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Make that 4, pal!



Seriously, though... I still have 4 films to watch, but considering I've already seen 2 of them, I guess it's as good a time as any to say that this has been a really great batch of films you've all recommended. It's my first HOF here and it has been a real joy. I'm already puzzling over how the hell I will rank 3 or 4 at the top. Thanks to everybody.
Been fun having a few of you new people here to keep the HOF spirit alive!



I have two pending reviews here, but after seeing The Secret In Their Eyes last night, I have to get this off my chest... that stadium long take was pretty insane, wasn't it?
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Make that 4, pal!



Seriously, though... I still have 4 films to watch, but considering I've already seen 2 of them, I guess it's as good a time as any to say that this has been a really great batch of films you've all recommended. It's my first HOF here and it has been a real joy. I'm already puzzling over how the hell I will rank 3 or 4 at the top. Thanks to everybody.
I'm rooting for you! You can do it too. I see that you watch movies all the time and post about them in the Rate the Last Movie you Saw thread, so you'll be fine and finish in time Good to have you! And all the new people here! Hope everyone joins the 25th which yours truly is hosting



I'm rooting for you! You can do it too. I see that you watch movies all the time and post about them in the Rate the Last Movie you Saw thread, so you'll be fine and finish in time Good to have you! And all the new people here! Hope everyone joins the 25th which yours truly is hosting
I've settled in on a nomination for that one already. Really excited to hear everyone's opinion on it!



HARD TIMES
(1975, Hill)
A film with a title that starts with the letters G or H



"I don't look past the next bend in the road"

That's how hardened and stoic street fighter Chaney (Charles Bronson) describes himself to Lucy. Simply put, there's not much to say about Chaney, but he gets the job done, quick and efficiently. Which is something we can say about Walter Hill's debut film.

Set in the 1930s, Hard Times follows the struggles of Chaney, who moves from town to town making ends meet in illegal street fights. His pedigree and schedule sorta ramps up when he pairs up with Speed (James Coburn), a shady hustler that wants to make money off of him, which also puts him at odds with some dangerous elements.

Like Chaney, there's a simplicity to the film that I think works to its advantage. There's not a lot of figuring out what's going on. We just see this man go from fight to fight, and be supremely cool about it. There are attempts to flesh him out, particularly with his interactions with Lucy (Jill Ireland), a married woman with whom he gets involved. But there's not much around that bend for them either.

Speed, on the other hand, felt like a more complex character. I really liked how hard it was to peg him down, and I thought Coburn played that ambiguity really well. They are joined by Strother Martin, who plays Poe, a disgraced doctor that becomes Chaney's cutman, but as good as Martin is, he doesn't have much to do.

As Chaney moves up the ranks, he is often described as reliable and efficient. My experience with Hill's work is limited, but it seems that he abides by that same rule. Hard Times is not a complex film at all; it's rather simple. But it's as reliable and efficient as it can be, and much like those fights, a lot of fun to watch.

Grade:



I have two pending reviews here, but after seeing The Secret In Their Eyes last night, I have to get this off my chest... that stadium long take was pretty insane, wasn't it?
Sadly, the opening bit didn't involve an actual helicopter

But yes, I agree. It's a terrific sequence.



Sadly, the opening bit didn't involve an actual helicopter

But yes, I agree. It's a terrific sequence.



The trick is not minding
Review for Antwone Fisher will be up later tonight.
Barry Lyndon is next.

Is Neiba still in this? I literally havenít seen him post in about a month now



THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES
(2009, Campanella)
A drama film



"If you keep going over the past, you're going to end up with a thousand pasts and no future."

That's the advice that agent BenjamŪn Esposito (Ricardo DarŪn) gets at one point on this film from Argentina. And yet, many of the characters seem to be caught up in the past for different reasons: from the desire for revenge, their quest for answers, or their longing for love. Will they be willing to leave the "jurisdiction" of the past and look forward instead?

The Secret in Their Eyes uses a nonlinear narrative moving back and forth between the 1970s and the 1990s. It follows Esposito, a former deputy in Buenos Aires who investigated the rape and murder of a young woman that didn't end up the way he would've wanted. Two decades later, he's still haunted by it and starts writing a novel about it.

Esposito is assisted in his investigation by Pablo Sandoval (Guillermo Francella), an alcoholic but dependable friend, and Irene (Soledad Villamil), his superior who reluctantly helps him at first, but eventually realizes that he might be right about the investigation. Even though Esposito and Irene are obviously smitten with each other, they never dare to share their feelings to each other.

I didn't know much about this film before I started watching it, but it certainly wasn't what I expected, in a good way. The film manages to tread along different genres without losing a beat: whether it's a psychological thriller, a crime drama, or even tinges of historic epic, with how it weaves Argentina's historical and political history into the plot.

The thrilling aspect of it is evident all through the film, particularly during two scenes: a breathtaking sequence in a soccer stadium, which features a 5-minute long shot that had me on the edge of my seat all the way, and a supremely tense elevator ride. But the care that director and co-writer Juan Josť Campanella gives each character makes for an extremely rewarding experience in terms of their development and depth, and the actors' performances back that up.

I do think that the film is perhaps 10-20 minutes too long, and my cynical self thinks that the epilogue wasn't entirely necessary, but the truth is that after 2+ hours of following this characters as they keep going over the past, it was earned to see them move on and look forward to a future.

Grade:



Is Neiba still in this? I literally havenít seen him post in about a month now
I think somebody said that he usually swoops in late and completes it, but I don't know. MoFo's know him better than I do.



The trick is not minding
I think somebody said that he usually swoops in late and completes it, but I don't know. MoFo's know him better than I do.
He usually does yeah, but with about 12 days to go and about 7 or 8 films to review yet, itís pushing it.



La Dolce Vita and The Day of the Jackal being almost 3 hours is really messing up my schedule Not to mention Barry Lyndon being a little over 3!



La Dolce Vita and The Day of the Jackal being almost 3 hours is really messing up my schedule Not to mention Barry Lyndon being a little over 3!
You can do it!



I've seen Barry Lyndon before, so there's that too... and I have plenty of time, I guess, for the 4 ones I have left, but being 3 hours means I have to either split it in two nights or wait for the weekends



Review for Antwone Fisher will be up later tonight.
Barry Lyndon is next.

Is Neiba still in this? I literally havenít seen him post in about a month now
Between him and Suspect I wouldn't hold my breath at all. I'm really hoping everyone else can make it.



I've seen Barry Lyndon before, so there's that too... and I have plenty of time, I guess, for the 4 ones I have left, but being 3 hours means I have to either split it in two nights or wait for the weekends
If you can knock out like 2 this weekend I'd say your in good shape!



The trick is not minding
Between him and Suspect I wouldn't hold my breath at all. I'm really hoping everyone else can make it.
Yeah, I have Antwone Fisher finished. Just need to do a review (incoming) and then watch Barry Lyndon, which I own, this week. Iíll probably watch Beast of the Southern Wild regardless, as itís been on my watch list for years



I've seen Barry Lyndon before, so there's that too... and I have plenty of time, I guess, for the 4 ones I have left, but being 3 hours means I have to either split it in two nights or wait for the weekends
La Dolce Vita might be even better when it's split into 2 or even 3 parts.



The trick is not minding
Antwone Fisher

The true story of a young man, with a bright future, a dark past and anger issues. Heís enlisted in the Navy, and after an early skirmish, heís forced to undergo counseling with a therapist, played by Denzel Washington who also directed.

What follows is a familiar film, covering the same themes as Good Will Hunting, although not as good as GWH. Itís a still a good film though.

What centers it is two decent performances from Derek Luke as Fisher, and Washington himself. Washington does well in his debut as a director. Itís nothing particularly amazing, but there are a few scenes worth noticing. In particular, the scene where Fisher recounts a moment from his childhood and Washington faded into the darkness as he does so.

There are some issues. The ending is too long and tries a little too hard to establish the happy ending for Fisher.
I also felt that there wasnít nearly enough attention towards Denzels marriage, of which there were clearly issues. It would have been nice to see more of that and not a simple glossing over at the end.
Still, itís a decent film.