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BlueLion's mini-reviews for quality films

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Welcome one and welcome all!

I present to thee,


This is nothing like a favorite movies thread.

In this thread, I will be sharing my thoughts on the films that I really liked and/or impressed me, seen since August 2014. In short, films that I thought had real quality in them, and films which I would recommend to people inside and outside MoFo. Films posted here are all rated 8/10 or higher. They have to be films I thought were very good, great, or masterpieces!

Long gone are the days when I'd hate on a beloved classic. I will no longer bother rating films I thought were bad, mediocre, or just good (though I could make a few exceptions for newly released films). From now on I will be using this thread to rate films, which should be full of positivity (at least on my part)

Don't expect long, thoughtful reviews because my focus will not be on reviewing these films. Instead, I will use write-ups to try and explain what I found good about these films. There will be times when maybe they will only consist of one single paragraph, or even shorter than that.

We'll see how this turns out.

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Perfect Blue (1997)
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

Perfect Blue (1997)
Directed by Satoshi Kon

"Nobody cares for you anymore. You're tarnished and you're filthy."

This is easily one of the most thought-provoking animated films I've watched. I realize I'm still a newbie when it comes to non-Ghibli anime, but I'm slowly getting there. And now with the upcoming MoFo animation list and all, I figured the best way to start expanding my horizons when it comes to anime films (but also animation in general) is by viewing some of the most acclaimed ones. And this was one of them.

Perfect Blue is quite disturbing and nightmarish, but at the same time I thought it also had beautiful animation. I found it to be a rather complex work and because of the themes that it touches on, it was right up my alley. I believe the best way to describe the film probably would be that it is Inland Empire meets Black Swan.

Some scenes, in particular, scream Black Swan, and some others such as the protagonist being filmed by the crew while performing, reminded me of Lynch's Inland Empire. So if you liked those films, in all likelihood you'll also dig this colorful and puzzling anime film which also happens to be full of weirdness and dreamlike imagery.

I strongly recommend the film, especially to those currently on an animation binge. I look forward to seeing more from the same director.

Nice idea for a thread. I think a compendium of great movies much like Ebert did is a good idea when it comes to recommendations rather than sometimes arbitrary lists.

Good review too, it makes me want to watch the film for the animation list, in certainly seems like my type of film: dark, weird, but beautiful. I like the name too. I have Kon's Paprika recorded, so I will probably watch that first, but I will try and make sure I get round to this now at some point.

Perfect Blue was probably my least favourite of the three Kon films that I've seen but I still liked it. Tokyo Godfathers was the film of his that really got to me - almost a top 100 movie and will almost certainly be on my animation top 25.

Nice idea for a thread. I think a compendium of great movies much like Ebert did is a good idea when it comes to recommendations rather than sometimes arbitrary lists.
Yeah, Ebert's list was practically an inspiration. I feel this is the best way to see how much my tastes really evolve, and it will also work as some kind of a diary to keep track of the films that I admired.

Perfect Blue was probably my least favourite of the three Kon films that I've seen but I still liked it. Tokyo Godfathers was the film of his that really got to me - almost a top 100 movie and will almost certainly be on my animation top 25.
I'll probably finish his filmography before the voting for the animation list starts. Or at least, I hope to. I should check most of the mainstream must-see anime films off my list sooner rather than later.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Directed by Robert Altman

"You boys gotta make up your minds if you want to get your cookies. Cause if you want to get your cookies, I've got girls up here that'll do more tricks than a ******* monkey on a hundred yards of grapevine."

I didn't go to this film with high expectations, considering I'd been left unimpressed with what I had previously seen from Altman. Needless to say, this film has made me even more curious to further explore his oeuvre!

I don't think I've ever seen a more laid-back western. It's just a really cool, relaxing film, which would probably best be enjoyed on a cold winter evening. One of the only flaws I can think of is that it can get really slow at times, but in the end, it pays off. Warren Beatty's McCabe character maybe lacks the machismo of the heroes in the westerns of Leone, but he's still one of the coolest characters I've seen, and I've seen my fair share of cool!

The cinematography near the end of the film is sublime, the shots and the sequences with the snowy landscapes are just lovely. What I admire the most about the film is how tragic and sad it is, and it doesn't try to beat you over the head with its message.

To sum up, McCabe & Mrs. Miller is a beautifully shot existential tale. This is one of those movies that grew on me, which I certainly wouldn't hesitate to revisit.

I watched McCabe and Mrs. Miller for the 70's list. I loved the atmosphere and the Leonard Cohen score, but I couldn't get into it for whatever reason. I think I may have just had a bad day and I really want to see it again.

Not familiar with the other one.

Which Altman's had you already seen and not liked?
3 Women (which I liked to some extent, but wasn't really impressed by it), Long Goodbye, and MASH, which I thought were average/below average.

Awesome to see that you enjoyed McCabe & Mrs. Miller so much. It might have been the first Altman film I watched, I can't remember, I think it was the first one I loved, anyway. I agree with you that McCabe is cool and that the story works in a tragic way, he is not your usual macho man but a smart businessman and you genuinely feel sorry for him when things start to go bad, you want him to do well.

3 Women (which I liked to some extent, but wasn't really impressed by it), Long Goodbye, and MASH, which I thought were average/below average.
I can understand not liking Altman having only seen ywo of those films. Pretty sure I've not seen 3 Women. My advise, despite what you've seen around the site, is leave Nashville till last... If that.

Looking forward to this . I haven't watched either of those so can't comment on them, i will be watching Perfect Blue for the animated list though since i really liked Millenium Actress.

the samoan lawyer's Avatar
Unregistered User
Looking forward to this. Seen both, thought McCabe was good but wasn't overly enamoured with it. Loved Perfect Blue though, would be very high up my animation list.
Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

There would be, had I titled the thread BlueLion's mini-reviews for quality and... forget it

McCabe and Mrs. Miller is one of the few Altman films that I've never seen and after reading your review, my curiosity has been further piqued and I have definitely added it to my watchlist.

Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)
Directed by Béla Tarr

"How mysterious is the Lord of the world, that he amuses Himself with such strange creatures."

In this art piece which could be interpreted in many different ways, the director asks us important questions, but we have to give the answers to these questions ourselves. Or, perhaps trying to supply the answers is beside the point. In response to an analysis of a lengthy sequence which takes place inside a hospital (in which a group of violent men have a sudden change in behavior when they find themselves facing an old man with nothing but a wall behind him), the director has said that they do so because, well, there is only a wall ahead of them. It's that simple. It's because they're left with no choice. And you could easily sum up the entire film with that one sentence; maybe the film is not meant to be overanalyzed or explained, but simply seen and felt.

And this is one of those movies that I definitely felt. Not enjoyed or loved, but felt, like its ever-present beautiful melancholic melody. I probably would not have heard of this film (at least not this soon) had it not been for this community, and while it definitely didn't introduce me to art house film, it is one of the first films of its kind which I found not artsy just for the sake of being artsy - it is how it is for a reason, and because it serves a purpose.

I'd even go so far as to say that it is, thus far, perhaps the first art film which I found not trying to draw attention to itself, its creator, or its cinematic techniques. The film is two and half hours long and consists of only thirty-nine masterful long takes, which to some may sound tedious or even pretentious at first (yes, I used that word), but I found it to be quite the opposite of that, which is probably why I was able to appreciate the film as much as I did.

Werckmeister Harmonies is enigmatic, mysterious, and one hell of an experience. The film looks minimal and feels natural despite the ambiguity surrounding it, and its black and white photography combined with the film's mood and use of location help to give the work a sense of timelessness: it doesn't matter where, why, or when the film is taking place, it is a work which is universal in its themes, and which could be seen as a metaphor for life itself.

Despite the fact that I said it is an enigma which should not necessarily be solved, you can't help but wonder just what it is trying to say. Is it an allegorical work with political undertones, or simply about a daydreamer who is forced to face the harsh realities of the world? Or is it about something else entirely? You decide.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
Directed by David Lynch

"It was a dream! We live inside a dream!"

There are so many things I love about this film. I even considered putting it at my favorite movies section, just so that it could represent my love for the series. Even though inconsistency was present in the TV show, I consider the final episode to be flawless and one of Lynch's greatest achievements. The show itself definitely had its flaws, but this film (which can be seen as both a prequel and a sequel, though it has more elements of the former), while being very different both in execution and in tone, is nevertheless an excellent companion piece.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me is top-tier Lynch. For me it is without a doubt one of his most polished, most well-made films, and maybe even his most underappreciated. Some of Lynch's films can look messy and all over the place (intentionally so), but here you can see just how much attention he paid to detail, and you can't help but notice that in nearly every frame.

What is key to the film's success though - something without which the film definitely wouldn't have been as effective as it is - is Sheryl Lee's powerhouse performance as Laura Palmer. Lee for my money gives one of the most passionate female performances ever, and I wouldn't hesitate to call it one of the strongest in all of Lynch's films.

I knew what I was in for as soon as the film started - I had the feeling Lynch would continue where he left off (the series' unforgettable finale), so I was more than just satisfied with the outcome. I was never a big fan of the show's cheerful and funny parts to begin with, so I was pleasantly surprised by just how dark and unrestrained the film was. Upon release reaction to this film was from strongly negative to mixed, and I love how Lynch didn't care and kept doing his thing.

Rating is a reflection of both the series and the film combined together. Watched separately they're both insanely good, but the film compliments the show extremely well, and is like the icing on the cake to the final episode's perfection

Two great films. I especially like that you love Fire Walk With Me, one of the most underrated films of all time and one of Lynch's best works for me. It's different in tone to some of the TV series but I am not sure how Lynch fans can dislike it. As you say a fantastic performance from Cheryl Lee is one of its main strengths, its a emotionally powerful visceral experience and one of the greatest and most haunting depictions of abuse and horror I have seen.

I've not seen Fire Walk With Me for a good 20 years, I'd guess. I'm currently rewatching the series, so I might watch it again once I've done that.