The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

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Even though this is one of my favorite films and I disagree with you entirely, I still think this is a good review. Well written, thorough, yet to the point. I agree with Nestorio, your reviews are nicely organized.

But that rating hurts my heart.
Do you like it better than Paris, Texas? Don't think i've spoke to anyone that has a favourite Wenders that isn't that.

That's the only one i've seen, well until i watch this for the HOF, was just curious.



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Do you like it better than Paris, Texas? Don't think i've spoke to anyone that has a favourite Wenders that isn't that.

That's the only one i've seen, well until i watch this for the HOF, was just curious.
I've actually never seen Paris, Texas. I know, I know. I'll add it to my watchlist now.





Buffalo '66 (Vincent Gallo, 1998)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/16/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Camo's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


This film was a very different experience than what I'm accustomed to. I disliked pretty much everyone on the screen and most of the behavior of its characters felt unnatural and tough to buy. And yet, I found it all somehow fascinating.

In spite - or perhaps because - of the bizarre behavior, the performances were universally strong. Writer, director, star Vincent Gallo was particularly good as Billy, the film's greasy, crude and unlikable protagonist (though after a little research on the man, I have to wonder how much of this performance was an act). Christina Ricci brings a tenderness and patience to her role as "Layla" that feels very much out of place in the contrast to other characters.

On the more technical aspects, if there was a soundtrack I can't recall it. What I did very much notice though was the look of the film. The dark and gritty cinematography really enhanced the film's seedy atmosphere. I also thought that the transitions to flashbacks were handled in a very interesting way.

But this praise is something that I come by in hindsight. I mostly felt a vague sense of disgust and a sort of morbid curiosity when I was watching it. Ultimately this is a film that I like more on reflection than I did during the actual viewing. I suspect it would benefit from a rewatch at some point, but I doubt that will actually happen.

+





The Quiet Earth (Geoffrey Murphy, 1985)
Imdb

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


You'll have to forgive this rambling write-up, but I really don't have a whole lot to say about this one. Everything about The Quiet Earth just felt very average. The film's concept was interesting, but not especially original. The film looked good but, save for maybe two or three scenes, was not particularly impressive or memorable. (Actually really the only scenes that stood out to me at all were Zac's speech from the balcony, his behavior in the church, and the Inception-esque scene in the gif above.) The performances were good, but mostly unremarkable. I felt a very weak sort of involvement with the characters - I kind of cared what happened to them, but probably wouldn't have shed a tear if one or two had died along the way. I never felt bored with it - probably largely thanks to the film's relative brevity - but I also wasn't invested enough to bother giving much thought to the rather ambiguous ending.

Ultimately this was not a bad way to spend 90 minutes, but not a great way either.

+





The Marriage of Maria Braun (Die Ehe der Maria Braun) (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1978)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/18/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Cricket's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


I really, really hated Maria Braun. She was ruthless, manipulative, remorseless, and cold. But watching her journey from being lost in a country torn apart by war to being strong and independent was a fascinating one and I did fee l a bit of respect along with my hatred. That's due in large part to Hanna Schygulla As Maria Braun, she was absolutely fantastic and my strong feelings about the character are a testament to the quality of the performance.

Unfortunately, however, there was little else that I liked about the film. I felt the other performances were largely forgettable, the cinematography was good but unremarkable, and I found the score to be rather intrusive at times. Still, the central performance was strong enough to maintain my interest throughout.

-



the samoan lawyer's Avatar
Unregistered User
I gave that the same score as you and pretty much agree with what you said. Saying that, this is the film that piqued my interest in Fassbinder. Also, I loved the ending in this.
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The Three Musketeers (Richard Lester, 1973)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/20/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Edarsenal's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


I don't mind silliness in movies - hell, I've got Encino Man in my personal top 100 - but this often felt like I was watching a bad Mel Brooks knockoff (not that I'm a fan of Brooks, either). Upon doing a little research, I discovered that it was originally intended to star The Beatles, which I think explains at least some of the film's lunacy. Regardless, the humor just didn't work for me. This was due in large part to the fact that, with the exception of Oliver Reed's Athos, I found the characters incredibly irritating and none moreso than Michael York's D'Artagnan. I actually cringed whenever he was on the screen.

I do have to give some credit to the set and costume design though (and it is mostly for this that I give the movie its rating). The film looked great and I do appreciate a good period piece. I also liked the basic idea of the story, though how faithful it was to the source I don't know. I've never actually read Alexandre Dumas' book nor seen another film adaptation of it (unless you count The Man in the Iron Mask). Were this version to have taken the attempt at humor down a couple of notches and gone at least a slightly more serious route I might've actually enjoyed myself, but as it was I found it to be a bit of a chore to get through.

-





Forbidden Games (Jeux interdits) (René Clément, 1952)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/22/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Jeff Costello's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


When the nominations for the 13th Hall of Fame were announced, this was the movie I was most looking forward to. I had seen Clement's Plein Soleil for a previous HOF and had really enjoyed it. So I had hoped to have a similar experience with this. Sadly, that was not to be.

I thought the children - particularly Brigitte Fossey as Paulette - gave really excellent performances, but I found pretty much everything else about the movie to be rather underwhelming. The other performances just felt very flat and the characters were irritating (though, of course, I realize I'm not meant to like them). There was also nothing in the set design or cinematography that stood out as anything special either.

I also was very much bothered by some of the scenes involving the dog, particularly those in which the dog is shown laying limply while kicking its rear legs. I can only hope that this was the result of some sort of sedative, but I could not find any information on how it was accomplished. Some of the other scenes featured an obviously fake, stuffed dog but still others appeared to use an actual dead dog that was, in turns, very stiff or very limp. I found it both worrying and distracting.

But I think even without those bothersome scenes I would've found this film to be mostly a disappointment and I was rather bored with it overall.






The Hunt (Jagten) (Thomas Vinterberg, 2012)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/24/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Neiba's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


This is the tenth nominated film - out of fifteen, not including my own - that I have watched for this Hall of Fame. While there were some nominated films that I respected, I was really starting to lose hope that I would find at least one that I genuinely enjoyed.

It finally happened. Like the other Vinterberg film I've seen - Festen, which I also watched for a HOF - Jagten tells a story that deals with deeply disturbing and damaging accusations and it is brought to heartwrenching life through stellar performances and very unsettling scenes. But where Festen examined the long lasting damage caused when those accusations are true, Jagten takes the opposite approach - showcasing the destruction that results from false accusations.

Ultimately, I found this film to be both challenging and frustrating - but in a very good way. It was very frustrating to know the truth behind the lies and to have to watch as a man's life was ruined. And yet I had to ask myself how I would react if such accusations were made against someone I knew. Who would I believe? If that person was shown to be innocent, would I still have doubt? And all I can say is I don't know. But I love that this film had me asking these questions. I love that it did more than just entertain, it really made me think. Still, having seen it only once I won't call it a favorite and I'm hesitant to rate it any higher than this but it will take something extraordinary for Jagten to not take second place on my HOF ballot.

+





The Broken Circle Breakdown (Felix van Groeningen, 2012)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/26/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, ScarlettLion's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


I had no idea what to expect going into this film, but what I found was a really beautiful and intimate look at the relationship between two people with little in common but their love for each other and for the child they have together. And it's the relationship as a whole, from their instant attraction to each other to the tragedies that tear them apart.

I really liked the way this film was structured. It's not an entirely linear story - we see the relationship as it begins while also seeing it as it begins to unravel and the film cuts between scenes of the two, with some great bluegrass performances interspersed throughout. One moment we see a joyous scene and the next a heartbreaking one.

The central performances were really strong, too. Johan Heldenbergh as Didier and Veerle Baetens as Elise both fully embodied their characters. They both felt very human and very real. Making their performances even more impressive is the fact that both did their own singing. They sounded wonderful and the music is definitely one of the film's highlights.

While I can't say that I absolutely loved The Broken Circle Breakdown on this initial viewing, I definitely see a lot of potential for my appreciation of this highly emotional and well crafted film to grow if I were to watch it again.

+



Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Not seen the film but I think that's a great review MV. I felt you were able to convey a lot about the film and how you felt about it without having to go on forever like I often do.





Dead Poets Society (Peter Weir, 1989)
Imdb

Date Watched: 04/30/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Sarge's Nomination
Rewatch: Yes, but it had been a very long time and I remembered almost nothing about it.


This is a movie that I probably should have liked. The story was both uplifting and incredibly sad and the performances were mostly strong, particularly from Robin Williams and Robert Sean Leonard. However, something about it just didn't work for me.

Perhaps I just wasn't in the right mood for it - I know this is a generally well loved film - but it struck me as being rather corny and contrived. Where the filmmakers expected me to be inspired or else heartbroken, I found myself feeling nothing. In fact, I was so detached from the film that I actually burst out laughing at what was actually a tragic scene (though in my defense, the slow motion screaming of "No!" was pretty damn ridiculous). It is an odd thing though, considering that there are a few films I really love that are even more corny and contrived than this (I'm looking at you, With Honors!). Perhaps this film's lack of nostalgia for me was also a factor? I'm not sure of the reason, but I just couldn't get into this one.

-





Flesh + Blood (Paul Verhoeven, 1985)
Imdb

Date Watched: 05/02/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Blix the Goblin's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


I should hate this movie. The acting was awful, pretty much across the board. These horrible performances really made me think of a certain infamous Verhoeven film that would come a decade later. And, like that other film, the dialogue was laughably bad. As to the story? I frequently felt like I was watching the film version of all those trashy period romance novels I used to read as a teenager.

But like those sh!tty books - and like Showgirls, which is actually in my top 100 - Flesh + Blood was actually very entertaining. All of the characters were pretty despicable people and I didn't find myself emotionally invested in any of them, but the movie still kept my attention in a train-wreck sort of way. Which is not to say that there weren't any genuinely positive things about the film. I thought it actually looked really good. The sets and costuming - while not overly ornate - were well done and many of the battle scenes were exciting.

Ultimately, as much as I ought to dock the film for all its weaknesses, I can't help but give it a positive rating because damned if I didn't have fun with it.

-



Nice to see Flesh + Blood getting such praise from you, MV. It's on my 100, so obviously I love it, though I've not seen it for a long time.
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Nightmare Alley (Edmund Goulding, 1947)
Imdb

Date Watched: 05/05/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, Citizen Rules's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


I had a lot of trouble engaging with this film and I'm not entirely sure why. I thought the writing was pretty strong - even if the story was a bit predictable - and the performances were good (and not too theatrical). I also liked the look of the film's sets and costumes. I think overall it did a lot of things right.

But I still just wasn't enjoying it. I think a significant part of the problem was that I wasn't particularly invested in the characters. especially Stan. I disliked pretty much every character in the movie, but not strongly enough to even want something bad to happen to them. I realize the fault here lies with me and not the film, but I determine my ratings (and, ultimately, the rankings on my HOF ballot) based on my experience watching the film.

One thing I did find interesting - and also bizarre - was the concept of a geek. Carnivals/sideshow attractions were never something that particularly interested me and so until tonight I was only familiar with the modern usage of the word. People do some really weird ***** in the name of entertainment.

+





Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016)
Imdb

Date Watched: 05/06/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 13th HOF, rauldc14's Nomination
Rewatch: No.


Well, that was really depressing.

I thought this was a really beautiful movie both in terms of aesthetics and content. I've never been much of a fan of Casey Affleck - and having seen virtually no other movies from last year, I don't know how well deserved his Oscar was - but I thought his performance here was very good. I think he conveyed Lee's sort of broken numbness quite well. I thought the other performances were solid as well. I also thought the location and the perpetual cold really added to the mood of the film.

I also have to give respect to the film for how "there" I felt like I was in many of the scenes. The awkwardness of the funeral reception scene and some of the others where Lee is having to interact with well-meaning people - who are kind of just making things worse - was palpable. I was cringing so hard. I also really felt the anguish and the love between Lee and Randi when they met on the street and I broke down in tears.

Having said all that, though, I didn't quite love it. It's a quietly devastating and wonderfully crafted film, but it's also a very difficult watch. It felt like one long series of heartbreaking scenes with little emotional relief. And because of that, I don't know that this is a movie I would want to watch again, and if I do it won't be anytime soon.






The Aristocats (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1970)
Imdb

Date Watched: 05/11/17
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: I felt like it
Rewatch: I think so?


The best word I can think of to describe this film is lackluster.

I wouldn't say there's anything truly bad about it (though I did cringe at certain racial stereotypes, particularly with the Siamese cat), but there's nothing especially good about it either. The animation is, by Disney standards, pretty damn mediocre. The slapstick comedy (of which there was entirely too much) fell flat. The songs were forgettable. The characters were forgettable. As for the story? Disney basically ripped itself off by redoing Lady and the Tramp but with cats - and without the romance and charm that made the other film a classic.