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The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II

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The Maltese Falcon is one of the great films and also one of the very first noirs. This seems to me a transition film for Bogart from tough guy roles to more varied portrayals, of which he knocked out of the park in Casablanca, and later in The Big Sleep.

Sydney Greenstreet's film debut was brilliant. At aged 61 he had been a highly accomplished stage actor, which shows. Peter Lorre was getting on a roll then, and played the perfect weasel. Mary Astor was gutsy taking the role of Brigid O'Shaughnessy: a scheming, immoral woman. Astor had a ton of experience since her beginnings in silent films, and she pulled out all the stops here. And one of my favorites, Elisha Cook, Jr., shone as Greenstreet's hapless gun totin' henchman.

In John Huston's premiere feature film, he followed the book closely, and finished shooting under budget. It was one of the best received films of 1941, and remains today as one of our great classics.



Quills: A film about the last days of infamous writer Marquis de Sade. I was interested to see this film, as all I had ever heard of this man before was that he wrote Salò was based on. Most of the acting is top notch in this: Geoffrey Rush does an amazing job as performing a character that's basically a personification of filth during that time period. Michael Caine also makes for an excellent villain. I also thought the tone of the film was interesting as well: It's not afraid to shy away from the nasty aspects, but there's an almost comedic tone in some scenes.

There's one detail I found very interesting in the film, it's that one of the patients seems to have Down Syndrome. This is a really good indicator that the people behind this film understood the past and wanted to portray it correctly. Mental Asylums back then weren't all filled with people that artists like to define as having some generic 'madness', they had mental illnesses that the public are more aware about in the modern day.

Great pick. List sent



fight club

have too many conflicting, muddied thoughts about this movie and i'm not sure i feel like teasing them out even for myself, but in general i really liked this as an extremely compelling depiction of disaffection and self-destruction. when fincher is in this mode he just can't help but be engrossing. philosophically it can get pretty juvenile but there's at least enough truth in its critique of consumerism that i don't feel bad about nodding along at moments. i've semi-avoided this movie for years not because i thought i wouldn't like it, but because i knew i'd have a hard time separating it from its reputation as the ultimate bro intellectual movie with the most obnoxious fans (also i knew the ending already). i think judging a movie based on its fans is one of the worst tendencies among film buffs, which is why i didn't want to put myself in a position where i can't help myself because they're so hopelessly intertwined in my mind. there were certainly moments where i nearly rolled my eyes thinking about the fact that people think this stuff is as deep as cinema gets, but overall i was able to assess the film on its own terms and came to the conclusion that it's just pretty damn good, particularly in the first act. i don't have any problems with the twist itself (although knowing it in advance made it obvious how telegraphed it all is, but i suppose that just adds to the magic trick for those who go in blind), but it is weird how it uses it to undercut the film's whole philosophy to that point. it's clear the film is never condoning the characters' actions, but it still seems to have at least some sympathy for hatred of modern society, yet in the end it kinda does a complete 180 when our hero must go to the police to protect a bunch of credit card company buildings. makes it even weirder that people hold up tyler durden and this movie as aspirational symbols of (a laughably oversimplied) anarchy.

but otherwise i just found it be a very well-constructed movie with some great performances. it's pretty remarkable how it maintains its frenetic pace, constantly jumping back and forth in space and time, while still elegantly balancing its narrative threads and paying everything off. it sorta dragged for me at times in the middle, usually when it would disappear too far up its own ass, but even then it still maintained an impressive playfulness. the winking dialogue could be grating at times, but for the most part i was surprised by how genuinely clever it was.

very glad i finally saw this. possibly the most significant film i'd never seen before, aside from maybe one of the two movies i have left in this thing.

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Most Biblical movies were long If I Recall.
seen A Clockwork Orange. In all honesty, the movie was weird and silly
letterboxd
criticker



Really happy to see you liked Quills, Hashtag. I was at a loss of what to pick for you so I when you said not to be afraid to pick something weird I figured WTH, why not? Also, I wouldn't say there's "almost" a comedic tone to some scenes. I'd say it's pretty definite. That theater scene probably makes me laugh more than anything else I've ever watched.

Also glad to see Inmate enjoying Fight Club and I'm relieved he didn't let the film's obnoxious cult color his view of it too much. It's just such an enjoyable movie on its own merits. I highly recommend Chuck Palahniuk's novel as well.

We are about 3 weeks away from the six month mark since the nominations were announced. I really hope this thing wraps up by then.



I didn't think much of Fight Club the first time I saw it but I've liked it more and more each time since.
I hated the Fight Club when I saw it in the theater. The only time I seriously considered leaving mid-film. I've been meaning to give it another go at some point but haven't yet felt like it.
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I hated the Fight Club when I saw it in the theater. The only time I seriously considered leaving mid-film. I've been meaning to give it another go at some point but haven't yet felt like it.
It was so popular that I might have been expecting too much at first.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Fight club is one of our Sleeping Films that we've seen over and over. We'll put it on at the end of the night and drift off to it. Somewhere after Bob's B#tch T#ts and Project Mayhem. I always get a kick out of it ever since seeing it at the movies.

Quills is always a joy to experience and Maltese Falcon ranks exceedingly high in my rewatchable favorites.
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- This is one of those films where I liked it on first viewing but I feel like watching it again might actually make me dislike it, but that's pretentious existentialism for you.



The trick is not minding
Fight Club is a film that I sometimes feels over inflated, given its reputation.
I like it, but it loses a lot of credibility with its last 20 minutes of so.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Fight Club is a film that I sometimes feels over inflated, given its reputation.
I like it, but it loses a lot of credibility with its last 20 minutes of so.
I just enjoy the fun of it and ignore the "cool kids cred" of it. lol
Not to mention the fun quotes we use around the house.



Will the third personal rec finish before this one?



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas




I can't help but get the feeling that if I had seen this when I was younger, maybe in my teenage years, it would have been rated higher. There is something about the film that feels like it would fit in line with my taste in cinema back then. That is not to say that this film is lacking, or that I didn't enjoy it. I very much did enjoy it, but that is the first impression I got once the credits rolled.

Depp delivers a solid comedic performance that captures the essence of what Hunter S. Thompson was all about. He manages to make it both grounded and comedically surreal. Del Toro is a strong supporting character that honestly, probably doesn't get enough credit for what he does here. He's manic and on the edge of sanity. This drug-fuelled trip is probably a good representation of what it would feel like to be on those drugs.

Gilliam's films are either hit or miss with me, but Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas falls under the hit side of his filmography. He had the right amount of indie creativity to pull off something like this and I would be hard-pressed to find another film like it that has come out in the last 20 years.

That Tobe Maguire though....I guess I just don't like his face....
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"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Downfall




Honestly, I wish I saw this movie before the memes came out. There was absolutely no way for me to go into that scene and not think of the countless times it was re-subtitled to be something ridiculous. This was one of my worries when I saw this film was nominated for me. I worried that my preconceived notions of the sequence would get in the way of me enjoying the film as a whole. I'm happy to report it did not. While I did chuckle at the scene in question, the rest of the film is truly great filmmaking.

The attention to detail to the production design, costumes and overall feeling the film gives off is the highlight. I felt like I was there with these soldiers and their performances solidified that notion for me.

There were some tense emotional scenes in the film that took me by surprise and as a father of two young kids, really tore at my emotional core. Sometimes when you crack open a book and read about history, you forget that the people in those pages were actual human beings. It's so incredibly easy to say NAZI's are bad (they most definitely are) but we tend to forget that they were people, like us.

Brilliant performance by Bruno Ganz and I was sad to see that he passed away rather recently (2019).



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Persona




I've yet to find a Bergman film that I really love and I admit, I'm still a novice when it comes to his filmography. Persona is a psychological horror where one person loses themselves in another and the loneliness we all have that tries to hold us down. Or it's not and I don't know anything. This is the type of film that would probably require a second viewing.

The film opens with some haunting imagery that sets the tone for the rest of the film. The atmosphere is always lingering, leaving the viewer feeling uneasy. I thought I might have accidentally put on a Lynch film with how bizarre and random the imagery was that flashed on the screen. Then I thought, maybe Fight Club took a bit from this film pertaining to penises flashing on the screen.

The jury is out on how I actually feel about the film, I feel like I need to see it again to really digest what he's trying to convey. I do know that I enjoyed it on some level.

Whether you find the film pretentious or not, there is something there that has inspired countless artists to find their own path.



Well holy hell look at these shenanigans. I'm with you on all 3 Suspect. Downfall blew me away and I thought the other 2 were pretty good. Good stuff!