15th Hall of Fame

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He's clearly thinking which ideology is the best for me to grab onto and eventually take over, to become Emperor of quarter of the planet.

Would love to see the picture of Dmitry Slavin, the Monarchist version of him that was executed before his 30th birthday.
I'm not smart, so I'll just say this: he has a god damn plate of spaghetti on his head.



I'm not smart, so I'll just say this: he has a god damn plate of spaghetti on his head.
I'm not smart either. Was just trying to come up with a Monarchist version of him and couldn't think of a Russian name that sounds like Joseph. Dmitry Slavin may or may not exist but he's definitely not the same Dmitry Slavin i was thinking of/making up if he does.





American Graffiti
(1973)
Dir. George Lucas
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Charles Martin Smith, Paul Le Mat

I originally watched American Graffiti purely to see what George Lucas was doing before Star Wars, and not because I had any interest in the subject matter. As one would expect, the film struggled to keep my attention, and didn't exactly make an impression. Years later, I still don't particularly care for coming of age stories or car culture, but I can at least appreciate the technical aspects of the film.

The film certainly gains more meaning when you think about the circumstances in which it was made, and the decade in which it is set. However, as an outsider who doesn't know enough about American history or culture to see the parallels between the characters and the situation the United Sates would soon find itself in, I didn't make those connections on my own while viewing the film either time. I could only see the film without the subtext, and unfortunately I still wasn't really invested in anything that was happening the second time around.

That's completely on me though, and not any fault of the cast, who were all great. I particularly liked Paul Le Mat's performance, and his character really grew on me over the course of the film. Naturally I became a lot more interested whenever Harrison Ford made an appearance, but his screen time is limited. I do think that many of the characters and their experiences are rather universal and able to transcend any generational gaps for the viewer, however I personally didn't relate to any of it. I can certainly see why a lot of people really love the film, and I can imagine how nostalgic it must be to some people, but it just really is not my kind of story. I did enjoy the music though.


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I picked up the remaining seven films from the library today. I have dinner plans with a friend, but if there's time I might squeeze one in tonight. Probably either The Station Agent, Aguirre, or In the Mood for Love, since they've got shorter run times.



Just as an aside, does it seem to anyone else that Richard Dreyfus looks like he aged about 15 years in the couple years between this and Jaws?
that man DID NOT age well at all. Or like he lost a deal with the Devil. Where he could become famous but would lose 10 yrs of his life and didn't really realize it was going to come out of the next 10.
I actually thought he aged a lot in between some of the scenes in this film. I literally paused the movie to look up how old he was when American Graffiti was made, since he occasionally looked about 40 to me. Maybe certain lighting just isn't very flattering to him?



American Graffiti (1973)
Director: George Lucas

The music had an interesting characteristic, too - aside from being good and agreeable music - there was this floating effect that you can hear. For example, as Dreyfuss's character is looking out the back seat window, and then back to the front seat again, and then to the side out the window - the music follows his auditory pov. It swims in and out of clarity and swells and recedes volume, accordingly.
Last time I watched American Graffiti I learned from the DVD extras that George Lucas did something revolutionary with the soundtrack. There's no conventional music score in the entire movie....All the music is heard coming from the car's radios, so when a character moves away from the radio the music level drops. I'm almost positive that was the first time it was done in a movie.

The quick account of what happened to our characters is sprawled on the screen in a bittersweet manner, and, at first, I thought this may have been a bad editorial choice, but quickly I shifted my thinking. This was a perfect way to gain access into our hearts and make us care even more for these people. This is a timeless film from a very specific time in 1963. I really love it, and will never, ever watch that sequel! I want to keep it clean.
If memory serves me that was another first as George Lucas pioneered that Biography epilogue text, which has since been done on many other movies.

I'm pleased somebody besides myself likes American Graffiti

BTW, I really liked your nom, I don't know if you seen my review of The Station Agent, but it was my type of movie. My wife liked it too.



Save the Texas Prairie Chicken
It is 8:30 in the morning here. The library opens at 9:00. So I will be leaving the house soon to go pick the movies up (all of them are there already). I will begin watching tonight. I have a 3-day weekend. So, hopefully, I can get a bit done.

I do have one guy from work pestering me to go out with him to go watch the All Star Game this weekend somewhere (he doesn't have cable - and, for anyone that doesn't know, it is for the NBA ). I don't know if I will give in because that will break up my movie-watching. But hopefully I can get a good amount of them watched.

I've really got a full day ahead. I will be back on later to catch up with everyone's thoughts on the movies (especially about Glory ).
__________________
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe



I do have one guy from work pestering me to go out with him to go watch the All Star Game this weekend somewhere (he doesn't have cable - and, for anyone that doesn't know, it is for the NBA ).
He doesn't give a crap about the game



Thanks to my friend's three obnoxious children, I came home with a headache last night and didn't watch anything. I'll watch at least one tonight and another one or two tomorrow.





Glory (1989)

That was my favorite scene from the movie. I loved the location and staging of the attack on Fort Wagner. There's something about the tranquility of the ocean and the softness of the sand, that contrasted so poignantly with the men dying in such a lovely spot.

My other favorite scene was the military training camp where the soldiers were drilled in the disciplines of soldiering. That set looked real to me. I haven't read anything about the movie, but I bet that was an actual set, maybe even from the Civil War era. The bricks were weathered and in places the walls had crumbled away. It looked old, very old. Very cool.

I was OK with the music score as it made the story, and the movie feel grand. I believe the director chose that score and made the film the way he did so as to impart a larger than life, momentous feeling to his story of the soldiers' struggle to gain respect by gaining the right to die in battle.
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CR that's your worst review ever, looks like something I'd write! What did you think of the performances? Did you enjoy it?
Ha, my worst review? I was going for a sort of poetic feel to my review, as that's how I seen the film.

You write some very well said reviews, I always enjoy reading them.

So in my review, I was hitting on the highlights of the movie for me, as I often respond to the visual, such as sets or cinematography. And like

But you did ask me about the performances so: I didn't care for Matthew Broderick or his second in command the tall blonde guy...I did like Morgan Freeman and the black actor with the glasses was good too...It really wasn't an actors movie as much as it was a thematic movie, and a powerful theme it was.





In the Mood for Love, is a "love" story about two people who are in unhappy marriages in 1950's-1960's Japan. Every shot in this film is a work of art, it manages a fantastic use of color, blocking, and costuming to give you a feel of a classic film. If you like this sort of film it's right up your ally. For me I found the plot to be a bit lacking, the ideas are there but the execution of the story left a bit to be desired. But really the plot is just a minor aspect of what the director is going for. This is a style over substance in the best way possible, the score was also quite exceptional.






Shallow Grave is the story of three terrible people who proceed to get themselves into trouble. This is one of those "Pulp Fiction" style films that doesn't really come together as a worthwhile piece of art. Danny Boyle does a great job, and the performances are fine, though I don't really care for Ewen McGregor's "wacky" characters. Whats interesting is how the themes of the film carry on to Boyle's followup Trainspotting.

As for what I thought about it...I found it a bit silly. I would have preferred a darker comedy, a full of farce, or a drama this one just kind of bounces around without settling into a comfortable groove. With McGregor being annoying enough that it sort of took me out of the film.




Aguirre, the Wrath of God


Everything I've watched so far I've enjoyed a similar amount, no surprise since they've all been repeat viewings. That will make for some tough decisions come voting time. I first watched this back for the 70's countdown and my opinion hasn't changed. I've heard multiple times that this movie was about a descent into madness. If that's about the men besides Aguirre I say sure, but if it's about Aguirre I say he was always like that. Of course, nobody plays a madman like Klaus Kinski and I always enjoy watching him perform. As much as I like him, I think the real star of this movie is the on location filming. I couldn't get out of my head how dangerous it must have been to shoot a lot of this movie. The story is fine enough. Again, I'm being conservative with my rating but this is a very good/great movie. I can't quite call it a favorite because it's not especially powerful or thrilling to me. As far as director Werner Herzog, I still prefer his Stroszek, Nosferatu, and Fitzcarraldo.




I've heard multiple times that this movie was about a descent into madness. If that's about the men besides Aguirre I say sure, but if it's about Aguirre I say he was always like that.
I think that, as with many of Herzog's main characters, Aguirre was eccentric to begin with, but over the course of the film he certainly does crack and lose whatever measure of sanity he once had.



Yeah, Cary Elwes is the shiznit.
I thought that "shiznit" was a term used for something you actually rather like? It seems like you're agreeing with Citizen, but he said that he didn't care for Cary Elwes in the film.



I think that, as with many of Herzog's main characters, Aguirre was eccentric to begin with, but over the course of the film he certainly does crack and lose whatever measure of sanity he once had.
I didn't think he cracked until the last moment of the film, but then it could be my perception of him to start could affect the way I look at the character.