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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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Little Murders
Alan Arkin
1971

H.I. McDonough

8/10

This is one truly acidic film, feeling like it's capping off the end of an American era with so much disillusionment and bitterness. Plot is loose, as to let the surreal nature and satiric barbs run amok: a feisty optimist falls in love with an extreme apathist, and brings him to meet her restless family. That is almost all the plot, but what's important is the background, where murders, violence, and electricity blackouts happen casually and frequently. This kind of black comedy lives or dies by its stings and set-pieces, of which it delivers (indeed, the film loses its footing a bit when it briefly gets serious and message-y in the second half). Almost everyone gets a chance to shine brightly in a madcap and screwball fashion. Donald Sutherland as the weirdest officiator ever steals the film with its funniest and most misanthropic scene. The disturbing and violent ending will reverberate long after the film ends, seeming strangely prescient.



End of Round 1
1) Thief12 10
2) JamesKunz 9
3) MunichMan 8.5
4) calvero 8.5
5) H.I. McDonough 8
6) Unke 8
7) montparnasse 8
8) Jeff Wilder 7.5
9) Syd Henderson 7
10) Vexer 4


Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:16 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Randomizer: Round 2

1) Destiny (Syd Henderson)
2) Oldboy (Vexer)
3) Family Viewing (H.I. McDonough)
4) Bend of the River (calvero)
5) The Lady Eve (JamesKunz)
6) Bullit (Thief12)
7) Half Nelson (Jeff Wilder)
8) Wild at Heart (Unke)
9) Bound (MunichMan)
10) Europa (montparnasse)


Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:18 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
I've very impressed at how quickly you are getting through these. Little Murders sounds interesting.


Mon Jun 23, 2014 9:28 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Thief12 wrote:
I'm gonna throw a mixed bag at you...


7.0+ on IMDb: Au Revoir les Enfants (1987, rating: 8.1)
Pre-1970: Bullitt (1968)
Top Director: Hugo (2011, Martin Scorsese)
Top Actor/Actress: Shoot to Kill (1988, Sidney Poitier)
Hottie Factor: Heavenly Creatures (1994, Kate Winslet)
Wildcard: Conspiracy (2001)


Let me know which ones you've seen.


Firstly, this is a really cool thread and now with Fargo and Game of Thrones finishing, I look forward to working through some on the films listed. There's some great films up there.

Secondly, just curious how you came up with that film Thief12? I own a copy of it on video and have seen it about 20 times. It's one of the great action films of the 80's, but I don't think I've seen anyone on the this board mention it before? Infact, I don't remember reading much love for it anywhere, purely because I don't think to many people have seen it. The Australian name for the film is Deadly Pursuit, and I've never been exactly sure as to why certain films have different names in different countries?

Anyway, I'd recommend Shoot to Kill or Deadly Pursuit to any action lover. It's pacing is relentless, the storyline realistic and really fucking intense, with Sidney Poitier and Tom Berenger feeding off each other really well. Apart from one
[Reveal] Spoiler:
ridiculous scene where Poitier scares away the bear by yelling at it
scene, I can't remember having another fault with it.

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Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:11 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
wisey, that method can actually work.


Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:44 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
MunichMan wrote:
wisey, that method can actually work.


That obvious hey. In all seriousness though, it's not the sort of film that you see get mentioned, much less recommended.

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Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:58 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
calvero wrote:
I've very impressed at how quickly you are getting through these. Little Murders sounds interesting.


Hoping to finish this by the end of August, before I study abroad.


Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:22 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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If you thought Comic Sans was annoying...


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Destiny
Fritz Lang
1921

Syd Henderson

8/10

I haven't seen Bergman's The Seventh Seal yet, but it's clear that the iconic Death is inspired from the Fritz Lang's version here. In this case, Death comes to a small town and has his own place next to the graveyard to.. work, I guess. He sets up a tall wall that nobody can get in. The main conflict concerns a young couple, with one of them taken by Death, and the other trying everything to get him back. Incorporated into this are three chances at different historical places in time to save him.

This frequently reminds me of Cloud Atlas, with the same actors playing different ethnics in different time (including the use of yellowface), and the message of basic human decency. Not one of Lang's great works, but it is often solid. The main flaw is that the present time framing is the strongest to me, both in term of story and style, so the slightly overlong stories within story lose me a little. The visuals are always accomplished though, with good special effects of its time to boost. And when the focus finally returns to the present day, the theme of sacrifice and goodness, prevalent throughout other stories, is portrayed in its strongest rendition. Emotionally potent and visually haunting, the ending stretch proves to be quite affecting.


Leaderboard
1) Syd Henderson 15

Thief12 10
JamesKunz 9
MunichMan 8.5
calvero 8.5
H.I. McDonough 8
Unke 8
montparnasse 8
Jeff Wilder 7.5
Vexer 4


next: Vexer - Oldboy


Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:23 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
wisey wrote:
Secondly, just curious how you came up with that film Thief12? I own a copy of it on video and have seen it about 20 times. It's one of the great action films of the 80's, but I don't think I've seen anyone on the this board mention it before? Infact, I don't remember reading much love for it anywhere, purely because I don't think to many people have seen it. The Australian name for the film is Deadly Pursuit, and I've never been exactly sure as to why certain films have different names in different countries?

Anyway, I'd recommend Shoot to Kill or Deadly Pursuit to any action lover. It's pacing is relentless, the storyline realistic and really fucking intense, with Sidney Poitier and Tom Berenger feeding off each other really well. Apart from one
[Reveal] Spoiler:
ridiculous scene where Poitier scares away the bear by yelling at it
scene, I can't remember having another fault with it.


I don't know. It's a film that was frequently shown on local TV and I watched it a lot when I was a kid/teen, and I've always thought it was an underrated film. I'm also a sucker for outdoor/wilderness films, so there's that as well.

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Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:21 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Have seen Shoot to Kill early nineties and I remember it as a pretty entertaining film.


Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:23 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
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Oldboy
Spike Lee
2013

Vexer

6/10

Oh my. Hahaha.

This has to be intentional on some level, right?

Elizabeth Olsen, I love you, but your legitimate acting and emotional character have no place in this film, where Josh Brolin shakes his fatty breast, Sharlto Copley ("WHORE! WHORE! WHORE!") over-pronunciates every line to delicious hell, and Samuel Jackson cackles/curses his way throughout the violence. Oh and the violence...sometimes more than the original, but somehow also less serious.

Everything about this is encapsulated pretty well in the hallway fight scene. The original transpires in a darkly lit corridor, progresses in a mostly straightforward way, and raises your pulse. This one has Josh Broslin starting video-game-esque from the right, continuing down on another level of platform à la Donkey Kong, and the enemies come and hesitate in perfect spurts like glorious dance-offs.

All in all, barring a few regrettable attempts at seriousness towards the end, it's a reasonably good and insane time.


Leaderboard
1) Syd Henderson 15
2) Vexer 10

Thief12 10
JamesKunz 9
MunichMan 8.5
calvero 8.5
H.I. McDonough 8
Unke 8
montparnasse 8
Jeff Wilder 7.5


next: H.I. McDonough - Family Viewing


Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:33 pm
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Family Viewing
Atom Egoyan
1987

H.I. McDonough

7/10

My heart sank a little when I initially saw the aesthetics and performance style of this Atom Egoyan's early film. Is this going to be one of those indies where the characters mumble their way through family dysfunction? Thankfully the eventual film turned out to be more interesting than that.

It is still about family dysfunction of sort, where the mother ran away, and the father, his live-in lover, and his son stayed in a weird sort of house relationship. The son was pretty dissatisfied in general so he spent a lot of time at the nursing home with his grandmother, where he had an intriguing encounter. Some pleasures of the film come from a few unexpected turns in the story so I would leave it at that.

The film's VHS-resembling, amateur look, which puts me off at first, actually has both thematic and formal purposes. The style's realism helps lend a thrilling momentum towards some later turns in the plot, and meshes well with the use of the father's VHS. The film itself has an almost fractured visual feel where the TV/VHS/security-footage montage in the story seems to bleed into the next scene. Overall, I still have a hard time grasping fully on the film, but it is intriguing and compelling enough.


Leaderboard
1) H.I. McDonough 15
2) Syd Henderson 15
3) Vexer 10

Thief12 10
JamesKunz 9
MunichMan 8.5
calvero 8.5
Unke 8
montparnasse 8
Jeff Wilder 7.5


next: calvero - Bend of the River


Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:08 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
peng wrote:
Destiny
Fritz Lang
1921

Syd Henderson

8/10

I haven't seen Bergman's The Seventh Seal yet, but it's clear that the iconic Death is inspired from the Fritz Lang's version here.


I like Destiny the better of the two films. It's flawed, but it has a legendary feel much like The Phantom Carriage. Murnau's Faust has some of the same appeal.

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Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:24 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Well, peng, you made it through my 2 riskier submissions. Glad to hear you liked them, for the most part. It's been ages since I've seen either one, but obviously they stuck with me. And "Family Viewing" remains my #2 film from '87 (after "Raising Arizona," of course).


Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:28 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
H.I. McDonough wrote:
Well, peng, you made it through my 2 riskier submissions. Glad to hear you liked them, for the most part. It's been ages since I've seen either one, but obviously they stuck with me. And "Family Viewing" remains my #2 film from '87 (after "Raising Arizona," of course).


Hey H.I. MDonough... it seems like you really love Raising Arizona a lot. I'm guessing moreso than other Coen Films that alot of people know backwards and rate higher? Why do you love it so much? I'd rate in the bottom five films they've made but maybe I'm missing something? Could you please tell me why you love it so much, so on the next viewing, I can view it from a different perspective.

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Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:42 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Raising Arizona is probably my favorite Coen film as well. Sure, they have made better movies. If I stand back and rate them objectively, as films, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, No Country, Fargo... the list goes on, could be called better films, but Raising Arizona will remain my favorite. For me, RA just distills everything I love about their movies into a perfect amalgam of ludicrous hilarity, tinged with a deeper meaning that eludes easy description. "Turn to the riiight!" indeed.


Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:34 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
Raising Arizona is my second favorite Coens after A Serious Man, thus my favorite of them in funny mode. It manages to mix seemingly disparate elements together very smoothly: absurdist situations, Looney Tunes-ish physical humor, and witty, almost poetic dialogue, with a resonant underlying theme about parenthood. Excellent wide-angle and colorful cinematography too. Such a great comedy.

In term of 1987 ranking it's also my #2, behind The Princess Bride.


Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:19 pm
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Bend of the River
Anthony Mann
1952

calvero

8.5/10

If there is a genre I had been most ambivalent about, it's westerns. Something about the genre's characteristics or aesthetics didn't appeal very much to me. I am more open to it nowadays, but still don't seek them out regularly. I think the last western I've seen before this is Unforgiven back in September. This is my first Anthony Mann too, and in the first act it hadn't become evident yet why he is one of the better regarded western director. It is solid but also very familiar. However, after a time jump, all the set up pays off very nicely. Characters deepen and reveal unexpected shades, the situations turn murkier and darker, and the film gains dramatic momentum. All the action scenes towards the end are well staged and exciting. Throughout the film, the cinematography never manages to be less than amazing, capturing nature in its full glory. James Stewart works well in the role that uses his likeability to mask the film's undercurrent and complicated view of violence, but it is Arthur Kennedy who's the standout. His sly magnetism constantly shifts viewers' perception of him before everything comes to a head in the third act.


Leaderboard
1) calvero 17
2) H.I. McDonough 15
3) Syd Henderson 15
4) Vexer 10

Thief12 10
JamesKunz 9
MunichMan 8.5
Unke 8
montparnasse 8
Jeff Wilder 7.5


next: JamesKunz - The Lady Eve


Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:45 pm
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
peng wrote:
Bend of the River
Anthony Mann
1952

calvero

8.5/10

If there is a genre I had been most ambivalent about, it's westerns. Something about the genre's characteristics or aesthetics didn't appeal very much to me. I am more open to it nowadays, but still don't seek them out regularly. I think the last western I've seen before this is Unforgiven back in September. This is my first Anthony Mann too, and in the first act it hadn't become evident yet why he is one of the better regarded western director. It is solid but also very familiar. However, after a time jump, all the set up pays off very nicely. Characters deepen and reveal unexpected shades, the situations turn murkier and darker, and the film gains dramatic momentum. All the action scenes towards the end are well staged and exciting. Throughout the film, the cinematography never manages to be less than amazing, capturing nature in its full glory. James Stewart works well in the role that uses his likeability to mask the film's undercurrent and complicated view of violence, but it is Arthur Kennedy who's the standout. His sly magnetism constantly shifts viewers' perception of him before everything comes to a head in the third act.


'Bend of the River' is a fine movie, but I think that the Anthony Mann-James Stewart collaborations 'Winchester 73', 'The Naked Spur' and 'The Man from Laramie' are even better. If you want to explore the western genre further, I would recommend these three movies as well as the Anthony Mann-directed 'Man of the West' starring Gary Cooper.


Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:17 am
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Post Re: Peng Does a Movie Competition Thread
I've been looking around and it seems this may be the least acclaimed of the director-actor collaborations. Definitely make me want to watch the others. I should start watching westerns by some of the old guards like Howard Hawks or John Ford too. I've watched only The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance from the latter and really, really liked it, although its structure would be unusual in any genre film.


Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:10 am
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