Author Topic: Top 100 Club: Sandy  (Read 4202 times)

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #120 on: February 10, 2019, 04:49:18 AM »
Becoming Jane (2007 Julian Jarrold)

I wonder at times about opening ourselves up to have others comment on our favourite films. Perhaps others do not like it, or worse find it dull or boring or despicable. Do we want to know this. I am left at the end of Becoming Jane thinking of this, for it is a film very much about what others may think of what you do (real or imagined) or say, who you see or are seen with.

It is a film about what Jane Austen's life may have been like, but is steeped in the styling of her novels (at least my small understanding of her novels). This styling works very well.

A lot of this film is set not long before the time of The Favourite, and while aspects of the worlds are similar, they are worlds apart in many ways. Still the candle lit scene on the stairs brings to mind several scenes in the latter film.

Ah, the longing and unrequited love, it is painful.

Rating: 78 / 100



How Green Was My Valley (1941 John Ford)

Poignant, yet with a bit of a rose tinted view of life in coal mining town. Yes there was the wicked tongue wagging and accidents happened at the pit, but nobody appeared to be suffering from any form of lung complaint.

Big surprise was the presence of a very young Roddy McDowell.

I am trying to think why I am rating this higher than Becoming Jane and it comes down to that poignancy, despite itself this film has a power to drive through to your heart (well this one anyway). The focus on life from the boy's perspective, but still dipping in and out of others lifes works. It ties the story together, in a way that the various scene would otherwise be too distant from each other.

I am glad I have finally gotten around to seeing this.

Rating: 79 / 100

Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #121 on: February 10, 2019, 03:02:31 PM »
Jane Eyre (2011)

I first read Jane Eyre while traveling in Europe. Long train-rides through the English countryside were filled with gazing out the window and reading Charlotte BrontŽís rich writing as she evoked a character whose inner monologue was fascinatingly similar to my own at times. I found in her a kindred spirit with her deep inner loneliness and a strict adherence to holding true to her beliefs even in the most troubling times.

Therefore, Iíve always been wary of the idea of an adaptation of this book. BrontŽ aligns us so close to the character through her inner-musings and deepest thoughts and I knew some of this would inevitably get lost in translation with the film where the inner workings of the mind are often hard to portray on screen.

And itís fair to say that the 2011 adaptation certainly loses something in translation but itís not for lack of trying. Mia Wasikowska plays Jane Eyre with the austiure grace depicted in the book and while Michael Fassbenderís Rochester is a bit more prickly than I remember the one in the book being, he gives a captivating performance.

The film tries to work its way into some of the more subjective elements of Janeís inner mind is by telling the film out of sequence. This allows the film to tinker with moments that will later inform Janeís actions by drawing certain actions into paralel later actions and moments of decision whereby it begins to make sense why Jane thinks the way she thinks. Thereís also a sense in which the entire film plays out as Jane tormented by the events of the book, which plays up the filmís central moral conflict.

And through those means it still captures the quality I found so admirable about the book: the way it captures the moral duty to oneself and God above fulfilling strong desires in moments of passion. Many great romance stories are fits of passion given into with little care about what will happen in the wake of such a storm, but Jane Eyre is acutely interested in the storm such behavior will damage.

This is accentuated throughout the film by the use of locales and weather throughout the film. The English countryside and weather can be fair and lovely during a moment of happiness or barren and harsh when all hope seems lost. Itís a visually affecting film that conveys so much of its emotional weigh through the look and feel of the images.

Any adaptation of Jane Eyre will forever live in the shadows of the book for me, but I think this version tries enough interesting techniques with both the story structure and the filmmaking to make it worth a watch for fans of the story. The core story and central theme still shines through and the film still shows why the story has been adapted so many times. Thereís an undeniably potent and timeless story being told here, one worth hearing time and time again.

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #122 on: February 10, 2019, 06:01:12 PM »
Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993)


Aha, now I get it! My introduction to this play was much confused by starting with the wrong adaptation! Joss Whedon produced a version in 2012 which was slick and modern, but that modernity worked against me. The everyday-ness of it, the familiarity of the clothes, the cars, the house... everything about it put me in a state of ease. If the world were recognizable, so to would the characters be. The contemporary setting put me in a contemporary mindset. And in such a mindset the tricks and pranks and twists and turns of the story were processed accordingly. And it didn't work of course.

The goings on of this story were never meant to hold up to 21st century scrutiny, or even the scrutiny of reality! I cannot imagine a time, now or 500 years past, where faking someone's death could be considered a realistic tactic to win a persons heart back. That detail won't blend, no matter how much contextual massaging you do. My blunder, though it was an unconscious one (until now), was in letting myself try to integrate such details. As if it could ever "make sense" in that way, or was ever intended to.

Branagh presents the fairy tale story in a fairy tale world and there is no issue. The actors do not contort themselves trying to make the unnatural appear natural because the presentation does not demand it of them. I could probably now go back and better appreciate Whedon's film, since there is a coolness to being able to deliver such lines casually, but I doubt I would enjoy it as much as I enjoyed this film. And I'm afraid the real depth of the story would be hard to find amongst the gimmicks.

There are many great moments in this film. It has one of the better openings I've seen in a while, the highlight being Denzel on horseback leading the charge over a hill. Denzel looks good on a horse. I like his casting in this piece... and I like how he carries himself. I wish his character had even more scenes. Of the louder characters I think Branagh was best. He even made a moment of slapstick work when his character fumbles with a collapsible chair. Slapstick! I can't believe it but I laughed. It all contributed to new appreciation of this story.

Less of Keaton would have been better, or Keaton doing less of whatever it was he was doing. Even in this, a film of excesses, his shtick was annoying. His was the only low point for me. Everything else landed somewhere in between. I had a very good time with it overall. And that was some final shot. It has me motivated to watch Hamlet again (even though it is twice as long). Or Henry V (which is not on your list). How come? :)
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 06:13:11 PM by smirnoff »

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #123 on: February 10, 2019, 11:08:11 PM »


Look at all the reviews! :))


I'll catch up...
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #124 on: February 11, 2019, 12:13:18 AM »
The Village

This is one I've put off revisiting since it came out. At the time I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was, and literally surprised by the story itself. I was less engaged this go around, particularly when it got past the point of mystery and it became about seeing things through. I guess it's the kind of thing you only react strongly to the first time.

This is the only movie I've seen four times in the theatre. The second time was to see all the stuff behind the reveal and the next two times were to focus on the characters, especially Ivy and Lucius' interactions. I believe I exhausted my investigation by that point. :) I think I've only seen it once since that time, but would be interested to know how I came at it again now. It could be like you said, "seeing things through."

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That said, it still has many good qualities. William Hurt has some scenes I really like. The look of the film is still a great asset. The score, featuring Hilary Hahn, provides great atmosphere (take that fwiw, I've known who Hilary Hahn is for all of 2 months, lol).

She is a big part of why the film worked for me. The tension and beauty in the violin carried the story along. Haha! about the Ling Ling Challenge! She is not to be thwarted! The looks on the guys faces were priceless. There was no small amount of hero worship going on. She even danced! I thought the only dancing violinist was Lindsey Stirling. :)



Isn't William Hurt wonderful in this? He carried the weight of making this village seem plausible, at least in a movie magic sense. One thing Shyamalan does so well (and he does many) is the actors he chooses. I became a big fan of Gleeson from this film.

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So it was an okay viewing, probably as good as can be hoped for. Mostly I still respect the film for that brain-melting first viewing though. Is there anyone here on the boards who hasn't seen it and isn't familiar with it?

Okay is good! Okay is more than I could hope for, for this film isn't everyone's cup of tea. :)
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #125 on: February 11, 2019, 12:24:33 AM »
Robin Hood - After watching two more modern Disneys, it's startling how slow this movie is. No one would ever make a kid's movie these days with such leisurely opening credits (hampsterdance!). But while some sequences are sluggish by today's manic standards, it was refreshing to take a little time to breathe. It's a film with a lot of character, it's just got its own thing going on. There are some delightful slapstick zings, and lots of charming oddball asides. I really cottoned to Brian Bedford's easygoing portrayal of Robin Hood, I'd even say I prefer it to Errol Flynn's. Ustinov has a lot of fun with Prince John, laying the frustrated, effete "oooh!"s on with wonderful hammy thickness. Still, I must say I did start getting a bit bored near the end. And I would charitably call the animation work "uninspired". It looked little better than the Saturday morning cartoons of my youth. As for the songs, it was weird to have most of them chunked together about 2/3rds of the way through, but they were all pretty decent except "Phony King of England".

Overall, flawed but still entertaining. Rating: Good (77)

This too is more than I could have hoped for! You really came at it with a positive approach. Your pre-cruise challenge is a big one and I'm impressed you're doing something that isn't your favorite, but you're doing it to get into the spirit of things. Bravo. :)

Disney has a lot to do with timing. I just happened to be 6 years old when I saw Robin Hood. Everything is magical at that age (including dull animation!) and the fact that I knew I wasn't going to get to see it again for a long time, helped me hold onto each image and song. I'm sure we had the record too. I'm curious to how Corndog came to love this film, since he is so much younger. I would think Beauty and the Beast or Aladdin would have become his favorite instead. Like you said, maybe it has everything to do with Brian Bedford's characterization which makes Corndog use him as an avatar. Maybe he will chime in to let us know. :)
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smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #126 on: February 12, 2019, 08:14:34 PM »
The Village

This is the only movie I've seen four times in the theatre. The second time was to see all the stuff behind the reveal and the next two times were to focus on the characters, especially Ivy and Lucius' interactions. I believe I exhausted my investigation by that point. :) I think I've only seen it once since that time, but would be interested to know how I came at it again now. It could be like you said, "seeing things through."

Hmm maybe, but I kind of doubt it... it sounds like you connected to this film in a deeper way.

This interaction between Ivy and Lucius kind of reads like something out of Jane Eyre:

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Ivy Walker: When we are married, will you dance with me? I find dancing very agreeable. Why can you not say what is in your head?

Lucius Hunt: Why can you not stop saying what is in yours? Why must you lead, when I want to lead? If I want to dance I will ask you to dance. If I want to speak I will open my mouth and speak. Everyone is forever plaguing me to speak further. Why? What good is it to tell you you are in my every thought from the time I wake? What good can come from my saying that I sometimes cannot think clearly or do my work properly? What gain can rise of my telling you the only time I feel fear as others do is when I think of you in harm? That is why I am on this porch, Ivy Walker. I fear for your safety before all others. And yes, I will dance with you on our wedding night.
                 
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Jane Eyre: Am I a machine with out feelings? Do you think that because I am poor, plain, obscure, and little that I am souless and heartless? I have as much soul as you and full as much heart. And if God had possessed me with beauty and wealth, I could make it as hard for you to leave me as I to leave you... I'm not speaking to you through mortal flesh. It is my spirit that addresses your spirit, as it passes throguh the grave and stood at God's feet equal. As we are.



Isn't William Hurt wonderful in this? He carried the weight of making this village seem plausible, at least in a movie magic sense. One thing Shyamalan does so well (and he does many) is the actors he chooses. I became a big fan of Gleeson from this film.

It's a very deep bench. I could've used more of those town hall meetings just to have more time with them all! :)

Bondo

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #127 on: February 13, 2019, 08:07:34 PM »
Ok, false start. My library had the PBS version of Shadowland, not the Anthony Hopkins. I have Ball of Fire to watch this weekend though.

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #128 on: February 14, 2019, 01:02:28 AM »
Dan in Real Life

Every time I see Dan in Real Life, it goes higher on my top 100 list. There's something about Carell's timing and the editing of the shots which captures my heart. It's precision porn. ;)
I noticed the precision immediately. Leaving the house for school, Carell's daughter gives him lip about her boyfriend and he responds by simply saying, "Bus." When another daughter begs to drive the car, the film cuts to later when the car pulls into a space, moving the daughters unhappy reaction into the frame.
"If you don't let me, I'll never learn."
"But if I let you, you may not live."

The honest interactions between Carell and his daughters and within the larger family is perfect - Dianne Weist and John Mahoney are such natural parents. Unfortunately, it turns the more dishonest movie interactions into unwanted guests and Juliette Binoche gets the worst of it every time. Her meet cute in the bookshop makes no sense to me. Why is she so daffy? Is she secretly trying to avoid the family? The shower scene is another example, like a deleted scene from the remake of Father of the Bride. (Is it natural for a daughter to be so wrapped up in her problems she also essentially forces a grown woman to strip in front of her?)

This wasn't a constant problem. I'd say the film was 80% precision and 15% Hollywood sitcom. (5% dancing to the music.)

Emily Blunt! I had to research the timeline since I was working on The Office around this time. It was a year after this scene where she flirts with Carell that she met John Krasinski.
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Jeff Schroeck

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #129 on: February 14, 2019, 08:24:03 AM »
City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)

This was my first Chaplin and was, unfortunately, disappointing in a lot of ways. I like slapstick, I like falling down, but most of the gags left me cold. I can appreciate them as significant points along the physical comedy continuum, but I like my pratfalls with more absurdity: Chris Farley as Matt Foley falling through the coffee table, for example, or Kramer running down the sidewalk with pockets full of change. Most of these gags, like the midnight water debacle, were simply about him sitting or standing in the wrong spot. The worst of the gags was the whistle bit, which was inevitable from the the moment the girl used it herself, and went on too long, though I appreciated the end of it, when the dogs came in.

Thatís said, I loved the entire boxing sequence. The choreography of the in-ring stuff was marvellous, especially the bell rope section, and all the locker room sequence was perfectly timed. The only part of ďShrekĒ thatís stuck with me is the guard punching the hand mirror as a warning, and I got similar vibes from all the warnings the Tramp gets while waiting for his bout.

I donít know Chaplinís intended themes regarding the Trampís relationship with the girl, whether the viewer is meant to sympathise with him when it appears she doesnít know him, but I looking at it from 2019 I couldnít help but feel icked out by his sadness at having been ďforgottenĒ despite having paid for so many things. The vibe I always got from talk surrounding the movie was one of love lost, but the idea of love not being purchasable, something he shouldíve learned from the rich man who has everything but lost his love, is a more crucial takeaway.


I have "A Matter Of Life and Death" at home, too. Hopefully that one works better for me.