Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

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Thief
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Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:23 pm

Here's my new thread for my monthly challenge. I will continue to use the 2018 thread for any leftover review from last year, but this is where it's at now.

Like last year, every month I'll post a list of semi-random criteria and I'll try to watch as many films as I can to fill each. Although last year, I did 25 categories per month, this year I'll be doing 15 categories per month. I think it's more manageable, at least for me.

These are the categories for October...

A film with the number 11 (Eleven, Eleventh, etc.) in its title (not a sequel):
A film with a title that starts with the letters U or V:
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #11 (i.e. 11, 118, 211): (see list here)
A film from the 2000s:
A film about politics in general:
A film about a writer (Nat'l Author's Day, November 1):
A film that features mummies, pharaohs, or Egypt prominently (King Tut Day, November 4):
A film about a rebellion or political plot (Guy Fawkes Night, November 5):
A film from Poland (Independence Day, November 11):
A film set in Palestine (Independence Day, November 15):
A film about the occult (Occult Day, November 18):
A film from Bruce Lee (born November 27):
A film set on Mars or featuring it prominently (Red Planet Day, November 28):
A film about Thanksgiving:
A film about with the words "Black" or "Friday" in its title:

I know a few of you joined in from month to month (Takoma, Captain Terror, Apex, slentert, etc.) so I hope you can join me this year again. The thread is open for any of you to post your reviews, discuss, ask questions, comment, agree or disagree.

Also, like last year, feel free to suggest films that might fit any of the criterias of the month.

Links for the tallies of past months...

January 2019
February 2019
March 2019
April 2019
May 2019
June 2019
July 2019
August 2019
September 2019
October 2019
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Apex Predator
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:34 pm

I'll be looking forward to it.

Maybe reducing the categories can help; always felt overwhelmed trying to fit 25 categories in as few films as possible.

January may be more of a matter of taking my films and fitting them in your categories as I gotta play catchup with all the 2018 films I've missed.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Stu » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:37 pm

Image

Here's to another awesome year of your awesome series, Thief!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:52 pm

Ok, categories are set and posted. Feel free to share your thoughts and suggestions.

About the IMDb category, first, I know many of us have our reservations about the list, but regardless of the merits of it, I still think it's a popular standard that can serve as a guide, and as such, I will probably reference it in a similar way in each month. However, since the IMDb changes from time to time, I was thinking whether to take a "snapshot" of it right now (as of January 2019) and use that or to just let it flow. Any thoughts?
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:56 pm

Apex Predator wrote:I'll be looking forward to it.

Maybe reducing the categories can help; always felt overwhelmed trying to fit 25 categories in as few films as possible.

January may be more of a matter of taking my films and fitting them in your categories as I gotta play catchup with all the 2018 films I've missed.
Stu wrote:Image

Here's to another awesome year of your awesome series, Thief!
Thanks!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Death Proof » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:12 pm

These are the categories for January, which I've dubbed January of Firsts...

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: The One
The first film from any director you like: Home Fries (Dean Parisot)
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): The Broadway Melody (1928)
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Bad Company (2002)
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): Yojimbo (#111)
A film from the 1900s: The Merry Frolics of Satan (1906)
An action or adventure film: Timerider - The Adventure of Lyle Swann
An animated film: American Pop
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): Grizzly Man
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): Blind Fury
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): The Fighter (2010)
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): Blue Velvet
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime (18th Amendment, January 29/Al Capone, died January 25): Scarface (1932)
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): Australia
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Good Morning Vietnam
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:47 pm

Ok, nevermind what I asked. Executive decision, here :D I think it's better to stick to a static IMDb list. Still, given the criteria, at any given month, there are bound to be more than a dozen options to choose.

Here's the IMDb Top 250 as of January 2, 2019:

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
2. The Godfather (1972)
3. The Godfather, Part 2 (1974)
4. The Dark Knight (2008)
5. 12 Angry Men (1957)
6. Schindler's List (1993)
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
8. Pulp Fiction (1994)
9. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
10. Fight Club (1999)
11. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2002)
12. Forrest Gump (1994)
13. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
14. Inception (2010)
15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
16. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
17. Goodfellas (1990)
18. The Matrix (1999)
19. Seven Samurai (1954)
20. City of God (2002)
21. Se7en (1995)
22. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
23. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
24. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
25. Life is Beautiful (1997)
26. The Usual Suspects (1995)
27. Spirited Away (2001)
28. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
29. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
30. Léon: The Professional (1994)
31. The Green Mile (1999)
32. Interstellar (2014)
33. Psycho (1960)
34. American History X (1998)
35. City Lights (1931)
36. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
37. Casablanca (1942)
38. Modern Times (1936)
39. The Pianist (2002)
40. The Intouchables (2011)
41. The Departed (2006)
42. Back to the Future (1985)
43. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
44. Whiplash (2014)
45. Rear Window (1954)
46. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
47. The Lion King (1994)
48. Gladiator (2000)
49. The Prestige (2006)
50. Apocalypse Now (1979)
51. Memento (2000)
52. Alien (1979)
53. The Great Dictator (1940)
54. Cinema Paradiso (1988)
55. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
56. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
57. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
58. The Lives of Others (2006)
59. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
60. Paths of Glory (1957)
61. The Shining (1980)
62. Django Unchained (2012)
63. WALL-E (2008)
64. Princess Mononoke (1997)
65. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
66. American Beauty (1999)
67. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
68. Oldboy (2003)
69. Aliens (1986)
70. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
71. Coco (2017)
72. Das Boot (1981)
73. Citizen Kane (1941)
74. Braveheart (1995)
75. Vertigo (1958)
76. North by Northwest (1959)
77. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
78. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
79. M (1931)
80. Your Name. (2016)
81. Amadeus (1984)
82. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
83. Dangal (2016)
84. Like Stars on Earth (2007)
85. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
86. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
87. 3 Idiots (2009)
88. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
89. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
90. Amélie (2001)
91. Toy Story (1995)
92. Double Indemnity (1944)
93. Taxi Driver (1976)
94. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
95. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
96. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
97. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
98. Bicycle Thieves (1948)
99. The Kid (1921)
100. The Sting (1973)
101. Good Will Hunting (1997)
102. Toy Story 3 (2010)
103. The Hunt (2012)
104. Snatch (2000)
105. Scarface (1983)
106. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
107. For a Few Dollars More (1965)
108. The Apartment (1960)
109. L.A. Confidential (1997)
110. Metropolis (1927)
111. A Separation (2011)
112. Andhadhun (2018)
113. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
114. Rashomon (1950)
115. Up (2009)
116. All About Eve (1950)
117. Batman Begins (2005)
118. Yojimbo (1961)
119. Some Like It Hot (1959)

120. Unforgiven (1992)
121. Downfall (2004)
122. Die Hard (1988)
123. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
124. Heat (1995)
125. Ikiru (1952)
126. Incendies (2010)
127. Raging Bull (1980)
128. The Great Escape (1963)
129. Children of Heaven (1997)
130. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
131. Chinatown (1974)
132. My Father and My Son (2005)
133. The Third Man (1949)
134. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
135. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
136. Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
137. Ran (1985)
138. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
139. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
140. The Gold Rush (1925)
141. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
142. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
143. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
144. Casino (1995)
145. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
146. On the Waterfront (1954)
147. The Seventh Seal (1957)
148. Inside Out (2015)
149. The Elephant Man (1980)
150. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
151. Room (2015)
152. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
153. V for Vendetta (2005)
154. Warrior (2011)
155. Blade Runner (1982)
156. Dial M for Murder (1954)
157. Wild Strawberries (1957)
158. The General (1926)
159. No Country for Old Men (2007)
160. Trainspotting (1996)
161. There Will Be Blood (2007)
162. The Sixth Sense (1999)
163. Gone with the Wind (1939)
164. The Thing (1982)
165. Fargo (1996)
166. Gran Torino (2008)
167. The Deer Hunter (1978)
168. Finding Nemo (2003)
169. Come and See (1985)
170. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
171. The Big Lebowski (1998)
172. Shutter Island (2010)
173. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
174. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
175. Rebecca (1940)
176. Tokyo Story (1953)
177. Mary and Max (2009)
178. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
179. Gone Girl (2014)
180. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
181. Sunrise (1927)
182. Wild Tales (2014)
183. Jurassic Park (1993)
184. Into the Wild (2007)
185. In the Name of the Father (1993)
186. Life of Brian (1979)
187. The Truman Show (1998)
188. It Happened One Night (1934)
189. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
190. Stand by Me (1986)
191. Platoon (1986)
192. The Bandit (1996)
193. Network (1976)
194. Stalker (1979)
195. Persona (1966)
196. Memories of Murder (2003)
197. Ben-Hur (1959)
198. Hotel Rwanda (2004)
199. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
200. Roma (2018)
201. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
202. Rush (2013)
203. The Wages of Fear (1953)
204. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
205. Before Sunrise (1995)
206. Andrei Rublev (1966)
207. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
208. The 400 Blows (1959)
209. Prisoners (2013)
210. Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
211. Spotlight (2015)
212. Logan (2017)
213. Amores Perros (2000)
214. Rang De Basanti (2006)
215. The Princess Bride (1987)
216. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
217. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
218. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
219. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
220. Rocky (1976)
221. Barry Lyndon (1975)
222. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
223. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
224. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
225. Dead Poets Society (1989)
226. Donnie Darko (2001)
227. The Terminator (1984)
228. Gandhi (1982)
229. Diabolique (1955)
230. La Haine (1995)
231. Groundhog Day (1993)
232. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
233. Sanjuro (1962)
234. Jaws (1975)
235. The Nights of Cabiria (1957)
236. The Help (2011)
237. In the Mood for Love (2000)
238. Tangerines (2013)
239. Before Sunset (2004)
240. The Handmaiden (2016)
241. Paper Moon (1973)
242. Castle in the Sky (1986)
243. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
244. Paris, Texas (1984)
245. Drishyam (2015)
246. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
247. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
248. Winter Sleep (2014)
249. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
250. 8 1/2 (1963)

I've highlighted the ones that would be valid for the month of October (the ones whose ranking has the #10).
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Eminence Grise » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:09 pm

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: First Name, Carmen (1983)
The first film from any director you like: Cute Girl (1980)
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: A Short Film About Killing (1988)
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): Rebecca (1940)
A film from the 1900s: ?
An action or adventure film: Last Action Hero (1993)
An animated film: Mothlight (1963)
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): The Gold Rush (1925)
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): Actually blind or playing a blind person?
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): Raging Bull (1980)
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime (18th Amendment, January 29/Al Capone, died January 25): Once Upon A Time In America (1984)
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): Wake In Fright (1971)
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Rushmore (1998)
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:44 pm

Death Proof wrote:These are the categories for January, which I've dubbed January of Firsts...

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: The One
The first film from any director you like: Home Fries (Dean Parisot)
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): The Broadway Melody (1928)
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Bad Company (2002)
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): Yojimbo (#111)
A film from the 1900s: The Merry Frolics of Satan (1906)
An action or adventure film: Timerider - The Adventure of Lyle Swann
An animated film: American Pop
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): Grizzly Man
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): Blind Fury
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): The Fighter (2010)
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): Blue Velvet
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime (18th Amendment, January 29/Al Capone, died January 25): Scarface (1932)
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): Australia
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Good Morning Vietnam
I've seen the highlighted ones. Most of them range from solid to pretty good, with the exception of The Broadway Melody, which was a bit of a chore. However, it's worth a watch from the perspective of the evolution of musicals, or if you're a completist trying to watch all BP nominees.

I wouldn't mind a rewatch of Good Morning Vietnam. It has been forever since I last saw it. I'll see what other Vietnam War film I can find, but if there aren't many options, I'll go with that one. I've also heard good/great things about the original Scarface, so that's one I might consider. Thanks!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:55 pm

Eminence Grise wrote:A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: First Name, Carmen (1983)
The first film from any director you like: Cute Girl (1980)
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: A Short Film About Killing (1988)
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): Rebecca (1940)
A film from the 1900s: ?
An action or adventure film: Last Action Hero (1993)
An animated film: Mothlight (1963)
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): The Gold Rush (1925)
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): Actually blind or playing a blind person?
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): Raging Bull (1980)
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime (18th Amendment, January 29/Al Capone, died January 25): Once Upon A Time In America (1984)
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): Wake In Fright (1971)
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Rushmore (1998)
Seen the highlighted ones. Raging Bull and Rushmore, I don't remember a whole lot about, though. It's been a while. The Gold Rush is a pretty good option, considering how much I'd like to delve into Chaplin. I've also had Virginia Woolf on my radar for a while now, but I'll follow the order and go with Wings.

Re: the "blind" category, I suppose there will be more options if it was an actor playing a blind person, which was my original idea. But it might be cool if it was an actual blind actor/actress. Thanks for bringing it up.

Re: Twin Peaks, I'd rather wait until I see Season 2 before watching this one. Thanks!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:14 am

What I'm leaning towards for January (I said I was going to let the categories fit my watching, LOL)

One/First in title: First Reformed (2018) Prime
First film from director you like: Shallow Grave (Danny Boyle/1994) PBS
First Best Picture You Haven't Seen: Wings (1927) Either on YouTube? or Kanopy
Title beginning with A or B/Vietnam War: Apocalypse Now (1979) Netflix
IMDB top 250 with a number 1/Animated film: Coco (2017) Netflix
1900s Film: Haunted House (1908) YouTube
Action/Adventure film: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Netflix
Film set in Alaska: The Gold Rush (1925) YouTube
Blind Character: Blind Detective (2013) Netflix
Boxing: Bronx Bull (2017) Prime
David Lynch: Blue Velvet (1986) Prime
Prohibition/gangsters/1920s mafia: Bootleggers (1974) Prime
Australia: Strangerland (2015) Netflix
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:23 am

Apex Predator wrote:What I'm leaning towards for January (I said I was going to let the categories fit my watching, LOL)

One/First in title: First Reformed (2018) Prime
First film from director you like: Shallow Grave (Danny Boyle/1994) PBS
First Best Picture You Haven't Seen: Wings (1927) Either on YouTube? or Kanopy
Title beginning with A or B/Vietnam War: Apocalypse Now (1979) Netflix
IMDB top 250 with a number 1/Animated film: Coco (2017) Netflix
1900s Film: Haunted House (1908) YouTube
Action/Adventure film: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Netflix
Film set in Alaska: The Gold Rush (1925) YouTube
Blind Character: Blind Detective (2013) Netflix
Boxing: Bronx Bull (2017) Prime
David Lynch: Blue Velvet (1986) Prime
Prohibition/gangsters/1920s mafia: Bootleggers (1974) Prime
Australia: Strangerland (2015) Netflix
Thanks for reminding me of Shallow Grave! That's one I might consider.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:50 am

Glad the challenge is still going!

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: I'm hoping to check out First Reformed--I've heard good things!
The first film from any director you like: Sleepaway Camp, Mean Creek (I'm hoping to check out The Duellists or Solo Con Tu Pareja
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): Ha, it's Wings for me!
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Act of Killing
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): I'll be checking out Coco
A film from the 1900s: Maybe the 1909 The Long Reach
An action or adventure film: Either an ironic viewing of Power Rangers or maybe the most recent Avengers? I'd also recommend Adventures of Tintin, Beowulf (2007), and The Man from Nowhere. If you somehow haven't seen The Man from Nowhere, get on that.
An animated film: I'll probably watch Secret of NIMH (never seen it). I'd again recommend Tintin and Beowulf, and also The Last Unicorn (a MUST SEE) and Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): Maybe Into the Wild?
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): Maybe Proof? House of Flying Daggers.
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): If you can get it, The Set-Up. I will be watching Bloodsport (shut up!)
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): Duran Duran: Unstaged? I've seen almost all of his films.
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime (18th Amendment, January 29/Al Capone, died January 25): Untouchables in on Amazon Prime. Maybe Lawless?
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): The Long Weekend!
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Maybe The Last Hunter or The Last Blood? War movies aren't really in my wheelhouse.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Death Proof » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:41 am

Thief wrote:
I've seen the highlighted ones. Most of them range from solid to pretty good, with the exception of The Broadway Melody, which was a bit of a chore. However, it's worth a watch from the perspective of the evolution of musicals, or if you're a completist trying to watch all BP nominees.

I wouldn't mind a rewatch of Good Morning Vietnam. It has been forever since I last saw it. I'll see what other Vietnam War film I can find, but if there aren't many options, I'll go with that one. I've also heard good/great things about the original Scarface, so that's one I might consider. Thanks!

I just saw Scarface for the first time a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Hope you like the others.

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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:06 am

Takoma1 wrote:Glad the challenge is still going!

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: I'm hoping to check out First Reformed--I've heard good things!
The first film from any director you like: Sleepaway Camp, Mean Creek (I'm hoping to check out The Duellists or Solo Con Tu Pareja
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): Ha, it's Wings for me!
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Act of Killing
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): I'll be checking out Coco
A film from the 1900s: Maybe the 1909 The Long Reach
An action or adventure film: Either an ironic viewing of Power Rangers or maybe the most recent Avengers? I'd also recommend Adventures of Tintin, Beowulf (2007), and The Man from Nowhere. If you somehow haven't seen The Man from Nowhere, get on that.
An animated film: I'll probably watch Secret of NIMH (never seen it). I'd again recommend Tintin and Beowulf, and also The Last Unicorn (a MUST SEE) and Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): Maybe Into the Wild?
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): Maybe Proof? House of Flying Daggers.
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): If you can get it, The Set-Up. I will be watching Bloodsport (shut up!)
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): Duran Duran: Unstaged? I've seen almost all of his films.
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime (18th Amendment, January 29/Al Capone, died January 25): Untouchables in on Amazon Prime. Maybe Lawless?
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): The Long Weekend!
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Maybe The Last Hunter or The Last Blood? War movies aren't really in my wheelhouse.
I've seen the highlighted ones, although it's been really a while since I saw Sleepaway Camp. I've been meaning to rewatch it for some time, but I don't think I'll go that way now.

Also, it's Wings for me as well!

Re: The Man from Nowhere, saw it last year (January, I think) after your recommendation. Loved it. I also saw Into the Wild, which several of you mentioned on the 2018 thread.

Thanks!
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:42 am

Wasn't as big on Lawless as some. It had a few interesting moments here and there, but not enough of them.

And I'm already off...with a film you saw three months before under a different title?

The Haunted House (1908)
See a 1900s film

A trio of people end up in a house that starts doing things such as moving chairs and pictures changing into a scary person. Eek!

Considering its date, this was pretty well done. The effects are cool, the film kept moving, and there were a decent amount of laughs.

(To be fair, I kinda cheated in that although it was supposed to be a silent, my copy had a jazzy score that just added to things)

Not sure why the people being frightened looked kind of grotesque, but OK.

2019 film going is off to a solid start!

PS: Also, I'm ahead of Takoma already? I can't imagine that lasting, but it's nice for a few moments. :up:
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:07 am

Cool, the movie I watched New Year's Day fits one of these categories. Off to a good start.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:08 am

Takoma1 wrote:I'm hoping to check out Solo Con Tu Pareja
That's the one I watched! Liked it a lot, would like to know what others think.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:18 am

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: 127 Hours
The first film from any director you like: Badlands
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): I haven't seen Wings, so...
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Altered States
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): Amadeus (#81)
A film from the 1900s: The Sealed Room (1909)
An action or adventure film: Snowpiercer
An animated film: Waltz With Bashir
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): I'll second Grizzly Man
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): The Eye (2008)
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): Cinderella Man
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): The Grandmother (1971)
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): Walkabout
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Jacob's Ladder or Hearts and Minds
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Slentert » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:31 am

I think I might give this challenge another chance.

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: One False Move
The first film from any director you like: Who's That Knocking at My Door
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): Wings
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: About Time
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): The Bridge on the River Kwai
A film from the 1900s: 1908' Haunted House
An action or adventure film: The Blade
An animated film: Grave of the Fireflies
A film set in Alaska: The Gold Rush
A film featuring a prominent blind character: Wait Until Dark
A film about boxing: Fat City
A film from David Lynch: Blue Velvet
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime: The Godfather Part II
A film from Australia: Strictly Ballroom
A film about the Vietnam War: Full Metal Jacket

FMJ and Blue Velvet are both rewatches, I hope that's okay? I haven't seen both since I first got into movies a couple of years ago.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:56 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: 127 Hours
The first film from any director you like: Badlands
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): I haven't seen Wings, so...
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Altered States
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): Amadeus (#81)
A film from the 1900s: The Sealed Room (1909)
An action or adventure film: Snowpiercer
An animated film: Waltz With Bashir
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): I'll second Grizzly Man
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): The Eye (2008)
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): Cinderella Man
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): The Grandmother (1971)
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): Walkabout
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Jacob's Ladder or Hearts and Minds
Seen the ones highlighted, all of them pretty good. I do need to rewatch Jacob's Ladder. Haven't seen it in a good while and I remember being a bit put off by the twist the first time I saw it. That was about 15+ years ago, though.

A lot of people mentioning Grizzly Man, and although I'm more inclined to go with The Gold Rush for that specific category, I'll keep it in mind for any other category it might fit.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:58 pm

Slentert wrote:I think I might give this challenge another chance.

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: One False Move
The first film from any director you like: Who's That Knocking at My Door
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): Wings
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: About Time
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): The Bridge on the River Kwai
A film from the 1900s: 1908' Haunted House
An action or adventure film: The Blade
An animated film: Grave of the Fireflies
A film set in Alaska: The Gold Rush
A film featuring a prominent blind character: Wait Until Dark
A film about boxing: Fat City
A film from David Lynch: Blue Velvet
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime: The Godfather Part II
A film from Australia: Strictly Ballroom
A film about the Vietnam War: Full Metal Jacket

FMJ and Blue Velvet are both rewatches, I hope that's okay? I haven't seen both since I first got into movies a couple of years ago.
Are these recommendations or the ones you might watch? Just wondering if you've seen The Godfather II and Full Metal Jacket before, or if you're planning on watching them for the first time.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Slentert » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:04 pm

Thief wrote:
Are these recommendations or the ones you might watch? Just wondering if you've seen The Godfather II and Full Metal Jacket before, or if you're planning on watching them for the first time.
These are the ones I might watch. Full Metal Jacket is indeed a rewatch, but I've never seen The Godfather II. Terrible, I know.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:10 pm

Slentert wrote: These are the ones I might watch. Full Metal Jacket is indeed a rewatch, but I've never seen The Godfather II. Terrible, I know.
Wow, you're in for a treat. Provided you liked the first one, obviously.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:27 pm

Thief wrote: I do need to rewatch Jacob's Ladder. Haven't seen it in a good while and I remember being a bit put off by the twist the first time I saw it. That was about 15+ years ago, though.
I watched it right around Christmas and thought it was great up until the twist. I didn't dislike the twist necessarily, it just left me with some questions that I haven't bothered to really put any thought into. But I'm pretty sure it doesn't make sense. Please rewatch it and explain it to me. :D
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:33 pm

These are the some of the ones I'm leaning towards...
Thief wrote: A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title:
The first film from any director you like: Piranha 2? Bad Taste?
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen: Wings it is...
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Bird Box??
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): Seven Samurai (#19)
A film from the 1900s:
An action or adventure film: Guardians of the Galaxy (rewatch, but since I'm going through the MCU in order...)
An animated film: Pinocchio or Fantasia (trying to see Disney's animated in order as well)
A film set in Alaska: The Gold Rush
A film featuring a prominent blind character:
A film about boxing: Creed II
A film from David Lynch: Wild at Heart
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime: Scarface (1930s)
A film from Australia: Gallipoli or Mad Max 2
A film about the Vietnam War:
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:50 pm

Takoma1 wrote:Glad the challenge is still going!

A film with the number 1 (One, First, etc.) in its title: I'm hoping to check out First Reformed--I've heard good things!
The first film from any director you like: Sleepaway Camp, Mean Creek (I'm hoping to check out The Duellists or Solo Con Tu Pareja
The first Best Picture winner you haven't seen (starting with Wings): Ha, it's Wings for me!
A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: Act of Killing
A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): I'll be checking out Coco
A film from the 1900s: Maybe the 1909 The Long Reach
An action or adventure film: Either an ironic viewing of Power Rangers or maybe the most recent Avengers? I'd also recommend Adventures of Tintin, Beowulf (2007), and The Man from Nowhere. If you somehow haven't seen The Man from Nowhere, get on that.
An animated film: I'll probably watch Secret of NIMH (never seen it). I'd again recommend Tintin and Beowulf, and also The Last Unicorn (a MUST SEE) and Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade
A film set in Alaska (joined the US on January 3): Maybe Into the Wild?
A film featuring a prominent blind character (Louis Braille, born on January 4): Maybe Proof? House of Flying Daggers.
A film about boxing (Muhammad Ali, born January 17): If you can get it, The Set-Up. I will be watching Bloodsport (shut up!)
A film from David Lynch (born on January 20): Duran Duran: Unstaged? I've seen almost all of his films.
A film about the Prohibition, gangsters, and/or early 20th Century organized crime (18th Amendment, January 29/Al Capone, died January 25): Untouchables in on Amazon Prime. Maybe Lawless?
A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): The Long Weekend!
A film about the Vietnam War (Tet Offensive started January 30/Paris Peace Accords signed January 27): Maybe The Last Hunter or The Last Blood? War movies aren't really in my wheelhouse.
General thoughts:
I think we can compare notes on First Reformed.
I don't know why so many haven't seen Wings yet, you'd think it would be public domain by now.
Also, I presume this is your first viewing of Coco? More note comparing!


Definitely will recommend Act of Killing. I don't want to spoil anything, though.
Secret of Nimh isn't bad.
Can't get enough of JCVD, eh? Bloodsport might be one of his better ones.
If war isn't your thing, perhaps try Hearts and Minds or Free the Army, films about the war that try to avoid violence for the most part. May even get away with Gardens of Stone..
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Apex Predator » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:54 pm

Thief wrote:These are the some of the ones I'm leaning towards...
I'd be curious on your thoughts on Bad Taste. I've been considering it, but can't pull the trigger on seeing it.
Interesting how so many of us haven't seen Wings yet.
May tackle Bird Box out of competition so to speak.
You're in for a good one with Seven Samurai. I think it picks up once he shows up.
Ooh, I haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet. Darn it!
I think Fantasia is one of those we all need to see at some point. Blends animation and music rather well.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Captain Terror » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:20 pm

The first film from any director you like: Solo Con Tu Pareja

I decided to catch up on my unseen Cuarons before watching Roma, so I caught this one New Year's Day. I found the first 2/3 very funny. The main character is a terrible person, but manages to be charming as he navigates his complicated situation that is entirely his own doing. My interest started to lag during the last third, as I wasn't exactly on board with where it was heading--mild spoiler:
I wasn't convinced that he'd done anything to interest the girl, much less win her affections. Her motivation seemed to be no more than "that other guy cheated on me".
Still, the preceding hour or so was funny enough for me to recommend.

One negative I'll point out is the unfortunate inclusion of two Japanese characters who stand around nodding and smiling and taking pictures of everything. Not the most harmful stereotype, I guess, but one that would seem to have been passe even in '91 but evidently not.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:55 am

Captain Terror wrote: I watched it right around Christmas and thought it was great up until the twist. I didn't dislike the twist necessarily, it just left me with some questions that I haven't bothered to really put any thought into. But I'm pretty sure it doesn't make sense. Please rewatch it and explain it to me. :D
I don't think I'll do it this month, but maybe I'll sneak it in some other month. I'll let you know :D
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:58 am

Apex Predator wrote:
I'd be curious on your thoughts on Bad Taste. I've been considering it, but can't pull the trigger on seeing it.
Interesting how so many of us haven't seen Wings yet.
May tackle Bird Box out of competition so to speak.
You're in for a good one with Seven Samurai. I think it picks up once he shows up.
Ooh, I haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet. Darn it!
I think Fantasia is one of those we all need to see at some point. Blends animation and music rather well.
Re: Bad Taste, I saw Braindead/Dead Alive a long time ago, so I guess I'm more or less prepared to the tone and the aesthetic. It might be an interesting watch.

Re: Wings, not sure why, but I just don't feel drawn to many of those early winners. Don't even know what the film's about.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:52 am

An action or adventure film: Avengers: Infinity War

The best word to describe how I've felt about the majority of Marvel's output the last ten years is "exhausted". I tend to make it about 2/3 through most of the films and I just . . . stop caring. CGI characters fighting grand battles that last forever, unmemorable villains (I would seriously struggle to name more than 3 of them), overstuffed plots that somehow manage to feel surprisingly empty.

I didn't love Infinity War, but it's definitely close to the top of the heap. Thanos is a great villain--a being who does cruel, destructive things, but for what he believes is the greater good. Oddly, though, the emotional heft of Thanos pushes into contrast how shallow the emotional stakes feel for so much of the rest of the cast. I thought that the scenes with Gamora and Nebula were really strong. Likewise the opening sequence with Thor and Loki, and the later scenes with Vision and Scarlet Witch.

But the film is stuffed so full of protagonists, that ultimately they mostly feel like quip machines just waiting their turn to be part of an action setpiece. I chuckled a few times, for sure, like at Drax describing Thor as if "a pirate had a baby with an angel". But with such a sprawling cast, it all just felt disjointed to me.

My biggest disappointment, though, was that the film just seemed to lack heart. Of all the Avengers, I've always responded most strongly to Chris Evans as Captain America and the plots involving his fraught relationship with Bucky. In this film Captain America no longer feels like the moral center that he was in Civil War and instead exudes wariness and a sort of workhorse reaction to the events. My other favorites (Black Widow and Thor) also didn't really jive with me this time around. Gamora's anguished relationship with her father (and his reciprocal convoluted feelings) is the best element of the film, but it gets drowned out by both the relative brevity of the subplot and its placement in the running time.

Complain, complain. But this is the kind of story that doesn't get any purchase with me. The stakes are too big. At one point in the story neither time nor reality has any meaning. How do you tell a compelling story if nothing is real? If nothing is permanent? If nothing can be trusted? I kept seeing hints of things that were really cool (like
Drax literally falling to pieces as Mantis literally unravels)
, but those protracted fight scenes diluted those sparks of originality.

I do appreciate that the film frequently made sure to have characters remove masks and have interactions during the fight scenes. Something that's bugged me about quite a few of the recent films is that when they shift into that final 25 minute showdown, you don't see the actors' faces. The battle in Wakanda made me feel as if they were deliberately pushing back against this trend, and I really appreciated it.

I was expecting a bit more based on what I'd heard about this one. I liked it well enough, but the long runtime combined with the lack of emotional heft left me feeling a bit let down by it.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Rock » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:00 am

Bad Taste is much more crudely made than Dead Alive, but its slacker pace might make it an easier viewing for those who found the latter a little too manic.
Takoma1 wrote:An action or adventure film: Avengers: Infinity War

In this film Captain America no longer feels like the moral center that he was in Civil War and instead exudes wariness and a sort of workhorse reaction to the events.
It's because Civil War set up a conflict of values and ideas between him and Iron Man that this movie settles with a phone call.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:21 am

A film from the current IMDb 250 whose ranking includes the #1 (i.e. 10, 21, 31): Coco

I'm not crying, you're crying!

I've got a pet in the other room who is very sick and possibly dying, so this was a heavy time to watch something that was so death-centric, even if presented in a more kid-friendly form.

For the first 30 minutes or so, this one didn't really grip me. The plot seemed pretty rote and I thought I knew where it was going. But as the film went on I liked it more and more. For one thing, I thought that the music was pretty consistently good. I liked the vocal performances, especially Gael Garcia Bernal as Hector. The visual look of the film was very appealing, and I bet it was gorgeous on the big screen.

I did wish that the film had gone a little deeper into why it's so important to remember our families. The film never goes much deeper than "because they depend on it". Only one of the final scenes shows the power of memory.

Together with Moana and Incredibles 2, I've quite enjoyed the last few Oixar films I've seen.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:25 am

Rock wrote: It's because Civil War set up a conflict of values and ideas between him and Iron Man that this movie settles with a phone call.
Exactly, and I think that this is also strongly related to the ridiculously high stakes (and near invincibility of the antagonist). How can you fight about legal regulations when half of the human population is about to be wiped out? The lack of any real internal conflict is sharply felt.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Slentert » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:47 am

Takoma1 wrote:An action or adventure film: Avengers: Infinity War

The best word to describe how I've felt about the majority of Marvel's output the last ten years is "exhausted". I tend to make it about 2/3 through most of the films and I just . . . stop caring. CGI characters fighting grand battles that last forever, unmemorable villains (I would seriously struggle to name more than 3 of them), overstuffed plots that somehow manage to feel surprisingly empty.

I didn't love Infinity War, but it's definitely close to the top of the heap. Thanos is a great villain--a being who does cruel, destructive things, but for what he believes is the greater good. Oddly, though, the emotional heft of Thanos pushes into contrast how shallow the emotional stakes feel for so much of the rest of the cast. I thought that the scenes with Gamora and Nebula were really strong. Likewise the opening sequence with Thor and Loki, and the later scenes with Vision and Scarlet Witch.

But the film is stuffed so full of protagonists, that ultimately they mostly feel like quip machines just waiting their turn to be part of an action setpiece. I chuckled a few times, for sure, like at Drax describing Thor as if "a pirate had a baby with an angel". But with such a sprawling cast, it all just felt disjointed to me.

My biggest disappointment, though, was that the film just seemed to lack heart. Of all the Avengers, I've always responded most strongly to Chris Evans as Captain America and the plots involving his fraught relationship with Bucky. In this film Captain America no longer feels like the moral center that he was in Civil War and instead exudes wariness and a sort of workhorse reaction to the events. My other favorites (Black Widow and Thor) also didn't really jive with me this time around. Gamora's anguished relationship with her father (and his reciprocal convoluted feelings) is the best element of the film, but it gets drowned out by both the relative brevity of the subplot and its placement in the running time.

Complain, complain. But this is the kind of story that doesn't get any purchase with me. The stakes are too big. At one point in the story neither time nor reality has any meaning. How do you tell a compelling story if nothing is real? If nothing is permanent? If nothing can be trusted? I kept seeing hints of things that were really cool (like
Drax literally falling to pieces as Mantis literally unravels)
, but those protracted fight scenes diluted those sparks of originality.

I do appreciate that the film frequently made sure to have characters remove masks and have interactions during the fight scenes. Something that's bugged me about quite a few of the recent films is that when they shift into that final 25 minute showdown, you don't see the actors' faces. The battle in Wakanda made me feel as if they were deliberately pushing back against this trend, and I really appreciated it.

I was expecting a bit more based on what I'd heard about this one. I liked it well enough, but the long runtime combined with the lack of emotional heft left me feeling a bit let down by it.
"Exhausted" is the perfect word to describe my experience with Infinity War, and I echo most of your sentiments.
Some random, additional thoughts:
- In the first sequence where Thanos kills all civilians of Asgard, it was already clear for me that the Avengers would lose this battle. And then I waited 2 and a half hours for it to finally happen. Made it feel like I was watching an enormous trailer for Endgame.
- I watched this in a theater and I noticed my fellow audience members got most of their enjoyment out of seeing all those different characters meeting each other. "look, it's Thor and the Guardians!" "Ha ha, Doctor Strange and Iron Man arguing with each other!" But since I didn't care that much about these characters to begin with, a big part of the appeal of this movie didn't work on me.
- Often it felt like everyone was just spouting exposition after exposition, it got very tiresome after a while.

I still liked the movie, it does a lot of stuff right, like having a great villain with Thanos, but I would be lying if I said I actually enjoyed myself. And why else would I watch these movies?
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:43 pm

Slentert wrote: "Exhausted" is the perfect word to describe my experience with Infinity War, and I echo most of your sentiments.
Some random, additional thoughts:
- In the first sequence where Thanos kills all civilians of Asgard, it was already clear for me that the Avengers would lose this battle. And then I waited 2 and a half hours for it to finally happen. Made it feel like I was watching an enormous trailer for Endgame.
- I watched this in a theater and I noticed my fellow audience members got most of their enjoyment out of seeing all those different characters meeting each other. "look, it's Thor and the Guardians!" "Ha ha, Doctor Strange and Iron Man arguing with each other!" But since I didn't care that much about these characters to begin with, a big part of the appeal of this movie didn't work on me.
- Often it felt like everyone was just spouting exposition after exposition, it got very tiresome after a while.

I still liked the movie, it does a lot of stuff right, like having a great villain with Thanos, but I would be lying if I said I actually enjoyed myself. And why else would I watch these movies?
Yeah, I find a serious dearth of interest to be had from either Dr. Strange (and the accent . . . I can't) or Iron Man (who is so whiny). I got a single chuckle out of "You're embarrassing me in front of the wizards" and that was it. Also, I love Benedict Wong and I also got annoyed feeling like all the time spent with the various meetings/bantering of the 10+ main characters could have been better spent. I'm glad I didn't see it in the theater, because I felt no guilt about watching Supernanny clips or whatever during the more boring stretches of "charming" banter.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:38 pm

Takoma1 wrote:CGI characters fighting grand battles that last forever, unmemorable villains (I would seriously struggle to name more than 3 of them), overstuffed plots that somehow manage to feel surprisingly empty.
That pretty much summarizes my general reaction for the majority of them. The aspects I like the most about Marvel films are the rare bits of depth found in a few of them such as Cap's and Bucky's relationship and the handling of Killmonger in Black Panther. As for Infinity War, it's a hard film for me to criticize mainly because it's pretty impressive that the film didn't feel overstuffed. While I think it was slightly hampered by the handling of a couple characters who either didn't do much or left for long sections of the film, I'd say it mostly realized its ambitions. Due to those ambitions, I'd say it's one of my favorite Marvel films.

Overall, I'm not particularly drawn to superhero films, but they can hit the spot every now and then depending on which one I watch.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:41 pm

Popcorn Reviews wrote:As for Infinity War, it's a hard film for me to criticize mainly because it's pretty impressive that the film didn't feel overstuffed.
I thought it felt overstuffed, specifically in having such a ridiculous number of protagonists (Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Dr. Strange, Spiderman, Black Panther, Gamora, Starlord, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Rocket, etc). And that's not even counting the secondary characters who were capable of great moments in their own films (Nebula, Drax, Mantis, Groot, Wong, Bucky Barnes, Shuri, etc). It gave almost all of the interactions a very superficial feel. Like, these characters have two minutes to have a conversation. And then it would cut to another group of protagonists, literally somewhere across the galaxy. The whole thing felt disjoint and there was no flow to it.

Also, towards the end when
Dr Strange said "We're in the endgame now," and I realized that this was going to be a film without any resolution
I just frankly felt annoyance. I'm sure I'll watch Endgame at some point, but I'm not feeling much enthusiasm for this cinematic universe at the moment.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:41 am

An animated film: The Secret of NIMH

I really enjoyed this film, and realized that for years I'd avoided it because of glimpses I'd seen of it on TV when I was young that must not have come from a very good print because I remember the colors being really drab and muddy and the voices sounding oddly canned.

I actually quite like films like this--movies that are kids stories but a good step removed from the polished Disney brand. It made me think of movies like Watership Down or The Last Unicorn that have a quirkiness and an edge to them that is really different.

The film starts with the memorable line "Jonathan Brisby is dead." From there it follows the plight of Mrs. Brisby who must find a way to safely move her home and children before the field where they live is plowed by the local farmer. Along the way her mission brings her into contact with a troop of hyper-intelligent rats.

Something that I thought was really interesting about this film is the way that the "main" story (ie the rats' escape from NIMH and their "Plan") is placed tangential to Mrs. Brisby's story---needing to move her home without disturbing her son who is sick with pneumonia. This is also one of those 80s animated films where a lot of the dialogue is delivered in patient, quiet tones. I love it. It creates a feeling of quiet intimacy with the characters and serves to normalize them.

A copy of the source novel has been floating around my room for years. I'm aware that this film takes many liberties with the story, but now I'm kind of interested to read the original book.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:51 am

Takoma1 wrote:
I thought it felt overstuffed, specifically in having such a ridiculous number of protagonists (Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Dr. Strange, Spiderman, Black Panther, Gamora, Starlord, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Rocket, etc). And that's not even counting the secondary characters who were capable of great moments in their own films (Nebula, Drax, Mantis, Groot, Wong, Bucky Barnes, Shuri, etc). It gave almost all of the interactions a very superficial feel. Like, these characters have two minutes to have a conversation. And then it would cut to another group of protagonists, literally somewhere across the galaxy. The whole thing felt disjoint and there was no flow to it.

Also, towards the end when
Dr Strange said "We're in the endgame now," and I realized that this was going to be a film without any resolution
I just frankly felt annoyance. I'm sure I'll watch Endgame at some point, but I'm not feeling much enthusiasm for this cinematic universe at the moment.
I'm only bothered by overstuffed plots if the movie becomes difficult to keep up with. Even though some of the characters got minimal screen time (10 minutes or less within an hour, for instance), I thought it was still easy to keep up with who all the characters were and what was happening to them every time the film cut back to them. While I wished the film gave more screen time to a few characters, I thought it remained coherent throughout.

I'm still on the fence over whether I'll see Endgame or not.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:58 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote:I'm only bothered by overstuffed plots if the movie becomes difficult to keep up with.
I agree that narrative clarity wasn't really a problem. But by the same token, it was so obvious where everything was headed that it almost didn't matter. And even though I was watching the film, I clearly tuned out because all of a sudden I was like
"Hey! Thor got his eye back! When did that happen?!"
.

Actually, maybe the narrative clarity was a problem. Because that part really came from the fact that
all of their little side missions, with the exception of Gamora's--were just like McGuffins to buy time until the final showdown.
It's kind of a sad comment on these bloated blockbusters that a bar it has to pass is just "The narrative was understandable".
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Popcorn Reviews » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:16 am

Takoma1 wrote:
I agree that narrative clarity wasn't really a problem. But by the same token, it was so obvious where everything was headed that it almost didn't matter. And even though I was watching the film, I clearly tuned out because all of a sudden I was like
"Hey! Thor got his eye back! When did that happen?!"
.

Actually, maybe the narrative clarity was a problem. Because that part really came from the fact that
all of their little side missions, with the exception of Gamora's--were just like McGuffins to buy time until the final showdown.
It's kind of a sad comment on these bloated blockbusters that a bar it has to pass is just "The narrative was understandable".
Well, I can't really disagree with any of that. I'm just glad Marvel changed up their usual format a bit for this film.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:05 am

Popcorn Reviews wrote: Well, I can't really disagree with any of that. I'm just glad Marvel changed up their usual format a bit for this film.
Me too. I know it sounds like I'm really down on the film, but I'd probably give it a C+ or B-. Considering some of the praise I'd heard for it I think I was just expecting better. That and it was a bummer that my favorite Marvel elements were mostly pushed aside.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:32 am

For those of you who haven't seen Wake in Fright, I just noticed that it's on Amazon Prime and it is a MUST SEE.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Thief » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:45 am

Takoma1 wrote:For those of you who haven't seen Wake in Fright, I just noticed that it's on Amazon Prime and it is a MUST SEE.
Co-signed. Have your shower ready for after.
--- UNDER CONSTRUCTION ---
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:15 am

A film from Australia (Australia Day, January 26): Body Melt

We had this film in the video store where I worked, and I was always sort of intrigued by it.

The movie (clearly inspired by Braindead), is a gross-out comedy horror that follows a small neighborhood where a shady drug company is testing a new drug. Somehow the drug made it to the human testing phase without anyone realizing that it causes hideous mutations, hallucinations, and exploding penises.

The plot really doesn't make sense and takes several detours, much to the detriment of the overall flow of the film. There's really no depth to the characters, and they're all just there to die in various gory ways.

There are two standout subplots in the movie. One involves a woman who is pregnant and the other involves a man who, once on the drug, has vivid hallucinations of a woman who appears beaten and/or burned.

Overall it doesn't quite manage to pull off the grisly, fun experience it's aiming for, but there were some laughs and enjoyable gore here and there.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Slentert » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:49 am

A film with a title that starts with the letters A or B: About Time
Cliched except when it isn't. Is very vague about its rules and still manages to break them constantly. No real conflict to speak of, which is a nice change of pace for these kind of movies. This might not seem very positive but I still had a lot of fun with it. Exactly what my fried, tired brain needed the morning after New Year's Eve.
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 2:00 am

A film featuring a prominent blind character: Blind Woman’s Curse

This was so much fun!

The film follows a woman named Akemi who is the leader of the Tachibana Gang. In the beginning of the film, we see Akemi and her men engage a rival gang in a fight (slow motion, in the rain, and awesome). A woman runs out to save her brother and Akemi accidentally slashes her across the face. In that moment a cat runs up to lap up the blood and then lunges at Akemi.

Fast forward to years later. After a stint in jail, Akemi is back in charge of her gang. A rival gang (assisted by a traitorous member of the Tachibana) is trying to make a move for power. Meanwhile, a mysterious blind woman arrives on the scene. Murder, mayhem, and betrayal swirl around as Akemi tries to understand the various forces putting pressure on her gang.

I will start with the only negative about this movie: there is some annoying "comic relief" in the form of a buffoonish gang leader who farts and walks around in a loincloth and other characters frequently comment on how bad he smells. In a perfect world, this character and all his scenes would simply be excised from the film.

The rest of the film, though, I just loved. There are several stylish and memorable scenes. The film is straight up WEIRD at several points, including a nightmarish visit to a theater full of wax (or are they?) dead bodies and children seemingly for sale in baskets.

This film also manages to include some sultry sexuality and nudity without feeling exploitative. To start with, there aren't scenes of men pulling open womens' tops or other similar stuff that is frequently used to up the nudity. Instead women high on opium lounge around topless, or we see fleeting glimpses of women slightly spilling out of their tops in different scenes. It is, dare I say, tastefully done and pretty sexy. There are also several moments in which the female characters throw off their tops to be left only in chest bindings, but the framing makes it appear as though they are topless. It's a great blend of action and sex appeal without feeling exploitative. In one of my favorite shots, we see that Akemi's female warriors (actually a band of former prisoners who have tracked her down to join her family) have tattoos that, when the women line up, form a dragon.

What's also really neat about the story is that neither Akemi nor the blind woman hunting her are portrayed as being evil. The blind woman, understandably, wants revenge. But when she sees that her assistant (a bizarre hunchback character) has cut the dragon tattoo off of one woman's back, she remarks "How cruel!" and basically tells him that he can't assist her anymore. Both main characters are honorable in their own way, and that builds a special kind of tension as we wait for their inevitable showdown. (I will only say that the showdown, when it does arrive, lived up to expectations).

I hadn't heard of this film before, but I really, really liked it. It's more character driven than almost any other samurai/revenge film I've seen. It features a really interesting and engaging cast of both female and male characters. There are plenty of gruesome battles and suspense. I'd really highly recommend this film (on Prime if you have it).
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Re: Thief's Monthly Film Challenge 2019

Post by Takoma1 » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:04 am

A film from David Lynch: Duran Duran Unstaged

My feeling toward Duran Duran has always been . . . indifferent. It's that kind of "Yeah, I know your big hits" relationship that I have with a lot of popular music artists. And concert films are not my favorite thing, so I was a bit trepidatious going into this two-hour concert film.

But you know what? I really enjoyed it.

The basic gist of what happens is that black and white concert footage of a Duran Duran concert is overlaid with different images by David Lynch. I had mixed reactions to the overlays. Some were really cool, such as when one musician's hair is colored while the rest of the image remains black-and-white. I also liked some of the "generic" overlays, such as flames or what looked like sparks from a sparkler. But others are just kind of odd (like a large overlay of the planet Earth or nude Barbie dolls with large Ds over their breasts, like, why?) and don't seem to mesh with what's happening on stage. Some of the oddness is fun (like an image of a spatula tapping on a grill that seems to go with the beat of the song), but other times it feels almost like a parody of a teenager's first attempt at being "artsy".

The concert itself is pretty good, featuring guest turns from Gerard Way, Beth Ditto (woo! LOVE HER!), Mark Ronson, and Kelis (whose guest vocals on "Come Undone" are AMAZING). The overall musicianship is pretty impressive, and the concert moves along at a good clip. Some of the inter-song banter is a bit cringey, but fortunately this film is mostly music, and it ranges from good to great. The crowd is really into it, and the band seems to be enjoying themselves. The general vibe of the concert is really good.

If you like Duran Duran enough to, say, sing along with "Hungry Like the Wolf" when it comes on the radio, you might enjoy this film.
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