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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 12:55:19 PM   
great_badir


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75 The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Blake Edwards (1976)
By far the best Pink Panther film in my opinion. By the mid 70s the Clouseau character was fully formed - the accent, the disguises, the OTT slapstick - all now fully part of the scenery. The three films prior all feel like warm-ups in comparison to the frequent genius we see on display here, as Sellers bumbles around for 100 minutes. Such a shame, then, that by 1978's Revenge Of The Pink Panther an ailing Sellers and embittered Edwards lost any form of quality seen here. Special mention:Whilst it's not going to win any awards in the best comedy category, Bud Yorkin's Inspector Clouseau (1968) is nevertheless important for ushering in what would become Clouseau's best known traits - the hat, the coat and the mangled language (only briefly hinted at in A Shot In The Dark).  And it's quite entertaining to boot - after Sellers declined due to Blake Edwards' no-show, Alan Arkin was drafted in and he does a pretty good job as the bumbling detective. 

Not so special mention:

"Funny has a color all its own".  Yeah.  Brown.  Like shit.  No no no no no no no NO.  Just wrong.  Okay, the two 80s poor excuses for clip-shows (Trail Of and Curse Of The Pink Panther) were pretty rubbish.  But at least they had some previously unseen footage and the genuine hilarity of Roger Moore as Clouseau.  But getting in Roberto Benigni, perhaps the most over-rated comedy actor on the planet, as Clouseau's son (or not) was the final nail in the Pink Panther coffin...............until Steve Martin, that is. 

< Message edited by great_badir -- 17/2/2006 12:56:49 PM >


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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 12:56:03 PM   
The Don


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quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

Not a Goodfellas fan?

Nope. It's alright, just sadly overrated. Nice to see Nosferatu and The Holy Grail in your list, though!

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:01:10 PM   
great_badir


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74 Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo (1988)
For many, Akira is still the zenith of anime. Condensing Otomo's never-ending manga made for an ultra-complex piece of animation (still jaw-dropping today) that was a perfect marriage of script, image and sound. Whilst it's a psycho-analyst's favourite (the ageing kids, the expanding Tetsuo, the latent power that is Akira), there's still much in Akira to keep any manga/anime rookie either entertained, enthralled or both. Ghibli aside (and here I must admit i've seen barely any Ghibli stuff), Akira stands pretty much alone in the field of international Manga hits, with perhaps only the almost-as-equally impressive Ghost In The Shell propping it up. And it's still the only anime that you would quite happily reccommend to manga virgins.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:01:37 PM   
great_badir


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73 Repo Man, Alex Cox (1984)
Emilio Estevez acts his socks off and Harry Dean Stanton gets shot (again) all in the name of Cox's surreal little alien/conspiracy/car repossession/comedy flick. Whilst Cox's career is filled with wonderful gems that are by and large ignored (Sid & Nancy, El Patrullero, Three Businessmen), we should be grateful that his best film is also his most well known. So much good stuff - the generic cans ("food", "beer" etc), Kevin The Nerd, the rather inept government agents and of course the now infamous "John Wayne was a fag" speech. Classic stuff.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:02:20 PM   
great_badir


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72 Violent Cop, Takeshi Kitano (1989)
Though it wasn't until the following year's Boiling Point that work-horse Takeshi Kitano started to get hefty international recognition, Violent Cop (his first feature as director) still stands as one of his most accomplished films. In a way, it's lucky that original director Kinji Fukusaku had to bow out due to ill health, leaving Kitano to re-write what was probably a painfully complex and over-reaching script and turn it into something a bit more focussed and....well, smaller. Watching Violent Cop, you would think that Kitano (with all his visual and stylistic nods to Don Siegel and William Friedkin) was a veteran director, so confident is the film and Kitano's central performance. As with most of Kitano's crime thrillers, the moral intent of the story is left open to interpretation, but that doesn't detract from a masterpiece of modern Japanese film-making.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:02:58 PM   
great_badir


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71 Thief, Michael Mann (1981)
Along with The Keep, Thief is perhaps the most overlooked film of Mann's glitzy career. In terms of portrayals of criminal activity, Thief is about as realistic as it gets (the techniques used by James Caan and his crew were the same ones used in actual safe-crackings of the time) - you may as well be watching a fly on the wall doc about a safe-cracker, it's so good. But what sets Thief aside from most other "criminal as protagonist" crime movies is that it has a depth of character usually reserved for complex dramas. Though basic plot maguffins are as old as the Hollywood Hills ("one last job and then i'm going straight", the double crosses, the moll etc etc), Mann prefers to let the audience get to know the thief and his associates as people first, which makes all the plot twists seem even more devilish to the casual viewer.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:10:26 PM   
great_badir


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70 Solyaris (Solaris), Andrei Tarkovsky (1972)
Tarkovsky's original take on the Stanislaw Lem novel is even more a test of audience patience than Kubrick's 2001, it's closest screen cousin. It's wordy and challenging from the off, has little in the way of cinematic fireworks (the heavily built up trip to the space station itself is nothing more than traffic lights reflected on a space helmet visor) and it's SLOW. Boy, is it slow. So slow in fact, it makes 2001 look like a Michael Bay film by comparison. But then that's the point - Tarkovsky's films were always about mood and pacing more than anything else. The plot itself (a mysterious planet appears to hold high intelligence and is responsible for space station crew hallucinations - a scientist is sent to investigate) is fairly simple and it's all the metaphysical stuff in between where the meat of the film lies.
Special mention:

When Steven Soderbergh announced that he was going to remake Tarkovsky's film, everyone thought it was a joke. Amazingly, the critics ended up (mostly) with egg on their faces. Concentrating more on the relationship between Chris Kelvin and his dead wife than either Tarkovsky's film or Lem's novel, Soderbergh presented a simmered down and easier to take in version of both, but still with enough complexity to make it interesting for fans of the original incarnations. Though I think it is ruined slightly by the pointless Jeremy Davies character, it's still an intriguing bit of sci-fi foreplay and Clooney tones it right down admirably in one of the finest and most layered performances of his career.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:11:36 PM   
great_badir


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69 The Night Of The Hunter, Charles Laughton (1955)
Sometimes, but only VERY rarely, all critics can be so wrong that nothing but shame follows them for the rest of their careers. Time was when it was always the next Orson Welles (or sometimes Michael Powell and/or Emeric Pressberger) flick that was reviewed disasterously, followed by swift reappreciation. Charles Laughton was already an old man when he made this freaky, way ahead of its time gothic horror, and some say that the inhumane backlash that followed its release contributed to his death in 1962. Whatever the cause and effect, Hunter and Laughton deserved and, in some cases, received public apologies from those that berated the work. The Night Of The Hunter is a masterpiece of any genre and stands as one of the most perfect films of the 50s - with its genius casting of Robert Mitchum (with a role that paved the way for Cape Fear's Max Cady), and subtle performances from "the children", it's an assured debut from a man who had the potential to be as good, if not better than Hitchcock.

Not so special mention: 
 
Quite what possessed anyone to remake Laughton's masterpiece, let alone cast an oddly plastic looking Richard Chamberlain in the Rev. Harry Powell role, will remain a mystery for time to come. It's a horribly quick and cheap made for TV movie, and it shows - whilst the original, even today, would make for uncomfortable watching at most times, this 1991 remake even seems bland for a weekday afternoon airing. The only saving grace is that Chamberlain really does do his best with the material - over hamming it at times (he naturally lacks the restraint that Mitchum achieved), but he nevertheless succeeds in playing it for creeps.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:11:59 PM   
great_badir


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68 Never Cry Wolf, Carroll Ballard (1983) 
Pay no attention of the Walt Disney header.  The Black Stallion director Ballard spent four years bringing this book adaptation to life, and you can easily see those four years up on the screen, from the locations to the growth of Charles Martin Smith's character. And beard. Smith has rarely been better, as the city boy dumped out in the frozen North Canadian wilderness to assess the damage wolves have on the local environment. In many ways it's quite a sparse film - the location naturally, but also the soundtrack (minimum music and dialogue) - but at the same time it's extremely layered. Audience opinions are changed as we move further to the film's climax, merely through what is experienced through the camera's (ultimately Smith's) eyes - come the end, the one time greenhorn is now the chief wilderness (and wolf) expert, having had lessons of the earth from the natives, and backing this up with his own scientific findings. Most notable, though, is the wildlife on display - all mesmerising stuff, particularly the centre-piece scene in which Smith is caught up in a herd of stampeding Caribou.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:13:40 PM   
great_badir


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67 The Odd Couple, Gene Saks (1968)
"FMUH................FMUUUUHHHH"
"'We're all out of cornflakes. F.U.' Took me three hours to figure out F.U. was Felix Ungar!"
"You're the only man in the world with clenched hair." 

Lemmon & Matthau fried gold has aged brilliantly and now, with both stars having passed on, moving into the realms of comedy legend. But, amazingly, more people have still only seen the patchy TV spin-off with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman. It really is everyone's golden hour - Neil Simon has never been as consistent, neither have many of the films that Lemmon and Matthau appeared in together and as for director Gene Saks...well, his back-catalogue is very much a love/loathe situation.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:25:09 PM   
great_badir


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66 Schichinin no Samurai (Seven Samurai), Akira Kurosawa (1954)
Hard to think that the production nearly collapsed on several occasions and the release of the film with it. Kurosawa's best loved film (though, not my favourite - keep your eyes peeled for that) and one of the most influential releases of the 20th century, from one of the most influential directors that ever walked this earth. Surprisingly, it's also one of the few films that can be enjoyed in all of its various forms - from the quick and exciting just-over two hour initial US version, right through the full warts 'n all three and a half hour bum number, every version stands up in different ways. Just goes to show that it's difficult to harm a film this perfect!

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:25:37 PM   
great_badir


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65 Le Salaire de la peur (The Wages of Fear), Henri-Georges Clouzot (1953)
Prior to Clouzot's 1953 masterpiece, big and tense thrillers were the lone property of the United States.  It's rather fitting, then, that the international upheaval fell on the shoulders of a director usually associated with small dramas and France-based crime movies. Salaire was as high concept as it got in the 50s - a rag-tag bunch of outcasts opt to go on a suicide mission to deliver an unsafe cargo of nitroglycerine intended to put out an out of control oil fire. On their way, they may as well have MORGUE stamped across their foreheads.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:26:02 PM   
great_badir


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64 The Conversation, Francis Ford Coppola (1974)
In between the hoo-ha of The Godfather parts 1 and 2, Coppola quickly sneaked off this quiet paranoid thriller which has since become one of his best films, with a brilliant performance from Gene Hackman. A sort of audio re-imagining of Michaelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up, it's Walter Murch's sound design that really helps the film to take off - the viewer slowly becomes more and more obsessed (along with Harry Caul) with the conversation itself and by the end (whilst Caul is tearing his apartment to bits) we're intentionally left wanting more in the way of answers and explanations. Coppola, obviously, doesn't give any out, leaving us to quibble over just what the hell is going on - is it all just paranoia, or has Caul really uncovered a conspiracy that goes deeper than anyone can imagine?

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:26:35 PM   
great_badir


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63 Get Carter, Mike Hodges (1971)
"Caine is Carter..." Indeed he was and rarely has a role suited him so well. Though Get Carter will probably never be as much of a masterpiece as its hype suggests (certain parts of the film could do with a touch of trimming, and other parts suffer from classic soap-opera type acting), it's still a brilliantly bleak piece of '70s all-English grit and director Hodges resists the urge to make any of the characters too likeable, with Carter himself as the wholly unreasonable (ironcially, with good reason) misogynist, emotionless pain machine - he's not happy unless someone's got a few broken bones at the very least. Naturally, the unexpected pay-off is the film's crowning (and best remembered) scene, but props should also go to the classy and quotable script (the now classic "You're a big man, but you're in bad shape") and Carter's menacing of also-appearing-in-Coronation-Street-as-the-corner-shop-owner Alf Roberts (Brit TV stalwart Bryan Mosley). 

Kind of special mention:

Stephen T Kay's noughties remake/update was (and still is) regarded as very much a disaster, both critically and commercially. Okay, so it's not anywhere near as good as the original and not half as brave (this one has a happy ending, after all). But it really isn't that bad - Stallone makes for an interesting (albeit softer and Americanised) Carter, and gets his ass thoroughly kicked by a welcome Mickey Rourke in the process. If anything lets this film down (apart from the happy ending) it's the uncertainty over what mood it wants to convey - it flits between the ice cold of the original, generic action and a couple of belly laugh moments which, altogether, make for an unbalanced bit of updating. And the less said about uber-annoying Alan Cumming, the better.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:38:08 PM   
Captain Black


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I'm frankly disappointed that no one took up my generous setup of using 'surely' in a sentence reagarding Airplane.

Does Slap Shot (77 on the list) not have a DTV sequel, no doubt starring a bunch of rejects from those Mighty Ducks films?

quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir:

Well, I think Terminator is his best.  And The Abyss is his second best.


I do have a soft spot for The Abyss. Flawed yes, but it's probably the most 'typically Cameron' film that he's made.

quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

71 Thief, Michael Mann (1981)
Along with The Keep, Thief is perhaps the most overlooked film of Mann's glitzy career. In terms of portrayals of criminal activity, Thief is about as realistic as it gets (the techniques used by James Caan and his crew were the same ones used in actual safe-crackings of the time) - you may as well be watching a fly on the wall doc about a safe-cracker, it's so good. But what sets Thief aside from most other "criminal as protagonist" crime movies is that it has a depth of character usually reserved for complex dramas. Though basic plot maguffins are as old as the Hollywood Hills ("one last job and then i'm going straight", the double crosses, the moll etc etc), Mann prefers to let the audience get to know the thief and his associates as people first, which makes all the plot twists seem even more devilish to the casual viewer.


I was scrolling down the list, saw The Driver and thought 'hmmnnn I wonder if Thief is in there at some point'. I think it's Mann's second best film (after The Insider), superior to the similarly themeed, but overrated (though still damn good) Heat.





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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:42:54 PM   
great_badir


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Captain Black

I'm frankly disappointed that no one took up my generous setup of using 'surely' in a sentence reagarding Airplane.

Does Slap Shot (77 on the list) not have a DTV sequel, no doubt starring a bunch of rejects from those Mighty Ducks films?

quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir:

Well, I think Terminator is his best.  And The Abyss is his second best.


I do have a soft spot for The Abyss. Flawed yes, but it's probably the most 'typically Cameron' film that he's made.

quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

71 Thief, Michael Mann (1981)
Along with The Keep, Thief is perhaps the most overlooked film of Mann's glitzy career. In terms of portrayals of criminal activity, Thief is about as realistic as it gets (the techniques used by James Caan and his crew were the same ones used in actual safe-crackings of the time) - you may as well be watching a fly on the wall doc about a safe-cracker, it's so good. But what sets Thief aside from most other "criminal as protagonist" crime movies is that it has a depth of character usually reserved for complex dramas. Though basic plot maguffins are as old as the Hollywood Hills ("one last job and then i'm going straight", the double crosses, the moll etc etc), Mann prefers to let the audience get to know the thief and his associates as people first, which makes all the plot twists seem even more devilish to the casual viewer.


I was scrolling down the list, saw The Driver and thought 'hmmnnn I wonder if Thief is in there at some point'. I think it's Mann's second best film (after The Insider), superior to the similarly themeed, but overrated (though still damn good) Heat.





No need to be disappointed.  And don't call me shirley................

Yes, there is indeed a Slap Shot 2.  I'm fairly confident that it is shit, but I didn't do a not so special mention for it cos I haven't seen it. Yet.  Cos i'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least curious.  I just don't want to spend money on it.

Agreed with Heat - good though it is, it's definitely over rated.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:49:53 PM   
great_badir


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62 Spoorloos (The Vanishing), George Sluizer (1988)
Over the years, Sluizer has had his hand in just about every film-making pie going - though a respected director from the 70s on, he originally plied his trade as everything from a production assistant gopher, to producer and everything in between. Spoorloos is the sum total of his prior 30 odd years worth of experience and is as perfectly formed as just about any 80s movie. Set-up is simple - a couple are on holiday, the girlfriend is kidnapped and the boyfriend spends most of his subsequent time trying to find out what happened to her. So far, so formulaic. But with the introduction of "villain" Raymond Lemorne (played by French workhorse Bernard Pierre Donnadieu), the film steps up several levels entirely. Far from the panto villain in the remake (see below), Lemorne is at heart a good family man who merely wants to see how far he can push himself into danger and wrong doing. So, an affable and (it has to be said) likeable Lemorne offers to show the boyfriend exactly what happened to his missing girl......but you'll have to see it yourself to see the awesome finale!

Not-so special mention:

Sluizer's own American remake was ALMOST there - a decent script and premise already in place and a good cast signed up. Unfortunately, the suits got too involved and made the villain (in this one, played by Jeff Bridges) your average panto lunatic, pumped it up with some pointless action scenes and (horror of horrors) replaced the classic final scenes of the original with a typical happy ending. After completing his last Hollywood contracted film (the terrible Crimetime), Sluizer's career was all but over - a couple of mediocre films since and that's about it. Perfectly demonstrates how fickle Hollywood can be and how moneymen can easily ruin entire careers.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:50:17 PM   
great_badir


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61 Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior), George Miller (1981)
Mad Max was a good independent action thriller, but with Mad Max 2 George Miller took the post apocalyptic idea, ran with it and turned out one of the greatest Aussie films of all time. By now, Max Rockatansky is a steely, cold hearted bastard, preferring the company of (and sharing dinner with) a stray dog over people. Right from the off, you know it's all gonna end in tears as, time and again, Max is let down by those around him. No wonder he's got a grudge against everyone and everything!

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:51:17 PM   
great_badir


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60 The Hitcher, Robert Harmon (1986)
The Hitcher is a REALLY ballsy film - popular mid 80s cinema was teen movies and slasher horrors all the way and, even though Robert Harmon's debut feature mixes elements of the two, it also bases it in a form of cold reality and doesn't offer up much in the way of explanation - C Thomas Howell has picked up Rutger Hauer, who wants to kill everyone for no particular reason. Hell, even the girl (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is torn apart after being tied between a couple of trucks! In terms of mood, Harmon opted for Duel style sparseness - there are no massive action scenes (the destruction of a real gas station is as explosive as it gets), no lengthy soliloqueys from antagonist or his prey and no moral standpoints (except, maybe, don't pick up hitch-hikers). In the end, Jim Halsey (Howell), just like Duel's David Mann, is left alone in the setting sun, questioning his experiences, and that's where the audience leaves him, not knowing what happens next..............unless you watch The Hitcher 2: I've Been Waiting. But I really wouldn't reccommend that.

Special mention:
China Lake - Harmon's 30 minute, 1983 dry run for The Hitcher, starred Charles Napier (in one of his finest screen performances) as a holidaying motorcycle cop who inexplicably goes round killing innocent people. Though it's fairly plot free, it's acted brilliantly and features some A-list cinematography from Harmon himself. File under admirable curio.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 1:52:18 PM   
great_badir


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59 The Blues Brothers, John Landis (1980)
Landis' endless in-joke smash-em-up is one of the pedigree SNL spin offs and has deserved every one of its hard earnt years of growing fondness. It's silly, endlessly quotable, cameo tastic, and with some great musical interludes (it must be reiterated, though, that it's NOT a musical) and, surprisingly, greatly improved by the even longer director's cut (which reintroduces some great jokes, entire sub-plots, and explains plot holes already in existence).


Whilst I won't make a particular special mention of Blues Brothers 2000, I still don't think it's anywhere near as bad as the lashing made out - after all, it's full of pathos (for both the character of Jake and Belushi himself), avoids the cute kid angle (c'mon - he smokes his way through it and barely says a word!) and reunites most of the old gang (and numerous others) for some great musical workouts. John Goodman proves himself to be a worthy addition (thank the lord they avoided Jim Belushi altogether) and the whole thing just seems like a fitting tribute to John. So, watch it again for what it is, not for what many thought it should be.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 17/2/2006 3:48:04 PM   
DanielFullard


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Wow Badir. You went on a stormer in getting all those posted....All those films youve posted are gems.

Office Space is a cult classic around these parts and is just a damn hilarious film. Got to see plenty of Brooks and Herzog this high up and being a huge Rocky fan its nice to see that in there. Mad Max 2 is horribly underated and Im guessing we might see Mad Max somewhere down the line

"We're on a mission from God".

Great stuff Badir

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 20/2/2006 7:59:40 AM   
livila


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quote:

ORIGINAL: great_badir

81 Silent Movie, Mel Brooks (1976) 
Prime slice of Brooksian silliness was the last consistently brilliant film Brooks made and is perhaps, along with The 12 Chairs, one of his most overlooked. Silent Movie is wall to wall slapstick of the highest order, with plenty of big name stars of the day (Burt Reynolds, Paul Newman, James Caan, Liza Minelli and Anne Bancroft) happy to come down to Brooks' level. Funniest sequence goes to the short but brilliantly timed bit of business with Sid Caesar ("slapstick just isn't funny any more!" at which point Sid's chair flips back, shoots under his desk and goes flying across the floor, with Caesar still on it), but the meetings with Reynolds, Caan and Minelli are also top notch. One warning though - lamest joke features Marcel Marceau uttering the film's only spoken line.


Ah, I so agree with this - big early Brooks fan here - The 12 Chairs, has some excellent moments too. 
High Anxiety is also overlooked - it's so quotable! "What a dramatic airport!"

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 20/2/2006 12:11:09 PM   
great_badir


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From: A breaking rope bridge in the middle of the jungle
58 Twelve Monkeys, Terry Gilliam (1995)
Time (pardon the allusion) may yet see this overtake Brazil and The Fisher King as Gilliam's best for the masses. Personally i'm not sure, but that seems to be the popular view as time goes on. Now ten years old, Monkeys is still fresh as a daisy and seems to be getting more and more prescient as we crawl closer to the film's "maybe, or maybe not" future of 2035. One thing's for sure, it's a playful little exercise in the possibilities of time travel, that leaves the viewer scratching their head for weeks after a first viewing. Obviously, main praise should go to Bruce Willis who, as Cole, hasn't been as deep or vulnerable before or since. Gilliam's simple direction of "don't be Bruce Willis" seemed to have turned the usually one note actor into one of the best in a film full of great acting chameleons (Brad Pitt, David Morse, Frank Gorshin and others). Naturally, it's hard to improve on the greatness of Chris Marker's La Jetee (the still photo short that Monkeys is indebted to), so Gilliam wisely chose to basically do a live action version on a larger budget. And it works. Special mention:Chris Marker's stunningly effective short La Jetee (1962) formed the basis for 12 Monkeys.  Told with still photos and accompanying narration, the post nuclear time travel nightmare was way way WAY ahead of its time and one of Marker's few forays into fiction.  As a noted documentarian (he was also responsible for the brilliant Ran-era Kurosawa portrait AK), Marker often left the limelight to his subjects, but with La Jetee his own talents came to the fore.  It's not an easy watch by any means (it is, perhaps, even more complex than 12 Monkeys' multi-angled plot), but the viewer's patience is more than rewarded.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 20/2/2006 12:11:34 PM   
great_badir


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57 High Plains Drifter, Clint Eastwood (1973)
For me, Clint's best as director by far - a "ghost" (who may or may not be the devil, depending on how you read it) takes the form of a town's murdered sherrif, kills everyone in sight, paints the town red and renames it hell. It's a delicious concept, and open to interpretation on so many levels, so much so you can pretty much put up a decent argument for any reading of it (i'm personally quite fond of the devil coming to punish the sinners theory). With High Plains, Clint uses lessons learnt from Don Siegel and Sergio Leone, puts them in a big pot and adds his own flavours, which makes for one hell of an unusual revenge western - think the bleakest Michael Winner revenge flick and add depth, character and decent direction. For anyone who thought Josey Wales was too boring, The Beguiled (where, rumour has it, Don Siegel handed direction of certain scenes to Clint) too slow and Unforgiven too over-rated, High Plains is the film for you.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 20/2/2006 12:42:32 PM   
great_badir


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56 Deliverance, John Boorman (1972)
It's unfortunate that Deliverance has gone down in history with the words piggy and squeal (not necessarily in that order) - everyone knows about THAT scene, but very few seem to know about the rest of it. At its heart, Deliverance is an ensemble "day in the life of" flick. And, though the central quartet of Burt Reynolds, John Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox are very much an ensemble, in comparison to the original novel there is relatively little character exposition going on, so what the viewer is left with is almost a home movie of a canoe trip down a river and all the hillbilly stuff in between. It sounds fairly flat on paper, but Deliverance (like Walter Hill's similarly sparse (The) Driver) is more about mood, thrills and atmosphere than in-depth character study - just watch the scene immediately following Ned Beatty's unfortunate pants-down experience, where Burt Reynolds is amongst the trees with his bow and arrow aimed at the intruders, and it's all done through looks between Reynolds and Voight. That scene is the core of the movie and it's only when the surviving trio re-enter civilisation that any raw emotions are shown. Special mention:Walter Hill's Southern Comfort (1981) is a down 'n' dirty 'nam allegory about a group of national guardsmen trapped in the deep south with no live ammo, after stealing some canoes from an unhinged cajun (Hill favourite Brion James).  Containing hitherto unprecedented amounts of characterisation in the Hill canon, Southern Comfort is a more layered (but not quite as good) companion to Boorman's Deliverance.  It's still a great film - authentic as hell (with real cajuns which is, um, interesting), tense as you like and ends on a classic "whuh!?!?!?!?!". 

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 20/2/2006 12:43:35 PM   
great_badir


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55 Prince Of The City, Sidney Lumet (1981)
Sidney Lumet's largely unseen paranoid crooked cops epic is in the shadow of the still great Serpico, but Prince is the greater film by a stretch. Treat Williams (absolutely brilliant, seriously) is quite simply jaw dropping as Danny Ciello, the questionable cop offered a get-out by internal affairs. Like Serpico, Prince of The City centres on a single cop who has to basically rat out his colleagues, but whilst Frank Serpico chooses his own destiny, Danny Ciello has it thrust upon him, which makes for an altogether nastier film - Serpico only has to worry about his peers. On top of that, Ciello has to worry about bondsmen, the mob, informers and those who are investigating him - how's about that for paranoia!!

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 20/2/2006 12:44:11 PM   
great_badir


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54 The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese (1978)Still the best concert movie of all time and unlikely to be bettered, with the only problem being so much music (and, consequently, so many guests) left on the cutting room floor. Scorsese's stroke of genius was to treat the filming of the concert exactly as that - a film. His experiences as editor and sometime cameraman at the 1969 Woodstock concert was all handheld, guerilla style film-making, but with The Last Waltz Scorsese set aside prime camera areas within the Winterland theatre, hired some of the best cinematographers and cameramen of the day (Laszlo Kovacs, Michael Chapman, John Toll, Vilmos Zsigmond and a whole bunch of others) and had the whole place designed by Boris Leven. A fitting tribute to one of the finest bands to ever come out of Canada and the US. Special mention:Though it's a tad smug, Prince's own Sign O' The Times (1987) is the other filmic live concert treat with all the production gloss of a proper feature.  Prince had tried elements of the concert format before (in the okay but not great Purple Rain) and later (with the awful Rain sequel Graffiti Bridge), but Sign O' The Times was the only one of merit.  Great songs, great performance, great look.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 20/2/2006 12:46:01 PM   
great_badir


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53 Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick (1987)
Perhaps Kubrick's fastest moving film, it barely lets up as we follow the..hehe.."adventures" of a bunch of new recruits from training to Vietnam. Obviously main kudos goes to R Lee Ermey's Gunnery Sgt Hartman (as much Ermey's creation as Kubrick's) and Vincent D'onofrio's much put-upon Gomer Pyle. Discussions still go on about whether the Vietnam segment was necessary (after all, most of the film's gold is in the first half), but the lengthy sniper section is just as worthy (if not quite as emotion-tugging) as everything that went on before it. Of all the 80s 'Nam films, Full Metal Jacket is probably the best realised, with only Oliver Stone's Platoon approaching the same level of quality (but only if you buy the whole battle for Chris Taylor's soul schtick). Sings:
"This is my rifle, this my gun
This is for fighting, this is for fun."

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 20/2/2006 12:46:33 PM   
great_badir


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52 Kaspar Hauser - Jeder fahr sich und Gott gegen alle (Every Man For Himself & God Against All/The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser), Werner Herzog (1974)
The best (and most mysterious) of the various Hauser flicks and TV shows in existence, it's an intriguing and true little story - in 1800s West Germany, a young man is found wandering the streets, unable to talk or write, brandishing only the clothes on his back and a note scrawled by his "captor". The film leaves as many questions unanswered as it tries to explain. As I said, the story has been brought to the screen on numerous occasions, but with Bruno S (a one time street performer) in the title role, Herzog came up with the connoisseur's choice - it's difficult to say how much the odd Bruno S is acting (he had and presumably still has mental problems in real life) and how much is the man himself (comparisons with Herzog's later Stroszek would suggest Bruno wasn't stretching too much) - but it's a brilliantly realised film and one of Herzog's quietest.

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RE: great badir's top 150 films - 20/2/2006 12:47:24 PM   
great_badir


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51 Shaun Of The Dead, Edgar Wright (2004)
Fans of the UK sitcom Spaced were thrilled to learn that the winning team of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were getting their own big screen zombie flick. Shaun is one of the most unapologetic British comedies of recent times, and not a single bumbling Hugh Grant shaped toff in sight! Though the final act (where it verges into proper zombie mode) jars with the rest of the film, it proves that us Brits can make just as good a knock-about comedy as the Americans, as well as provide the comedy line of the year - "For god's sake, he's got an arm off!!"

Special mention:

Wright's 1994 feature debut (actually his student film, with classmates as the cast and crew) is a spoof western, set in the South West of England (Somerset, to be precise). Borrowing liberally from Leone as much as Mel Brooks, it was made for the price of a packet of crisps and most of that money was no doubt spent on the film's big attraction - Jeremy Beadle. It really is worth seeking out, even though a DVD release is fairly unlikely. Imagine an even cheaper version of Cannibal: The Musical, but without the music and you're approaching what Fingers has to offer. "NICE DAY!!"

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