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Cool Hand Luke


Cool Hand Luke is one of those "classics" that just misses out on being an all time great. I have it right up there with The Dirty Dozen and The Great Escape. Thoroughly enjoyable yet a bit flawed.

Paul Newman is Luke, a decorated war veteran and petty criminal sent to a Florida work prison on a two year stint for vandalising parking meters. Upon arrival we meet the Captain, Dragline and....well that's about it. The rest of the convicts are pretty much there to fill in the scenery and hoot and holler when Luke does some pretty extraordinary things and that's my only real gripe with Cool Hand Luke. We never get to know any of the other prisoners. I mean, Lucille's "titty car wash" gets more screen time than just about any of the other characters.

Now, in fairness, this is a Newman showpiece all the way and he's fantastic. I liked Dragline as a character but Kennedy's portrayal felt a bit goofy. It was like the movie had a bit of that old school hammy acting (Kennedy) mixing with the newer, more realistic/natural style of acting (Newman). I felt like that had an affect on the tone of the film just a tad.

Cool Hand Luke breaks down into two halves - the first is Luke impressing his fellow cons with outlandish acts of... stubbornness, willpower? The second is Luke vs. the Establishment. The second half is much better, imo. Strother Martin, as Captain, is fantastic for the little time he has and the "What we've got here" line he delivers is worthy of its reputation. I'll put that line up against "Fasten your seatbelts..." or "Frankly, my dear..." for greatest movie line any day of the week (well, maybe not Frankly, my Dear...I actually did the Ace Ventura "YES! YES! YES!" when that happened)



Rear Window



I've obviously thought about nominating this many times, since it's one of my favorite films of all time, and yet it's hard to believe that the first time I saw it was back in 2010 when I first joined this forum. I've probably seen it at least a dozen times since and it never gets old.

The two leads and their chemistry are a big part of the films success for me. James Stewart and Grace Kelly are both fantastic in their roles and they play very well off of each other. Thelma Ritter is also really good here too, not to go unrecognized.

This could be Hitchs most impressive camerawork. I just love how he makes us seem as if we are right there in that apartment. Gives us the same angles that they have in putting all of these puzzle pieces together. The dialogue is intriguing from start to finish as well, again among his best. The script itself is really great considering that the story itself is actually quite simple.

Oh and did I mention how great I thought James Stewart and Grace Kelly were. I think these are my favorite performances for the both of them. And of course Kelly looked amazing in the film. It's a bonafide top 5 movie for me and I'd love to see it get the win.

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Here's where we're at so far:

Hey Fredrick 7/11
John Connor 4/11
Miss Vicky 11/11 Ballot received
Neiba 4/11
Rauldc14 6/11
Siddon 1/11
Ahwell 11/11 Ballot Received
Citizen Rules 9/11
Cricket 7/11
Edarsenal 6/11
Frightened Inmate 1/11



We're into this one month and we're doing pretty darn good! Let me know if the movie/review count is wrong for you and I'll correct it.

I haven't heard from, Frightened Inmate No. 2, his nom
The Squid and The Whale (2005) is still in the HoF, but you might want to hold off watching it just in case he doesn't post any more.



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i watched high noon today and liked it. it's not going to become one of my favorite westerns, but as a meditation on duty and cowardice, i think it's mostly successful. it contains neither the visual poetry nor the griminess that tend to be what draw me into a western, and is instead closer to a handsomely-mounted prestige picture of sorts, which doesn't work quite as well when the picture has become so culturally ubiquitous that i could've mapped out exactly how it was going to go down simply based on what i'd heard about it over the years. however, it still has a lot going for it. cooper is good (kelly is just okay), the ending is great, and i appreciated the pacing and obsession with clocks. the mccarthyism allegory is interesting enough but i think interpreting the whole film through that lens would get boring real fast.

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i posted my high noon review a couple pages ago and i thought you added it to the first post but it may have gotten lost amidst the restructuring. i plan on watching the rest of the movies in the next few weeks
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i posted my high noon review a couple pages ago and i thought you added it to the first post but it may have gotten lost amidst the restructuring. i plan on watching the rest of the movies in the next few weeks
Sorry, got it listed now on the 1st post. Cool, thanks.



Cool Hand Luke



I've seen this movie before a few times and always liked it, yet always still felt somewhat disappointed. It has the feel of a movie I would love but I just can't get there. I did like it a bit more this time.

I think I've always been confused about what kind of movie this is supposed to be. I still am, but now I'm more accepting of it. It always came off to me as a movie that's supposed to be cool and fun, but it's darker than that. The only thing cool about Luke is that he's played by Paul Newman. He's a miserable and unlikable bastard whose problems he brings to himself. On the other hand, it's clear when he meets his mother, in what I'd call the best scene of the film, that he had a challenging upbringing. Still, he's one of those people who thinks they're owed a break but they can't get out of their own way. He even says it at the end when he's praying. These kind of people are annoying. It's still nice to watch Paul Newman in his prime but I strongly prefer him as Hud or Fast Eddie Felson. The Captain is great in this and I also liked George Kennedy, although Dragline got weaker as the film went on. Why does Dragline start to worship Luke? If anything, he should be Luke's mentor. Good movie but still not a favorite. Why did I post the gif when it's not that important to the movie? Because it's f***in awesome!





Phantom Thread (2017)

A couple of years ago I watched Phantom Thread, my reaction was one of ambivalence. I suppose that's because like many people who don't warm to a movie, my expectations weren't met. That's the problem with expectations, they're often quite different than what one encounters. Thus disappointment is the result. Movies don't necessarily follow a specific formula, but the movie watcher has been dialed into the conventional story telling concept that's used in most movies. Phantom Thread utilizes a much more subtle approach with sustained moments of low key tension as a means of achieving it's story. One then might decide that there wasn't much going on in the film, and that's what I thought on my first watch.

This time around a rewatch made me appreciate the moments the film exist in. It suggest underpinnings that aren't always forefront, nor do they need to be. The impression is more important than the whole...

Daniel Day Lewis was superbly cast here as was Vicky Krieps as his strong willed muse and Lesley Manville as his stalwart sister. I loved how the film took it's time and meandered in it's world of 1950s haute couture.


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I'm finished...Awesome noms everyone! I don't regret watching any of them, good stuff

Oh btw, I marked Ballot Received for myself which might seem odd but it just means that I've finished my voting list and so it won't be changing. As a host I try to get my list done asap then hermetically seal it in a safe place



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?

Phantom Thread (2017)

This time around a rewatch made me appreciate the moments the film exists in. It suggests underpinnings that aren't always forefront, nor do they need to be. The impression is more important than the whole...

Daniel Day Lewis was superbly cast here as was Vicky Krieps as his strong-willed muse and Lesley Manville as his stalwart sister. I loved how the film took it's time and meandered in its world of 1950s haute couture.


That's what I'm excited about seeing in this rewatch. Enjoying the "moments" all that much more. Like one does standing before a painting they had seen previously.
__________________
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



That's what I'm excited about seeing in this rewatch. Enjoying the "moments" all that much more. Like one does standing before a painting they had seen previously.
Good point.

I was actually thinking along those lines and was going to compare my rewatch of Phantom Thread to my visit of a public showing in Seattle of Paul Allen's personal Impressionism art collection. It's hard to explain, but it was very late and almost nobody was there and it was a small venue, so very upclose and personal. I stood in front of one of Van Gogh's Flowering Orchards (I don't know the name of it, but it was a peach orchard in bloom). At first walk through the art exhibit while it was still crowded it was easy to overlook this small and seemingly simply painting. But when I took the time to contemplate it, I realized a lot of things and none of them were simple...
I guess we get out what we put in.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Good point.

I was actually thinking along those lines and was going to compare my rewatch of Phantom Thread to my visit of a public showing in Seattle of Paul Allen's personal Impressionism art collection. It's hard to explain, but it was very late and almost nobody was there and it was a small venue, so very upclose and personal. I stood in front of one of Van Gogh's Flowering Orchards (I don't know the name of it, but it was a peach orchard in bloom). At first walk through the art exhibit while it was still crowded it was easy to overlook this small and seemingly simply painting. But when I took the time to contemplate it, I realized a lot of things and none of them were simple...
I guess we get out what we put in.
it's extraordinary what we can discover when we pause to experience it.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Blood Diamond

Solomon Vandy: I understand White people want our diamonds, yes. But how can my own people do this to each other?

Centered around Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a simple family man, fisherman who is separated from his family amidst unrelenting war by the local government and the local rebellion forces in Seira Leone. Both sides killing indiscriminately. Women, children. . . the guerrilla forces kidnapping young boys and turning them into killers.
It's a harsh presentation that permeates so much of the film since it is volatile consistency of the landscape. The war devouring lives for the sole purpose of greed. Collecting raw diamonds with savagery and unconscious brutality. Families are butchered, the more healthy taken as slave labor to farm the diamonds and young boys recruited to become "soldiers" who kill all in their paths.

DiCaprio plays Archer, a White African native smuggler and Jennifer Connolly is a reporter intent on bringing a "story" of what is occurring back with her, in hopes of changing the horrors being committed.

The gun fire and the constant barrage of indiscriminate mayhem gives neither the main characters, nor us, the viewers, time to allow it all to truly sink in and affect us emotionally. It is in the very final act that we are given such a moment to breathe and to feel the emotional impact of Solomon, his family, and especially his son, Dia, who had been captured and made a murdering RUF (Revolutionary United Front).

While this does have the typical Hollywood ending it still remains a solid, worthwhile film and one I enjoyed watching.
Everyone does a splendid job, especially Hounsou and I'm very glad to have finally seen this.



Rear Window



This was my third time watching this. The first time was in the late 90's when my future wife and I watched every single Hitchcock film. We saw this at the cinema, the only classic film I've ever seen at the cinema, and I loved it. It was one of the best moviegoing experiences in my life. Then I watched it again for the 50's countdown and I didn't care for it. Actually the only Hitchcock movies I watched again where my opinion held steady or went up were Rebecca and Dial M for Murder. Rear Window was one of his films that dropped the most.

I did enjoy it a good amount this time but I still don't think that much of it. I can't help it, but I sit there watching thinking this is some stupid stuff. I'm not usually one to pick movies apart but I do with this for whatever reason. Nothing happens for the first 30-35 minutes as I just wonder why none of these people have shades. Sometimes I love James Stewart; other times like here I think he's ok. I'd really say I'm just not a big fan of his character. Grace Kelly is good, and thank god for Thelma Ritter. I don't feel any tension at all, and when he's sitting there like he's helpless, gasping, while watching his GF across the way, all I can think is why don't you say something you dummy. I mean you can hear your neighbors regular conversations so you're just going to sit there and hope for the best? I still enjoyed it for whatever reason.






Blood Diamond

This is another good movie and it's one of those movies that could have been really special if they had decided to make it a little grittier. On the flip side they could have gone more Hollywood with excessive battles and explosions it probably would have been awful. So they played it safe and went pretty much right down the middle and it's good.

The best parts of the movie were centered around Djimon Hounsou's (Solomon) and his performance was by far the strongest part of the movie. Solomon was the movies heart and the scene near the end is one of the films best moments. Leo (Archer) and Jennifer (Maddy) were both solid as well but I didn't see the point in making it kind of a love interest thing. He's using her, she's using him. That's about all the love you need.

I did like the ending. The after the battle stuff with Solomon and Archer. Maddy getting misty on the phone was a bit hokey, but Archer trying to help Solomon to the very end was a nice touch.

Another really good movie. I picked the right HoF for my first one. Next up The Music Man. Hopefully I'll have it done by this weekend.





Monsters Inc is a film with two problems and I don't know how fair it is to judge a film on it's first issue. One of the things I learned when watching all of those PIXAR back to back is you see how animation developed well Monsters Inc doesn't really have the same quality of animation. The backgrounds are still a little stiff and lifeless some of the characters they've nailed (Sully looks great) and they've kinda got the human look down.





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And I don't know how fair it is to judge computer animated films because they later get better.



The story is about Mike and Sully who end up with a child from the real world. The world building is pretty great and the supporting characters are interesting and distinct enough..but the film has one big problem.


Billy Crystal is annoying, his character is overbearing and over the top. His jokes feel like crappy vaudevillian humor meets Robin Williams Genie...and Mike is no Genie. You can't be both the protagonist and the comic relief because then it's just a comic bit and that didn't work for me. It's even more demonstrative because John Goodman is so good he really knows how to have his emotions translate through his voice.




Blood Simple

"Something I gotta ask you Marty. I've been very, very careful. Have you been very, very careful?"

There are three Coen Bros. movie that rotate as being my favorite and this is one of them. I love this movie. It does such a good job of creating atmosphere and building tension that if I watch it in the middle of winter I have a fan pointed at me because I can feel that sticky Texas heat coming off the screen.

It's a pretty basic story: Jilted husband wants to off his cheating wife and her lover. So he hires a shady Private Dick to do the dirty work. What could go wrong? Since this is a Coen Bros. film, just about everything.

This being the first film from Bros. it feels a bit restrained for them and I think that's a good thing. The characters are developed just enough to care about how this mess will all end.

One of the questions I hear about this is the bullet count in Abby's gun and it's often cited as a goof,but it's not. Here's my attempt to explain it without assuming a reload at some point:
WARNING: "" spoilers below
The gun is a 6 shooter. Abby loads the gun with three bullets (forget that there from a box that reads blanks) the first is used on Marty, the second when Ray kicks the gun and the third for the Detective at the end. While Marty is being buried he squeezes the trigger 3 times and nothing. All that means is the the gun's cylinder had a bullet in the first two chambers and one in the last. So when fired it would be live round, live round, empty, empty, empty, live round.

It's actually a pretty brilliant piece of filmmaking. It has to be that way for the ending to work.




Blood Simple
This being the first film from Bros. it feels a bit restrained for them and I think that's a good thing...
I totally agree, I'm a less is more, type of guy and sometimes the Coens in their later films can go pretty far out and that to me then makes the films harder to appreciate.

I'm glad you've been enjoying the HoF. It's always cool when someone decides to give an HoF a try and ends up really liking it. I've enjoyed reading your reviews, and what you said in Blood Diamond is exactly how I felt about it. I know you're just about done with the noms, and hopefully we can wrap this HoF early so we can move onto the 21st. Which I believe is being hosted by Ahwell. Hope you'll join that one and thanks for joining this one!



Phantom Thread



This is the nomination I had seen most recently, and that's why is was to be the last one I got to except that The Squid and the Whale has yet to arrive. I knew this was a good movie for me to watch a second time, and I said as much after the first time upon realizing that this is a film that can take much analyzing. Psychologists could have a field day with these characters.

Well I'm not a psychologist so I have an excuse to keep it simple. Some quick hitter thoughts; Woodcock is quite the fitting name. It seemed to me like Alma started to talk very similar to Reynolds. There's some surprising and brilliant dark humor. Is Reynolds the type of domineering man who yearns to be dominated or is he looking for a motherly figure? What is Alma's history, and is she extremely conniving or are her actions closer to off the cuff? I think PTA is probably the best director working today and it shows here. It's a movie that should and would be dull in the hands of most. The acting, sets, costumes, dialogue, and all of the little details are superb, maybe even flawless. The relationships and story are prime cases to be dissected. Going into it my second time, I knew to look closely and it is fascinating. I'm not currently rating it higher because frankly it doesn't suit my regular taste. I favor movies that are either emotionally devastating, disturbing, entertaining as hell, or relatable. This movie does have small doses of all of those qualities, and at the very least I see it as somewhat masterful.








Blood Simple is the neonoir story of four individuals, Ray the bartender who is of the employ of Marty. Marty has a young wife in Abbey who is not in happy marriage and decides to cheat on Marty. Marty jealous and suspicious of Abby hires a PI Visser. As someone who has seen countless four-actor films I have to admire the way the Coens balance the story. A number of films love to engage in the idea of a misunderstanding that leads to shenanigans but this film does it so well. I also like how normally Marty would be the hero of the story or Visser but never Abby. The woman cheating on the husband is never the protagonist and yet with this film we get that. I also love how information is kept hidden from the characters so that the story tracks and the finale is between a pair of characters who never ran across each other in the entire film. Also major props for the casting of this film...even though the entire group is still alive(I was shocked) the coens cast actors that looked so much older...