Author Topic: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals  (Read 23063 times)

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #80 on: May 10, 2010, 07:20:14 PM »
It is one of my all time favourite films, so glad you liked it. Donat's performance is one for the ages.

Steven O. Selsnik

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #81 on: May 10, 2010, 09:16:00 PM »
#4 on my top 100. Glad you watched it and liked it. it was my In America. Now we need to find new movies to hound each other to watch. I will go with Three Days of the Condor.

ferris

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #82 on: May 20, 2010, 09:43:28 PM »


The Bicycle Thief
(1948, Vittorio De Sica)



Implications:
(Non-Spoiler 2 sentence plot synopsis:)

The Bicycle Thief, set in impoverished post WWII Rome, tells the story of Antonio Ricci who hocks the family's bedsheets in order to purchase a bike for a job hanging posters -- only to have it stolen the first day on that job.  The rest of the film follows Antonio and his young son as they desperately try find it.  



Health Benefits
(what I liked):
The film probably is the most well known and revered of the movement of neorealist films from Italy - a shift that refers to a number of films released during the era highlighting the disparity of wealth and the struggles of the working class life.  In all my readings of World War and it's aftermath, it occurs to me watching this film how little I know about the role of Italy.  In the first few scenes of the Bicycle Thief, we are thrown right into this universe - immediately giving perspective to my weak-Ipod-battery pet peeve!  There is a matter-of-factness in the way that the wife strips the linens from the bed that speaks volumes.  You are genuinely on pins and needles as the our protagonist starts his first day of work.



But the main story here is about the relationship between the father and the son.  Those who have read my reviews know that I pay particular attention to how father figures are portrayed in film.  Here it is kind of amazing. As you watch a film and you start to pigeon hole.  Here I kept having to subdivide my pigeonholes as I tried to feel out how this guy was as a father.  Those who have seen the ending know just how poignant this exercise will prove to be.

Speaking of the ending - With a film like this, with a title what it is, you have to figure going in that things are going resolve themselves in one of two ways.  I loved how things were handled - it was really surprising, and a lesson in my film education.  To say more would be to give away too much.

Side Effects:
(what I didn't like)
I like thinking about the meetings at a movie studio board room where they pour over screenplay.  Imagine the meeting to decide whether or not greenlight Cast Away "hmm...man makes friend with volleyball".  The idea sounds so preposterous that you almost have to see it just to see if they could pull it off!  

So here we have this premise - man loses bike, man looks for bike.  Is it enough to keep my interest?  Well mostly...for the reasons outlined elsewhere in this review, but I'd be lying if I wasn't tempted to FF though sections, especially in the middle third.

Active Ingredients
(favorite scenes and characters)
Before seeing this film, a had preconceived notion of who the protagonist would look like.  Having seen the cover of Life is Beautiful so many times, I was envisioning the
buffoonish but world-wise character played by Roberto Benigni.  What got here was not a beaten down victim, but a pretty strong male character - not just doing right by his family, but doing it so matter-of-factly.  I was surprised to read later that Lamberto Maggiorani, like most of the cast, was not a professional actor when chosen to play this role.  You wouldn't have known it from his great performance here.  He went on to perform in 15 other films.  

Two scenes I'd like to discuss: the first one there is an accident by a bridge.  I don't want to give anything away, but it was at this point the film went into a direction I didn't see coming.  I was thinking just how great it was that I knew nothing about the film going in.

But my favorite scene is of the father and son having lunch in the restaurant.  It conjures up a lot of thoughts in my head over quality of life - and how one should spend their time, money and energy on this brief time on Earth.




This medicine is like:
(who should watch this?)
a) Castor Oil: To be shown only to Film students... as punishment
b) St John's Wart:  Works really well for some people, but I still have this rash...
c) Fish Oil: Good for you but it's a bit of a pill to swallow!
d) One-A-Day Vitamins: Recommended for anyone
e) Flinstone Chewables: Good for you and easily ingestible (and fruity flavors!)

Essential viewing for film buffs, but probably not the type of film to show when you're trying to get a chipmunk to eat out of your hand, so-to-speak.

How soon before your next dosage?
(Chances I'll watch it again)
a) Measles Inoculation: Once should do it
b) Advil: may need a dose again from time to time
c) Viagara: Keep handy, because you never know when the mood will strike you!
d) Crack: You need it again as soon as the effects wear off...

...but may need one more viewing eventually
So...Do I feel better now?
(other thoughts)
Pretty much.  I'll chalk this up as a "glad I saw it" more than a "I really liked it".  I'm trying to do a little reading along with the viewing of these films for a little film-school lesson.  Reading up a bit on the history makes this a more rewarding all-around experience.  And to this end I do this this is essential viewing for the film lover.  I don't want this to sound like it's a backhanded compliment.  



Conclusion:
Liked it a lot!  Well acted and surprising in many ways.  Two all-time great scenes.   "Essential viewing" but in an history homework kind of way

Grade: B


Film Rankings so far
1. Fitzcaraldo
2. Reds
3. Goodbye Mr Chips
4. The Bicyle Thief
5. The Passion of Joan of Arc


Remaining films:
- Chinatown
- Seven Samarai
- 12 Angry Men
- Paris Texas
- The 400 Blows
- Days of Heaven
- Double Indemnity
- The Third Man
- Do The Right Thing
- Blue Velvet
- Three Colors: Blue
- The Sting
- The Apartment
- Sunrise: Song of Two Humans
- North by Northwest
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 11:22:08 PM by ferris »
"And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs" - Exodus 8:2 KJV
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ferris

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #83 on: May 20, 2010, 10:22:43 PM »


Chinatown
(1974, Roman Polanski)



Implications:
(Non-Spoiler 2 sentence plot synopsis:)
A small-time private investigator gets in over his head as what starts out as a routine spy-on-the-cheating-spouse case turns into something much bigger.  Watch this is you want to find out how the county water board can actually be quite interesting!



Health Benefits
(what I liked):
Wow!  I was thoroughly surprised by this. Man, I kept putting this off.  The DVD has been sitting in the player for about three weeks, essentially stalling my entire blockbuster queue.  But 15 minutes in I'm already like - all right cool!  I've got this all wrong!



My problem is with film nior.  They tend to be plot heavy, stagy, character thin, and stylized in a way that isn't all that interesting to me.  This film is one of two I've seen in recent months (the other one being The Man Who Wasn't There) that really managed to win me over.  In the case of Chinatown it wasn't that hard.  



I think mostly, the blame goes entirely to Nicolas.  Watching him in this role is like watching home movies of your parents as kids - it almost doesn't matter what is going on on screen, you're just completely intrigued by how this person was in their younger days.   There's no doubt watching this how he turned into the superstar that he is today.  He completely occupies the screen - it's impossible to not take notice.



But perhaps my lasting impression will be the look of the film - especially after having seeing the commentary about this  Los Angeles Plays Itself.  I didn't anticipate grabbing more than a half-dozen screenshots from this.  As it is I took 82.






Side Effects:
(what I didn't like)
Well, toward the 90 minute mark, the film turns a bit standard who-done-it.  It's fine, but I felt myself losing attention until we got to the last 20 minutes.  As far as the famous Faye Dunaway debate?  I'm going with the detractors.  She didn't do a dang thing for me in this film.



Active Ingredients
(favorite scenes and characters)
It might sound like a cheat, but I'm going to say my favorite character (outside of the obvious aforementioned) was the city of LA itself.  Great portrait of the city - it's positives and negatives, particularily in the days prior to it becoming one of the world's largest, most eclectic and oxymoronic cities.  It's always fun to watch a 40 year old film, itself set 40 years prior.  It gives things a timeless quality.  I'm not sure they weren't entirely without anachronism - but it's easily forgivable.  


The Polanski cameo was awesome.  The dude looks exactly like Micheal Emerson (Ben Linus) from Lost!



This medicine is like:
(who should watch this?)
a) Castor Oil: To be shown only to Film students... as punishment
b) St John's Wart:  Works really well for some people, but I still have this rash...
c) Fish Oil: Good for you but it's a bit of a pill to swallow!
d) One-A-Day Vitamins: Recommended for anyone
e) Flinstone Chewables: Good for you and easily ingestible (and fruity flavors!)

Yeah!  Pretty fun.  Moves along nicely, looks great.  Pretty easy to digest I think.

How soon before your next dosage?
(Chances I'll watch it again)
a) Measles Inoculation: Once should do it
b) Advil: may need a dose again from time to time
c) Viagara: Keep handy, because you never know when the mood will strike you!
d) Crack: You need it again as soon as the effects wear off...

I can imagine many times in the future catching this in TV while flipping channels and getting sucked in watching the whole thing.

So...Do I feel better now?
(other thoughts)
The cars and suits looked great. I wish the fedora would come back into style.



Conclusion:
A lot of fun.  Gorgeous cinematography.  "Jack" is one cool customer here.  

Grade: A


Film Rankings so far
1. Fitzcaraldo
2. Reds
3. Chinatown
4. Goodbye Mr Chips
5. The Bicyle Thief
6. The Passion of Joan of Arc


Remaining films:
- Seven Samarai
- 12 Angry Men
- Paris Texas
- The 400 Blows
- Days of Heaven
- Double Indemnity
- The Third Man
- Do The Right Thing
- Blue Velvet
- Three Colors: Blue
- The Sting
- The Apartment
- Sunrise: Song of Two Humans
- North by Northwest
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 11:21:46 PM by ferris »
"And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs" - Exodus 8:2 KJV
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BlueVoid

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #84 on: May 20, 2010, 10:29:01 PM »
I just watched The Bicycle Thief myself.  I liked it a lot for the same reasons you list, only I don't think it was as much a chore for me.  I'd gladly watch it again.  I loved the father/son relationship.
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Bondo

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #85 on: May 20, 2010, 10:31:00 PM »
Film Rankings so far
Fitzcaraldo
Reds
Goodbye Mr Chips
The Bicyle Thief
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Chinatown

This is about how I'd rank them so far. Not wild about any of them; don't hate any of them.

michael x

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #86 on: May 20, 2010, 10:40:39 PM »
Glad you enjoyed Chinatown. I just watched that myself a few weeks ago, and I felt that (no spoilers) Polanski strayed too far from the typical ending philosophy of film noir and it weakened the movie. Still enjoyed it quite a bit.

ferris

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #87 on: May 20, 2010, 10:43:53 PM »
Glad you enjoyed Chinatown. I just watched that myself a few weeks ago, and I felt that (no spoilers) Polanski strayed too far from the typical ending philosophy of film noir and it weakened the movie. Still enjoyed it quite a bit.

Can you explain more in spoiler tags?  I'm actually quite curious...
"And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs" - Exodus 8:2 KJV
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #88 on: May 20, 2010, 10:51:22 PM »
Yea, Chinatown is all kinds of great.
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oneaprilday

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Re: Ferris' Classics Marathon: 20 Essential Vitamins and Minerals
« Reply #89 on: May 20, 2010, 11:33:20 PM »
Great write-ups, ferris - I need to see both of those. For some reason I had this impression that Chinatown would look grittier - something like The French Connection, maybe - but it looks gorgeous! I'm much more excited to check it out now.