25th Hall of Fame


BlacKkKlansman (2018) -

More than happy to watch this film again as it's one of my favorites of the 2010's. One thing I like about it is how it provides middle ground to both races. This extends to the police as one of the cops is corrupt and even the black characters such as Ron's love interest Patrice, who believes all cops are racist. Speaking of her, the love interest sub-plot doesn't feel tacked on as her character adds a lot to Ron's arc such as her differentiating views on the police which challenge Ron's own beliefs and how she requests for him to fight to grant power for all people, not just his race. I also really enjoyed the acting. Even though John David Washington wasn't as experienced of an actor as Denzel Washington, he was able to capture the energy and subtlety of his father in this role. I also like how there's so many memorable scenes in this film. For example, the various suspenseful moments or Lee humorously mocking the KKK in various scenes (like a scene of them having an over-the-top positive reaction to The Birth of a Nation) are great. In fact, even a simple scene of Felix and Connie lying in bed where they talk about how their marriage has been enriched throughout the years has darker implications since they list the KKK as one of the main reasons for this. While some people call Lee's films convoluted due to all the ideas he crams in them, they shouldn't find that issue here as the thematic montages are cleverly woven into the film, giving a bookend structure to it. The opening minutes detail the U.S.'s long history with racism, and the conclusion to this timeline serves as a chilling reminder that despite what Ron accomplished in this film, we've yet to see an end to racism and the fight still goes on. It's a bold and striking message which any director who'd turn this story into Oscar bait wouldn't dare to go near. Overall, it's an excellent film and I'm glad I got to rewatch it for this thread.

Next up: Chimes at Midnight

Les Miserables (1935)

Like I said when I saw this nominated, this is a story told I think 6 or 7 times in film. So for me the viewer the question is do I judge the film that's presented and simply ignore the cuts and changes they've made? How about do I judge the film by it's limitations how all of the characters have different accents and the timeline really doesn't add up. Do we judge Laughton not aging and March aging at a hysterical pace...I mean how old is Jean Valjean supposed to even be at the end of the film.

I haven't seen any of Richard Boleslawski's work before so I don't know if this is on him or the studio. Visually the film is fine though noticeably a step below it's contemporaries. The male performances are solid..Laughton is definitely a great Javert, he's the highlight of the film. Fatine on the other hand is done dirty, 90% of her story is cut and she's often considered the big lead of the story. Cosette is fine though the child and adult seem to have completely different accents so that's another reason I didn't care for it. Though fun fact little Cosette has outlived them all and is still alive at 95.

But when it's all said the done the film was just okay and fine to me. I didn't hate it I just hated that I knew all the shortcuts, edits, and different ways the story was told.

cricket's Avatar
Registered User
Even though John David Washington wasn't as experienced of an actor as Denzel Washington, he was able to capture the energy and subtlety of his father in this role.
I had no idea he was Denzel's son, and I remember when I watched it with my wife she said he reminded her of him. It still didn't occur to me, I just teased her saying ok now I know how you are having to compare the black actor to Denzel. It's been a couple of years but I remember thinking the dude was one of the highlights of the movie.

Vertigo (1958)

Sight and Sound decided that this was the greatest film of all time over Citizen Kane. The bar gets raised fairly high for films, and you wonder why this is considered Hitchcock's best. I certainly would call it his magnum opus a sprawling epic of a story that blends noir, mystery, romance, and drama. Visually it's likely Hitch's most distinct film, he takes wide shots of San Francisco and it just looks gorgeous. A film like this should really be experienced on a wide screen.

This might also be Jimmy Stewarts finest work as an actor. Stewart plays a confirmed bachelor who was once a lawyer, then a detective, then a PI all while remaining wealthy. His mental instability is hinted at earlier and builds throughout the course of the story. Though naturally you have to wonder about the mental treatment of the character, if he's seeing things or depressed or something else. But Vertigo is also a detective story that doesn't really involve much detection. In a lot of ways Vertigo is a strange story.

Kim Novak is spectacular in this playing duel roles, she manages to really go through the full gambit of emotions. Hitchcock's taste in music and lighting is also very good. My only real complaint is that the mystery is pretty dry and obvious and the ending kinda comes out of nowhere, I don't think it really worked for the character.

But still it's a great film and a worthy entrant in this hall, just not a top five Hitchcock film for me.

Vertigo is not a top 5 Hitch for me either unless next viewing changes that. Still, a real good one though.

I don't get the love for Vertigo. Other than the on-location San Francisco shooting which looks great, the movie itself has some major flaws. Hitch has better films.

rbrayer's Avatar
Registered User
He's almost done with the Asian HoF. The deadline for that one is coming up soon so he's probably working on finishing that HoF before starting this one.
Exactly. I've got one more film to see and 2 more reviews, so nearly done and ready to shift over.

Les Misérables (1935)
Directed By: Richard Boleslawski
Starring: Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Rochelle Hudson

Given that Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is one of the longest novels ever written, Boleslawski's film clocking in at a mere 109 minutes was a very pleasant surprise. I appreciated the concise runtime, even if certain events and explanations sometimes felt a little rushed. I've never read the original book, nor seen any of the other adaptations, so this was my first exposure to the story outside of a vague familiarity its presence in pop culture has given me over the years.

Fredric March and Charles Laughton are fantastic as Valjean and Javert, though Laughton was criminally underused. I would've liked to have seen more of his perspective, and why he felt a compulsive need to pursue the law to the very letter. The other performances in the film were all serviceable, with the exception of Cedric Hardwicke as the bishop. He sounded quite disinterested, and almost as though he were half-heartedly reading his lines from off screen.

Les Misérables was an easy watch, and I was quite engaged with the story through to the end. I was quite impressed with the film, thinking it was made a decade or so later than it actually was. I was honestly surprised to be reminded that it's over 85 years old. I obviously can't speak to whether or not it is a good adaptation, or compare it to other versions of the story, musical or otherwise, but I will say that it serves as a good introduction to Hugo's classic tale.

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