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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 10:38:45 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54575
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dantes Inferno
I agree that it's better than Alien too. It's more interesting to see a crew that turns on each other instead of one that is united (that didn't sound very optimistic).


Did we see the same film? Class conflict, fundamental disagreements on what they should do and crewmates trying to kill each other?

Kung-Fu Panda (Osborne/Stevenson, 2008)
 
It was on. And there is no little charm in watching sweet-tempered witless enthusiasm. It's a nice message of perseverance for the kiddies. And baby Ian McShane is just sooo cute.
  
Chaw (Shin, 2009)
 
I saw a lot of reviews of this which I think are quite lazy in comparing this Korean monster movie to Razorback simply because it concerns a wild boar. Over-officious cop is sent to small village that relies on townies coming and buying into the organic benefits of weekend farming on hillsides that have been destroyed by these plots and golf courses as commercial interests intrude on nature. His arrival coincides with a newly discovered and dismembered corpse of the granddaughter of a local hunter and the realisation that an animal has started hunting the hunters. After bought in hunting talent fails to solve the problem, a motley group head into the woods to seek out the real culprit.
 
In short, this isn't Razorback – it's Jaws. And a really close carbon copy too, down to the complaints of the chief and commercials interests about 'closing' the mountain, the capture of the wrong boar and even ripping open the stomach to check for what was eaten. We've got the newbie cop fish out of water, the grizzly experienced old hunter, the enthusiastic academic who demands to come along and an explosion at the end. It is unashamedly Jams.
 
The add-in bits aren't great. Although other films indicate the Korean family unit is a key caregiver for the mentally ill, the senile mother dragged along with the cop is often, somewhat distastefully, used as a figure of fun. The neighbour is straight out of some J-Horror and is poorly used and makes not a blind bit of sense, from being allowed to appropriate an orphan to her general behaviour. I did rather like the talking dog though. And the grim look in the eye of the piglet was either bloody good CGI or just very creepy.
 
Chaw features an uncomfortable tonal mix. At nearly 2 hours it is often feels like it is dragging. Generally unimaginative and not the black comedy it thinks it is.
 
Alien (Scott, 1979)
 
The crew of the commercial towing ship the Nostromo is unexpectedly awakened long before arrival back on earth. Detecting a signal from a nearby planet a team head down to find the source. Kane gets a little too close to the cause of the problem and, with the science officer's help, gets it back on the ship.
 
Where its sequel Aliens is one of the greatest SF actioners ever made, Alien is a horror-thriller that presents a living, breathing blue collar working environment and one of the tensest, most atmospheric, most amazingly designed horrors ever made. The brilliance of the film is anchored by a pretty eclectic cast – how often do you see a slasher where there is no dead weight on the screen? In Alien we have the heavyweight presence of two of Britain's best actors – Ian Holm and John Hurt. Cult superstar Harry Dean Stanton and the wonderful Yaphet Kotto. And Sigourney Weaver, soon to pave the way for award credibility for women in action roles.
 
Alien created the world that Aliens later expanded parts of – here we have the hint of the dystopian earth back home, controlled by corporations, as the company sends them down to the signal and Ash acts solely in their interests, irrespective of the safety of the crew. The opportunity for new product is more important than that. And this future is not the utopian leisure ideal – Brett and Parker are clearly at the bottom of the pile on the ship and their sole interest is getting their deserved share from anything that's found on the planet below, while bitching about their contractual terms for the current load.
 
Any review of Alien has to comment on Giger's stunning and oft-referenced and imitated design work. The director's cut gave us more of the alien ship and the 'gothic cathedrals' the aliens crafted to host and breed their young, but the alien design, so winningly expanded upon by Winston in the sequel, is a masterpiece in the monster genre. Both inside and out, Giger gave Scott the ultimate killing machine. And Scott, always great with visuals, took full advantage of that. We, the audience, knew it had changed from the chest buster (bits and pieces of sloughed off skin) but were as much in the dark of what it was becoming as the characters were and Scott, filming it in shadow and avoiding what is often the full on money-shot, used that to heighten the audience's adrenaline levels sky high (if you don't get a jolt when Dallas goes after it in the air ducts, you're dead!). He was also handed, rather unusually for him, a great script – O'Bannon acknowledged a wide range of sources for the ideas they brought together but the dialogue should also get a nod, particularly the interactions with Brett and Parker and the general and very authentic work/group chat.
 
The greatest anecdote from Alien is that they didn't tell the other actors what was going to happen to Kane during the meal, with several consistent reports that Cartwright's rather hysterical reaction as she got the full blunt of the exploding blood was genuine.
 
Alien scared the crap out of me when I was a kid. I still remember hiding behind a paper the first time I saw the chest bursting scene and even with years of ever gorier horrors since then the film has the same impact now because the world it creates – that claustrophobic ship and those quarrelling co-workers – gives a more convincing and terrifying depth to the story being told than any other film in the genre made since.


_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Dantes Inferno)
Post #: 3301
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 10:58:45 PM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Where its sequel Aliens is one of the greatest SF actioners ever made,



I am having a hard time believing you like Aliens. I don't know why - oh, wait, actually, I do. It's because you hate everything.

Also, when you say there's "no dead weight onscreen", I assume you're leaving Veronica Cartwright out of the equation.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3302
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 11:09:52 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54575
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

Where its sequel Aliens is one of the greatest SF actioners ever made,



I am having a hard time believing you like Aliens. I don't know why - oh, wait, actually, I do. It's because you hate everything.

Also, when you say there's "no dead weight onscreen", I assume you're leaving Veronica Cartwright out of the equation.



I have seen Aliens probably over 200 times now - it is my most watched film (mainly because when I worked in a video shop it pretty much the only one my colleague and I agreed on). I did the blubbing over it blurb for the Musings top 100 yonks ago too - it's possibly used in the list up top as well?

And Cartwright played an annoying whiny hysterical woman and she did it very well, IMO. She's a decent actress.

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 3303
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 11:15:50 PM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I have seen Aliens probably over 200 times now - it is my most watched film (mainly because when I worked in a video shop it pretty much the only one my colleague and I agreed on). I did the blubbing over it blurb for the Musings top 100 yonks ago too - it's possibly used in the list up top as well?


It is used in the Top 1000 list. I actually had to PM rawls and ask if he hadn't accidentally put your name next to the blurb.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3304
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 11:16:41 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

And there is no little charm in watching sweet-tempered witless enthusiasm.


Is that why you made PA  a mod?

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3305
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 11:27:32 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54575
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I have seen Aliens probably over 200 times now - it is my most watched film (mainly because when I worked in a video shop it pretty much the only one my colleague and I agreed on). I did the blubbing over it blurb for the Musings top 100 yonks ago too - it's possibly used in the list up top as well?


It is used in the Top 1000 list. I actually had to PM rawls and ask if he hadn't accidentally put your name next to the blurb.





quote:

  Original: Rawlinson
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

And there is no little charm in watching sweet-tempered witless enthusiasm.



Is that why you made PA  a mod?


Giving him, one should remember, quite extensive banning powers.

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 3306
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 11:28:56 PM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

  Original: Rawlinson
quote:

elab49

And there is no little charm in watching sweet-tempered witless enthusiasm.



Is that why you made PA  a mod?


Giving him, one should remember, quite extensive banning powers.





_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3307
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 11:29:24 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

I have seen Aliens probably over 200 times now - it is my most watched film (mainly because when I worked in a video shop it pretty much the only one my colleague and I agreed on). I did the blubbing over it blurb for the Musings top 100 yonks ago too - it's possibly used in the list up top as well?


It is used in the Top 1000 list. I actually had to PM rawls and ask if he hadn't accidentally put your name next to the blurb.







He's not actually joking. Confused the bejesus out of me.

quote:

Giving him, one should remember, quite extensive banning powers.


Yes, but I also just displayed concern for his well-being.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3308
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 11:38:04 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54575
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

He's not actually joking. Confused the bejesus out of me.



Bloody hell - he really does have a fixed view of me and films

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 3309
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 27/2/2010 11:55:09 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Veronica Cartwright is too annoying, then again I watched Alien shortly after the awful The Birds...

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3310
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 12:07:25 AM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

Veronica Cartwright is too annoying, then again I watched Alien shortly after the awful The Birds...


You make this mistake all the time. Claim something/someone is rubbish, and then follow up that comment by reminding us why we can never trust what you say


_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 3311
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 12:10:13 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: TRM

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

Veronica Cartwright is too annoying, then again I watched Alien shortly after the awful The Birds...


You make this mistake all the time. Claim something/someone is rubbish, and then follow up that comment by reminding us why we can never trust what you say




(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 3312
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 12:10:32 AM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
Miles is wrong.

_____________________________

My Group Project's facebook page. Please like

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 3313
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 12:19:59 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86

Miles is wrong.


 

I bet if there was a search on the most common expressions used on this site the words 'Miles' and 'Wrong' would be right up there.

(in reply to paul_ie86)
Post #: 3314
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 1:16:16 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

He's not actually joking. Confused the bejesus out of me.



Bloody hell - he really does have a fixed view of me and films


You make it very easy for me to have it.

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86

Miles is wrong.




I bet if there was a search on the most common expressions used on this site the words 'Miles' and 'Wrong' would be right up there.


I wonder what Squid would say about someone muscling in on his turf.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3315
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 2:52:39 AM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
20. The Man With Two Brains (Carl Reiner, 1983)


_____________________________

My Group Project's facebook page. Please like

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 3316
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 9:58:03 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
53. Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbour Totoro) (1988, Miyazaki, JPN) - 3.5/5*
I saw my first Studio Ghibli at the age of 14. It was a regional screening of My Neighbour Totoro for the high school students of the region that were learning Japanese. At the time, I hated it - I found it saccharine, 'kiddy', and altogether not my thing. Six years on, I have returned to that film which marked my first encounter with the legendary Japanese animation studio, and I find myself decidedly more enamoured with it than I was previous. Finding its heroines in two young girls, Satsuki and Mei, My Neighbour Totoro is an enchanting little film, every bone in its metaphorical body filled with sweetness and innocence. It's a film that approaches childhood without pretense or cynicism, and for what it's worth, it works particularly well in that regard. However, as personal as the film is to Miyazaki, and as heartwarming and charming as the film is, it suffers from the same affliction that besets Kiki's Delivery Service, in that it has just too light a touch for it to feel truly effective. The climactic sequence when Mei runs away is about the closest the film gets to real emotional power, and everything else feels a bit too lightweight for its own good. However, it is without a doubt a cute, delightful little film, and King Totoro is a brilliant character (so is the Catbus, on that note, but he is in the film for far too short a time), and while it may be lesser Miyazaki, lesser Miyazaki is still no less than formidable.

58. Kaikohe Demolition (2004, Habicht, NZ) - 3.5/5
Review in my NZ Film thread.


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to paul_ie86)
Post #: 3317
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 10:16:33 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54575
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

53. Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbour Totoro) (1988, Miyazaki, JPN) - 3.5/5*



I had kind of the same experience with Totoro. Having not watched it for some time I remembered thinking it wasn't up there with my favourites as well. I think the key thing is that I probably saw it before, certainly, my niece was born - and watching it again with her, and seeing how absolutely perfectly the children are done, and now appreciating the blunt decision not to anthropomorphise Totoro (and now wanting to own a catbus) - it soared on my list

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 3318
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 10:18:36 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
FEBRUARY STATS!

01.    The Thin Man (1934, Van Dyke, USA) – 4.5/5
02.    Bin-jip (3-Iron) (2004, Kim, SKR/JPN) – 4.5/5
03.    In the Loop (2009, Iannucci, UK) – 4.5/5**
04.    In Bruges (2008, McDonagh, UK/USA) – 4.5/5**

05.    Laura (1944, Preminger, USA) – 4.5/5*
06.    A Serious Man (2009, Coen & Coen, USA) – 4.5/5
07.    The Night of the Hunter (1955, Laughton, USA) – 4.5/5

08.    Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003, Weir, USA) – 4.5/5
09.    Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989, Spielberg, USA) – 4.5/5**
10.    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004, Anderson, USA) – 4.5/5

11.    Jurassic Park (1993, Spielberg, USA) – 4.5/5****
12.    The Ref (1994, Demme, USA) – 4/5
13.    Tsubaki Sanjϋrτ (Sanjuro) (1962, Kurosawa, JPN) – 4/5
14.    Toy Story (1995, Lasseter, USA) – 4/5***
15.    Kung fu (Kung Fu Hustle) (2004, Chow, CHN/HKG) – 4/5
16.    Rupan sansei: Kariosutoro no shiro (Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro) (1979, Miyazaki, JPN) – 4/5
17.    Rushmore (1998, Anderson, USA) – 4/5
18.    Small Soldiers (1998, Dante, USA) – 4/5*
19.    Toy Story 2 (1999, Lasseter, Brannon & Unkrich, USA) – 4/5** 
20.    Land of the Long White Cloud (2009, Habicht, NZ) – 4/5


21.    Crazy Heart (2009, Cooper, USA) – 4/5
22.    Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbour Totoro) (1988, Miyazaki, JPN) – 3.5/5*

23.    Hak se wui (Election) (2005, To, HKG) – 3.5/5
24.    Kumo no mukτ, yakusoku no basho (The Place Promised in Our Early Days) (2004, Shinkai, JPN) – 3.5/5 
25.    Kaikohe Demolition (2004, Habicht, NZ) – 3.5/5

26.    Two-Lane Blacktop (1971, Hellman, USA) – 3.5/5
27.    Three Days of the Condor (1975, Pollack, USA) – 3.5/5
28.    Morte a Venezia (Death in Venice) (1971, Visconti, ITA/FRN) – 3.5/5
29.    GoldenEye (1995, Campbell, UK/USA) – 3.5/5**
30.    Nine (2009, Marshall, USA/ITA) – 3.5/5

31.    Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot (M. Hulot's Holiday) (1953, Tati, FRN) – 3/5
32.    Deux frθres (Two Brothers) (2004, Annaud, FRN/UK) – 3/5
33.    The Wolfman (2010, Johnston, UK/USA) – 2.5/5
34.    Invictus (2009, Eastwood, USA) – 2.5/5
35.    Doctor Zhivago (1965, Lean, USA/ITA) – 2/5
36.    Otets i syn (Father and Son) (2003, Sokurov, RUS/GER/ITA/NTH) – 1.5/5
37.    Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009, Daniels, USA) – 1.5/5



SHORT FILMS
01. A Perfect Love (2008, Tyler & Dan, NZ) – 4/5
02. The Heist: Diamond in the Desert (2008, Director unknown, NZ) – 3.5/5
03. Re: Generation (2008, Grey, Roseingrave & Sloane, NZ) – 3.5/5
04. Love Cycle (2008, Meister, NZ) – 3.5/5
05. Jack & Johnny (2008, Various, NZ) – 3.5/5
06. Truth on Your Face (2008, Brettell & McLauchlan, NZ) – 3.5/5
07. The Ghost of Kerry Post (2008, Sutherland, NZ) – 3/5
08. Animal Control (2008, Murray, NZ) – 3/5
09. F* Dance (2008, Geerders, NZ) – 3/5
10. Resignation (2008, Trlin, NZ) – 2.5/5

11. Darlene (2008, Kelly, NZ) – 2/5
12. Brothers (2008, Paiti & Paiti, NZ) – 2/5


FILMS BY DECADE
2010s - 01
2000s - 29
1990s - 07
1980s - 02
1970s - 04
1960s - 02
1950s - 02
1940s - 01
1930s - 01
1920s - 00
1910s - 00
1900s - 00


FILMS BY COUNTRY
France  -  01
Hong Kong  -  01
Japan  -  04
NZ  -  14
UK  -  01
USA  -  18

Mixed  -  10


< Message edited by Pigeon Army -- 4/3/2010 10:51:05 AM >


_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Rinc
She's supposed to be 13! I'd want her to be very attractive though


quote:

ORIGINAL: MonsterCat
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 3319
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 12:46:47 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54575
Joined: 1/10/2005
Bloody Merry Christmas (Cechl, 2007)
 
Grim stop motion from Eastern Europe as a madman with a fixation for Xmas trees escapes and attacks a happy family in their home.
 
A nice vein of dark humour in this rather basic piece of animation – how often do you pray for the dog to get it? And the final shots of the survivor (whose tree appropriate retaliation saves the day) are really quite disturbing.
 
Terribly Happy (Berg, 2009)
 
Denmark's Oscar submission this year has been reviewed with references to the Coens and Hitchcock (the latter mainly by the director) – but the only clear link to either is the patently false declaration at the start that this is based on a true story.
 
A troubled police officer leaves treatment to take up a post in remote Jutland as the local marshal. He almost immediately gets caught up in the troubled life of the local bully and his beaten wife. Their daughter, who takes her pram round town at night as her mother gets beaten and the insular townspeople ignore things.
 
In terms of location, this is brilliantly shot. An isolated township surrounded by a bog where bodies go to disappear, allows some wonderful shots down the main drag past the houses to a road heading off into a distant nowhere (Jutland is apparently the boondocks and most of the cast had never been there – but the authentic feel for the location seems down to the fact this is where the director was brought up – in trying to locate the inevitable US remake the likes of Alaska have been considered so that gives us some idea of the isolation).
 
 But beyond that there isn't a lot to believe in. Although the tendency to cowboy hats is apparently authentic to the area, we are never really given any reason to believe that Jorgen has any real impact as a town bully (so the final scenes are not given enough context to be remotely believable), apart from his rather odd wife's claims and the slap he gives a kid (later matched by the cop who has issues of his own back home creating a rather obvious parallel between the nature of the 2 main protagonists). We can't really believe in the relationship they try to set up with the wife either – the actress isn't good enough to suggest a femme fatale and he must be rather desperate for company if he falls for her approaches, and the writing is too weak to support what we are supposed to be buying on screen. Or he is really really dim, in which case the audience doesn't care. One problem here is the attempt to rush that storyline so it happens within a day, making it even more difficult to take.
 
The real problem though is that this is, and this isn't a pithy insult I genuinely mean this, Hot Fuzz with the humour removed. The cop arrives, the town that protects itself from difficult inhabitants, even the bloody shopkeeper. And once you realise that you can't shake it, especially when the ending confirms it.
 
I was looking forward to this to I can only say – Terribly Happy is actually Terribly Disappointing. I doubt this was the best Denmark could offer last year. Perhaps the problem was the Scherfig was off in the UK working (this only really came to mind because the 2 stars of her last film Hjemve turn up here)?
 
Missing (Costa-Gavras, 1982)
 
In 1973, after the coup in Chile that deposed Allende, American filmmaker Charles Horman disappeared. Starting with his return from the countryside, his disappearance is complicated by the US involvement in the coup and his having seen US military personnel.
 
Costa-Gavras, who started his career in breathless style with the brilliant Sleeping Car Murders, turned his hand to some of the best political filmmaking of recent years targeting authoritarian regimes and extreme activity on the right of the political spectrum. Z, set in the time of the Colonels in Greece, remains my favourite. He shows great skill in approaching complex subjects and presenting them as cinema.
 
In Missing we have Jack Lemmon, playing Ed Horman, as our everyman guide – he asks the questions the objective audience should, shares some of our suspicions about the hippy activities of his son. His starting point is that his son has done something wrong and has gone into hiding and it is his difficult journey we follow as he tries to discover the truth behind his son's disappearance, frustrated by a US administration keen to portray Charles as a troublemaking radical, and to reconcile himself with the life his son chose to live. And fie on Lemmon haters, because he completely deserved his Oscar nomination in possibly the strongest fields of recent years and his discovery of his sons fate is one of the most powerful scenes in the film, although almost matched by the visit to a morgue full of bodies and, for Ed, the most conclusive evidence that his own government is lying to him and finally bonds properly with his daughter-in-law after trailing through corridors of bodies, and then he looks up and sees more and more through the glass ceiling above – and expressing his disbelief Joyce (Spacek) tellingly points out how much he sounds like his son.
 
Unsurprisingly the film generated quite some controversy – it ends with a State Department denial and was banned in Chile, although the country is not identified in the film and the opening voiceover notes that the names have been changed not only to protect the innocent but also the film – an older print also notes "the guilty are already protected". For further reading on the US and Chile I'd suggest Christopher Hitchens "Trial of Henry Kissinger".

_____________________________

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 3320
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 1:09:05 PM   
Professor Moriarty

 

Posts: 10261
Joined: 6/10/2005
From: the waters of Casablanca
One more film in Feb than Jan. Overall a good month with The Killers being my stand-out movie of the month, a pitch perfect noir and The Thin Man, Gun Crazy and Le cercle rouge also all standing up to re-watches well. Hoop Dreams was my best first view, as recommended by Rick. Jeff Bridges was very good in Crazy Heart and I always like watching Billy Bob Thornton, so A Simple Plan was well received.

FEBRUARY

  1. The Killers 5/5 - Noir perfection
  2. Hoop Dreams 5/5 - Engrossing
  3. The Thin Man 4/5 - Re-watched and re-ranked
  4. Gun Crazy aka Deadly is the Female 4/5 - Watch out Bonnie and Clyde
  5. Le cercle rouge 4/5 - Melville classic
  6. Up in the Air 4/5 - Like Lost in Translation, but better
  7. A Royal Scandal 4/5 - Preminger shows the Lubitsch touch
  8. Take Aim at the Police Van 4/5 - Superior Japanese noir
  9. Sanjuro 4/5 - Yojimbo-lite
  10. A Simple Plan 4/5 - A good watch
  11. Crazy Heart 3/5 - Great performance, so-so movie
  12. Think Fast, Mr Moto 3/5 - Nice opener to the series
  13. The Fast and The Furious 3/5 - Guilty pleasure
  14. Le Corbeau 3/5 - Good whodunnit, but a bit dragged out
  15. Only Angels Have Wings 3/5 - I was waiting for the funny bits
  16. Superbad 3/5 - Plenty of laughs on show
  17. Hurt Locker 3/5 - Just never got into this
  18. Its Complicated 2/5 - Mildly amusing
  19. Armour of God 2/5 - Stunt-rific
  20. Confidence 2/5 - Watch an episode of Hustle instead
  21. Zack and Miri Make a Porno 2/5 - I wish they'd have made a comedy film


< Message edited by Professor Moriarty -- 28/2/2010 1:10:19 PM >

(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3321
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 2:01:33 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14550
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
quote:

And fie on Lemmon haters, because he completely deserved his Oscar nomination in possibly the strongest fields of recent years


I've just IMBD'd that, and blimey, that was a hell of a strong category that year.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


(in reply to Professor Moriarty)
Post #: 3322
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 2:04:01 PM   
jamesbondguy


Posts: 6238
Joined: 6/1/2007
From: The Village Green

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

  GoldenEye (1995, Campbell, UK/USA) – 3.5/5**


   Les vacances de Monsieur Hulot (M. Hulot’s Holiday) (1953, Tati, FRN) – 3/5
  


Man, your taste is shit sometimes.

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Post #: 3323
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 3:18:49 PM   
Dantes Inferno


Posts: 5887
Joined: 27/10/2007
From: Norway
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dantes Inferno
I agree that it's better than Alien too. It's more interesting to see a crew that turns on each other instead of one that is united (that didn't sound very optimistic).


Did we see the same film? Class conflict, fundamental disagreements on what they should do and crewmates trying to kill each other?


Fair enough, I didn't remember that. I guess I worded myself poorly. What I meant was that in Alien, the enemy is a beast that is not one of the crew, while it's the opposite in The Thing. In the latter, they know by the middle of the film that if they are to survive, at least one or more of them is going to have to die. It's not like that Alien. That most of them dies has more to do with the fact that the alien is so strong, but they could have defeated it without too many casualties. Probably wouldn't have made much of a movie, though.

On another note, am I right in saying you are more a fan of "action" type cinema than "serious" cinema, elab? I mean, I know you hate films of the former side and love some of the latter, but you don't strike me as much of a fan of arty films as some people around here. I'm guessing "action" type cinema was another bad choice of words, but I'm too lazy to think of a better term.

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

And baby Ian McShane is just sooo cute.


This is a very un-elab like moment.


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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3324
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 4:14:58 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54575
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

am I right in saying you are more a fan of "action" type cinema than "serious" cinema, elab?


My top 100 includes Ozu, the more meditative Kurosawa, Wajda, Ray, the least crime-like Melville, Terence Davies, Roy Andersson, Kim Ki-Duk. Bill Douglas, Carne and Spring in a Small Town. My ranking for this month includes Treeless Mountain as the 2nd highest new watch. My nominations for HoF included Moolaade and currently Distant Voices Still Lives. So I'm not sure I recognise that as a description of my film taste.

How are you defining serious cinema - give me some directors (and no, I don't regard the self-obsessed Godard as serious cinema except in his own head)

quote:

  You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage


As with the expanded theme in Aliens, Alien is far from a them vs us scenario. First and foremost they are screwed by the company. Furthered by 'mother' obeying their changed directive and Ash in person.

< Message edited by elab49 -- 28/2/2010 4:16:54 PM >


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Dantes Inferno)
Post #: 3325
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 4:31:32 PM   
Dantes Inferno


Posts: 5887
Joined: 27/10/2007
From: Norway
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

quote:

am I right in saying you are more a fan of "action" type cinema than "serious" cinema, elab?


My top 100 includes Ozu, the more meditative Kurosawa, Wajda, Ray, the least crime-like Melville, Terence Davies, Roy Andersson, Kim Ki-Duk. Bill Douglas, Carne and Spring in a Small Town. My ranking for this month includes Treeless Mountain as the 2nd highest new watch. My nominations for HoF included Moolaade and currently Distant Voices Still Lives. So I'm not sure I recognise that as a description of my film taste.

How are you defining serious cinema - give me some directors (and no, I don't regard the self-obsessed Godard as serious cinema except in his own head)


In my defense, I have never seen your top 100 (that goes for your TV list too, hint, hint).

I should probably have said this instead, though: even if you are a fan of "serious" cinema, it has become less surprising to me that you can like stuff like The Descent and Dog Soldiers. Not to mention Abba.

I don't think I need give you directors. Judging from your comment, I think you understood quite well what I meant.

< Message edited by Dantes Inferno -- 28/2/2010 4:33:12 PM >


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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3326
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 4:46:33 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54575
Joined: 1/10/2005
I just wanted to make sure - I wondered if you were maybe extrapolating from a comment I'd made about some specific directors. So I just had a look at my 100 to see which of them could least be remotely called action-type films. 

By and large I think I have pretty varied taste and it just depends on the film. Isn't that the same with most people though?

_____________________________

Lips Together and Blow - blogtasticness and Glasgow Film Festival GFF13!

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


Annual Poll 2013 - All Lists Welcome

(in reply to Dantes Inferno)
Post #: 3327
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 4:48:38 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86

Miles is wrong.


 

I bet if there was a search on the most common expressions used on this site the words 'Miles' and 'Wrong' would be right up there.
I'm just way ahead of my time, like Buster Keaton.

_____________________________

quote:

jamesbondguy:
Miles is clearly the finest film theorist of his generation

quote:

Deviation:
if it isn't ham, I'll eat a living pig.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 3328
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 4:49:25 PM   
Dantes Inferno


Posts: 5887
Joined: 27/10/2007
From: Norway
quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49

By and large I think I have pretty varied taste and it just depends on the film. Isn't that the same with most people though?


Well, yes, but I doubt the number of people that love both Moolaade and Dog Soldiers is very high.


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(in reply to elab49)
Post #: 3329
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 28/2/2010 4:50:31 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Dantes Inferno

I should probably have said this instead, though: even if you are a fan of "serious" cinema, it has become less surprising to me that you can like stuff like The Descent and Dog Soldiers. Not to mention Abba.



Isn't that more a case of bad taste than varied taste?  In all honesty though, I'm not sure why a line has to be drawn between types of cinema. A good film is a good film and a bad film is a bad film.

(in reply to Dantes Inferno)
Post #: 3330
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