Céline et Julie vont en bateau AKA Celine and Julie Go Boating
Directed by: Jacques Rivette
Starring: Juliet Berto, Dominique Labourier, Bulle Ogier
Genre: Drama, Experimental, French New Wave
The Plot: Celine and Julie meet and are drawn to investigate a supernatural mystery together.
Why You'll Love It: The film is long and not particularly fast paced, but it more than makes up for that with a ton of small amusing and endearing moments and some really strange plot developments. The two leads have a spectacular chemistry, feeding off not only each other's line deliveries but their non verbal actions, and as the surrealism amps up they very effectively manage the transitions between the film's alternate realities. In this way it kind of reminds me of a Lynch film, though with a less sinister tone. Rivette uses a very naturalistic filming style, without much flashiness but not at all lacking in great compositions, which, along with the performances, makes everything about the film easy to get involved in and the pacing helps you take in all the little moments. This style also allows the surreal moments to be effective without being over the top, since anything even slightly out of the ordinary stands out.
|# ? Jan 23, 2011 00:46|
|# ? May 19, 2013 21:58|
Written and Directed by: David Cronenberg
Starring: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Don McKellar, Ian Holm
Genre: Science Fiction
The Plot: Famed VR game designer Allegra Geller (Leigh) has to go into her own game pod with PR nerd Ted Pikul (Law) while dodging anti-game assassins.
Why You'll Love It: If you came out of Inception saying "That was disappointingly straightforward", this is the movie for you. You've got the same concept of multiple levels of reality, with the more prominent suggestion that no one level is more "real" than any other. Allegra's game doesn't resemble anything you'll find on shelves, but it has a nice twisted adventure-game logic to it, complete with forced dialogue prompts and bizarre puzzle solving. Though mostly a thriller it's the closest Cronenberg has come to making an outright comedy, with much of the gory, disgusting business played for laughs. Leigh is wonderful, and the cast is full of great actors turning in eccentric performances. The movie also deals with the whole "do violent video games make us more violent" issue without giving a pat answer; like Videodrome it's a movie that can be interpreted different ways depending on what you think actually happened.
|# ? Jan 23, 2011 20:18|
Directed by: Michael Cimino
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken
The Plot: Rich Folk want to kill the Poor Folk who're stealin' their cattle.
Why You'll Love It: Because there's a deep film-industry mythology surrounding it that is equally as interesting as the film itself. Because despite the heavy political/historical machinations, the film has some decent symbols and emotional payoffs that are worth the three hour sit. Because you're curious about Modern Westerns? Because you like staring at ashes in your spare time? Studying how films can be slowly burned by the fires of ambition?
Quite honestly, I shouldn't be selling this movie to you, there're enough financial mishaps embroiled in it already. Do some research and walk into it with a complete willingness to actually watch; accept that you'll get no social redemption out of it (read: be able to discuss it casually with anyone but a fellow film buff). Though I must say, quite honestly, a couple thirty-two rounds into the air might just to get your brain humming...
The full-length, three and half day version of the film has some romantic fluff and derivative, pretentious one-liner monologues, but it does come together as a cohesive, thematic whole thanks to a picture-perfect prologue and epilogue. The cream filling isn't too bad, but the specific ingredients are better left as surprises.
It shares some similarities with The Deer Hunter too: there's plenty of bustling, crowded and/or intimate scenes. Scenes that live long, natural lives and die on their own terms. Ironically, the love plot is rendered believable during a town dance and not the small chunks of cadence-filled sappy-talk you get every other minute. And with that, I'm tempted to return to the underlying "This movie has problems" message I have in my gut...but I shall not waiver.
The most important part of this movie is probably Kristofferson. His character's journey pretty much summarises the film; consequently, his great performance is the most important factor in "delivering the thematic goods" to you (Oh god I typed and quotation marked that didn't I?).
Mute or simply don't watch this trailer
|# ? Jan 28, 2011 16:57|
edit: sorry, didn't read the op, please don't probate me
|# ? Jan 30, 2011 21:34|
THE RED SPECTRE
Directed by: Segundo de Chomón & Ferdinand Zecca
Starring: UNKNOWN (spooky)
Genre: Short fantasy spectacle thing
The Plot: A demon magician and a sorceress engage in a game of one-upsmanship.
Why You'll Love It: This thing is just cool, man. Beautifully hand-colorized with a lot more motion along the z-axis than you usually see in these pre-1910 movies. It's got a great, modern pacing and a weird sense of the absurd. It's akin to Melies' early stuff like Diable Noir, but a bit more extravagant and plotted. It's got a real cool film-in-film trick up its sleeve and a surprisingly chilling moment with miniature people (pictured above). Just check it out. It's like 7 minutes long and just good-times-Halloween-spookstown-fun.
|# ? Feb 9, 2011 06:38|
The Music Lovers
Directed by: Ken Russell
Starring: Richard Chamberlain, Glenda Jackson, Max Adrian, Kenneth Colley, Izabella Telezynska
The Plot: The strange life of Peter Tchaikovsky, focusing mostly on his disastrous marriage to Antonina Miliukova, and his homosexuality.
Why You'll Love It: Simultaneously hypnotically beautiful and perversely grim, wavering somewhere between straight biopic and outrageously perverse abstract fantasy. Glenda Jackson gives a fearless, disturbing performance as Nina, while Chamberlain nails Tchaikovsky as a sick, tortured, indecisive yet strangely sympathetic introvert. Ken Russell has a ton of tricks up his sleeve, from the glossy slow-motion forest scenes of 'Swan Lake' to the cannons of the '1812 Overture' blowing the heads off of Tchaikovsky's enemies and loved ones.
CONTAINS NUDITY! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qEXRJ9O2JE
|# ? Feb 9, 2011 21:39|
Bringing Out The Dead
Directed by: Martin Scorcese
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Patricia Arquette, Ving Rhames, John Goodman, Tom Sizemore, Cliff Curtis
The Plot: A paramedic working the night shift in New York's infamous Hell's Kitchen neighborhood becomes burned out by visions of the people he tried to save, and tries to find redemption in the daughter of a man in his care.
Why You'll Love It: An unusual and criminally underrated effort from Scorcese and screenwriter Paul Schrader with beautiful New York photography, a mood that shifts seamlessly between bizarre black comedy and eerie drama, an amazing soundtrack (with songs by Van Morrison, The Who, REM, and The Clash), plus a charismatic supporting cast.
|# ? Feb 13, 2011 20:23|
The Name of the Rose
Directed by: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Starring: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger
The Plot: 1327: after a mysterious death in a Benedictine Abbey, the monks are convinced that the apocalypse is coming. With the Abbey to play host to a council on the Franciscan's Order's belief that the Church should rid itself of wealth, William of Baskerville, a respected Franciscan monk, is asked to assist in determining the cause of the untimely death. Alas, more deaths occur as the investigation draws closer to uncovering the secret the Abbey wants hidden, and there is finally no stopping the Holy Inquisition from taking an active hand in the process. William and his young novice must race against time to prove the innocence of the unjustly accused and avoid the wrath of Holy Inquisitor Bernardo Gui. (Rick Munoz)
Why You'll Love It: Based on Umberto Eco's novel, this is a fine murder mystery bolstered by an intriguing historical backdrop. Sean Connery is charismatic in his role as Brother William, a medieval parallel to Conan Doyle's Holmes. Bonus for Ron Perlman appearing as a hunchback.
|# ? Feb 21, 2011 23:14|
SUNRISE: A Song of Two Humans
Directed by: F.W. Murnau
Starring: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
The Plot: A married farmer falls under the spell of a sleazy woman from the city, who tries to convince him to murder his wife. After realizing the error of his ways, the farmer goes with his wife to the city where they try to rekindle their love for each other.
Why You'll Love It: The first year of the Oscars, there were two Best Picture awards. The 'regular' award went to "Wings", while the award for 'Unique and Artistic Production' went to this film. Nothing short of gorgeous, Murnau's first American production features groundbreaking visual effects, jaw-dropping camerawork and expansive set design, fully realized performances, and a real emotional punch. Entertainment Weekly of all places put it best, "Murnau could film a STOP sign with enough power to make you weep."
|# ? Mar 9, 2011 21:03|
Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
Starring: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, and Jaime Sanchez
The Plot: When the 'last big score' goes belly up for an aging group of outlaws on the US-Mexico border, the authorities are hot on their trail, and the 'old west' visibly crumbles around all of them.
Why You'll Love It: The characters are morally reprehensible (taking hostages, robbing banks, indiscriminately killing anyone in their path, etc.), but also memorable and oddly appealing. You'll hate them for shooting a small town to pieces, then laugh along with their jokes the very next scene. This sort of approach can bury a movie, except that Peckinpah knows how to play with our emotions 'til long after the credits have rolled. Sadistic bastard.
If the 'revisionist' approach and fantastic cast wasn't enough, you also have some of the greatest action set-pieces in the history of film, including an intense finale that pits the characters against the Mexican army. Fast cutting, slow motion, squibs galore... it's probably the bloodiest movie of it's time. For it's 25th anniversary in 1994, Warner Bros. decided to do a small theatrical re-release of Peckinpah's director's cut (which does not add any violence to the film) and resubmitted it to the MPAA, who promptly gave it an NC-17, in spite of the fact that they gave the exact same movie an R-rating 25 years ago.
Here is the absolutely mesmerizing opening shootout. Keep in mind that one of the unwritten rules about 'classic' westerns was that townspeople weren't supposed to be shown in extreme harm. Also, the Hays' Code (which had only recently been abolished at the time of the film's release) had strict guidelines against blood, sustained scenes of violence, and children being put in harm's way:
|# ? Mar 11, 2011 00:38|
Directed by: Mamorou Oshii
Starring: Malgorzata Foremniak, Wladyslaw Kowalski, Bartek Swiderski, and Dariusz Biskupski
Genre: Science Fiction
The Plot: In a bleak future, an illegal and highly dangerous computer game called AVALON becomes the source of income for Ash, a star player whose past encounter with the game ended with her teammate in a vegetative state. With the promise of a 'higher level' in the game that could reunite Ash with her fallen teammate, she allies herself with shady characters to uncover AVALON's secrets.
Why You'll Love It: You'd never expect a movie about video games to be this slow, grim, and cryptic. The pacing is what discerning film snobs call 'leisurely' so as not to scare away their friends, and often the film will go 10 minutes or more without any spoken dialogue. There's a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle visual motifs that make for a deliberately ambiguous viewing. Oshii defies expectations as a director outside his comfort zone (he's most well-known for animation), and makes "Avalon" a showcase for unusual, stunning visuals that have an emphasis on lingering, static, monochromatic shots with unusual light sources, and only the slightest hint of color outside shades of gold, green, and blue.
This approach at first glance seem as static as the camera, but as the film soldiers on, you'll realize that Oshii and his characters are trying to hide their horror and anxiety at the world they inhabit behind a cold, emotionless face.
Viewing Tip: Avoid the Miramax DVD. An English dub was made for this DVD that changed a lot of dialogue and added narration over the many silent sequences. The Polish language track was included on the DVD, but the English subtitles that are included are a transcription of the Engish dub, meaning not only are they highly inaccurate, but subtitles appear when no-one is talking. The Region-Free UK DVD is the best all-around choice, even though it has burned-in subtitles.
|# ? Mar 12, 2011 03:27|
The Sunshine Boys
Directed by: Herbert Ross
Starring: Walter Matthau, George Burns, and Richard Benjamin
The Plot: Willy Clark (Matthau) is an old vaudeville comedian living alone and semi-retired in Manhattan. His agent and regular social contact is his nephew Ben (Benjamin), whose efforts to get his uncle whatever gigs he can are hampered by Willy's stubbornness and forgetfulness. Luck smiles on them when ABC contacts Ben to get Willy for a TV special celebrating the stars of vaudeville. There's one caveat, however: they want Lewis & Clark, the classic duo consisting of Clark and Al Lewis (Burns), who haven't spoken to each other for years after a catastrophic falling out.
Why You'll Love It: Like Simon's The Odd Couple (and many other comedies) the core of The Sunshine Boys is the conflict between two people who can't stand each other and are forced together by circumstances. George Burns won the Best Actor Oscar for playing Lewis, his first big screen role since 1939, and Walter Matthau is absolutely hilarious as Willy. Beyond the central conceit the play/movie is a love letter to vaudeville humor, primarily played out with perfect pitch by Matthau in all of Willy's dialogue and mannerisms, and which is beautifully conflated with Willy's mild senility. To top it off there's a great building of tension up to the pivotal scene, during which I was both thoroughly amused and wondering when and how the dam was going to burst.
|# ? Mar 14, 2011 08:01|
The T.A.M.I. Show
Directed by: Steve Binder
Starring: Jan and Dean (emcees), Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, James Brown, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, The Rolling Stones
Genre: Concert Film
The Plot: Shot at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in late 1964, the 'Teen Age Music International' has contemporary talent from America and England. The concert was taped with precursors to today's high-definition video cameras, and transferred to film with almost no post-production process, hence why there was only a two-month gap between the live concert and the release of the film.
Why You'll Love It: 'Legendary' doesn't even begin to cover this film's status among classic rock buffs. Until last year (when Shout Factory put out a fully uncut remastered DVD), there was no way to find it outside of bootlegs. Even with it's rare status, scenes from it became immortalized.
You have to watch it in it's entirety, with all the crappy one-hit-wonder nonsense, because it makes you truly appreciate why people like James Brown, The Rolling Stones, Marvin Gaye, and The Supremes were considered to be so amazing.
Here is James Brown's justly famous and absolutely mesmerizing performance at the show, which Prince reportedly had on a loop in his office. You'll see why the Rolling Stones called having to follow Brown's performance in this concert 'the biggest mistake of our careers.': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54y_XDKNxPg
|# ? Mar 16, 2011 14:55|
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Directed by: John Ford
Starring: James Stewart, John Wayne
The Plot: A city lawyer gets bullied by an outlaw and ends up planning revenge.
Why You'll Love It: Because you've already seen The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and you want the realistic version. Mind you, this isn't so-much a flat-out Western, but an instructional manual on how to live in a Western; a history lesson about the repercussions of stagecoach robberies, narrated reliably (perhaps 'un'?) by one James M. Stewart.
You'll see all sorts of things in this movie: women learning to sing "Single Ladies", lawyers losing their poo poo, a nondescript small town coming to terms with its deep-rooted self-esteem issues and the true length of John Wayne's manliness. Oh! And black men forgetting their civil liberties.
On the flip-side, the director here is John Ford and his films are always a shallow grave of film-making. While you're staring at another boring dialogue scene without guns and shooting, you start the wonder if 30-40 years behind a camera really does help you become a better director/producer. I mean look at this poo poo...
You don't acknowledge shadows...it's like he's saluting a former version of himself or something, ridiculous! Then you've got my rear end in a top hat-killing heroes (Stewart and Wayne) riding to glory, but why is one of them saddled like a man and the other in a cart like a pansy? Then the scene that broke my camel-like humps: John Wayne, Man of Men, moping around for no discernible reason. Don't even get me started on why Ford choose to film this confused screenplay; I could probably spend paragraphs describe the film's childish, gray-area acceptance of "law and order". Anyway, I'm sorry. This is supposed to be an optimistic recommendation and here I am being a pessimist...I'm just gonna put all that hatred for John Ford down in my bowels and end this piece on the tonic: if you want to learn about the importance of the "Old West" (and just-a-little-tiny-bit about its subsequent demise) go see this film.
Liberty Valance dies by the way
MoaM fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2011 around 04:42
|# ? Mar 18, 2011 00:28|
THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN
Directed by: Edgar Ulmer
Starring: Marguerite Chapman
The Plot: A safecracker on the lam gets turned invisible, but the technology isn't quite up to the job.
Why You'll Love It: I've been thinking about it, and it's entirely possible that The Amazing Transparent Man is the most underrated movie in the world.
There's a few ways to parse that - there's underrated in the sense that small audiences like the movie but nobody's seen it (Last Summer, Lazybones), underrated in the sense that lots of people like it fine but don't really see what an absolutely stellar movie it is under the surface (Them!, Bring It On), and then there's underrated in the real dire sense that everybody who's seen the movie in question hates it and nobody's seen it to begin with anyway so gently caress that movie.
That's the position The Amazing Transparent Man is in. It's got like a 3 on IMDb and I can't find a single positive review of it on the internet. It's considered a cheap and clunky little sci-fi cash-in like Robot Monster or some poo poo. I gotta disagree.
This movie was Edgar Ulmer's last American production. Edgar Ulmer was a European expatriate/rising star at Universal in the '30s, the director of the stellar Lugosi/Karloff vehicle The Black Cat, but he hosed the wrong girl and got banned from the big studios. He wound up on Poverty Row and made Detour, perhaps the finest achievement in Poverty Row. His films - his good ones anyway - are characterized by a quirky and cruel fatalism, and an almost palpable sense of regret. If Hitchcock was the Master of Suspense, Ulmer is the Master of Regret.
So where were we? Right, The Amazing Transparent Man is about a man forced into a life of crime and things don't go his way at all. He gets turned invisible by a few crooked characters who want to create an invisible army. The thing is - and this is why many people hate this movie and I love it so - the invisibility serum doesn't really work right. He turns visible right in the middle of a drat robbery! It's a hardluck moment and just classic Ulmer. I've never seen another movie use that approach. 50 years later it's still a great hook.
In the end, the yo-yo visible/invisible status of our hero (who's name, appropriately, is Faust) changes the nature of his condition and calls to mind the curse of the werewolf. It's hauntingly tragicomic.
The camera even gets in on the game. There's a moment when Faust first turns invisible, where his captor speaks directly to the camera and we're led to believe it's a POV shot, until we pan over to Faust opening a door elsewhere in the room. It's a disorienting trick, that drives home the uncertainty of it all. Nick Ray's On Dangerous Ground had a similar shot with a blind woman, and the seminal The Invisible Man did it too, but nothing has played with the POV of the camera so consistently and cleverly as this.
Ulmer's style was ahead of his time - it has a self-aware New Wave vibe, in a genre that wasn't ready for it. Those features which made it so unique and remarkable are what sank this admirable little movie. Its reputation still hasn't - and may never - recover.
Here's the whole movie on Google video (though for the record Netflix instant has a beautiful print), and a surprisingly good trailer. Also I should mention, the whole thing clocks in at 57 minutes long.
penismightier fucked around with this message at Mar 20, 2011 around 00:42
|# ? Mar 19, 2011 23:34|
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension
Directed by: W.D. Richter
Starring: Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, Lewis Smith, Clancy Brown
Genre: Sci-fi/absurdist comedy/adventure/would-be franchise starter
The Plot: Buckaroo Banzai is a brilliant scientist, neurosurgeon, and rock musician with world-renown and a legion of assistants. He and his brave crew are tasked with finding and defeating an exiled alien dictator and his followers before they return to their planet. Also, he falls in love with a woman that looks exactly like his dead wife.
Why You'll Love It: This may be perhaps the ultimate geek movie, for a variety of reasons. First, the cast is simply stellar, a roster of great character actors, and none of them are wasted (especially John Lithgow in a hilariously manic villainous role). The film starts abruptly, as if it had already established everything you needed to know, like it was the second or third in a series you were expected to be following already. It's aggressively weird, offering an uncompromising stream of anti-logic that you may either embrace or come to hate. I could go on and on about how surreal Buckaroo Banzai is, but I think one moment basically represents what the film is. At one point, two characters pass by a watermelon resting on a pillar. One character asks the other "Why is there a watermelon there?" The other says "I'll tell you later." I still have no idea why the watermelon was there, but that's okay. You will never seen anything else remotely like this, and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. Remember, no matter where you go, there you are.
|# ? Mar 20, 2011 23:53|
Directed by: James Cameron
Starring: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, Todd Graff, and Kimberley Scott
The Plot: During the height of the Cold War, civilians on an underwater oil rig are assigned to assist a team of Navy SEALS in a search for a missing nuclear submarine. Paranoia escalates during the mission as it becomes apparent that the submarine's sinking is connected with the appearance of a 'Non-Terrestrial Intelligence' that seems to be residing at the bottom of a two-and-a-half-mile deep chasm.
The two leads (Harris and Mastrantonio) have a frayed relationship, and try to keep their wits about them and rally their group together when the oil rig is cut off from the surface and survival isn't a guarantee.
Why You'll Love It: What sounds like a retread of "Close Encounters" set underwater is given a mesmerizing treatment as writer/director Cameron makes drastic shifts in tone and genre, keeping a compelling and suspenseful tone going for the film's near-three-hour-length. The spectacle and visual effects never overtake the story at the core of "The Abyss", and Harris, Mastrantonio, and Biehn each give great performances for memorable characters.
Make no mistake, this is an epic and a movie that needs visual effects in order to work, and Cameron had the best contemporary talent at his disposal. Industrial Light and Magic made revolutionary strides with the famous 'psuedopod' sequence, where a sentient body of water imitates the characters' faces. The miniature work is well-integrated and holds up today, with particularly good use of rear projection.
It's safe to say that there will never be another movie made quite the same way 'Abyss' was. Almost entirely filmed in the submerged cooling tank of an unfinished nuclear power plant in South Carolina, the deep water submersible was a fully-functioning underwater set, as was the sunken ruins of the submarine. A lot of hair-raising (not to mention near-fatal in Ed Harris' case) stunts were performed by the actors themselves live on-set.
It's the best of both worlds; a well-told story with interesting characters and spectacle to spare. Not to mention fantastic underwater photography.
If you can, watch the amazing supplemental documentary "Under Pressure", which can be found on the DVD.
Be sure to watch the Special Edition.
Robert Denby fucked around with this message at Mar 23, 2011 around 00:07
|# ? Mar 22, 2011 23:59|
The Hudsucker Proxy
Directed by: The Super Coen Bros.
The Plot: Tim Robbins, a good ol'country boy, moves to New York city to make it big during the advent of the American corporate dream. With big ideas and an even bigger heart can he make it up that corporate ladder?
Why You'll Love It: Every character in the film is comically 1950's like fast talking high trousers style!
Ya know, for kids!
(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)
|# ? Mar 25, 2011 07:43|
Directed by: George Roy Hill
Starring: Paul Newman, Michael Ontkean, Strother Martin
The plot: Players on a troubled minor league ice hockey team, the Charlestown Chiefs, discover that the best way to gain fans is to play violent, cheap-shot hockey. They are led by veteran player-coach Reg Dunlop (Newman), and a trio of goofy-looking new arrivals, the Hanson Brothers (Jeff Carlson, Steve Carlson, and David Hanson), are the faces of the newly aggressive Chiefs. As the season goes on, Dunlop confronts flaky team general manager Ned Braden (Martin) on the team's ownership status while holding out hope that they will be relocated to a retirement community in Florida, due to the closing of the steel mill in Charlestown.
Why you'll like it: For one, it's a movie about hockey, the greatest sport of them all. Even if you're not a hockey fan, you'll probably love the Hanson Brothers, the thuggish style of play that the Chiefs end up adopting, and the banter among players on opposing teams. It's one of the funniest movies that I've seen.
However, there's more to Slap Shot than laughs. The film also doubles as an excellent period piece about Rust Belt steel cities in the 1970s. The closing of steel mills, such as the one in the movie, was a very real phenomenon at the time. People who have worked in the steel mills for generations ended up losing their jobs. The movie shows Charlestown as a city in the process of decay, much like real-life steel cities such as Pittsburgh and Bethlehem, PA were at that time. Today, these kinds of cities no longer exist- they are either in the process of revitalization (the two cities I mentioned) or have totally decayed with little hope of bringing back the glory days of old (Youngstown, OH and Johnstown, PA- the latter city was where parts of the movie were filmed). The movie captures the desperation of these dying cities very well, and it holds up well for a modern audience.
|# ? Apr 3, 2011 04:23|
THE CIVIL WAR
"My shoes are gone, my clothes are gone. I'm weary, I'm sick, I'm hungry. My family have all been killed or scattered, and I have suffered all this for my country. I love my country, but if this war is ever over i'll be damned if I ever love another."
Directed by: Ken Burns
Starring: Sam Waterston, David McCullough, Julie Harris, Jason Robards, Morgan Freeman, Garrison Keillor, Arthur Miller, Shelby Foote, Jeremy Irons, Kurt Vonnegut, Lawrence Fishburne, M. Emmet Walsh
Country: USA (also CSA)
Genre: Documentary mini-series
The Plot: Lincoln dies at the end.
Why You'll Love It: This might be stretching the jurisdiction of this thread a bit, but gently caress it. Game-changing and genre defining in so many ways it's difficult to realize now just how important a work it is, so the hell with that. Let's just talk about how good it is.
Oh my god it's so good.
Shelby Foote opens it with the declaration that (paraphrased): "any understanding of America as a nation must come from an understanding of the Civil War" and he's right. So right that it's hard to come out of this without feeling a bit like a bit of political fog has been lifted.
It reminds of The Grapes of Wrath, actually. Ya know how Steinbeck would break away from the Joads every other chapter for small but symbolic vignettes about the Depression? Ken Burns does the same thing here. He follows the major battles and political decisions, but weaves them into a tapestry of small stories about, like, an escaped slave turned Union soldier who took his former master hostage. It's an incredibly comprehensive work that never gets overwhelming or exhausting because it jumps so deftly from story to story.
Its breadth of period photographs (over 16,000 - some are quite extraordinary) and passages from period journals and letters give us a real and startling look at costs and effects of the war. There's a few images and lines that will just never leave me:
"Shiloh cost as many lives as Waterloo, but there were 20 more Waterloos to follow."
"In Mississippi in 1866, 1/5th of the state's entire budget was spent on artificial limbs."
There's something, too, about hearing the story in such a sweeping and basic format that's totally captivating. Guaranteed you'll spend the first few episodes on the edge of your seat waiting for Lincoln to shitcan McClellan. Seriously, gently caress McClellan.
The narrators are so good that it never comes even close to being dry. Look at that cast list! loving Morgan Freeman as Frederick Douglass? Yes sir. And Shelby Foote - just listen to that sultry Mississippi accent.
It's a seminal work about a defining moment in history. It's on Netflix instant and Google Video, too. There's just no excuse. Watch The goddamn Civil War.
Here's a clip.
penismightier fucked around with this message at Apr 17, 2011 around 03:18
|# ? Apr 16, 2011 23:23|
The Fatal Glass of Beer
Directed by Clyde Bruckman
Starring: W.C. Fields (also writer), Richard Cramer, Rosemary Theby, and George Chandler.
Genre: Short Subject Comedy
The Plot: A parody of the old temperance play/song of a boy sent to jail after stealing bonds after drinking the cursed alcoholic beer. Not that it matters.
Why You'll Love It: Only 18 minutes long, Fields takes a staple of his stage routine to the cinema. Dialogue, barely touched from the source, is delivered with sarcasm and absurdity. Special effects are deliberately awful - possibly the best lampooning of rear projection. There's a reoccuring gag with Fields exclaiming "It ain't a fit night out for man or beast" and getting hit in the face with a bunch of corn flake snow. Some gags are hilarious, such as the titular tune (complete with Fields' warbling) and the ending.
You can watch it for free in a ton of places since it's in the public domain:
|# ? Apr 17, 2011 17:19|
Faust (Lesson Faust)
Directed by: Jan Svankmajer
Starring: Petr Cepek, Jan Kraus, Vladmir Kudla
Country: Czech Republic
The Plot: In a loose retelling of the classic story of "Faust," Doctor Faustus sells his soul to the devil.
Why You'll Love It: This movie is a very individual take on an old story. It mixes claymation, live action, and puppetry into a dark and powerful movie. I really liked the way the audience is shown things like the men removing their colored contacts after letting Faustus see them out the window to show that it's an act. All in all, a great take on an old idea.
Couldn't find a trailer, but a few of good clips:
e - Added a video.
lurklurklurk fucked around with this message at Apr 26, 2011 around 01:52
|# ? Apr 26, 2011 01:47|
Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: George Lucas and Bob Dolman
Starring: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis
The evil Queen Bavmorda rules over the land but fears a prophecy that tells of a marked child who will be her downfall. Through chance, this young [human] baby comes into the hands of Willow Ufgood, a [hobbit] family man with ambitions of being a great wizard. His quest to find a good home for the child reluctantly forces him to team up with "the worlds greatest swordsman" Mad Martagan, as Bavmorda's army hunts after them. Through mystic swamps and ancient castles, against trolls and dragons, their quest will take them on an unforgettable adventure.
Why You'll Love It:
Before George Lucas was seduced to the dark side of cinematography with product placements, green screens, and CGI he brought us some great movies like this. He has a knack for creating a large and expansive world and the shooting locations help project the mood for each scene whether it's a drunken brawl or frantic race down snow covered peaks. I describe the film to my friends as a cross between Lord of the Rings and The Princess Bride; A somewhat dark family fantasy adventure. Though I should say it's a 80's family film. You'll get slapstick, one liners, and funny characters the kids will love but they might not enjoy watching a troll's skin get ripped off by tentacles sprouting within (though this does lead to a nice two headed dragon fight). They did the same thing as The Wizard of Oz and hired a ton of little people to represent the [hobbits], which gives the first 30 minutes a much more realistic feel than computer generated/ edited actors would. I wish I could find out who did the music score for this as the quality really shines on the work they did. As an example, in the montage they do while the group journeys out from Willow's village they have a 3 second scene where they're relaxing at a campfire as one of them plays a pan flute; Which they insert into the score for that one part seamlessly.
The actors fit their roles amazingly and I can't find fault with the choices. Val Kilmer as a womanizing, cocky swordsman provides the meat of the action sequences. Saurumon could have taken lessons from Jean Marshe's excellent Queen Bavmorda's malevolent disposition. Her speeches drip with venom from every word, snidely dismisses her advisers with unmasked contempt, but has a bit of a weakness when it comes to her own flesh and blood (family is a continual theme through the film). Despite having great dreams of wizardry, Willow is nothing but a father, and Warwick Davis still makes me smirk when I hear his angry dad 'wtf moments'. Even the minor characters like General Kael or the two brownies feel fairly unique and memorable ("...BEER!!!").
This is one of those classic movies that everyone should see at least once, especially if you're a LotR fan.
|# ? May 2, 2011 15:50|
Directed by: Andrey Tarkovskiy
Starring: Natalya Bondarchuk, Donatas Banionis
Country: Soviet Union
Genre: Sci-fi, Mystery, Thriller
The Plot: A psychological thriller about a scientist, Kris Kelvin, who travels to the planet Solaris to investigate a failed mission. But when his dead wife appears he realizes the planet has the power to materialize an individual's desire. This is a film adaptation of a novel by Stanislaw Lem and loosely follows the original plot.
Why You'll Love It: Any movie that can be watched repeatedly is a movie that I love. Like a good book, you will pick up on hints and cues that the director gives the viewer. The cinematography is pleasing to the eyes, I always liked how film in the late 60s early 70s looked. Every one has their own theories about this movie's ending and plot, which is what makes it great.
You can find this movie via Netflix on-line with subtitles.I wouldn't suggest the remake with George Clooney.
|# ? May 19, 2011 01:12|
Touch Of Evil
Directed by: Orson Welles
Starring: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles and Janet Leigh
Genre: Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
The Plot: On his way to his honeymoon Ramon Miguel 'Mike' Vargas (Charlton Heston) is interrupted when a US contractor is killed in a car bombing on the border. Vargas is a narcotics officer for the Mexican government, he attempts to assist Captain Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles), a praised detective, in the investigation in the bombing but discovers the Captain is planting evidence.
Why You'll Love It:This movie has great cinematography, within the first ten minutes the viewer is pulled in. I love the grittiness of all of it. Crooked cops, crime syndicates, Charlton Heston playing a Mexican; it is all I ever need on a Friday movie night.
Somebody fucked around with this message at May 19, 2011 around 17:50
|# ? May 19, 2011 17:05|
Joe Versus The Volcano
Written & Directed by: Notable playwright John Patrick Shanley
Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan (x3)
The Plot: Suffering from a fatal "Brain Fog", unhappy everyman Joe (Hanks) gets an offer from an eccentric billionaire: live in luxury for a few weeks, then jump into a volcano to satisfy a superstitious tribe.
Why You'll Love It: Initially, it out-Office-Spaces the legendary Office Space. It has incredible, surrealist cinematography and set design. It's written by a world renowned playwright, and starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan back when that double bill could eclipse "world renowned playwright".
And it flopped. Not even epically, like Heaven's Gate; no, it flopped in that familiar "nobody gives a poo poo" way.
At times, the pacing is glacial, the plot lacks conflict, the jokes are middling, and the pacing...
But part of that is Shanley taking the conventions of film and utterly bending them to his will. He consistently defies expectations, and he mixes tones -- two very difficult and risky strategies. But in the end, it's an interesting and worthwhile film, if only to experience something unconventional.
The first 6 minutes in horrendous quality
|# ? Jun 28, 2011 01:10|
Directed by: Antonia Bird
Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle and David Arquette
The Plot: A coward manages to survive during the Mexican-American war by hiding among the dead. His superiors are not pleased by his actions and exile him to a remote outpost. He then gets tangled up in a plot involving cannibalism and he must face what type of man he really is.
Why You'll Love It: This movie has an amazing soundtrack. It also happens to be a great horror movie with some dark comedy elements.
|# ? Jun 30, 2011 01:43|
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Kurt Russell,Jack Warden, Gerrit Graham
The Plot: When the owner of a struggling used car lot is killed, it's up to the lot's hot-shot salesman to save the property from falling into the hands of the owner's ruthless brother and used-car rival.
Why You'll Love It: Robert Zemeckis' first American major motion picture, and Steven Spielberg's second production. Also has quiet a few outrageous moments that you can't help but laugh at.
|# ? Jul 11, 2011 09:05|
Rokk í Reykjavík
Directed by: Friðrik Þór Friðriksson
An overview of the punk and new-wave scene in Iceland in the early 80's featuring both live performances by the most prolific bands as well as interviews with musicians about music,drugs,politics and sex. The film is most notable for featuring a teenage Björk as the lead singer of the band Tappi Tíkarass. The movie also includes two songs by Purrkur Pillnikk which was fronted by the eccentric Einar Örn Benediktsson who would later work with Björk on both the famed Sugarcubes and the less known anarcho-punk band KUKL. One of the more memorable scenes of the movie is a nightmarish performance by art-punk group Bruni BB which has to be seen to be believed.
Why You'll Love It:
If you are at all interested in any form of punk rock Rokk í Reykjavík is full to the brim of interesting bands and energetic performances. If you are a fan of Björk you might also watch it just to see her in one of her first bands.
First 3 minutes:
A chatotic performance by the glue sniffing juvenile delinquents of Sjálfsfróun(masturbation):
|# ? Jul 20, 2011 17:15|
The Legend of Drunken Master
Directed by: Chia-Liang Liu
Starring: Jackie Chan, Ho-Sung Pak, and Lung Ti
Genre: Action, Comedy
The Plot: Returning home with his father after a shopping expedition, Wong Fei-Hong is unwittingly caught up in the battle between foreigners who wish to export ancient Chinese artifacts and loyalists who don't want the pieces to leave the country. Fei-Hong has learned a style of fighting called "Drunken Boxing", which makes him a dangerous person to cross. Unfortunately, his father is opposed to his engaging in any kind of fighting, let alone drunken boxing. Consequently, Fei-Hong not only has to fight against the foreigners, but he must overcome his father's antagonism as well. - IMDB Plot Summary
Why You'll Love It: A great mix of physical comedy and amazing martial arts choreography come together in this classic Jackie Chan flick. This is a must watch for any Chan fan, let alone any one interested in martial arts. The "Drunken Boxing" style is funny by nature and Chan truly brings that out in this one. If you're looking for a fun, entertaining martial arts movie you should totally check out The Legend of Drunken Master.
|# ? Aug 3, 2011 05:33|
Leaving Las Vegas
Directed by: Mike Figgis
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Elisabeth Shue
The Plot: Ben Sanderson is an alcoholic who has lost his job, wife and everything else, all due to his alcoholism. At the height of his desperation, he cashes in everything that's left to him and sets out to Las Vegas to drink himself to death. Along the way, he meets Sera, a hooker, and the two get into a weird relationship, based on the premise of accepting each other's way of life completely. As the two grow more and more fond of each other, promises are broken...
Why You'll Love It: If you've ever heard something like "Cage is such a talented actor, but he only takes on the shittiest parts he can get," this movie is proof of the first part of that claim. Fun trivia: to nail his portrayal of a drunk, he got shitfaced and had a friend catch it on tape, so he could study his own slurred speech.
To me, it's simply a well-done movie about personal hellscapes that works without coming off as too corny.
|# ? Aug 13, 2011 13:31|
MINNIE THE MOOCHER, SNOW WHITE, and THE OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAIN
Directed by: Dave Fleischer
Starring: Cab Calloway and Betty Boop
Genre: Animated surrealist musicals
The Plot: Three Betty Boop cartoons with special appearances by Jazz great Cab Calloway. In the first, Betty Boop and Bimbo run afoul of some ghosts. In the second, the tale of Snow White kinda-sorta plays out. In the third... I don't know. Animals bug out.
Why You'll Love It: Betty Boop's legacy casts her as trite and kitschy as Shirley Temple, but her 1930s shorts by Dave Fleischer - who did those BADASS Superman cartoons - are really terrific. The plot is minimal, it's a skeleton over which they drape some imaginative and creepy backdrops and beautifully rotoscoped dances.
Most people say Snow White is the best of these. It's certainly the oddest. Personally, I lean towards Minnie the Moocher, which is consistently and infectiously weird. It's basically a more ghoulish version of Disney's Danse Macabre short.
It's hard to overstate just how inventive these shorts are. They each clock in at 7 minutes apiece, and they're all free on youtube. It's great music and great visuals. But maybe the best way to convince you is just to let them speak for the themselves. These gifs are all from Snow White:
Minnie the Moocher
The Old Man of the Mountain
penismightier fucked around with this message at Sep 19, 2011 around 01:05
|# ? Sep 12, 2011 07:02|
Directed by: Alexander Payne
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates
Country: United States
The Plot: Warren Schmidt (Jack Nicholson), an actuary for Woodmen of the World, enters retirement after a lifetime spent working. Faced with the sudden death of his wife and a life apparently bereft of meaning, Schmidt chooses to face his existential crisis by journeying across America in a Winnebago, hoping to stop the marriage of his only daughter Jeannie (Hope Davis) to Randall (Dermot Mulroney), a sleazy water bed salesman. Along the way, he dictates the events of his life to Ndugu, a young orphan in Africa who he "adopted" after watching a late-night infomercial, in a series of letters.
Why You'll Love It: Jack Nicholson gives an absolutely stellar performance as a man who has reached life's end and found himself empty-handed. His desperate struggle to find meaning and excitement in life after realizing the hollowness of his accomplishments beforehand is simultaneously hilarious (having trouble adjusting to sleeping on a water bed) and terribly depressing (finding his childhood home replaced by a tire store). The ending is terribly bittersweet and never fails to draw tears from me.
Vermain fucked around with this message at Oct 2, 2011 around 05:38
|# ? Sep 19, 2011 02:25|
Directed by: Rintaro
Starring: Kei Kobayashi, Yuka Imoto, Kōki Okada, Tarō Ishida Kōsei Tomita
The Plot: Tensions are high between humans and their robot servants in the futuristic city of Metropolis, ruled by the de facto leader Duke Red and his anti-robot secret police force, the Marduk Party. Duke Red has just constructed a massive, mysterious, skyscraper called the Ziggurat in the middle of the city. Meanwhile, a boy and his detective uncle team up with a robotic investigator to solve a mystery involving a humanoid robot named Tima.
Why You'll Love It: First off, it is gorgeous
Besides the visual feast, the film has an amazing retro-futuristic tone that harkens back to classic Hollywood (it borrows a lot from the Fritz Lang film of the same name), especially noir. There is fedora-clad detectives, a seedy underbelly, and a wonderful classic soundtrack that is applied with perfection. It really is an anime made for movie fans.
Metropolis at it's core weaves a beautiful story of humanity, sacrifice, and when placed in the paradigm of a technologically advanced and economically unstable Japan, paints a picture of a nostalgic type of future..a Japan that never was.
WeaponX fucked around with this message at Sep 21, 2011 around 05:22
|# ? Sep 21, 2011 05:15|
The Fortune Cookie
Directed by: Bill Wilder
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau
Country: USA, USA
The Plot: An unfortunate Lemmon has an unfortunate accident which his brother-in-law (Matthau) sees as an opportunity of a lifetime.
Why You'll Love It: This is (imo) Bill Wilder's best film, and it's one of my favorite comedies from the Hollywood "golden age." It's one of five films in which an Oscar was awarded to a movie with the same writer, director and producer (all Wilder). The plot is cogent and vibrant, Matthau is awesome, and you're a cool person if you take some time out to watch this American classic.
ps. Thanks to this thread, I've now seen a lot of movies I never would have! Please don't stop recommending!
|# ? Oct 9, 2011 00:05|
Directed by: Steve Miner
Starring: Julian Sands
Genre: Cheesy Horror
The Plot: In Boston of 1691, a warlock is sentenced to death, but escapes magically into the future (our present), followed doggedly by the witch hunter. There he is searching for the three parts of the Devil's Bible, trailed by the witch hunter and the woman whose house he landed in. They must stop him, as the book contains the true name of God, which he can use to un-create the world.
Why You'll Love It: One of the greatest B-horror movies there is. Julian Sands runs amok chopping off fingers and collecting human eyes.
|# ? Oct 15, 2011 11:26|
Evil Roy Slade
Directed by: Jerry Paris
Starring: John Astin, Micky Rooney, Henry Gibson, Dick Shawn, Milton Berle, Dom Deluise
Genre: Made for TV Western Spoof
The Plot: Evil Roy Slade is an orphaned child from a wagon train. Neither the Apaches nor the wolves will raise him so he raises himself into the meanest, orneriest, lowdown villain to ever terrorize the west. Chased by the head of the railroad and a singing Marshall, Slade finds himself at the mercy of love in the arms of schoolteacher Betsy Potter. Can she make him change his evil ways before Slade meets the hangman's noose?
Why You'll Love It: This is not cutting edge humor nor finely tuned cinema, still, given the choice between this and a TV edit of Blazing Saddles(its closest cinematic match) Evil Roy Slade is MUCH funnier. The puns and sight gags are sometimes predictable but never fall flat. The pacing is designed for commercial television, and it has that distinctive 70's look to it. Still, the storyline and character development is engaging. John Astin is great in the role of Slade and Rooney and Gibson as the bumbling railway men are pitch perfect. Seriously, for a G rated, made for TV movie, I can't imagine how they could have made it any funnier.
|# ? Oct 27, 2011 01:44|
Clive Barker's Hellraiser
Director: Clive Barker
Writer: Clive Barker,
Stars: Andrew Robinson, Clare Higgins and Ashley Laurence
Based on the Short Story: The Hellbound Heart
Quick Synapsis: An unfaithful wife encounters the zombie of her dead lover, who's being chased by demons after he escaped from their sado-masochistic Hell. (source IMDB)
Why You Will Love It: As it was written about the movie “The Entity” in a previous post, to say you love this film is to say you enjoy watching the perversions that one man can inflict on another.
On the surface Hellraiser appears as “just another gore fest”, but the film has many hidden messages buried within the context of the story. In many ways the film is an exploration into one of the darkest aspects of humanities nature, desire.
This is a movie about love, desire and betrayal. Its about how far a human being is willing to go to experience pleasure and how much they are willing to sacrifice to escape the pains of life, or in this case, unlife.
So if you like a gore fest you will like this, and if you like stories that explore humanities darker nature then you will like this. If you like both, well then, you are in for a treat.
MiracleMouse fucked around with this message at Nov 22, 2011 around 19:38
|# ? Nov 22, 2011 19:26|
Directed by: Michael Haneke
Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Magimel
The Plot: A talented piano teacher deals with sex, recitals and her mother.
Why You'll Love It: There're a lot of hurdles to enjoy Haneke's style of film-making, mainly because he likes static longshots with silence, but I think this a good place to start with him. Of course, you're probably not interested in Haneke at all! In that case, this movie plays out like a drama centering around a perfectionist (Piano teachers are pretty strict, yeah?); but, at the end of the tunnel I'd hope your astute mind can pick up on something nefarious about how the film's situations play out. Think big. It's hard to type up more about this movie without ruining it and I'm not gonna give you a trailer for the same reason.
All you need to know is that if you enjoyed Arronofsky's Black Swan you should definitely give this flick a go.
|# ? Dec 25, 2011 11:58|
|# ? May 19, 2013 21:58|
(Translation: The Forgotten)
(English title: The Young and the Damned)
Directed by: Luis Buñuel
Starring: Alfonso Mejía, Roberto Cobo and Estela Inda
The Plot: This is the story of a group of teen delinquents during the 50's. Kids that live surrounded by crime and poorness, their innocence corrupted by the gruesome reality of a growing city.
Why You'll Love It: Usually Mexican movies of that time showed the working class, the poor ones, but their stories were always happy and nice. Happy endings, the family, everyone singing and being okay. Luis Buñuel shows up the dark side of Mexico City, a side that hasn't changed at all. We see things from child abuse, murder, to attempt of surprise sex. The movie only lasted three days when it was released, as there was a huge outrage about the subjects it touched. From what I remember, it isn't very graphic, but we all know there doesn't need to be extreme gore to make the audience uncomfortable.
Notes: You will love the dream sequence, Buñuel's surrealism is amazing. Also, there are two endings, the happy ending and the real one. The real one will let you speechless as it's something you don't expect in Mexican movies of that era.
|# ? Dec 25, 2011 16:09|