Best Picture Hall of Fame Part 2

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First run:
Chicago
Lord of the Rings: The Return is the King
The Departed
The Kings Speech
The Artist
Argo
12 Years a Slave

Took my ex to the anniversary release in 2012 because she wanted to see it:
Titanic

Special viewings for the Classics run Penn Cinema likes to show in Lancaster, Pa (obligatory shoutout):
Rebecca
Casablanca
From Here to Eternity



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I'm surprised because I haven't been to the movies at all since 2011.
I'm kinda that way. I used to go multiple times a week or more and then somewhere after the new millennia it was once or twice a year, if that.
Though a lot of that has to do with my work schedule of working from 4pm to midnight 6 days a week.
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Chicago? You seen Chicago, wow! You must have gotten the free ticket then?
Nah, we always split on the cost on "two-fer Tuesdays." We'd just show up at a random time and buy tickets for whichever movie was playing soonest.

I actually don't mind Chicago.



I'm surprised because I haven't been to the movies at all since 2011.
I'm kinda that way. I used to go multiple times a week or more and then somewhere after the new millennia it was once or twice a year, if that.
Though a lot of that has to do with my work schedule of working from 4pm to midnight 6 days a week.
Thatís the exact same schedule I work. Same amount of days as well.
I went often, usually every week, between 2000-2005, then couldnít due to work, then again between 2009-2013, almost always alone both times. rarely go these days. Usually go somewhere between 6-10 times a year.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Nah, we always split on the cost on "two-fer Tuesdays." We'd just show up at a random time and buy tickets for whichever movie was playing soonest.

I actually don't mind Chicago.
I WOULD like Chicago BUT I just can't get over the fact that anyone would dump Catherine Zeta Jones for Renťe Zellweger.
There are certain suspensions of disbelief that even I cannot do and that's one of them.



Recently time has been an issue in regards to my ability to watch movies, but as far as going to the cinema, I just stopped enjoying it as I've gotten older. I don't really like going anywhere anymore unless it's taking the dogs out somewhere.



I'm realizing from this HoF most best picture winners are long! The shortest one is King's Speech, which still clocks in at 1 hr, 59 minutes. I usually go shortest to longest 'cause I'm a slacker, but damn this is gonna be hard, especially with Gandhi and Braveheart.
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I'm realizing from this HoF most best picture winners are long! The shortest one is King's Speech, which still clocks in at 1 hr, 59 minutes. I usually go shortest to longest 'cause I'm a slacker, but damn this is gonna be hard, especially with Gandhi and Braveheart.
Sorry

It might be easier this time to get the long movies watched and out of the way. At least you know they were good enough to win Best Picture Oscars.



I'm realizing from this HoF most best picture winners are long! The shortest one is King's Speech, which still clocks in at 1 hr, 59 minutes. I usually go shortest to longest 'cause I'm a slacker, but damn this is gonna be hard, especially with Gandhi and Braveheart.
Sorry

It might be easier this time to get the long movies watched and out of the way. At least you know they were good enough to win Best Picture Oscars.
Yeah, many BP winners tended to be on the long side, anywhere from 2 1/2 - 3 hours long and sometimes longer. I figured it would have been inevitable.
Still worth it however.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Recently time has been an issue in regards to my ability to watch movies, but as far as going to the cinema, I just stopped enjoying it as I've gotten older. I don't really like going anywhere anymore unless it's taking the dogs out somewhere.
or going to the bathroom in the woods. . .

I remember that photo from the Survivor game lol



American Beauty

My own nomination, and my sixth favorite Best Picture Winner ever. This movie gets a lot more criticism nowadays from people saying that it worked right in 1999 but not now. I disagree. First of all, I notice most of those people have serious issues with Kevin Spacey (which is probably valid). However, they let that hatred cloud their vision of the film itself, and the extraordinary acting performance by him and directorial work of Sam Mendes.

And speaking of Sam Mendes, what a director. He is not an "autuer" like Kubrick, or Wes Anderson, or Tarkovsky. He has no unique vision or special stamp. He's simply a ****ing good director who makes ****ing good movies. And what a ****ing debut with American Beauty. For me, this was the rightful best film of 1999, rivaled maybe only by The Iron Giant.

I think, while all the characters are ******** to some extent, some of them are frightfully relatable. Kevin Spacey is a dick, yet I personally identify with a lot of his problems. He feels completely boxed in with his life, almost as if suffocating on the normal suburban lifestyle; he wants to break free, and with the examples he is given he does. Obviously the movie is a lot more complex than that, and while the paper bag scene is a little too cheesy and melodramatic, it is so oddly easy to identify with.

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy this one, it won't be for everyone and in some aspects it is definitely dated, but I still think it holds up quite well today.

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American Beauty

My own nomination, and my sixth favorite Best Picture Winner ever. This movie gets a lot more criticism nowadays from people saying that it worked right in 1999 but not now. I disagree. First of all, I notice most of those people have serious issues with Kevin Spacey (which is probably valid). However, they let that hatred cloud their vision of the film itself, and the extraordinary acting performance by him and directorial work of Sam Mendes.

And speaking of Sam Mendes, what a director. He is not an "autuer" like Kubrick, or Wes Anderson, or Tarkovsky. He has no unique vision or special stamp that makes him unique. He's simply a ****ing good director who makes ****ing good movies. And what a ****ing debut with American Beauty. For me, this was the rightful best film of 1999, rivaled maybe only by The Iron Giant.

I think, while all the characters are ******** to some extent, some of them are frightfully relatable. Kevin Spacey is a dick, yet I personally identify with a lot of his problems. He feels completely boxed in with his life, almost as if suffocating on the normal suburban lifestyle; he wants to break free, and with the examples he is given he does. Obviously the movie is a lot more complex than that, and while the paper bag scene is a little too cheesy and melodramatic, it is so oddly easy to identify with.

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoy this one, it won't be for everyone and in some aspects it is definitely dated, but I still think it holds up quite well today.

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I feel a lot of that revisionist criticism is derived from the fallout involving Spacey. Itís undeserved in my opinion. Judge the man, fine, but his roles are separate and should remain so.



The King's Speech

This is literally the most "Oscar Bait" film possible. It checks all the boxes. Great acting. Period/costume style drama. And yes, drama. Maybe a couple of quirky lines, but not much else. Inspiring. Well done. But also... directed by the DIRECTOR OF CATS. Imagine being Tom Hooper, directing a Best Picture winner and then 9 years later making the worst movie of the year. Poor dude.

This isn't bad though. Half the cast from Harry Potter was in it, so that was kind of distracting (Worm tail was Winston Churchill wtffff, and Dumbledore was main character's dad, and BELLATRIX was his wife lol). Honestly, I may have enjoyed it more if it hadn't won Best Picture, just thinking of all the amazing films it beat... forget Social Network or Black Swan, I would easily take Toy Story 3 or How to Train Your Dragon over this. It's just so formulaic and predictable, but ends up being a pretty good story anyways. Acting is stellar, and looks good too.

Just not something I think I'll remember in a year.

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I feel a lot of that revisionist criticism is derived from the fallout involving Spacey. Itís undeserved in my opinion. Judge the man, fine, but his roles are separate and should remain so.
Yeah, exactly, I found his performance masterful before I knew about the allegations, why would any of that change afterwards?



I feel a lot of that revisionist criticism is derived from the fallout involving Spacey. Itís undeserved in my opinion. Judge the man, fine, but his roles are separate and should remain so.
Yeah, exactly, I found his performance masterful before I knew about the allegations, why would any of that change afterwards?
Itís like Polanski. Man was a rapist. Fled the country to avoid prosecution. A real PoS.
But his films are masterful.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I'm curious to see IF American Beauty is dated. I don't think it will be.

And I feel the same way about the scandals. Didn't follow any of them and it doesn't matter to me. I'm with Wylde, I still take the person separate from the the films that they make/star in. Much like i do with music. A lot of creative geniuses are or were utterly deplorable as human beings and yet their works are truly beautiful. Kind of like that line from the movie Amadeus: "I'm a vulgar man. But, I swear to you, my music is NOT."




Unforgiven (1992)

Solid western from one of the legends of western movies...Clint Eastwood. Eastwood's laconic performance fits the character Bill Munny to a tee. Munny is, as we would image him to be...a coiled viper reformed by the love of a good woman, and without her guiding hand he's a man who could once again do great violence.

But I think the real star here is Eastwood the director. As a director, Eastwood employs the same no-frills, well honed and laconic style of film making that made him famous as an actor. The actor is the director and the film is highly focused with nary a misstep, but a couple of misfires. The film takes the myth of the old west, a myth that Eastwood himself helped to make, and deconstructs that myth and shows it to be mostly the stuff of idle talk that turned into folk legend. And the misfire of a gun is used to demonstrate that in a gunfight it's not about a quick draw but about a cool head and luck. And nothing is more unlucky than a misfire in a gunfight.

I reckon Unforgiven will be the number one movie in the upcoming western countdown.
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Platoon

Chris Taylor: Somebody once wrote: "Hell is the impossibility of reason." That's what this place feels like. Hell.

And so begins Taylorís descent into hell. His first minutes spent as soon as he steps off the helicopter he notices the bodies being carried away. Live bodies come in, dead bodies go out. Itís a fresh exchange that illustrates whatís heís in for.
Taylor is played by Charlie Sheen, with a sense of innocence and naÔvetť thatís expected of a new recruit. Both feelings pass before long. Heís introduced in quick succession to his Sargents. Elias, played by Willem Dafoe, and Barnes, played by Tom Berenger. Both roles are perfectly cast.
Taylor soon finds himself torn between both, Elias offering care and nurture, while Barnes offers violence and death. Both fight for control of Sheens metaphorical soul. Both have different ideological views about the war. And how they approach it. This is evident at the Village scene thatís meant to invoke the My Lai Massacre.
Eventually their personalities come to a climax that is both inevitable and violent.
The scenes are shot in a nightmare like quality, mist and smoke rising from the ground as if they are actually in hell.
The score is memorable, with the music punctuating important scenes.
And the screenplay is magnificent, written from Director Oliver Stones one experiences from the Vietnam War. Many of the scenes were actually witnessed by him. Such as the late night ambush at the beginning of the film, and ending battle that claims so many lives.
In the end, the film holds nothing back, showing that they were not only at war with the enemy, but with themselves , and their own conscience. This is reflected in Taylorís final line.
Chris Taylor: "I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy... was in us."

An amazing film. One I wish I had been old enough to see firsthand in the theatre, much like Unforgiven.
What I would have given to have done so.




Gandhi (1982)

The film Gandhi is so vast in it's scope that I'm not even sure where to start this review at...At 3 hours 11 minutes it still only scratched the surface of one of the most influential and revered figures of the 20th century. And I was engaged for the entire runtime of the film. I can't image how the director, Richard Attenborough went about mounting such a huge project. I mean this movie set the record for the most people on screen...300,000 extras! And there's so many different on location scenes that the logistics alone must have been huge. This is the type of film that will never be made again. Today those 300,000 extras would be CG created.

I enjoyed the film, it worked, it was made beautifully. What more can I say.
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