24th Hall of Fame

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The trick is not minding
The Man From Nowhere


Action films have always been a staple for me. From the 80’s bullet riddled films of Stallone and Arnold, to the more martial arts themed one of JCVD and Seagal, to the heroic bloodshed sub genre of Hong Kong films, and now the recent South Korean films.

The Man from Nowhere brings to mind Leon: The Professional with its plot. Which is fine, it isn’t the fist time they’ve plundered from past films (another action films from South Korea, The Villainess is itself based off La Femme Nikita).

We have the obligatory loner (Won Bin as Cha Tae Shik) who prefers to be alone and mysterious. He runs a pawnshop. He is befriended by a little girl who has a drug addicted mother who gets mixed up on the wrong side of the mob. Her daughter gets kidnapped, and the mysterious stranger doings into action.

The plot is pretty standard. But even for standard stuff, it still manages to have some heart. And the action scenes are what we come for anyways. *

And they don’t disappoint. It has all the elements of a “heroic bloodshed” film, made famous by John Woo. Right down to the bittersweet ending. Lots of blood, lots of bullets, and plenty of fight scenes. At times the scenes are a little too hectic, and the camera seems to be too shaky at points. Some of the action can be hard to follow. But those are minor quibbles. This is a good action film, that perhaps goes on a little too long but still manages to deliver its promise.

Good pick! Like Ed, I too have become a fan of SK cinema, having enjoyed Park Chan-Wooks Veangence Trilogy, and Parasite from a year ago. This latest addition, although not quite on the same level, is no different.




Antwone Fisher (2002)

Antwone Fisher might very well end up being the movie I most enjoyed watching in this HoF. And that's saying a lot, as there are a lot of choice movies in this HoF!

I think Antwone Fisher was a nearly perfect film. I might compare it to Goodwill Hunting as both films have similar themes. Only this film felt so much more grounded in reality and focused on the story at hand. And I've always liked Denzel Washington too. He reminds me of Tom Hanks as both have this quiet, yet determined demeanor about them. That quiet resolve is what makes Denzel so effective in this movie. And I have to say I'm impressed with the actor who played the titular role, Derek Luke. Derek was able to show blind rage, OK that's probably not to hard for actors. I've heard actors say anger is the easiest emotion for them to do. But Derek isn't just anger in the film, he's emotionally wounded and trying to heal. He's shy and unsure of himself which comes from years of child abuse. Derek made me believe I was watching a real person and that's also saying a lot!

The real Antwone Fischer must be quite a talented person because he wrote this movie! And it's the script and the story it describes that impresses me the most. I really felt like I there watching these events unfold in real time. Part of the credit for the honesty of this film has to go to the director Denzel Washington. I liked the way Denzel directed this, no cheese, no over the top-hey look at me type direction. Denzels's directing is like his acting, perfectly in sync for what he's doing.

What a great film!

I just saw this review now! So thrilled you enjoyed it and I think it's a great hidden gem film!



That looks like quite a excellent film. Will definitely be adding that to my watchlist. THANKS

yeah, about 3 commercials per break. And there's quite a lot of them and they can show up right in the middle of someone speaking. Pretty frustrating.
On a positive note the commercials are much shorter than regular tv.
Ed, you should watch Mother of Mine as well. It seems that both pahak and I recommend it. its on Tubitv as well. Its not an extreme film but a cute drama.



Beasts Of The Southern Wild: Had a great watch of this last night. This was my third time with it so, to be honest, I wasn't thrilled when I saw it on the roster. I liked the movie quite a bit, had it at a 3.5 on Letterboxd. I just wasn't ready for that third watch. It really clicked in as a movie I will be thinking about a lot now. It so seamlessly blends big social problems with this very small story of a little girl trying to make sense of a big out of control world.

I read Suspect's review after watching and he said something I was thinking while watching. This movie is simultaneously ugly and absolutely gorgeous. Hushpuppy sees the world in such a unique way that we are magnetically drawn in to the way she views it, and it's beautiful and life affirming despite her obvious struggles.

I think that's the aspect that hit me the hardest this time. It was there in previous viewings but the way the father prepares her for a hard life was gut wrenching this time around. I hope it would be obvious but that doesn't mean I agree with all his tactics, but he undoubtedly wants this little girl to not only strive, but excel in her environment. The beast the crab seen had me a little misty this watch.

I can't me tonight Beasts without bringing up what previously, and now, us one of my favorite scenes of the last decade. The whole scene on the riverboat is perfection but the dance moment is absolutely astounding. So well done.

I don't think it is over taking Shame for my top spot but Beasts will be getting some big points for me.
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27 reviews from 13 of us.

Takoma-, Neiba, and AgrippinaX are the only 3 who haven't started, but it's literally not even been a week yet.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Ed, you should watch Mother of Mine as well. It seems that both pahak and I recommend it. its on Tubitv as well. Its not an extreme film but a cute drama.
I definitely will!
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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 Whisperers (contains spoilers)

Well, this is a downer, isn't it? Luckily, my dog was nearby while I was watching it. Giving him a treat gave me a much-needed lift to my spirits. I did like it, though, and find it to be a worthy entry in the sub-genre of movies that observe the life of a senior citizen to reveal the system's cruelties like Umberto D and I, Daniel Blake. Great lead performances are practically inherent to such movies, and with Edith Evans' deservedly Oscar-nominated work as Mrs. Ross, that is also the case here. She is utterly convincing as a woman with little more than delusions to sustain her, whether they are paranoid ones about her neighbors or fantastical ones about the hefty inheritance that will someday come to her. It is heartbreaking that the only company people afford Mrs. Ross is financially motivated from her crooked son, who uses her apartment as a secret stash, to the grifter at the assistance office who uses the guise of friendship to raid her purse, especially since Mrs. Ross is hardly the kind of person a professional thief would target. Speaking of delusions, the magazine advertisements touting the paradise of the Bahamas, the police officer humoring Mrs. Ross's stories, etc. ably demonstrate that they're not always a product of senility. Oh, and did director Bryan Forbes and company find a destitute part of England to film in or what? If the endless blocks of charmless row houses, piles of garbage and colonies of discarded pets aren't enough, Forbes had the good fortune to film scenes where likely gentrification-motivated demolition was happening. The cruelty reaches its zenith when the movie shifts its focus to Mrs. Ross's erstwhile and no-good husband Archie, who naturally is more interested in shaking his wife down than offering her company and assistance. Even so, as his frequent trips to the betting office indicate, he too has delusions of grandeur to contend with. As you can imagine, this movie is hard to watch at times and I doubt that I'll ever watch it again. Regardless, I give it credit for how honest and uncompromising it is in revealing how heartless the system can be to those in it who deserve the most care and respect.




The Whisperers (Bryan Forbes 1967)

I made that 3-way panel to show just a snippet of that amazing title sequence. A film's title sequence sets the tone of the story to come. I loved the cinematography and the shooting locations for that opening scene. It says to me: forlorn loneliness, forgotten and empty. The use of the stray dogs and cats further that feeling of abandonment.

The Whispers is a quiet film it shows the degradation of the poor elderly in British society circa 1967. That 'quiet showing' is very effective as it allows the viewer to feel the film on an internal level.

The film's style reminds me of one of my favorite current directors, Kelly Reichardt. I appreciate it when a director doesn't force his or her views down my throat...but instead shows me a world that I can then experience on my own...That's what the director of The Whispers did.

I've gushed about the directorial style, but I really need to swoon a bit over the interior sets! Gosh, I loved the rundown apartment of Mrs. Ross, it was so ecliptic, cluttered and looked oh so real. Mrs. Ross played by Edith Evans convinced me that I was watching an actual elderly lady with a touch of dementia. I never once thought of her as an actress...and that's a compliment to her acting skill.







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Aniara



Of course I'm not a big Sci-Fi fan so I didn't have high expectations when I saw this nominated. Fortunately I was hooked from the start as I completely bought into it's world. The sound is tremendous as the rumbling of the spacecraft totally adds to the mood. It's a natural effect so there's no distraction. I felt like I was watching a horror film, and even though it didn't go there, it was quite terrifying. Loved the visuals as well, and all of the other little sounds. I was reminded of many movies while watching this, mainly films like Alive or Das Experiment, movies with a theme of people turning on each other. I even though of the last year in real life how people have behaved in groups. Again, it never quite went there but it was always on my mind. In the end, I don't really think it went anywhere, but I did enjoy that ride to nowhere. I needed a couple of real holy crap moments for this to be a new favorite from it's genre, but I thought it was very good overall. Good performances too. Cool nom.

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The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

BotSW is one of the most unique films I've ever seen. It took me a while to really understand it, I remember not even watching it till the end when it came out. Then it got nominated to the 9th HoF and it just blew me away. Watched it again after that and it got even more powerful.
The movie grabs you from the start with a really strong opening that combines one of the only use of voiceovers I actually like, an amazing soundtrack, and beautiful cinematography.
Hushpuppy is an amazing character with a pure and childish vision of a shattered world slowly walking to ruin, which an amazing performance by Wallis that really brings to life a brilliant script.
Another thing I usually don't like but love with this film is the fantasy side of it and the way it was solved in the end. Every child builds monsters in her head and the moment when she confronts them and lets them go, it's a sign of growing up that I found incredibly touching.

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The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
El secreto de sus ojos (2009)

I seriously considered nominating this film for this HoF as I had seen it very recently loved it. Ended up going another way and I'm glad it appeared here anyway.
First of all, the script is really really good and drives the film! I don't know how much is lost in translation to people who are not fluent in Spanish but I can say I loved how real and down-to-earth the dialogue sounds. In that regard, the performances really honor the writing, especially from the leading duo who have a very strong chemistry.
It's a movie really well-paced, with twists that while not original seem incredibly fresh and well constructed and that come naturally without ever looking like the film was constructed around them, which shows strong direction.
Really good pick!




The thing isolated becomes incomprehensible
Barry Lyndon (1975)

Everytime I hear people saying Kubrick's filmography is cold and heartless I think of Barry Lyndon and laugh.
Like 2001: A Space Odissey, this film was a turning point to its genre.
Visually, it's perhaps Kubrick's best film, which is saying a lot: the incredible use of lightning (reducing the artificial light to the minimum), the very realistic wardrobe and make-up and the stunning cinematography make of this film amazing to look at, as a beautiful and detailed painting that slowly changes for 3 hours. There are so many frames that could be hanging in a museum as masterpieces of the great masters.
There's also great acting by Ryan O'Neill and Marisa Berenson and one of the most fascinating soundtracks I ever heard. The way Schubert's Trio and Haendel's Sarabande are used is unique. By repeating the same themes on different occasions and with different arrangements the film gains a sense of continuity that directs the viewer's attention from the very beggining till the conclusive and fateful scene, creating a really immersive experience.
A solid entrance on my Top 10 that gets more love with each viewing and the film I'm prematurely rooting for.

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Wow, did @neiba just knocked three out of the park with one swing? Bravo!
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Like raul said, I'm impressed by how into this everybody is. Lots of reviews already and almost for every nom. That's great.