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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 12:24:24 PM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
05. Yip Man (Ip Man) (2008, Yip, HKG) - 4.5/5
Propaganda filmmaking in its most blatant form can often be overbearing and unpleasant to watch because of the xenophobia and nationalism it pushes with such zeal. However, subtle propaganda films are far more interesting in the way they're constructed and presented, and so it is we have Ip Man, a Chinese propaganda film immaculately costumed as a Hong Kong martial arts biopic about Wing Chun Grandmaster Ip. It's not obvious, with the first fifty minutes acting as an entertaining, beautifully-made, well-acted introductory course on China's 1930s martial arts metropolis, Fo Shan. Donnie Yen is on excellent form as Grandmaster Ip, a genial, quiet soul with two loves - his family and his martial art. He rarely fights, and when he does, he rarely does so to cause any real harm, and Yen's natural physicality and unassuming figure makes him wholly believable and engaging in the lead. However, when the film moves forward a few years to 1940s Fo Shan, smack bang in the middle of Japan's occupation of China, Grandmaster Ip and his tale take a turn towards the bleak - he's forced to eke out a living pouring coal, and after beating ten Japanese soldiers at the behest of the area's commanding General, he becomes an unfortunate target of that General. It's here where the propaganda kicks in - the whole virtuous China defeats ugly Japan dynamic that's been playing out for an age since WW2; hell, the film's final intertitles accredit Japan's defeat in WW2 solely to China - but it doesn't push it in the audience's face or promote it at the expense of the narrative or the action, both of which are well realised and, in the case of the martial arts, mind-bogglingly riveting. Unlike Michael Bay's Transformers series, which suffer heavily from blatant flag-waving for America, Ip Man transcends its propaganda roots to become a truly arresting modern martial arts epic, crafted with an undeniable love and artistry.

12. Le petit soldat (The Little Soldier) (1963, Godard, FRN) - 4/5 **SPOILERS AHEAD**
My new favourite Godard, Le petit soldat finds its protagonist in Bruno (Michel Subor), a kinda useless low-level French secret agent in Geneva during the Algerian War, a man whose personal politics are vague and whose allegiance with a right-wing government seems to be an issue of convenience rather than belief in their system. He falls in love with the beautiful Veronica (Karina), and shortly after suffers a crisis of conscience as he's called upon to kill a man for no reason than that he's on the other side. Le petit soldat is probably one of Godard's more conventional films (whatever that means in the context of Godard), but the relatively few departures he makes from accepted wisdom are there for a solid purpose - the awkwardly-flowing dialogue, perpetually annoying as it is, does convey a sense of isolation and disconnection between all the characters, a level of mistrust drawn between every character because of ideology and because of allegiance; the silencing of ambient noise, again annoying as it is, seems to quell Geneva's life and make it a silent city, an oxymoronic neutral location that, ironically, all sorts of partisan espionage can take part within. Against this indifferent backdrop, Bruno is put through the wringer by both the artistic right-wing French and the idealistic left-wing Arabs, groups that may have their clashing ideologies but, at the end of the day, are no different from each other in their brutality and violence. Godard's concern here isn't the championing of an ideology, and indeed, the film seems far more pessimistic about political ideologies than some of his later works. However, this pessimism is far from a negative thing, as it presents a harsh and realistic view of politics and war as something ostensibly motivated by clashing ideals, but under the surface, those ideals are but fraud, and everyone's just out for themselves. Both individualistic and anti-individualistic, Godard's condemnation of war crosses familiar ground by unfamiliar means - instead of putting focus on the human cost or the blindness of those in the higher ranks, Godard questions the inherent contradiction at the centre of any ideological clash, the contradiction being that those ideologies are but a screen for a grab for power, and with that power, men can do anything. Bruno is a hero because he divorces himself from ideals, but also a coward because even that professed divorce from ideals is a fraud, and he ultimately ends up doing what he spends the entire film doing - killing the guy the French want him to. But by that time, it's already too late, and he kids himself with the idea that he has more freedom than in the past, when he remains but a pawn for a cold French outfit.


_____________________________

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 Gram123)
Post #: 1021
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 12:36:52 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army

12. Le petit soldat (The Little Soldier) (1963, Godard, FRN) - 4/5 **SPOILERS AHEAD**
My new favourite Godard, Le petit soldat finds its protagonist in Bruno (Michel Subor), a kinda useless low-level French secret agent in Geneva during the Algerian War, a man whose personal politics are vague and whose allegiance with a right-wing government seems to be an issue of convenience rather than belief in their system. He falls in love with the beautiful Veronica (Karina), and shortly after suffers a crisis of conscience as he's called upon to kill a man for no reason than that he's on the other side. Le petit soldat is probably one of Godard's more conventional films (whatever that means in the context of Godard), but the relatively few departures he makes from accepted wisdom are there for a solid purpose - the awkwardly-flowing dialogue, perpetually annoying as it is, does convey a sense of isolation and disconnection between all the characters, a level of mistrust drawn between every character because of ideology and because of allegiance; the silencing of ambient noise, again annoying as it is, seems to quell Geneva's life and make it a silent city, an oxymoronic neutral location that, ironically, all sorts of partisan espionage can take part within. Against this indifferent backdrop, Bruno is put through the wringer by both the artistic right-wing French and the idealistic left-wing Arabs, groups that may have their clashing ideologies but, at the end of the day, are no different from each other in their brutality and violence. Godard's concern here isn't the championing of an ideology, and indeed, the film seems far more pessimistic about political ideologies than some of his later works. However, this pessimism is far from a negative thing, as it presents a harsh and realistic view of politics and war as something ostensibly motivated by clashing ideals, but under the surface, those ideals are but fraud, and everyone's just out for themselves. Both individualistic and anti-individualistic, Godard's condemnation of war crosses familiar ground by unfamiliar means - instead of putting focus on the human cost or the blindness of those in the higher ranks, Godard questions the inherent contradiction at the centre of any ideological clash, the contradiction being that those ideologies are but a screen for a grab for power, and with that power, men can do anything. Bruno is a hero because he divorces himself from ideals, but also a coward because even that professed divorce from ideals is a fraud, and he ultimately ends up doing what he spends the entire film doing - killing the guy the French want him to. But by that time, it's already too late, and he kids himself with the idea that he has more freedom than in the past, when he remains but a pawn for a cold French outfit.


Glad you enjoyed it. I'm wondering why only a four, because the only negatives I see in your review are also seemingly positives, but I guess scores are pointless anyway. Has this persuaded you to check out more Godard or quit while you're ahead?

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Top 100 Moz Songs / Top 100 Films

(in reply to Pigeon Army)
Post #: 1022
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 12:38:46 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gram123

Stand up:

004) The Mighty Boosh: Live - Future Sailors (UK,2009, DVD)- 6.0
I've liked Julian Barratt since his appearance in the mental Paramount TV show The Asylum back in 1996 (the series is all on YouTube and also features Norman Lovett, Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Bill Bailey and a several others). I also enjoyed The Mighty Boosh TV shows, though I felt each series yielded diminishing returns.
I caught them live on this tour last year, and it certainly seemed funnier in person, than it did on DVD, though it's almost a carbon copy of the gig I saw. For the first half hour of watching it tonight, I barely raised a chuckle, but that's not to say it wasn't entertaining, and the variety on display meant they didn't over-rely on any one particular gag or character. All told, it's alright but for the best Boosh stuff, stick with the first 2 series.


I went to that gig last year too and it was awesome. Don't think I'll bother with the DVD, though, because - as you say - the first two series are just so good and so re-watchable that there doesn't seem like much of a point.


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Top 100 Moz Songs / Top 100 Films

(in reply to Gram123)
Post #: 1023
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 1:03:13 PM   
Pigeon Army


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

ORIGINAL: Piles

Glad you enjoyed it. I'm wondering why only a four, because the only negatives I see in your review are also seemingly positives, but I guess scores are pointless anyway. Has this persuaded you to check out more Godard or quit while you're ahead?


I'll always be checking out new Godard films - one day, I may find the one I truly love. I probably should've mentioned it, but I only gave Soldier a four because of some things that were annoying despite their getting their points across, and because the whole thing felt a bit too muted - by the end, I was willing someone to raise their voice just a little for a change of pace.


_____________________________

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 Piles)
Post #: 1024
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 1:54:05 PM   
DCMaximo


Posts: 992
Joined: 5/1/2007
From: Nottingham via Aidy Boothroyd's Palace of Wisdom
New entries:

6. The Doors (1991, Stone) 8/10
Excellent biopic about the Doors, and primarily Jim Morrison. Stone does his best to try and get a grip on the mindset of the unpredictable Morrison, showcasing his intelligent spiritual side (primarily Morrison's interest in Native American spirituality, as well as a brief connection to Wicca) as well as the obnoxious drug-taking rockstar that he was. He is aided by a phenomenal display by Val Kilmer, who puts on the performance of his career. He looks like Morrison, he sings like Morrison and he fully immerses himself in the character, especially in the magnificent concert footage. He is also backed up by a great ensemble cast, including Michael Wincott, Kyle MacLachlan and Meg Ryan (who puts in some of the best work I've seen from her). Some bits are rushed through, but it's a fascinating film.

8. Soylent Green (1973, Fleischer) 7/10
Sci-fi thriller about policeman Charlton Heston's investigation into a new foodstuff being used to feed the masses in 2022. Some of the performances, especially Heston, are a little ropey, but the story remains engrossing throughout, even though the big twist is telegraphed not only by the DVD cover, but also in the trailer. There are some interesting ideas within, and director Fleischer really gets across a feeling of menace and claustrophobia in the packed streets. Also, there is a magnificent performance from Edward G. Robinson as Heston's best friend, made even more remarkable by the fact that Robinson was deaf and weeks from death, and it's a worthy final performance.

10. Guarding Tess (1994, Wilson) 7/10
Fun comedy drama about Secret Service agent Nic Cage and his reluctance to continue his assignment of guarding crotchety former First Lady Shirley MacLaine. A slightly predictable plot is carried by the chemistry between the two leads, with MacLaine excellent, highlighted by her subtlety in a scene where she realises that her son only wants to see her to exploit the family name. The fine casting (Richard Griffiths, Austin Pendleton and David Graf are all fun in supporting roles) and an exciting final third ensure the film is fun throughout.

15. Batman Forever (1995, Schumacher) 3/10
For all the hate people give Batman and Robin, for my money this is far worse. At least that film decided to go all-out for fun. Forever is wildly uneven, veering from a dark look into Batman's psyche and the death of Robin's family to some mindless, over-the-top performances from Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey which really jar. Carrey, in particular, is irritating and unwatchable and the film suffers everytime he appears on screen. Val Kilmer is unconvincing and lifeless as Batman, and his romance with Nicole Kidman's psychologist, although a promising idea, is a waste of time. An absolute stinker.

Performance additions:
1. Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison (The Doors)
2. Edward G. Robinson as Sol Roth (Soylent Green)
7. Shirley MacLaine as Tess Carlisle (Guarding Tess)

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Post #: 1025
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 3:47:23 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
Hue and Cry (Crichton, 1947)

Ealing's first comedy is a brilliant boy's own adventure as a gang of post-war kids stumble across a criminal gang using the thrilling stories of a comic book to pass on information.

Just as Wilder used A Foreign Affair to give document the state of post-war Berlin Hue and Cry is more than just a great adventure story (as watchable for kids and adults alike today as it was 60 years ago). It acts as a document of the immediate post-war period (as did most of Ealing's distinctly subversive takes on post-war life). Hundreds of thousands of kids now in one-parent families, playing in the rubble of the bombed out parts of London in particular playing at war, knocking over what's left standing, and taking rather macabre turns playing the dead ones under stacks of stones, dealing with the years of violence just passed. We also have the gloriously arcane market language used by Jack Warner, passing on orders in the market and a reminder of the late US presence with a Kilroy in the fun graffitied title sequence.

Crichton plays with the film, creating on screen the exciting stories the kids are reading in The Trump - on the visit to Wilkerson he dispenses with music entirely and lets Sim sonorous, threatening voice drift down a staircase lit like the best in noir as the kids persuade themselves to keep on going, and with the final cat and mouse through the blown-up building brilliantly shot and more tense than most serious thrillers. He and Clarke (whose name is little known but who, as staff writer at Ealing, wrote some of the greatest films made in Britain) provide inventive and funny set pieces (when the kids first try to trap the crooks they end up on a speak your weight machine, the tone calling out increasing weight, breaking the silence as the kids come out of hiding to jump the bad guy, before it gives up the ghost completely). And he also gives us those final unforgettable scenes as literally hundreds of kids stream across the Thames and into the Battle of Ballard's Wharf to give the bad guys a good kicking if that doesn't have a subtext I don't know what does.

This film does belong to the boys (and single girl in the gang) with all acquitting themselves well particularly Harry Fowler as gang leader Jo and Douglas Barr (whose hysterics in the sewer were surely the model for Shuey MacPhee's last outburst in The Great Escape!). But the adults give great value Jack Warner is excellent and then there is the great Alistair Sim as the writer whose work is being abused. Locked away in his turret, thrilled to meet his public, but appalled and cowardly at the suggestion he should put himself at risk by approaching the police.



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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.


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Post #: 1026
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 4:49:20 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
1. The Usual Suspects (1995, Singer) RW
SPOILERS AHEAD
I was afraid to re-approach this film because the first time I watched this was just when I joined Empire and since then I've been told by many people that this is gimmicky and unnecessary. Rubbish. The film is Hollywood through-and-through, the plot is constructed beyond belief, but this is still one of the best films of the 90s I have seen. The performances are top-notch, particularly from Spacey, but really from everyone - Del Toro is hilarious, Byrne is intense, Baldwin is funny, Postlethwaite is awesome, and Hedaya and Palminteri work well together. The cinematography is low-key but excellent, same can be said for music.
But enough with the technical stuff - what really divides opinions about the film is the plot. People who dislike it claim the film relies too much on its twist ending. To me, it's just the final piece in the wonderful puzzle. Yes, we can't believe what we see, but we might as well have fun watching a group of criminals working together...
First 10 of the year, though as a re-watch it can't directly be compared to the others.

7. The Breakfast Club (1985, Hughes)
I decided to watch it because of Piles's review of Bueller two days ago. This is my first Hughes, and while I disagree it's 'trite claptrap', or whatever homer called it, it's certainly far from perfect.
The plot is simple - 5 stereotypes come together on a Saturday for detention and discover there's more to each other than it would seem. The actors all fit the roles, but the script is incredibly uneven, ranging from funny and/or well-done (the criminal getting 8 weeks of detention, for example) to facepalm (most notably when the outcast girl gets the makeover).
I certainly enjoyed it more than I should, but then again its tackiness is well balanced by its datedness. 7, and I certainly look forward to seeing more Hughes/Brat Pack films now.

10. Young Frankenstein (1974, Brooks)
The Producers is amazing and Blazing Saddles is great, so I had high expectations for this, but was a little disappointed. The film is not as consistently funny as the other two, and even when it is funny, it doesn't quite reach the heights of Cleavon Little kidnapping himself or Hippy Hitler. Still, there is a lot to be praised - the stylistic touches really give the film the proper atmosphere, Hackman's cameo is great, and Feldman is hilarious. 7

_____________________________

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 #: 1027
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 4:56:14 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
Vengeance is Mine (Imamura, 1979)

It is quite hard to reconcile the the types of film Imamura made. HIs work incorporated the absurd with a sense of humour but where the earlier works were harsh and cyncial  the later ones Kanzo Sensei, Warm Water Under a Red Bridge, were mellower, more quirky,while still asking questions about Japan and the Japanese.  

Based on the 78 day manhunt for a real-life serial killer (here renamed and played with some verve by the great Ken Ogata), we don't get an easy explanation for why Iwao does what he does. Although it does appear to provide hints he comes from a christian family and witnesses the humiliation of his father (by a representative of the Emperor to an extent), and we get snapshots of a troubled and troublesome boy who is not satisfied with his lot in life and drifts into petty theft and fraud. And then, with some rather mad outbursts, into murder but it isn't his main aim, more a by-product of his drifting and desire to get what he wants. The killings in this film are grotesque visceral, difficult. Not one stab and away, but difficult, people fighting for their lives. Nothing is glib and easy or sensationalised but nasty and brutal. Similarly with his crimes Iwao is also a conman and has done time for fraud and we follow through one particularly clever one where he appropriates money brought for bail but, again, this is not presented as some thrilling escapade but a record of events that aren't being glamorised.

This isn't a straight narrative certainly chronologically we're moving quickly between shots and scenes quite a lot in the first half of the film before we reach the Asano Inn, and a little less so afterwards, with longer scenes. With trains taking him all over Japan the arrival at the inn is a long sequence of shots giving a sense of immediacy that Donald Ritchie refers to as a predecessor to the kind of shot to come in The Player and Goodfellas, as Iwao moves through the station to the taxi, the inn and to his room. . It is clearer near the end with a couple of very unusual scenes one where he heads off upstairs to kill someone but, downstairs, his mother comes down the hall and heads into one of the rooms where the rest of his family are a different house and a different town. And, of course, the final absurd scene (final scenes are often odd) when his father and wife try to get rid of his remains but the ground rejects his bones after an odd and clearly important shot as their cable car ascends above the religeuse in the other going down.

I've always felt that part of this was a comment on old and new Japan particularly in the last discussion with his father where it seems more like a discussion between the old world and the new, with the latter not being quite able to destroy the former. Where his father kowtowed and accepted the old order of the Emperor and religion, denying himself his daughter-in-law, this new blood has no such impulse issues and takes what he wants no matter how destructive, most clearly seen in the final killings on screen. But his father has left that order now life has changed. It's not clearcut, but Imamura always seems to be looking at how the Japanese actually live, dealing with nature clashing with civilisation or reality and fiction (playing with the documentary form in A Man Vanishes and the role of the filmmaker). Another key character is the innkeepers mother a more interesting symbol of the older society, a murderess herself who to an extent understands Iwao's intent and forestalls it o more than one occasion. Perhaps a sign that things haven't changed as much as might be thought. But that last conversation always interested me and the final accusation that Iwao couldn't destroy his father as he only killed things he didn't hate.

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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 Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 1028
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 5:03:20 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
I've been meaning to get into Imamura's work, any idea where to start?

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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 #: 1029
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 5:16:59 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
Maybe as a first 3 this, Warm Water and The Eel should make clear enough he is pretty hard to categorise - I can understand why for some he really is the kind of director that you might really really love a couple of them and really not like the rest.

_____________________________

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 Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 1030
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 6:43:52 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Well, Lovefilm only has Warm Water and Vengeance so I guess I'll start with one of them
BTW, what's your problem with Out of the Past?

_____________________________

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 #: 1031
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 7:03:45 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Piles and Gram both went to see Boosh live?  I didn't know you were 12 year old emo girls.

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 1032
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 8:32:34 PM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
13. Star Trek (Abrams, 2009)
Although less impressed with this than I was at the cinema, it's still a good film.

18. Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (Post, 1970)
A step down from the orignal, I still liked it. I don't see how they did more sequels though.


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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 8:33:51 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23706
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41N 93W
You're not a fan of The Boosh rawls? I'm disappointed in you.

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Post #: 1034
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 10:04:39 PM   
rawlinson

 

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

ORIGINAL: Olaf

You're not a fan of The Boosh rawls? I'm disappointed in you.


The Goodies did what they're doing 30 years ago and they didn't feel the need to inflict Rich Fulcher on the nation. But beyond that they're ok, it's more the squealing fan base that annoys me.

(in reply to Olaf)
Post #: 1035
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 16/1/2010 11:36:15 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23706
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41N 93W
The Goodies you say? Shall have to investigate. They can only wish they had Vince's hair, though.

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Post #: 1036
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 1:04:39 AM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
6. A Life Less Ordinary (Boyle, 1997)



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Post #: 1037
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 1:13:10 AM   
FritzlFan


Posts: 4793
Joined: 19/11/2008
From: Bristol
3. Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch, 1984) - 4.5/5

My first film in over a week (oh dear) came in the form of Stranger Than Paradise, my third Jarmusch (after my beloved Down By Law and Broken Flowers). It follows John Lurie (Willie) as he is paid a visit from his Hungarian cousin (phwoar etc). She then, after ten days, leaves for Cleveland to live with her aunt (and Willie's aunt). A year later, we see Willie and his old pally Eddie go to pick her up and decide to take her on a trip to Florida.

The film is about boredom and loneliness - with games of solitaire, little communication between characters and the quote by the train tracks "You know, it's funny... you come to someplace new, an'... and everything looks just the same..." show the isolation of the characters on screen, and that they fail to see an escape from their mundane existence. There is a distinct lack and struggle of interaction in several scenes, such as in the cinema and when Eddie visits Willie for a beer after Eva leaves. The sole independent character in the film is Eva who, despite others' attempts, would rather go about a large amount of her time "alone." Even she, though, finds herself becoming bored when alone in the motel for a day. And so forth.

I'll probably watch the other film from the boxset I have (Permanent Vacation) and then move onto Vol. 2 or watch Ghost Dog...

Edit - I forgot to mention Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Done.


< Message edited by FritzlFan -- 17/1/2010 1:29:14 AM >


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ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

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Post #: 1038
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 1:28:45 AM   
Timmy_Brisby_05


Posts: 2675
Joined: 16/11/2005
From: Grim up North
January

1. Fantastic Mr. Fox
2. When Harry Met Sallly...
3. The Godfather

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Post #: 1039
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 1:33:16 AM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

3. Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch, 1984) - 4.5/5

My first film in over a week (oh dear) came in the form of Stranger Than Paradise, my third Jarmusch (after my beloved Down By Law and Broken Flowers). It follows John Lurie (Willie) as he is paid a visit from his Hungarian cousin (phwoar etc). She then, after ten days, leaves for Cleveland to live with her aunt (and Willie's aunt). A year later, we see Willie and his old pally Eddie go to pick her up and decide to take her on a trip to Florida.

The film is about boredom and loneliness - with games of solitaire, little communication between characters and the quote by the train tracks "You know, it's funny... you come to someplace new, an'... and everything looks just the same..." show the isolation of the characters on screen, and that they fail to see an escape from their mundane existence. There is a distinct lack and struggle of interaction in several scenes, such as in the cinema and when Eddie visits Willie for a beer after Eva leaves. The sole independent character in the film is Eva who, despite others' attempts, would rather go about a large amount of her time "alone." Even she, though, finds herself becoming bored when alone in the motel for a day. And so forth.

I'll probably watch the other film from the boxset I have (Permanent Vacation) and then move onto Vol. 2 or watch Ghost Dog...

Edit - I forgot to mention Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Done.



I really need to see some Jarmusch


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Post #: 1040
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 3:21:36 AM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
8. Waking Life (Linklater, 2001)



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Post #: 1041
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 4:48:30 AM   
Gram123

 

Posts: 5537
Joined: 19/1/2006
From: Reino Unido
quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
05. Yip Man (Ip Man) (2008, Yip, HKG) - 4.5/5

I have this waiting to be watched and I'm right in the mood for it after your review. Shame it's friggin half past four in the morning.

quote:

ORIGINAL: elab49
Vengeance is Mine (Imamura, 1979)

Has been on my want list for a long time. I only skimmed your review as I wanted to avoid any spoilerage, but I definitely want to see it.
So far the only Imamura I've seen is Warm Water, which I liked, though I realise Vengeance will be a very different beast.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piles
quote:

ORIGINAL: Gram123

Stand up:

004) The Mighty Boosh: Live - Future Sailors  (UK, 2009, DVD) - 6.0
I've liked Julian Barratt since his appearance in the mental Paramount TV show The Asylum back in 1996 (the series is all on YouTube and also features Norman Lovett, Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Bill Bailey and a several others). I also enjoyed The Mighty Boosh TV shows, though I felt each series yielded diminishing returns.
I caught them live on this tour last year, and it certainly seemed funnier in person, than it did on DVD, though it's almost a carbon copy of the gig I saw. For the first half hour of watching it tonight, I barely raised a chuckle, but that's not to say it wasn't entertaining, and the variety on display meant they didn't over-rely on any one particular gag or character. All told, it's alright but for the best Boosh stuff, stick with the first 2 series.

I went to that gig last year too and it was awesome. Don't think I'll bother with the DVD, though, because - as you say - the first two series are just so good and so re-watchable that there doesn't seem like much of a point.

Fair enough - as you saw it live, there isn't much need to get the DVD. I got it for xmas, though I did ask for it (for completism's sake). I seem to find that if I've seen a live comedy gig, and then catch the dvd of the same tour, it can have an inherently disappointing feel. It happened a little with Eddie Izzard (though interestingly, not with Dylan Moran). I think it's the knowledge that they did the exact same thing when you saw them on a different night of the tour.
Manufactured mistakes & corpsing etc is the worst. I know that when Rick Mayall & Ade Edmondson did the live Bottom gigs, they made "fuck ups" at one gig, which were replicated perfectly on a dvd that was recorded at a different venue on a different night of the tour. If you only saw one or the other, it'd be fine, but seeing both you're aware of the fakery and it sucks.
With Boosh, the key one was Fielding struggling with the chair when he was playing Tony Harrison - it happened very similarly at the gig we saw, too (though there was some slight difference with how Bollo treated him).

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson
Piles and Gram both went to see Boosh live?  I didn't know you were 12 year old emo girls.

Hey! There's no need for that!
I'm a 35 year old emo girl...

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson
quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf
You're not a fan of The Boosh rawls? I'm disappointed in you.

The Goodies did what they're doing 30 years ago and they didn't feel the need to inflict Rich Fulcher on the nation. But beyond that they're ok, it's more the squealing fan base that annoys me.

The first Boosh series, where they were zoo-bound and it was all pretty cheap and shoddy had a lot of the best comedy in it. I can't quite fathom how they went from that to where they are now, and the fanbase they've gained in the process.

The Goodies material has suffered greatly with age, IMO. I imagine the same could be true of the Boosh in years to come, like.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Timmy_Brisby_05
January

1. Fantastic Mr. Fox
2. When Harry Met Sallly...
3. The Godfather

Hang on, didn't you rate The Godfather at 10/10 the other day? So not only are you saying the awful When Harry Met Sally is a better film than The Godfather, but apparently it's also a 10/10 film? Man, your ratings and choices never cease to amaze and confuse me!



< Message edited by Gram123 -- 17/1/2010 4:50:24 AM >


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Post #: 1042
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 6:28:05 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77800
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gram123


quote:

ORIGINAL: Timmy_Brisby_05
January

2. When Harry Met Sallly...
3. The Godfather

Hang on, didn't you rate The Godfather at 10/10 the other day? So not only are you saying the awful When Harry Met Sally is a better film than The Godfather, but apparently it's also a 10/10 film? Man, your ratings and choices never cease to amaze and confuse me!



I'd agree with him except the Godfather would only get a three from me


11. Northfork (1st view, 2003, Michael Polish) - 4/5*
Not really sure what I liked about this, but I've been thinking about it all day. Maybe because I haven't a clue what half of it was about.

21. Rising Damp (1st view, 1980, Joseph McGrath) - 3/5*
A massive disappointment following the TV show. The fact that it's pretty much all rehashed material and dialogue strung together into a flimsy plot I can live with, but the brighter, less dingy setting completely changes the tone, as do the performances. They're more rehearsed, with less spontaneity and none of those great moments from Rigsby when he flusters for what to say. And that god-awful song. It's like the theme from the original The Blob, but with none of the catchiness. I also don't like what they did with Philip. I know that story came from the original stageplay, but it seems to go against the TV show, as do many things in the film.


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Post #: 1043
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 7:13:14 AM   
rawlinson

 

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

ORIGINAL: Gram123

quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson
Piles and Gram both went to see Boosh live?  I didn't know you were 12 year old emo girls.

Hey! There's no need for that!
I'm a 35 year old emo girl...





quote:

The first Boosh series, where they were zoo-bound and it was all pretty cheap and shoddy had a lot of the best comedy in it. I can't quite fathom how they went from that to where they are now, and the fanbase they've gained in the process.

The Goodies material has suffered greatly with age, IMO. I imagine the same could be true of the Boosh in years to come, like.


I think the biggest problem with The Goodies is Bill Oddie. It's not just that I dislike him, I think he plays everything incredibly over the top. But something like The Goodies Rule O.K. (the one with the 'puppet' government) is absolute genius. I actually agree about the first series of The Boosh, it was the one (along with the radio series) with the most potential. I thought the only ep of series 2 with anything going for it was Milky Joe, and that's only because the coconut stuff was oddly creepy.  But even at its best I don't think it's anything that special. As for the fanbase, it's mostly because of Noel, isn't it?

(in reply to Gram123)
Post #: 1044
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 10:29:48 AM   
elab49


Posts: 54597
Joined: 1/10/2005
Goodie  - at least I'm not the only one who thinks they've aged badly.

I quite like the Boosh. I'm female. And it's not because of a need to squeal at Noel Fielding.

Bollo, maybe.

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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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Post #: 1045
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 12:19:06 PM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
27. Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956, Honda & Morse, USA/JPN) - 2/5
A Japanese effects film about a giant dinosaur trashing Tokyo has just made mega-bucks in its native land. You, a Hollywood producer, has noticed this, and you want to replicate that success in your native land. How do you go about this? Do you -
a) pay for a top-notch dub job, and hope the American public isn't xenophobic?
b) subtitle the film and hope that the American public isn't xenophobic and illiterate?
c) remake the film and set it in an American city, hoping to replicate King Kong's success twenty years earlier?
d) hire a little known director, cast as the protagonist a man whose most memorable role up to that point as an essentially non-speaking Hitchcock villain two years earlier, and mutilate the original film with a painfully amateur dub job and writing with all the skill of a bad Harry Potter self-insert fanfiction?

You chose D? Congratulations, you must be a producer of Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, America's attempt to cash in on the Godzilla craze sweeping Japan without actually having to acknowledge Japan's contribution to it. Raymond Burr plays Steve Martin, a 1980s Hollywood comedian thrust back in time. However, the time travel process has fucked with his molecules so much that he has become a hulking behemoth with obscenely large shoulders, and the process has also removed all of his memories and all of his comedy. Lost and confused, he reinvents himself as a newspaper man, which is where we meet him, stopping over in Japan to "catch up with" a "college pal", Dr. Serazawa (dubbed by a young, hundred-and-something year-old David Lo Pan). Of course, nobody in Japan has ever met him before, and says so, but Martin's mental state is so fragile and self-defensive that he imagines everyone he meets is an old friend, 'dubbing' over their words in his mind with lifeless Asian-American voices. However, when two ships sink and he meets a group of island natives who attribute the sinkings to a prehistoric beast named Godzilla, his fragile little mind goes into overdrive, and it causes the monster to materialise on the island and make its way to Tokyo in order to destroy the source of Martin's delusions - Dr. Serazawa. Unfortunately, Morse's direction and the writing are trite and deal unsuccessfully with the ramifications of isolationism on a man's mind, and while Burr nails the initial changes in Martin's personality, there's no sense of madness or furious mental scrabbling to deal with his collapsing delusions. Furthermore, Morse and his producer undermine their own film by pillaging from Ishiro Honda's Godzilla, removing the message from it and haphazardly juxtaposing it over Martin's story - sure, it may have been cheaper than filming their own dinosaur scenes, but it just doesn't work. Godzilla, King of the Monsters is really quite disappointing, especially considering the rich concept at its heart.

28. Anonymous Rex (2004, Jarrold, USA) - 1.5/5
It's telling that the SciFi Channel wanted to spin a TV series off from this, because it really does feel like a feature-length pilot episode. However, it should be clear from the off that this film is treading dangerous water - the concept is that dinosaurs are disguising themselves as humans on modern-day Earth, which could either skew to extreme ridiculousness or extreme awesomeness depending on the talent involved. However, the talent involved isn't great - Julian Jarrold's directing never rises above competent, Sam Trammell's charismatic lead performance is devoid of all but the most miniscule of hearts, his co-stars range from meh-tastic (Daniel Baldwin, the Baldwin brother you get when you can't get Li'l Shitkicking Angus Baldwin of Glaswedinburdoon) to awful (Alan van Sprang, whom I have never heard of before and hope never to hear of again) to hamtastic (Isaac Hayes and Faye Dunaway - it's a fucking butcher shop whenever they're on screen), the CGI makes Komodo vs Cobra look like Avatar, and the story is anticlimactic and unnecessarily convoluted. It's a film with a lot of promise, but it never really capitalises on it, and it a shame that the concept ultimately ends up ridiculous because of the above factors.


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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.

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Post #: 1046
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 12:46:42 PM   
Olaf


Posts: 23706
Joined: 26/2/2007
From: 41N 93W
quote:

ORIGINAL: Gram123


quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson
quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf
You're not a fan of The Boosh rawls? I'm disappointed in you.

The Goodies did what they're doing 30 years ago and they didn't feel the need to inflict Rich Fulcher on the nation. But beyond that they're ok, it's more the squealing fan base that annoys me.

The first Boosh series, where they were zoo-bound and it was all pretty cheap and shoddy had a lot of the best comedy in it. I can't quite fathom how they went from that to where they are now, and the fanbase they've gained in the process.



I actually thought the second series was its peak in terms of consistency. Though that said, Tundra was possibly the best song to appear in any episode.

I must say, I didn't really see their commercial appeal pre-S3 either. Walking into HMV and seeing racks of merchandise is really strange for a show where one of the main characters is an asexual marijuana-smoking alien who works at Dixons.


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Post #: 1047
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 3:32:10 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Features:

4. Christmas in July (1940, P. Sturges)
Thankfully, this is much better than McGinty. The plot is just as simple, and the film is extremely short. Dick Powell plays the dreamer superbly and based on this and Murder, My Sweet I simply have to check out more of his work. As for Sturges, the script is simply amazing - beyond the introductory 10 minutes, it's hilarious, not to mention extremely astute in its observations. Overall, quite excellent, I must say. 9

7. Out of the Past (1947, Tourneur)
My first Tourneur is this highly acclaimed noir. While the plot doesn't quite hold up, there is more than enough to balance it out. The acting is excellent (Douglas is my favourite but pretty much everybody is great), the script is classic noir, and even with my poor copy I could see that the cinematography is great. Very engaging. 8

Shorts:

2. Dots (1940, McLaren) {2 mins} RW youtube
There is not much I can say about this. Abstraction is abstraction, and there's nothing I would change about this one, so it's got to be a 10

< Message edited by Miles Messervy 007 -- 25/1/2010 4:10:43 PM >


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

quote:

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

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Post #: 1048
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 4:49:50 PM   
DCMaximo


Posts: 992
Joined: 5/1/2007
From: Nottingham via Aidy Boothroyd's Palace of Wisdom
Two new entries watched yesterday. Father vs son in battle of the best film - FIGHT!

5. Dave (1993, Reitman) 8/10
Yep, the edge in this battle goes to the senior Reitman with this excellent comedy about a presidential lookalike hired to lead America when the real president suffers a stroke. Kevin Kline plays the title character and does well in his dual role as both the stiff, unlikable president and as his down-to-earth replacement. It is admittedly schmaltzy in places, but in an effective way, as Kline has enough charm to prevent the character veering too far into blandness, while sharing good chemistry with Sigourney Weaver (the first lady) and Ving Rhames (his bodyguard). The rest of the cast, including Charles Grodin, Ben Kingsley and Frank Langella are all superb and the film is a fine, old-fashioned treat.

7. Up In The Air (2009, Reitman) 8/10
That's not to say Reitman Jr doesn't do a fine job as well. Casting George Clooney as a commitment-phobic charmer may not sound like too much of a stretch, but he does some excellent work here, allowing subtle hints of sadness and regret to break though his glossy exterior. He also allows us to feel sympathy for what could have been a totally unsympathetic character. Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick both put in excellent supporting roles, and Reitman expertly balances the elements of comedy and tragedy in the script.

Performance additions:
6. Kevin Kline as Dave Kovic/Bill Mitchell (Dave)
8. George Clooney as Ryan Bingham (Up In The Air)
11. Vera Farmiga as Alex Goran (Up In The Air)
12. Anna Kendrick as Natalie Keener (Up In The Air)

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Post #: 1049
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 17/1/2010 9:23:46 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
Watched some Keaton shorts today:
8. The Frozen North (1922, Keaton/Cline) {17 mins}
SPOILERS
Very dark, Keaton's character is a murderer, robber, and possibly rapist. Pretty funny and suitably inventive. However, the ending (it was all a dream) is a let-down.
7

9. The Paleface (1922, Keaton/Cline) {20 mins}
Somewhat racist, and feels a bit like the Disney Robin Hood as far as the Indians go, but gets a pass because it's fun.
6

11. My Wife's Relations (1922, Keaton) {23 mins}
Weakest Keaton I've ever seen, even worse than Hard Luck. Boring, one-note, and over-long. Two great gags save it from total disaster.
5, barely

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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.

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Post #: 1050
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