21st Hall of Fame

Tools    





Pride (2014)

So I really enjoyed this film. I expected a preachy and tedious movie that stuffed messages down your throat, but instead this was an intelligent, well-acted story that stars out with a simple goal and then expands into developing richer themes as the characters begin to examine their lives at the end.

In many ways, it is a cute and sentimental look at a true story. But it's also often sad and disgusting to see the severe homophobia at play here. There were some parts I didn't love, but this was pretty great overall.

+



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Finally vacations, so time to finish this:

Quills (2000)

The story is quite interesting and it managed to get me interested all the way through, a lot due to a tight script and very good performances overall, Geoffrey Rush especially. He was the best thing about this film, with a really well done character development. Phoenix and Caine look always good of course, though if a bit overshadowed by Rush.
I had some issues with the pacing in the first half or so of the film, nothing serious, but the last 30 minutes are very very well done!
Not a favourite but nevertheless a good film that holded up a rewatch.




Glad to see Quills is getting a mostly positive response.

I'm going to try to get something watched tonight - probably Dark City since I own that on DVD.
I think it may have a shot at winning, since it hasnít gotten an overtly negative reviews yet.



Glad to see Quills is getting a mostly positive response.

I'm going to try to get something watched tonight - probably Dark City since I own that on DVD.
I think it may have a shot at winning, since it hasnít gotten an overtly negative reviews yet.
Quills is my front runner, depending on how I view the films I havenít seen yet (and that includes Quills, though I have yet to review it here, Iíve seen it enough times to consider it highly)
Tree of life, Being There and The Hunt are maybe the others that could score highly depending if I enjoy them more. So Iíll wait to finish up before I place it officially.





Dark City (Alex Proyas, 1998)
Imdb

Date Watched:01/28/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 21st MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by wyldesyde19
Rewatch: Yes

I generally don't care for heavy Sci-Fi and I struggle with suspension of disbelief, so a film about a dying alien race that holds a group of humans captive and modifies their memories for experimental purposes is pretty well out of my comfort zone. Fortunately Dark City features a strong cast, an intriguing premise, loads of atmosphere, and a short enough run-time to keep me from losing interest. But only just.

One of the biggest problems with Sci-Fi films is that they often rely heavily on special effects and, more often than not, those effects don't age very well. I think this is true, at least in part, of this more than twenty year old film. In particular, the final battle between Murdoch and the stranger just looks downright silly and took me out of the film.

The other thing I struggled with is the underdevelopment of its peripheral characters. I understand that this is necessary given the premise, but I generally find it much easier to engage with a film when I'm invested in the people in it. It's a rare occasion when a movie can keep me totally enthralled with only story and imagery and, though it does offer a decent amount of development for Murdoch's character at least, Dark City is not one of those exceptions.

That said, I've seen this movie on a number of occasions, including during its original theatrical release and have always liked it. I last watched it in 2016 in preparation for the MoFo Sci-Fi Countdown and I rated it a 3.5+ at that time. I liked it a little less this time around but I still think it's pretty solid.


-



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Pride had me shedding tears of both kinds and it did warm my bitter little heart.
+
Regardless where Pride ends up in the rankings, I feel as if I won this HoF.
__________________
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews





The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
Imdb

Date Watched:01/29/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 21st MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by ahwell
Rewatch: No.

Although there's no denying that The Tree of Life is a visually beautiful movie, I spent nearly the entirety of the film being utterly bored by it.

Granted, my atheism doesn't exactly predispose me to enjoying a film that ruminates on the concepts of faith and the origins of humanity (though at some points I contemplated prayer - or rather I nearly prayed for the film to end) but the way it is constructed was just a huge turn-off for me. By the time the overly long Discovery Channel-esque footage of volcanic activity, the oceans, and dinosaurs finally ended, that tiny window of opportunity the film had to make me give a **** had closed and I had mentally checked out. Though I was at least thankful for the lack of people in monkey suits screeching and banging on rocks (a la 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I also found incredibly dull).

But the clash between the film's take on God and my own aside, when what passes for a story did begin to unfold I again found myself repelled and unable to connect. I found each of the film's primary characters to be unlikeable, but not even enough so for me to be invested in wanting to see their failures. I was completely apathetic to it and the only emotion The Tree of Life managed to stir in me was annoyance.

I still have one other first-time watch to get through, but I'd say that this is a pretty strong contender for my least favorite film of this Hall of Fame. Oh well, I suppose it could be worse. I mean, at least it's not a musical.

-





The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
Imdb

Date Watched:01/29/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 21st MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by ahwell
Rewatch: No.

Although there's no denying that The Tree of Life is a visually beautiful movie, I spent nearly the entirety of the film being utterly bored by it.

Granted, my atheism doesn't exactly predispose me to enjoying a film that ruminates on the concepts of faith and the origins of humanity (though at some points I contemplated prayer - or rather I nearly prayed for the film to end) but the way it is constructed was just a huge turn-off for me. By the time the overly long Discovery Channel-esque footage of volcanic activity, the oceans, and dinosaurs finally ended, that tiny window of opportunity the film had to make me give a **** had closed and I had mentally checked out. Though I was at least thankful for the lack of people in monkey suits screeching and banging on rocks (a la 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I also found incredibly dull).

But the clash between the film's take on God and my own aside, when what passes for a story did begin to unfold I again found myself repelled and unable to connect. I found each of the film's primary characters to be unlikeable, but not even enough so for me to be invested in wanting to see their failures. I was completely apathetic to it and the only emotion The Tree of Life managed to stir in me was annoyance.

I still have one other first-time watch to get through, but I'd say that this is a pretty strong contender for my least favorite film of this Hall of Fame. Oh well, I suppose it could be worse. I mean, at least it's not a musical.

-
Damn. I knew you would hate it but I was still secretly hoping.

I think this pretty much officially kills any chance ToF has of winning, since CR and Siddon seemed pretty lukewarm too.





The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
Imdb

Date Watched:01/29/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 21st MoFo Hall of Fame, nominated by ahwell
Rewatch: No.

Although there's no denying that The Tree of Life is a visually beautiful movie, I spent nearly the entirety of the film being utterly bored by it.

Granted, my atheism doesn't exactly predispose me to enjoying a film that ruminates on the concepts of faith and the origins of humanity (though at some points I contemplated prayer - or rather I nearly prayed for the film to end) but the way it is constructed was just a huge turn-off for me. By the time the overly long Discovery Channel-esque footage of volcanic activity, the oceans, and dinosaurs finally ended, that tiny window of opportunity the film had to make me give a **** had closed and I had mentally checked out. Though I was at least thankful for the lack of people in monkey suits screeching and banging on rocks (a la 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I also found incredibly dull).

But the clash between the film's take on God and my own aside, when what passes for a story did begin to unfold I again found myself repelled and unable to connect. I found each of the film's primary characters to be unlikeable, but not even enough so for me to be invested in wanting to see their failures. I was completely apathetic to it and the only emotion The Tree of Life managed to stir in me was annoyance.

I still have one other first-time watch to get through, but I'd say that this is a pretty strong contender for my least favorite film of this Hall of Fame. Oh well, I suppose it could be worse. I mean, at least it's not a musical.

-
Damn. I knew you would hate it but I was still secretly hoping.

I think this pretty much officially kills any chance ToF has of winning, since CR and Siddon seemed pretty lukewarm too.
Donít give up hope, thereís still 4 of us left to review it. It could make up lost ground and make a run 🙂



Damn. I knew you would hate it but I was still secretly hoping.
Well I still have to watch Being There and who knows, maybe I'll hate it too. Maybe even more than ToL. I also have to make a final decision on how to rank Pretty Baby.





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

Date Watched: 02/01/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: 21st MoFoHall of Fame, nominated by Neiba
Rewatch: Yes.


I first watched this movie about three years ago when it was nominated for the 13th MoFo Hall of Fame. I was very much impressed by the stellar performances and the heartwrenching story. I also found the film to be both challenging and frustrating, as it was very difficult to watch the events unfold while knowing the truth of what happened. I felt strong sympathy for Lucas as he watched his life disintegrate around him, all because of a lie.

But I also had to ask myself how I thought 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? I gave these ideas more thought this time around and, while I still don't know how I would react in such a situation (and I hope I never have to find out), it did help me to feel a lot less anger towards the reactions of the other people around Lucas - that is, of course, with the exception of what happened to Fanny. I could never feel less anger over something like that.

That said, I do think I actually enjoyed Jagten a little less this time than I did in 2017 but I still have a lot of respect for the way it makes me think and it will probably rank high on my ballot.




This is my last nomination to review. It's been a real good HoF.

I'll post my thoughts and then just for fun I'll post my old review of Dark City, which I haven't read for years. I wonder if my thoughts will be the same or change?


Dark City (1998)

I love that image and that's what I appreciate most about Dark City, it's atmospheric look. The sets and the lighting are very film noir...and noir and sci-fi are two of my favorite genres. The movie delves into deep world building with a score that accentuates the moody atmosphere. The street scenes smell of urban night in an crowded dingy city...just like a good noir film does. And the interior shots of the sets are done up nicely. I loved looking beyond the actors at things on the wall and in the background. Dark City is certainly one of the most stylish films around. The way it looked, it's camera angles and lighting and decor, reminded me of Barton Fink (1991) & Naked Lunch (1991).

Why didn't Rufus Sewell have a bigger career? I thought he was excellent in this and he reminded me of Joaquin Phoenix. Not only did he look a bit like Phoenix but his facial actions and style of acting was very similar. I wish we could have had more story line on Jennifer Connelly's character. I was intrigued by her life as a lounge singer but other than two short clips of her singing, we really didn't get to spend time with her in the club. But she sure was a knockout in that green dress and that noir Veronica Lake hair style.

I know people don't like Kiefer Sutherland vocal gaspings, but I told myself before watching the film that it's a colorful character that matches the film's intentions. And yet I gotta be truthful, every time he was on the screen he took me right out of the picture. Though he would have been a shoe-in for Dick Tracy (1990).

The aliens had an evil-sci-fi-noir vibe to them, so kudos to the make-up department as they looked great. But I have to say that ultimately we see too many aliens and way too often...so that for me they cease being effective and became almost comical. Especially the little kid alien reminded me of something Spielberg might have done in one of his films.

But the biggest reason why I've never loved this film is that the script doesn't engage me. I can think of other movies that I've seen and their scenes leave an indelible impression on my mind. I only seen The Matrix once 20 years ago, but I can still recall key scenes that still resonate with me. But in Dark City none of the scenes were emotionally fulfilling for me. Most of the scenes just kind of run together in my mind...and I just watched it last night.

This time around I appreciated the movie more and I would raise my review rating up by half a point, if I was rating it today.



My old review from 1-05-17

Dark City (1998)
Director: Alex Proyas
Writer: Alex Proyas
Cast: Rufus Sewell, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt
Genre: Sci Fi


About: A man (Rufus Sewell) awakens in a rundown hotel room and discovers he's lost his memory and is wanted for a series of murders. Then he receives a call from a strange doctor (Kiefer Sutherland) telling him to flee before the cops arrive. Outside, he discovers a strangely dark city with people who can't seem to remember details of their own lives.


At midnight the aliens use their collective mental energy to 'Tune' the city, reshaping buildings and streets with their thoughts.

Review: Dark City could've been one of the great Sci Fi's, right up there with Blade Runner or 2001. It's got the look...with it's gothic noir city, bathed in perpetual darkness. There's enough atmosphere here even for a Ridley Scott film. And the story idea of a film noir-sci fi, mystery-thriller was very promising.

But I couldn't help but feel like the movie was lacking. Everything seemed rushed and incomplete, like I was watching an outline of a story without the extra moments included that make it memorable. I felt like I didn't know what the characters where about, I was never emotional involved in the film. Even though it looked cool, it had no soul.


Rufus Sewell is John Murdock, the man who can't remember.



Jennifer Connelly, doesn't get to do much, but she does sport a Veronica Lake hair do.

After the movie was over I read that it has one of the shortest shot lengths for a modern movie, averaging only 1.8 seconds per camera shot. That quickness of the film eliminates much of the movies suspense, with little time for character supposition and reflection. It felt incomplete...missing were the subtle nuances that give goose bump moments and come from longer scenes that make you think about the film for days afterwards.



Dark City



I'm pretty sure this was my third go around with this film and I will say this time I much enjoyed it.

I thought Rufus Sewell as John Murdock did a really good job. The rest of the cast itself didn't have a whole lot of chance to shine, but I suppose that is due to the nature of the film which is highly centered around Sewell's character. Before watching I had forgotten that Jennifer Connelly was in this and she is certainly becoming a favorite of mine.

The best thing about the film is obviously it's dark tone and the world building and atmosphere. The city is just made so fresh and original. The cinematography made every screenshot look like it was oozing coolness and that's something that I've always taken an extra appreciation to as far as cinema goes. It definitely must take a lot of work and this one was certainly no different. The film has a great pace to it and keeps me entertained throughout. While it won't be a favorite I can still say it's a nice nomination.