The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame

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Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
Imdb

Date Watched: 03/16/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame, nominated by someone who wanted to see me suffer
Rewatch: No.


From a visual standpoint, Eyes Wide Shut is a beautiful and interesting film. The colors, the costumes, the lights - they all pop out of the screen to create dazzling imagery.

Unfortunately, nothing else really worked for me. The characters were underdeveloped and unengaging. It had that Paul Thomas Anderson-like quality of featuring sh**y people doing sh**y things to each other while not being sh**y enough to be interesting. What little plot there was felt weak and failed to intrigue me and it dragged on for far too long. And even the sex felt, well, not particularly sexy. The two leads never actually do anything and that was the tamest looking orgy I've ever seen depicted. I also didn't feel any sort of dread or real threat of danger when Dr. Harford was found out and being followed, but maybe that was just because I didn't care.





Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)

he characters were underdeveloped and unengaging. It had that Paul Thomas Anderson-like quality of featuring sh**y people doing sh**y things to each other while not being sh**y enough to be interesting. What little plot there was felt weak and failed to intrigue me and it dragged on for far too long. And even the sex felt, well, not particularly sexy. The two leads never actually do anything and that was the tamest looking orgy I've ever seen depicted.

[rating2.5[/rating]
I've not seen it, but I really would've guessed with the all the sex scenes in it, that it would've been more to your liking, but I guess not. I seen one last night and I'll do a write up soon.




The Shawshank Redemption
My guess: Cricket

This movie is inspiring me to get busy living.

-
Cool that you liked it. I've only seen it once but thought highly of it, I should watch it again sometime. Somehow I don't think it's a Cricket choice. I could be wrong.



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
The Abyss


Ok, big one out of the way.

I don't really like James Cameron and 2h50 minutes of this seemed too long even before it starts.
It falls right into the action, so there's not much build up and we don't get to know the characters well, except for the leading couple. The acting is decent, though noone stands out but what bothered me the most was the pacing... This could easily have 90 minutes less and make the same effect. Instead we are left with a movie that can't decide if it's an alien film or a film on the Cold War.
It had some redeeming moments of tension that is really well executed but it ends up being lost among the rest, which is a shame because this could have been solid with another edit.
Still glad I watched it, cause it's apparently well known, but won't revisit again.




I saw The Abyss once back when it came out. I liked it and I remember being very impressed with the effects, but it didn't leave a lasting impression on me. That is a long runtime for that movie.

Not a terrible rating from Miss Vicky for Eyes Wide Shut, all things considered. As far as Kubrick goes, that's a distant 4th for me behind Clockwork, Shining, and FMJ.


Nice to see the positive write ups for Evil Dead, Shawshank, and Pandora's Box-all well deserved!



Galaxy Quest 1999 Directed by Dean Parisot


Fun, fun, fun exactly what you need during a quarantine lock-down.
Great Sci-Fi parody comedy adventure. With an excellent and fun cast; Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell to name a few. Lot's of laugh out loud moments because of the well written nerd humor and lots of 'inside jokes' from early Sci-Fi TV shows, mainly Star Trek.

High production value, wardrobe and set design all very well done. Making this movie much more than your average quick cheap scoring parody and explains why it's still entertaining and funny when you watch it two decades after it was released.

Galaxy Quest could very well be the most successful sci-fi space opera parody because I can't think of another one right now. Except maybe Spaceballs which I haven't seen since it's release. So I wonder if that one is still watchable and funny today.

Clever pick, whoever recommended this probably knows I love my sci-fi series and Sci-Fi in general. Right now I'm thinking maybe CR because he's the only one in this HoF I know for sure is a certified Trekkie.



+





Jaws
(1975)

This review may contain spoilers!

I knew that I'd be in for a treat, before even having seen anything yet, when I heard the first notes of the iconic theme. This film is a classic for a reason. It manages to be scary long before the shark is shown and exactly that makes it so much better when you finally get to see him.

But Jaws isn't just scary. Roy Scheider plays Martin Brody, the new police chief of a small island village that thrives on beach tourism. After suspicions of a shark attack at the local beach, he has to choose between staying true to his morals and guaranteeing safety or keeping the locals, who need the beach tourism to keep their heads above water, happy. We can see him struggling with this, while also having to try to keep his own family safe and this makes Jaws much more than just another scary movie.

What I didn't like was how abrupt the ending was. Something was missing for me, especially since the first half of the film focused a lot on Brody's struggle with keeping everyone (the local people, the mayor and his own family) happy. After the giant climax before it, the ending just felt underwhelming.

My favorite part of the film was the second half when Brody was on the boat together with marine biologist Hooper and an old fisherman called Quint. I was constantly kept on the edge of my seat and on top of that, I loved the chemistry between Brody, Hooper, and Quint, three characters that couldn't be more different. I have to mention Robert Shaw's acting here because his portrayal of Quint played a big role in this.

Jaws definitely deserves its status as a must-see. Besides just having a good story and a combination of characters that works great together, the direction and fantastic score manage to create a whole new level of suspense.





Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?


Pandora's Box (1928)
Directed by G.W. Pabst

Decided to start with a movie I figured would be a challenge to get through. Two plus hours for a silent film is a bit yeesh! for me. I'm usually cool with 70-90 minutes.

I'm not going to say much about the plot because it would take a while. Let's just say it was good. Really good. Really, very, good. Basically, Lulu (Louise Brooks) is a free spirit who will do what she needs to get things her way and all her shenanigans are finally catching up to her. The movie is filmed in acts and I think there were 8 maybe 9 of them and that's part of the problem with a plot synopsis. Each act was like it's own little movie so it would be like giving 8 or 9 short film reviews. Each little movie sets up the next one and it's all so fascinating. I think having it broken down into acts is one of the reasons it doesn't feel like a 2 hour movie.

Older film so how about the acting? Well, the acting from the leads is fabulous but especially from Louise Brooks. It's her movie all day long and her acting was so natural. She had none of the stiffness that is usually associated with earlier films. I'm going to say it right now - that was the best performance I've ever seen in a silent film. It's that good and I gotta admit - she was alright to look at and that hairdo -10/10. Reminded me of Cyd Charisse in Singing in the Rain. Quick shoutout to Fritz Kortner who played one of Lulu's...her husband for about an hour. He was also fantastic. Everyone was good but those are the two standouts.

Director Pabst did a bang up job with this. He hit some topics that were probably a bit risque for the day (everyone loves Lulu) and for a film made almost a hundred years ago it feels almost modern and that last act...what was that? Great ending. If there is one knock I have it's that the music in the beginning, up to act 3, felt off. It was too light and peppy for the story. Something a little more dramatic would have been nice. Didn't have to be the Sorcerer's Apprentice or anything like it but just a tad darker would have been nice. There is only one other silent film that blew me away like this one and that was Metropolis. This doesn't top that one but it's close.

This was nominated and came in 2nd the Pre-30s HoF (Metropolis took 1st), but, yeah, we all agreed with much of what you said here. A really excellent film! Brooks owned it from beginning to end. As for the music I actually did a Blues playlist that synced up beautifully to the acts and made for an ideal watch.
Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!
__________________
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



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
My top ten so I got one...

Beverly Hills Cop
Possession
The Ghost and Mrs Muir
Searching for Bobby Fisher
Man on Wire
When We Were Kings
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Brothers Keeper
Shoplifters
4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days
I had seriously thought of nominating that for you and failed to.
Shoulda went with my gut on that one



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?

The Shawshank Redemption
My guess: Cricket

^^That guess up there was so hard, this movie is so well loved and well known that I basically had to randomly pick someone who I thought may have nominated this.

I tried soooo hard to dislike this movie. I wanted to have "unique and edgy taste," "go against the grain," bla bla whatever that means. All I knew is that I didn't want to love the #1 highest rated movie on IM*B.

But I did love it. Every minute, every damn second. A masterpiece like this deserves the recognition it gets as one of the greatest films ever made. Every part of it - Darabont's flawless direction and screenplay, Newman's sweeping score, Deakins's typically legendary cinemtography, and of course the utterly magnificent acting performances - all led to a timeless movie that has already become a classic.

I don't even know where to start. How about with the acting. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman both give equally fantastic performances. Robbins playing a quiet, layed back, yet confident man, one whose choices change the lives of those around him. Then Freeman playing an equally wise character in his own right, a man who actually has done the crime he's convicted of, and the real main character. Both actors completely embody their respective character. So no complaints there; I was completely immersed in the people and places of Shawshank.

And then, the characters themselves. Andy Dufrane, a character who was sent to prison for a murder he didn't do, finds himself in the stony walls of Shawshank Prison. It's interesting thinking about his life before prison. Maybe he was successful, had a steady job, had friends. Was he happy? At least not with his wife, who was cheating on him. We never really learn about Andy's backstory (although I personally think this is a sequel to the Toy Story trilogy). The movie tells us "It doesn't matter."

And then we've got Red, a man who is up in the ranks as one of the most powerful prisoners at Shawshank. He's known to locate certain things from time to time. He has connections. His life inside the prison is one of contentedness. It's Red that is the main character of Shawshank Redemption; It is his redemption in the film, not Andy's. Throughout the story Red questions and learns what it is to live. He learns about hope and compassion, he experiences from Andy what it is like to stand up for what is right. "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

Speaking of that line, the screenplay also blew me away. What I expected would be a prison break dramatic script, instead turned into an endlessly quotable, FUNNY, screenplay that sets up characters and entertains easily while also juggling a hefty plot.

Does Deakins ever disappoint? Not in Shawshank. The shots of the outside of the prison are stunning, and no dialogue could introduce us so well to what exactly those prison walls do to people. That entire "escape explanation" scene was shot brilliantly, especially the final triumphant moment when Andy rips his shirt off and celebrates.

This must be one of the most satisfying and fulfilling movies I've ever seen. The final embrace at the end had me in tears, honest to God. It's so emotional, but it doesn't ply for tears, it's the honesty and beauty of the reunion, it's the beauty of the whole damn movie, that had me in tears.

I can't relate to being locked up in a prison for thirty years. But what I can relate to is the feeling of emptiness, the feeling that something - either internal or external - is stopping you from living.

This movie is inspiring me to get busy living.

-
[email protected]!!!!!
Felt the same when it came out and saw it in the theater and then countless times in the next decade or so.
Been a while since the last time I saw this. Truly need to see it again.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?


Jaws
(1975)

This review may contain spoilers!

My favorite part of the film was the second half when Brody was on the boat together with marine biologist Hooper and an old fisherman called Quint. I was constantly kept on the edge of my seat and on top of that, I loved the chemistry between Brody, Hooper, and Quint, three characters that couldn't be more different. I have to mention Robert Shaw's acting here because his portrayal of Quint played a big role in this.

Jaws definitely deserves its status as a must-see. Besides just having a good story and a combination of characters that works great together, the direction and fantastic score manage to create a whole new level of suspense.


The boat scenes are my favorites as well. Supposedly the story Quint tells of the men in the water being attacked by sharks was entirely ad-libbed. So the reactions by the other two wer pretty authentic, having no idea where the story was leading to.



Just getting into the spirit of things
Seeing a spoiler alert for Jaws cracked me up.
WARNING: "Jaws" spoilers below
Da shark done it!
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Almost famous for having nailed Madonna once



Right on a 10/10 for Louise's hairdoYou know I'd give her hair the same rating Cool that you made the best of this silent film even though it sounds like old silent films aren't your thing. I liked Pandora's Box and Louise Brooks! I also liked her Diary of a Lost Girl.
It's not so much that there not my thing it's just that after watching enough of them 70-90 minutes seems right for silent films, unless it's something special like Pandora's Box or Metropolis. Of course, you never know if their special until you watch them. Therein lies the rub. Have the same "rule" with certain genres. For example, slasher flicks, they should never be over an hour and a half long and for comedies anything creeping up on 2 hours is pushing it. Also, with silent films I can't just sit down to watch one. I have to be in the mood for it. Same with musicals - have to be in the right mood or it's not going to work no matter how good they are.




Bambi (1942)
Studio: Walt Disney
Genre: Family Animation
Who do I think nominated it: Ahwell
My reaction:


I was surprised by how dark the themes in Bambi were. I assumed this was a G rated family movie, but in someways it had one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever watched. That would be the hunting scene with little Bambi and his mom

Though that hunting scene really shouldn't surprise me, as Bambi was made during World War II...and with the carnage of war came a much darker tone to movies, especially film noir. But now, I know those more dismal themes of loss of life were also represented in Disney's animated feature.

I really appreciated the artistry of the hand created animated cells that make up the film. There's such a deeply rich and beautiful look to the woodland home of the forest animals. What I liked most was how the community of animals were shown to be in harmony with nature and it was man's intrusion into the animal's woods that brought chaos and death.

I'm glad to have finally watched this classic.



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