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 A noob's journey through cinema 
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Thief wrote:
Of course I'm talking to you. It's your thread! :D Anyway, you're in for a treat with the ones you haven't seen.

Yeah, I was not sure if those recs were meant for me or topherH. :D
But now I'm very curious about Cameraperson.


Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:37 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
I think a better place for recs is from the ol' Consensus by a bunch of posters that no longer post here...

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=647

Thanks! :)
I've seen a few of those, and some others been on my to watch-list for a while now. Great list.


Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:50 pm
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LEAVES wrote:
The individual lists are more likely to stray from the canon. Once you put them together the things that everyone have seen tend to perform better than if everyone had seen every film considered.


word. :up:


Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:14 am
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I watched movies constantly my whole life, but when I decided to step up my game and learn more, I just got Roger Ebert's The Great Movies (now, Vol.1), started reading the essays about them, and then started watching the ones that interested me. That has worked very nicely for me for years.


Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:48 am
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Paris, Texas
"I wanted to see him so bad that I didn't even dare imagine him anymore. "

A roadmovie in every meaning of the word. These characters are always in motion. They go from place to place, back and forth in their lives. They leave people behind, and meet new ones on their way. They can't stop. They keep moving forward, not able to turn back time.

We arrive with Stanton's character, Travis, walking through the great, lonely expanses of the south Texas desert, with only the next source of water as his motivation to continue. This opening is beautiful, but also very lonely and isolated. Barely any words are said in the first half hour. Not out of a sense of peace, but rather pain. Travis is shocked, his past has caught up with him. Suddenly, without a warning, he is forced to confront the people he has been running away from for four years.

And when we move on further, we get to known Travis. We get to see the road he has walked. And we empathize with him, and perhaps detest his past misdeeds. He clearly wants to cope, but he also wants to run away from what haunts him. And when he finally comes to terms with what he is, he once again moves out in the unknown spaces of America, but at least this time, with an honourable purpose.
Paris, Texas is one of the most heartbreaking stories about what is essentially adulthood: facing what you've done and accepting the consequences. Acknowledging you fucked up and trying to be better. And maybe, start over.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:50 am
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Paris, Texas is great. It's mysterious, heartbreaking, and powerful. Also, while the first half hour is great, the 10-15 minute one-way glass scene near the end is one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. I feel like it dragged a bit in the middle, but I still love it.

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:59 am
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it's been so so so so so long since I've seen that one that I'm a little hesitant to watch it again, like I'm hoping it will still be as good as I remember.

but yeah, a good entry into one of my favorite sub-genres: Movies About America by Non-American Directors. of which Wenders is best known for.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:03 am
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Top 5 film of all time

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:33 am
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Slentert wrote:
Paris, Texas
"I wanted to see him so bad that I didn't even dare imagine him anymore. "

A roadmovie in every meaning of the word. These characters are always in motion. They go from place to place, back and forth in their lives. They leave people behind, and meet new ones on their way. They can't stop. They keep moving forward, not able to turn back time.

We arrive with Stanton's character, Travis, walking through the great, lonely expanses of the south Texas desert, with only the next source of water as his motivation to continue. This opening is beautiful, but also very lonely and isolated. Barely any words are said in the first half hour. Not out of a sense of peace, but rather pain. Travis is shocked, his past has caught up with him. Suddenly, without a warning, he is forced to confront the people he has been running away from for four years.

And when we move on further, we get to known Travis. We get to see the road he has walked. And we empathize with him, and perhaps detest his past misdeeds. He clearly wants to cope, but he also wants to run away from what haunts him. And when he finally comes to terms with what he is, he once again moves out in the unknown spaces of America, but at least this time, with an honourable purpose.
Paris, Texas is one of the most heartbreaking stories about what is essentially adulthood: facing what you've done and accepting the consequences. Acknowledging you fucked up and trying to be better. And maybe, start over.


If I had to submit a movie to say it was the single best movie I ever saw, it might be Paris, Texas.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:49 am
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The fact that I've still yet to watch Paris, Texas has to be one of my deepest, darkest shames as a film fan :oops:

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:47 am
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Stu wrote:
The fact that I've still yet to watch Paris, Texas has to be one of my deepest, darkest shames as a film fan :oops:

My deepest shame is that I have yet to see The Godfather.

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:28 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
My deepest shame is that I have yet to see The Godfather.
I've actually never really liked TG all that much, so if you ask me, you're really not missing that much...

:shifty:

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:31 am
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n00bs, indeed.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:33 am
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Stu wrote:
I've actually never really liked TG all that much, so if you ask me, you're really not missing that much...

:shifty:

I have seen Apocalypse Now though and The Conversation is next on my watchlist. What do you think of them?

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:37 am
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I'm just starting out my own little cinematic journey as well. One of the reasons why I never posted that much on RT was because I hadn't seen much, and I'm not very good at expressing why I like or dislike a film anyway.

I liked but didn't love The Godfather. By my lights, the opening scenes at the wedding are the best in the entire film and it never gets that good again.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:44 am
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Noobies

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:59 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
n00bs, indeed.
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I have seen Apocalypse Now though and The Conversation is next on my watchlist. What do you think of them?
Haven't seen The Conversation yet either ( :oops: ), but, at the risk of sounding like a cliche, Apocalypse was an instant favorite the moment it ended, has remained just as great a film to me for over a decade, and is definitely my current favorite Coppola, easy. It's an easy shoe-in to receive a full review from me someday, if I can find some more time to peel away from new releases, y'know?

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:03 am
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Kenji wrote:
I'm just starting out my own little cinematic journey as well. One of the reasons why I never posted that much on RT was because I hadn't seen much, and I'm not very good at expressing why I like or dislike a film anyway.

I liked but didn't love The Godfather. By my lights, the opening scenes at the wedding are the best in the entire film and it never gets that good again.
For me, the biggest flaw with it was how emotionally flat and distant the characters were; the film felt it was always aware of their inherently artificial natures and pre-determined roles they played in the story, instead of surpassing that and making them feel like real, live people with genuine emotions and feelings, which really crippled the overall experience for me.

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:07 am
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Slentert wrote:
Paris, Texas
"I wanted to see him so bad that I didn't even dare imagine him anymore. "

A roadmovie in every meaning of the word. These characters are always in motion. They go from place to place, back and forth in their lives. They leave people behind, and meet new ones on their way. They can't stop. They keep moving forward, not able to turn back time.

We arrive with Stanton's character, Travis, walking through the great, lonely expanses of the south Texas desert, with only the next source of water as his motivation to continue. This opening is beautiful, but also very lonely and isolated. Barely any words are said in the first half hour. Not out of a sense of peace, but rather pain. Travis is shocked, his past has caught up with him. Suddenly, without a warning, he is forced to confront the people he has been running away from for four years.

And when we move on further, we get to known Travis. We get to see the road he has walked. And we empathize with him, and perhaps detest his past misdeeds. He clearly wants to cope, but he also wants to run away from what haunts him. And when he finally comes to terms with what he is, he once again moves out in the unknown spaces of America, but at least this time, with an honourable purpose.
Paris, Texas is one of the most heartbreaking stories about what is essentially adulthood: facing what you've done and accepting the consequences. Acknowledging you fucked up and trying to be better. And maybe, start over.


I'd recommend Alice in the Cities and Kings of the Road for more Wenders. Both really great.

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:09 am
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topherH wrote:
I'd recommend Alice in the Cities and Kings of the Road for more Wenders. Both really great.

And American Friend and Wings of Desire.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:37 am
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Stu wrote:
Haven't seen The Conversation yet either ( :oops: ), but, at the risk of sounding like a cliche, Apocalypse was an instant favorite the moment it ended, has remained just as great a film to me for over a decade, and is definitely my current favorite Coppola, easy. It's an easy shoe-in to receive a full review from me someday, if I can find some more time to peel away from new releases, y'know?

I also love Apocalypse Now. It's one of my favorite war films of all time.

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:50 am
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I have to imagine that watching The Godfather has the same problem as Citizen Kane where it's been built up so tall for so long that it's hard to approach it without a lot of expectation. I still think it is fine.

(at the very least Coppola's commentary track for The Godfather is a great yarn about a young filmmaker using a for-hire assignment to prove that he has what it takes to be a legit filmmaker.)


Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:59 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I have to imagine that watching The Godfather has the same problem as Citizen Kane where it's been built up so tall for so long that it's hard to approach it without a lot of expectation. I still think it is fine.

(at the very least Coppola's commentary track for The Godfather is a great yarn about a young filmmaker using a for-hire assignment to prove that he has what it takes to be a legit filmmaker.)
Yeah, I might have have had that problem the first (and only, to date) time I watched Kane 13 years ago; I felt it was perfectly fine and all, just not The Greatest Film Of All Time Ever. The burden of expectations, eh? If only time travel existed, so I could go back and see it expectation-free, but alas... I really should give it another shot, one of these days, just to be sure of how I feel about it.

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:05 pm
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To say that Godfather lacks "real, genuine emotion" is to not understand the art of acting. So many scenes - Michael and Vito bedside, Michael in the diner, Vito identifying Sonny, Tom telling Vito about Sonny, Michael and Vito in the garden ("there wasn't enough time").

I don't know what kind of Korean bootlegs you people are watching instead of the film I see each and every time.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:14 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
I have seen Apocalypse Now though and The Conversation is next on my watchlist. What do you think of them?


Not that you asked me, but both are great. Coppola was on a fuckin' roll on the 70's. Watch out for Gene Hackman on the latter. Wow!

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:45 pm
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Thief wrote:

Not that you asked me, but both are great. Coppola was on a fuckin' roll on the 70's.
Too bad about some of the stinkers he's made since then, though. It really is true what they say...

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:49 pm
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I haven't seen them, but I've read Tetro and Twixt are solid, so it's nice to see he got out on a high note. I was reading an article a while ago about the hotel he bought on Bernalda, and how passionate he was about it, so I suppse it's nice that he can dedicate time to that and his family.

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:54 pm
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Stu wrote:
Too bad about some of the stinkers he's made since then, though. It really is true what they say...

Image


That seems to only be true for American directors. European and Asian ones appear to have a great career throughout their life. Kurosawa has 27 movies on the Criterion collection, more than any other director.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:11 pm
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Thief wrote:
I haven't seen them, but I've read Tetro and Twixt are solid, so it's nice to see he got out on a high note. I was reading an article a while ago about the hotel he bought on Bernalda, and how passionate he was about it, so I suppse it's nice that he can dedicate time to that and his family.
I also haven't seen either one of those, but overall, Twixt actually got pretty poor reviews (it sits at a fairly low average score of 4.3 back at The Other Backstabbing Place). I have, however, seen Jack, which was more than enough to discourage me from being eager to explore post-golden age Coppola any further, ugh...

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Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:27 pm
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Stu wrote:
I also haven't seen either one of those, but overall, Twixt actually got pretty poor reviews (it sits at a fairly low average score of 4.3 back at The Other Backstabbing Place). I have, however, seen Jack, which was more than enough to discourage me from being eager to explore post-golden age Coppola any further, ugh...


Jack is one of the worst movies I've seen. Such a downfall after 20 years.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:35 pm
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given that Coppola spent much of his childhood bedridden with polio, one would think he could have made a better movie about a child's early mortality. bit of a missed opportunity there.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:29 pm
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Taxi Driver
Rewatch.
"Thank God for the rain to wash the trash off the sidewalk. "
Still great. Still haunting. Not much to say that hasn't already been told a thousand time before.
Maybe a bit about the ending:

Even though both Schrader and Scorsese have dismissed the idea, I still uphold the thought that the final five minutes are a dream. It would be one thing for Iris' parents to love him, but it fairly unbelievable to have him magically pick up Betsy and have her be warm and view him as a hero as well. Not only that, but the way he is so cool and confident about her. He isn't the same nervous guy around her in that final scene. There are so many things like those that make it feel like a dream more than anything that would really happen. Even the music and the way it's all framed confirm this presumption.

In Bruges

Rewatch
"You're an inanimate fucking object!"
I watched this one the 24th of December, which was awfully fitting since In Bruges is actually a Christmas movie. Not only because it takes place around the Christmas Holidays, although that's one of the most important arguments, but also because it's about forgiveness and standing up for your loved ones.

But above all, In Bruges is a dark comedy, that isn't scared to make jokes about the brutal reality its characters live in, but to me it never feels offensive or mocking, and in fact it's funny as hell. That's probably because the characters, 'though being completely unhinged, feel very lived through, even "real" in some way. If I have the name the one thing that doesn't work for me it is that the romance angle doesn't get a proper build-up.

Also, being Belgian, I never knew my country was widely known as "the one with all the murdered children".


Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:44 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I have to imagine that watching The Godfather has the same problem as Citizen Kane where it's been built up so tall for so long that it's hard to approach it without a lot of expectation. I still think it is fine.

Agreed. I still think The Godfather is a really stunning movie, but I wouldn't call it one of my "favorites". Probably because of the lifelong anticipation priot to it.
The whole "Greatest Movie of All Time" thing can sometimes be a real burden to carry.


Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:51 pm
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Stu wrote:
The fact that I've still yet to watch Paris, Texas has to be one of my deepest, darkest shames as a film fan :oops:

Citizen Kane.


Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:55 am
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Joss Whedon wrote:

That seems to only be true for American directors. European and Asian ones appear to have a great career throughout their life. Kurosawa has 27 movies on the Criterion collection, more than any other director.

I say it's the money.


Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:59 am
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My reading of the ending of Taxi Driver is that Travis is still a ticking time bomb. Reconciling with Betsy would indicate that he'd escape from the paranoia he faces on the streets. Judging by the final scene, however, I think he refused to do it given the lack of dialogue he exchanged with her. I also think that giving her a free ride was his way of saying goodbye. In addition to this, the mesmerizing cinematography at the end mimics the shots in the opening few minutes, implying that he's back to where he was at the beginning. As for the coincidence of him meeting Betsy in the same cab, I don't think the film was clear over how much time passed since the shootout and the final scene.

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:25 am
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Joss Whedon wrote:
That seems to only be true for American directors. European and Asian ones appear to have a great career throughout their life. Kurosawa has 27 movies on the Criterion collection, more than any other director.

Kurosawa is a singular filmmaker, elite of elite, and not at all typical. Ringo Lam, for example, has had a more precipitous arc.

Among the elite American directors, we see longevity in Kubrick, Altman, Malick. And I also happen to be someone who's convinced that Silence will be regarded as one of Scorsese's handful of masterpieces.


Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:27 am
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Joss Whedon wrote:
Jack is one of the worst movies I've seen. Such a downfall after 20 years.

Both Jack and Rainmaker were for-hire work to pay the bills while Coppola was involved in a lawsuit with his studio. I disregard them. In contrast, his last three films were largely labors of love, largely self-financed, and far more sincere and experimental work.


Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:32 am
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Slentert wrote:
Taxi Driver
Rewatch.
"Thank God for the rain to wash the trash off the sidewalk. "
Still great. Still haunting. Not much to say that hasn't already been told a thousand time before.
Maybe a bit about the ending:

Even though both Schrader and Scorsese have dismissed the idea, I still uphold the thought that the final five minutes are a dream. It would be one thing for Iris' parents to love him, but it fairly unbelievable to have him magically pick up Betsy and have her be warm and view him as a hero as well. Not only that, but the way he is so cool and confident about her. He isn't the same nervous guy around her in that final scene. There are so many things like those that make it feel like a dream more than anything that would really happen. Even the music and the way it's all framed confirm this presumption.

In Bruges

Rewatch
"You're an inanimate fucking object!"
I watched this one the 24th of December, which was awfully fitting since In Bruges is actually a Christmas movie. Not only because it takes place around the Christmas Holidays, although that's one of the most important arguments, but also because it's about forgiveness and standing up for your loved ones.

But above all, In Bruges is a dark comedy, that isn't scared to make jokes about the brutal reality its characters live in, but to me it never feels offensive or mocking, and in fact it's funny as hell. That's probably because the characters, 'though being completely unhinged, feel very lived through, even "real" in some way. If I have the name the one thing that doesn't work for me it is that the romance angle doesn't get a proper build-up.

Also, being Belgian, I never knew my country was widely known as "the one with all the murdered children".


Taxi Driver is probably my favorite Scorsese, but it's been too long since I last saw it.

I had some minor issues with In Bruges, but I still enjoyed it a lot. Here's something I wrote about it...

In Bruges: Fairytale town or hell?

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:46 am
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Thief wrote:
I envy you. I wish I would've been that into films at that age. I sure loved films, but really got into them while in college.

My advice would be similar to what others have said. Try to watch a little bit of everything. I think going "back in time" is a very sensible approach, but I also think that occasional "time jumps" wouldn't be harmful (like seeing Chaplin's The Kid after something like, I don't know, Empire of the Sun or October Sky). Don't chain yourself to lists like IMDb's or the 1000 Films to see Before You Die, but do use them as reference points perhaps. And don't be afraid to go "out of the reservation" to watch a weird indie, a TV film, or an Asylum film.


I think if you want to get a good grasp of cinema, Thief offers excellent advice.

Also, ignore what Roger Ebert did and don't be afraid to give a classic film a second or even third chance.


Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:56 am
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Yes, great advice from Thief.


Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:06 am
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Also, a great list to take recommendations from is Sight & Sounds' top 250 from 2012. It features a variety of films from different countries and different time periods. I can't find the full list on their website, but I found an IMDb user who uploaded the list (it's available on different places throughout the web).

http://www.imdb.com/list/ls008765885/

Although, like Thief said, watch films from other places other than just one list. Many of my favorites made it on this list, but many more weren't on it.

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:53 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
Although, like Thief said, watch films from other places other than just one list. Many of my favorites made it on this list, but many more weren't on it.

Yeah, I'm not the kind of guy who checks off lists. They're great for recommendations, but I usually just watch whatever falls into my lap. That could be everything, something random on tv, a Corrie Class Trip... I'm also a big listener to podcasts, so those definitely influence my watch-list.

But thanks for that Sight & Sounds list. :)


Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:49 am
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
My reading of the ending of Taxi Driver is that Travis is still a ticking time bomb.
Absolutely; that final moment of him seeing something in his rearview that upsets him definitely shows that he isn't any better at the end of the film than he was at the beginning, and that it's only a matter of time before he snaps again (and if I had to speculate, I'd guess that the next time, he isn't going to end up being thought of as a hero)...

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:48 pm
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Stu wrote:
Absolutely; that final moment of him seeing something in his rearview that upsets him definitely shows that he isn't any better at the end of the film than he was at the beginning, and that it's only a matter of time before he snaps again (and if I had to speculate, I'd guess that the next time, he isn't going to end up being thought of as a hero)...

In fact, that's what Scorsese also said.

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:01 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
In fact, that's what Scorsese also said.
I know; I was just repeating what I remember hearing him say about it on the DVD, to be honest with you...

:oops:

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Stu wrote:
I know; I was just repeating what I remember hearing him say about it on the DVD, to be honest with you...

:oops:

I realize now how much you're just like the others, cold and distant, and many people are like that, women for sure, they're like a union.

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Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:21 pm
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Little Odessa (1994)
"You know there is a saying: When a child is six years old, it says, "the father can do everything". When he's twelve, he says, "the father can almost do everything". When he's sixteen, he says, "the father is an idiot". When he's twenty-four, he says, "the father wasn't maybe such an idiot", and then, when he's forty, he says, "if I could only ask my father". But I'm afraid my sons will never ask themselves that."

Well, this was a refreshing take on the gangster genre. While other 90's crime flicks rather went for something macho, Gray shows a more tender portrayal of a criminal and his family. Even though it begins with murder and ends with death and destruction.

In Little Odessa, an incredible Tim Roth plays Joshua Shapiro, a crook who returns to his old neighborhood for a job. There he is confronted with the family he abandoned years ago: his father who he hates, his dying mother and his baby brother who has grown up to be a troubled adolescent and still adores him. During this "reunion" it becomes clear that even though family can be a great deal of support, they can also be the cause of great pain.

Instead of this family tragedy getting pushed away by the genre elements, the crime story rather strengthens the drama in an efficient way. An impressive debut by James Gray, a director I hope to see more from.

The Awful Truth (1937)

"And if you get bored in Oklahoma City, you can always go over to Tulsa for the weekend!"

Charming as hell, and the two leads are at the top of their game, it almost makes up for the fact I didn't think it was that funny... Sorry guys, I'm just really difficult when it comes to humor.

But I got to hand it to the Academy back then, they don't really regularly nominate straight-up comedies like this anymore, let alone have them win.

Gentlemen prefer Blondes (1953)

"I like a man who can run faster than I can."

'Though some of it's ideas are outdated (and some surely ain't) this movie is a perfect example why I love classic Hollywood. Light, airy, easily digestible and without any kind of pretensions, these are things that are nowadays being scoffed at, and that's a shame.

Also, I have to note, this movie looks so smooth. The camera seemed to be in the perfect place every time to catch the right angle on it's two leads. Much like Russell and Monroe in the film, the film knows it's beauty and it is not afraid to use this trait.


Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:12 pm
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Post Re: A noob's journey through cinema

Never seen Little Odessa, but it sounds promising, and also sounds somewhat similar to James Gray's next effort, 2000's The Yards, which I liked a lot and reviewed some time ago; have you you ever seen that one, Slent?

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Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:09 am
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Slentert wrote:

The Awful Truth (1937)

"And if you get bored in Oklahoma City, you can always go over to Tulsa for the weekend!"

Charming as hell, and the two leads are at the top of their game, it almost makes up for the fact I didn't think it was that funny... Sorry guys, I'm just really difficult when it comes to humor.

But I got to hand it to the Academy back then, they don't really regularly nominate straight-up comedies like this anymore, let alone have them win.

Genuinely one of my favorite comedies and would probably find it's way on to some list of my favorite movies, period. When I think of Cary Grant at his best, this might be the first movie that comes to mind, along with Arsenic and Old Lace, To Catch A Thief, NxNW, and Bringing Up Baby.


Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:24 pm
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