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The 27th General Hall of Fame

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Allaby's Avatar
Guy who likes movies
I watched One Cut of the Dead (2017). Directed by Shin'ichirô Ueda, this comedy horror film starts off with a film crew shooting a zombie movie and then goes in a surprising direction from there. I had heard good things about this and considered watching it before, but never got around to it. I'm not a big fan of zombie themed movies, but this was different. It's a clever and inventive film, structured in an unusual way. It was an interesting film and I enjoyed it, but I didn't find it funny. Good nomination.



I'll kill anyone who get's in the way of me killin
Glad to hear that you both enjoyed Baby Face, @Allaby and @Takoma11.
My Spoiler touches on the legitimate quibble that Takoma addresses.
__________________
What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue:
Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn't been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won't be troubling you much longer.



several victims left in her wake
"Victims" . . . . eh. . . .

I felt bad for Ann, and that was about it.

Stevens decides that money is more important to him, and so he wants to have his cake and eat it too: keep the rich fiance and have Lily on the side. (Yes, he offers to resign and break off the engagement, but he changes his tune on that pretty quickly after his "vacation").

Then there's the older man, who is clearly no stranger to having a "kept woman".

I'd consider them victims more if I felt as if she was the only reason for their behavior. But especially in the case of Ann's father, it seemed like it was business as usual. The men are the ones betraying their fiances/wives/etc, and they don't seem all that torn up about it.

WARNING: "The Ending" spoilers below
With already a body count of cast-aside lovers, the original ending was her finding her final lover, the very top man of the ladder, dead from suicide. The smoking gun beside him. The only good man and the only one she could love and believe in love.
The censors' instance that he survives and she chooses love over her pursuit of a glamorous life seemed to work in its way. Finding love, glamour, and genuine happiness after a sh#t life did make me breathe easier since when she first discovers him and holds him as his eyes drift shut was a sad sight to see for me.
So I am a bit confused about my preference since I could easily see the more hard ending being far more of an impact.
I wouldn't have minded the ending if
WARNING: spoilers below
I had a sense of genuine love and affection between them. But notice how, when Lily says she wants to get married, he just drops her hand. Later when he says he needs her, he's actually mostly just talking about needing the money/gifts he gave her.

Lily has decided on a worldview based only on the idea that men want her for sex and nothing more. I liked the scene in the taxi where he says he's surprised she's still working in the Paris branch, and she admits she's partly still there to prove something to him. I wish there had been just one or two more scenes like that: scenes where it is clear that he understands what has brought her to this lifestyle but likes her for her. The film and their relationship never quite got over that hill for me, and so for her to risk going back to being destitute just to stand by her man was unconvincing.



Apocalypse Now (1979) -


I watched the Redux version several years ago and, while I loved certain parts of it, it dragged for me in some other scenes and I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. Since I hadn't seen the theatrical version prior to this Hall, I was curious as to how well I would respond to it. I expected for it to be an easier watch than the Redux version, but what I wasn't expecting was for it to trump my own expectations. To get it out of the way, yes, the animal cruelty scenes (the water buffalo being killed and the rough handling of the dog) are hard to watch and indefensible, but other than that, this film is truly excellent and is quite possibly the best representation of a descent into madness I've ever seen. I've seen many critics argue that the journey to Kurtz's compound is a metaphorical descent into madness and that was what stood out the most to me while watching this film. The first stop with Lt. Col. Kilgore shows the first stage of this descent. On the surface, it's a fairly conventional raid scene (albeit one which is technically outstanding), but that Kilgore orders some soldiers to surf during the raid and expresses his gratitude towards a Vietnamese soldier who fought in spite of being seriously wounded adds an undercurrent of surrealism to to that sequence. The second stop where hundreds of soldiers watch a Playboy show at a supply depot shows the next stage of this descent. Many soldiers in that scene yell sexual remarks at the women and try to rush the stage, showing more of their unhinged behavior. The third main stop at a remote U.S. army outpost expands on this descent. Several soldiers seem desperate to get into their boat in an attempt to return home and the other soldiers in the outpost seem to have no idea who their commanding officer is. There doesn't seem to be much order in that outpost and the whole scene maintains a hellish atmosphere. And, of course, Kurtz's compound is the final stage of this descent. I love how his monologues in that scene feel simultaneously avant-garde and narrative-driven at the same time. Though Kurtz appears to be talking about great insights in his speeches, half of what he says doesn't make any sense. Topped with how his face is either partially or entirely obscured in darkness throughout those scenes makes them some of the best movie monologues I've ever seen. Topped with some excellent cinematography and some outstanding soundtrack choices (Ride of the Valkyries and The End), this film is definitely a top 10 war film for me. Thanks to jiraffejustin for nominating this one

Next Up: Baby Face





Apocalypse Now, 1979

Ben Willard (Martin Sheen) is sent on a mission to assassinate an out-of-control renegade commander named Kurtz (Marlon Brando). Aboard a river boat with a small crew (Laurence Fishburne, Sam Bottoms, Frederic Forrest, and Albert Hall), Willard ventures deeper and deeper into the country and scenes of madness.

I have seen Apocalypse Now several times. Despite liking and respecting it, I find that I don't often have much to say about it. Not because there aren't many things to praise or discuss, but because so much has been written about it---heck, even within this thread---that I often feel like I'm just retreading conversations that have already been had about it.

What I think I love most about the film---in both its structure and as a narrative--is the way that it feels relentless and yet formless. So often, there is no tangible enemy. The characters are confronted with scene after scene of madness, and in turn madness seems like almost the only rational response.

I think it's the sign of a strong film when sequences that have been parodied to death can still have an impact. Duvall's Kilgore, the sequence with the Flight of the Valkyries, the scenes in Kurtz's compound. These all still had an impact, as did the building sense of foreboding.

The actors are all pretty pitch perfect in their roles. I'd forgotten about the way that Sheen's Willard starts in a daze and just slips deeper and deeper into it.

This time through I still had a quibble with the way that the Vietnamese people are essentially used as background scenery. Kurtz taking on a whole group of them as his "children" feels patronizing without a sense of how he's so captured their loyalty. (I mean, we sort of see it's through fear and cunning, but his isn't ever articulated by someone who is actually Vietnamese). The film isn't unsympathetic and we of course see numerous atrocities committed against Vietnamese civilians. But often they feel more like props than real characters.

Definitely a film I'm glad I saw on the big screen (even if it was the slightly bloated Redux version).




Allaby's Avatar
Guy who likes movies
I just finished rewatching Jaws on blu-ray. Jaws is an inspirational drama about a lovable, misunderstood shark who just wants to make new friends, but is rejected for being different. At least that was my interpretation of it. Seriously though, Jaws is a thrilling, entertaining classic, masterfully directed by the great Steven Spielberg. The actors are excellent, especially the guy who played the shark. Can't believe he didn't get an Oscar nomination for best actor! I loved the look of the film and the score is fantastic and memorable. There are lots of fun, exciting moments here. A very worthy nomination.



Jaws (1975)


Once more, a Spielberg movie plays like an ad to one of those "how to write a successful story" guides. Every turn, every character, and every shot just cogs in the machine that runs smooth and makes millions. I doubt there's anyone better at turning the formula into an entertaining (and profitable) movie.

I'm not a huge fan of these animals as monsters films. They often require too many leaps of logic that would be easier to accept if the monster was, well, a monster. Jaws has its share of that, but it's not the worst offender. In this case, I'm more annoyed by the characters who are too much one joke caricatures (an island cop afraid of the water, a wannabe Ahab shark-hunter, etc.).

That shark is still the best-looking movie shark I've seen. None of the modern CGI sharks stand a chance against it. A huge plus for it eating a kid, too. Among the best monster animal films, but that's only enough for pretty decent. A bit more nuanced characters and something unexpected happening could have made it really good.


(That's a tentative rating, small chance I'll up it by half within a few days)
__________________



Two Apocalypse Now reviews in a row, followed by two for Jaws. You guys plan this, or what?

I just watched True Romance, or I guess I should say "rewatched" since I actually had seen it before after all. Have to work early tomorrow though, so I won't be able to write anything tonight.



I'm not a huge fan of these animals as monsters films. They often require too many leaps of logic that would be easier to accept if the monster was, well, a monster.
I agree with this sentiment. I actually thought about that while watching Jaws this time, since it's quite rare for sharks to attack humans. It didn't detract from the film, but at least Deep Blue Sea messed with their sharks' brain chemistry, giving them more of a reason to be aggressive, rather than just painting sharks as crazy man-eating machines.



Safety Last! (1923)


The shortcomings of a silent film, or my review of Safety Last! The movie is merely a collection of gags and a few drawn-out stunts. The story is almost non-existent, and it's advanced with childish exaggeration. It's so difficult to be funny without words, especially for the length of a movie.

Out of the jokes, I was most amused by the ones that would be considered offensive today. The racial (or racist) stereotypes are always a good source for some laughs (and yes, I find the jokes about Finnish grumpiness and shyness fun as well). I guess the tone, in general, is too child-friendly for me, so those outdated gags feel like something daring in 2022.

Honestly, Safety Last! felt much longer than its short runtime. The pacing was off, and most jokes ran longer than necessary. The climb may have been dangerous, but it's not exciting. There are enough decently funny moments to keep it watchable but not much more.




I'll kill anyone who get's in the way of me killin
"Victims" . . . . eh. . . .

I felt bad for Ann, and that was about it.

Stevens decides that money is more important to him, and so he wants to have his cake and eat it too: keep the rich fiance and have Lily on the side. (Yes, he offers to resign and break off the engagement, but he changes his tune on that pretty quickly after his "vacation").

Then there's the older man, who is clearly no stranger to having a "kept woman".

I'd consider them victims more if I felt as if she was the only reason for their behavior. But especially in the case of Ann's father, it seemed like it was business as usual. The men are the ones betraying their fiances/wives/etc, and they don't seem all that torn up about it.



I wouldn't have minded the ending if
WARNING: spoilers below
I had a sense of genuine love and affection between them. But notice how, when Lily says she wants to get married, he just drops her hand. Later when he says he needs her, he's actually mostly just talking about needing the money/gifts he gave her.

Lily has decided on a worldview based only on the idea that men want her for sex and nothing more. I liked the scene in the taxi where he says he's surprised she's still working in the Paris branch, and she admits she's partly still there to prove something to him. I wish there had been just one or two more scenes like that: scenes where it is clear that he understands what has brought her to this lifestyle but likes her for her. The film and their relationship never quite got over that hill for me, and so for her to risk going back to being destitute just to stand by her man was unconvincing.
"victim" IS an incorrect description. A bit of vigilante perception on my part as I continually cheered her on like this was a revenge/action film and not an accurate description of what is occurring.
Each and every man IS responsible for their actions and said consequences of said actions. She didn't seek them out out of cruelty. It was a pragmatic decision. So I do need to correct that.

WARNING: "And yes," spoilers below
I did notice those little moments. I do enjoy those subtleties and how they evolve your perceptions on secondary views.



Two Apocalypse Now reviews in a row, followed by two for Jaws. You guys plan this, or what? .
You're not getting the e-mails?

"victim" IS an incorrect description. A bit of vigilante perception on my part as I continually cheered her on like this was a revenge/action film and not an accurate description of what is occurring.
I just think it's interesting how we perceive situations like that. Like for a minute I was like "Aw, poor Stevens!". Then I was like, wait, he's the one cheating on his fiance. Obviously Lily flirted with him, but she's not the one who is engaged and he literally never does a single thing to discourage her.



Allaby's Avatar
Guy who likes movies
I'm surprised that Safety Last is doing so poorly so far. It's rated an 8.1 on imdb, is on Ebert's great movies list, and is part of the Criterion Collection. I guess it goes to show that you never know how a film is going to do in these halls, regardless of its reputation elsewhere.



I'm surprised that Safety Last is doing so poorly so far. It's rated an 8.1 on imdb, is on Ebert's great movies list, and is part of the Criterion Collection. I guess it goes to show that you never know how a film is going to do in these halls, regardless of its reputation elsewhere.
I like the film a lot, personally. I'll have to see how well it will hold up with a rewatch though.