The 13TH Hall of Fame

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Nightmare Alley (Edmund Goulding, 1947)
Nominated By Citizen Rules
Haven't heard of this either, but if you say it contains magic, then it has piqued my interest. Practical or actual magic?
Carnival magic



The world doesn't you owe you a damn thing
CARNIVAL magic, ya say. Curiouser and Curiouser!!

Hope ya enjoy Three Musketeers, Raul!

NO IDEA WHICH movie to start on, for me. SO MANY GREAT CHOICES AAAAAH
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The world doesn't you owe you a damn thing
second best, after you, my friend!
@Camo Wanted to comment on your reviews but nearly all of them are ones I haven't seen and since you have a great perspective on films It's almost a two edged blade when seeing something I haven't yet. Depending on how much I would like or not want to know when going in. So I do quick glances and comeback later to delve in more deeply to appreciate the insight.

Buffalo, as I stated, I saw only once when it first came out, so, as I was reading I realized I needed to stop and wait.
I'm also one of those that are bias about Dead Poets so I happily enjoyed reading that one and appreciated your views on it.
I'm curious to pick your brain on Hawke's character standing in front of the class and spouting poetry with his eyes closed and how it made you cringe. It always struck me as one of those "moments of improv" that can be quite exciting.
So, I'd love to hear a little more in depth, if you'd wish to share.





Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross, 2016)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/12/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Pussy Galore's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


I'd never heard of this movie before its nomination in the Hall of Fame and going in I must admit the poster had me kind of worried. The vivid colors and quirky looking people had me concerned this might be a Wes Anderson-esque experience.

Thankfully it wasn't that, but the story it told and its eccentric characters were pretty unlike anything I've seen. However, like a Wes Anderson film, I struggled to connect with the characters - though not because they were stilted like those in Anderson's films. There was definitely a sense of genuine emotion and humanity with them, but I found Viggo Mortensen's patriarch Ben in particular to be pretty damn unlikable for most of the movie. He did eventually redeem himself but by that time I still cared very little for him. I also found the children to be mostly irritating, perhaps with the exception of Rellion, who was the only one to question his father's methods. Ben's in-laws were not especially likable either, but I found myself siding with the father in-law over the film's main conflict.

But, characters aside, the story was good. I did find Ben's viewpoint on life and on the raising of children to be interesting and some aspects of his philosophy definitely had merit. I also liked the way the clash between Ben's idealism and the reality of society was presented, particularly in Bodevan's struggles to interact with regular people. There were also some genuinely heartfelt and funny scenes but ultimately, while still good, Captain Fantastic did not grab me in the way a film like this should.


+



Just finished with my 4th viewing of "The Intouchables" ... I'll post a write-up soon.



Professional horse shoe straightener
'The Quiet Earth' (1985)


I had this film ready to go last week, so was happy when I saw it nominated for the HoF. It's the type of sci-fi film I tend to enjoy these days; cerebral, no monsters / aliens / long action sequences, very ambiguous and with a massive dose of mystery. Zac wakes to find himself alone in the world, and we follow his travails across New Zealand as he searches for answers to why the earth is like it is, what caused it, and what can be done to help.

It felt like a long TV episode that Lost, Last Man on Earth and The Outer Limits were based on. And that's a compliment. The movie is dated and the acting sometimes falls below par - that has to be said, and the "effects" are obviously of the time, but it's easy to look past that because the viewer is concentrating on the mystery element, which never leaves us right from minute 1. We are thrust into this eerie world knowing that there is some sort of other worldly explanation. Whether we finally find that out at the very end is not clear.

WARNING: "The Quiet Earth" spoilers below
I took the meaning of the film to be one of existentialism and the value of human relationships and in particular the patriarchal nature of society. But you could equally see that the film can be dissected as a study of religion. Are they in purgatory? Does Zac enter heaven (or hell) at the very end? It's up to you.

[I also couldn't stop thinking that Api resembled a Maori version of Lionel Ritchie. But whatever.]



It's a very interesting movie and one which I'd recommend despite not having the best cast.

The score by John Charles is also fantastic.

I'd give it 7.5/10



Legend in my own mind


Buffalo 66

Release date: 2 October 1998
Director: Vincent Gallo
Cinematography: Lance Acord
Screenplay: Vincent Gallo, Alison Bagnall

I had never heard of this film before the nomination to this HoF.
I knew that Vincent Gallo is a controversial figure, but wasn't fully sure why, and chose not to research this until after I had viewed the film, so that I could judge the film on it's own merits.

From the opening scene of this film I loved the cinematography and that continued for the full length of the film.
As I knew so little about this film, I was also really intrigued to see what story would unfold.
The film starts with Billy Brown leaving prison and making his way home. He is also looking for a toilet/bathroom. The search for a toilet leads to Billy seeing an opportunity to make a lie seem true, and sets the story into motion.



What I liked

Cinematography - As I have said, I loved the way the film was shot. It was very classy and somehow gave a greater sense of realism to the film for me.
The colour palette and composition are an outstanding feature of this film. It was Lance Acords feature debut and it was breathtaking.
Acting - As I said, I had never heard of this film before the nomination and had chosen not to read anything about it before viewing. Therefore I didn't realise that Gallo was the lead until after I had watched it. In my opinion he was superb. He portrayed a deeply complex and affected young man superbly. I disliked the character and cared deeply for him in equal measure, and that is a credit to the acting. I didn't realise Ricci was in this until she appeared on screen and was pleasantly surprised, as I am a fan of her work and consider her to be a seriously under rated actress. She was once again excellent.
The quality of acting from the two leads, gave the film a greater authority and sense of realism.
Characters- The two lead characters were multi layered and beautifully complex. That was true of the supporting characters too. They were all so weird and eccentric that it made them feel more real and sincere.
Screenplay - This was a really well written story the character of Billy Brown was initially easy to dislike but a glimpse into his past and to his family gave an understanding of that, which then led my to sympathy and pity.








What could have been better

I am not sure a lot could have been done better. The flashback sequences were a bit weird as they blocked in.
There was little background to Ricci's character, but I would assume that was intentional as the focus was on Billy.
I fluctuated between thinking that the story was really believable and utterly ridiculous and still don't know where I ultimately landed.


Summary

I really enjoyed this film. I wasn't sure that I would and neither was Camo.
Well, I say enjoyed, but I mean I appreciated it's quality throughout and then the last 5 minutes led to it being a film that i 'enjoyed'.
It is a very raw and sincere film that has a sensitivity to it.
Overall, I think it is a great piece of work with a genuine undercurrent of complexity to the characters.


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"I don't want to be a product of my environment, I want my environment to be a product of me" (Frank Costello)



Professional horse shoe straightener
'Manchester by the Sea'

This is the review I gave after watching it at the time. My feelings are still the same on re-watch.


Once in a while, a film will make you shake yourself down, and it will take hours maybe even a couple of days to get your real self back. This is one of them.

From the very first minutes, Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and the rest of the cast just transport you into their world. So much so that you feel like you're sitting in the corner of the room just watching them go about their daily business.

It's one of those movies that you think you are done with the grit in your eye - then a larger piece of grit appears. Then an even larger one. At the end of the movie I was reduced to a wreck and just felt like curling up in the fetal position for a few hours.

Some may question why one would want to experience this feeling. But the answer is for me at least, it is a cinematic emotion that I so rarely go through, that I know, when I have it - I have just seen something and experienced something that very few other movies have made me experience. This film conjured up memories of watching 'Dear Zachary' (a devastating documentary) and 'Blue Valentine' (another Michelle Williams movie).

What we learn about the characters in this movie is tragic. The first half is a journey into why Casey Affleck's character Lee Chandler is so aloof, distant and angry. When the reveal comes you begin to wonder what the movie has left to tell us. But the manner in which it resolves (or doesn't) the plots and subplots is masterful. Kenneth Lonergan has simply created a masterpiece of drama that is up there with the very best American dramas of the decade. He truly is a master script writer, a wonderful director and even appears in this film himself.

The scene in which Williams and Affleck meet towards the end of the movie just has to be seen to be believed. The dialogue, the mannerisms and the circumstances all meet to create one perfect storm of bubbling, weepy, tearful masterwork that has to go down as one of the most heart-wrenchingly brilliant scenes in recent cinema.

The movie is so achingly brilliant that in the days after watching, not only did I not stop thinking about it for almost every waking moment, but I also had doubts whether I would again ever feel the same way about another movie. I am sure I will, but I would guess not for a long time. This movie will stand the test of time as a masterpiece of modern drama. Was it oscar-bait? Maybe but I got snagged on the hook and I couldn't care less. 10 out of 10.



The Three Musketeers



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I had said somewhere that I hadn't seen this movie in about 30 years. It was probably more like 35 plus years. I remembered loving it as a kid, but I could only remember sporadic images from the movie. I picked it randomly out of all the nominations to watch last night. If I had put any thought into it, it probably would have been best to watch it somewhere in the middle of the other nominations. It's a lighthearted movie compared to the others, and it would have been a good break from the more serious movies that are leftover. My taste is obviously very different from when I saw this as a kid, and that was a big concern for me as I now prefer darker movies. I'm also not a big fan of costume type flicks.

This movie starts out strong and then is well paced throughout. Even if it's not my normal type of humor, I thought there were consistent laughs, although there were moments that felt silly. There's also plenty of action. I thought Oliver Reed and Michael York were the standouts of a pretty deep cast. Reed is always someone I enjoy watching while I'm less familiar with York. Raquel Welch and Faye Dunaway both looked terrific. The sets and costumes all look good, and the musical score was appropriate and effective. It's not the kind of movie I love anymore, but it's entertaining and well done at the very least. I think it's a movie that's hard not to enjoy to some degree.



Talking about the best HOFs we had, I would certainly opt for the 4th and 5th. I thought the 11th was perhaps the weakest. From top to bottom, anyways.



Nothing good comes from staying with normal people
'The Quiet Earth' (1985)
Glad you liked it, Scarlet.

I actually liked the actors throughout the movie, but I get what you're saying. I believe it's a first time acting job for both "Maori Little Richard" and the female co-star, but the guy playing Zac was awesome. He has this subtle shift going as he slowly loses touch with reality and the lonlieness gets to him. A really well done performance.
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Why not just kill them? I'll do it! I'll run up to Paris - bam, bam, bam, bam. I'm back before week's end. We spend the treasure. How is this a bad plan?



The Intouchables


I was really happy to see "The Intouchables" nominated for this HoF. Now I've seen it 3 times before, but I still decided it to watch it ,and I ended up really enjoying it once again. I believe that's a true testament to how enjoyable and entertaining this film is, that it holds so well after so many watches. The film tells a simple story about a young unemployed man, with a criminal record named Driss, who ends up being a care giver to a wealthy quadriplegic Phillipe. But the thing is Driss is nothing like people, Phillipe's surrounded with. He's loud, vulgar and hyperactive, however Phillipe enjoys his company, because he's the only one who doesn't pity him and he ultimately proves to be pretty good at caring for Phillipe.



The main assets of this film, which made me return to it so many times are its humour and lightheartedness. Literally every scene with Driss and Phillipe is a comedy gold. I like how their characters are total opposites, with an entirely different upbringings and cultural backrounds. You have Driss on one side, who listens to Earth&Wind&Fire and Phillipe on the other, who enjoys classical pieces. Yet, they mash together so well. Truly one of the most unique and beautiful friendships ever put on screen.

Despite being comical, "The Intouchables" is a very moving and uplifting fim aswell, with a great inspirational message.

In the end , this film may not possess the biggest emotional prowess or the most complex plotline and it can be a bit sentimental and cliche at times, but if there's one thing I'm sure it possesses ; is the ability to put a smile on the viewer's face, with its incredibly human story.



The world doesn't you owe you a damn thing
And we are off and running with a number of reviews!! VERY nice!
@Miss Vicky Got a lot of respect for your straight-forward reviews and glad to hear a little bit about this movie.

@ScarletLion Can't remember if I've ever read any of your reviews so it's kinda cool to do so now. Got a kick out of some of your descriptive writing "It's one of those movies that you think you are done with the grit in your eye - then a larger piece of grit appears." for Manchester.
Also enjoyed The Quiet Earth; I've enjoyed a lot of @Clazor's picks so far. They have a great quirky, off-center feel to them and this looks to be another such movie. Thanks for the insight!

@Sarge good solid pro & con of Buffalo 66. Scarcely remember this one since it came out and with yours and @Camo's review little snippets are beginning to come back to me.

@cricket You do me honor. Considering the movies you enjoy watching, I wasn't sure if this was going to work for you.
"It's not the kind of movie I love anymore, but it's entertaining and well done at the very least. I think it's a movie that's hard not to enjoy to some degree."
And I take that as a compliment, thank you.

@Jeff Costello I've popped in and out of your review thread and very happy to see you reviewing one that that has been on my radar for movies I've been wanting to see. Even more happy to hear that it delivers on the points that got me curious about it in the first place.





Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring (Bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom) (Kim Ki-Duk, 2003)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/13/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Nestorio_Miklos's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


Potential Spoilers Ahead

Full disclosure: I did not go into this film with an open mind. Before watching it, I was made aware that it contained actual animal cruelty and I went into it fully expecting to be disgusted by it. Before watching the film, I also did a bit of research and discovered that the actual torture of animals is common in Kim Ki-Duk's films. I also found a video montage of various scenes of cruelty from those films, which included some scenes from Spring, Summer that were not included in the cut of the film that I watched. Here's the link for that video (Contains graphic, potentially disturbing content): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CrA4BIGlvqg

The film attempts to convey the concepts of cruelty, lust, guilt, anger, and rebirth. Unfortunately, not all of these concepts are handled with much subtlety and the idea of cruelty and guilt in particular were hammered in ad nauseum. This is especially true of those scenes of animal torture that I was warned about, which are shown in the beginning and then repeated later in the film - intercut with scenes of the central character inflicting similar punishment upon himself, as if we the audience couldn't make the connection on our own and needed the heavy-handed reminder.

As to the nature of that brutality, let me spell it out: a child is shown torturing a fish, a frog, and a snake by tightly tying them to stones and laughing with delight as they struggle to move. Later the fish and snake are shown dead and the frog is shown still struggling. More sickening still are the scenes that were cut from the American release of the film, which is the version I watched. The American cut shows a second child tormenting a turtle by rolling it around and poking at it, merely hinting at this child's cruel nature. But the version seen elsewhere shows that child wedging rocks into the mouths of a fish, a snake, and a frog while gleefully laughing at their suffering. We see the frog - an air-breathing creature - upside down in the water, its head pulled down from the weight of the stone, kicking in a vain attempt to free itself from the object that will otherwise drown it.

While it is, of course, unclear whether the dead animals were in fact the same as those shown being abused or if they were killed specifically for the film, it is apparent that the director has little regard for the lives and safety of the animals he uses, despite the message of the film he created. And given his history of torturing and killing these kinds of animals in other films, I can only assume that he is responsible for these deaths as well.

That said, the film is not without its strengths. The cinematography is beautiful, the performances are strong, and the concept is admirable (though the execution is not). But frankly I don't give a s*** about what Spring, Summer does right, because what it does wrong is completely unnecessary and unacceptable.

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A lot of great write-ups already! I only skimmed through the ones for films I haven't seen yet to avoid spoilers, but I'll go back and read them fully once I have seen the films in question.

I don't know what I'd like to watch first. Possibly Captain Fantastic or The Hunt. I plan to have at least one of those films plus a write-up for either Manchester by the Sea or The Great Dictator posted by the end of the weekend.



Professional horse shoe straightener
'Buffalo '66'


This is a simple movie done very well. I'd not really heard much about Vincent Gallo other than his appearance in 'Essential Killing' and never heard of this movie before this week, but he sure is one talented guy. Music, direction, script and lead character all in one. At it's heart, this is a character driven chamber piece exploring the mind of a troubled, unloved rogue terrified of women and commitment due to the harsh dysfunctional upbringing experienced. But it's also a very beautiful portrayal of love, performed through some improvised dialogue (presumably?) with a huge pay off in the third act.

2 huge performances from Gallo and Ricci, together with some lovely lighting make it quite a memorable drama. I'd say that a few of the scenes didn't work with the score - at one point there was an almost noir piece of music for the scene in the motel which I thought was misplaced.

But overall it's a gem which I'm delighted to have found. A solid 7.5/10