ahwell's Top 100 Movies - 2020

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Psycho? Now we're talking. Brilliant film and a great choice. Liked your write up too.

I seem to remember in the long distance past myself and @rauldc14 doing a commentary on it. Am I right about that, raul?
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Psycho? Now we're talking. Brilliant film and a great choice. Liked your write up too.

I seem to remember in the long distance past myself and @rauldc14 doing a commentary on it. Am I right about that, raul?
That is correct! Super fun time!





25. The Godfather Part II (1974)


Somehow Coppola constructed six full hours of flawless filmmaking with I and II combined. That's incredible, to be able to develop characters, places, and the plot over that massive run time and keep it interesting, relevant, and fresh. Most people I guess like to pretend Part III doesn't exist, but since I haven't seen it I'll just say these two movies represent film at it's most powerful. There is Nothing subpar here.

The way this film is lighted is so brilliant (just like the first). The interiors are dark, shadowy, confined. We see half of a character's face while the other half fades away into the darkness. It makes for wonderful scenes of watching two characters interact, and having to guess at what their full reaction might be. Coppola utilizes this way of making the viewer infer a lot of the emotions and plot advancements.

What I especially love about Part II is the fact that we get two separate worlds for Coppola to experiment with (a luxury he didn't have with the original). The first is obviously Michael's plot line - his issues with money, the law, Roth, and eventually his own family. The second takes us back to the very beginnings of Vito's life. It's there where Coppola's style really pops out, as he uses vibrant colors, brightly lit scenes, and lots of outdoor locations to present a less sinister (but just as dangerous) world. The production design is absolutely beautiful, you feel as if you are living in the 1910s Italian New York.

To me, Part II feels almost more poetic than Part I. Yes there are the bombastic scenes of assassinations, Italian people yelling, and parties. But we also get these quiet, intensely emotional moments where the world around us stops and we get to experience the character's emotions through their face. The very final shot, of Michael sitting in his chair - that is poetry. There is no look of anger on his face, or perhaps sadness. And I'm not sure we're even supposed to sympathize with him in Part II. But there is immense longing and passion in his face.

Another scene - when Kay tells Michael about the abortion. That's perhaps the most emotionally devastating in the whole three hour event. It's like something out of "A Woman Under the Influence"; Very real, very raw, and we get sucked in by the immense pain and emotion of these characters and what they're going through. Really powerful stuff.

So yes, in many ways, Part II is a more emotional, more heartfelt story than Part I. It's three hour timespan literally flies by, I would have been fine with another hour. Every scene and little moment just seems so important to me, and even if it wasn't important I'm still so invested in each characters, even the ones I hate.

Part II not only provides context for Part I (as we learn more about Vito's early life) but develops Michael's character. His arc from Part 1 to Part II is incredible, like a real person. Yes, he doesn't change so much in Part II, but his coldness, his lack of compassion in the end, make for a bitter conclusion to the story. Michael has thrown away both his "family" and his family. He is power hungry, easily maddened, compulsive and cold blooded. He orders the death of his own brother, and takes no chances in other areas too. It's honestly depressing.

I guess my point is; anything with Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro CO-STARRING and acting their guts out (both young hehe) is not about to be anything below a 4.5.
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27. Parasite (2019)

I haven't seen Parasite, and I know very little about it, but it's one of the few foreign movies that I want to see.
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24. The Shining (1980)

In an odd way, this is one of Kubrick's most optmistic films, in that 2 of its 3 main characters are actually good and redeemable, unlike something such as A Clockwork Orange, Strangelove, or even Barry Lyndon. So in that sense, the Shining is one of his warmer movies; combined with Duvall's absolutely incredible performance, we feel actual empathy and emotions towards Wendy and Danny - and by the end, we share the same utter fear of Jack as them.

But at that point, Jack is no longer himself. He is a monster, driven mad by a motive that Kubrick curiously never makes clear. It's interesting how vague his descent to insanity is; we see him act "normally" at the beginning, yet one month later... something has clearly happened. We don't see Jack "go mad". We simply see his actions become more and more severe.

The Shining transcends other horror movies because it doesn't go for silly jump scares and meaningless screaming (although there is quite a bit of screaming, just not meaningless). It legitimately delves so well into the psyches of its characters and its location, to the point that we feel we are living in the hotel too.

The hotel as a character being an entirely different discussion. It lives and breaths just like Wendy or Jack or Danny. Every time Kubrick gives us a long tracking shot of Wendy walking or Danny walking you can almost feel the floor, walls, and doors slowly eyeing up its newest prey.

Plus, the Shining in general feels so scarily relevant during these times. While things are starting to ease up, for a while there (and still not near finished) we have been cooped up in our houses with our family and our devices. Of course most of us won't go absolutely berserk like Jack - however there is a certain mental drainage that happens when you are closed in by four walls for 24 hours a day. What did Norman Bates in Psycho say? "We all go a little crazy sometimes."

The Shining digs so deep, and there's so much thematic material to explore here. If you check out my 2001 and Barry Lyndon reviews you may notice I can have a tough time talking about first time Kubrick watches. The thing is, these aren't one-time watch movies. I expect to return to the riches this movie offers time and time again; it is Kubrick telling us that while darkness exists, so does good moral foundation. I guess that's a step forward from A Clockwork Orange



In an odd way, this is one of Kubrick's most optmistic films, in that 2 of its 3 main characters are actually good and redeemable, unlike something such as A Clockwork Orange, Strangelove, or even Barry Lyndon.
Just curious but aren't most of the main characters in Dr. Strangelove good? Mandrake and the President are good people caught in a bad situation through no fault of their own. I wouldn't consider Major Kong a bad guy either. Gen. Ripper is bad, no doubt about him but even Buck is more stupid than bad.



🥺❤️RIP Shannen Doherty❤️🥺


24. The Shining (1980)

In an odd way, this is one of Kubrick's most optmistic films, in that 2 of its 3 main characters are actually good and redeemable, unlike something such as A Clockwork Orange, Strangelove, or even Barry Lyndon. So in that sense, the Shining is one of his warmer movies; combined with Duvall's absolutely incredible performance, we feel actual empathy and emotions towards Wendy and Danny - and by the end, we share the same utter fear of Jack as them.

But at that point, Jack is no longer himself. He is a monster, driven mad by a motive that Kubrick curiously never makes clear. It's interesting how vague his descent to insanity is; we see him act "normally" at the beginning, yet one month later... something has clearly happened. We don't see Jack "go mad". We simply see his actions become more and more severe.

The Shining transcends other horror movies because it doesn't go for silly jump scares and meaningless screaming (although there is quite a bit of screaming, just not meaningless). It legitimately delves so well into the psyches of its characters and its location, to the point that we feel we are living in the hotel too.

The hotel as a character being an entirely different discussion. It lives and breaths just like Wendy or Jack or Danny. Every time Kubrick gives us a long tracking shot of Wendy walking or Danny walking you can almost feel the floor, walls, and doors slowly eyeing up its newest prey.

Plus, the Shining in general feels so scarily relevant during these times. While things are starting to ease up, for a while there (and still not near finished) we have been cooped up in our houses with our family and our devices. Of course most of us won't go absolutely berserk like Jack - however there is a certain mental drainage that happens when you are closed in by four walls for 24 hours a day. What did Norman Bates in Psycho say? "We all go a little crazy sometimes."

The Shining digs so deep, and there's so much thematic material to explore here. If you check out my 2001 and Barry Lyndon reviews you may notice I can have a tough time talking about first time Kubrick watches. The thing is, these aren't one-time watch movies. I expect to return to the riches this movie offers time and time again; it is Kubrick telling us that while darkness exists, so does good moral foundation. I guess that's a step forward from A Clockwork Orange
gosh been long time that i havent seen the shinging for ages



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Haven't seen it, but given my history with Kubrick I doubt I would like it.

If you were ever going to like a Kubrick film, I think this would be the one.