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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films

 
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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 18/6/2012 2:06:50 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
47. Fight Club (1999)

Director: David Fincher



'Fight Club' packs a punch as a testosterone fuelled story about masculinity in crisis. Edward Norton is magnificent as our narrator, a pessimistic insomniac who fills his inordinate amount of spare time attending a class for those suffering from testicular cancer. There he meets Marla, (Helena Bonham Carter) another phony but certainly not without some severe issues of her own. After returning from a business trip the narrator (who we can also call Jack) finds his apartment destroyed. He calls Tyler Durden, a cunning soap salesman he met on the flight, Tyler is good looking, in good shape, intelligent and strong minded. After urging Jack to strike him outside of the bar and then fighting each other frequently the two create ‘Fight Club’ a club for men filled with pent up anger and tired of ‘the system’.
This is a film for the everyman, the guy who gets up, goes to work and gets bossed around by idiots. A guy far too intelligent for his own good and the film is aimed at the male demographic, late twenties to mid thirties who work in office type jobs, those are the ones in the film who are drawn to the idea of Fight Club. Men sick of consumerism, sick of dealing with rich, greedy bosses, idiotic customers and just ready to explode. The men seem to gain a thrill from going into work after fighting the night before; they feel liberated yet it is their club and their secret. The rules of Fight Club establish a sense of belonging in the members, as they are not allowed to talk about the club to anyone else. They are set projects such as finding another professional worker to have a fight with and losing. This is done to test the psychology of the public, most try to avoid a fight but by giving these average Joe’s a chance to win a fight they are pushing social boundaries.
Of course fight club interferes with his work and when he is fired Jack begins punching himself in the face, screaming and crashing into furniture so it appears as if his boss has attacked him

The story steps up a notch when Tyler becomes involved with Marla, Jack is certainly jealous and grows to resent Tyler somewhat. Of course the majority of film- goers could tell you the revelation, Jack and Tyler Durden are one and the same. Tyler is Jack’s alter ego, everything he ever wanted to be but didn’t see possible. Brad Pitt was perfect for the role because that is who he himself is, a man others want to be. A man you can grow to resent through jealousy of his genetics and success yet if offered the chance to be him you would. By being strong and proving his masculinity through fighting, Jack proved he could be this alpha male, he was the one setting the tasks for people to lose a fight to a fellow white collar to put those business men in his shoes and make them feel like a Tyler Durden. Jack was also the one screwing a very confused Marla. Through believing in himself and testing the limits of his bravery our narrator managed to get his most loyal members to create Project X, they could destroy buildings containing credit information to truly fuck with the economy.
Jack is ultimately a projectionist who distorts the way life works to make things more interesting and judging from the rapid glimpse of a phallus that appears at the end of the film, so is David Fincher.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 18/7/2012 11:54:36 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 1/7/2012 10:16:20 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
46. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

Director: Robert Mulligan



I read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ when I was a young teenager and it is a book that will always stay with me. It is a timeless classic because the themes are relevant to any period of time for they relate to human nature and not gimmicky trends. Robert Mulligan's film does justice to Harper Lee's novel.

However 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is not just an adaptation of a classic piece of literature but a work of art in its own right. The spirit of Alabama is captured in a haze of dusty heat, the small town life that seems welcoming yet brimming with racial prejudice. Gregory Peck plays Atticus Finch with immaculate detail; he owns this performance in a role that could never be replicated.
Atticus is a lawyer who is to defend the hard working Tom Robinson who is the ‘mockingbird’ of the title. Robinson is a black man accused by redneck townsfolk of raping a white woman despite overwhelming evidence suggesting the improbabilities and impossibilities of this story. Why would you shoot a mockingbird when all it does is sing its heart out for you? Atticus is the ideal lawyer; he is straight down the line, not prejudiced or judgemental and believes everyone should have a fair trial.
Infused with this court case is the story of Atticus’ children, the protective older sibling Jem and his younger sister Scout who is the narrator of the story. Both child actors put in an excellent performance (I always find this to be a rare occurrence) particularly Philip Alford as Jem who appears wise beyond his years.
The children are fascinated by the mysterious stranger Boo Radley yet do not dismiss him as a freak but instead try to communicate with him (a lesson of course learned from there respectable father.)
Tom Robinson and Boo Radley’s stories intertwine with a fluent flow, the narrative is excellent constructed.

To Kill A Mockingbird’ highlights the power cinema has in connecting with our emotions, if you are a sucker for anything touching or feel good this film is an essential. The tragedy of Tom Robinson is a tear- jerker but yet the film does not end on a negative note thanks to Boo Radley. My personal favourite scene has to be the ‘Stand up your father is coming’ line as Atticus walks the length of the court. However it is not just a matter of lines and character development that create this classic but the father-son, father-daughter and brother-sister relationships, the greatest on-screen chemistry involving a family that I have seen. It is also the greatest court room drama I have seen and in a genre that produced the likes of '12 Angry Men' and 'Witness for the Prosecution' that is a big deal. As an added bonus the film put Robert Duvall on the map.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 1/7/2012 10:17:13 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 7/7/2012 6:21:24 PM   
garvielloken


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Great choice with Fight Club. It's my favourite film. Nice review too.



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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 18/7/2012 11:53:34 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
45. Out of the Past (1947)

Director: Jacques Tourneur



Frequently referred to as the greatest smoking movie of all time and regarded as one of the greatest and most definitive in the film noir cannon, ‘Out of the Past’ is essential viewing. Robert Mitchum plays Jeff Markham the droopy eyed, cynical lead; typical to noir he is no role model. Jane Greer is Kathy, the femme fatale and Kirk Douglas is the film’s antagonist. What is most remarkable about the film is its range in both storytelling (delving into the past while sustaining present time) but also its range geographically whether the location be California, New York or Acapulco.

Kathy is the past Jeff wanted to escape and reason for his small-town life at the beginning of the film. His relationship is with Ann, a virtuous, innocent woman who stands by her man. When trying to get over a loved one it is common to date an opposite, but it is clearly visible that Jeff prefers his women to be dangerous. Of course Jeff knows how manipulative and cold Kathy is, perhaps he does not feel he deserves someone as sweet as Ann or perhaps it is the classic case of wanting someone who doesn’t want you.
Regardless Jeff’s hiding is futile for one cannot escape the past and the skeletons emerge. Jacques Tourneur directs this film with a confident fluidity, often when films delve into different periods of time they feel cluttered or the narrative is hard to follow. Out of the Past flows in such a way that is simple to follow, the same cannot be said of the quick-fire narrative and on that note this film has some of the best one- liners you could find in a film of this calibre.

Spoilers

The ending of the film is what draws some criticism. Kathy shoots Jeff and is then gunned down by the police. There have been various readings into this. Some claim that it is the death of the dominant female. I disagree as Kathy remains in control of her death. She chooses to go the way she does and ultimately gets the last victory over Jeff. This contrasts other film noirs of the forties, for example Mildred Pierce sees women cleaning the steps as Mildred’s husband comes to collect her from the police station restoring a patriarchal society. Out of the Past’s ending conforms to a matriarchal society, from the get go it is Kathy who is controlling each situation regardless of Ann’s role as the stereotypical housewife. Sure she meets her demise but in the process she takes the submissive woman’s lover. In short women are better at playing a man's game than men themselves.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 19/7/2012 5:16:00 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 19/7/2012 5:10:05 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
44. House of Flying Daggers (2004)

Director: Zhang Yimou



The House of Flying Daggers is an underground movement consisting of a gang of Robin Hood- like outlaws which includes the blind Mei (Zhang Ziyi.) Disguising as an ally, police captain Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro) helps Mei escape from incarceration in order to gain her trust in the hope she leads them to the House of Flying Daggers base. Along the way Jin reports to fellow cop Leo (Andy Lau) but a problem presents itself when Jin and Mei fall for one another despite Jin’s seemingly forceful approach. Not only does Jin face this moral dilemma but also numerous warriors who attack the two on their way. The film’s most infamous martial arts scene is set within a vibrant green and pale blue- skied bamboo grove. Warriors leap from all directions as they fight their ballet with Mei who uses the trees for balance while wielding her own bamboo stick of war as a weapon. She deflects arrows of this bamboo before sliding down the trees and angling herself to hit her opponents on the side of their heads. Being blind she uses her senses to find her opponents, much like Kitano’s 'Zatoichi' with the exception that Mei is ten times cooler
Each scene is accompanied by these quaint forest sounds, even when the bamboo sticks are rapidly thrown there is a melancholic beauty to their sound reminiscent of heavy raindrops and a thunderstorm as one sits in the warmth and safety of their home. Forget whale sounds. Of course the audio is nothing more than an afterthought when compared to the film’s visuals. The costume design is flawless helping the characters (who look almost like a set of woodland elves or forest pixies) to stand out from their surroundings while also blending them into the background somewhat. Zhao Xiaoding, the film’s cinematographer truly brings out the beauty of nature. When I visit a Chinese restaurant I enjoy savouring the wide arrays of colours and flavours present in their cuisine, as it turns out the forests, mountains and fields of China pack a similar punch. Whether the colours be subtle, faded, dull, pale, vibrant or deep shades each scene is an enjoyable course in its own right. The ending scene is set in a vast snow- dusted meadow complete with the maple autumn leaves of surrounding trees. In short this film deserves high- definition. It is not gimmicky like those crappy 3D movies but rather an art that is best appreciated on Blu-Ray. The film is set in 859 AD and the costumes and shots were based from paintings similar to the successful cinematography of 'Barry Lyndon'. Like Zhang Yimou’s previous film ‘Hero’ certain scenes are colour themed.

Speaking of the film's director, Zhang manages to pace this masterstroke excellently. The story is gripping, not over-complicated yet containing enough twists and turns to keep the viewer satisfied. It is refreshing to see depth in the narrative of a film that’s sole aim seems to be its visuals. The performances of the three leads are equally impressive; I constantly change my mind on my favourite of the three. Each share their own perspective and reason is given for them all to be the way they are setting up a poignantly dramatic and theatrical ending that will leave no doubt in your mind that you have sat through an epic.
Comparisons are always drawn between Daggers and ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ but I feel the latter doesn’t deserve to be held in the same breath as it lacks the class and charm of Daggers.
If it is action you desire but not the loud, explosive, foul language-fuelled, blood ‘n’ guts kind then look no further for a controlled action opera with all the inner peace, discipline and respect you would expect of a martial arts film.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 30/7/2012 1:13:50 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 30/7/2012 1:17:48 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
43. Sideways (2004)

Director: Alexander Payne



I am NOT drinking any FUCKING MERLOT!

A film for wine lovers telling the story of Miles Raymond (Paul Giamatti) and Jack Cole (Thomas Haden Church), two friends who head to the Santa Ynez Valley with different intentions. For wine aficionado and aspiring author Miles the trip is about tasting some quality wine, playing some golf and catching up with his friend. For Jack it is his last chance to have a sexual fling before he is to be married and he wants Miles to be his wing-man, however it is clear Miles is still dwelling on his ex-wife. The wine valley was a romantic location he took his former lover and it is clear that the place holds too many memories.

Paul Giamatti became known as one of the best character actors after his performance, Miles is a complex character who steals money from his Mother and acts like somewhat of a bore. He does not like going out of his comfort zone and has to take Xanax to deal with anxiety. This anxiety stems from the fact that he once believed he would be a rich, successful author yet in reality he is just a high school teacher and divorcee. Jack on the other hand is a well-built, ruggedly handsome actor with a pretty fiancée and the ability to woo most women. We have to question why these two are friends but there are certain scenes where Miles lets loose and their chemistry can be seen, for example when Miles swings a golf ball towards another group of men and Jack runs after them swinging his golf club loosely like a maniac.

In terms of our protagonists it is harder to find a film with more character development. While Jack could be lambasted for being shallow and thinking of his dick as opposed to his friend it could also be said that Miles does not make the effort to be social or entertaining and makes it clear he would prefer to be at the valley with his ex-wife than with Jack. What helps to make Jack endearing despite being a cheating sleaze is his positive attitude to life, he is not a defeatist and likes to have fun, although he is also incredibly vain and selfish. Miles is a depressive, self-pitying wreck yet by the end of the film it can be seen that he is sentimental and will go to extreme measures to help others.
During their trip the duo meet two women, Maya (Virginia Madsen) and Stephanie (Sandra Oh.) Maya shares Miles’ passion of wine, she appreciates the care, deliberation and craftsmanship that goes into each bottle, how the wine is hand picked and how the taste will change depending on how long it has been stored (an obvious allegory for Miles’ character.) While those two engage in this deep conversation, warm faced and content from the wine’s buzz Jack is in the next room having meaningless sex with the naïve Stephanie. It is of course the slow building relationship of Miles and Maya that ages well (like a fine wine- sorry I couldn’t resist) and Jack and Stephanie’s brief fling that lacks any of the attention or care as if it is simple a standard glass of Merlot to Miles and Maya’s Pinot.

Set over the course of seven days Sideways tells us everything we need to know about the characters as well as the human condition in general. Among my friends I have many Miles’ and many Jack’s and this human element is where the film’s strength comes from but it is also a film about wine and lovers of the fruity concoction will be craving good company and a well aged glass of the substance. Just remember rule one is to always tilt the glass sideways to recognise the wine’s age and story.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 30/7/2012 2:37:58 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14555
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From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
Yeah, Sideways is brilliant.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 30/7/2012 2:44:21 PM   
elab49


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I, too, like Sideways an awful lot.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 30/7/2012 4:36:32 PM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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The absolute funniest bit of Sideways is when MC Gainey is running starkers towards the car. What that says about me I do't know.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 30/7/2012 4:37:40 PM   
matty_b


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So many things say something about you, Gimli - that's quite possibly the least of them.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 31/7/2012 12:16:46 AM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
42. Duel (1971)

Director: Steven Spielberg



Very often a film’s flaw can be that too many things are explained. A standard whodunit allows the viewer to play detective but more often than not revelations in a film can take away the impact of the blow. You watch a thriller and its all very mysterious and you get that big payoff but once you have seen the film there is no satisfaction because you know that it was Colonel Mustard in the lounge with the candlestick. Duel is a film where a business commuter is stalked across the desert by a grubby tanker truck. This truck tries to push his measly car onto railway tracks, tries to drive headfirst into him and attempts to trick him into a collision; all in the name of… what exactly? No motive is given, there is no backstory leading up to this event that could explain who the driver might be and no answer is ever given. We are left completely in the dark and that is why this film remains creepy every time you watch it. The only sight we catch of the driver is his arm signalling out the window and a pair of brown boots that our protagonist David notices when his is filling up at the gas station. As an audience we don’t need to see any more than this, it doesn’t matter if he is physically stronger or weaker than our protagonist; all that matters is that he has the strongest and fastest vehicle. It is survival of the fittest.

Many horror films are set at night when all the ghouls come out to play but Duel can be set in the daytime due to its sparse, dusty desert atmosphere. Nobody is going to come help as highlighted in one key scene in which a flustered David stops (or rather crashes) at a diner called Chuck’s Café. After regaining his senses in the restroom he returns only to see a room full of potential suspects. Each customer stares at him, obviously he is an outsider so naturally they would but David’s paranoia kicks in. Which one tried to kill him on the road? He checks their boots but several of them have similar pairs. He orders some water and some rye bread with Swiss cheese as he observes them; one suspicious character goes to leave but departs in a different vehicle. David scans the room again before his tension builds up and boils over and he tries to call a truce with a man he suspects. The man, oblivious to what he is talking about appears confused and a fight takes place. Each person in the diner stares at David as if he is some freak, the worst thing that could ever happen in a life or death situation where you are being stalked by a killer is for everybody around you to view you as the wrongdoer. Eventually after this commotion the truck drives off, the driver had never entered the diner and had no doubt witnessed David’s display of paranoia with a degree of sick voyeurism. Do the locals know what is happening? Do they know the guy in the truck? We don’t know and it honestly doesn’t matter.

A phone call at the beginning of the film between David and his wife reveals that the two went to dinner and a man was making sexual advances on his wife. David had apparently shrugged the situation off and ignored it as opposed to telling the man to lay off. David could also have confronted the truck driver at the gas station (at this stage the driver had not tried to kill him but had already pulled off some dangerous overtaking) but had instead chose to drop the situation in the naïve belief that the onslaught would not continue. It is clear that he is a coward, someone who would perhaps ignore another in need. This battle on the road becomes his chance to prove his competency as a man. It is a road version of the battle of the penis size but his opponent is packing the tanker truck. During the latter quarter of the film we see a more confident David, he is ready to become a man by outwitting his enemy in order to take the bastard down.
It is a testament to Spielberg’s skill that he can direct a film in which a simple tanker truck is one of the most frightening villains in cinema. As the driver is given no face we almost apply the face and personality to the vehicle itself, it becomes several wheels of evil incarnate.



< Message edited by chambanzi -- 31/7/2012 12:19:48 AM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 31/7/2012 5:39:41 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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Brilliant film. Great to see it so high.

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So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 31/7/2012 9:26:21 AM   
matty_b


Posts: 14555
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Duel is very good and yet another I think I forgot for the '70s list.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 3/8/2012 10:21:34 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
41. Ben-Hur (1959)

Director: William Wyler



A film that won 11 Academy Awards and upon its release boasted the most expansive sets ever seen. At over three hours long and set in Rome during the period of Kings, slaves, gladiators, charioteers and … Jesus Christ!

Charlton Heston is Ben-Hur, a prince who reunites with his childhood best friend Messala (Stephen Boyd.) Both men are happy to see one another but the conversation turns rather icy when the tribune Messala seems brainwashed by the Military believing Jews are nothing more than slaves to the Roman Empire. This does not sit well with Ben-Hur who himself is a Jew and a man of faith as opposed to a man of war.
Before long Messala exiles Hur who is sent to the galleys to work on a slave ship, a mysterious man provides Hur with water before he is taken onto said ship and this is obviously Jesus Christ. Either due to this chance meeting with the savior or perhaps nothing more than a testament to Hur’s grit he stays physically and mentally strong during his time as a slave resisting the urge to succumb to the privilege of death. Instead he fights through his torturous exhaustion, thirst and starvation and continuously rows despite his sore hands.

In a scene comparable to the battle scene in Barry Lyndon, Ben-Hur’s life is changed by one event when he saves the life of the Roman consul. Hur is freed and adopted by the man he saved, Quintus Arrius.
Now a freed man Ben-Hur returns to Jerusalem and reunites with Esther (Haya Harareet), his old flame (must be somewhat of a relief after years on a galley ship.) Unfortunately with this good news comes the bad, his enslaved Mother and Sister have passed away. The desire for vengeance burns deep in Hur (granted Heston’s stiff acting might not quite convince one of this) and he learns of a chariot race involving Messala.
If you ask anyone what Ben Hur’s key scene is they would name the chariot race, Ben’s white horses race Messala’s army of black horses (yes the horses represent the goodies and baddies) but there is a catch that has since been replicated in a vast number of race scenes throughout film or fiction. Messala’s chariot involves blades that tear into the opposing vehicles to send them out of control. This plan almost works but subsequently backfires and Hur is victorious in a thrilling moment of ‘Oh yeah Ben won it!’ Then in another scene that was perhaps not a cliché at the time but feels like one now Hur manages to learn that his family are still alive from a dying Messala’s final utterances. They have been banished to the Valley of the Lepers, Esther was aware of this but the Mother and Sister had not wanted their good memory ruined by Hur when he saw them in their state. This idea really drains me emotionally but through Christ’s crucifixion Hur no longer feels the need to take down the entire Roman army (hell he’s not Spartacus, but that’s a good thing) and his Mother and Sister are healed returning to their normal state. Happy endings can often be unoriginal but here is a film in which a happy ending ties everything together perfectly. Ben Hur, Esther and Mother and Sister live happily ever after with a strong Christian overtone that Christ the martyr died to save them of their sins. Personally I like the strong Christian overtone, I’m not a practising Christian and certainly don’t take the Bible literally but I do have faith in something. Many may claim the film is ‘brainwashing’ them but I put that down to some spoilt brat atheist attitude. The kind of people who would spoil Santa Claus for kids deeming it as a ‘lie.’
So if you fancy an epic riches to rags to riches story of salvation, love and honour that excels lesser epics such as 'Spartacus' (minus Peter Ustinov’s incredible performance) then here is a film for you.
Alternatively if epics aren’t for you at least watch the chariot race scene for a taste of perfectly executed film-making.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 3/8/2012 11:26:28 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
40. Dark City (1998)

Director: Alex Proyas



Dark City is a futuristic Sci-Fi, Neo Noir based on those forties Film Noir’s where detectives solved a mystery, but always at night. Dark City toys with this theme as the city is constantly stuck in a state of perpetual darkness. What is most disconcerting is how long it takes the film’s central character to realise this.
Shell Beach is the location amnesiac Murdoch (Rufus Sewell) remembers from his past, a postcard he carries reads ‘Greetings from Shell Beach’ featuring a scenic view accompanied by a cartoon Sun winking in joy. Where has the sun gone? And why are there strange bald men after him?

Similar to ‘Memento’ (a film Dark City possibly inspired) our main character is not one we can completely trust as he is being pursued by police inspector Frank Bumstead (William Hurt) in connection with a string of murders. A recurring symbol throughout the film and one present at the murder scene is that of the spiral. The spiral is the same symbol contained on our fingertips, appropriate for a film about identity and memory. However the spiral also conveys design and symbolises the changing of the city landscape, an event that occurs every midnight when Murdoch witnesses the cities residents freeze and the strange, bald men (adequately named The Strangers) alter the city.

Jennifer Connelly is the love interest, a woman Murdoch feels that he loves despite his amnesia although he has the indescribable feeling she was cheating on him. Despite a clear lack of memory relating to his lover the two show great on-screen chemistry somewhat reminiscent of the two lovers in ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ who know there are perhaps reasons to suggest they shouldn’t love one other but do regardless.
Kiefer Sutherland also co-stars as the crazed Doctor, a character reminiscent of Joe Pantoliano’s in 'Memento', do we trust him or not? Sutherland overacts in this one with a ridiculous stutter but somehow it works. This film is not meant to be realistic and there is a definitive comic-book feel to the dark urban spaces and their dangers such as corrupt law enforcers, promiscuous women and characters with a lot to hide. Murdoch is an alienated character for he can see the cityscape changing and in that sense it is as much a film about the city as the likes of ‘Taxi Driver.’

Roger Ebert rates this film highly; while I often disagree with his opinions I feel that he couldn’t be more correct regarding this film. It is seriously underrated. Yes the final ‘action’ sequence seems ridiculous but this isn’t an action film. It is not ‘The Matrix’ where the climax is dodging bullets. The film’s strength is within the dark corners of the dimly lit, slightly blue and green tinged city itself. Where is Shell Beach in a place this dark? What will happen to the lovers? And ultimately what is the entire premise metaphorical for? Dark City is a film that immediately poses many questions, answering enough to entertain while leaving enough open and lingering to ensure it is a film you remember. And it is certainly a film other directors seem to remember, the final scene undoubtedly inspired ‘Requiem For A Dream’ perhaps even explaining Jennifer Connelly’s presence.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 21/11/2012 10:42:08 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 9/8/2012 12:46:39 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
39. Rio Bravo (1959)

Director: Howard Hawks



John Wayne was always one for patriotism in the Western genre. He turned down a role in Clint Eastwood’s ‘High Plains Drifter’ as he felt it was a one- man show where the townsfolk were easily manipulated and didn’t possess that true American fighting spirit.
The people of Rio Bravo, Texas are a fighting breed. When a prisoner is held John Wayne and his cronies must wait for the Marshall to arrive, however their safe space is limited to this prison cell as the prisoner’s sinister brother Nathan Burdette and his gang wait just outside of town.

Wayne is Chance and his fellow guards include Dean Martin’s drunkard Dude (which is Spanish for drunk), old man Stumpy (Walter Brennan) and young man Colorado (Ricky Nelson.) Each character is entirely different from the last but what is important is that they all share a love for black coffee, cigarettes and singing because they spend the majority of their time enjoying these three luxuries. There is action too, although it is thinly spread. Despite being a drunkard who has lost the love of his life and drowns himself in his self-pity, Dude is still an incredible shot and we see how much of a valuable asset he is.

If I had a nickel for every time I have heard someone dismiss a great Western because they don’t like John Wayne then I would have enough money to bribe the villains of his films. However I am a fan of the big man. As Chance he is the stubborn, somewhat feared, father like figure whose very presence commands respect and whose facial expressions speak of a man who is not perfect but trying get along the best he can by protecting the townsfolk. He talks to other characters like crap (especially ol’ Stumpy) yet out of all of the characters he has one of the biggest hearts. The love relationship between Chance and Feathers (Angie Dickinson) showcases Chance’s tender side that still co-exists with his gruff, aggressive nature. The only other Howard Hawks films I have seen are his screwball comedies with Cary Grant (and to master both the comedy and Western surely speaks of his versatility) but a similarity can be seen between these films in that the female characters are strong and independent as opposed to mere damsels in distress. Dickinson plays the role mysteriously, she is an outsider to Rio Bravo and we are keen to learn her history.
Walter Brennan and Ricky Nelson fit their roles of the old and young man. Stumpy is both hilarious and annoying often getting confused or agitated by Chance’s character whereas Nelson is quietly dangerous; both cool and laid back but certainly an impressive gunslinger.
Nevertheless the film’s scene-stealer is Dean Martin in a performance that seems to have aged tremendously (for some strange reason I could see Tom Hardy playing this role if a remake were to be made as he holds a similar air about him.) When we first meet Dude all we see is a pitiful drunk but as the movie unfolds he earns our respect one drunken step at a time.

Despite being consistent throughout one particular scene always stands out for me, this is where Chance and Dude leave the safety of the jailhouse to patrol the streets at night. This scene is masterfully directed, uneasy and tense. We fear a bullet will fly from the great unknown and enter one of our heroes flesh at any second. In a film that is generally light-hearted, a gritty, dangerous scene like this is all the more effective.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 9/8/2012 12:48:06 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 10/8/2012 7:18:38 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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Fantastic choice with Rio Bravo. By far my favourite John Wayne film.


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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 15/8/2012 11:17:15 PM   
chambanzi


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38. Up (2009)

Director: Pete Docter



This is the first review I have written to include a confession. My confession is that I shed a tear watching this film, something I have never done before. The opening montage (which could have been a short film in itself) opened up those tear ducts, in the process loading the shotgun and the ending of the film shot that gun producing small bullets of water much to the affectionate mockery of my girlfriend. The idea is just so tragic, a loving husband and wife with a great sense of adventure who wanted to settle down in Paradise Falls. Of course the wish ended up being nothing more than a childish dream and the wife passed away. Why can’t life ever be the way we want it?
Up is one of the most mature films Pixar have ever created. Here there is no fairy-tale ending but rather a film that says life can be dark, disappointing and grim but we can’t let that stop us living. As illustrated by the book our protagonist Carl flicks through, life is one long journey in which we can never be sure when one adventure ends and the other begins.

Now with this backstory in mind our grumpy, widowed old man embarks on a South American adventure when he ties balloons to his house. Any animated comedy needs its fair share of quirky characters so along for the journey is the pesky Boy Scout Russell who proceeds to irritate the living daylights out of Carl until ol’ grumpster grows to understand and care for the child. So yeah it’s a road trip movie set in a house, up in the sky where a bunch of helium balloons guide the way. Now add to the mix dogs with collars that enable them to speak and the colourful birds, vast skies and exotic waterfalls of South America and you have an animated movie that delivers visually, comically and emotionally.

Up is also a great film to relax and fall asleep to. Of course it deserves your full attention the first time but I find having this one on in the background makes for a peaceful nights sleep. Watch this one for a film that will make you feel sad but in a happy way that makes you feel alive and like becoming a better person. The film is pretty existentialist in that sense but the one question it left me with was this. Is Russell meant to be Chinese?

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 16/8/2012 12:15:54 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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Fantastic. First film to make me cry at the cinema

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So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 16/8/2012 8:07:01 AM   
MovieAddict247


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gimli The Dwarf

Fantastic. First film to make me cry at the cinema


Same - first time I cried at the cinema (which I've now only ever done thrice).

Great choice.


quote:

ORIGINAL: chambanzi

The film is pretty existentialist in that sense but the one question it left me with was this. Is Russell meant to be Chinese?



I believe the preferred nomenclature is Asian-American......

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 16/8/2012 8:16:02 AM   
Rebel scum


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I love Up, it's my favourite Pixar film.

quote:

ORIGINAL: chambanzi

Is Russell meant to be Chinese?



I read this in the exact same tone of voice as "Kevin is a girl?"

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 16/8/2012 10:57:08 AM   
chambanzi


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37. Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974)

Director: Martin Scorsese



After the death of her husband in what is perhaps the worst case of product placement for Coca Cola, Alice Hyatt feels somewhat liberated in that her chains have been unshackled so to speak. For too long her husband bossed her about and she was not allowed an opinion or identity of her own. This much can be established early on when we see her growing frustration at the dinner table in which she hopelessly tries to initiate conversation receiving no adequate reply.
Early on and we are already feeling sympathy for Alice but it is clear she is a strong character and Ellen Burstyn brings the role to life expressing a woman who is not just independent because she can get by without a man but owing to her various personality traits. Alice makes the wise cracks against the arrogant men and even the handling of her son Tommy contains the sarcasm one would expect to receive from an older brother.

Without her husband in the picture Alice manages to sell unwanted possessions and leaves her suffocating cubby- hole to explore the world in search for a job. Before settling down into the mundane life of a housewife Alice was a singer and she manages to find a temporary job as a singer in a bar in Arizona. Her ultimate aim is to head to Monterey, California (the American Dream) and it takes the arrival of the physically abusive ben (Harvey Keitel) to get the car back on the road again.
The next stop is Tucson where Tommy befriends a rebellious, young Jodie Foster. Alice takes a waitressing job but is disgusted by fellow waitress Flo who is outspoken with a vulgar mouth. It is in Tucson where Alice meets David (Kris Kristofferson) whom she gradually falls in love with. This comes to a halt when a frustrated David spanks a spoilt Tommy (the kid deserves it) reminding her of her late husband.
Keen to make amends David lingers around the picture while Alice flourishes in her now found single life. She becomes very friendly with Flo once she adapts to her no-nonsense attitude and learns that women like Flo are the way they are through living a life of hardship and that the dirty humour is in fact representative of a strong, weathered female with willpower. It is this type of woman Alice enjoys being but can she find love again?

The ending of this film received a lot of feminine criticism as they feel it defeated the purpose of the film. Nonsense. What interests me about this film is the witty dialogue containing all the edge of a Tarantino or Coen brother’s script without seeming as forced and self-important. Alice doesn’t live here anymore feels like a lighter Paris, Texas with a couple of Scorsese elements thrown in (mainly the technical brilliance and the inclusion of Harvey Keitel and a young Jodie Foster.)
The Burstyn/Scorsese collaboration is a mighty one and Burstyn spoke very highly of working with Scorsese in this film. Certainly not a Scorsese film that is thrown around in conversation often but if you get the chance to watch this one don’t turn it down, it is a feel good movie but one with character development, intelligence and real life issues. Not the annoying kind where a guy like Ryan Reynolds will make lame, cringe inducing jokes for two hours.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 16/8/2012 10:58:44 AM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 2/9/2012 2:12:42 AM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
36. Blue Velvet (1986)

Director: David Lynch

HEINEKEN? FUCK THAT SHIT!



Spoilers Throughout

A perverse noir clouded with sex, freshly cut lawns, Roy Orbison, dry humping, a severed ear, cold Heineken and a naked lady running through the suburbs. A fucked up masterpiece.

What I love about this film is that it shows the underbelly of a superficial neighbourhood. Blue Velvet is that view over the picket fence to spy on the neighbours. The title sequence alludes to that voyeuristic glimpse behind those blue velvet curtains. The film is also about a young man with a pretty girlfriend who can’t resist the strange allure of an older woman who brings a certain danger about her. He knows he should stay away but he can’t resist that peek through the closet door and the sexual contact. He is ultimately left feeling a dirty, guilty shame as he watches her on his lawn during the latter part of the film, she is naked and battered; the complete contrast to his healthy ‘normal’ relationship. And now lets talk about Hopper.



Frank Booth is the most terrifying villain in cinema due to a phenomenally manic performance from the late, great Dennis Hopper. What makes his presence all the more sinister is the fact he lives in this suburban town. A villain of this range should be a mob boss in a city, not a resident of this bubbled community. This evil is right under our noses, as we mow our lawn or walk our dog. If we don’t look we don’t see but Jeffrey Beaumont does look and so begins this surreal tale of sadomasochism and sleaze.

This film is as much about America as anything else, it reinforces the image of the ‘American Dream.’ When I laid eyes on Lana Del Rey’s recent album cover I had a gut instinct it was inspired by this film and the artist has recently announced an upcoming cover of Bobby Vinton’s classic, coincidence? Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ video is no doubt another inspired by Lynch’s infamous film. Oddly enough I dislike pretty much everything else I have seen from Lynch. Often I find that he takes surreal to the point of outright bullshit but he is very good at one thing and that is building suspense and eliciting a feeling in the viewer that is quite distinct. This can be a feeling of fear, weirdness, déjà vu, disgust, obsession or amusement. I feel that Blue Velvet is consistent throughout and balances the surreal with the linear enough to create a gripping story as opposed to a montage of plain weird.
So watch this for a gripping noir but one that is also as affected as its troubled characters.

Best Scene: Dean Stockwell singing and Dennis Hopper's reaction during a scene displaying the scariest night out of all time.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 2/9/2012 2:23:11 AM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 2/9/2012 5:29:45 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


Posts: 77670
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Central Park Zoo
I need to see Blue Velvet again, Like almost all of Lynch's film I never took to it when I first saw it.

_____________________________

So, sir, we let him have it right up! And I have to report, sir, he did not like it, sir.

Fellow scientists, poindexters, geeks.

Yeah, Mr. White! Yeah, science!

Much more better!

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 2/9/2012 12:32:00 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
I was hooked the first time I watched it. It is just so damn seedy and has been one of those rare films I have never been able to get out of my head since I first saw it. Whenever I think of how an actor would play a villain I think of Hopper's performance. But I rate Hopper as one of my favourite actors ever.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 2/9/2012 2:48:33 PM   
scarface666brooksy!!


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Love Blue Velvet, it'd be in my Top 50 too. I really need to see Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, it's one of the few Scorseses I haven't seen (a list also including Kundun, Last Temptation, After Hours, Bringing Out The Dead and more... so actually quite a few )

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 2/9/2012 9:42:53 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010

quote:

ORIGINAL: scarface666brooksy!!

Love Blue Velvet, it'd be in my Top 50 too. I really need to see Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, it's one of the few Scorseses I haven't seen (a list also including Kundun, Last Temptation, After Hours, Bringing Out The Dead and more... so actually quite a few )


I haven't seen any of those either other than After Hours (and obviously Alice.)
After Hours is definitely his most different film whereas all the others i have seen of his share similarities. It seems a lot more amateur to be honest but it isn't a bad film either.
And glad you like Blue Velvet. Its so weird someone will either love it or hate it and I think it is justifiable either way.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 18/9/2012 12:15:17 PM   
chambanzi


Posts: 441
Joined: 31/8/2010
35. Planet of the Apes (1968)

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner



We human’s feel very much in control, we have devices that electrocute flies, rifles for shooting foxes or kangaroo’s, rods for catching fish and traps for killing mice. Yet we can’t stand the thought of an animal attacking us, too scared to get in the water for sharks and if a dog bites a child it is put down. Planet of the Apes plays on this anxiety, suddenly the human is not in control anymore and is not God’s most prized species. To make matters worse the apes domination is no different to what us humans have done for years and on a daily basis so there is a real sense that we somewhat deserve this turn of the tables.

Charlton Heston is the astronaut Taylor who crash lands on a strange planet where the apes rules and there is even a location called ‘Ape City.’ Similar to Ben- Hur he possesses his really over the top acting however this style works for both of these roles.
Upon being captured Taylor is initially unable to speak to the apes after suffering an injury to the throat. The remainder of humans cannot talk therefore the infamous “Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!” scene is a real shocker to the ape civilisation. The recent ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ reversed this concept having the ape shock the human’s with speech.
Taylor is taken to the council where the menacing Dr Zaius (who cannot be taken seriously after watching that one episode of The Simpsons) is willing to lobotomise this possibly dangerous human.

Anyway Taylor is rescued by some of the ‘good’ apes who are probably the human equivalent of vegans and they set out to the forbidden zone to learn about the origin of ape evolution. Also rescued is Nova who is absolutely gorgeous even by today’s standards yet her only purpose to the plot is to be something of a love interest. Still she looks hot.
Human artefacts are found but the cunning Dr Zaius knew this all along and wants them destroyed out of pure refusal to accept the truth of human’s domination. There are some who believe this film to be a racial allegory, to be honest it works perfectly well as a film about evolution and as a revenge piece on human greed but yes it could work around the whole slavery theme. We have the white protagonist who is somewhat ignorant and that might make the film uncomfortable to watch for some. Like Dr Zaius we can’t erase or destroy history so we must remember that slavery did happen and the film could be about the greed of the white man. Multiple interpretations still have people talking about the film but what really stands out for me is how much fun the film is. Each time I watch this I forget just how enjoyable it is, eerie and mysterious with great set pieces. Fair enough the monkeys are obviously men in costumes but they don’t need to look fantastic. The sandy, rocky settings are a perfect backdrop to the caveman look of the human’s and the military look of apes on horseback is one imprinted into my brain. And I can never forget the first time I saw that horse ride along the shoreline with the startling end discovery.


< Message edited by chambanzi -- 18/9/2012 12:18:11 PM >

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 18/9/2012 12:34:01 PM   
Rhubarb


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I flipping love Planet of the Apes.

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RE: Chambanzi's Favourite 100 Films - 18/9/2012 12:36:25 PM   
Rebel scum


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Planet of the Apes is a great film.

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