21st Hall of Fame

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Pretty Baby (1978)


To get the obvious out of the way immediately, you couldn't make Pretty Baby today. Fortunately, things were different in the 70s. Back then movies didn't shy away from divisive topics, and there was a level of honesty that is missing these days. Now 12-year-old Brooke Shield's nudity would cause outrage while show business is sexualizing children more than ever. We're living in an age of hypocrisy.

The film itself is a slice of life centered around a brothel in New Orleans during the WWI. Violet is a daughter of a whore who's spent her entire life among the prostitutes. I like how she's written to reflect this unusual upbringing, for her sex is ordinary, but normal human relations aren't. When she leaves the brothel, she still sees human interactions mainly sexual and abusive. Whether or not Bellocq initially has sexual motives for her, she can't fathom any other kind of relationship.

Characters are Pretty Baby's greatest strength. All of them feel real people with consistent personalities. Most of them are annoying in varying ways (especially Violet, who's selfish diva throwing tantrums every time things don't go her way - not surprisingly she's like an exaggerated version of her mother), but that's how people are. Bellocq is the most decent person in the film, and his biggest flaw is falling in love with a 12-year-old girl.

I love how Pretty Baby is neutral and non-preaching despite its controversial topic. Today many films try to cram a message down the viewer's throat, but Malle is happy letting his viewers make their evaluations. There's no artificial division to good and bad people, no stance taken on prostitution, or on marrying a child. It's far less condescending cinema.

The above sounds overtly positive for my review, but that doesn't mean Pretty Baby is without flaws. I don't even consider it a great film, just good. There are scenes where the acting is only mediocre; there are some pacing issues, and the ending is rather abrupt. I would have preferred some extra time showing the happier co-existence of Bellocq and Violet to make his proposition less out of the blue. But with flaws and all, it deserves to be reckoned for its merits instead of just as a piece of controversial cinema.
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If possible, I actually recommend watching the opening of Dark City's theatrical cut, then switching to the director's cut after. The voice over is unnecessary, but I think the opening sequence is far more interesting in that version.

WARNING: "Opening Difference" spoilers below
The theatrical cut has everyone suddenly falling asleep at the exact same time, which is a bit creepy. The director's cut just has a guy checking his watch. If you've seen the original version, you know why he's worried about the time. If you haven't, then it lacks context and doesn't have that same air of mystery.

Is this the opening of the theatrical cut?

Dark City's theatrical cut opening

Before anyone watches it, I just want to mention that many of the comments on that YouTube page recommend NOT watching it because it gives away too much info and/or ruins the movie.



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I checked my DVD and it is indeed the directors cut I own. I donít think itíll matter which one you choose to watch.
Unless Ahwell wants to make a ruling? Being new to this, Iím not sure if I should have specified?



I checked my DVD and it is indeed the directors cut I own. I donít think itíll matter which one you choose to watch.
Unless Ahwell wants to make a ruling? Being new to this, Iím not sure if I should have specified?
I wasn't asking about which version of Dark City should be watched as some sort of rule clarification. I only asked just to see which one people like better. I'll probably be watching whatever version I can find, and/or if I can find both which one I haven't seen (I've seen this 2 times before so would like to see a different cut).



I checked my DVD and it is indeed the directors cut I own. I donít think itíll matter which one you choose to watch.
Unless Ahwell wants to make a ruling? Being new to this, Iím not sure if I should have specified?
I wasn't asking about which version of Dark City should be watched as some sort of rule clarification. I asked just to see which one people like better. I'll probably be watching whatever one I can find and or if I can find both which one I haven't seen (I've seen this 2 times before).
Ah ok, Iím sorry.



Is this the opening of the theatrical cut?

Dark City's theatrical cut opening

Before anyone watches it, I just want to mention that many of the comments on that YouTube page recommend NOT watching it because it gives away too much info and/or ruins the movie.
That is the theatrical cut opening, and yeah, the narration at the start does give out certain information a little too early.

For anyone curious, you can skip to 1:12 in that video to completely avoid the narration and watch the rest of the scene. That's how the Director's Cut should have opened, however it cuts everything else as well, which is a shame since I think it's an effective intro.



I requested Dark City from my library so I'll have to see which version it comes with, but it might be worth seeking out the Director's Cut. Even though I generally haven't liked Director's Cuts.
Most of what it changes is largely inconsequential to the overall plot. The added scenes just expand on certain information or relationships. There's some alterations to colour, but I honestly don't remember which cut had which tones (just that one is distinctly more blue), so I don't think it affects the mood at all.

You'll get roughly the same experience watching the theatrical cut instead, so if that's the version you end up with, don't worry about it too much.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I would recommend the Director's Cut of Dark City. The opening text completely spoils the film!!!! It makes whatever surprises later on, null and void!!!!

After watching the film, check this out.
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...The added scenes just expand on certain information or relationships. There's some alterations to colour, but I honestly don't remember which cut had which tones (just that one is distinctly more blue), so I don't think it affects the mood at all.
Thanks for that, it helps...Last time I watched Dark City I was a bit underwhelmed as I had remembered it so much more detailed and nuanced. No doubt my own brain created scenes that never existed! I do that on certain movies, then end up surprised when those scenes aren't actually there, ha. I have no idea what version I seen the last time but if the Director's Cut has added dialogue then that's for me.

I would recommend the Director's Cut of Dark City. The opening text completely spoils the film!!!! It makes whatever surprises later on, null and void!!!!

After watching the film, check this out.
No surprises for me as I know what will happen Thanks for the link!



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Wedding Crashers (2005)

First time watching this in one sitting, as opposed to catch it while zapping various times.

Quite cliched romcom but a good one nevertheless. It features two of my least favorite actors, Owen Wilson and a rather unnecessary Will Ferrel. I can't believe or laugh at anything they do, and they still haven't showed me they can act.
However, I love Rachel McAdams and she's the one responsible for the most truthful part of this film. She lends a sincerity to every scene she's in, and makes the chemistry work with anyone she's counteracting with, which is lovely.
There were many parts that made me smile though the end was a huuuge eyeroll.
I also didn't care for Bradley Cooper in here. He's talented but his character had nothing to go with.

It's nice to have light hearted films in these HoFs sometimes, as they get so filled with heavy dramas (like my own nom eheh).

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The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Pride (2014)

Second watch, first surprise.

Everything is so simple in here and at the same so honest! It might go to some cliches sometimes but that doesn't matter when it's believable and in that way,this films succeeds!
I didn't know the real story, I know Margaret Thatcher was the devil and that she standed for a lot of things I hate, and I also know there was party among miners when she died which tells you a lot.
In this film, there are two very serious issues being portrayed but the whole light atmosphere is never compromised. That has to do with a very good soundtrack, very interesting cinematography and especially great writing and character building. Every single one of these characters has a life of their own, and the director does well in not allowing any of them to shine brighter than the others, even if it was easy to do so, either by focusing on Joe's coming out or Mark's leadership and charisma. It's a film about Union and how it can achieve great results and the way the film is written is a perfect metaphor for its theme!
The miners and families are delightful to watch and hilarious, while still being truthful.

Damn, I missed the days where a film I had never heard about would surprise me in these HoFs. It's the reason I join these things and the later ones left me a little bit disappointed, to be completely honest. But here it is. Cheers @The Usual Suspect

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The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Jagten (2012)

Jagten is part of my top 10 and it's among the heaviest watches I ever went through.
It's a movie that will make you get mad at the world, it will make you cry, and even when it's all over it won't let you go for some time.
The way it is shot and the script make it really realistic, making you feel that whatever happens on screen can happen to you! Everything that happens in the second half of this could seem impossible if you didn't watch the first half, but the way everything develops is logic and at some point, almost inevitable - and that's fuc*ing scary!!!
Mads Mikkelsen delivers an astonishing performance, proving himself as one of the most talented and underrated actors in business, and I hate that he keeps doing the same Hollywood empty villain over and over again, when he's better than so many guys winning Oscars right now.

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The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985)
Imdb

Date Watched: 01/02/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 21st MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by Citizen Rules
Rewatch: Yes.


"It's kind of social. Demented and sad, but social."

When I last did my top 100 movies, I had The Breakfast Club ranked in my top 20. If I were to redo the list today, it would probably rank considerably lower.

Which is not to say that I don't still love it. I do - and still consider it a favorite - but there are parts that bother me and it's sometimes just downright corny. I've always hated Allison's makeover scene (actually, I pretty much hate everything Claire does) and Andrew's fist-pumping dance/run/whatever around the library, but I think I hate them even more with every rewatch.

That said, I've always related to some degree to Allison and Brian and have long struggled with my own feelings of inadequacy and invisibility. John has always been my favorite character though. He's by far the funniest of the group, but also has the most heartbreaking backstory. I may have had a bit of a crush on him growing up. And maybe I still do.

Despite its flaws, this is still to me the quintessential 80s movie. It still makes me laugh. It still makes me cry. And I still love it.

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With all the great quotable lines from The Breakfast Club, the one I use the most is "will milk be made available to us". I use it when I make appointments or meetings get called at work. Nobody has ever gotten it and all I've gotten is weird looks. I should probably use a more well known line as my go to.



Donít you....forget about me....donít donít donít donít donít you....forget about me...will you call my name? As you walk on by.....

*ahem*
Pardon the interruption.



Quills

A thoroughly enjoyable and pretty brilliant film verging on dark comedy/satire. All the performances were great, although (Miss Vicky will literally kill me) I may not have actually enjoyed Phoenix all that much. Look, he's a good actor, I can appreciate him... but I don't know, to me he doesn't rise to being one of the greatest of all time that many claim him to be.

But still, his performance is completely satisfactory even if it's not outstanding. Kate Winslet also delivers.

The story has lots of twists and turns, which I loved! I couldn't tell where the story was going, and that's always a good thing with a movie.

The thing is, this movie felt really out of period, basically a modern day film set in the 1700s. I disliked it at first, but got more used to it as the film went along, and ended up enjoying that feel (the music, lighting, screenplay, etc.).

A good film, although I'm not sure it'll ever be a true favorite.

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@ahwell

I'll give you the rep cause you liked the movie, but how many of Phoenix's performances have you seen? I know you've seen Quills, Return to Paradise, Her, and Joker, but is that all?

If so, give Gladiator, Walk the Line, The Master, and You Were Never Really Here a shot. If you still don't get it, then I'm afraid you're a lost cause.



@ahwell

I'll give you the rep cause you liked the movie, but how many of Phoenix's performances have you seen? I know you've seen Quills, Return to Paradise, Her, and Joker, but is that all?

If so, give Gladiator, Walk the Line, The Master, and You Were Never Really Here a shot. If you still don't get it, then I'm afraid you're a lost cause.
Yes, plus Parenthood, but that doesn't really count as its a small role.

I'll give those a try, they're all on my watchlist anyways. I've seen parts of Gladiator, and what I saw of him was great. I won't make a conclusion until I've seen the rest of it, though. The Master and You Were Never Really Here are also on my radar, so we'll see how I like them.

I kinda hate Johnny Cash, but I guess I'll see Walk the Line eventually.