ahwell's Top 100 Movies - 2020

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You mean me? Kei's cousin?
I actually remember going to see it on release day.
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Up is really good. I just wish the whole film had the impact of that first part.

It kinda turns in to a more loose and fun family film, though of course not without its subtext and deeper layers.

I still really enjoy it though!
That exactly sums up how I felt about Up.



The Franchise (1944-2020) R.I.P.


60. Up (2009)

Wow, Pixar did it again. Why did it make me cry so much? I'm really struggling about that, because The Bookshop has multiple characters who die, and some of them are the only likable characters in the film. Why are those deaths so boring, and Ellie's in Up so heartbreaking and noble? This film takes a new approach on children's films, and I think it connect to everyone, kid or adult alike.

Up is one of those movies that I didn't love the first time I saw it, but I like it more and more with each rewatch.

I think the best part of the movie is the whole story about Carl and Ellie, but as the movie goes on, it gets into the scenes with the talking dogs and the airship, it just goes downhill for me.

Somebody put together the best clips of Carl and Ellie, and set them to one of George Strait's best love songs, and created a video that might help you understand why this movie made you cry.

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Empire is the best of the trilogy by a mile.

Didn't care much for Up. If it was just the first 10 minutes when they show his life up to the point of the start of the plot, it'd be a lot better.

That's how I remember it anyway. I've not seen it since release and I only saw it then because someone else wanted to.
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59. Mirror (1975)

There was a certain point, around 15-20 minutes in, during my watching of Mirror, that I just gave up. Not gave up trying to enjoy and like the movie, but to understand what fragments of a plot there were and what the movie's message is. My guess is it has something to do with memory and how it ties in with our collective history (as a nation), family history, and internal history (your own mental memories).

Either way, at that mark I mentioned above, I stopped trying to identify characters. To remember what was postwar, prewar, and what's real and what's a dream. Perhaps all of it is a dream. This movie reminds me a ton of two different other films - the first is Waking Life, directed by Richard Linklater. That one's a crazy, literal dream in which one character has conversations about life and himself... but never quite wakes up. It's completely unique as a movie, yet reminds me a lot of Mirror, where you never quite know what is reality and what is in the head.

The second film is Tale of Tales, a short Russian animated movie that I've advertised a lot as being a masterpiece - which it is. And it's almost a short version of Mirror. I seriously highly recommend to anyone who enjoyed Mirror. The animation is stunning, and the whole thing just has a vibe like Mirror... mysterious, yet beautiful, and involving memory in a way that pushes our perception.

I guess what I'm trying to say with this review is that you don't have to fully understand a movie to love it. Same goes for any work of art; a book, a piece of music, a painting. I know that sounds wrong; our level of understanding mixed with our level of interest is usually what makes a film great or bad. But Mirror made me realize it doesn't have to be layed out for you. Even the things I KNOW I missed in Mirror - the cultural references, the plot points, the jumps, the symbolism - I know I can return to on a future watch. For now, I'll settle for gorgeous visuals, a fantastic soundtrack, and utter pure emotion.

I read afterward about Mirror that this film could almost be viewed better as a piece of music than a narrative. That's true, although with the work of, say, Mahler, a piece of music is not at all a piece of music but a larger statement of philosophy. Nonetheless, Mirror is indeed more like a visual and musical tone poem than a movie with a story and characters. That's what I love about it. Do all movies have to reveal themselves to you by the end?

Mirror is a tough nut to "crack," and I'm sure I might on future viewings and more outside research. The thing is, I'm not sure I want to crack it. For now, I'm totally satisfied with the flowing, breathing, enigmatic piece of cinematic poetry Mirror is, no matter how much I missed.
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I don't think I've even heard of Mirror.
Have you seen any of Tarkovsky's films? (Here)



Very interesting director. Someone who truly challenges the medium and actually approaches it as just that. A medium. A vessel of some sort. Where he can channel his inner thoughts, feelings and emotions.

There is not much about Tarkovsky thatís done by the book. Itís not about creating a good plot. Getting from A to B. Establish characters. Itís more about creating a feeling. Evoking something. Challenge and provoke... or just present and display. Not tell. Just leave it. And let it tell by itself.

Itís certainly fascinating to follow. But also frustrating as hell. I liked the experience of watching Mirror though.



You'll hate him guaranteed...

Then again I thought you would hate Bergman (who coincidentally considered Tarkovsky the best director of all time), you might actually enjoy Stalker.



You'll hate him guaranteed...

Then again I thought you would hate Bergman (who coincidentally considered Tarkovsky the best director of all time), you might actually enjoy Stalker.
All I know for sure about Tarkovsky is that if Andrei Rublev ever gets nominated for a HOF, it's getting an automatic last place on my ballot. I can't say I've ever had any desire to watch any of his films.



I've not seen Mirror but I'd like too. Of Tarkovsky's films I've Solaris and Stalker, both of those are amazing. Ahwell have you seen any other Tarkovsky films?



I've not seen Mirror but I'd like too. Of Tarkovsky's films I've Solaris and Stalker, both of those are amazing. Ahwell have you seen any other Tarkovsky films?
Yes but I wonít talk about it now





58. The Third Man (1949)

I never knew the old Vienna before the war... with its Strauss music, its glamor and easy charm. Constantinople suited me better. l really got to know it in the classic period of the black market. We'd run anything if people wanted it enough and had the money to pay. Of course, a situation like that does tempt amateurs... but, you know, they can't stay the course like a professional. Now the city, it's divided into four zones, you know, each occupied by a power-- the American, the British, the Russian and the French. But the center of the city, that's international, policed by an international patrol, one member of each of the four powers. Wonderful ! What a hope they had, all strangers to the place... and none of them could speak the same language, except a sort of smattering of German. Good fellows, on the whole. Did their best, you know. Vienna doesn't really look any worse than a lot of other European cities. Bombed about a bit.

The Third Man has a quiet sadness to it... it's in the air of post-war Vienna. Or perhaps the remains of it - the four "regions" dominated by different countries. There is no "culture" left; nothing to be inspired about. We see ruins of old buildings and unusable cars. Deep beneath Vienna are the sewer lines, which run for miles to the Blue Danube itself. Never is the war and its effects truly brought up in the thick story of the Third Man, but it is looming there, making each character question his or her motives.

As is so often with noir, the Third Man deals with evil and corruption. No character is good completely, and no character is rotten to the core. A case could be made for Harry Lime, who was causing - and allowing - innocent death through his illegal alteration of penicillin. But at the very end we the see the fear in his eyes, before he dies; the desperate hope that he just wanted to be successful, and he wasn't trying for any evil plan.

Every character of the Third Man is desperate. What brings Martins to Vienna in the first place is desperation; for a job, and perhaps, for a life. It later transforms into his desperation to find Lime's murderer, and by the end has developed to a profound desperation to gain back his morality and sense of what is right and wrong. Anna on the other hand, is so desperate for Lime that even when she discovers he is alive and avoiding her, she cannot let him go; she finds out the evil things he does and holds fast in her belief that he is innocent, causing Martins to question his own choices in the matter.

Lime himself has a desperation for something more concealed. Orson Welles was the perfect choice to play him; he is mystical, almost a God-like figure until of course the ending chase scene. He has some of the most thought-provoking and profound quotes in the film, but through it all his stone-cold heart is looking for money and power. Is that it? Or is Lime a deeper character himself? I almost want a sequel/backstory to this, but that would ruin it entirely. The mystery is what makes Lime such a great character.

The needs of everyone in the Third Man dissolve by the end, whether they die or simply lose the will to live. The final shot is so so beautiful... Anna walking down the road after the funeral, while Martins patiently waits for her. Without a glance, she walks by him, shielding her eyes, trying to forget. Was it worth it? For any of these characters? It's the burning question.

This is one of those movies that could not be made in color, or at least, shouldn't be. The harsh, dark, shadows, the lighting, everything about it screams that black and white was the perfect choice. Every shot seems to framed meticulously, and I seriously think it's one of the best looking movies I've seen. The final chase scene is one of the best - technically - I've seen in a while.

High up there somewhere sits God on his throne who deems right and wrong. He infuses his passion and "glory" into human beings, and he trusts in us that we may choose - and know - the difference. Perhaps almost as high up sit Lime and Martins on that ferris wheel. As Lime points below to the dots on the ground scurrying about and explains his philosophy about life and death, we feel both revolted and entranced. Here is the man who was best friends with Martin. Here is the man that Anna defends with her life. Here is the man who nearly makes us feel sympathy for him as he dies on the stairs of the sewer. Perhaps the Devil isn't so evil after all; he simply forgot the difference between right and wrong.



Up is fantastic!

I liked Mirror, it wouldn't be in my top 100 though. I'd be surprised to see Miss Vicky like any Tarkovsky.

Third Man was very good too. I need to see it again!



Third Man didnít quite do it for me. The notorious climax was great though, but not sure about the rest. As always, a rewatch is in order...



What?..no mention of The Third Man music score Not a fan of the zither I guess? That zither score drives me up a wall. The first time I seen The Third Man I thought it was pretty great (except for the zither!) but for me it's one of those movies that once I know how it ends, I don't then really need to watch it again. Orson was great as Harry Lime, no doubt about it.