25th Hall of Fame


cricket's Avatar
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My 2nd time watching this and I liked it about the same. I'd say I like it quite a bit for the amount of issues I have with it. I love Spike Lee as a director, one of the best and most exciting of the last 40 years. I don't like much of what he says outside of film. I don't want to be so judgmental because that's a big problem today (right Spike?), so I won't call him a racist. Still, this is a guy who has spoken out against interracial couples, whites moving into black neighborhoods, and all kinds of other things, things that would have gotten him blackballed if he looked different. Maybe he's a segregationist similar to the gentleman currently in office who he supported. This is a guy who posted George Zimmerman's (found not guilty) address on Twitter. Of course that's horrible enough, but he posted the wrong address so that an innocent older couple received all kinds of death threats. Spike has $$$ though so he was able to give them 10K and call it a day. I could just do without him interjecting some of his morally questionable views into his movies. On the other hand, there were moments in this film that he treated very fairly, such as, paraphrasing, all cops aren't bad. That's an important message. Skipping to the after film sequence, it's pretty gross. It's very dishonest to pick and choose the former President's words to make it appear that he said the opposite of what he actually did say. These are the types of things that divide people and it's quite harmful.

To the meat of the movie. I was psyched to see this originally because the story is very appealing to me. There is one thing that really bothers me, and that's that Ron continues to be the voice on the phone. The only reason that is the way it goes is for comic relief. Otherwise it doesn't make sense, and of course the police would never have a Jewish cop infiltrate the Klan. These are silly additions to the movie, but they do work for entertainment value. I also have an issue with the uneven tone of the movie. I feel that in order for it to have been great, it needed to be more consistently serious, in line with the seriousness of the subject matter. Lastly, this just isn't Spike Lee at his best. At his best, his films jump off the screen with a ferocious energy. I feel like he put too much into his personal feelings and not enough into making a great film. It's still a well made movie that's entertaining and at times powerful. The acting is very good most notably from the two leads. I wasn't crazy about the score when there wasn't era specific popular music playing. Very much worth watching but a missed opportunity.

Sundays and Cybčle (1962)

...Its refusal to spoon-feed its intentions to the audience and its willingness to leave them up to interpretation is its greatest strength. This makes the film ambiguously menacing...
That's perfectly said. You summed up with just a couple of sentences, what I was trying to say in those long convos with Sean and Cricket.

About Elly (2009)
Dir: Asghar Farhadi

This kinda felt like an Iranian version of Friends...at least in the beginning. Then after 30 really long minutes with nothing happening we get what felt like a contrived situation with the kid in the water and a long rescue that was suppose be thrilling. Then the movie turns into a 2 hour long version of a TV reality show, where a group of people crammed into one dingy, little house create drama by overreacting to the situation and accusing & yelling at each other...Then I became conscious that all I was seeing of Iran was this one little house and one small section of the beach...all shot with a hand held camera. It felt like a student film.

The actors were decent and Elly was pretty...and it was an easy movie to watch. Nothing to object to...but the story's drama should've been endemic to the social situation of Elly trying to escape a controlling fiance.

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There's some Spike Lee films that I really dig, so I was quite looking forward to this. This one was pretty good too. I really liked Adam Driver in his role and John David Washington did a pretty nice job too. Was even cool to see Paul Walter Hauser in his small role, I really dig that guys acting skills too. Interesting that this was based off of a true story, I really wouldn't have thought so without knowing. The story and script were pretty solid and I didn't really have any issues with that ending like a lot of others did. Sometimes Lee likes to throw politics down viewers throats but for the majority of it I can look past it and did the same here. I do have to wonder however just how rewarding a rewatch would be with this type of flick. Overall a pretty decent one.

The Green Years (Paulo Rocha, 1963)

What am I supposed to say about this? This is one of the most nothing films I've seen in awhile. Couldn't tell you a single thing that happened here and that's honestly probably a good thing because I'm sure I'd be at least twice as bored if I knew what was going on. While the cinematography is rarely a step above serviceable I will give props to whoever was operating the camera because there's a lot of camera movement and its always incredibly smooth and keeps everything in frame. Too bad they never used the camera to make a compelling image lol. There's like two scenes right in the middle of the film that I dug and the rest of it is pretty worthless but its staying off the bottom of the list by virtue of being short and mostly inoffensive. Really having a bad time with this HoF lmao.

These films just aren't measuring up to the greatness of Themroc

Really having a bad time with this HoF lmao.
Out of curiosity, how many films from this HoF have you seen so far that you've enjoyed? Judging from your reviews, it seems like it's only Themroc and Chimes at Midnight if I'm correct.

These films just aren't measuring up to the greatness of Themroc
Make Júlio and Ilda brother and sister and change the sweater into a cop's ribcage? Masterpiece!

Out of curiosity, how many films from this HoF have you seen so far that you've enjoyed? Judging from your reviews, it seems like it's only Themroc and Chimes at Midnight if I'm correct.
Les Mis was fine but yeah its a steep drop-off after those two.

Les Mis was fine but yeah its a steep drop-off after those two.
Aye, I see. Hopefully, the HoF will get better for you as you move along. I generally enjoy most films which get nominated in HoFs, but I'm fairly easy to please, I suppose. On a side note, I thought Themroc was decent. I'll post my review either later tonight or tomorrow.

Make Júlio and Ilda brother and sister and change the sweater into a cop's ribcage? Masterpiece!
I mean, it would be something at least lol.

rbrayer's Avatar
Registered User
Sundays and Cybele (1962)

What can I say about this one that probably hasn't been said somewhere else in the thread? The story of an unlikely relationship between a 30-year old amnesiac air force bomber and a nearly 12-year old orphan (basically) girl is compelling. It definitely does the hard work of helping us understand why the relationship makes sense. Both of its members are lost and adrift in an uncaring world. Further, the relationship is mostly innocent. Even Pierre's girlfriend, Madeline seems to recognize the true character of the relationship.

At the same time, while the film's sympathies are certainly with the couple, it does at least acknowledge how well - for want of a better word - icky the couple appears to be outside world and actually is, the latter through some play scenes showing that Cybele, the orphan really is a little girl and not the adult she sometimes seems in her scenes with Pierre, her schoolgirl crush.

Equally or more distressing, though it's not clear that the film itself recognizes this (maybe because it's French?) is the scene where Pierre and Cybele split a bottle of champagne in a private room.

I'll confess I was uncomfortable with the entire arrangement, which seems to be at least partially the filmmaker's intent. Art, after all, should make you question your assumptions and that is not a particularly calming task. That said, the message here is pretty muddled. Under unique circumstances can a friendly relationship between a 30-year old man (albeit a basically childlike one) and a 12-year old girl actually be good for both of them and not creepy? I don't think it's clear. So what assumption should I be questioning? That a relationship like this is fraught with a wild power imbalance and sexual politics that cannot be overcome? I mean, I guess, in crazy, unrealistic circumstances, perhaps, and not even truly then.

Well made, well acted, and well directed, but ultimately thematically and morally empty. 7/10.