The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame

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PLOT:: A timid stranger tells an FBI agent the story of how he and his brother were witness to murders committed by their father, which he did as orders from God

Love when I enjoy a film that I had never, ever heard of before.

Usually with these American films set in the past; they're quite nostalgic, have beautiful visuals of the sunshine on white picket fence houses and have some sort of story of the main characters adventuring across the town. Not this film though. This film gives quite a claustrophobic view of this time period; Most of the film takes place in the house as the main character is under control of his father. Not a major reason as to why the film is good, but it's just a minor point that I enjoyed.
Acting was very good. Bill Paxton does a great job at pulling off that 'traditional religious dad' vibe. Matt O'Leary gives a pretty good performance too. The story is pretty great; The tale of a young person being under the control of their guardians except they're mentally unwell, is a tragic but entertaining story concept to explore. Lots of creepy and effective story beats, and one excellent jumpscare! Music was effective. Thematically it's also strong; It's an exaggeration of how an overly religious parent can be bad for a developing child, a problem that is probably frequent in more Southern parts of America. Visually it was very good, especially the scene where older Fenton is talking with the policeman in the car; The way their faces are half cast in shadow one minute and then a passing light over them the next, a very nice image.

WARNING: spoilers below
Nice to see a story for once where the twist ending ISN'T spoiled for me in advance! Looking back at the film the twist makes sense; Adam is very vague on certain parts of his narration as he can't truly know what his brother's inner monologue was.

I feel @cricket nominated this one, great film
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PLOT:: A timid stranger tells an FBI agent the story of how he and his brother were witness to murders committed by their father, which he did as orders from God

I feel @cricket nominated this one, great film
I've not heard of that one before, I bet it's Cricket's choice too.





25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
Imdb

Date Watched: 03/28/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame, No clue who chose it
Rewatch: No.


I remember watching Do the Right Thing years ago and thinking that it had strong performances and a lot of tension, but it somehow just left me feeling cold. I was really hoping for a different outcome here.

That didn't happen. The outcome was the same. Edward Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Rosario Dawson and Brian Cox all gave strong, convincing performances (I suppose Anna Paquin did, too, but I found her very annoying - which is typically what I think of her anyway), but failed to really draw me in. The only one of them that I felt even a little for was Hoffman's character, and that really was only because his so-called "friends" were so s***ty to him (I mean, come on, if you're going to be a douchebag, fine, but at least have the decency not to be one to the people you claim to like).

Ultimately, this is one of those films that falls into the category of things I respect but don't actually enjoy.

+



I may try to tackle Judgment at Nuremberg today since I don't work. I won't be able to get to Near Dark until Wednesday or Thursday. After that I'm just waiting on CaptainT's nomination.



Didn't think much of it the first time, loved it the next time. 1 of 3 favorites from Spike Lee besides Do the Right Thing and Summer of Sam, with that latter one being a movie I'd definitely recommend for Miss Vicky.





Judgment at Nuremberg (Stanley Kramer, 1961)
Imdb

Date Watched: 03/29/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame, No clue who chose it
Rewatch: No.


I don't especially care for courtroom dramas and that's for much the same reason as why I generally dislike films that rely heavily on narration: I want to see what happened, not be told about it. I haven't got the attention span to sit there for hours listening to a story. I don't watch movies to just hear people talking - and oh boy is there a whole lot of talking in this three hour long film.

Which is not to say that the film is bad. It isn't. If I were one for this sort of film, I'd probably love it. The performances are strong - if a bit too melodramatic at times - and the story is an important one, but the incessant talking, punctuated by moments of deafening shouting, kept me from feeling more than a vague sense of sadness and anger.

In fact the only time I felt any truly strong emotion was when it showed actual footage from the camps - footage of the bodies of victims being bulldozed into a mass grave, of more emaciated bodies piled high awaiting disposal, of skeletal remains in the "ovens," and of the still living victims with their haunting stares and gaunt faces. But how much credit can I really give the film for that? It is not a documentary, it's a drama. I acknowledge the fact that its makers had the guts to use such footage when others of the time might have shied away, but in the end Judgment at Nuremberg also falls onto that long list of films that I respect - and I respect it a lot - but don't actually enjoy.

-



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?

PLOT:: A timid stranger tells an FBI agent the story of how he and his brother were witness to murders committed by their father, which he did as orders from God

Love when I enjoy a film that I had never, ever heard of before.

Usually with these American films set in the past; they're quite nostalgic, have beautiful visuals of the sunshine on white picket fence houses and have some sort of story of the main characters adventuring across the town. Not this film though. This film gives quite a claustrophobic view of this time period; Most of the film takes place in the house as the main character is under control of his father. Not a major reason as to why the film is good, but it's just a minor point that I enjoyed.
Acting was very good. Bill Paxton does a great job at pulling off that 'traditional religious dad' vibe. Matt O'Leary gives a pretty good performance too. The story is pretty great; The tale of a young person being under the control of their guardians except they're mentally unwell, is a tragic but entertaining story concept to explore. Lots of creepy and effective story beats, and one excellent jumpscare! Music was effective. Thematically it's also strong; It's an exaggeration of how an overly religious parent can be bad for a developing child, a problem that is probably frequent in more Southern parts of America. Visually it was very good, especially the scene where older Fenton is talking with the policeman in the car; The way their faces are half cast in shadow one minute and then a passing light over them the next, a very nice image.

WARNING: spoilers below
Nice to see a story for once where the twist ending ISN'T spoiled for me in advance! Looking back at the film the twist makes sense; Adam is very vague on certain parts of his narration as he can't truly know what his brother's inner monologue was.

I feel @cricket nominated this one, great film
r
WARNING: "In TOTAL agreement" spoilers below
egarding the twist ending. Loved it the first time I saw this a couple of years after it came out.
Was not expecting it and it raised my enjoyment of the film immensely


Had a strong feeling you'd enjoy this when I saw it in your nomination list
__________________
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?


25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
Imdb

Date Watched: 03/28/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame, No clue who chose it
Rewatch: No.


Ultimately, this is one of those films that falls into the category of things I respect but don't actually enjoy.

+
Been TOO long since I saw this (when it first came out) to make a guess at how'd react to it -- not that I have ANY clue at all about such things lol



Judgment at Nuremberg (Stanley Kramer, 1961)
Imdb

Date Watched: 03/29/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame, No clue who chose it
Rewatch: No.

I acknowledge the fact that its makers had the guts to use such footage when others of the time might have shied away, but in the end Judgment at Nuremberg also falls onto that long list of films that I respect - and I respect it a lot - but don't actually enjoy.

-
BUT - I did guess this reaction though.

Helluva courtroom drama



So after watching a very good movie whose title I often misspell, Miss Vicky only has 1 or maybe/hopefully 2 movies left. She embarrasses us peasants.



Strangers on a Train 1951 Directed by Alfred Hitchcock


Famous pro tennis player meets a witty but mischievous stranger on a train ride who proposes a bizarre 'perfect' plan to execute a double homicide without getting caught.

Longtime Hitchcock fan here so no surprise I enjoyed this movie a lot. The master of suspense delivers once again for me. Strangers on a Train is a well directed and well balanced mix of Style, Romance, Suspense, Oscar nominated Cinematography and Music. Hitchcock also displays his great eye for detail here and the usage of an object that is of major importance to the plot. *spoiler In this case an engraved lighter.

Currently my 11th favorite Hitchcock but that doesn't mean Strangers on a Train is not a great certified classic, just that the other ten were slightly better or more perfectly executed.
Glad to finally cross off my list, thank you for nominating, wild guess: HashtagBrownies?

★★★★
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The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible


Judgment at Nuremberg (Stanley Kramer, 1961)
Imdb

Date Watched: 03/29/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame, No clue who chose it
Rewatch: No.


I don't especially care for courtroom dramas and that's for much the same reason as why I generally dislike films that rely heavily on narration: I want to see what happened, not be told about it. I haven't got the attention span to sit there for hours listening to a story. I don't watch movies to just hear people talking - and oh boy is there a whole lot of talking in this three hour long film.

Which is not to say that the film is bad. It isn't. If I were one for this sort of film, I'd probably love it. The performances are strong - if a bit too melodramatic at times - and the story is an important one, but the incessant talking, punctuated by moments of deafening shouting, kept me from feeling more than a vague sense of sadness and anger.

In fact the only time I felt any truly strong emotion was when it showed actual footage from the camps - footage of the bodies of victims being bulldozed into a mass grave, of more emaciated bodies piled high awaiting disposal, of skeletal remains in the "ovens," and of the still living victims with their haunting stares and gaunt faces. But how much credit can I really give the film for that? It is not a documentary, it's a drama. I acknowledge the fact that its makers had the guts to use such footage when others of the time might have shied away, but in the end Judgment at Nuremberg also falls onto that long list of films that I respect - and I respect it a lot - but don't actually enjoy.

-
OK,
- from you is good enough for me. I knew it was a risky pick because you have very specific tastes, but I couldn't recall any review from you to a similar film.

Also, I'm really sorry about the runtime, I watched this so many times and I still forgot how long it was!



The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Strangers on a Train 1951 Directed by Alfred Hitchcock


Glad to finally cross off my list, thank you for nominating,
You're welcome




Mary and Max
Directed by Adam Elliot

Mary and Max are two lonesome souls looking for a friend. Boy did I have this one pegged wrong. While I wouldn't hesitate to show it to the right kid it's not a film directed at kids. Mary is young girl in Australia who develops a pen pal relationship with the middle aged Max, who lives in New York City. Their relationship evolves over years of writing to each other and is like any relationship: sometimes it's up and sometimes it's down.

Mary and Max is less about plot and more about the characters. Most of the plot is delivered by an unknown narrator. The characters are developed through their letters to each other where they bare everything - warts and all. Mary is a quiet little girl dealing with a less than ideal homelife and school bullies. Max is an fortysomething, overweight Jewish man dealing with mental and social issues. Their letters are our only insights into how they feel and they're sometimes hilarious but often very sad. These are not happy people. The only joy in their lives is seeing a new letter/package in the mailbox. By the time the movie ends you really feel like you know Mary and Max.

The animation is good and is where a lot of the laughs come from. Watching a few old guys take a dip in some freezing water, nothing really funny about that in and of itself but because of the animation, it was hilarious. Also, the animation lightens the blow for some of what Mary and Max are telling us. If this was a live action film it could have been Requiem for a Dream level depressing. You laugh, at times, at things that shouldn't be funny. It's a credit to the director because that's a tough balancing act and they pull it off really well. As for the pallette, it's all shades of grey. You aren't going to get any "Ooooooohhhh, it's so colorful!" The colors match the characters.

About the only other thing I can say is if you haven't seen it, see it. It'll make you laugh, it may even make you cry. It's so good I've already recommended it to a couple of people and I think I know who nominated it.




Famous pro tennis player meets a witty but mischievous stranger on a train ride who proposes a bizarre 'perfect' plan to execute a double homicide without getting caught.
This is a top 3 Hitch for me. I can't remember the guys name but whoever played the Stranger was fantastic. One of the best movie bad guys ever.



whoever played the Stranger was fantastic. One of the best movie bad guys ever.
Agreed! Robert Walker as Bruno Anthony was a great and very charismatic psycho/bad guy.