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Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread 
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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Flirting
John Duigan
1991

JamesKunz

9/10

He is an almost too smart boy who often doesn't care if he is bullied in a boarding school, which is situated across the lake from an all-girl one, where she has just arrived from Uganda, equally wryly intelligent to deflect her outsider status and racist remarks. It's telling that these outsiders meet for the first time in a debate, where their words make them notice each other. Thus begins one of the most charming coming-of-age romances, and a very rich and heartfelt portrait of adolescence. Even though this is set in the 60's, soon we are reminded of the thrills, anxiety, and heartbreaks from our own teen years. We are completely transported into their world and place for 90 minutes. The two central performances are very believable, their intelligence marked ever so slightly with impulsive and youthful behaviors. A delightful charmer of a film that is bittersweet and true-to-life to the end.


And hey, young Thandie Newton, Nicole Kidman, and Naomi Watts! And Kidman whispering "so shivery delicious all over.."!


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1) JamesKunz 9


next: Jeff Wilder - Marathon Man


Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:01 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
"Flirting" is definitely underrated. I'm still waiting on a decent home video release of its predecessor, "The Year My Voice Broke," here in the States. Duigan also said he intended to make a trilogy surrounding the Noah Taylor character, but, 23 years later, as far as I know, we're STILL waiting on that third installment. :?

peng wrote:
And here turns randomization wheel, first round:

1) Flirting (JamesKunz)
2) Marathon Man (Jeff Wilder)
3) One, Two, Three (MunichMan)
4) Witness For The Prosecution (montparnasse)
5) Charlies Angels (Vexer)
6) Love in the Afternoon (calvero)
7) Belle de Jour (Unke)
8) Whale Rider (Syd Henderson)
9) Heavenly Creatures (Thief12)
10) Little Murders (H.I. McDonough)

Really good list. I've seen everything but "Love in the Afternoon" and "Whale Rider."


Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:29 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
peng wrote:
Image

Flirting
John Duigan
1991

JamesKunz

9/10

He is an almost too smart boy who often doesn't care if he is bullied in a boarding school, which is situated across the lake from an all-girl one, where she has just arrived from Uganda, equally wryly intelligent to deflect her outsider status and racist remarks. It's telling that these outsiders meet for the first time in a debate, where their words make them notice each other. Thus begins one of the most charming coming-of-age romances, and a very rich and heartfelt portrait of adolescence. Even though this is set in the 60's, soon we are reminded of the thrills, anxiety, and heartbreaks from our own teen years. We are completely transported into their world and place for 90 minutes. The two central performances are very believable, their intelligence marked ever so slightly with impulsive and youthful behaviors. A delightful charmer of a film that is bittersweet and true-to-life to the end.


And hey, young Thandie Newton, Nicole Kidman, and Naomi Watts! And Kidman whispering "so shivery delicious all over.."!


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1) JamesKunz 9




Yay! Such a delightful, sweet film!

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Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:13 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
H.I. McDonough wrote:
"Flirting" is definitely underrated. I'm still waiting on a decent home video release of its predecessor, "The Year My Voice Broke," here in the States. Duigan also said he intended to make a trilogy surrounding the Noah Taylor character, but, 23 years later, as far as I know, we're STILL waiting on that third installment. :?


Looking at his filmography, it seems he has lost interest in making films over the years. Flirting is my first film of his, although I have seen parts of Sirens about a decade back, skimming for the good bits :oops: . Heard some praises for The Journey of August King too.


Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:31 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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Marathon Man
John Schlesinger
1976

Jeff Wilder

7.5/10


The actual story is a little derivative and contrived, without the character nuances or moral shadings usually found in the best of paranoid thrillers (Didn't help that the last one I watched of this genre, The Conversation, is so exceptional). Pacing is a little off too. Good performances and fantastic atmosphere though. A great sense of place with striking cinematography and many memorable scenes helped make it enjoyable enough.

I must say, based on the reputation, I expected the "Is it safe?" scene to be a little more extreme. I shuddered in all the right places and Hoffman's scenes afterwards with that make-up on his teeth were some wince-inducing stuff, but the actual act itself was (thankfully) more obliquely implied than I had thought.


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1) JamesKunz 9
2) Jeff Wilder 7.5


next: MunichMan - One, Two, Three


Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:34 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
peng wrote:
Image

Marathon Man
John Schlesinger
1976

Jeff Wilder

7.5/10


The actual story is a little derivative and contrived, without the character nuances or moral shadings usually found in the best of paranoid thrillers (Didn't help that the last one I watched of this genre, The Conversation, is so exceptional). Pacing is a little off too. Good performances and fantastic atmosphere though. A great sense of place with striking cinematography and many memorable scenes helped make it enjoyable enough.

I must say, based on the reputation, I expected the "Is it safe?" scene to be a little more extreme. I shuddered in all the right places and Hoffman's scenes afterwards with that make-up on his teeth were some wince-inducing stuff, but the actual act itself was (thankfully) more obliquely implied than I had thought.


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1) JamesKunz 9
2) Jeff Wilder 7.5


next: MunichMan - One, Two, Three


The original novel is excellent, if you ever get a chance to check it out. I had seen the movie first and still greatly enjoyed reading it

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Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:53 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Agree, the book is much better than the film. I remember being more than a bit disapointed in Marathon Man, given it's reputation. Still a good film, but not as good as I was expecting.

Very eager to hear what you have to say about One, Two, Three. One of my favorite comedies, especially given the context of when it was made. The Berlin Wall went up shortly after the film was made. A matter of days, if I remember correctly. Cagney's last major role, and he knocks it out of the park. Of course, being a Billy Wilder film, Cagney is not the only good casting decision. It seems like every Wilder film is perfectly cast. Along with Dr. Strangelove, one of the best, if not the best, Cold War satires ever made. I hope you enjoy it as much as I.


Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:44 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
I agree about One Two Three, one of my favorite comedies as well and one that rewards
repeated viewings.
Most of Wilder' s films remain as fresh today as they were when they were made.


Sun Jun 15, 2014 4:44 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Cool. I'll put the book in my to-read list.

Also, I really like how in a 70's thriller, even when the story isn't at a high level, they still often look good and unique. A lot of today thrillers tend to be generic in both content and style.


Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:00 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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One, Two, Three
Billy Wilder
1961

MunichMan

8.5/10

This gives His Girl Friday a run for its money on how much marvelous dialogue can be crammed into the characters' mouths, but it wins hands down in the pacing department, which is just plain ruthless. I took a pause at one point and couldn't believe the film had elapsed only 30 minutes. Comedies these days tend to milk the single premise dry, but this one charges ahead through plots that could have filled three or four of them. It also takes full advantage of the time and place of its setting (Berlin, East and West, during the Cold War). The satire and quips are brilliant, taking swipes at all targets without sparing anyone. They often aim for both in a scene, such as having one character raging on foolishly but then turning his tirade into stinging truths about the opposite side.

What I love most is the iteration of jokes. Nothing is wasted. A cuckoo clock is introduced as a mild joke and has endless comic uses later, perfect as background for many political remarks. Three Russian guys stopping dead for a hot secretary is a funny sight, but then it is brought up again as a major, hilarious plot point. So many layers to the jokes.

The film is not as good as another Billy Wilder comedy Some Like It Hot, because to me it doesn't have the emotional backdrop for the jokes to not feel a little wearing towards the end, even though it never loses the energy. I also feel Horst Buchholz as the Communist Otto falters a little compared to the brilliant works (both verbal and physical) of everyone around him, especially the scenery-destroying James Cagney and the wonderfully airy Pamela Tiffin (her asides in "everybody has to curtsy to me...except maybe Grace Kelly" has me rolling on the floor in how simple yet so true-to-character it is). Otherwise, this is still another top-shelf work from the versatile director.



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1) JamesKunz 9
2) MunichMan 8.5
3) Jeff Wilder 7.5


next: montparnasse - Witness for Prosecution


Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:19 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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Witness for Prosecution
Billy Wilder
1957

montparnasse

8/10

I am a big fan of Agatha Christie, which might be a problem in this case. Her mystery structure when translated on screen makes all the clues and turns easier to participate, so as supremely well crafted as the film is, the story can't help but feel slightly familiar. Thus it's up to the atmosphere and character details to do the heavy works, which this does quite splendidly. Every actor is great in their roles, right down to even the minor character like Elsa Lanchester as the tireless nurse. Her real-life husband Charles Laughton provides the central figure that holds the film together. His words, either for the court or just fun sparring with the nurse, are thunderous and magnetic, providing engaging details to a delightful character. Even though I am not the biggest fan of this story, I can easily see myself rewatch this just to be in the presence of Sir Wilfrid Robarts again.


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1) JamesKunz 9
2) MunichMan 8.5
3) montparnasse 8
4) Jeff Wilder 7.5


next: Vexer - Charlie's Angels


Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:11 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Admittedly the twist in the end cannot make such an impression today when every second movie features a twist in the end, as it did in the 50s. And the original play by Agatha Christie might be well forgotten today, if it weren' t for the Wilder adaptation where he added his comic flavour to the proceedings and shifted the focus from the character of Leonard Vole to Sir Wilfred Robarts. Having read the original Christie play, I find it interesting that the joke about the biography of Disraeli was written by Christie and not added by Wilder.

peng wrote:

What I love most is the iteration of jokes. Nothing is wasted. A cuckoo clock is introduced as a mild joke and has endless comic uses later, perfect as background for many political remarks. Three Russian guys stopping dead for a hot secretary is a funny sight, but then it is brought up again as a major, hilarious plot point. So many layers to the jokes.



One of my favorite screenwriting devices used by Wider is the introduction of seemingly casual dialogue, only to have the comedic payoff later in a movie. This was done especially in The Appartment. An example : some time in the film , Shirley MacLaine mentions that she couldn' t find work as a secretary because she can' t spell. Later in the movie she plans to write a letter to the boss' s wife disclosing her affair with him. Jack Lemmon is anxious to prevent her and says she shouldn' t do it. She asks “ Why not?” “First of all, because you cannot spell !!” comes the answer from Jack Lemmon.


Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:19 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
I find this movie so endlessly delightful. I agree the plotting's not necessarily amazing, but the interplay between the actors and cranky old Laughton are just so perfect.

Funny, on another note, that the biggest twist these days would be to not have a twist.

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Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:45 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
montparnasse wrote:
One of my favorite screenwriting devices used by Wider is the introduction of seemingly casual dialogue, only to have the comedic payoff later in a movie. This was done especially in The Appartment. An example : some time in the film , Shirley MacLaine mentions that she couldn' t find work as a secretary because she can' t spell. Later in the movie she plans to write a letter to the boss' s wife disclosing her affair with him. Jack Lemmon is anxious to prevent her and says she shouldn' t do it. She asks “ Why not?” “First of all, because you cannot spell !!” comes the answer from Jack Lemmon.


A reason why I really want to rewatch that and Some Like It Hot soon. I saw them a long time ago and would probably pick these delightful things up this time around.

JamesKunz wrote:
Funny, on another note, that the biggest twist these days would be to not have a twist.


Yeah. Now good mystery films tend to be realistic and true-to-life which often means having no surprising twist. Prisoners is a rare exception that manages to be both splendidly.


Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:22 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Of all Mr. Wilder's films, One, Two, Three is perhaps the one that benefits the most from repeat viewing. Howard Hawks is perhaps the master of dense, non-stop brilliant dialogue (His Girl Friday being the best example example), but One, Two, Three comes close, and even surpasses...

If I were forced to only watch films from one director the rest of my life, Billy Wilder would certainly be in the running.


Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:19 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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Charlie's Angels
McG
2000

Vexer

4/10

Do they ever get neck strains from all the hair flips? And holy shit this film is 12 years apart from the series Elementary and Lucy Liu hasn't aged a day.

JB mentions in his review how the film is knowingly campy and cheesy, which I partly agree with. The problem is, I can see this working as a 40-minute episode, but stretched to feature length (even one as thin as 90 minutes) and the airiness and cheery woo-hoo of it all just grate. Also, this might be personal preference, but the vapid performances by Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz are kind of off-putting as well. Everything in the film is played for camp and I feel the central leads should at least have a "straight-guy" side to them so that the film doesn't feel completely empty. Only Lucy Liu plays her role with a little stone-faced normalcy and thus avoids the giggly, irritating vibe of the other two.


BUT... here come the hottie factor bonus points, and out of 2 Vexer gets 1.5 (1 for Liu, 0.5 for Barrymore and Diaz)


Leaderboard
1) JamesKunz 9
2) MunichMan 8.5
3) montparnasse 8
4) Jeff Wilder 7.5
5) Vexer 5.5


next: calvero - Love in the Afternoon


Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:27 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Personally I didn't think their performances were "vapid", I thought they were cheerful and fun, but I guess I can see why others wouldn't like them.


Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:57 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Charlie's Angels was harmless fun, and I might have gone to 5, but the sequel was the only movie in my entire life (and I'm 46) that I have not finished. It was that bad.


Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:24 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
MunichMan wrote:
Charlie's Angels was harmless fun, and I might have gone to 5, but the sequel was the only movie in my entire life (and I'm 46) that I have not finished. It was that bad.

I would recommend finishing it.


Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:45 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Vexer wrote:
MunichMan wrote:
Charlie's Angels was harmless fun, and I might have gone to 5, but the sequel was the only movie in my entire life (and I'm 46) that I have not finished. It was that bad.

I would recommend finishing it.


So he can truly plumb the film's emotional depths?

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Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:09 am
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