17th MoFo Hall of Fame

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You would think I would learn, but, nope
I live dangerously like you and write my reviews without protection (except my own nominations for HoFs but that's just because I want to write soon after viewing). I think I've lost a review just once

Oh, I also watched The Innocents just now. Will write full review either today or tomorrow. For now I'll just say I was little disappointed but then my expectations were rather high.



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



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I live dangerously like you and write my reviews without protection (except my own nominations for HoFs but that's just because I want to write soon after viewing). I think I've lost a review just once

Oh, I also watched The Innocents just now. Will write full review either today or tomorrow. For now I'll just say I was little disappointed but then my expectations were rather high.
we have a saying around my house when artwork or writing goes bye-bye "There's one for the gods," and it's kindling for something better. And it usually is.
__________________
They say: that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia, the petite mort, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night with yourself there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. ~Dylan Moran



The Innocents



Well I finally kicked this thing off and started with what may be the favorite to win this thing. The film uses sound and imagery to build a very haunting atmosphere and it does it in a style that is so grand. I was briefly reading through reviews on here and I will agree that it feels as if you are entrapped in this mansion with these characters as well. I really like the performances, specifically Deborah Kerr and I thought that the two young kids were pretty good as well. The pacing of the film is just about perfect to me, doesn't rush the story and still gives off a feeling of the unknown of what is to come. That song the little girl sings becomes creepier and creepier as the movie strolls along and I would consider that to be a very successful trademark of this film. Or perhaps it was when the little boy kissed Deborah Kerr's character. That's when we knew something was off with this kid. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending I suppose but it wasn't really enough to change my opinion about how I thought the movie was. A good start to a Hall of Fame once again. Cool nomination by Siddon.






Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/25/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by @pahaK
Rewatch:Yes.


I watched this film once before and really didn't like it. I found myself being utterly bored by it then and unable to engage with the story. That was several years ago. Tonight's experience was a much more pleasant one. I still struggled to stay engaged thanks to its vampiric premise, but this time I did find myself at least appreciating the quieter moments of the film and the touching bond between Oskar and Eli.

I thought that aspect of the film was handled very well and the two central performances were solid, if not especially remarkable. I suppose the horror elements were also handled well, but since that aspect of the film is what kept me from truly enjoying it, I don't have a whole lot of praise to give it there. That said, it was well made film overall and this time I never found myself bored with it.

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Rush (Ron Howard, 2013)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/26/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by @neiba
Rewatch:Yes.


Rush tells the story of the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. How accurately it portrays the events of that racing season, I neither know nor care. I also couldn't care less about car racing of any sort. But what I do care about is a good story, solid performances, and engaging characters. Rush has all of that - it's sexy, it's exciting, it's exciting, it's fun, and also a little heartbreaking.

I don't consider myself a fan of Chris Hemsworth (though he's certainly hotter than his brother, Liam) but he was the perfect choice for his role as Hunt, depicted here as a fearless man-child with a taste for danger and an addiction to women, drink, and fun. And Daniel Brühl is excellent as well as the shrewd, logical and steadfast Lauda.

And while Rush features many adrenaline fueled racing sequences and terrifying crashes - all filmed quite beautifully - it's really the juxtaposition of the two men's opposing philosophies that is the heart of the film and the driving factor behind their rivalry. And that's what draws me most into this film - and indeed into most of the films I've seen by Ron Howard - the human side of the story. Not the cars, not the races, but the people. There are no heroes or villians here and no judgement. Only two men with the same goal and two very different ways of getting there.

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So after not seeing a movie for 2 months you've seen 10 here now? Dang.
I guess I'm out of my slump.

I wasn't feeling well yesterday so I called out from work and spent much of the day on the couch watching movies. I'm off today, so I may get another 1 or 2 watched.

Also, I borrowed 6 of the 10 movies from the library and need to take them back.



Lean On Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2017)

I had trouble buying into some of the scenarios - mainly in how easily Charley slipped away from authorities, but also in the lack of damage to a certain vehicle after one particular scene
WARNING: "Lean on Pete" spoilers below
I seriously thought the driver was going to end up being dead as well, but when she stepped out of the car unharmed, I was quite surprised.

I've seen what kind of damage a moose can do to a car, and while I know that horses aren't nearly as big as moose are, the impact seemed really light. Apparently it was enough to kill the horse though. It seems a bit odd, but I guess the horse was on his way out anyway.



Amelie

Aw hell yeah! I was surprised to see one of my all-time favourites was nominated as I thought everyone had already seen it. Anyway, let's talk about it.

Within the first six minutes you'll definitely know whether this film is for you or not, very fast paced, funny and weird! I saw some people comparing the 'quirky' style of this film to Wes Anderson, I mean, sure I guess you could say that, but Anderson's style gets on my nerves sometimes. Amelie did the opposite though, it warmed my heart!

The happy tone of the film kinda makes it feel like a children's story, expect with lots of sex! Beautiful colour scheme. Absolutely gorgeous soundtrack. Amazing characters. Amazing comedy. Amazing everything basically!

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It's been a while since I've seen Amelie, which explains why I haven't said too much about it. I tend to only re-watch films when I haven't seen them in AGES or if it was a lackluster film that I think will be better on a second watch. All I remember is that it was one of my most pleasurable film experiences.

If you keep on watching your crazy-ass b&w art films all day you're probably gonna have a very nihilistic view on life. Change it up by watching a film like Amelie.

One of my favourite movies of all time, you have very good taste @TheUsualSuspect.

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Lean On Pete (2017)
Directed By: Andrew Haigh
Starring: Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, Travis Fimmel

Having only seen a few still images from the film, I assumed that Lean on Pete would be a sappy coming of age story about a boy and his beloved horse. While the film does feature a young boy coming to terms with the adult world, it is not what I was expecting, which was definitely a welcome surprise. The story doesn't exactly start in a cheerful place, and things only get darker from there. However once I realized what type of film I was watching, all of the story beats became quite predictable, and I became considerably less engaged as the film went on.

Even the weakest performances were still really good, though it's always strange to see Travis Fimmel in anything other than Vikings. I'm not sure if he was the right fit for the character, especially since he seemed to struggle with the accent, but he was still oddly charming despite that, and I wouldn't protest to seeing more of him. I'm also not quite accustomed to Steve Buscemi in more serious roles, but he plays his part incredibly well. The actors all lend credibility to a plot that is otherwise a little hard to believe at times, though it's not completely implausible, especially if the film is supposed to be set somewhere in the 90s.

Since I'm not overly familiar with American geography, I'm not sure how harrowing young Charley's journey was, though the film did a fine job showing how it affected him both physically and mentally. The landscapes were shot beautifully, and as someone who comes from a place where the terrain is so rocky anyway that we frequently just build on steep cliff sides, seeing such impossibly flat ground always astonishes me. The cinematography was great throughout the film as well, and I particularly liked the look of the running sequences that act as bookends to the story. While it did have a few issues, the film was ultimately quite enjoyable, and since it's not the type of film I would normally watch, it's always nice when something like this is nominated.


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This one I hadn't seen before but it's been on my watchlist for quite a while. Didn't know too much of it but none the less my expectations were rather high.

Probably more spoilers than my other reviews this far.

The Innocents (1961)

A woman is hired to govern two young children in a large country mansion somewhere outside London. Children's peculiar behavior and the dark events in the mansion's recent past soon convince her that something foul and supernatural is going on. She must save the children from the evil that haunts the place.


On paper everything should be fine with The Innocents; solid cast, great setting, traditional Gothic ghost story and a fitting black-and-white presentation. But somehow it barely falls short on every one of these. In addition it doesn't manage to be creepy or suspenseful at all which is kinda bad for a horror film.

The house itself looks terrific but I don't think it's utilized nearly to its full potential. There are occasional shots and scenes that look great but too often it's just a little bland. Same with acting; the children are very good but Kerr is again just a little off and basically feels like she's acting. The story, as it's told to us, gets weaker the more we know (more about this later) and the hints of something more daring and perverse are in the end just brushed away.

The best thing in the story is its ambivalence, how in the end the viewer can't be sure if the haunting is real or the governess has just lost her mind (this is based on one viewing, maybe there are hints one way or another when one knows to look). The children are easily the best characters in the film and the only thing that has some positive creepiness and weirdness. I was disappointed by the ghostly possession theme as I was hoping that the malevolence would have come from Miles and Flora themselves.

All of the above sounds terribly negative but it's just me focusing on the bad stuff. As a whole The Innocents doesn't miss good rating by much. Based on its reputation it was a disappointment but it belongs to upper end of mediocrity.



I'm thinking that I went in with too high expectations but I was almost angry at the film for it missing the mark so slightly on practically every regard. I don't think it needs to be that much different to get at least one popcorn more from me.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Amelie

Within the first six minutes you'll definitely know whether this film is for you or not, very fast paced, funny and weird! I saw some people comparing the 'quirky' style of this film to Wes Anderson, I mean, sure I guess you could say that, but Anderson's style gets on my nerves sometimes. Amelie did the opposite though, it warmed my heart!
That is SO very true. Not a lot of Anderson I really like, the exception being The Grand Budapest which I adore. Regardless, you nailed the difference between the quirkiness of Anderson and this.
If you keep on watching your crazy-ass b&w art films all day you're probably gonna have a very nihilistic view on life. Change it up by watching a film like Amelie.
A-f@ckin-men, brother! A-F@CKIN-MEN





The Hawks and the Sparrows (Uccellacci e uccellini) (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1966)
Imdb

Date Watched: 09/26/18
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 17th MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by @MijaFrost
Rewatch: No.


This was my second Pasolini film (the first being the dreadfully dull Salò). I think this is meant to be a humorous commentary on classism and the way in which those with power basically devour those without, but I really struggled to stay awake and focused on this film so I may have misinterpreted it. Either way I found the characters and the music quite annoying and the attempts at humor fell totally flat.

About the most praise I can give it was that it was more tolerable than Salò, but only marginally so.

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This was an exercise in post-modern storytelling that while interesting at points fails to come together as a cohesive story. Day for Night reminded quite a bit of Inherent Vice in that it feels like a film where actors are interested in putting it in their performance reel. All of the leads get these weird little performance pieces however you almost need to take notes to keep track of who is playing who and what's happening and in the end did I care...not really.


I like the French New Wave and I admire Truffant's attempt at telling a film within a film and it never falls to a level of pretentiousness. But as we've seen over the years you really can't tell this story without grounding it into a specific genre. The Stunt Man, and French Lieutenants Woman come to mind as films that failed as dramas whereas Soapdish and State/Main succeeded as comedies and Truffant really should have focused on comedy.


It certainly didn't help that the climax of the film happens off-screen with two of the supporting characters also it was wonderfully maddening naming the male leads Alphonse and Alexandre, because keeping them straight was fun. The only character in the story that I felt was fully realized was Bisset's Julie. I could follow her story arc while the others I felt like I needed to take notes. And I don't know how much you can enjoy a piece of art when you need to do homework because so much of it doesn't translate.



Pixote



This one did remind me of City of God a bit, which in this case is unfortunate as I really didn't like that film. The same rings true here. I just didn't care for the characters, be them legitimate people or not. The fact is that they just aren't that interesting of people to me. I found Lilica to be probably the most lame of them all. And I found Pixote to be a blend of uninteresting and annoying for me personally. The story really isn't anything that made me glue my eyes to the film either. Sometimes I feel like I should have more to say, but I think I've covered all of the main bases for why I didn't connect with it, so I will just leave it at that. I will continue to read the reviews to see what others liked about it and then maybe I can comment a bit further.

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Weird is relative.
Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)



Very clever little film with the screwball plot and the witty dialogue. I appreciated the stylized lighting, too.
This was near the top of my watchlist all summer, so I'm glad it was nominated. Don't have much to say that hasn't already been said, but it was a fun time.

The Aviator (2004)



This had been on my watchlist for a while, but I was a little put off for a while because it starred Leonardo DiCaprio. When I picture Howard Hughes in my head, I certainly don't see Leo, so I wish they could have chosen a more unknown actor. However, DiCaprio won me over eventually with his clear commitment to the role. He offered a believable portrayal of a manic genius who suffers with his decaying mental and physical health over time.
As someone with their own OCD issues, it was rather triggering to watch this, but that's how you know Hughes' problems were handled realistically.
Cate Blanchett was a little jarring as Katharine Hepburn as well, but she looks similar enough to her, so that was fine.
All in all, it was a very well made movie (the cinematography was gorgeous in my high definition copy), even if it was somewhat overlong.



cricket's Avatar
Pimpin' ain't easy
Pixote



This one did remind me of City of God a bit, which in this case is unfortunate as I really didn't like that film. The same rings true here. I just didn't care for the characters, be them legitimate people or not. The fact is that they just aren't that interesting of people to me. I found Lilica to be probably the most lame of them all. And I found Pixote to be a blend of uninteresting and annoying for me personally. The story really isn't anything that made me glue my eyes to the film either. Sometimes I feel like I should have more to say, but I think I've covered all of the main bases for why I didn't connect with it, so I will just leave it at that. I will continue to read the reviews to see what others liked about it and then maybe I can comment a bit further.

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I think it's simply not your kind of movie.