Author Topic: Top 100 Club: Sandy  (Read 4187 times)

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #140 on: February 19, 2019, 01:43:31 AM »
Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993)

Aha, now I get it!

The best opening words to a review of a film I love!

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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.

I didn't see this version, in part because the black and white, modern setting felt like the opposite of what I loved so much about the 1993 version.

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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.

Exactly! It is a sun drenched fairy tale with a dark shadow running through it. The setting is utopian and fuzzy in it's time placement, so reality is rather pushed aside. Like what you wrote further down, the opening with people sitting on the hillside eating grapes and then communal bathing in preparation for the men coming over the hill in slow mo. Fantasy, anyone?

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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.

You make me more inclined to let it pass, but maybe someday, I'll give it a go!

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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.

Agree :)

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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.

:)) I haven't seen the movie in a while, but you just brought that scene back to my mind! So cute. Really, him and Emma are adorable in this film.

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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 have no idea what Keaton was doing or saying. bleh. I like him in many other films, but not this one. I haven't studied the character or his lines to know what is going on and Keaton makes it more confusing.

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I had a very good time with it overall. And that was some final shot.

Love it so much! I have a thing about long shots and this one makes my heart soar!

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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? :)

ummm, I've only seen the "Once more unto the breach" scene. :-[  And Emma Thompson is in that one too?! I am remiss. Anybody have it in their top 100? If so, I'll prioritize it on their month.

So happy you had a good time with this one, smirnoff. Hey nonny nonny!
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #141 on: February 19, 2019, 05:18:38 PM »
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.

All of that,



One cut I love is when Dan is trying to find fun things for the kids to do and as they're going by a building that has been shut down for the season, he asks if they want to go bowling and the kids jump up and down,



cut to this,



with him saying, "Life is full of disappointment. Big and sometimes bigger."

It's one of my favorite things ever. :)

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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?)

And all of this?



Binoche gets the worst, for sure. She has to do those daffy gymnastics to keep the story going. As for avoiding the family, Marie didn't know they were going to be at the retreat yet. Her relationship with Mitch was brand new, so she was at the bookstore to gather courage and bring a him a gift. Her staying with Dan so long is because he's infinitely more interesting to her than Mitch. :)

My most cringe worthy moment in the film is the too long pig face girl song. It's not funny and it's self indulgent.

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


:D

I agree with your numbers.

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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.

I knew her when she wasn't EMILY BLUNT! She was just Ruthy, the surgeon with great dance moves. :)
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #142 on: February 20, 2019, 12:41:49 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.

That’s 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 “Shrek” that’s 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 don’t know Chaplin’s intended themes regarding the Tramp’s relationship with the girl, whether the viewer is meant to sympathise with him when it appears she doesn’t know him, but I looking at it from 2019 I couldn’t help but feel icked out by his sadness at having been “forgotten” 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 should’ve 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.

It's been a while since I've seen this, but I believe the movie sits in my top 100 in small part because of the opening scene and in large part because of the ending one. Slapstick is hit and miss for me too. (I haven't seen Farley's Foley's folly! Or, Kramer's scene with the coins, but I will make it a point to find them!) But, there are some great Chaplin bits and the statues and the boxing scenes are as "good as it gets."

I get the ick factor and the bigger message of "you can't buy love," but Chaplin's look at the end is so sweet, and the emotion of really being seen by someone is hard to resist, so I hope I can be forgiven for bypassing those two issues. :) 

Your review has put me in a contemplative mood about this film and what it represents for me in my list. Humor, humanity, longing, altruism... these are concepts which are brought to me from a silent movie from over 80 years ago. I could easily put in Lucky Star as an old film which still has the power to speak to me on a very personal level, but I chose City Lights, for now. :)

Jeff, are there old films which you find to be particularly relevant today? They take patience for me to explore them, but if there are special ones, I'm more apt to take the time.

Interestingly enough, A Matter of Life and Death is probably in my top 100, solely on the merits of it's opening scene. I'm a sucker for memorable opening scenes it seems!
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #143 on: February 20, 2019, 01:48:57 AM »
Ball of Fire

Perhaps my tweets say it best...that's where I do my best writing these days:


Seriously though, on one hand there is the beautiful and charming Barbara Stanwyck and on the other a conservative scold. Being bad at old movies I had mixed up Gary Cooper with Gregory Peck and wouldn't place Stanwyck (though I'm familiar with her name and certainly have seen her in many things). Still, star power works even if you don't know which names to assign to it.

I do appreciate a film where the men, in this case Prof. Potts (Cooper) and his fellow Encyclopedians, are more socially oblivious than I am. I laugh at the scene where O'Shea (Stanwyck) shows up and the various professors shy away but lurk, like some manner of vulnerable but curious animal. Anyway, fun!

I want to happily commend you on the use of scold as a noun. To boldly choose this old-fashioned vernacular, is to skillfully keep with the spirit of the film. As for the actors, to easily confuse Cooper and Peck is perfectly understandable. They both choose to stoically portray most every character they take on.

I was hoping you were going to really enjoy this, so having you say it was fun, is great to certainly hear! Also, I'd like to quickly add, I love your line, "... like some manner of vulnerable but curious animal."

(Don't mind me, I'm just here practicing splitting my infinitives. :) )
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Jeff Schroeck

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #144 on: February 20, 2019, 09:55:36 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.

That’s 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 “Shrek” that’s 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 don’t know Chaplin’s intended themes regarding the Tramp’s relationship with the girl, whether the viewer is meant to sympathise with him when it appears she doesn’t know him, but I looking at it from 2019 I couldn’t help but feel icked out by his sadness at having been “forgotten” 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 should’ve 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.

It's been a while since I've seen this, but I believe the movie sits in my top 100 in small part because of the opening scene and in large part because of the ending one. Slapstick is hit and miss for me too. (I haven't seen Farley's Foley's folly! Or, Kramer's scene with the coins, but I will make it a point to find them!) But, there are some great Chaplin bits and the statues and the boxing scenes are as "good as it gets."

I get the ick factor and the bigger message of "you can't buy love," but Chaplin's look at the end is so sweet, and the emotion of really being seen by someone is hard to resist, so I hope I can be forgiven for bypassing those two issues. :) 

Your review has put me in a contemplative mood about this film and what it represents for me in my list. Humor, humanity, longing, altruism... these are concepts which are brought to me from a silent movie from over 80 years ago. I could easily put in Lucky Star as an old film which still has the power to speak to me on a very personal level, but I chose City Lights, for now. :)

Jeff, are there old films which you find to be particularly relevant today? They take patience for me to explore them, but if there are special ones, I'm more apt to take the time.

Interestingly enough, A Matter of Life and Death is probably in my top 100, solely on the merits of it's opening scene. I'm a sucker for memorable opening scenes it seems!

I think I wouldn't have minded the money for love theme if I'd been won over by the rest of it. And five years ago I probably wouldn't have even given that a second thought!

I'll have to think about which older films still resonate. While going through my Letterboxd films for my list I noticed how few older comedies I have actually seen, most Winsor McCay cartoons and a box set's worth of Charley Bowers short. The only one before the 40s is "Duck Soup", which I also don't like all that much except a couple scenes (mirror doorway & the madcap last ten minutes).

I can also relate to having not seen a Top 100 movie in a while and then being made to dig deep to remember why it's on there; that's how I feel every time it's been my month and anybody picks something I haven't seen in at least a year. :D

And now I'm extra looking forward to getting to "A Matter of Life & Death"!

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #145 on: February 20, 2019, 03:27:45 PM »
Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993)

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? :)

ummm, I've only seen the "Once more unto the breach" scene. :-[  And Emma Thompson is in that one too?! I am remiss. Anybody have it in their top 100? If so, I'll prioritize it on their month.

Yea, I was just curious if it was an active dislike, or one you simply hadn't seen yet. It's been a long time since I watched it. I'll join you if it comes up in someone's top 100. :)

Jeff Schroeck

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #146 on: February 20, 2019, 09:43:15 PM »
Interestingly enough, A Matter of Life and Death is probably in my top 100, solely on the merits of it's opening scene. I'm a sucker for memorable opening scenes it seems!

I'll have more on it tomorrow, but I agree with you 100% on this opening scene, and it has a hell of a closing shot, too.

Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #147 on: February 20, 2019, 11:27:43 PM »
I think I wouldn't have minded the money for love theme if I'd been won over by the rest of it. And five years ago I probably wouldn't have even given that a second thought!

You have grown wiser in a short amount of time. :)

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I'll have to think about which older films still resonate. While going through my Letterboxd films for my list I noticed how few older comedies I have actually seen, most Winsor McCay cartoons and a box set's worth of Charley Bowers short. The only one before the 40s is "Duck Soup", which I also don't like all that much except a couple scenes (mirror doorway & the madcap last ten minutes).

I too can only handle small clips of the Marx Brothers at a time. A little goes a very long way.

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I can also relate to having not seen a Top 100 movie in a while and then being made to dig deep to remember why it's on there; that's how I feel every time it's been my month and anybody picks something I haven't seen in at least a year. :D

:D

"I'm sure this film is in here for a reason!" (think, think, think ???)

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And now I'm extra looking forward to getting to "A Matter of Life & Death"!

I'll have more on it tomorrow, but I agree with you 100% on this opening scene, and it has a hell of a closing shot, too.

Hurray!

I'm heading to the Oregon coast for the weekend, but will read your thoughts when I get back!
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Sandy

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #148 on: February 20, 2019, 11:29:05 PM »
Yea, I was just curious if it was an active dislike, or one you simply hadn't seen yet. It's been a long time since I watched it. I'll join you if it comes up in someone's top 100. :)

Yes, please! I would love that! :)
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Jeff Schroeck

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Re: Top 100 Club: Sandy
« Reply #149 on: February 22, 2019, 03:46:31 PM »
A Matter Of Life And Death (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1946)

Speaking of old movies that are still funny (see slightly above), I found David Niven in the opening to be a gas. I could see Graham Chapman or maybe John Cleese doing a version of this, the deadpan guy who, facing danger, will not take it seriously or as gravely as he should. Marcus Goring continues the comedy, with lines like his referencing his “surgery” aka getting the guillotine, all in a charmingly fey, slightly manic manner.

I knew the basic premise, its supernatural, spiritual nature, but I wasn’t expecting all the surreal touches, like the opening trip through the universe, or the transition by way of a cell or blood vessel (or something red and bodily.) The camera when he’s getting wheeled into surgery is straight out of Frankenheimer’s “Seconds.” The time pauses are nicely done, though I thought my disc skipped and jumped at the paused ping pong game.

I’m glad to have finally seen an Archers I liked, after feeling cold to lukewarm about “The Red Shoes” and “Black Narcissus.”

Also, this was the first time I’d ever seen Raymond Massey, and it took until two days later why I thought I’d seen him before. Turns out it was because he looks like “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” announcer Joel Godard.