The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II

Tools    





Maybe? It's neo noir.

In any case, it's under 2 hours so not a huge time commitment. I watched it for the 70s countdown and thought it was a lot of fun.
Thanks...So that's three votes that I might like it, one of these days I'll get around to it. It looks kinda fun.



Last time we did this, I said I wouldn't mind seeing The Long Goodbye, but no one took my hint

Yeah I was a little let down nobody nomed it for the proper hall. also wouldn't mind a neo-noir hall.




Ace in the Hole

Charles Tatum: Bad news sells best. Cause good news is no news.

Who doesn't love the press? Apparently, in 1951, Billy Wilder didn't have the greatest opinion of them as he doesn't just fire a shot over their bow with Ace in the Hole but lands a direct hit.

Kirk Douglas is Charles Tatum, disgraced reporter that has seemingly burned every big time bridge he has ever crossed, who lands a job at an Albuquerque newspaper where the biggest story this year is a rattlesnake hunt. Makes sense as this is a movie filled with snakes. On his way to reporting the hunt he comes across a tiny town where a local grave robber has just been buried alive in an Indian burial tomb. Smelling a good story he then begins manipulating the situation to his own benefit and rather than just reporting the story, he becomes the story.

I really like the fact that there isn't anyone to root for here as every main character is a pretty awful person. Tatum is selfish and arrogant to the point of being dangerous. The wife of the trapped miner, Lorraine (Jan Sterling), is actually happy her husband is trapped as she sees his predicament, as well as the recent cash boom in her restaurant, as a way to get out of nowhere New Mexico and the Sheriff is envisioning a political future. He'll give Tatum the story Tatum wants. Tatum, in turn, will write glowing pieces about the Sheriff.

While I think the story is another that's just as relevant now as it was in 1951 there are a few aspects that would probably be a little different were it to happen today. I don't think people would come from far and away to be a part of the story/circus the way the movie depicts anymore. We're too lazy. We would probably just sit glued to 24 hour news as it unfolds and tweet out our expertise and tell our fb friends what idiots they are. The new circus in this case would be the press themselves, gathering at the pit and hissing and spitting with each other to find the juicy angle and maybe even *gasp* embellishing or straight up making shtuff up to get clicks (do they sell papers anymore?).

Billy Wilder isn't a director I seek out (this is my 6th film from him) but I do like more of his films than I don't. Asking Ace in the Hole to be as good as something as Sunset Blvd. is a tall order and it doesn't quite reach those heights. Not many films do but it is a worthwhile picture and would highly recommend it if you haven't seen it.



The King of Comedy

...My biggest issue with the movie is there isn't anyone to root for...
Ace in the Hole
...I really like the fact that there isn't anyone to root for here....
I'm curious as to why people will say that they don't like a movie because, there's no one to root for? I hear that a lot on MoFo...But in the case of Ace in the Hole you seem to have the opposite opinion (which is fine!) I'm just curious as to why this is?



I figured you'd catch that. I don't need to root for someone. I get equal enjoyment in rooting against characters as well, which I mentioned in the review of King. Some of my favorite movies are nothing more than bad people doing horrible things. I get the same enjoyment rooting against someone as I do rooting for someone, as long as they're interesting.



I figured you'd catch that. I don't need to root for someone. I get equal enjoyment in rooting against characters as well, which I mentioned in the review of King. Some of my favorite movies are nothing more than bad people doing horrible things. I get the same enjoyment rooting against someone as I do rooting for someone, as long as they're interesting.
Ah, thanks... I see



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I started Cat On a Hot Tin Roof on my break today. Will try to finish it tonight.
That was one I considered for you so I'm curious to see what you think of it.

I finished Midnight Cowboy last night and gonna try to get a review up tonight or tomorrow.
__________________
- This is one of those films where I liked it on first viewing but I feel like watching it again might actually make me dislike it, but that's pretentious existentialism for you.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Midnight Cowboy

Ratso Rizzo: The two basic items necessary to sustain life, are sunshine and coconut milk. Didya know that? That's a fact! In Florida, they got a terrific amount of coconut trees there. In fact, I think they even got 'em in the, eh, gas stations over there.

For such a very well known film I actually knew nearly nothing of it except the famous improv: "I'm WALKIN here!" so I spent a lot of my viewing time a little surprised at all that was going on via disturbing flashbacks and Joe Buck's (Jon Voight) daydreaming of how things were and what they could be presently. A rather tricky technique to pull off, the Director, John Schlesinger does a very commendable job of sliding in and out without confusing us as to what is what.
I did find myself thinking: I'm surprised @cricket never nominated this film since it seemed right up his alley. And, that I'm glad to have seen this now, having grown to appreciate the craft beneath the "shock" due to the films he has nominated previously.

What, on the surface appears as nothing more than a kind of porn of an uncomfortable nature; every sex scene is committed with some form of degradation or the like, Midnight Cowboy has something more going on beyond the filthy existence of 42nd Street. That something lies in the incredible talent of its two leading men. Especially Dustin Hoffman who holds nothing back in his performance of a greasy cripple, and the friendship that develops between the two of them.
Though, much like the remainder of the film, it is not something definitive but, like everything else, it just sorta hits you and slips away before you can truly react or fully comprehend how you feel and why.
So much so that when I finished the film, intent on writing my review, I couldn't.
Unlike other similar films that insisted on an unadulterated, instantaneous reaction, even now, I still seem a little. . . off.
Kind of like how Joe's flashbacks shift from his perceptions of what occurred to what truly did, I am in a state of acclimation of what I have viewed and a more fully, complete reaction to it all.
And that is very much a compliment.
So, thank you to whomever nominated this for me.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Moon (2009)

A quite interesting Sci-Fi drama that explores the ethics of cloning.
Sam Rockwell does an amazing job as basically the only actor we see and ultimately carries the whole film. The concept is quite simple, even too simple maybe, but there are some powerful messages coming out of it. Seeing the older clone just give up on life and see the new guy flying towards Earth was heartbraking.
I also found the robot interesting, as a polar opposite of HAL-9000. He was there to serve the clones more than to serve the company which is a fresh take on the way AI connects with humans in these kind of films. Kevin Spacey's voice was perfect for it too.
I kinda wished for an extra 30 minutes to see what happened when he returned home but I understand the film was not focusing on that.

There's not much else I could say about it, I'm glad I watched this as it has been on my watchlist for some time.

+
I've only seen this once and thankfully went in without any prior knowledge and do remember enjoying it. I've become a huge fan of Sam Rockwell and the nuance he brings to his roles. And yes, Kevin Spacey's voice WAS perfect for the AI.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

When I was a kid I wasn't afraid of Freddy or Jason or Michael but I remember seeing parts of this on tv and seeing Bette Davis as Jane scared the hell out of me.

This is a movie where the performances, I think, are stronger than the story. Which is fine with me as interesting characters are what usually make or break a movie. All the performances are good but let's be real, it's Bette Davis' movie and she's great. Whether it's a maniacal cackle or just a look, she's insanely creepy. Is there anything more terrifying than Jane appearing in the background while Blanche explains the torment she's been going through to her Dr.? Bette looks like she was having a blast torturing her good friend Joan. As for Crawford, she does good portraying the tortured, paralyzed, younger sister. It's not as juicy a role as Jane but Crawford does a very good job. Shout out to the make up department as well. From what I've always heard, Bette did her own makeup for Jane but whoever did Crawfords did a wonderful job. As the movie progressed she looked appropriately worse.

There were parts that I felt dragged a little, not bad but a little and they usually involved Victor Bueno as Edwin Flagg, the aspiring musician who responds to a classified ad put out by Jane in an attempt to resurrect her career. It was an important role as a lot of the sisters backstory is told third person (especially a very juicy tidbit from Flaggs mother) and he does play a crucial role as the film begins to wind down down but... He just didn't work for me. Apparently I'm in the minority with that opinion since he was nominated for almost every award out there for his work, so what do I know?

I have to admit I didn't see that ending coming and I'm not sure what to make of it. I don't really feel THAT much different for either character after it's all said and done but it got me. Solid nomination.
It's been a couple of decades since I've seen this and like you, Davis unnerved the sh#t out of me as a kid lol



Strangers On a Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951)
Imdb

Date Watched: 11/29/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II, no idea who picked it
Rewatch: No.


Alfred Hitchcock is known as the master of suspense, and to that end Strangers On a Train has a lot going for it. Robert Walker was quite effective as Bruno, the psychopath who feels he is owed something and the premise was an intriguing one. It also had a good amount of tension throughout most of the film - though the tennis match only served to kill the film's momentum for me.

I also found myself too distracted by Farley Granger's wooden performance, by the annoyingly hypocritical secondary characters (Miriam is a tramp for cheating, but somehow Guy's cheating is perfectly okay and Anne is at no fault for being with a married man... ), and by the dangerous ineptitude of the police (Cop fires his gun at an unarmed suspect at a crowded amusement park and shoots an innocent bystander, but let's just gloss over that fact. WTF?) to ever get fully engaged with the film.

I suppose a rewatch could potentially improve my impression of it, but I think it's equally likely that the things that bugged me this time would only bug me more a second time.

-
shooting a bystander caught me a little by surprise as well when I saw it for this HoF and that nothing seemed to come of it.
The tension WAS done very well and Walker did a great job as the psychopath.
The Long Goodbye (1973)

Another interesting nomination.

What impressed me more about this film was the use of soundtrack. I think there's just one song used through out the whole movie: "The Long Goodbye" but in many different versions depending on the place or the characters that are on screen. This contributes to create a very solid atmosphere. And on top of that, the song is really really good.

The acting was solid from most actors, especially Elliot Gould as the main character (took me a while to overcome that bumbling of his but after that I enjoyed his perfomance very much) and Sterling Hayden who stole every scene he was in. I found Jim Bouton acting very poor though, and it's a good thing he only has a short screen time. The femme fatale, Nina van Pallandt, is convincingly enough though I was expecting a little bit more menace coming from her.

The twist, though kind of expectable seems fresh enough though I was expecting the revelation to have a little more gravitas to it.

Crime films from the 70s appear to be what people think I like, by looking at all my noms! I'm not complaining!

+
I actually saw this for the first time at the Drive In in 3rd Grade and a number of times throughout my life. Gould did a great job as Marlowe.

Ace in the Hole

Charles Tatum: Bad news sells best. Cause good news is no news.

Who doesn't love the press? Apparently, in 1951, Billy Wilder didn't have the greatest opinion of them as he doesn't just fire a shot over their bow with Ace in the Hole but lands a direct hit.

Kirk Douglas is Charles Tatum, disgraced reporter that has seemingly burned every big time bridge he has ever crossed, who lands a job at an Albuquerque newspaper where the biggest story this year is a rattlesnake hunt. Makes sense as this is a movie filled with snakes. On his way to reporting the hunt he comes across a tiny town where a local grave robber has just been buried alive in an Indian burial tomb. Smelling a good story he then begins manipulating the situation to his own benefit and rather than just reporting the story, he becomes the story.

I really like the fact that there isn't anyone to root for here as every main character is a pretty awful person. Tatum is selfish and arrogant to the point of being dangerous. The wife of the trapped miner, Lorraine (Jan Sterling), is actually happy her husband is trapped as she sees his predicament, as well as the recent cash boom in her restaurant, as a way to get out of nowhere New Mexico and the Sheriff is envisioning a political future. He'll give Tatum the story Tatum wants. Tatum, in turn, will write glowing pieces about the Sheriff.

While I think the story is another that's just as relevant now as it was in 1951 there are a few aspects that would probably be a little different were it to happen today. I don't think people would come from far and away to be a part of the story/circus the way the movie depicts anymore. We're too lazy. We would probably just sit glued to 24 hour news as it unfolds and tweet out our expertise and tell our fb friends what idiots they are. The new circus in this case would be the press themselves, gathering at the pit and hissing and spitting with each other to find the juicy angle and maybe even *gasp* embellishing or straight up making shtuff up to get clicks (do they sell papers anymore?).

Billy Wilder isn't a director I seek out (this is my 6th film from him) but I do like more of his films than I don't. Asking Ace in the Hole to be as good as something as Sunset Blvd. is a tall order and it doesn't quite reach those heights. Not many films do but it is a worthwhile picture and would highly recommend it if you haven't seen it.
Like you, I got to see this for the first time in this HoF and rather enjoyed, not only the harsh light Wilder put on the press but on those involved in the situation that became a "circus".






Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks, 1958)
Imdb

Date Watched: 12/02/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II, no idea who picked it
Rewatch: No.


Holy s*** I hated absolutely every character in this movie. I wanted to punch every single one of them in the face over and over again. This was nearly two hours worth of a**holes with stupid names (Who the f*** calls their sons "Gooper" and "Brick"?) screaming at each other, lying to each other, and saying the word "mendacity" ad nauseum while the f***ing obnoxious kids screech and sing and generally make nuisances of themselves. And what was up with the "sister woman" crap? Is that a common southern phrase? Whatever it is, it was annoying too. Which about sums up my opinion of the movie as a whole.

I'll grant it a slightly higher rating than my experience really justifies, because the cast were certainly convincing in their a**holery but that's the highest praise I can give it.

-



cricket's Avatar
Registered User
Midnight Cowboy is definitely my type of movie and I've seen it several times. For whatever reason it's still not a favorite, but that wouldn't stop me from choosing it for someone.

I thought Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was a good try for Miss Vicky, although she wouldn't care about what I liked the most (a super smoking Liz Taylor).



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?



Cat On a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks, 1958)
Imdb

Date Watched: 12/02/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II, no idea who picked it
Rewatch: No.


Holy s*** I hated absolutely every character in this movie. I wanted to punch every single one of them in the face over and over again. This was nearly two hours worth of a**holes with stupid names (Who the f*** calls their sons "Gooper" and "Brick"?) screaming at each other, lying to each other, and saying the word "mendacity" ad nauseum while the f***ing obnoxious kids screech and sing and generally make nuisances of themselves. And what was up with the "sister woman" crap? Is that a common southern phrase? Whatever it is, it was annoying too. Which about sums up my opinion of the movie as a whole.

I'll grant it a slightly higher rating than my experience really justifies, because the cast were certainly convincing in their a**holery but that's the highest praise I can give it.

-
So, basically, nominating this for ya would've kept my high running record securely in tact, huh?
Sorry to hear it didn't work for ya, my dear



The trick is not minding
Midnight Cowboy is definitely my type of movie and I've seen it several times. For whatever reason it's still not a favorite, but that wouldn't stop me from choosing it for someone.

I thought Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was a good try for Miss Vicky, although she wouldn't care about what I liked the most (a super smoking Liz Taylor).
La Liz was beautiful in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof!
😍😍😍