The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II

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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Killing




This film could easily have gotten another half popcorn if it weren't for a laughable ending. The damn dog is his undoing?

The Killing is early Kubrick, so early it felt like a Hitchcock film to me. The film plays out like the lead character of Johnny, meticulously and efficiently. The camera work here is quite impressive for it being one of Kubrick's earlier works. He sure does love his tracking shots.

The film oozes with film noir style and he populates the film with memorable characters. Some of the supporting roles of the men in the heist could have used a bit more fleshing out, but I feel like I'm nitpicking a bit here. The dialogue is fast, the characters fit the bill and it was suspenseful as hell. I was hoping that Johnny would get on that plane and felt like Kubrick being more or less a cold and calculating filmmaker, would let him win at the end. But the damn dog....
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



The Killing




This film could easily have gotten another half popcorn if it weren't for a laughable ending. The damn dog is his undoing?
Well, what's wrong with that? The best laid plans, after all...



I've seen The Killing twice and I don't remember the dog scene. The Killing is a solid noir and often gets compared to John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (similar story and both have Sterling Hayden), which I like better.



Kramer vs Kramer and Ordinary People sometimes seem to get a bad rap because they won Best Pic over classics Apocalypse Now and Raging Bull. Sure, the latter have had more staying power and they may be better films but that doesn't take away how good the former films are.

Platoon used to be my fav war film. Not so much anymore but it's still very good. Tom Berenger steals every scene he's in as Sgt. Barnes. One of the best movie bad guys ever.



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I've seen The Killing twice and I don't remember the dog scene. The Killing is a solid noir and often gets compared to John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle (similar story and both have Sterling Hayden), which I like better.
I also prefer The Asphalt Jungle.



The trick is not minding
Kramer vs Kramer and Ordinary People sometimes seem to get a bad rap because they won Best Pic over classics Apocalypse Now and Raging Bull. Sure, the latter have had more staying power and they may be better films but that doesn't take away how good the former films are.

Platoon used to be my fav war film. Not so much anymore but it's still very good. Tom Berenger steals every scene he's in as Sgt. Barnes. One of the best movie bad guys ever.
Agreed with the comments on Kramer vs Kramer and Ordinary People. Both are great films in their own right.



the breakfast club

very glad this was nominated for me so i can finally say i've seen it, but as i suspected, it wasn't really for me. perhaps i would've enjoyed it more if i saw it in high school, but i was an even bigger film snob then so it's doubtful. it's a tough movie to assess these days for two reasons. first, i don't think these stereotypes really exist in high school anymore, at least not in the same way. i was in high school not that long ago and there definitely weren't the same delineations. i certainly don't really see myself in any one of these characters in particular, but whatever. i don't think self-identification is necessary to enjoy a piece of cinema, even if this movie kinda begs for it more than most. the bigger problem is that the "jock/nerd/goth/bully with more to them than meets the eye" has itself become a well-worn trope, and at this point probably induces an even bigger eye-roll than a purely one-dimensional archetype. i still give this movie credit because it was clearly an interesting take for its time and i believe in appreciating films within their historical context. but on the other hand, cinema has been subverting archetypes for as long as they've been a thing, this is just maybe one of the first to make that its Whole Thing and place it in such a ubiquitous setting.

my main problem is just that i struggle with any movie that so obviously turns all of its subtext into text. i guess it's defensible here because of the essay conceit, but it's still pretty lame for a film to just blatantly state its thesis statement in voiceover at both the beginning and ending. there's basically no subtlety to be found anywhere in this thing. even the moments of character development often come about in ways that feel sorta contrived. every line of dialogue is basically "SEE, WE TOLD YOU THESE CHARACTERS HAD DEPTH." there were some resonant moments, particularly in the final big conversation they have as a group, but it kinda undercuts all that goodwill with a pretty despicable ending. i get that it was a different time, but i can't get behind any ending that expects us to take it as some sort of unambiguous triumph when molly ringwald gets with the guy who has done nothing but torment and sexually harass her all day. likewise, ally sheedy was clearly the coolest person there, and yet we know it's a happy ending because now she looks "normal" and can get with the jock, clearly what every teenage girl must aspire to. basically the movie posits that the only reason to have any individuality at all is because you're lost and coping with your tough life, and the solution is to conform as much as possible and get laid so you can be happy. unless you're a short nerd, then you're outta luck, sorry.

but i did like some stuff about it. the performances are generally pretty good, mainly because you genuinely get a sense throughout that the characters don't know why they're doing the things they do. paul gleason of course plays a good fascist. i think there was one throwaway line that made me laugh pretty good, and i always appreciate the absurdity of a superfluous dance montage. i really do think the concept of the film is quite compelling and it's extremely easy to see why so many people have been drawn to it for decades. if you can get past how obvious and on-the-nose it all is, i do think it was fairly well-constructed in terms of pacing and economically establishing its characters. i was never really bored and didn't have a bad time watching it for the most part, it just wasn't for me.

also i'm pretty sure nobody involved in the production of this movie had ever smoked weed in their life.

+
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Most Biblical movies were long If I Recall.
seen A Clockwork Orange. In all honesty, the movie was weird and silly
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I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
All of that is pretty much how I feel about The Breakfast Club. Except the bit about being in high school recently.



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
The Maltese Falcon




I liked this one, but I feel like I should have watched it before Double Indemnity. I donít want to say it is inferior, but it definitely took a bit longer for me to be invested in this one. I knew going in how much of a McGuffin the Falcon was, but that didnít bother me.

Loved the dialogue, the performances from the supporting cast was strong and of course it oozed the noir style. Oddly enough, I consider Bogart the weakest link here.

Thanks for the rec.