The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II

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The Player (Robert Altman, 1992)
Imdb

Date Watched: 12/22/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II
Rewatch: No.


This was a nice surprise. I really liked the way it poked fun at the Hollywood machine with all its hypocrisies and shallowness. I loved all the little in-jokes and references to other films. It also boasts an incredible cast and is absolutely littered with familiar faces.

I don't usually go in for comedy but when I do it's often with films that offer up their laughs with a big helping of darkness and satire. I know I shouldn't be rooting for Robbins's Griffin Mill to get away with it, but he and the situation he's found himself in are just so damned interesting that him getting his comeuppance would just ruin the fun.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I loved it, but I do think this is one that I'll revisit sometime in the future. Also, my experiences with it and The Long Goodbye have got me curious to check out more of Altman's work.

+




Inherit the Wind

Matthew Harrison Brady: Why is it, my old friend, that you've moved so far away from me?
Henry Drummond: All motion is relative, Matt. Maybe it's you who've moved away by standing still.

What happens when you start teaching the Theory of Evolution in Hillsboro? Well, you get arrested of course and then there's a trail which is the story behind Inherit the Wind.

I expected this to be something I'd really get into. Unfortunately, I did not. There was a lot I did like about Inherit the Wind, for one it does make you think, at times, but the overall problem for me was the characterization of the townsfolk and especially the prosecuting attorney. They were too over the top and it took me out of whatever it was trying to do. It was almost like revisiting Two Thousand Maniacs. Of all the characters in the movie there were three that I liked: The Teacher, The Banker and the Prosecutors wife. They were the most real of all the characters, at least they were real to me.

The movie ultimately became less about the teaching of evolution and more about the historical accuracy of the Bible in a long cross examination were the prosecutor is called to the stand by the defense as an expert on the Bible. This may be interesting to some who have never heard two people debate the historical accuracies/inaccuracies of the Bible but having grown up hearing this argument ad nauseum (born again father, atheist mother), it was a bore at what should have been the climax of the picture.

I felt that the best scene in the movie is when Spencer Tracy and Fredric March, old friends who find themselves battling it out in court, have their little conversations on the porch of Mansion House without feeling the need to a make a spectacle in front of the townspeople. That was the one scene involving both of the leads that felt authentic. As for the overall debate, I had cousins attend schools that didn't teach evolution at all. Other cousins went to schools that didn't teach religion at all. I was fortunate. I went to a school that taught both.



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


The Player (Robert Altman, 1992)
Imdb

Date Watched: 12/22/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II
Rewatch: No.


This was a nice surprise. I really liked the way it poked fun at the Hollywood machine with all its hypocrisies and shallowness. I loved all the little in-jokes and references to other films. It also boasts an incredible cast and is absolutely littered with familiar faces.

I don't usually go in for comedy but when I do it's often with films that offer up their laughs with a big helping of darkness and satire. I know I shouldn't be rooting for Robbins's Griffin Mill to get away with it, but he and the situation he's found himself in are just so damned interesting that him getting his comeuppance would just ruin the fun.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I loved it, but I do think this is one that I'll revisit sometime in the future. Also, my experiences with it and The Long Goodbye have got me curious to check out more of Altman's work.

+


Glad you liked it. With your ratings of the other nominated films I was worried this one would get trashed, hahaha.


@edarsenal I nominated Spartacus for you cause you said you liked war movies. So I thought I'd try and do something in that vein.


I'm so far behind because I was trying to put that Top 100 list together that I neglected this. Knowing my tendencies though, I'll get it done....the night of the deadline, hahaha.
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cricket's Avatar
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The Player was picked for me the last go around and I was shocked how much I loved it. I never would have watched it on my own.

I also loved Inherit the Wind, and much of that was due to the performances.



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?


Glad you liked it. With your ratings of the other nominated films I was worried this one would get trashed, hahaha.


@edarsenal I nominated Spartacus for you cause you said you liked war movies. So I thought I'd try and do something in that vein.


I'm so far behind because I was trying to put that Top 100 list together that I neglected this. Knowing my tendencies though, I'll get it done....the night of the deadline, hahaha.
The Player was picked for me the last go around and I was shocked how much I loved it. I never would have watched it on my own.

I also loved Inherit the Wind, and much of that was due to the performances.
VERY much appreciated TUS. It was a VERY good call!

I've bounced back and forth about The Player and whether or not I'd be inclined to watch it and possibly enjoy it. I remember when it came out and I was not inclined, at all.
Though I do feel myself shifting to a more curious position regarding it.

Very happy to see ya get one you at least enjoyed, @Miss Vicky
I'd offer a recommendation for other Altman but we both know better
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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.



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The Help



I never had interest in this before yet it was in my Netflix queue because my wife wanted to see it. I've had the DVD since this HoF started but was waiting for when we could watch it together. Our schedules haven't been lining up so I just put it on last night.

It's almost 2 1/2 hours long and for the first hour I didn't care for it at all. I thought it was way too light, and while it did stay a little too light, it got much better and I did end up enjoying it.

It's a good and worthy story, and I assumed it was a true story until I looked it up after and discovered otherwise. Maybe I would have preferred if one of the black women were the writer but I'm not sure. Most of the white women seemed like types more than characters, with the exception of Jessica Chastain in the second half. Viola Davis is one of my favorite current actresses and she was superb throughout. Octavia Spencer was also good like usual. I generally like Emma Stone but I didn't think she or her character stood out.

So yea the second half was much better, and perhaps I'd like the movie as a whole more knowing that if I watched it again. The poster I showed in the movie you're watching tonight thread featured the pie. I had no idea what that actually meant. It was pretty funny but it also became too big a part of the movie. It's also going to be the most memorable part of the movie and that's unfortunate for such a serious subject matter. There were things in the movie that infuriated me, in a good way, and pie shouldn't be my lasting memory.

A bit uneven for me but the end result was good. It's a well made film with some very good performances and a meaningful story.

-



I definitely wasn't expecting you to love The Help, so I'm glad you at least mostly liked it. It's one of the rare few exceptions to the "Miss Vicky doesn't like movies with predominantly female casts" rule.



cricket's Avatar
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I definitely wasn't expecting you to love The Help, so I'm glad you at least mostly liked it. It's one of the rare few exceptions to the "Miss Vicky doesn't like movies with predominantly female casts" rule.
I thought you were going to pick Philadelphia for me because I recall you liking that. Not disappointed though, it was good.



I thought you were going to pick Philadelphia for me because I recall you liking that. Not disappointed though, it was good.
That is an excellent movie and I do recommend it. For whatever reason, I was just feeling The Help more when I made my choice.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Without gore in it that's a high rating from him. Of course it does have excrement.
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Miller's Crossing (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1990)
Imdb

Date Watched: 12/22/2020
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: The Personal Recommendation Hall of Fame II
Rewatch: No.


I don't know what it is about the Coen brothers, but as much as I love The Big Lebowski and really like Burn After Reading, their other films just don't really work for me. They're generally really well acted, boast excellent atmosphere, and look great, but somehow I am just left disconnected and cold to most of them.

Miller's Crossing wasn't an exception. The performances were strong, it had good atmosphere, and the story was interesting enough, but I just didn't give a crap about anybody in it.




I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Miller's Crossing was my pick for you Miss Vicky. I'm sorry you didn't like it more, but at least you didn't hate it!



I thought Miller's Crossing was well constructed and didn't diverge into utter wackiness like some of the Coen Brothers films. Though I have liked most of their films except The Big Lebowski. This is my old review, I forget if I watched it for an HoF or just on my own.
I liked it, it kept me on my toes as to what was going to happen...This was NOT like later Coen Bros films. It didn't have any of the Coen's trademark wackiness, yet it still had their film making mastery and style about it.

Miller's Crossing
is a straight up, serious, gangster drama with a whole bunch of twists that kept me guessing who was double crossing who, and how they were doing it? It was cleverly written and the plot was hard to follow at times, which is a good thing...as it means the film is intelligent, either that or I just wasn't paying attention.

I was impressed by how well grounded the actors were in their characters. No over the top characterizations here. I believe this is how prohibition mobsters actually behaved and interacted with each other back in the day. It was all more low key and yet the stakes were high.






Shoplifters (2018)



One of the things I really don't like in film is unoriginality. Often times I'm very skeptical when a film about poverty gets glowing reviews because it seems to happen every year and often times it either feels like the same film, or its just how can we top the other ones. Canne's has gone on a bit of a poverty binge awarding Dheepan, I, Daniel Blake, Parasite and the satire The Square.



Where Shoplifters succeeds where others have failed is that it also felt to me very reminiscent of Ozu's work. It was like a modern retelling of that style of normal Japanese family values with a slight quirk. Most of the film is just a meandering of this world it doesn't have the basic structure of a typical film...the action plot points are spread out, in a lot of ways I feel like the film climaxes after the first act and the rest of the story is just sort of dealling with the consequences of that action.


I thought the story, ideas and performances were very good. My biggest criticism is that it's not shot particularly well. Visually it was a huge flop for me but you kinda manage to just move past that and enjoy it for what it was.


great nomination...big contender for winning this batch.



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Contact


This is one of those dvds that has been sitting on my shelf unwatched for years, so I was glad to finally see it.

What I really liked about this film was the pace and structure – it doesn’t quite follow a typical predictable plot path, which I liked. I liked how it depicted Ellie as a woman being sidelined and others taking credit for her discoveries; it had a similar ‘woman in a man’s world’ feel to Silence of the Lambs. Jodie Foster was great, she’s never not great and I always think I should watch more films with her in it. Recommendations welcome

It’s not a great looking film, that’s for sure, it has a messy kind of look. I suppose it’s inevitable in a film about cutting edge technology that it’s going to look really dated, really fast – the futuristic alien tech is fine, but the fax machines! (I had a similar giggle at the phones in Iron Man when I rewatched that the other day.) I do wonder what Palmer Joss would have made of people glued to twitter on their phones these days.

At times I was unsure about the whole science v. faith theme, it threatened to become a bit simplistic and heavy handed but in the end it comes full circle and it just about worked. I liked how it all played out in the end.

I thought this was a good film and a good nomination for me. I don’t know where it will place in my ranking though – with only one film to go I should have more of an idea, but while I’ve got a clear front runner and clear last place, everything else in the middle is more movable. Lots of good films with a lot to like about them, so second-last won’t even be a bad film. Unless I really hate the one I’ve got left!



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Oh, wait, I forgot to mention Interstellar! I felt that there were a lot of similarities... not least Matthew McConaughey, the father-daughter relationship, the wormhole... The whole thing when the older guy is recalling the end of the 20th Century and beginning of the 21st and thinking back to evolving new technology being exciting and comparing it to how they live... I feel like that world he's recalling is the world of Contact, but we've already left it behind. New technology now is smaller, entertainment and convenience focused... already looking to the stars seems to belong to the past, never mind trying to find alien life.

I think Contact is the better film but it makes for an interesting comparison.