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Author Topic: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites  (Read 1461 times)

smirnoff

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Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« on: September 22, 2021, 08:43:34 AM »
This was inspired by something E.T said in another thread in regards to the type of film that they are most drawn to or the type of film they seek most. It got me wondering what people like that goes against their norms.

What are your top 5 favourite films that really aren't typical of the sort of thing you enjoy, or what others might not expect you to enjoy?

« Last Edit: September 22, 2021, 11:20:52 AM by smirnoff »

jdc

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Re: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2021, 09:03:17 AM »
Likely this would be something sentimental that some sucked me in more than had me rolling my eyes.  The last I can think of was A Star Was Born.  There was a time that Always (Spielberg) would have been there though it may not be if I watched it now, perhaps the same for Ghost which had many similarities

 
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1SO

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Re: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2021, 07:50:50 PM »
1. Shoah (1985): I thought about the long, slow movies of Bela Tarr, but I remember back in 1985 when Siskel & Ebert raved about this 9.5 hour doc about the holocaust and I thought, "I'm never gonna watch that." Now it's one of my Essentials.

2. Sherman’s March (1985): Similar story. 2.5 hours about the director trying to make a regular documentary, but constantly sidetracked by the women who enter and exit his life. Couldn't sound more navel-gazing. Couldn't be more absorbing. I've seen it in full 3 times.

3. Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916): I don't like D.W. Griffith. He over-inflates his films with importance and scales it up just for the bragging rights. This is his longest, most self-important and most scaled up feature and it's a staggering achievement.

4. Wings of Desire (1987): I like solid plots and witty dialogue exchanges. This is all mood, little plot and mostly told through inner monologue. It's doing what Malick does, but here I respond to the thoughts and imagery with every ounce of film love.

5. Band Baaja Baaraat (2010): I have a low tolerance for Bollywood, especially the romantic comedies. This is the best rom-com of the Century.

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2021, 12:21:25 AM »
Love this idea. I've been stewing over this since I saw it posted. I feel like my 100 (and really nearly all of my favorites) follow the sort of "popular arthouse", "Sight & Sound"-adjacent, "Criterion-maybe" type with plenty of small gems and idiosyncratic picks that feel like Me, so I guess it basically comes down to which blockbusters or otherwise mainstream films I can get into that don't include my initials.

Here are the films and what makes them unlikely.

1. Thor: Ragnarok - MCU
2. Moana / Wreck-It Ralph - Disney musical / Candy-colored animation - Also the two films that have now made it far less unlikely that I will positively engage with future Disney productions, and convinced me to sign up for D+. This pick might not be on this list if I revisit it five years in the future or so.
3. First Man - Biopic that had enough science and cool space stuff so as not to feel totally like a just another biopic. And Gosling is Gosling, superb.
4. Grizzly Man - Let's just say I'm not as impressed as 99% of devout cinephiles by Herzog's portrayal of an unyielding natural world in Aguirre, Wrath of God. It actually hits home in this documentary in a much realer way.
5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance - Bloodless western, John Ford probably not my favorite director ever. The Eastwood Wayne(wtf)-Stewart pairing worked well for me, and it does have some dramatic flourishes showing what it meant for the west to civilize and decent roughnecks like Tom Doniphon to get caught up in what that means for him as a person. John Wayne coming to grips with the mythos that he built on his shoulders, well I'll be.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2021, 03:30:34 AM by Eric/E.T. »
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Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2021, 01:12:18 AM »
That would be Wayne-Stewart, not Eastwood-Stewart.

Good lists 1SO and Eric. I figure anyone who has an unexpected film in their top 100, must be willing to try films outside of their comfort zone. Which is an impressive thing all by it's self.

Eric/E.T.

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Re: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2021, 04:38:38 PM »
That was after taking the Ambien lol. Eastwood is my nemesis.

None of those are in my 100.  :-\ They are in my favorites on iCM, though. Grizzly Man was in my first ever 100. I liked Liberty Valance enough to buy it on Blu-ray, and I've watched Thor:Ragnarok, Moana, and Wreck-It Ralph multiple times, so these all get enough love from me.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2021, 04:42:17 PM by Eric/E.T. »
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smirnoff

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Re: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2021, 11:09:05 AM »
2. Sherman’s March (1985): Similar story. 2.5 hours about the director trying to make a regular documentary, but constantly sidetracked by the women who enter and exit his life. Couldn't sound more navel-gazing. Couldn't be more absorbing. I've seen it in full 3 times.

Heh, it doesn't sound good at all. So naturally, you're having seen it 3 times makes me curious. :))

2. Moana / Wreck-It Ralph - Disney musical / Candy-colored animation - Also the two films that have now made it far less unlikely that I will positively engage with future Disney productions, and convinced me to sign up for D+.

Curious statement... is there a story here I missed?

MartinTeller

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Re: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2021, 11:40:17 AM »
I feel like this is a question that other people should answer for me. To me, all my favorites make perfect sense. However, I imagine if there might be some perception of me as an anti-Hollywood, arthouse snob. Which would make these entries in my top 100 the most unlikely:

Airplane!
The Blues Brothers
Midnight Run
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Blazing Saddles

smirnoff

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Re: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2021, 03:54:10 PM »
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring - a slow, meditative, foreign film without much dialogue, characters who frustratingly bottle everything up, and an abundance of idle moments (like watching water drip off a leaf, or frog hopping around, or a breeze move over the surface of a lake). These elements in combination are death and I try to avoid them at all costs. All from a director whose work I've seen little of and never liked. And yet this film has been off and on my top 100 over the years, and I've revisited it several times.

I Am Love - Characters I don't care about and can't relate to with silly problems blown out of proportion. Uninteresting interactions. A story drawn way out and almost nothing of consequence happens until well into the movie. And yet I hung in there and gave it an 8/10. I don't think I could ever be persuaded to revisit it, but it somehow did work once.

Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - a new favourite, but I couldn't have been more skeptical about watching it. I don't watch stuff this old very often. There's just too many qualities which films of this age possess that I can't usually get past. The entire look and feel. The acting. It's just a certain way and it's not the films fault but I don't like it. But there's a story here that cuts through all that. A character. This is one I look forward to a second viewing of.

Everyone Else - I consider this an unlikely favourite since it came to me by way of roujin iirc. I don't know that we've ever liked the same movie before or since. :))

Autumn Sonata - My first Bergman. I looked at his filmography and figured he wasn't a director for me. His most well know stuff just looked old and weird. I just kind of clumped him together with other directors of that era I rarely explored, and even more rarely enjoyed. But this film was electric... at least going by my review at the time. I said I'd never forget the performance of one of the actresses in the film, but I'm afraid I have at this point. It's been quite some time since I've seen it. And I've seen a couple other Bergman films since then that took the wind out of my sails. Nevertheless Autumn Sonata was quite an unexpected pleasure at the time.

jdc

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Re: Top 5 Unlikely Favourites
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2021, 04:59:18 PM »
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring - a slow, meditative, foreign film without much dialogue, characters who frustratingly bottle everything up, and an abundance of idle moments (like watching water drip off a leaf, or frog hopping around, or a breeze move over the surface of a lake). These elements in combination are death and I try to avoid them at all costs. All from a director whose work I've seen little of and never liked. And yet this film has been off and on my top 100 over the years, and I've revisited it several times.

Being a director that I very much like, this might be one of my least liked films of his.. though I should rewatch it
"Beer. Now there's a temporary solution."  Homer S.
“The direct use of physical force is so poor a solution to the problem of limited resources that it is commonly employed only by small children and great nations” - David Friedman