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Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread 
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
I find "Les Caribiniers" and "Made in U.S.A." particularly underrated.


Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:33 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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Love Jones
Theodore Witcher
1997

Jeff Wilder

8/10

A standard romantic drama made unique by the atmospheric cultural background and the two leads' smoldering chemistry. At its best, which is whenever Larenz Tate and Nia Long are onscreen together, the film recalls Flirting (1991) in how well it portrays the intoxication of falling in love (with an added sexual charge). However, their circle of friends and other details in their lives, such as jobs, aren't as well-developed. So in the second half, when the film becomes more plot-oriented, it isn't as engaging, and feels like it's drawing time away from the leads' interactions. Still, the film is very much worth watching just for the pleasure of spending time with Tate and Long.

Hottie factor: I think that introduction scene of her alone secures this section.


Leaderboard
1) Jeff Wilder 40
2) montparnasse 35
3) Vexer 29.5

Thief12 36.5
JamesKunz 35.5
MunichMan 35
Unke 34.5
calvero 32.5
H.I. McDonough 30.5
Syd Henderson 30.5


next: MunichMan - The Caine Mutiny


Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:16 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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The Caine Mutiny
Edward Dmytryk
1954

MunichMan

8.5/10

Quite gratifying to see a film that takes its sweet time defining characters and establishing situations before we get to "mutiny" of the title. The actual act and the fallout thereafter might take not much time compared the film's length, but its impact reverberates and becomes nail-biting because the stakes are so deftly raised. Everyone else is so superb in their roles that Robert Francis' straight-arrow lead and his inconsequential subplot stand out a little. More than made up by Humphrey Bogart's turn, though. Coming soon after I saw his In a Lonely Place's towering character, he offers another performance whose nuance is even more impressive with the film's ending. It's an ending that both validates and condemns the protagonists, and without Bogart at the center, the complex morality at play wouldn't resonate so strongly.


Leaderboard
1) MunichMan 43.5
2) Jeff Wilder 40
3) montparnasse 35
4) Vexer 29.5

Thief12 36.5
JamesKunz 35.5
Unke 34.5
calvero 32.5
H.I. McDonough 30.5
Syd Henderson 30.5


next: H.I. McDonough - Darling


Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
I really liked The Caine Mutiny too. Nice solid drama.

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Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:16 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Glad you enjoyed it. It's my favorite Bogart performance, and his most subtle. You nailed the one weakness in the film, with the Francis subplot which distracts from the overall cohesion of the film. Still, they did an excellent job of adapting an excellent book, which I highly recommend reading. It won the PUlitzer Prize for fiction, and deservedly so. Another weakness (though not a big one) is the film sometimes appears "stagey," which probably comes from it's initial adaptation as a play. Still, A very good movie.

The 8.5, though very good, isn't going to put me at the top... Still, I'm hoping for a 10 with my final film. I mean, it has a dead puppy in it! Who doesn't love dead puppies!?


Tue Jul 29, 2014 2:21 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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Darling
John Schlesinger
1965

H.I. McDonough

8.5/10

Seems like the British (and female) answer to La Dolce Vita. There is even a party scene in which its decadence and mild desperation strongly recalls that film's famous one. Julie Christie plays beautiful Diana, a bored model who succumbs to the allure of rich lifestyle and sleeps her way to the top. Far from being "dated" as some reviews of the film has described, it captures the time and culture of a period very well, and still feels resonating today. Of course, telling a story of being disillusioned by opulence runs the risk of audience being distanced by the tale itself, but Julie Christie's pure energy of a performance has us invested throughout. She remains an open book to the audience, and for that, we can't help but feel for her character even at her most amoral. A stunning performance that deservedly won her the Oscar.

Hottie factor: More elegantly beautiful than conventionally hot (for me anyway), but can definitely see why many men in the film run after her.


Leaderboard
1) MunichMan 43.5
2) Jeff Wilder 40
3) H.I. McDonough 39
4) montparnasse 35
5) Vexer 29.5

Thief12 36.5
JamesKunz 35.5
Unke 34.5
calvero 32.5
Syd Henderson 30.5


next: calvero - The Getaway


Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
I think I saw Love Jones back in the 90's, but don't really remember it.

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Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:24 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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The Getaway
Sam Peckinpah
1972

calvero

9/10

One of the best things a genre film can have is unpredictability. In the case of an action-thriller film, it's because we can delight in the old character tropes and requisite actions, but also be gripped by the way it mixes these elements uniquely. The Getaway starts out in a familiar fashion, with an ex-con (Steve McQueen) being released from prison so that he and his wife (Ali MacGraw) can pull off a bank heist for a corrupted politician.

Even in that familiar set-up, Sam Peckinpah makes the progress fresh by employing disorienting techniques that work both as exposition and conveying the character's state of mind. The heist itself is nail-bitingly done, cleanly established but relying on many unstable factors that can make it go awry. From then on, it snowballs into one truly messy and unexpected situation after another, until all we can do is hanging on and praying the best for our likeable protagonists. But even that is messy in itself, because Peckinpah is also interested in the thorny themes of masculinity and domestic violence, both mental and physical. I'm not sure if I buy the parallel subplot of the injured minion all the way through, but it provides a sharp thematic contrast with our main couple. The ending where the disparate plot threads collide in a bloody shoot-out is pure adrenaline rush.

Hottie factor: After Love Story I'm not exactly a big fan of Ali MacGraw, but she's really good in this one, able to draw tension out of and having great chemistry with the more stoic Steve McQueen.


Leaderboard
1) MunichMan 43.5
2) calvero 41.5
3) Jeff Wilder 40
4) H.I. McDonough 39
5) montparnasse 35
6) Vexer 29.5

Thief12 36.5
JamesKunz 35.5
Unke 34.5
Syd Henderson 30.5


next: Syd Henderson - The Big Easy


Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:56 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
wouldn't have guessed this one to get my highest score. looking forward to Big Easy & Shoot to Kill, I doubt one word has been written on either in the history of the forum.


Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:29 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
peng wrote:
Unke wrote:
But I shall already practice my most scornful laughter for the moment when I will overtake you once peng will have watched, erm, 'The Incredible Shrinking Man'.


Ha! Perhaps not the most scornful, but a very satisfied chuckle may be in order.


Satisfied chuckle? Pah! JamesKunz: MWAH-HAR-HAR-HAR-HARRR!

peng wrote:
End of Round 4
1) Thief12 36.5
2) JamesKunz 35.5
3) MunichMan 35
4) Unke 34.5
5) calvero 32.5
6) Jeff Wilder 32
7) H.I. McDonough 30.5
8) Syd Henderson 30.5
9) montparnasse 29
10) Vexer 26


Oh!

I'm really glad that you liked 'The Incredible Shrinking Man'. I love the movie, but concede that it isn't particularly well-acted and that the special effects, although done very well for their time, are obviously dated.

While it's perfectly fine to appreciate 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' as an example of good and effective 1950ies sci-fi horror, on subsequent viewings, the movie revealed even more layers of meaning to me. The mysterious condition of the protagonist works very well as a metaphor for contracting a severe illness and its effects on a family, such as the uncertainties of whether a cure can be found, a temporary relief paired with optimism and the shock of a relapse. I also think that it is a metaphor for the psychological disintegration of a man, who considers himself the bread-winner of his family, but is forced to leave this role to his wife due to circumstances beyond his control (illness, unemployment etc.). The protagonist of the movie becomes downright nasty before he learns his lesson of humility after falling into the cellar. Perhaps, the movie can be interprated even further as being about a feeling of emasculation as the result of marriage. It certainly isn't a coincidence that the protagonists contracts "the shrinking disease" while on his honeymoon and that he is exposed to a radioactive cloud while his wife is in the hull of their yacht because he had sent her there to get a cool beer for him. And notice how he has a mild nervous breakdown after he notices that his wife used to have to stand on her toes in order to kiss him but is now equally tall.

I'm probably reading too much into the movie. It's still a fine piece of cinema even without any interpretations. I believe it is particularly effective for children, because they experience the world while growing up and getting taller. The "shrinking condition" is a bizarre perversion of this and I think this is why the film, which I first watched as a child, stayed with me, rather than being scared of being eaten by the cat.


Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:30 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
That's a great analysis, and I don't think you're reaching at all. These Twilight Zone types always lend themselves to allegory, and your thoughts seem right down that line.


Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:52 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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The Big Easy
Jim McBride
1987

Syd Henderson

7/10

One of those films where the sense of place (New Orleans) is so strong you can almost smell the air and taste the food. The plot, about a cop (Dennis Quaid) and a district attorney (Ellen Barkin) investigating a local mobster's murder, is almost shoved to the side by the film's jokey tone and colorful characters. Thus my interest in it is pretty minimal, and when it becomes more prevalent later its impact isn't as strong as it should be. Which in the long run doesn't hurt the film that much, anyway. The film's chief pleasure is hanging out in a lively place with these interesting characters, and the sizzling chemistry between Quaid and Barkins is enough for a charming and fun watch.

Hottie factor: I'm not that familiar with Barkin's work, but I actually find her hotter in Ocean 13. In this she's also very good though, oozing off an unconventionally attractive charisma.


Leaderboard
1) MunichMan 43.5
2) calvero 41.5
3) Jeff Wilder 40
4) H.I. McDonough 39
5) Syd Henderson 37.5
5) montparnasse 35
6) Vexer 29.5

Thief12 36.5
JamesKunz 35.5
Unke 34.5


next: Thief12 - Shoot to Kill


Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:09 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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Shoot to Kill
Roger Spottiswoode
1988

Thief12

7.5/10

Sidney Poitier plays an FBI agent on the trail of an elusive killer. Along the way, he has to team up with a tracker (Tom Berenger) in a search through the wilds of the Pacific Northwest. Shoot to Kill is very satisfying, but I feel it is almost two or three films in one, from dark thriller, mismatched buddy genre intersped with tense whodunnit, to a more standard action fare. The film is efficient at being all of them, but as a result it doesn't allows each enough breathing room to really excel, which keeps it from being a great action film. Nevertheless, director Roger Spottiswoode stages many memorable set-pieces, ranging from exciting shoot-outs to quiet tension. My favorite might be the two leads crossing a cliff. The buddy chemistry between Poitier and Berenger is strong too, mixing the perfect amount of grudge, humor, and respect.

And this has Sidney Poitier roar-fighting a bear. That alone deserves half an extra point.


Leaderboard
1) Thief12 44
2) MunichMan 43.5
3) calvero 41.5
4) Jeff Wilder 40
5) H.I. McDonough 39
6) Syd Henderson 37.5
7) montparnasse 35
8) Vexer 29.5

JamesKunz 35.5
Unke 34.5


next: JamesKunz - Army of Shadows


Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:34 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
I'm pleased with that grade, and to be honest, I would probably rate it in a similar way, more or less (a solid B, if we were to translate it to letter grades?).

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Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:07 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Thief12 wrote:
I'm pleased with that grade, and to be honest, I would probably rate it in a similar way, more or less (a solid B, if we were to translate it to letter grades?).


I'm gunning for you, Thief. You had Sidney Poitier fighting a bear, I have Melville's masterpiece.

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Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:10 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
And I have a potential 10 coming up for the final round...


Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:23 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
JamesKunz wrote:

I'm gunning for you, Thief. You had Sidney Poitier fighting a bear, I have Melville's masterpiece.


:D The film is fun, but I knew that was my weakest pick. Still, I have two 10's on my side, and a potential high grade for my last round. I'm confident ;)

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Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:51 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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Army of Shadows
Jean-Pierre Melville
1969

JamesKunz

9.5/10

I am really not a vignette structure man, so the fact that I absolutely love this speaks to the film's impeccable craft and overwhelming mood. One would expect a story about the French Resistance underground to feature a lot of derring-dos, but Army of Shadows instead shines a disquieting, bleak light on them, focusing on the struggle just to stay alive for the next challenge. Each one has you totally in its grip, be it the disturbing discussion of what to do with a betrayal, a dash for freedom to a barber, or the nail-biting rescue mission that didn't turn out the way you would expect.

The film's length can make these vignettes exhausting at times, but the gorgeous craft on display is irresistible. The desaturated look, sparse use of sound, and lingering pacing combine to create a unique and realistic sense of tension. And just when you least expect it, the film throws you a graceful moment of heartbreaking beauty, in which our lead stumbles into a room full of happy young men and women dancing and drinking. It feels like a pivotal point for the film (with the character flashing back to it at one key moment), serving to remind the audience of what these protagonists fight for, and the unsung and often undignified way they have to do it in.


Leaderboard
1) JamesKunz 45
2) Thief12 44
3) MunichMan 43.5
4) calvero 41.5
5) Jeff Wilder 40
6) H.I. McDonough 39
7) Syd Henderson 37.5
8) montparnasse 35
9) Vexer 29.5

Unke 34.5


next: Unke - Fitzcarraldo


Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:42 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Yes!

I love this movie. It is the definitive movie about resistance movements, and one that I really should watch again. Oh, also, that final scene, man, when

[Reveal] Spoiler:
they go to kill Simone Signoret, and they do it themselves, because they owe her that. And then the voiceover reveals that they all died before the end of the war


Heavy shit, for sure.

Also, I've got the lead going into the final round!

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Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:34 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Yeah, the whole film is haunting, none more so than the ending. :(


Sat Aug 02, 2014 10:47 pm
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