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Full Version: TM2YC's 1001 Movies (Chronological up to page 48/post 480)
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(09-20-2020, 12:20 PM)Masirimso17 Wrote: [ -> ]Wait, did Empire Strikes Back copy the poster of Muppet Movie?  Big Grin

That would be amazing  Big Grin but I think it's probably, this:

[Image: 71v6a-D8-3L._AC_SY679_.jpg]

Then this:

[Image: 50357386687_7e340f6b39.jpg]

Then this:

[Image: 18018_24x36_star_wars_-_episode_5_4x6.jpg]

The text on the Muppets poster "Frankly, Miss Piggy, I don't give a hoot!" is a GwtW reference.



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The Adventure (1960)
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Country: Italy
Length: 143 minutes
Type: Drama

Michelangelo Antonioni's 'The Adventure' ('L'Avventura') begins when Anna goes missing with no explanation, during a yachting trip to islands near Sicily. The rest of the film follows her best friend Claudia and her boyfriend Sandro as they search Sicily looking for Anna and they begin to be attracted to each other. Monica Vitti and Gabriele Ferzetti are superb in the lead roles, the movie is very stylish but it didn't do much for me and it's very long for such a slim plot.

(09-20-2020, 12:44 PM)TM2YC Wrote: [ -> ]The text on the Muppets poster "Frankly, Miss Piggy, I don't give a hoot!" is a GwtW reference.

Oh yeah! I didn’t notice that quote lol and I haven’t seen that poster of GwtW before, interesting!
(09-20-2020, 12:44 PM)TM2YC Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-20-2020, 12:20 PM)Masirimso17 Wrote: [ -> ]Wait, did Empire Strikes Back copy the poster of Muppet Movie?  Big Grin

That would be amazing  Big Grin but I think it's probably, this:

[Image: 71v6a-D8-3L._AC_SY679_.jpg]

Then this:

[Image: 50357386687_7e340f6b39.jpg]

Then this:

[Image: 18018_24x36_star_wars_-_episode_5_4x6.jpg]

Oh, sure, and we're just supposed to ignore that GwtW has neither a Taun Taun nor a Skeeter just left of center!? Cherry-picker.  Tongue
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Faces (1968)

Director: John Cassavetes
Country: United States
Length: 130 minutes
Type: Drama

So far I'm not digging John Cassavetes' mixture of lo-fi sound that rarely matches, purposefully abrupt "bad" edits and improvisational camera style.  That combined with 'Faces' two-hours of abrasive, vulgar, unsympathetic characters drunkenly ranting at each other in a couple of rooms, left me cold.  The performances are totally believable and unvarnished, so you can't fault it there.  I imagine in 1968, an American movie with middle-class, middle-aged characters talking frankly and even crudely about sex in a rough b&w documentary style was very new and very raw. An antidote to safe, polished Hollywood.

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Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Director: George A. Romero
Country: United States
Length: 96 minutes
Type: Zombie, Horror, Drama

It's not often a Director (also co-Writer, Cinematographer, Editor and actor) invents a whole new genre of fiction, one that remains popular 50-years later. There had been movies featuring traditional voodoo hypnotised zombies before (e.g. 1943's 'I Walked with a Zombie') but this was the first "zombie movie" with all the walking-dead, pandemic-apocalypse, flesh-eating, paranoid, nail-the-doors-shut elements that define the genre.  It's a shame that because of a notorious copywriting slip up, George A. Romero didn't profit from it as much as he should have over the decades.

I don't know how much of the interesting reflections of the racial politics of the 1960s was intentional, or simply a by-product of casting African-American actor Duane Jones in the lead, just because he was the most talented actor Romero could find and afford for the part. This was made at the same time "challenging" new films like 'In the Heat of the Night' and 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' were just coming out. Romero has Jones as the cool headed, decisive action lead, issuing orders, slapping hysterical white women, giving beatings to cowardly irrational white men (and later executing them for more cowardice). The haunting power of the ending is obviously intentional, showing our hero killed by a gun-toting "lynch mob", who drag his corpse off with meat hooks while the credits role. After decades of much more violent material in the Zombie genre, the relatively tame scenes in 'Night of the Living Dead' still have a level of disturbing realism to them, due to the stripped-down B&W Documentary shooting style . A couple of the cast are a bit "am-dram", some of the Zombie makeup looks a bit cheap and there are some duff edits and rough audio (even in the lovely new Criterion restoration). The Doctor Who style electronic score is distinctive. The tight 96-minute running time and exponential building of threat and tension make this an easy re-watch every time.

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Gangs of New York (2002)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Country: United States / Italy
Length: 167 minutes
Type: Historical, Crime, Drama

I didn't think 'Gangs of New York' totally worked at the time and it still doesn't all add up for me. 2002 strikes again, the worst Bond, the worst Star Trek, the worst Star Wars and quite possibly one of Martin Scorsese's worst films but unlike those other train-wrecks, 'Gangs of New York' is still a quality movie by the standard of most other directors.  There were behind-the-scenes troubles with Producer Harvey Weinstein, dragging production out to 3-years, causing actors to leave, the budget to overrun and a delay to the film's release for over a year, as he demanded cuts, changes, rescoring, reshoots and an explanatory voiceover. At least 20-minutes were cut from a workprint Scorsese showed friends but Weinstein is quoted as saying it was a full hour longer when presented to him (if he can be believed). Scorsese was quoted as saying the Weinstein brothers "took the joy out of filmmaking".  You can feel those production issues in the finished product. There's this odd rushed pop-video editing, disjointed story telling, awkward cross fades in the middle of scenes, stylised digital tinting, a half-hearted love subplot, the unnecessary voiceover and a few pieces of 'Lord of the Rings' offcuts from Howard Shore are mixed with drum'n'bass and traditional music. It all feels overworked. I might be wrong but I personally get the feeling Scorsese intended there to be no score, with all the music supplied by the Folk music hubbub of the Five Points inhabitants. I actively hate the U2 song that plays at the end. There is a lot of gratuitous female nudity for no real reason, which I don't recall seeing in other Scorsese films (extreme violence and swearing but not exploitative nudity?). I wonder if this was at the insistence of the odious Weinstein? On the other hand, violent moments look censored, cutting away to soundFX instead of showing it.

The overall heightened cartoony style detracts from the story because it's about a little known piece of New York history, making it distracting to figure what to belief. Apply this style to the Prohibition era and you'd know where you are but here you're thinking "what? did a woman really have sharpened teeth and claws like a supervillain" but it turns out she did.  Being filmed in Europe, Scorsese relies on a lot of British/Irish actors, to supplement the US cast. Unfortunately although they are playing British/Irish/US characters, it feels like nobody is doing their own accent. Americans failing to do Irish accents and Brits failing to do American accents. The exception is Daniel Day-Lewis who disappears into his "Bill the Butcher" role. Every scene with him in is electric! Leonardo DiCaprio does fine work too but he's overshadowed by Day-Lewis and underserved by the script. The best parts of the film are about the power struggle between their two characters but even that seems to be missing scenes that show DiCaprio's rise to power. I suspect there was a masterpiece somewhere in the footage but Scorsese has so far refused the idea of doing a longer/different cut and no deleted scenes have surfaced. I'd love to see him given the kind of "Snyder Cut" deal and invited to put together a version of 'Gangs of New York' as long, slow and narratively epic as he likes.



A measured character scene like this one with the music being provided by a fiddle player in the back of shot is near perfect, if the whole film was edited and mixed like this it'd be fantastic:



^ Although the mood and classicism of that scene is slightly spoiled at the end by distracting OTT drum sounds being placed over the knife impacts. That kind of scene is jarring when put next to the rock guitars, frenetic editing, speed-ramping and unrealistic sound of this fight scene:

^Great points about Gangs. I'm not a huge Scorsese fanboy in general, but for me this film especially was a hot mess. A lot of very good performances that just get lost in this morass. Your point about nudity is definitely from Weinstein (he'd done similar things during other film productions, like Frida). On the other hand, he was famous/infamous for having a good sense of what audiences responded to and trying to force directors to make those changes. I think Scorsese had a sprawling near-4 hour historical epic in mind like Once Upon a Time in America, and that kind of film usually goes over like death on a general audience. Even look at The Irishman or The Aviator... he keeps telling these historical tales that even his fans admit are overlong. I don't know if there's a cut of this that tells the story it needs to in 2 hours... I suspect Scorsese would benefit from somebody stepping up to the master and telling him before filming "I know this script looks juicy, but it's 20 pages too long. We need to get there more efficiently." But hey, I know Scorsese is God to film geeks, so I'll shut up now.
(09-24-2020, 11:30 PM)mnkykungfu Wrote: [ -> ]I think Scorsese had a sprawling near-4 hour historical epic in mind like Once Upon a Time in America, and that kind of film usually goes over like death on a general audience. Even look at The Irishman or The Aviator... he keeps telling these historical tales that even his fans admit are overlong.

The Irishman is too long but The Aviator was too short for me Wink . Generally I find Scorsese and Schoonmaker's editing to be pretty damned tight and well paced, though perhaps it has gotten looser in the last couple of decades. This one is only 109 minutes...

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The King of Comedy (1983)
Director: Martin Scorsese
Country: United States
Length: 109 minutes
Type: Satire, Drama

This was only the second time I've watched 'The King of Comedy', having considered it one of the lesser Martin Scorsese/Robert De Niro collaborations but it's really gone up in my estimation on the second viewing. I was struck by the real tragedy of Diahnne Abbott's 'Rita' because unlike the other self-deluded, dishonest characters she's awake to her disappointed reality but with just enough hope left to pretend to believe Rupert. You can see a whole lifetime of better times past and the sad, declining years ahead.  Rupert and Masha might be mad but they do seem happy.  The recent 'Joker' has often been compared to 'The King of Comedy' but the sympathy and warmth Scorsese has towards his troubled characters was missing.  For example, Scorsese takes the time to show the lonely home life of Jerry Lewis' TV host but the equivalent person in 'Joker' has no such development (played in that by De Niro).  'Rupert Pupkin' starts off fairly harmlessly, then slowly descends towards genuinely psychotic behaviour but he does it all with such an irrepressible upbeat optimism, that you kinda love him and cheer him to succeed, even though you know you shouldn't.  Judicious editing leaves a lot of room for the viewer to decide for themselves which parts of Pupkin's life to believe. It shows you early on that some of it is definitely self-delusion and then leaves the rest up to you. In today's world which increasingly blurs the line separating the public from celebrities and where anyone has the means to broadcast an actual TV show from their mother's basement, 'The King of Comedy' is an even more relevant satire than when it came out.





(09-25-2020, 05:01 PM)TM2YC Wrote: [ -> ]The Irishman is too long but The Aviator was too short for me Wink . Generally I find Scorsese and Schoonmaker's editing to be pretty damned tight and well paced, though perhaps it has gotten looser in the last couple of decades. This one is only 109 minutes...

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I'm sure it all depends greatly on how much you're enjoying his style. I did like The Aviator, but it also just felt sprawling and somewhat aimless to me. But I'm a Philistine who enjoys Scorsese's more commercial efforts the most. Even King of Comedy's briefer runtime felt draggy to me. Part of it is just that yeah, he loves his @$$#ole characters a lot. I don't. So I have a much lower tolerance for spending time with them. It's weird, as masterful as DeNiro's performances are, I never find anything likable about him in Scorsese's films, so I have no desire to spend more time in those worlds. They're one and done. Compared to DiCaprio, whose guys are flawed but you can root for. I'll rewatch those films. Props to Lewis for playing such a total d-bag here though.
(06-05-2018, 03:17 PM)TM2YC Wrote: [ -> ]77 years ago...

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(06-10-2018, 02:58 PM)TM2YC Wrote: [ -> ]78 years ago...

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The cast all deserve Oscars

I saw you watched these back to back... can you believe Stewart got the Oscar for Philadelphia Story instead of Fonda in Grapes? The latter was so far ahead of its time in my opinion, whereas the former film seems like such lightweight filmmaking.  
 
Quote:For the political climate of 1940s America, I thought the film was daringly close to sympathizing with Socialist/pro-Union principles.
I read that not only was the FBI and various government agencies harassing Ford and the crew while they were trying to film (so much so that between them and various business interests, they felt they had to lie about the production and film in secrecy), but that many of the cast and crew were hounded afterwards and accused of being communists. JOHN FORD was accused of being a communist! He practically bled conservative capitalism in most respects!
You'd think the US would've learned from the Communist witch-hunts of the '50s, but actors and directors who tell stories about compassion for the average citizen or changing the system are still tarred with the "communist" label today.