21st Hall of Fame

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Quills(2000), Miss Vicky just keeps pushing Joaquin Phoenix films, Quills is arguably Phoenix best film though not because of Phoenix more inspite of him. See the problem with Quills is we have the prototypical De'Sade story but with a male in the typical female led character(Phoenix). Michael Caine on the other hand plays his role to perfection and his work in this film is A+, his story also feels stronger because it has more interesting stakes. Caine is a therapist who picks up a young bride from an orphanage and basically locks her up and allows her to build her golden cage. Though sadly this is only a fourth of the film the other three fourths focus on De Sade (Rush), his religious jailer (Phoenix) and an illiterate washerwoman (Winslet). That part of the story is just fine and it kind of falls off the rails in the third act. When Rush having fun with different characters in the story the film takes off. His relationship with his wife and how he humiliates her and yet she loves it, is something that I would rather seen explored more and not just a throwaway.



What keeps me from a sense ambivalence towards the choices of the director and screenwriter is the production values and the editing. The scenes look good and are multiple shots are given depth so that you always have something to take the focus away from the weaker points.





Pretty Baby (1978), it's a trash film.






























Fine I'll review it, so I don't know if this is supposed to be a biopic of the photographer, his wife, or a vision of what prostitution houses in the turn of the century were supposed to be like. The film is cut in two between the Susan Sarandon part and Keith Caradine part. Both Caradine and Sarandon are good but neither actor anchors the film it's put on the shoulders of a 12 year old in Brooke Shields. Shields has her moments but she's a child actor and it shows during the course of the runtime.



I'm not sure if Malle wrote the part of the madam for Mae West and then couldn't get her but wholly hell was she annoying. You've got a good story there...an 70-80 year old Madam whose built this faux family but it's ruined by a terrible affectation. The underage nudity is bad, but most of the people in the story were irritating and I kept feeling like I was watching a better story that was passed over for a more salacious one.



The film has decent production values it's just very strange to watch this one after Quills which managed to do the pedophile subplot much better. It's also strange that Louis Malle wasn't able to get this story right when he told the male perspective so well in Murmur of the Heart. A film that built up and explored similar themes but was always able to undercut it with the creepy factor.







Pride (2014) boy this is the third film in a row which deals with sex and minors (bumdumbum). Pride tells the story of Thatchers war on the miners and the rise of homosexual rights in 80's UK. It's inoffensive non-cynical and a breezy two hour film. I actually liked this one quite a bit my only criticism is that it plays it a bit too light at times. The early scene with Thatcher was so good but every other scene of conflict that happened afterwards felt very shallow.


I did enjoy that they created a protagonist for the film in that it grounded the subject matter to me. But I did wonder at the end of the film just which characters were real and which weren't. It worked for the tone of the film and I'm not going to hold it against it when I do my list but I did feel like I needed to research the story at the end.



Good nomination though...this is a film I would likely recommend.



Being There



I have a few too many issues with this film apparently after reading mostly positive reviews from everyone here so far. Although I do think Miss Vicky may join me in not liking it as well. My first issue is Sellers, whose performance I really didn't care for and ultimately was the real overall sticking point in not liking the film. He just comes off as a real creepy dude, a man obsessed with TV and a guy who can apparently walk on water literally and figuratively. I just thought his smirky persona was quite annoying to be honest.

I liked the guy that played Ben and I think he did the best of anyone in the film, although certainly no saving grace. I guess it's always cool to see Mr. Rogers but even that scene was a bit weird for me.

Another real stickler would be that the story itself was an enormous slow burn for me, especially in that first half. It's one of those films where you are wondering exactly what if anything is happening and you find yourself missing things because you are becoming so glued to wondering how far in you are and hoping that it will soon stop.

I think the biggest problem of all is that I felt that this movie had a lot of expectations and hype to it but it really failed to deliver for me. But again it seems like maybe I wouldn't really like anything associated with Sellers, especially as the main character. Now for people that really like Sellers, I could see how you like the movie but that's not me.




Being There
...[Peter] Sellers....comes off as a real creepy dude, a man obsessed with TV and a guy who can apparently walk on water literally and figuratively. I just thought his smirky persona was quite annoying to be honest...
He was mentally retarded and couldn't really relate to the world around him, except by mimicking behavior he seen on TV. It was the people around him who mistook his simple mind as some kind of genius.



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
He was mentally retarded and couldn't really relate to the world around him, except by mimicking behavior he seen on TV. It was the people around him who mistook his simple mind as some kind of genius.
yes! I think this is the great thing about the character. He never wanted any of the importance people gave him, he probably didn't even notice it. He just liked watching TV. The same way you wouldn't blame a child for being oblivious or not responsible enough.



He was mentally retarded and couldn't really relate to the world around him, except by mimicking behavior he seen on TV. It was the people around him who mistook his simple mind as some kind of genius.
Still didn't care for the performance



Glad to see I wasn't the only one who didn't care too much about Being There. I also watched The Breakfast Club today and didn't care that much about it either. Specifics in a review coming soon to a forum thread near you.




The Breakfast Club (1985)

I feel kind of bad using that photo and even though it's pretty cool it does crop out Anthony Michael Hall from the original photo. Oh well, no one will miss the brain. Oh, that was Bender talking btw, not me
Brain-Brian...a coincidence or a hidden message in the movie?


This film knows what it's like to be a teen in high school.

I've seen The Breakfast Club several times before over the last 30 years and every time I watch it I feel like I'm watching a different movie. Last time was years ago and I thought of it as a good teen comedy. This time I seen something different, I seen a dark film about people with a lot of pain that they hold inside.

Bender's story about the cigar burn on his arm at the hands of his father for spilling paint in the garage....Not much more is said about it and the film quickly slides into another scene. But think about it, the film is telling us how Bender was tortured at the hands of his father. That's hardly stuff of a teen comedy flick.

But the darkest thing of all is Brian who tells of keeping a gun in his locker because he just can't handle having an F from shop class. In the next moment we learn that it's a flair gun and it went off in his locker and everyone laughs. And that's the brilliance of John Hughes' script. He manages to keep the film light enough to be enjoyable, While if you pay close attention to the scripts sub context, we know it's not about a flair gun joke, it's about a kid who's on the verge of committing suicide. That's pretty heady stuff.

Even more poignant is how at the start of the film John Bender is mocking Brian for having the perfect little family...Hughes' script shows us that kids from so called perfect families, like Brian's, can be pretty screwed up too...and that underneath the labels, all the teens have much more in common than a mere label would suggest. And that applies to all of us as well.

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The Breakfast Club (1985)


I'm quite sure that I've already mentioned how I find the rigid, non-mixing cliques of US high school films odd and hard to relate. My high school experience here in Finland was very different: on the grand scale, everyone got along with everyone, bullying practically stopped after junior high, and there were no clique wars. Also, we didn't have detentions in high school anymore (and even earlier, they were just an hour or two after a regular school day, not on Saturdays). Why is it so different here?

Because of the above differences, I have a hard time evaluating the characters. From my perspective, they sometimes seem off. For example, Bender reminds me of a classmate on junior high, but that person never went to high school (he died to drug-related issues in his twenties, I think). Not to mention that Bender looks way older than high school students, and while others seem to refer him as a metalhead, he dresses like a hipster fashion hobo.

Somehow the whole concept of these kids suddenly opening themselves to each other sounds far-fetched. It's even weirder in clique context; why spill your private life to someone who presumably hates you, or at least doesn't care? I think the film also defines these kids too much through negation, of what they don't want to be instead of their hopes and dreams. It simplifies things too much to underline its "we're all the same" message (which fortunately is ambiguous enough otherwise).

Despite the above negativity, there are good things too. Characters remain consistent enough, and the dialogue itself is pretty good. Actors were quite good even though I didn't like Bender (I suppose it's mostly an age issue). The ending, while happy on the surface, leaves lots of unanswered questions. It's not exactly my type of film, but I could see the concept working as a mini-series; giving the kids a full eight hours to interact could make everything seem more natural.

Maybe I'd just need to be American to fully appreciate this. As it is, I didn't hate The Breakfast Club but found it somewhat a bore.



Quills

Still liked the film. Lots of strong performances and I'd still say that Winslett would be my favorite of the core four, but there's certainly no denying how great Geoffrey Rush was as well.

I'm always a pretty big sucker for period pieces, and this one just looks really good too. The setting is something that really gives the film a nice atmospheric feel to it certainly.

Like I said before, it was very vital for the film to have the great performances that it had, because the story itself is just an ok one but the actors and actresses make us look past that most of the film.

About that ending though, I seem to have liked it a lot better on second go around. The last twenty minutes itself are really rather tense and well done. So yeah, it's still a film that I really like and I would say it just misses out on being a favorite, but really not by all that much.

-



Also, we didn't have detentions in high school anymore (and even earlier, they were just an hour or two after a regular school day, not on Saturdays). Why is it so different here?
Same, though we didn't even have after school detention, or at least I never heard about it. I don't think it would even have been allowed, because the kids might not be able to get home if they relied on the school bus for transportation.

In Grade school, whenever anyone acted up badly they were just sent to the office to be scolded, and the parents would probably get a call if it was something serious. There may have been detection at lunch time on the rare occasion for the repeat offenders, but that was it.



I'm quite sure that I've already mentioned how I find the rigid, non-mixing cliques of US high school films odd and hard to relate. My high school experience here in Finland was very different: on the grand scale, everyone got along with everyone, bullying practically stopped after junior high, and there were no clique wars. Also, we didn't have detentions in high school anymore (and even earlier, they were just an hour or two after a regular school day, not on Saturdays).
I'm not sure what makes Finland such a more inclusive/less aggressive country, but I was a kid in the 80s and 90s and Saturday detention was definitely a thing then, though it was reserved for either really bad offenses or an accumulation of offenses where regular after school detention hadn't made an impact in the student's behavior.

Bullying most definitely didn't stop in my high school, either. I was the target of some of it, but was lucky enough that my bully was full of s*** and her threats of violence against me were empty. I knew other people who weren't so lucky when it came to the people that picked on them.



I'm not sure what makes Finland such a more inclusive/less aggressive country, but I was a kid in the 80s and 90s and Saturday detention was definitely a thing then, though it was reserved for either really bad offenses or an accumulation of offenses where regular after school detention hadn't made an impact in the student's behavior.

Bullying most definitely didn't stop in my high school, either. I was the target of some of it, but was lucky enough that my bully was full of s*** and her threats of violence against me were empty. I knew other people who weren't so lucky when it came to the people that picked on them.
As I said, I'd probably have to be American to fully appreciate these. I have no doubts that stuff like that happens but it's hard to relate to it when one's own experiences are so different.

I have some ideas on why things are/were different in our countries though. I'd assume that the US is in many ways far more competitive society that sort of feeds the concepts of winning and fighting for the limited spaces in the sun. Kind of a culture that doesn't only concentrate on one's victories but also on stepping over the "losers" to show off your dominance. It's quite a bit different compared to small, traditionally very mono-culture social democracy such as Finland.







Being There is a film that sadly has been forgotten, this is very much a social version of 2001 A Space Odyssey. The film can be viewed as apocryphal in nature and if you pay attention to the names of the characters and then look them up you'll get a much more rewarding and deeper view of the film. If you didn't like it the first time...watch it again listen to the dialogue look at the scenes closer you'll find metaphors, humor, and biting satire at different points in the story.


One of the interesting points people fave brought up about Chance is, is he mentally retarded? Is he some creepy guy that just watches people. Then we get to the end scene and we have to ask ourselves is he actually human, is he supposed represent something or is he god. Their are clues throughout the film that he's supernatural in nature.


Check out 2:24, the director will often tell you what the film is about in bold letters






Being There also is a film with a sense of humor. Inspired by old Silent films Sellers character will set up a joke and then not give you a payoff. But what I feel makes the film special is even though you have this hard cynical undercurrent to the film when you look at the characters in the film they don't really have those things. Everyone in the film is a good if not confused person. Constantly we are introduced to characters thinking that this person is the villain or this other person is the villain but when you really break it down, the people are generally good.



..I have some ideas on why things are/were different in our countries though. I'd assume that the US is in many ways far more competitive society that sort of feeds the concepts of winning and fighting for the limited spaces in the sun. Kind of a culture that doesn't only concentrate on one's victories but also on stepping over the "losers" to show off your dominance. It's quite a bit different compared to small, traditionally very mono-culture social democracy such as Finland.
That's well said and it's interesting to hear about the differences between U.S. and Finland schools.

My experience in high school in the late 70s & early 80s was nothing like The Breakfast Club. I'd never heard of Saturday detention. I don't even think we had detention. We had a very liberal school policy. Kids could smoke on school grounds in designated areas. You could be absent from school with no written excuse for 7 days each school year. And believe me I skipped those 7 days too! Then when you were 18 you could write your own excuse for being absent up to 12 more days, and I took those too! We didn't have big social clicks or divisions in our school like they do in the movie. I mean sure there were jocks and stoners, will even the jocks smoked weed. And there were no bullies as bad as Bender. Bender would have been sent to an alternative school that's were are the juvenile delinquents went.



..I have some ideas on why things are/were different in our countries though. I'd assume that the US is in many ways far more competitive society that sort of feeds the concepts of winning and fighting for the limited spaces in the sun. Kind of a culture that doesn't only concentrate on one's victories but also on stepping over the "losers" to show off your dominance. It's quite a bit different compared to small, traditionally very mono-culture social democracy such as Finland.
That's well said and it's interesting to hear about the differences between U.S. and Finland schools.

My experience in high school in the late 70s & early 80s was nothing like The Breakfast Club. I'd never heard of Saturday detention. I don't even think we had detention. We had a very liberal school policy. Kids could smoke on school grounds in designated areas. You could be absent from school with no written excuse for 7 days each school year. And believe me I skipped those 7 days too! Then when you were 18 you could write your own excuse for being absent up to 12 more days, and I took those too! We didn't have big social clicks or divisions in our school like they do in the movie. I mean sure there were jocks and stoners, will even the jocks smoked weed. And there were no bullies as bad as Bender. Bender would have been sent to an alternative school that's were are the juvenile delinquents went.
For me in high school, the bullying is so low key. It exists, but not at all in the up front way as portrayed in the Breakfast Club.

And this is because of the cliques, which we have a ton of. It’s a problem, since no one can get out of their own shell and form new friends as those groups have already been made.

And for skipping school, we just have senior sign out, which is kind of what Citizen Ruled said, you have like ten days throughout the year that you can just use to leave (my group partner ditched me the day we had to show our La La Land argument scene in Spanish to the class )