it compares to Casablanca? I would totally watch Bogart and Bacall's Before Sunrise.

pixote

Let's get one thing straight: THAHN does not hold a candle to Casablanca. THAHN has some great moments and is overall quite good, but Casablanca is the best movie of all time, bar maybe nine others.

I would say their dialogue is on the same level when Bogart is talking to Bergman/Bacall. The reason Casablanca is superior is that it is still great when Bergman leaves the screen. Bogart is always at the top of his game and there are plenty of other characters that keep the film going. Claude Rains is a treasure, in one of his best performances. The plot is also much tighter. Every thing that happens in the film is leading to the same point and there is very little fat to trim. The discussions are getting us there whereas in THAHN the best scenes have nothing to do with the plot and could go on forever. In fact, I wish they would. The plot of that movie is a pretext, a reason to have these people meet and interact. Casablanca concludes with the disheartening resolution of a quandary. In the other one the main characters merely leave because they can.

Bogart and Bacall are the anti-Jesse and Céline. The latter are star eyed ingenues with pretensions of intellectualism without the cultural baggage to back them up. They blurt out platitudes like they are epiphanies and are not self aware enough to realise it. They are so desperate for love and connection they will seize any opportunity to grab onto it. Bogart and Bacall could spend an evening mocking them and not run out of material. They are too hard skinned and cynical to talk about love. They do not look for it, they chance upon it. Their conversations are not about the reality of emotions or the unbearable lightness of being ; they quip, gibe and poke. They are grown ups in a grown up world and they don't have a pinky's worth of passive-aggressiveness between the two of them. Bless them for that.
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Jeff Schroeck

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #438 on: September 06, 2017, 05:55:03 PM »
Rashomon (Akira Kurasawa, 1950)

From the 30 pages of Charles C. Mann's "1491" that I read, the one major idea that has stuck with me is that instead of the settlers and later Euro-centric historians trying to play down the genocidal violence committed against the native people, like a military officer trying to deny their own war crimes, the Europeans were more interested in taking credit for the slaughter. Natural records show that disease wiped out most of the population before Columbus, and later the Puritans, showed up, but the settlers preferred the narrative in which they were the mighty agents of change, swooping in like brave warriors to capture the land instead of simply finding an empty lot and leisurely taking a seat.

I thought of this as I watched all three main subjects of the story each take credit for the murder in their own version of the story. Three people in a place where everybody is carrying one or more weapons and honor is a highly regarded state of being, it's no wonder they each wish to be the agent of change in their own story. I didn't expect the stories to shift in those ways.

I could do without that crazy laugh though - especially so much of it throughout the first two-thirds of the film. As a shortcut to siding with anybody but The Bandit it was an absolute success, but after a time it began to make the film itself somewhat repellent. The big comic-theatre gestures were a turnoff, too, though I'd say that's more on me for not having much exposure to or appreciation of that kind of art.

3/5

pixote

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Re: The Top 100 Club (Episode III)
« Reply #439 on: September 06, 2017, 06:42:29 PM »
The Last of the Mohicans is adequate entertainment that never breaks through that level of general competency. There are no bravura moments, no strokes of genius, the writing never shines. It was somewhat fun for two hours and I suspect a rewatch would bore me.

Ooh, forum challenge: Can anyone name a bravura moment in The Last of the Mohicans?

pixote
I think I'd love how awkward it'd be, or how awkward it should be.