Author Topic: 1990s US Bracket: Verdicts  (Read 446939 times)

facedad

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10983
  • World Phucking Champions.
    • Be my netflix friend
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2007, 03:16:43 PM »
Trust vs. But I'm a Cheerleader
I was really interested to see how I'd respond to this one. As far as I know, the only person on these boards that loves But I'm a Cheerleader more than me is skjerva. It turned out to be a surprisingly close bout.

(As both films are usually called comedies, and I think both are funny, I'm ignoring humor in my discussion)

Trust
Major Flaws: There is often a lack of motivation in the plot that can leave the emotional responses feeling somewhat flat. I was also unhappy with the palate and lighting, as a number of the basic visual aspects seemed a bit lacking in general. Regardless of whether they had to be, the performances were not always as convincing as I'd have liked.

Major Attributes: Overall, what blows me away about this is the structure of the characters in their universe. While I criticized the performances, ultimately they were as strong as was necessary for the situation. The general flat delivery comes across as reactionary in a world that was wonderfully borderline. While I was constantly aware of the absurdity of everything, it differed from the surreality of Lynch. While Lynch spends his time convincing you of surreality, Hartley knows he doesn't need to as he has maintained a world that is within the real of plausibility. To be so engulfed by the surreal and unable to convince yourself of the impossibility of the situation is not only fun, it drives all the action and emotion of the film. It's a wonderfully crafted universe. Also, the shot composition in relation to the characters is noteworthy. The way in which the character takes up space in the frame firmly reinforces the sense of reality. For instance, while speaking to each other about trust, admiration, and respect, the camera maintains the characters from a solid medium-long shot in which we see their full statures, but no others. While we know that any longer of a shot would include other people and society as a whole, this shot maintains a certain personal space or sphere of reality in which they are operating. Consequently, after the grenade detonates, Maria and Matthew engulf the frame space (the famous shot used for the posters and covers) with only their shoulders and up. Not only are they again representing the distance from the world, they are shutting all else out allowing them to steal a moment in an otherwise untenably chaotic situation. What comes through in this film is Hartley's understanding of the way characters relate to their universe.

But I'm a Cheerleader
Major Flaws: It traffics in stereotypes that it plays against in many ways, but plays for laughs just as often, leaving a bit of an ideological smudge. The acting is sometimes a bit over the top, amazingly. Some of the direction and especially the visual inserts are too heavy-handed. Really, most of the devices in the film are obvious and that can wear on you.

Major Attributes: Despite common criticism to the contrary, the use of color is wonderful. While the basic choices are obvious, there is a good degree of subtlety. Obviously the baby blue and bright pink that are used to represent proper heterosexual life are used to exemplify the complete ridiculousness of the rehabilitation center. It is the scenes outside of this environ that are most interesting. While there is a more traditionally suburban scheme in her pre-center home life, it has a similarly high contrast, bright coloring that alludes to the problems with popular Christian views on sexuality. Where it is best used is the scenes that take place at night or outside of the center when Megan leaves. In these scenes, darkness is used to mute the colors that have been so harsh and noticeable throughout the film. Along with the melding of the suburban with the bright that takes place at Larry and Lloyd's house, the way the bright hues are muted gives the viewer the sense of relief that the ex-ex-gays get to feel when they leave the camp. I like some of the performances as well, if not all. I also think that special care that went into the prop, set and costume designs is worth noting.

Verdict: They're both funny and really worth checking out. I'm even inclined to change my decision in hopes that both films will get through upon review at the end of the first round. However, despite my love for it (please check it out even if Alex doesn't like it) I cannot in good conscience push But I'm a Cheerleader past Trust.

Trust goes on.
You're just jealous! Nobody loves you because you're tiny and made of meat!

https://twitter.com/thefaceboy

http://www.thereelists.com

skjerva

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9448
  • I'm your audience.
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2007, 07:22:50 PM »
Nice review, I think I'll ape your structure on my next review.

I haven't seen Trust in a few years and Cheerleader in a couple, I'm curious how they'd play out for me now, I reckon Cheerleader would go on, but I have very fond memories of old Hartley.

Ready for next?
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

facedad

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 10983
  • World Phucking Champions.
    • Be my netflix friend
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2007, 07:46:36 PM »
Sure, just put it in the other thread.
You're just jealous! Nobody loves you because you're tiny and made of meat!

https://twitter.com/thefaceboy

http://www.thereelists.com

winrit

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4934
  • “Positively the same dame.”
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2007, 11:52:34 PM »
Point Break vs. The Nightmare Before Christmas

Nightmare Before Christmas

Flaws:
I'm a big fan of musicals, but these songs didn't really grab me. The only song I really embraced was "This is Halloween", but the rest of the songs probably won't stick with me.

Attributes:
It's hard to imagine all of the effort that went into making this movie. I love to see people throwing themselves into a project and the result is fantastic. I love the absurdity of the characters and the "Grinch That Stole Christmas" vibe.

Point Break

Flaws:
A few too many heart felt speeches and there is absolutely no subtext in this movie, not one emotion or plot point goes unverbalized. 

Attributes:
This may not seem relevant, but the golden, tanned, sculpted bodies and faces really stood out to me after watching Nightmare Before Christmas. The aesthetic of the two films are so wildly different. Nightmare Before Christmas is so dark and the characters so unnatural, while Point Break embraces nature and the human body.

Winner:

The Nightmare Before Christmas
"Kickboxing. Sport of the future."

Junior

  • Bert Macklin, FBI
  • Global Moderator
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 27696
  • What's the rumpus?
    • Benefits of a Classical Education
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2007, 12:27:30 AM »
Good choice. One of my favorites.
Check out my blog of many topics

“I’m not a quitter, Kimmy! I watched Interstellar all the way to the end!”

skjerva

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 9448
  • I'm your audience.
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2007, 10:17:25 AM »

Winner:

The Nightmare Before Christmas


That was my guess.  You want next?
But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams. 
                        - Iris Barry from "The Public's Pleasure" (1926)

winrit

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4934
  • “Positively the same dame.”
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2007, 11:22:10 AM »
I'm ready, post in other thread.
"Kickboxing. Sport of the future."

Wilson

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3095
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2007, 12:13:47 PM »
Sorry for the delay..
Lost Highway vs The Grifters

Lost Highway
Flaws:
It's Lynch.  You know going in that it'll be confusing and needless to say, this is difficult to keep hold on what's happening to whom.  I'm not a Bill Pullman fan at all, so I was getting kinda restless in scenes which focus solely on him.  Hated the soundtrack for the most part but it had 1 or 2 good moments.

Attributes:
It's Lynch.  There's something wonderful about a Lynch film and the feeling you get afterwards when you're trying to work out what the hell just happened.  I loved the whole videotape plotline, especially given I'd just seen Caché a few months ago at most.  I liked the parallel relationships with Patricia Arquette (not to mention the crazy 1st sex scene).  And that doesn't even begin to talk about the cinematography, editing and other techinical stuff which were all great.

It's madness, but I loved it.

The Grifters
Flaws:
The characters were a little dull, and certainly brought nothing new to the genre from my view. Sure the story's entertaining on the face of thing but the ending just annoyed me, seemed implausible and silly, and really brought me out of it.  I also though Cusack was poor, and I usually love him.  Could've done with seeing more cons being pulled, Cusack in particular seemed a bit of a 1 trick pony.  And I was hoping they'd go further when Cusack thought Bening was conning him and have a bit more interesting double cross from there, but alas wasn't to be.

Attributes:
Anjelica Houston and Annette Bening are both FANTASTIC, Bening in particular and she sure looked great doing it.  Some of the dialogue is cool, and it looks nice in places but it just didn't do it for me at all, which I was quite disappointed with as I know a few filmspotters rate this highly.

Winner: The Lost Highway

sdedalus

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 16567
  • I have a prestigious blog, sir!
    • The End of Cinema
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2007, 03:06:46 AM »
Summarizing the results so far:

IN                                                            OUT

clerks                                                     pulp fiction
dazed & confused                                   quiz show
last of the mohicans                               silence of the lambs
trust                                                      but I'm a cheerleader
nightmare before christmas                    point break
lost highway                                          the grifters
virgin suicides                                         slacker
« Last Edit: October 29, 2007, 01:49:50 PM by sdedalus »
The End of Cinema

Seattle Screen Scene

"He was some kind of a man. What does it matter what you say about people?"

VmSoze

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4710
  • I am The Christmas Spirit! :)
Re: 1990s US Bracket commentary
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2007, 10:11:34 AM »
OK, so I'm finally ready to make a ruling on my first pair:

Slacker (1991)
vs.
The Virgin Suicides (1999)

Slacker
    I'd never seen this movie before, so I was really curious as to how it was going to match up with Virgin Suicides.  Overall, I liked the movie and was really impressed with it, considering it was made for something like $23,000.   My main problem with the movie was that, because there wasn't really a "story" and was instead just a collection of moments with random people, the level of interest I had in the movie fluctuated depending on how interesting the character on screen was.  I guess inconsistent is the word I would use to describe the movie, but I don't mean that to be harsh, because I really did find a lot to love in the film, it's just that the flaws were obvious and some of the acting was hideous. 



The Virgin Suicides

    I've seen this move probably 4 or 5 times since it came out, but not recently.  Even so, I decided not to rewatch it because I wanted to go with what my lasting impressions of the movie have been and also because I knew that if I re-watched it, my experiences with Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette would wind up coloring my view of Virgin Suicides.  All of that just means, please bear in mind that this is from memory.  A little background... When I saw this movie I was 18 and a freshman in college living in L.A.   At the time, I thought this was the most profound movie I had ever seen.  For me and my friends, the movie was representative of our own angst (Yes, I was young and very dramatic).  In retrospect, I think we were stupid :) and I know that we didn't really understand as much as we thought we did.  Having seen the movie again since then, I came to realize that I didn't really love it as much as I thought I did.  The movie is beautiful, in fact much of what I remember about the first time I saw it was the beauty of the actual images on the screen, the colors, the styling, the way it looked like a Sunday afternoon to me.  Once I moved past the imagery, however, I ran into some problems.  I realize now that I never liked the Lisbon sisters, the parents weren't as horrible as Coppola wanted me to believe they were, and the whole movie just strikes me as overly dramatic.  I know that a lot of people will say that's the point, heck, even my 18 year old self thought that was the point, but I grew up, and this movie, for me, represents an attitude and perspective that I had to shed along the way to do so. 

Ruling:

Well, I know that I basically said I hated Virgin Suicides, but it still wins.  Slacker was great fun, but even though I don't love Virgin Suicides, it's a movie I've thought about a lot in the years since I've seen it.  I can't say that I'll think much about Slacker 7 years from now.  So the nod goes to the movie that I'll never be able to get out of my head... Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides