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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 29/1/2010 11:42:03 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
4. The Lady Eve (1941, P. Sturges)
What a sheer delight. Stanwyck is incredible (not to mention breathtaking), Fonda is great at playing the buffoon, Demarest is hilarious, and while the story requires a lot of suspension of disbelief, it more than pays off at the end. 9

14. Dog Day Afternoon (1975, Lumet)
I'm a huge fan of Lumet, and this is another good film from him. Pacino's performance may be his best from what I've seen, Lumet's direction is not flashy but suits the film completely. He certainly has a thing going with New York, I'd say. I enjoyed the first, more frantically enjoyable, hour of the film more than the second half, but they're both pretty great. 8

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jamesbondguy:
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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 1:26:08 AM   
Gram123

 

Posts: 5537
Joined: 19/1/2006
From: Reino Unido
011) Ashes of Time Redux   (Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong / China / Taiwan, 1994 / 2008, Broadcast) - 5.5

I haven't seen the original version, but from a trailer and some found info, I understand that this version has had a re-edit, a new score added and some digital colour treatment. The colour has a substantial effect, a powerful yellow filter appears to have been added, emphasising the desert setting. The sun and sand, camels and buildings, and the character's tanned skintone all take on this strong tone and combine to create a hot, relentless, hyper-real environment. Some of the scenery looks amazing, but it all has this thick yellow hue weighing it down, and the slanty camera angles help to make it feel even more sickly and turgid.
The acting is generally good, certainly better than in many martial arts films. The lead, Tony Leung Ka Fai, is impressive. The whole cast does a decent job, including the other Tony Leung (Tony Leung Chiu Wai from In the Mood For Love, Infernal Affairs etc), Maggie Cheung and Carina Lau.

However, this is a Wong Kar Wai film, and as such, it suffers from that same excess of dialogue and ploddy pace that most other Wong films also have (IMO). Despite the fact that it was made up of vignettes, despite the striking look of the film, the at times quite theatrical drama, and the pleasant soundtrack, I sill found it difficult to stay awake. It's not a martial arts film by any stretch, btw, even though Sammo Hung did the action choreography. All of the action scenes are slow-mo, heavily blurred flashes of apparent action, they're not there to show off the actors' fighting skills.

As far as the plot goes, well I just couldn't bring myself to care much. The short stories centring around this hotel in the desert seemed ok, and I'm sure another director could make them, or a perhaps a more direct adaptation of Louis Cha's novel, come to life. For me, the pace of Wong's film and the characters' ruminations just sucked the life right out of it and made me long for the end. But then, I'm not the biggest Wong fan, so others might find more to like here than I did...

< Message edited by Gram123 -- 30/1/2010 1:29:35 AM >


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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 1:37:46 AM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
Well I really like his films, but I think this film suffered from exactly what you said. His style just doesnt work with this type of story. 

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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 1:40:04 AM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009
I haven't seen the Redux, but I presume it's better than the original, in which case, you're both wroooooooooong.
Fallen Angels is more amazing though

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

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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 2:20:47 AM   
Gram123

 

Posts: 5537
Joined: 19/1/2006
From: Reino Unido
To date, I've seen Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love, 2046, As Tears Go By and now Ashes of Time.
The only one of those I liked enough not to sell (or in the case of the latter, delete) was Chungking Express.



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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 2:50:54 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
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From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

in which case, you're both wroooooooooong.



Wow, Miles is the only person in the discussion who isn't wrong. How the hell did that happen?

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Post #: 1656
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 3:28:53 AM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
7. Duck Amuck (Jones, 1953)
What a great cartoon. It is hilarious and very innovative. Favourite joke: Actually I don't want to pick one out here.

9. Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (Jones, 1953)
Again, an hilarious cartoon, I think Daffy may grow to be my favourite cartoon character. Favourite joke: Anything from when they land on Planet X.

13. What's Opera, Doc? (Jones, 1952)
Fantastic

27. One Froggy Evening (Jones, 1955)
Not as good as and the other three, but still very funny

42. Observe and Report (Hill, 2009)
This isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Rogen and Pena are great in it. Even though the rest of the film is distinctly average though, it does manage to raise a few chuckles, and has a good WTF moment at the end.

43. Herr Meets Hare (Freleng, 1945)
Not really that funny at all.


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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 6:14:36 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 78054
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From: Central Park Zoo
quote:

ORIGINAL: Epiphany Demon


8. Duck Amuck (Jones, 1953, USA) Jan
12. One Froggy Evening (Jones, 1955, USA) Jan
15. Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (Jones, 1952, USA) Jan
16. What's Opera, Doc? (Jones, 1957, USA) Jan




quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86

7. Duck Amuck (Jones, 1953)
9. Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (Jones, 1953)
13. What's Opera, Doc? (Jones, 1952)
27. One Froggy Evening (Jones, 1955)



Epi D, can you see anyone peering in through your window?

You've also both got the wrong one at the top!

< Message edited by Gimli The Dwarf -- 30/1/2010 6:15:19 AM >


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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 8:59:16 AM   
Dantes Inferno


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From: Norway
quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

quote:



16. Caché (2005, Haneke) - 4/10*
Should be called How To Bore Dante to Tears. Fucking uninteresting.


FUCK YOU!


There's my backlash to you.





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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 9:10:40 AM   
m_er


Posts: 3967
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Istanpool
UP 7/10
The opening minutes were quite touching imo.The rest of the film was JUST likable (nothing more actually), with charming characters. I think it is a lil' bit over-rated. I suppose in 3D this adventure would have been much more emotional and breathtaking. Fantastic Mr.Fox is still my fave from this years animated features.

Invictus 9/10
Interesting, inspirational and an uplifting story. Must admit that it could have been somehow better.The only negativ point are the poor rugby representation imo. Other than this; amazing directing by Eastwood. Eastwoods certainly not best film to date but is another winner for Clint Eastwood. Wonderfully acted and shot. Morgan Freeman deserves an Oscar.


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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 10:18:01 AM   
DCMaximo


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

1. Shaun Of The Dead (2004, Wright) 9/10
I love SotD a little bit more every time I watch it. On initial watches, I loved it due to the strength of the zombie jokes and the admirable decision to keep the gore factor high. As I get older, however, I've grown to realise just how well written it is, with so many little jokes that refer back to lines from earlier in the film, and to appreciate how effectively Shaun and Ed's friendship is portrayed in the film. Compared to every other terrible British comedy the last decade threw up, SotD shows just how great an intelligent Brit comedy can be.

6. Impact (1949, Lubin) 8/10
Excellent noir sees Brian Donlevy's rich businessman go into exile when his wife's lover attempts to murder him, only to find himself accused of the murder of the lover. Donlevy is swiftly becoming one of my favourites, as he's been great in everything I've seen him in. He puts in fine work here, confused not only about his emotions, but also his identity, and he's charming in the scenes where he starts falling for Ella Raines' garage boss (Raines is also excellent in these scenes). The final court scenes crank up the tension perfectly and the film is gripping from start to end.

7. Wild At Heart (1990, Lynch) 8/10
Nicolas Cage has never been cooler than in his portrayal of Elvis-loving Sailor Ripley in one of David Lynch's more linear films, Wizard Of Oz references aside. All snakeskin jacket and kung-fu dancing, Cage works well with Laura Dern's trusting Lula and the pair share compelling chemistry that makes the audience will on their escape from their potential killers. The cast is filled with terrific performances from Harry Dean Stanton and Cheryl Ladd, but Willem Dafoe is the best of the supporting cast as the grotesque Bobby Peru.

13. Zombieland (2009, Fleischer) 8/10
Sadly only the second-best zombie comedy I saw this week, but it was still lots of fun, with Woody Harrelson on great form and the much-hyped cameo living up to expectations.

19. Fantastic Mr Fox (2009, Anderson) 7/10
I was really enjoying this for the first hour, really liked the look of it and some fun performances from Jason Schwartzman and Michael Gambon, but felt it lost a bit when the story moved from underground into the grey city streets. Still, pretty decent throughout.

25. Entrapment (1999, Amiel) 6/10
Enjoyable glossy heist movie which could have been better with a few tweaks. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery are both fine individually, but they don't share much chemistry and the age gap is a little too big to avoid being creepy.

31. Paranormal Activity (2007, Peli) 2/10
Apparently this was recently voted the scariest film ever, which leads me to assume that more people are scared of slammed doors than I thought. After a mind-numbing opening 40 minutes where we meet the world's most charisma-free demonologist and a normal couple showing how normal they are, we get settled into a predictable cycle of nighttime haunting (featuring a selection of door-slammings, footsteps and the woman standing up) followed by daytime arguing. The couple are one of the least sympathetic pairing I can imagine, with both his wannabe-hero act and her whining getting tired fast. In it's defence, the final scene of the film was absolutely hilarious, which did give it an extra mark out of ten for me.

Performances added:
4. Nicolas Cage as Sailor Ripley (Wild At Heart)
7. Laura Dern as Lula Fortune (Wild At Heart)
9. Brian Donlevy as Walter Williams (Impact)
12. Nick Frost as Ed (Shaun Of The Dead)
15. Willem Dafoe as Bobby Peru (Wild At Heart)
16. Ella Raines as Marsha Peters (Impact)
19. Simon Pegg as Shaun (Shaun Of The Dead)
21. Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee (Zombieland)

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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 10:56:20 AM   
Epiphany Demon


Posts: 6497
Joined: 14/11/2007

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

quote:

ORIGINAL: Epiphany Demon


8. Duck Amuck (Jones, 1953, USA) Jan
12. One Froggy Evening (Jones, 1955, USA) Jan
15. Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (Jones, 1952, USA) Jan
16. What's Opera, Doc? (Jones, 1957, USA) Jan




quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86

7. Duck Amuck (Jones, 1953)
9. Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (Jones, 1953)
13. What's Opera, Doc? (Jones, 1952)
27. One Froggy Evening (Jones, 1955)



Epi D, can you see anyone peering in through your window?

You've also both got the wrong one at the top!


STALKER!

Actually, me and Paul have a competition going, to see who can watch the most films. I got way ahead of him with the shorts, so being the copying bastard that he is, decided to watch all of them.

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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 11:28:48 AM   
TRM


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

ORIGINAL: rawlinson

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

in which case, you're both wroooooooooong.



Wow, Miles is the only person in the discussion who isn't wrong. How the hell did that happen?




quote:

ORIGINAL: Gram123

To date, I've seen Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love, 2046, As Tears Go By and now Ashes of Time.
The only one of those I liked enough not to sell (or in the case of the latter, delete) was Chungking Express.




Ah ok. My views differ a little there then. I have seen Chungking express, In the mood for love, 2046, Ashes of time and my blueberry nights. I probably have Chungking express and In the mood for love as my join favourite, but I did enjoy all of them apart from Ashes of time. I think his style works really well when put into these situations, but it doesnt suit Ashes of time at all.


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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 11:56:02 AM   
Pigeon Army


Posts: 14612
Joined: 29/1/2006
From: Pixar HQ, George Lucas' Office.
07. Il gattopardo (The Leopard) (1963, Visconti, ITA/FRN) - 4.5/5
Despite my short attention span and occasional reluctance to watch films that run over two hours along, I count a surprisingly large number of epics with massive running times among my favourite films. Lord of the Rings, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, Once Upon a Time in America and Reds number among those I love, and joining their ranks is Luchino Visconti's three-hour tale of an family of Sicilian aristocrats trying to maintain their social standing amidst the social upheavals of 1860s Sicily. Never once boring or flaccid, The Leopard is largely a success because of its central performance. Burt Lancaster's portrayal of the aging Prince Fabrizio Salina is one of cinema's greatest, a stunning tour de force of cautious optimism and pressing reservations hidden beneath his gentlemanly exterior. The camera treats him with the reverence the other characters do, and he lords over proceedings with the knowledge that he won't be able to do so for much longer, and he doesn't know how bad things will get once that moment comes. Lancaster is supported by an impeccable roll of performers, from Alain Delon's effortlessly charming performance as Fabrizio's spirited nephew to Paolo Stoppa's great essaying of Don Calogero, the embodiment of the 'new aristocracy' in the eyes of Fabrizio - bumbling, uncouth, unfamiliar with the trappings of power and unable to utilise them for good as a result. Visconti's approach is one that treats progress with a wary eye and a ready hand, and while he wisely never steps into waxing polemical about the dangers of revolution, he does present a subtle argument against the hypocrisy of the social upheavals in 1860s Sicily, criticising the "things must change to stay the same" reasoning that Delon's nephew and others repeat throughout the film like some sort of holy mantra. It's a deeply cynical look at the costs of revolution and the problems endemic in idealism, and Visconti's brings that look to life on a rich, extravagant, wholly authentic tapestry. The depth of the film is only matched by its beauty, from the abandoned mansion the Salinas would use when feeling like "breaking the rules" to the opulent and dazzling ball segment. The Leopard has fully earned its place among the ranks of the great epics, and is truly an immense, epic experience.

34. Shopgirl (2005, Tucker, USA) - 3.5/5
Shopgirl is based on a novella by that Steve Martin, but it's not a comedy. It has its funny moments, but this is Martin at his darkest and most introspective. Claire Danes plays a Sacks Fifth Avenue salesgirl, Mirabelle, who dabbles in drawing and is having a weird fling with dirty amp-salesman Jeremy (Jason Schwartzmann) when she meets Ray Porter, played by Martin himself. He's rich, charming, pleasant, and seems genuinely attracted to her, and she falls for him - but he's not looking for anything serious, and that never means anything good. The cast all do excellent work, Danes on career-best form as the vulnerable, confused (aren't they always?) Mirabelle and Martin playing it straight to great effect as the nice but cowardly Ray. Martin's script works well, and the second half of the film is a surprisingly moving experience simply because of how much work Martin has obviously put into the creation and life of these characters. However, Martin's superlative character work has a downside, though not one that stems from the script (even if the narration would not be missed). Anand Tucker's direction is low-key unless a point needs to be made, at which point it becomes a little overbearingly non-naturalistic (Mirabelle's catapulting into depression, for instance), but Tucker is an incredibly large fan of close-ups. He's so much of a fan that he uses them even when it's inappropriate, and this is particularly egregious in some of the more deliberately awkward opening scenes between Jeremy and Mirabelle, though it does reoccur sporadically throughout the film. Tucker's close-ups cross the line from intimate to uncomfortable, and the film simply becomes much harder than necessary to watch because of that. Outside of Tucker's dubious directorial decisions and that awful narration, however, Shopgirl is a surprisingly effective little drama that treads old ground and makes it seem relatively fresh.

36. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984, Spielberg, USA) - 3.5/5
It's odd that this had to come sandwiched in the middle of Raiders and Crusade, as they are clearly of a different league to Temple of Doom. The old Indy thrills are there, make no question about that - the Shanghai opening riffs on Bond in a surprisingly hilarious and clever way, the mine shaft sequence is one of the best in any of the Indy films, the ritual sequence nails its darker-than-usual atmosphere and not at the expense of the thrills, and the bug hallway achieves exactly the effect it needs to. The second half of the film also sees Ford playing Indy as well as he's ever played him, couples pulse-pounding excitement with a break-neck pace that never gets old, and has alligators. However, it just takes Indy far too long to get to where he's going this time, and from the plane crash to the dinner at the castle, Temple of Doom feels muddled and ill-defined. Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade both moved along at a fair clip and had crisp, satisfying storylines for the entire running time - Temple of Doom doesn't. It's slow off the mark and it feels hastily put together for that first hour or so, and while it still finishes up as a strong, highly enjoyable pulp adventure, like it should, it isn't brilliant. And that's the problem. Well, that and Kate fucking Capshaw.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Pigeon Army
Stop being mean to Deviation

No.

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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 12:35:31 PM   
Epiphany Demon


Posts: 6497
Joined: 14/11/2007
Ahhh I love Temple Of Doom, it's my favourite Indy. Raiders is almost it's equal, and on a rewatch before Crystal Skull, Last Crusade wasn't as good as I remembered. I'll rewatch them all soon though. But not Skull.

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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 1:54:02 PM   
paul_ie86


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

ORIGINAL: Epiphany Demon


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

quote:

ORIGINAL: Epiphany Demon


8. Duck Amuck (Jones, 1953, USA) Jan
12. One Froggy Evening (Jones, 1955, USA) Jan
15. Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (Jones, 1952, USA) Jan
16. What's Opera, Doc? (Jones, 1957, USA) Jan




quote:

ORIGINAL: paul_ie86

7. Duck Amuck (Jones, 1953)
9. Duck Dodgers In The 24½th Century (Jones, 1953)
13. What's Opera, Doc? (Jones, 1952)
27. One Froggy Evening (Jones, 1955)



Epi D, can you see anyone peering in through your window?

You've also both got the wrong one at the top!


STALKER!

Actually, me and Paul have a competition going, to see who can watch the most films. I got way ahead of him with the shorts, so being the copying bastard that he is, decided to watch all of them.




I see we are are drawing again.

You bastard. [/insertironicsmileyhere]


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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 1:59:58 PM   
swordsandsandals


Posts: 12571
Joined: 6/1/2006
From: A magical forest

quote:

ORIGINAL: m_er
Invictus 9/10
Interesting, inspirational and an uplifting story. Must admit that it could have been somehow better.The only negativ point are the poor rugby representation imo. Other than this; amazing directing by Eastwood. Eastwoods certainly not best film to date but is another winner for Clint Eastwood. Wonderfully acted and shot. Morgan Freeman deserves an Oscar.



I was psyched about seeing this then Empire gave it a middling review. I'll still watch it, and I'm glad you liked it.


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ORIGINAL: Rawlinson

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Post #: 1667
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 2:27:02 PM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
22-24. Rabbit Seasoning/Duck! Rabbit Duck!/Rabbit Fire.
A great Bugs/Daffy team up with Daffy providing the unfortunate foil to Bugs. My favourite joke out of the three is definitely "Pronoun Trouble"


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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 3:17:40 PM   
Timmy_Brisby_05


Posts: 2675
Joined: 16/11/2005
From: Grim up North
Alvin and the CHipmunks: The Squeakquel 8/10

Mrs. Doubtfire 8/10

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Post #: 1669
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 3:29:25 PM   
elab49


Posts: 54624
Joined: 1/10/2005
quote:

ORIGINAL: rawlinson


3. Fright Night (1985; Tom Holland)
Chris Sarandon has a lot of fun as Dandridge. But best of all (obviously) is McDowall. He throws his all into the film, making you believe in his character and care about his fate. It's not the greatest film you'll ever see, or even the greatest vampire film made in the mid 1980s, but it's incredibly enjoyable and worth 90 minutes of your time.

7/10



Been going through to pull out my reviews to rank them for the month and realised I missed this. I loved Fright Night  and it does have that nostalgia value for me (I've even sat through the sequel a couple of times).

What I really remember though - apart from the wonderful McDowall - is just how much I coveted that leather coat of Sarandon's. Grey, wasn't it?

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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

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Post #: 1670
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 3:31:44 PM   
FritzlFan


Posts: 4793
Joined: 19/11/2008
From: Bristol
13. The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976) - 4/5. *Spoilers*
The film follows a Polish-French citizen (Polanski) as he rents the apartment of a recently deceased woman who committed suicide. He is immediately suspicious and frightened by his new neighbours as he feels they drove her to suicide and are trying to groom him into the same fate.
This was superb up until Polanski returning to his apartment after buying a wig and some shoes. He really should have hired an actor as that particular moment was one of the funniest things I've seen in any film - inadvertently, of course. Aside from that, and Polanski looking ridiculous with his wig and dress, it was rather good. Very tense throughout.

11. Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965) - 4.5/5




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ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

Child labour is necessary in the short term




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Post #: 1671
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 6:15:30 PM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
49. Precious (Daniels, 2010)
While I didn't hate it as much as rawlinson (is that even possible), this is a pretty crap film. Only Gabourey Sidibe and a laughable line about AIDS stop it from being worse that Brothers.


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RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 6:58:41 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

!
quote:

ORIGINAL: m_er

UP 7/10
The opening minutes were quite touching imo.The rest of the film was JUST likable (nothing more actually), with charming characters. I think it is a lil' bit over-rated. I suppose in 3D this adventure would have been much more emotional and breathtaking.




It wouldn't and this obsession on 3D making films better must stop.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to m_er)
Post #: 1673
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 7:26:58 PM   
Epiphany Demon


Posts: 6497
Joined: 14/11/2007
Paul, you bastard, you jumped ahead of me! Fear not, I shall watch the Rabbit Season Trilogy later. Our lists are gonna be so fucking similar

Anyway, review of my favourite film. It's long, but I think it's quite good, so not a one line wonder!

1. The Shining (Kubrick, 1980, UK/USA) Jan * - 5/5

At the time of The Shining's release, Stanley Kubrick was around 50 years old. He had already made what many consider to be the finest comedy film of all time in Dr Strangelove, the finest science fiction film in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the finest film in which Malcolm McDowell stars (after Caligula of course), A Clockwork Orange. Stephen King was in his early 30's and had achieved fame through the novels Carrie, Salem's Lot and of course, The Shining. A respected film maker adapting what is, despite flaws in King's writing style, a very good novel, surely couldn't go wrong. And surprisingly, the best thing that could be said about Kubrick's version of King's novel is that it's different, that it doesn't conform to the usual rules of adaptation and slavishly treat every chapter as indispensable, every paragraph unchangeable. Despite these changes, The Shining is not only a competent adaptation, nor a good one. It's an improvement on it's source tenfold, a perfectly directed, excellently acted and atmospheric piece of work that adds to Kubrick's dominance of various genres.

The story of Jack Torrance's slow descent into insanity in a secluded hotel is most probably known by the majority of people, as are the ending, the money shot and the set pieces. Like the best films however, the knowledge of these don't detract from the quality of the film itself. The emotional detachment - of which some have criticised, including King himself - is perfect for a Kubrick film, as it allows him to direct the film, rather than direct the actors. Leaving it in the capable hands of Jack Nicholson and company, Kubrick adds visual flair to a film that in the wrong hands could have been drearily filmed; think of the river of blood, or the chase through the maze in the climax, or of course the much celebrated Steadicam tracking shots of Danny on his tricycle. It's efficient to a degree (and may seem to be only efficient on first viewing), but it's punctuated with a brilliance that's defined Kubrick throughout his career. None of the flair of 2001, or the grandness that a film like Spartacus required, but it's excellently handled anyway. Despite my apparent criticism of Kubrick's handling of actors above, the performances from the cast are by and large, superb. Nicholson gives a performance of little complexity, but it's nevertheless fantastic. It's low key at first, the interview with the hotel manager one of the least Nicholson things ever committed to film, a scene that even Orlando Bloom could have acted without making my eyeballs hurt; and obviously, it's not a key scene. But compare it with later on, the scene where he encounters Grady in the bathroom, or when he pursues Wendy up the stairs (my personal favourite scene, utterly compelling), and Nicholson - accused of overacting by many - comes into his own, an intensity that's unmatched by the majority of actors today. And more than anything, Nicholson's delivery stands out, fury and edge in his voice that can be chilling and hilarious at the same time. Shelley Duvall is also rather good (quite the unpopular opinion), but that's because I see her performance as a necessity. The fact that she seems unable to act just contributes to the portrayal of her character; that of a woman who is seeing her husband going insane, and may well be herself. Danny Lloyd is also very good as the young child and the holder of the titular shining, as is Scatman Crothers in a small but vital role. The best of the supporting cast however, is Mr Grady, the bathroom attendant at the Overlook. Played beautifully by Philip Stone, every line is a hint to Jack's fate, each one gaining more significance than the last. And when that ending comes, that beautifully haunting maze juxtaposed with the sheer terror of Nicholson's bellows as he chases Danny, it's directed fantastically, acted with such sheer intensity that the rather enigmatic ending doesn't act as a fault at all; instead, it does what the best twist endings do. It provokes a response, questions and second guesses. The general consensus it comes down to a typical ghost story, which could have somewhat betrayed the psychological horror that's come before it. As it stands, the ambiguity means that The Shining is open for interpretation, and it invites to the viewer to come to it's own conclusion. It's almost like a Brechtian play; there's no gasping at the twist ending, no tears, and almost no emotion except for satisfaction or bemusement. It entices the audience into thinking for themselves. The significance of the Indian burial ground on which the hotel is built upon grounds in the fact that, for all the above par acting for horror films, the high-profile director et al, it is a horror film.

Other qualities of the film include the score and the cinematography. Both are important factors in the mood of the film, with the score ominously acting as a backdrop to the characters' behaviours. While none of it is original - despite a score having been made, Kubrick used pre-existing classical music - , it's atmospheric and grand. Likewise, the cinematography, including a sweeping camera of the mountain pass that leads to the hotel (accompanied by aforementioned orchestral score), is often brilliant. The shots of the Overlook itself paint the hotel as a stronghold, a place of isolation buried deep in the snow. John Alcott, Kubrick's cinematographer from A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon, does a brilliant job painting what Kubrick visualises; the blood in the elevator shaft being the best example of this.

I wonder if The Shining had been adapted as it had been written would it have been received so cooly on release. Would King have liked it, purely because it was his work on screen? Would the critics, aware of King's work have critiqued it as a film on it's own merits? In the end though, it's a typical Stanley Kubrick film, excellently acted, perfectly directed, and more clever than the majority of films released since. It's different enough from the source novel to warrant praise as not an adaptation, but a film in it's own right. And what a superb one it is too.

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THE ALTERNATIVE LOOK AT BOB DYLAN'S DISCOGRAPHY - ONE DAY MAYBE I'LL FINISH IT

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 1674
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 7:35:15 PM   
FritzlFan


Posts: 4793
Joined: 19/11/2008
From: Bristol
I love The Shining, it's probably in my top 10.

Have you read this: http://collativelearning.com/the%20shining.html ? Some of it is nonsense, but there's tons of interesting stuff throughout the 23 chapters. There's not as many mentions of 'teh Illuminati' in this one as many others, thankfully.


< Message edited by FritzlFan -- 30/1/2010 7:37:09 PM >


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

Child labour is necessary in the short term




(in reply to Epiphany Demon)
Post #: 1675
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 7:36:46 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: Epiphany Demon

Paul, you bastard, you jumped ahead of me! Fear not, I shall watch the Rabbit Season Trilogy later. Our lists are gonna be so fucking similar

Now that you've started including shorts I'm ahead of you both

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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 Epiphany Demon)
Post #: 1676
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 7:52:19 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
Joined: 2/6/2006
From: Enemies of Film HQ
Kes (Ken Loach, 1969 or 70)- UK - 9/10

It's rough and drab, but at the same time powerful, beautiful and haunting. Young Billy Casper (a "hopeless case", as his mother considers him, played greatly by Bradley) is treated with hostility by almost anyone he know. He finds a kestrel who he trains, and while doping so, his borders broaden. Loach unites every element of the film gracefully (aside from some clunky moments) and Hanes script is fantastic. It's just sublime.

A Phantasy (Norman McLaren, 1952)- CAN - 9/10

A surreal abstract animation with things growing off the floor. Brilliant.

Herr Meets Hare (Friz Freleng, 1945)- USA - 4/10

Two good gags aside, it's just not funny. Great ending though. Shame about the rest. And at least its nowhere as horrible as Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips.


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dpp1978
There are certainly times where calling a person a cunt is not only reasonable, it is a gross understatement.

quote:


ORIGINAL: elab49
I really wish I could go down to see Privates

(in reply to Deviation)
Post #: 1677
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 7:54:56 PM   
paul_ie86


Posts: 11422
Joined: 4/1/2007
From: Chelsea Hotel #2
The chronological order is the Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning and Duck! Rabbit! Duck! if you case about that jazz

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My Group Project's facebook page. Please like

(in reply to Miles Messervy 007)
Post #: 1678
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 7:56:22 PM   
Miles Messervy 007


Posts: 6884
Joined: 11/2/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation

A Phantasy (Norman McLaren, 1952)- CAN - 9/10

A surreal abstract animation with things growing off the floor. Brilliant.

Was it my mention of it that led you to check it out? If so, you're welcome. If not, still glad you liked it

_____________________________

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 Deviation)
Post #: 1679
RE: Top 100 Films I've Watched This Year: 2010 - 30/1/2010 8:01:21 PM   
Epiphany Demon


Posts: 6497
Joined: 14/11/2007

quote:

ORIGINAL: FritzlFan

I love The Shining, it's probably in my top 10.

Have you read this: http://collativelearning.com/the%20shining.html ? Some of it is nonsense, but there's tons of interesting stuff throughout the 23 chapters. There's not as many mentions of 'teh Illuminati' in this one as many others, thankfully.



I haven't read it, but bookmarked for later, thanks


quote:

ORIGINAL: Miles Messervy 007

Now that you've started including shorts I'm ahead of you both


You're not part of the competition, swine! You entering ruins the all around good looks of the participants

_____________________________

THE ALTERNATIVE LOOK AT BOB DYLAN'S DISCOGRAPHY - ONE DAY MAYBE I'LL FINISH IT

(in reply to FritzlFan)
Post #: 1680
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