Film views from Sarge

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Legend in my own mind

The great dictator (1940)

I know that this film was one of my Grandfathers favourites and that my own Father also was also a fan.
I have never seen it before (apart from the speech) but realise that Charlie Chaplin is held in such high esteem by so many people. I cannot recall seeing much of his work before, whilst always being aware of it's status.

I am so glad that this film was nominated and that I have now watched it.

What I appreciated
The Comedy - This film was funny in so many ways. It is however important to say at this point that I don't find anything about Hitler or the Nazi party funny at all, but this is more about the way that Chaplin set's about trying to undermine Hitler. The film was released in 1940 and Chaplin later said that if he had realised the full horrors of Hitler and the Nazis, he wouldn't have considered it funny, and that he wouldn't have made the film The slapstick, the dialogue and the situational comedy,was all very funny. It was subtle and times and blatant at others, sometimes it was simple and other times it was really quite intelligent. I really appreciated the humour within this film, it was really well done and was present throughout.

The message - This is a really ballsy film and had a huge impact in many ways upon it's release. Chaplin is openly mocking Hitler in this film, but it is worth acknowledging that when the film started filming in 1938, Hitler wasn't yet viewed by many as the ruthless, evil person that we now know him to be. Chaplin was onto him though and plenty of the things that the film focuses on indicate that Chaplin could already see what many more would come to know. The film was progressive and seems meant as a personal insult to Hitler himself. Chaplin didn't hold back and without giving too much away, the Character that Chaplin plays in this, is yet another act of insult and defiance towards Hitler.
In some countries the film was banned and even caused Chaplin issues within the United states, resulting in problems for him and many believe it contributed to his long exile.
I admire the blatant open, honest stand that Chaplin made with this film. And then there is THE speech...

This is a powerful, funny film with great messages at it's core. Messages that run throughout the film, but also the sheer defiance in the making of the film and the courage of Chaplin to use his influence to openly insult the man and the regime that spread a message of hate and fear. I would recommend everyone to watch this film.

"I don't want to be a product of my environment, I want my environment to be a product of me" (Frank Costello)

Legend in my own mind

Wings of desire (1987)

The last of the nominations that I knew nothing about before watching.
First 5 minutes I had no idea what was going on.
About 10 minutes in, I thought 'This is very similar to City of Angels'. I notice that plenty of others got that too.

I am afraid to say that I didn't like City of Angels and I didn't like this much more either.

I like the idea, but as with City of Angels, I was left really underwhelmed, but for different reasons.

What I liked
I did like some things about this film. The concept is a great one. The untouchable and unreachable, becoming touchable and reachable. The mystery of the spiritual realm and the exploration of an unseen world.
I love Berlin It is one of my favourite cities, and it is always good to see it in film.

What I didn't like
So slow - I know that it is probably intentional and reflective of the existence of Damiel and Cassiel but everything was so drawn out. I just found it easy to get bored and wanted to reach for my phone on more than one occasion.

The language - I was reading subtitles and some things may have been lost in translation but I found the language a bit pretentious. It was like everyone's thoughts were like a chanel advert. It was all like: "I am a fish or am I a duck? I don't know because I cannot see the colour. I am drowning in cream, or is it butter? I don't know, I feel him, she surrounds me, I exist because I see love". I just didn't find it reflective of the thought life of most people,.

It just wasn't for me. Maybe I am just not cultured or intelligent enough but at no point did the film grip me, never mind capture my imagination.
Sorry @cosmic it's not personal, it's simply a preference thing.

Legend in my own mind

The broken circle breakdown (2013)

Had heard of this film, and it had been recommended to me previously, but didn't know much of the plot before watching, and assumed that it was about a breakdown recovery company.

The film grabbed me from the opening scenes and it grabbed hold of me by the emotions and simply didn't let go.

What impressed me?
The film was a work of quality, and that quality flowed through the acting, the writing, the music and the cinematography.
The acting was strong and believable. It was one of those rare films where I actually forgot that I was watching a film at all, and it rather seemed like I was recalling memories, or that I was indeed a player in this story.
The music was superb throughout, although it was incorporated into the film, it was the subtlety of the background music too. I will certainly be looking to get this soundtrack.
The biggest thing that impressed me, was the ability of the film to make me feel. It was a whirlwind of emotions that has continued beyond the end of the running time. It really was an emotive story, that was superbly brought to life on the screen.

Room for improvement
It's hard to find anything really. At times I had to concentrate a little on working out where each scene fit into the order of the story. It jumps backwards and forwards quite a bit, but overall I think it helped the film, more than hindered it.

This film was pure, beautiful, touching, brutal and relentless. It felt so real, which is an absolute credit to all that were involved in the making of it. The emotions of the characters are tangible, every single feeling was transmitted powerfully from the screen.
If I had known what it was about beforehand, I think that I would not have enjoyed it as much as I would have made my mind up before watching it.
A really good nomination

I won't dance. Don't ask me...

The music in the film is also a big plus and has led me to deduce that I need more Jazz in my life.

A good good film

One of my favourite. Music is amazing.

I won't dance. Don't ask me...

Wings of desire (1987)

It is such a charming movie. Only 2? Even Cave's music doesn't help?
German title of this movie is Der Himmel Łber Berlin and I think it better convey the story.

Legend in my own mind
It is such a charming movie. Only 2? Even Cave's music doesn't help?
German title of this movie is Der Himmel Łber Berlin and I think it better convey the story.
It was just such a struggle for me. I tried, I really tried

BTW great views, Sarge. Bravo.
Thank you

I found the language a bit pretentious. It was like everyone's thoughts were like a chanel advert. It was all like: "I am a fish or am I a duck? I don't know because I cannot see the colour. I am drowning in cream, or is it butter? I don't know, I feel him, she surrounds me, I exist because I see love".
Agreed. A whole lotta NOPE from me.
"Well, at least your intentions behind the UTTERLY DEVASTATING FAULTS IN YOUR LOGIC are good." - Captain Steel
Movies / Anime / Ultimate Showdown / Veg*nism / Action 2015

Legend in my own mind

Flesh and Blood (1985)


I don't really know what I just watched.

There was a decent story of love, betrayal, revenge, corruption and power, that has been buried beneath some of the worst acting I have ever seen.
It was almost like it was purposefully bad acting.
It looked like something from 'Monty python and the Holy Grail' or 'The Princess Bride' without the comedy dialogue.
What I mean by that is that as with Python the actions and voices are exaggerated and you can tell that it is 'tongue in cheek' acting.
The characters and acting was comedic, but there was little funny about the dialogue.

As I said there was a decent story in there, and if it was done with a bit more conviction and a bigger budget then I think it could be a good film.

This film as it is just seemed to struggle with it's identity. There is no way that it was a serious film but I can't remember much funny about it, and therefore it was just plain confusing. I am still not sure if it is satire

I can't really say much more without trying to understand the plot and risking spoilers for those that have not watched it. I have nothing further to add

Legend in my own mind

Captain Fantastic (2016)

Had heard all of the hype around this film but had never got around to taking it in.
Saw that it was on 'Amazon Prime instant' this afternoon so got involved.

I quickly got on to what I thought some of the messages of the film were.

That didn't stop me from feeling a lack of warmth to 'Ben' (Mortensen) from the start. I felt that he was doing more harm than good to his family, but I guess that was the anticipated response.

There are so many themes running through this film, and it raises a lot of big questions about society, religion, ideologies and beliefs. As well as such things, it also deals with family, coming of age, loss and parenthood.

It was a bit like 'Lord of the flies' meets 'The sound of music'.

What I liked
I liked the film without really loving it.
The things that I did appreciate were that overall it was a well made film, that I expect was close to how the writer wanted it to play out on the big screen.
I believe that the film did exactly what it set out to do.
It raises questions about a consumerist and corporation driven society and boldly calls them out.
It challenges organised religion in a messy but deliberate way.
The acting was solid enough, well that is if Ben is meant to come across as an egotistical control freak, who has lost his way and is disillusioned with the world.
'Sweet child of mine', was cool.
The film looked great, with it's use of colour and great aerial shots.

What could have been better
There were too many kids. There were 6 in total and two pairs had 2 people in each that looked quite similar, so I was getting confused at times with which blonde haired kid had said what, and which red haired girl had done what.
Some of it was a bit ridiculous, such as the scene with the rescuing Mum and the subsequent actions.
I didn't really like Ben for most of the film. I know that there is a story behind his reasoning and behaviour and although it was alluded to throughout the film, there is no real explanation of it.

It was a decent film, with a lot of interesting facets but overall, I am not sure what the overall point of the story was.
It was good and I largely enjoyed it, but for me it didn't live up to the hype.

Legend in my own mind

Kickboxer vengeance (2016)

The nostalgic in me wanted to watch this even though I thought it would be really poor.

Kickboxer and Bloodsport were two of my favourite films growing up and although when I watch them now, I notice the wooden acting and holes in the plot but it still doesn't matter. I'ts like I watch them through the eyes of my 12 year old self.

This was a bad film and I didn't have the nostalgia to fall back on as it was a reboot/sequel/fresh interpretation kind of thing.

The story was as with the others, all about revenge and the good guy sticking it to the big nasty man, but there was not enough that was different to the original for it to be unique, and the parts where they tried to modernise it were weak.

I didn't hate it, but it doesn't come close to the originals. There again, few 'reboots' ever do.

Legend in my own mind
The three Musketeers (1973)


I love the story of 'The three Musketeers'. I used to read the book a lot when I was a child. I loved the history, the suspense, the revenge, the swordplay the notion of 'One for all and all for one'.

As a child I saw films that had been made of the story of the Musketeers and I remember that I was always left feeling underwhelmed.

When this was nominated in this HoF, I thought "Maybe I was wrong, I am older now, maybe I will see things differently now".
I didn't.

What I liked
I love the story. Alexandre Dumas told a tale of a young man who has aspirations and dreams of being a musketeer and making his fortune in Paris. I loved the story as a kid and still do now. The themes of love, rebellion and justice is something that I have always found it easy to immerse myself in.
As for the film, I found the costumes good and the set believable.
It did also stick close to the original story in many parts where other versions have chosen not to.
The film was shot well and I also liked most of the music.

What I didn't like
Most of it.
My biggest issue is that it is more comedy than drama.
When I read the story as a kid it was always tense and dramatic, but this film (and most other musketeer films) are not.
Tapping people on the backside with swords and slapping them on the head etc just totally undermines the story in my opinion.
The playing of chess with monkeys on dogs backs
A lot of the characters were comedic too and not in a 'people are eccentric' believable way but a comedy exaggerated way.
I appreciate that this was made in the 70s and that really violent films were not the norm. I also appreciate that the story of the musketeers does lend itself to being accessible for all ages, but it really should be a drama rather than a comedy.
I also concede that some situations in the original story are almost farcical in nature, such as the way D'artagnan manages to arrange successive duels with Athos, Porthos and Aramis not long after arriving in the city, but plenty of the film should be represented in a serious manner in my opinion. This criticism is not limited to this version. I would have the same issues with many of the adaptations of the story, which is probably why 'Dogtantian and the Muskehounds' is still my favourite, as I can appreciate a cartoon with dogs bringing comedy to the story.

In summary, I just can't get over myself and get beyond the same issues I have had with every screen adaptation of the story of 'The three Musketeers' that I have ever seen.
I love the story but get angry at the way it is portrayed on the screen. As I say, it is the same with every version that I have seen so maybe it is me that it is interpreting it all wrong. With that said, this is all about my opinion, and that is an opinion that I respect

Legend in my own mind

Alien Covenant (2017)

I was really looking forward to this. 'Aliens' is one of my favourite films and 'Alien' is not far behind it. I enjoyed 'Prometheus', not as much but I did enjoy it, even though I found the pace a little slow.
The less said about 'Alien 3' and 'Resurrection' the better.
I figured that this was where Scott and Scott, Logan and Harper would learn from mistakes in previous films and create another blockbuster.
I was looking forward to a fresh story with the 'face huggers' and 'Xenomorphs'
This film starts 10 years after 'Prometheus' with the 'Covenant' which is a ship transporting a couple of thousand people and some embryos to relocate and start a civilisation on a distant planet.
As they are en route some things happen that presents the ship with a choice to take a slight detour.
I will leave it there at the risk of entering 'Spoilersville'.

What I liked
There were some aspects of the film that I liked but simply not as much as I had hoped.
The film included some nice touches in terms of linking the story to 'Prometheus'.
Some of the CGI was good and there were one or two scenes that I really liked, one of which was in part shown in the trailer.
I thought Fassbender was superb in the film. I wasn't particularly a fan of who he was playing but the acting was excellent.

What could have been better
So much.
My biggest criticism of the film is that we have seen it all before.
It is like they have put 'Alien', 'Aliens' and 'Prometheus' into a blended and then stuck the film back together and came out with this.
I wanted a new 'Alien' story not just a rehash of the others. I actually preferred the film 'Life' to this. It was again stuff that we have seen before but it was done better.
We have seen this plot and these characters before. They have just changed the names.
Whilst we are on characters, most of them just irritated me, the rest were simply forgettable.
It seems to me like the things that needed changing weren't changed and the things that didn't need changing were.
I get the feeling that the writers felt that they needed 'more' but weren't sure what they needed more of,so they just included more of everything.

At the end of the day it just felt like a poor tribute act.
It wasn't awful, some of the effects were good, and there was some continuity, but ultimately it fell way short of my expectations.
Back I go to pretending that only 'Alien' and 'Aliens' actually exist and occasionally 'Prometheus'.

I would be really interested to know what other people think about it.

You can't win an argument just by being right!
I'll see it for Fassbender but my expectations over all just from seeing Mofos react to it re not high.

i still have high hopes for Alien prequel. Is it really that horrible?
You can call it the art of fighting without fighting.

Whiplash A good good film
Brilliant movie. Miles Teller (also terrific in Rabbit Hole) was phenomenal.

Many war films can't help but show the allies as upstanding men of moral fibre and are portrayed as 'the good guys' and the Germans are shown as sneaky and arrogant, and are shown as 'the bad guys'.
LOL. That's because they were. Not a bad movie though one's disbelief had to be suspended in many scenes.

Brilliant movie. Seen it a million times.

Wings of desire (1987)

Tried to watch this movie, but just can't make it through.

Love this movie thread.