Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:52 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies 
Author Message
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7416
Location: Easton, MD
Post Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
Normally when I see the word "inspirational" attached to a movie, I want to stay far, far away. Because what Hollywood marketers mean with that word is "predictable, sappy bullshit." Shit like The Blind Side that, to quote the Onion, I want to cover with "hot, infected jets of [my] pus-curdled cum." The ubiquity of such movies is probably the reason that I pretty much dig anything with a downbeat ending.

But with all that said, there are movies that feature an uplifting ending which don't make me want to maim small animals. And there are even a couple movies that I find legitimately inspiring. I hope you have some too. And they're not Rudy.

Here are two of mine.

Gattaca (1997)

How many movies are there when a person fights against an oppressive system/incredible odds, looks like he's going to lose and actually wins? Normally in such movies the ending is pre-ordained and it's clear that good will triumph (e.g. Equilibrium, The Island) or the hero tries valiantly and loses (e.g. 1984, Brazil). But in Gattaca the genetically-inferior hero, Ethan Hawke, uses incredible hard work, suffering, intelligence and guile to beat the system. He refuses to yield despite having the deck stacked against him. And then there's that glorious, wonderful, perfect scene at the end which proves he's had an ally all along which moves me every time.

Show Me Love (1998)

Unfairly pegged into the "lesbian romance" section on places like Netflix, this is actually one of the most realistic and true depictions of adolescence ever committed to celluloid. Every unsavory aspect I remembered from middle school is perfectly rendered, which makes the characters not the saintly/lovably quirky types we recognize from rom-coms but fully-realized people who we grow to know exceptionally well over 90 minutes. But being that it's a romance between two girls, and set in middle school, the couple in question goes through a lot of shit. So when the movie builds to its glorious conclusion (including a sublime scene in which the couple, of all things, drink chocolate milk together) it made me want to jump up and cheer. *Sigh* I said that.

Now it's your turn: contribute!

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:41 pm
Profile
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
At the risk of being flamed, I actually liked The Blind Side. I think Bernardelli's review could pretty much sum up my feelings. At any rate though, here are a couple of my picks:

October Sky: Easily one of the more intelligent films in this subgenre - or maybe the fact that I studied engineering in school is what caused my strong feelings for this one

Precious: Do I really need to explain this one?


Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:22 pm
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
oafolay wrote:
October Sky: Easily one of the more intelligent films in this subgenre - or maybe the fact that I studied engineering in school is what caused my strong feelings for this one


Stole my first pick. This movie worked for me 100% without being sappy or overly melodramatic. Great work from Jake Gyllenhall and Scott Cooper. One of the films I recommend on a regular basis.

A few others that come to mind--

World's Fastest Indian - Anthony Hopkins is great in this true story about a New Zealander who builds his own motorcycle and sets off to set the land speed record on the salt flats of Utah. It inspired me!

Shawshank Redemption - He escapes! And Red joins him!

Frequency - Father and son, connected, through time! Too little seen film.

Finding Neverland - I cried.


Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:18 pm
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
October Sky I actually saw in theaters on a class field trip, to me it was a rather forgettable film. Precious is one of those films that I NEVER want to see for as long as I live, not sure why, I just don't.

An example for me is Pursuit Of Happiness, that just really worked for me.

I absolutely cannot stand inspirational sports films though, they either bore me to death or make me want to throw up.


Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:22 pm
Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 5:07 pm
Posts: 1562
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
oafolay wrote:
Precious: Do I really need to explain this one?


100% agreed. I picked Precious as the best movie of 2009 for a reason. Harrowing yet totally inspirational and an all-around wonderful film. Way better than the cheap Hallmark sentiments of the Blind Side (not meant as a flame at you or anyone who did like it).

Million Dollar Baby and Slumdog Millionaire. Both self-explanatory.

Dark City. I love this movie because it has a fantastic story, superb acting and totally places me inside its original world. In short, it's everything a great movie should be. But it's also inspirational for showing that one can dream and that with determination and inner strength one can defeat the forces of totalitarianism, fascism and authoritarianism.

Another one (also by Alex Proyas) is The Crow mainly for its overall message of lasting love. Or to steal the final line from it: "Buildings burn, people die. But love is forever."

_________________
This ain't a city council meeting you know-Joe Cabot

Cinema is a matter of what's in the frame and what's out-Martin Scorsese.

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1347771599


Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:26 pm
Profile
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
Maybe choosing a doc is cheating, but Murderball makes me real happy in a pretty genuine way.

Maybe the whole movie is overstyled, but the last few minutes of 127 Hours is pretty wonderful and charming -- as well as legitimate and earned.


Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:36 pm
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
oafolay wrote:
Precious: Do I really need to explain this one?


Yeah you do, because there was one power punch emotional scene in the film and the rest was Dorothy stealing chicken and hilariously getting TVs thrown onto her and Toto by the Wicked Witch of the West.


Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:48 pm
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
Shade wrote:
Maybe choosing a doc is cheating, but Murderball makes me real happy in a pretty genuine way.


Actually choosing a documentary reminded me of a great choice: Man on Wire. That is a wonderful, uplifting film. The guts these guys had, the chances they took, the image of the man standing right between the Twin Towers. All set to Satie's "Gymnopedie No. 1". Glorious film.

Image


Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:59 pm
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:20 pm
Posts: 163
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
Yes! As soon as I read the thread title I thought of Man On Wire. It had a strange but positive effect on me.


Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:05 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:31 pm
Posts: 1142
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
Precious is a despicable movie, IMO. Lee Daniels is making a living off of just imaging the worst possible scenarios possible for his characters, then making it worse, and worse, and worse. What was gripping and somewhat believable in Monster's Ball was completely over-dramatized in Precious, which sucks, because Mo'Nique's performance, while certainly overdone, was still impressive (especially when she breaks down in tears near the end - phenomenal acting). It just sucks the rest of the movie was so unbelievably over-the-top.

Throwing a TV down a stairwell at your daughter and baby granddaughter. Really?

As far as my picks, somebody already took the great, great October Sky, while Gattaca and Slumdog Millionaire are certainly a solid choices. You know what? Sue me, I love Rudy. Predictable, sure, but if you don't feel at least something during the last ten minutes of that movie - God help you.

In the Name of the Father is a terrific film, and features some astonishing acting from the late great Pete Postlethwaite and the always dependable Daniel Day-Lewis. The finale packs an emotional punch, for sure - love that film.

_________________
My blog: http://dunkindan89.blogspot.com/

UPDATED 8/26 - Top 100 List *Updated*


Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:11 am
Profile WWW
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
For me Rabbit Proof Fence was about as inspirational as a movie could get without the fluid-laden side effects mentioned by "The Onion" via Kunz.


Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:23 am
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
Oh I felt something ten minute of Rudy all right-Pure boredom! :lol:


Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:31 pm
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
JamesKunz wrote:
Gattaca (1997)

How many movies are there when a person fights against an oppressive system/incredible odds, looks like he's going to lose and actually wins? Normally in such movies the ending is pre-ordained and it's clear that good will triumph (e.g. Equilibrium, The Island) or the hero tries valiantly and loses (e.g. 1984, Brazil). But in Gattaca the genetically-inferior hero, Ethan Hawke, uses incredible hard work, suffering, intelligence and guile to beat the system. He refuses to yield despite having the deck stacked against him. And then there's that glorious, wonderful, perfect scene at the end which proves he's had an ally all along which moves me every time.

I found this film to be a bit too contrived to be inspirational. That scene at the end that you refer to is a perfect example of deux ex machina- seriously, there was absolutely no foreshadowing of that ally's aid to Hawke's character. It didn't help that Uma Thurman played the love interest.

Anyhoo, here are some films I found inspirational:

The Seven Samurai - The transition of the eponymous samurai from haughty members of the elite warrior class to impassioned defenders of the downtrodden, which interestingly is what the code of Bushido demanded to begin with, is displayed masterfully by Kurosawa. John Sturges did an excellent job of translating this into a Western with The Magnificent Seven. In particular, the relationship between Bernardo (Charles Bronson) and the village children is poignant, especially given his fate in the final battle.

They Call Her One-Eye (aka Thriller - En Grym Film) - Among revenge exploitation films, this one is right up there for me. Watching Frigga (Christina Lindberg) overcoming drug addiction and forced prostitution to wreak bloody havoc on her tormentors was pretty damn satisfying. The way in which she deals with the main antagonist (Tony) at the end of the film was particularly imaginative in its cruelty and bloodiness.

Trainspotting - At its heart, this film is about a man struggling to overcome drug addiction (heroin) and come to terms with "being normal". Renton pretty much did a 180 in his outlook on life from the start ("I chose not to choose life...") to the end, though the method in which he starts his new life wasn't particularly nice. It was cool to see him helping out Spud at the end, however.


Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:09 pm
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7416
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I found this film to be a bit too contrived to be inspirational. That scene at the end that you refer to is a perfect example of deux ex machina- seriously, there was absolutely no foreshadowing of that ally's aid to Hawke's character.


Well actually it's not a deus ex machina because it doesn't resolve any plot complications--if the scene in question had been omitted, the movie would have worked just as well mechanically, it just would have lost a small dose of emotional heft.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:33 pm
Profile
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
JamesKunz wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I found this film to be a bit too contrived to be inspirational. That scene at the end that you refer to is a perfect example of deux ex machina- seriously, there was absolutely no foreshadowing of that ally's aid to Hawke's character.


Well actually it's not a deus ex machina because it doesn't resolve any plot complications--if the scene in question had been omitted, the movie would have worked just as well mechanically, it just would have lost a small dose of emotional heft.

Didn't resolve any plot complications? That doctor could have singularly prevented Hawke's character from getting on board that rocket, thus killing his lifelong dream. That's not just some emotional heft, that's connected to the central point of the entire film.


Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:56 pm
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7416
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
Ragnarok73 wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I found this film to be a bit too contrived to be inspirational. That scene at the end that you refer to is a perfect example of deux ex machina- seriously, there was absolutely no foreshadowing of that ally's aid to Hawke's character.


Well actually it's not a deus ex machina because it doesn't resolve any plot complications--if the scene in question had been omitted, the movie would have worked just as well mechanically, it just would have lost a small dose of emotional heft.

Didn't resolve any plot complications? That doctor could have singularly prevented Hawke's character from getting on board that rocket, thus killing his lifelong dream. That's not just some emotional heft, that's connected to the central point of the entire film.


You don't understand--the plot only wrote in the "final checkup" in order to have the big reveal. If the entire sequence was removed, and Xander Berkeley isn't in the scene, Ethan Hawke simply walks on the shuttle and starts monologuing. The whole sequences is only there to show us that he's had an ally, not to tie up any threads from earlier in the film.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:03 pm
Profile
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
DunkinDan89 wrote:
You know what? Sue me, I love Rudy. Predictable, sure, but if you don't feel at least something during the last ten minutes of that movie - God help you.


I felt a lot of things at the end of Rudy but it was mostly comprised of bitterness and spite.


Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:20 pm
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7416
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
JJoshay wrote:
DunkinDan89 wrote:
You know what? Sue me, I love Rudy. Predictable, sure, but if you don't feel at least something during the last ten minutes of that movie - God help you.


I felt a lot of things at the end of Rudy but it was mostly comprised of bitterness and spite.


Attaboy Josh!

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:42 pm
Profile
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
JamesKunz wrote:
You don't understand--the plot only wrote in the "final checkup" in order to have the big reveal. If the entire sequence was removed, and Xander Berkeley isn't in the scene, Ethan Hawke simply walks on the shuttle and starts monologuing. The whole sequences is only there to show us that he's had an ally, not to tie up any threads from earlier in the film.

It still felt as contrived as it was, thus killing my immersion. Gattaca had too many flaws for me to find it anything but mediocre.


Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:51 pm
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 7416
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: Actual, non-bullshit, inspirational movies
Ragnarok73 wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
You don't understand--the plot only wrote in the "final checkup" in order to have the big reveal. If the entire sequence was removed, and Xander Berkeley isn't in the scene, Ethan Hawke simply walks on the shuttle and starts monologuing. The whole sequences is only there to show us that he's had an ally, not to tie up any threads from earlier in the film.

It still felt as contrived as it was, thus killing my immersion. Gattaca had too many flaws for me to find it anything but mediocre.


Ehhhh, whatever man, don't like it. See if I care. Fatty.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:18 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr