The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame

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Patton (1970)
It's impossible to talk about Patton without talking first about the mythical performance delivered by the great George C. Scott. I may not have seen every film he was in but this has to be the best performance of his entire career because I simply can't imagine how you can top that. Through out the whole 3 hours this takes, Scott's Patton radiates authority, threat, strength and arrogance, giving a new meaning to losing oneself into the role, in one of the best acting jobs of all time. It's like the man was born to play this.
100% He grabs you right from that opening monologue and never lets go. Makes me want to go watch it right now.



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



I love that opening, as well! Iíve read that Drive, and also Baby Driver (which I havenít seen) were heavily influenced by The Driver. Havenít seen it yet to compare.
The Driver is great it has that unsurpassed 70's coolness and style.
Baby Driver was just aiight for me 69/100.
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I picked up a few DVDs today. Local rental remains open. 😎
Following films will be reviewed tomorrow:
Rashomon
Double Indemnity
Road to Perdition




The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Directed by Daniel Myrick, Eduardo SŠnchez

Sticks and stones...The movie that introduced found footage movie making to millions of people. I would have been fine going my entire life without seeing this so it is with great joy that I am able to say "huh, that wasn't too bad."

A group of students go to the woods of Maryland to make a documentary about the Blair Witch. On their way to the woods they stop in the local town where they interview a few people and we get the backstory of the urban legend. After that it's off to find the Witch.

Most of the movie is the three wandering lost in the woods and arguing. Every now and again they come across something spooky - usually a bundle of sticks or a pile of rocks. There really isn't anything terribly scary happening. It's at night where things get a little sketchy in a "did you hear that?" way. Their desperation is what creates most of the tension so the more desperate the become the more the tension ramps up. It builds up nicely and never takes a step backwards. It all leads to a finale at a deserted house, the cabin in the woods, where everything finally breaks.

I always thought this was a horror film for people who don't like horror films and I still think that, but it's good. No fx, no gore at all but I knew that going in so was prepared. One real positive - the camera work wasn't nearly as herky-jerky as I expected. I remember reading about people getting sick in theaters when this was released and it wasn't that bad. The characters are just interesting enough to not be boring and I enjoyed all the arguing (it was like Twitter on film). Will take a spot next four other movies on my found footage top ten list.

I don't understand all the hype about The Blair Witch Project. I remember when it was in the movie theaters, and everyone was saying how scary it was, and that it was a "must-see" movie. I went to see it with a few friends, and none of us liked it. We all thought it was overrated, and not scary at all.

I tried rewatching it recently for the horror countdown, and I still didn't like it. I just don't get what people see in this movie.

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The Evil Dead 1981 Directed by Sam Raimi
Not my nomination, but I do love The Evil Dead. It's still one of the goriest films I've ever seen. The dark humor doesn't detract from the terrifying, relentless carnage. As you mentioned, the creative cinematography is a highlight. I'm not a fan of the sequels, as they lean too heavily on Three Stooges-style slapstick, but lots of people prefer them, so definitely give them a watch sometime.

Bambi (1942)
I was surprised by how dark the themes in Bambi were. I assumed this was a G rated family movie, but in someways it had one of the most disturbing scenes I've ever watched. That would be the hunting scene with little Bambi and his mom
It's still crazy to me that you haven't seen so many of these Disney classics. They've been around so long that I feel like everyone, no matter their age, has grown up with some of them. What type of movies were you watching as a kid? Surely the tragic fate of Bambi's mother wasn't a surprise to you. I feel like that's one of the most universal spoilers that everyone knows, whether they've actually seen the film or not --- kinda like Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker's father. I don't know how I'd respond to Bambi if I was introduced to it now, and I haven't actually watched it in ages, but I consider it my favorite of the classic-era Disneys. I think I watched the movie so many times at a young, impressionable age that it affected me on a psychological level. My attitudes toward hunting and nature, my fear of abandonment . . . all of that likely stems from Bambi.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)
I strongly considered this and Nosferatu the Vampyre before deciding I'd rather force you to watch a singing as*hole. I was very surprised that you hadn't already seen Blair Witch Project, although I figured you had a reason, like an aversion to found-footage or something. It's such an influential film that I feel it deserves to be seen by anyone interested in horror. Whether or not one finds it scary likely depends on where one was raised. I've lived in rural areas most of my life surrounded by woods, and I've gotten lost in those woods a couple times growing up, and I think The Blair Witch Project perfectly taps into that vulnerable, disoriented state. I also love the film's ambuiguity. Are the woods truly haunted, or was it just a group of dangerous locals f**king with the filmmakers? That last shot always haunts me. I'm glad you liked the film more than you expected to.
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I don't understand all the hype about The Blair Witch Project. I remember when it was in the movie theaters, and everyone was saying how scary it was, and that it was a "must-see" movie. I went to see it with a few friends, and none of us liked it. We all thought it was overrated, and not scary at all.
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When it was released it was marketed extremely well. If there was an Oscar for best Marketing Campaign it would have won hands down. I remember people believing it was real. I never bought into it and it actually turned me off of it which is why I've avoided it all these years. It probably benefited from me going into it with such negative expectations.



Bambi...It's still crazy to me that you haven't seen so many of these Disney classics. They've been around so long that I feel like everyone, no matter their age, has grown up with some of them. What type of movies were you watching as a kid?...
I was a little kid back in the 1960s and early 70s...My family was working class and we had only one tv in the house. At least it was a color tv. No streaming, no dvds, not even VCR's back then...So with only one tv my dad decided what to watch, which was usually a cop show and never Disney which was on Sunday nights. I didn't really watch movies back then, unless the family went to the drive-in theater where we watched stuff, like The French Connection, The Godfather & Clint Eastwood movies. I don't really remember watching movies much at all until me and my brother were older and turned the attached garage into a second living room and we had our own tv and vcr...then I started renting every sci fi every made!






Night of the Hunter

Rachel Cooper: It's a hard world for little things.

I've gotten lucky to get several Must See! Classics on my nomination plate and this is one of the highest on my own list of such films I needed to see.
I've always loved Mitchum and he is completely ideal for the charismatic wolf in sheep's clothing. Many of his playful, cavalier mannerisms can be seen as a staple for villains in so many films now. I can't honestly say if there is such a villain before his portrayal that was allowed to be like that without coming off as creepy or more like a weasel or slime bag than with such silky confidence. There are some that come close, but not with such extravagance.
And this must be the only time I've seen Shelly Winters play such a reserved, docile character. I actually had to take a moment, in wonder, to see her outside of what I have been to used to for her.
And, of course, Lillian Gish as the woman who becomes a haven to the storm that the children are caught up in was an excellent guarding knight against the evil Reverend Powell. My favorite confrontation was when she stays up with the shotgun and he sat outside the window, singing. At one point, she joins in. There was a calm, subtle challenge going on that was very well done.


Also, Charles Laughton did an amazing job as Director and the cinematography was incredible here. The composition and lighting was top quality. It's said Laughton preferred using sound stages than going on site and he definitely put them to exceptional use.

To whomever nominated this; THANK YOU
my pleasure
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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
100% He grabs you right from that opening monologue and never lets go. Makes me want to go watch it right now.
LOOOVE that opening speech!!
"When you put your hand - in some goo, that used to be your friend's face.
You'll know what to do."
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They say: that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia, the petite mort, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night with yourself there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. ~Dylan Moran



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?


Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011)
Imdb

Date Watched: 03/20/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame, I think it may have been nominated by Captain Spaulding
Rewatch: No.


It's a pretty small complaint though and its possible that its importance will fade if I revisit the film later on. Not a home run, but a very good and surprising selection. Thank you to whoever chose it.

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When I saw that that one on your list of nominations I had a feeling it was going to be 60-40 it would be a decent watch for you.



A little ketchup on your movies

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
My guess: Citizen Rules aka no clue at all, could be any of you
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Nope, not my choice for you, but a damn good choice by someone! I loved this movie, I realized that on a much needed second watch in Raul's 1st Best Picture HoF, where it won. On the subject of Nurse Ratched, SeanC said something in his HoF review that I agreed with:

...I understand the inclination to call nurse Ratched a villain. I do find myself sympathetic to her position on many occasions though. McMurphy is giving a lot of these men the freedom they should be chasing themselves. However he is obviously a loose cannon who doesn't understand the severity of these men's mental states and ultimately doesn't have their best interests at heart. McMurphy obviously brings some needed joy to these men's lives but he has his self interest at heart just as much, if not more so, than Ratched. There is obvious a balance to be struck and I think the story has that in mind throughout. I just thought it would be interesting to bring up because I have heard Ratched described as a villain many times while I don't think I have ever heard McMurphy described that way...
and I wrote this in the same HoF:
...Jack Nicholson, OMG was he great in this or what! To his credit he played R.P. McMurphy as a man who might just be a sociopath or might just be a big jack ass. The questionable nature of his character worked wonders as the audience is in the same shoes as the doctors...we don't know if this man really belongs in a mental institute or not?


At first he seems like the typical anti-hero, a role he often played in other movies, but the film then flips that on it's head when he comes with in seconds of choking Nurse Ratchet to death. Which makes me think he's a real sociopath (a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience.)...and that sounds like R.P. McMurphy to me.

When I was younger I thought he was the victim and the nurse was the evil one...but now I can see those roles being blurred and questioned, and that's brilliant screen writing...and acting.


Louise Fletcher
, holy cow she rocked! I had seen this film once like 30 years ago and I remembered her as this evil conniving, sadistic nurse...boy was I wrong! She gave Nurse Ratched depth...and I could see she believed the actions she took was in the best interest of the patients and yet she's a control freak and McMurphy challenges her control which then pushes her deeper into authoritativeness.

Nurse Ratched extruded this passive-aggressive personality that was layered with that overly calm & collected voice, brilliant! But she never really crosses the line and becomes an evil caricature, in fact I rather like her...at least until the end. Both her and Nicholson richly deserved their Oscars....
I'm not saying you're wrong because you have a different opinion. We all see things differently. I just thought you might find another take interesting.


L.A. Confidential (1997)
My guess: Citizen Rules, I know he likes noir

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Yes, I do like noir, but no not my choice for you. In fact I need to watch this one again, it's been like 20 years.



Fun fact about that opening speech in Patton. After filming it, Scott decided it was too good to have at the opening of the film and didnít think he could top it for the rest of the film. He told the director, Schaffner, to move it to later on. The director felt differently, but Scott was never a man to argue with. So Schaffner lied to him.
History has shown it was the right decision. 😎



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?

L.A. Confidential (1997)
My guess: Citizen Rules, I know he likes noir

A stunning, complex, polished neo-noir -- actually, screw it, this is straight up Billy Wilder/Otto Preminger noir from the 40s or 50s -- L.A. Confidential balances several protagonists and many different plot points yet maintains a razor sharp focus during its two hour run time.

Boy do those two hours fly by. The acting from everyone is stellar, especially our three leads - Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, and Guy Pearce. All phenomenal character performances, and boosted by Kim Basinger's Oscar-winning supporting actress performance.

The acting however - like most movies - is only the tip of the iceberg. The script itself clearly borrows from, well the book it was based on obviously, but also from a lot of different film sources. You can definitely hear that 40s/50s noir dark script style if you know what I'm talking about. But we also get the 90s Tarantino/Scorsese-esque touch of dark humor, twists in language as an idiom, and an overall sense of complete control of style.

And that's exactly what this movie feels like. Curtis Hanson - and indeed everyone who worked on this masterpiece - is gradually uncovering secrets for us, the stupid audience. One by one, he unfolds that neatly wrapped blanket and shocks us with twists and turns along the way. It's like watching a magician perform magic tricks - this movie is Hanson pulling a rabbit out of the hat, and then turning the rabbit into a rat.

Speaking of Curtis Hanson... well, I'd never heard of him either. Too bad he couldn't become a great director, but L.A. Confidential proves he certainly had the talent, especially when he was working with the right actors. I'm still looking forward to seeing other movies he directed even if this is by far the most famous/well regarded of them.

L.A. Confidential is a tribute to noir, but it also breaks free of the genre, which I won't claim to be an expert on in the first place. We get interesting comments on violence and corruption in the law, and indeed the corruption of the entire Los Angeles movie/crime community. It's sinister, dark, smirking. And it got nine Academy Award nominations (of course that was the year Titanic swept everything) and two wins.

Wasn't too sure about this movie when I started and indeed throughout the first thirty minutes or so. But I came out thrilled. This is a certified classic.

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The book is the second in a three part series by James Ellory, along with The Big Nowhere and White Jazz who is truly amazing when it comes to the dark underbelly of the crime/police world of the forties and fifties. This film got me intrigued by him and I've read several of his books.
Regarding this film, which I've watched countless times and absolutely adore, they trimmed the book down to the dark essentials and did an excellent job transferring it to film.




The Muppet Movie (1979)

Genre: Family entertainment
Who do I think nominated it: Ahwell
My reaction: Liked it mostly

I really thought Miss Piggy was going to show her leg off in a nod to the famous Claudette Colbert scene in It Happened One Night.


Jim Henson's muppet puppets come to life, well sort of...I believed they had some sort of muppet soul in their fuzzy little bodies. Here's why I mostly liked this.

  • Nostalgia, I use to watch the Muppet Show way back when and always liked it, so this was a neat trip backwards.
  • Road trip movie, I always love those as they appeal to the adventure of seeing what's around the next bend in the road. I love road trips too!
  • Cameos of famous stars, so cool seeing all these great actors and actresses in one movie. I do wish they had been given just a little bit more screen time. Even an extra line that made their presences a part of the story would've been welcomed. As it was, the stars pop in out of nowhere, deliver a short throw away line, then are gone. Only Steve Martin and Mel Brooks had a bit longer cameos.
  • Orson Welles! any film with an Orson tie in gets bonus points from me. I loved that desk that he was seated at, that's a recreation of the office set from the James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967)

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Fun fact about that opening speech in Patton. After filming it, Scott decided it was too good to have at the opening of the film and didnít think he could top it for the rest of the film. He told the director, Schaffner, to move it to later on. The director felt differently, but Scott was never a man to argue with. So Schaffner lied to him.
History has shown it was the right decision. 😎
Seems like a lot of directors lied to Scott. Didn't Kubrick lie to him during the making of Strangelove? "Just do one REALLY silly take for me. We won't put it in the movie."



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I was around 9th grade when the Muppets came out on TV and thoroughly enjoyed the movie when it came out. I even enjoyed when they redid the Muppet Show with new muppets.
Been ages since I saw the original Muppets film. Would probably get a kick out of it if I did.