The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame IV

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movies can be okay...
Thoughts on some of the other films mentioned:

Onibaba - Haven't seen this in the longest. I remember loving it upon my first watch, I even put it somewhere in my ballot for the most recent horror list, but a re-watch is surely due to at least confirm my feelings on it.

Sophie's Choice - I surprisingly liked this a lot despite some of the cheese and melodrama its got. Streep is fantastic, and her character's choice in the end is truly an iconic movie moment of all time.

True Romance - I like both Tarantino and Scott, and wish they collaborated more. The latter's debut feature The Hunger is super underrated and so is the director himself. This felt like a Tarantino film minus the obnoxious aspects that draw attention to themselves, so yeah this felt way more subdued which I liked, while also maintaining the strongest and more likeable elements of a Tarantino script.

Zodiac - It's great to see more discussions in this thread, too bad it's about the one Fincher film I have the least to say about. I partially agree with CR, the film is mostly boring and fails at its attempts of being contemplative. I usually love Gyllenhaal, he's probably in my Top 5 personal favorite actors, but this performance of his is easily the weakest and feels the most replaceable. I actually tribute a lot of what I found dull about the film to not only his performance but also how his character was written. It tried to convey the regular shmegular detective slowly turning dangerously obsessed kind of character, but it did it in the most tame lame and unchallenging way possible. It felt like nothing truly came of it, nor did it even feel like there was ever a character change. And as for the cinematography, that was also a huge negative for me. It was cinematic which goes against what the film was trying to accomplish.
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"A film has to be a dialogue, not a monologue ó a dialogue to provoke in the viewer his own thoughts, his own feelings. And if a film is a dialogue, then itís a good film; if itís not a dialogue, itís a bad film."
- Michael "Gloomy Old Fart" Haneke



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I remember not being as into the film in the beginning, but once that horrific image of the mother's state was shown, then it hit me that this animated Ghibli film is daring to go there and will go there, and that's something you usually don't see not just in animated films but movies in general. After that I was completely captivated and immersed by the relationship between the brother and sister, and that to me was the driving force and the beauty behind this film.

The common critique I usually read about Grave of the Fireflies is that it's manipulative in the way it tries to get emotions out of you, and personally that wasn't my experience at all because the most affective moments for me were ones that directly had to do with the genuineness of the main relationship, and not specifically the horror inflicted upon 'em. There's so much love between the two that that alone would drive you to heartbreak. She's a smart child who realises the situation and atmosphere they're in and therefore thrives to appear grown for her brother in order to not be as much of a weight on him...but she's still just a little girl. Meanwhile, he's obviously working hard to provide for her while being in an emotional crisis because of all the turmoil and anxiety that comes with the realisation of the fact that they're all alone from now on with absolutely no one to lean on. And in spite of all of that, their relationship blossoms so many beautiful moments, those are the true tear jerker moments for me.
That is an excellent description of both the film and the experience of it. One that very much mirrors how I feel and felt at the time of seeing this. And this is something I will revisit again. For all its beautiful moments.
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Like everyone else, I too prefer The Godfather to II. This may include how I've seen the first countless times from a kid when it came on TV and I've only seen the second a couple of times. It does include Brando's performance, absolutely. Along with the absence of Caan and Duvall that added levels to the first.
I imagine the second would benefit from a few more watches but in the end, I think my love for the first will always shadow the second instead of excitement for the continuation of the story. Even with Pacino's spot-on performance of Micheal. His arc carries it brilliantly and is the core of the trilogy for good reason.



I would love to re-watch Monsieur Hire sometime soon. It's an underseen gem that more people should check out, at least for the cinematography which still sticks out in my memory. It's also interesting to see how this came out the same year as The Decalogue, which has an episode extremely similar to the story behind this film, too similar I would say. What 80s or 90s films is this similar to by the way?
I don't think it's too far off from movies like Body Double as an erotic thriller, but it's still different enough to stand out on it's own.



The Godfather 2



I think the fact it took me so damn long to see this, especially after seeing The Godfather three separate times, may have potentially hurt how I felt about the film overall. It's supposed to be one of the greatest of all time. And I can't argue with anybody feeling that way. For me, I feel it's a good but not great film and I still prefer number one, although a lot of that could be due to the fact that I enjoyed the hell out of Brando's performance. I really didn't get much out of De Niros performance here to be honest, it felt a bit wooden and I'd say pretty overrated. Pacino was real good though, and all the others did quite well too I'd say. The story was pretty interesting to follow, there were a couple lulls but nothing too bad. I felt the length a bit in parts but not too extreme. The end was really well done and I also thought the beginning was pretty interesting. I'll for sure see it again because I feel there was a lot of context I may have missed. Good film. Feel like I'm underrating but that's because I feel like the expectations were skyrocket high, and I honestly don't see it as high as the rest of the movie world, not trying to knock it down or anything.

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To be honest, as good as he is, I'm not that crazy about De Niro's performance. To me, Pacino and Cazale are the stars here and they both are soooo good, especially in their final conversation together, which is easily one of my favorite scenes of any film.
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It definitely didn't seem like an Oscar winning performance to me. Crazy he won it



It definitely didn't seem like an Oscar winning performance to me. Crazy he won it
Level of competition

Astaire - The Towering Inferno
Bridges - Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Gazzo - Godfather II
Strasberg - Godfather II

It's pretty crazy that when you look at the 10 acting Godfather noms...

Brando - winner
Deniro - winner
Pacino - 2X nominee
Duval
Caan
Shire
Gazzo
Strasberg
Garcia
These two missed out



Not sure I follow how Shire got a nom either. Even Keaton was probably more successful in her role.



The Cranes are Flying may, in a few years, become my fav foreign film. I couldn't find anything wrong with it from story to screen.

I liked Zodiac but it's not a movie that flies by for me. Never had a problem with any of the acting in it but it does drag at times. Been a long time since I've watched it but that's what I remember. Had a feeling it would be iffy for CR.

Godfather 2 I've seen it because it's one of those movie you have to see. It's good but I've seen part 1 several times and part 2 only once. Completely agree with raul on DeNiro's performance.

The Right Stuff is one I recommended to Cricket for a HoF so if he recommended it to ed I feel pretty good about that. Like others have said, I remember when it was released and it didn't interest me at all. When I did finally get around to it I loved it . Has quite a bit more humor than I expected and the cinematography is great. The only knock against it is Dennis Quaid and his **** eating grin. Ugh!

I've also seen True Romance and have it at
so I like it but other than Dennis Hopper's scene and the ending it's all kind of fuzzy.


Started watching Another Earth but my stream crashed. First ten minutes were good.



I think that many MoFos are so desensitized to violence by the movies that they watch, that they don't view brutal killings as shown in Zodiac as much of a big deal. But I don't watch slasher horror films, etc.
Sorry I'm a little late to this and I'm not trying to stir things up again but it's not so much some of us are desensitized to violence it's just that there's different types of violence. I understand that you don't like that stuff but I don't think it's fair to compare a slasher films violence with something like Zodiac. It's different. They are trying to elicit a completely different response from the viewer. In a slasher film it's purely visual. Kind of a look how creative we can be killing folks and what we can do with the fx type thing. There's a purpose to it in Zodiac just like there's a reason Spielberg shows the extreme violence in something like Schindler's List or Gibson did in The Passion of the Christ. I can watch a person, hung upside down, be sawed in half with everything spilling out on the docks, in a slasher film and think it's great fun (Terrifier). That doesn't desensitize me to the violence in other, dare I say, more serious movies. When I watch something like Grand Canyon and see Kevin Kline barely slice his finger open with a paring knife, it makes me squirm. There's a reality to the scene in Grand Canyon that's not there in slasher films.

But I get that it's all subjective and it's why I don't pick movies like that for you. Cricket, on the other hand...I'd recommend anything for him. The more disgusting the better.



Originally Posted by Citizen Rules
I think that many MoFos are so desensitized to violence by the movies that they watch, that they don't view brutal killings as shown in Zodiac as much of a big deal. But I don't watch slasher horror films, etc.
Thanks for your reply Frederick. I'll break up my answers into individual replies:

Sorry I'm a little late to this and I'm not trying to stir things up again.
I never felt like anyone was stirring things up, in fact I'm glad people took the time to reply to my review of Zodiac. So no worries

but it's not so much some of us are desensitized to violence it's just that there's different types of violence.
Totally agree that there are different types of movie violence. It's hard to describe in a few quick words exactly what I dislike (and what I don't mind seeing) in movie violence. Though as an aside, I do think people who watch a lot of modern R violence will be less sensitive to it then someone like me who 'lives' in the 1950s (movie/TV wise that is)

I understand that you don't like that stuff but I don't think it's fair to compare a slasher films violence with something like Zodiac. It's different. They are trying to elicit a completely different response from the viewer. In a slasher film it's purely visual. Kind of a look how creative we can be killing folks and what we can do with the fx type thing.
What I was trying to relay by saying the lake side killing scene was like a slasher/horror film (to me), was the emotional response it created in me. A very tense home invasion film with a helpless family struggling for their lives would also create the same kind of negative anxiety in me.

For me it's not about the intent of the director or the logical use of the violence. I just plain found it very uncomfortable..And yes I know that's the point of the movie scene.
There's a purpose to it in Zodiac just like there's a reason Spielberg shows the extreme violence in something like Schindler's List or Gibson did in The Passion of the Christ.
I've seen both Schindler's List and The Passion of the Chris, and wasn't bothered at all by the violence in them. In fact I think I was eating pizza last time I watched Schindler's List. Not that I don't take the subject matter seriously but it doesn't bother me to watch a movie about it. I've also seen plenty of real, dead rotting bodies in Holocaust documentaries and it's very sad, but doesn't produce the same anxiety feeling as watching a couple tied up and executed in a realistic scene.

I can watch a person, hung upside down, be sawed in half with everything spilling out on the docks, in a slasher film and think it's great fun (Terrifier). That doesn't desensitize me to the violence in other, dare I say, more serious movies. When I watch something like Grand Canyon and see Kevin Kline barely slice his finger open with a paring knife, it makes me squirm. There's a reality to the scene in Grand Canyon that's not there in slasher films.
I mean desensitized to movie violence only, not desensitized to real world violence, (and yes you didn't mention real world violence, I just want to throw that out there to be clear on my meaning to all who read this.)



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Some excellent specifics and the various reactions brought up by both Frederick and CR. Made me think of Memories of Murder that I watched this weekend.
It's an interesting point on how we react can vary on what type of film we are watching just on its own.
Case in point, since it's so fresh in my mind enough to make it a conscious consideration; watching this Bong Joon Ho film and being a fan of him, appreciating the dark, quirky comedic play he does, causes me to chuckle at most of the violence throughout the film. The exceptions being the murders themselves.

An interesting concept of perception via representation.



Make Way for Tomorrow



This one was so good. Puts into effect the realities of getting old and the "consequences" of it. I particularly loved the performance of Mrs. Cooper, played terrificly by Beulah Bondi. Her chemistry with Victor Moore was so on point and their relationship felt so genuine. Love how we are dropped right into the family predicament right at the beginning, it even gives the viewer a sense of uneasiness as to how we would proceed given the same circumstances. It's a film filled with a lot of heartfelt moments. The last third of the film is so good, with them spending time in the city together. This movie is hard to really criticize with any of it's flaws, it just feels so real. Great film!

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The Hurt Locker

Late to write up this one so unfortunately there won't be as much to say as if it were fresh, but this is a brilliantly directed film that puts us into a danger zone of these characters and crazily enough I felt like I was right there. What I like about the film the most is that the tension is basically there from start to finish, you never felt like there was a relaxing moment in the film if that makes sense, which obviously imitates how Bigelow wanted to portray the situation these characters are in. There could have been some more character development to add to the emotional attachment of what happens in the end, but overall I was quite happy with this viewing experience.

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One left for me, Trainspotting. I'll take a solid link if anyone's got it.



In case you haven't noticed, I've put this on hold during August, but I plan to pick things up once September starts. I'm pretty sure I can handle what I have left until the October 15 deadline.



In case you haven't noticed, I've put this on hold during August, but I plan to pick things up once September starts. I'm pretty sure I can handle what I have left until the October 15 deadline.
But can you handle that AND the 26th HOF?