Author Topic: Top 100: oldkid  (Read 34061 times)

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #90 on: January 08, 2019, 06:39:59 PM »
Sorry to Bother You

I had heard little about this before I watched it but something about it had put it on my radar of films to check out. What I knew was that it was about a black telemarketer (Casssius Green) that is advised not to use his normal voice but to use his "white voice" when speaking to potential customers on the phone. Going into this, I thought it was really a satire around race.  But then something different started to happen.

Cassius is working for a typical stereotypical evil corporation that only really cares about the bottom line. His friends and colleagues start organizing a union to demand fair pay and treatment at the same time when Cassius' career starts to take off after his change to his "white voice".  What I really thought was going to be about race soon turned into a slap to capitalism and corporations in a heavy handed way. 

Cassius gets caught between standing and supporting his friends, coworkers and his GF or moving up the corporate ladder in which case he can buy nicer things as well as help his family keep their house. While most of the film seems like propaganda in a way, questions and struggles between the individual and groupthink present some interesting ideas. It all depends on how ethical of a choice the individual is making given the company he works for.

Just when I thought I knew where this was going, it takes a very odd turn and almost changes to a completely different film. While it may even make the messaging more heavy-handed as it removes any of the interesting questions that I was thinking about previously, the nightmarish turn likely saves the film for me. Though I don't think there really is any way to discuss what is going on by this point without moving it to spoilers.

I came out on the positive side of enjoying this by the end, maybe just due to how odd it is.

The film worked for you just like it worked for me.  I think it might be premature to put this on a top 100, but it was a constant surprise to me.  On the one hand, I wish the effects (like lining up “white voice” with the mouths of the actors) were tighter... or better.  But the writing is so smart, the critiques so spot on, the  approach is so fresh that I just kept loving it.  And still do.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #91 on: January 08, 2019, 06:43:42 PM »
Sam, your list is impossible for me to choose for you.  So many of my favorite films, and so many I think you would love.

I’d love to hear your take on The Apostle and on Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring, two very different films on the list of spiritually great cinema.   I think you’d really appreciate The Dead.  If you are just looking for a good time, Kung Fu Hustle or Validation is the ticket.
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #92 on: January 08, 2019, 06:47:11 PM »
The Apostle is the one I feel the most bad about not seeing.

Also, I'm pretty sure I'm the person who linked Walker here when it first came out as a short even though I ended up not caring for it.

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #93 on: January 08, 2019, 10:18:42 PM »
Lucky Number Slevin

I'll be watching something else more in depth. This was just for fun.:)

And it IS fun!  Just a blast of a good time.  Perhaps it made my list because I was so shocked at just how much fun I had with this film.  I think I might watch it again tonight and get back to you about my current impressions. 

I'll be interested to hear about it if you do. Second viewings, or really any subsequent viewings, are always interesting to hear about in the life of a top 100 film. (Yes, you should post your Amadeus review here too! :) I like the idea of a person participating in their own month!)

I like a film that can crack a top 100 in that too-short moment of post-viewing glory when your enthusiasm and good will is at it's highest. Or a film that so exceeds your expectations. It may make for strange company among the films selected in a more sober state of mind, or among more sobering films, but certain film experiences are fleeting by nature and require that near-instant enshrining if they have any hope of making such a list! :)


Sandy

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #94 on: January 11, 2019, 04:57:52 PM »
Late to the party!



I'll be watching,

Sorry to Bother You (convo with Knocked Out Loaded)
Brick (convo with smirnoff)
I'm Not There.

I like the route your top 100 list took, oldkid. Too many I want to see, but these films will be a good start.

Bondo

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #95 on: January 11, 2019, 09:00:10 PM »
Hellzapoppin' (1941)

This is definitely of the brand of films that go for quantity of gags in hopes that a high enough portion hit that it outfunnies the competition. In this case, it is mostly right. I'm not enough of a film historian to know what here is truly novel, but it certainly feels like a heavy influence on Mel Brooks (specifically moments in Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs) and Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The romantic plot seems out of Much Ado About Nothing, but in a slightly annoying way. Like, I get that the early part was setting it up being clever saying "all of them have a romantic plot so this one has to as well" and it drives some of the comedy but it somehow grated more than all the other inanity that came off as charming and innovative.

Anyway, chalk it up as an early discovery for the year. Thanks oldkid!

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #96 on: January 12, 2019, 01:21:39 AM »
Late to the party!



I'll be watching,

Sorry to Bother You (convo with Knocked Out Loaded)
Brick (convo with smirnoff)
I'm Not There.

I like the route your top 100 list took, oldkid. Too many I want to see, but these films will be a good start.

That sounds so great!  I can't wait to hear you folks' discussion!
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

oldkid

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #97 on: January 12, 2019, 01:24:47 AM »
Hellzapoppin' (1941)

This is definitely of the brand of films that go for quantity of gags in hopes that a high enough portion hit that it outfunnies the competition. In this case, it is mostly right. I'm not enough of a film historian to know what here is truly novel, but it certainly feels like a heavy influence on Mel Brooks (specifically moments in Blazing Saddles and Spaceballs) and Mystery Science Theatre 3000. The romantic plot seems out of Much Ado About Nothing, but in a slightly annoying way. Like, I get that the early part was setting it up being clever saying "all of them have a romantic plot so this one has to as well" and it drives some of the comedy but it somehow grated more than all the other inanity that came off as charming and innovative.

Anyway, chalk it up as an early discovery for the year. Thanks oldkid!

Hellzapoppin' is out of control classic cinema.  It feels like Airplane!, just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.  I agree with everything you wrote, the romantic plot is dull, and unnecessary and frankly tossed aside when they couldn't get anything out from it.  I love the disrespect they show every convention.  It is just silly, crazy, fun and more people should see it.  So glad you liked it!
"It's not art unless it has the potential to be a disaster." Bansky

jdc

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #98 on: January 12, 2019, 10:11:37 AM »
Late to the party!



I'll be watching,

Sorry to Bother You (convo with Knocked Out Loaded)


This should be fun
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Teproc

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Re: Top 100: oldkid
« Reply #99 on: January 16, 2019, 02:27:36 PM »
Gosford Park (Robert Altman, 2001)

A fun little huis-clos* murder mystery, though "little" is perhaps not the right word given the cast. Nor does it start off as a murder mystery (the murder only occurs about halfway through), but the whole thing feels so much like an Agatha Christie novel that it might as well be called "Murder in Gosford Park".

For those things to work, you need a great cast (check), confident and dynamic direction (check) and a clever script (check)... but not too clever, which is where I think this film errs a bit. There's a good 20 minutes at the end that's all payoff and reveals, most of which are not particularly surprising or interesting (the class commentary is pretty basic), and the actors do what they can with it, but it all feels a bit superfluous. Despite an obvious hommage with the hunting scene, this isn't La règle du jeu/Rules of the Game, and I think Altman gets that... but Fellowes doesn't. I have similar issues with Downton Abbey, which might as well be called "Gosford Park, the TV Show", with Maggie Smith playing the exact same role there. She's quite funny, as are Michael Gambon and Stephen Fry, andin the end I think their performances are much more in line with the film than, say Clive Owen's or Helen Mirren's. It's not their fault really (well, maybe it is Owen's fault, he makes some strange choices), its just that the film has a bit of identity crisis between the heavy, dramatic commentary and the semi-satirical humour. It's a hard balance to find, admittedly, and it's probably wrong of me to lay it all at Fellowes's feet, since a problem with the tone is often a problem with the direction... but Altman seems more interested in using the space as well as he possibly can, more focused on the environment than the characters, which I think works more with very dynamic performances like Gambon's than more internal ones like Mirren's.

Anyway, I'm making it sound like I don't like it, but I do like it quite a bit, I simply grew slightly weary of it in the last 20 minutes or so.

7/10

* looks like there's no easy way to say this in English (perhaps you all will enlighten me), but this means a piece of fiction set in a closed environment. The Hateful Eight would be an recent example, though the name is taken from a Sartre play (No Exit is the English title).
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