22nd Hall of Fame

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Joker



I don't think my thoughts have changed to much on my second viewing of this film, although I didn't really see much of a divide between the first and second half of the film.

It's really quite interesting to see one man carry an entire film, Joaquin Phoenix. It plays off a bit on the films themes of isolation and loneliness.

A lot of films I like are bleak and dark and this one is certainly that, one of the more darker and depressing films I've seen actually. It did a good job showing just how screwed up people can get if they are thrown to the wayside in life. And it's a shame that society would ever let people get this way. We all need to be aware and make sure we are taking care of each other when we can. I think my problem is the absolute brutal ending, which seems silly but I feel like it's a Psychopathic ending and I'm not a fan of violence like that. I feel it did go a bit too far to be honest. But I do think the rest of the film was pretty well done.

I suppose the score is honestly very well done, and like I said I have other favorites that I enjoyed more from 2019 but I can definitely respect it.

I'll add a plus to the rating this time, it's very close to a 4 star film for me.

+



Queen of Hearts


SPOILERS
'Dronningen' is a film that demands all emotions on deck, as the bleakness of reality washes in over you like a tsunami filled with sorrow, sadness and anger. It plays persistently with your thoughts and feelings in a way that mirrors the happenings on screen as your body screams to be allowed out of this nightmare, but ‘Queen of Hearts’ has the upper hand and holds a tight grip as it lays out a royal flush that crushes everyone and everything on its path. Once upon a time this was a full house filled with love, now there is only four of a kind left in the family, while all affections are flushed straight down the toilet by the hands of an almost royal figure who used to flourish but now falters… withers… and fades away.

'Dronningen' deals a lot with human nature and nature itself is used to reflect that. Seasons change with the events and characters of the film and nature is almost a character in itself – both the hot summer days and the bleak winter nights play vital roles in the risky role play of our main character, Anne. And how fascinating it is to follow the descent of this dame into absolute disaster. The way she starts out as a busy businesswoman who can hold her own – in private and in profession – while also being a seemingly caring and kindhearted human being. However, there are also clear flashes of a female living in a dense fog looking for a decent f*ck. Well okay, it isn’t as simple as that, but to put it more precise she seems to be stuck in a monotone life, which then turns into a midlife crisis that evolves towards an actual epiphany. Because when Gustav suddenly enters… everything changes.

But afore anything of any actual weight happens, we are left impatiently waiting for the moment of inevitability – the moment where moments collide and come together into a climax of relief and release… in more than one way, I guess. We know how wrong it is, but the chemistry between the two leads is so good that we want it to happen – we wish to see the past confrontations finally bear fruit… the forbidden kind. And so, it does. In a sudden way that doesn’t seduce us but honestly rape your senses and sense of reality. Because, in a way, you were in this dream-like state with them, but quickly realize exactly what it was you were rooting for. Unfortunately, though, I found out that this important scene was removed from the international version, which I’m honestly really mad about. I find the scene pivotal to the plot and the way it is presented and plays out is a turning point for the film.



In the scene we see an explicit blowjob, which I personally think gives you the wakeup call needed to actually question your thoughts and feelings up until now. Because a wonderfully romantic and sensual scene would not have set off the same emotions as the sexually shocking images that strips the viewer naked with his or hers sudden inner conflicts. As an audience – or as a witness – we feel confronted, called out and even condemned in a way. It is a powerful scene that sets the rest of the plot in motion and truly proves that Anne is on a collision course we expect will not end well… her wild and almost animalistic side was suddenly not only seeking or searching… it was hunting. The inner id has taken control and Anne feels almost invincible and thus also too comfortable for her own good, which ends up breaking their little fairytale world filled with these wonderful wrongdoings.

And this is where the film really finds its grip and becomes truly gripping – and not just in the sense of getting your full attention, but actually almost literally gripping your throat with a tight hold, locking off air supply and holding you down in your seat making you watch… ‘Clockwork Orange’ style. Anne is confronted by her husband after Gustav have told his father everything and Anne actually lets out a defeated “yes” when she is asked about the truths of all this. However, shortly after she backtracks her story, backstabs Gustav and continues to coldheartedly lure Peter straight into her laid out trap of lawyer-level argumentation and foul play. I particularly love when she tells Peter how ridiculously easy it is to manipulate him – referring of course to Gustav, but in reality, talking about herself… a brilliant but bone-chilling scene. While unwilling to admit to boning Gustav she becomes a ticking time bomb in and on herself, as she let a lie become reality until that reality becomes all too real.

The scene with the three of them talking, shouting and screaming – externally and internally – is absolutely devastating, as Anne derails into the deranged almost. Once, a seemingly caring woman who devoted her life to helping young people in trouble is now terrorizing and tearing apart that very same youth. Gustav is alone more than ever right now, and Anne’s lie is like a leech sucking out all that is worth anything, leaving him like an empty shell… cracking easier than ever… ready to break at any minute. Gustav’s last attempt at ending the insanity is as heartbreaking as it comes. He shows up in the middle of the night yelling for his dad, only to have Anne drive him away. His thoughts, feelings and emotions are all over the place as he desperately tries one last fix… all at once. He frantically tries to solve the present situation by calling for his dad and ending the lie, while also giving one last hectic attempt at going back to the past by confusingly kissing Anne before finally falling to the ground. It is clearer than ever now that there is nothing he can do. He cannot live in the present, he can’t go back to the past and soon he realizes that there is no future for him either.



The very person who made Anne feel so alive is now dead and guilt hits in both breakdowns and brilliant reflections on the past, as Anne looks out through a window but directly at her own reflection as well. Lastly, the final shot of the movie is so subtle yet so profound, as we see Anne and her family riding a car in complete silence. A car filled with grief… and guilt. Anne is sitting visually still, but clearly internally distressed. As she sits there quietly, without uttering a single word, she opens her mouth ever so slightly before everything turns to darkness and the horror ends. For us at least. The moment is almost a blink-or-you-will-miss-it moment, but I love the open-ended uncertainty of it. Was she about to crack up, break down and confess? Or would she have stopped herself before uttering a single word? Will Anne continue to live out this lie forever? A woman who seemingly demands liberty while also abandoning integrity… who is she really and what has she become? Dangerous, disastrous, disordered… a woman toying with feelings, dictating emotions and truly becoming… a Queen of Hearts.






I never could get the hang of Thursdays.

Anne is confronted by her husband after Gustav have told his father everything and Anne actually lets out a defeated “yes” when she is asked about the truths of all this...
I thought this was a really interesting moment in the film too. She does seem to confess...and then turns it around so quickly. In fact she's then so convincing in her denial that you almost believed her, despite having watched it happen!

I'm unsure about your reference to a scene having been cut out - the version I saw certainly had an explicit scene.



I'm unsure about your reference to a scene having been cut out - the version I saw certainly had an explicit scene.
I chose to mention it because the version I downloaded had the scene cut out and therefore I thought I might as well mention it because I thought it was an important and effective scene so if someone read my review and realized they didn’t watch that scene then they know they didn’t watch the original cut.




Queen of Hearts
Dronningen
(May El-Toukhy 2019)

That painting on the wall is sure foreboding looking, and as with all set designs it was chosen for effect...Anyway I just wanted to mention that.

Dronningen is a well crafted movie with a subtle message that can be left open to interpretation. However the end results are clearly tragic. I appreciate a movie that doesn't hammer it's message into the audiences head, and Dronningen never did. I won't say this was an easy watch, the first hour was slow, but did set up tensions in the marriage and home life...Then boom and there's an expletive sex scene I wasn't expecting that. The sex in the movie isn't pretty, it's like watching two dogs on the front lawn copulate...an odd view!

As the second hour progresses the plight of Gustav becomes more sadder as we see the wreckage of Anne's self indulgent act. At first I didn't like Gustav as he seemed like a punk, but then we see he's really good with the twin girls and is just struggling and somewhat confused about which direction he's life should take. Anne goes from sympathetic to a pedophile predator.

There's a couple of explanations for Anne's seduction of the teen boy. I like that the film didn't spell it out for us and we can decide for ourselves just why she did it. Though a clue is when she tells of her first sexual experience and says it shouldn't have happened. We don't really know what should not have happened but we can guess. Even after the sex is over, Anne continues to inflict damage on poor Gustav with dire results.
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State of Siege
(1972 Costa-Gavra
s)

I want that Cadillac convertible! The one the dead guy was in at the start of the film. That would be such a sweet car! Come to think of it the film was loaded with classic old cars, the police even remark about how nice and old 1920s car is when they are searching for the rebels in the garage.

Anyway...I liked this film! I thought it was a cool nom, something I'd never heard of and would have never seen on my own. Before watching it I read the synopsis at IMDB and also read your guys' reviews. It's a good thing I didn't go into this blind or I would've been totally confused about what was going on. But thanks to IMDB I seen that this was a French made film about a right wing government in Uruguay that has it's para military police being trained by right wing operatives from the USA. And that's true, the USA did meddle in South American politics, supporting right wing dictatorships just so that leftist rebels with communist leanings didn't get a foot hold.

We see the police rounding up suspects and killing them, that is the death squads. Those type of police death squads still operate in Latin America and other parts of the world. So this film which was done documentary style really felt like you were there back in the day. We don't really get to know the characters and we don't need to, this is about the subject of U.S. involvement in Uruguay.

It did feel like propaganda, notice how we see the brutal torture of a suspect by the police, but we never see the actual killing of the American by the rebels. I for one don't have a problem with propaganda, most films have a message that they want to make clear and State of Siege certainly did.

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Does Inglourious Basterds have English subs on the DVD? I tried watching this from a video file and there's lots of French or German being spoke, but no subs.



Does Inglourious Basterds have English subs on the DVD? I tried watching this from a video file and there's lots of French or German being spoke, but no subs.
You need subs indeed. Entire scenes are spoken in German, French and a little Italian.



You need subs indeed. Entire scenes are spoken in German, French and a little Italian.
Ah that's what I thought. I'll see about adding a sub file into the video file. After all my English is bad enough my German and French speaking skills are non existent.





The Last Picture Show(1971)

Larry McMurty wrote a trilogy of stories based on I suppose the cynicism and desperation of small town life in Texas. I've only seen two of the films but I think I'm going to track down the 2nd story. The Last Picture show tells the story of the sexual awakening of a pair of boys in the time period before the summer of love and after WWII, a sort of lost generation.

The town is populated with a bunch of old cowboys, a bunch of women who are stuck in bad marriages and kids who have to decide what to do with their lives. The film attempts to be an aged classic shot in black and white yet still dealing with issues of sex that wouldn't have been tolerated in the 40's/50's style it emulates.

Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachmen both won Oscars, Johnson for a single scene, Leachman for a hell of a character arc. It's actually fairly surprising that it registered 4 acting noms but neither lead (Shepherd or Bottoms made the cut) very surprised about Cybill because the film nosedives into melodrama when she leaves the story





Waco The Rules of Engagement (1997)


Hard to believe this film was made 25 years ago...and that's not a good thing. The quality of documentary film-making has taken huge leaps it's fairly distracting to watch something like this. Does the low quality of the film hurt the overall narrative...I'm not sure.

It's a good story and it has a great point of view. The Branch Davidians are not vilified and the ATF agents are given a pretty damning indictment. But the problem with a story like this which attempts to show one side I often found myself curious as to what are we not being told about Koresh.

I do wonder if a stronger pov would have trimmed the runtime and made a more compelling story. And this is really my issue with the film is that it's not long enough to give us a comprehensive look into the story but it's also to long when it could make a more emotionally powerful story. It's walking the line between news and art and failing at both.

It's a good story but not so much a quality film.



T H E
MATRIX



What is The Matrix and what does it mean?1

’The Matrix’ managed to blow the minds of moviegoers worldwide when it hit cinemas just before the new millennium. It was a towering milestone in technological achievements, containing artificial archenemies aching to attack and destroy the destined “one” named Neo, who is in search for answers inside a dream-like digital world full of well-choreographed kung-fu combat and cool-looking lingering slow-mo shots, all of which makes you want to pinch some no-hinge sunglasses on your nose just as you enter a nirvana of nu-metal music and macho-like masquerades... Welcome to The Matrix.

‘The Matrix’ is all style and pseudo-substance, successfully spellbinding you with its rocket-fueled pocket philosophy and ever-impressive action scenes, giving a f*ck about gravity but gaining a ton in badassery. It might have revolutionized computer-generated imagery, but its grand computer-generated space is undoubtably one of the undisputed monarchs of science fiction world building. A world created by two creative minds and then morphed into a singular higher soul called Morpheus, who is the leading exposition-feeding entity that everybody believes in. But who does he believe in? Neo of course. The nerdy little hacker who seeks answers in a world where nothing makes sense to him anymore. Thankfully, Morpheus has the answers, or at least the questions.

I’m not saying 'The Matrix' isn’t a smart movie, because what does that even mean exactly? 'The Matrix' may be a knot easier loosened than everlasting, but that knot sits on a stylish green tie, further complimenting the dark shirt and even darker trench coat. Matrix is code in itself, but also a code to live by. You literally devote your life to a digital system more dangerous than the real world. But perhaps also with more hope, even if it is by a microscopic margin. ‘The Matrix’ is a fired-up fairytale of destined journeys and the fight between good and evil… it is a reference-filled religious rambling, which exists only in its own little world… but most importantly it is confident in its cool-factor, creative in its world building and playful with its complexity. ‘The Matrix’ might not be petrol-fueled rocket science… but it might just be petrology-fueled… because it f*cking rocks!




_______________________
1. Matrix – the fine-grained portion of a rock in which coarser crystals or rock fragments are embedded.




Inglourious Basterds
(2009 Quentin Tarantino)

I liked most of the movie and that's why I hate Tarantino!

It's those annoying extra doo-dads that he adds that drive me crazy. It's like the guy doesn't know when to stop decorating the cake. Sure Orson Welles was showing off his cinematography in Citizen Kane, but Orson Welles had style, whilst Tarantino only has a meager dose of carnival style. I remember going to K-Mart shopping when I was a kid, what a tacky store that was, Tarantino would've loved it, especially the blue light special.

But credit where credit is due. Tarantino knows how to cast a film and how to write a scene and how to write interesting dialogue, but he goes way to long in all the important scenes. There's a point of no return, where a scene goes and goes and the viewer is satisfied and that's enough. Many directors, actually most directors will rush a scene and make it all too brief. Tarantino doesn't do that, but there's a point reached in each of the scenes where I found myself growing bored. Take the basement bar scene, I really liked it, but then it went to long and I lost interest.

I know a lot of people love slasher films and so love how Tarantino lingers on each kill shot and milks it for all it's worth. And that doesn't gross me out, but it puts me in the mind of a John Carpenter B movie and makes what I'm watching seem all the more silly and that's a shame because I liked the bulk of the movie.

Though the most silliness comes from Tarantino's ecliptic sound score. I found the score so loud that at points it made me focus directly on the music, then I had to reach for the remote to turn the volume down.

And I certainly could do without the inane labels that appear on the screen, ugh! And the convoluted and completely over the top ending, pure cheese. In fact cheese must be Tarantino's middle name and I bet he spells it: Velveeta.

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Inglourious Basterds
(2009 Quentin Tarantino)

I liked most of the movie and that's why I hate Tarantino!
It's those annoying extra doo-dads that he adds that drive me crazy. It's like the guy doesn't know when to stop decorating the cake. Sure Orson Welles was showing off his cinematography in Citizen Kane, but Orson Welles had style, whilst Tarantino only has a meager dose of carnival style. I remember going to K-Mart shopping when I was a kid, what a tacky store that was, Tarantino would've loved it, especially the blue light special.

But credit where credit is due. Tarantino knows how to cast a film and how to write a scene and how to write interesting dialogue, but he goes way to long in all the important scenes. There's a point of no return, where a scene goes and goes and the viewer is satisfied and that's enough. Many directors, actually most directors will rush a scene and make it all too brief. Tarantino doesn't do that, but there's a point reached in each of the scenes where I found myself growing bored. Take the basement bar scene, I really liked it, but then it went to long and I lost interest.

I know a lot of people love slasher films and so love how Tarantino lingers on each kill shot and milks it for all it's worth. And that doesn't gross me out, but it puts me in the mind of a John Carpenter B movie and makes what I'm watching seem all the more silly and that's a shame because I liked the bulk of the movie.

Though the most silliness comes from Tarantino's ecliptic sound score. I found the score so loud that at points it made me focus directly on the music, then I had to reach for the remote to turn the volume down.

And I certainly could do without the inane labels that appear on the screen, ugh! And the convoluted and completely over the top ending, pure cheese. In fact cheese must be Tarantino's middle name and I bet he spells it: Velveeta.

Knew this was coming LOL

thanks for giving it another try though!