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Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces 
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
JJoshay wrote:
Ponyo (2008, Hayao Miyazaki)
The film is perfect until the truncated ending, which still isn’t bad but rather sudden.


Miyazaki is great but he's blown two endings in his last two films: Howl's Moving Castle rushes to the finish line and doesn't offer anything like a satisfying resolution and Ponyo is more or less in the same league. Very disappointing stuff given what's preceded it.

I'd make a list if I weren't kind of tired of making lists for the forum. Dario Argento's Opera and Phenomena (aka Creepers) are both excellent (especially Opera) but they aren't in the same league as anything fitting the title of Masterpiece.


Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:48 am
Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
majoraphasia wrote:
JJoshay wrote:
Ponyo (2008, Hayao Miyazaki)
The film is perfect until the truncated ending, which still isn’t bad but rather sudden.


Miyazaki is great but he's blown two endings in his last two films: Howl's Moving Castle rushes to the finish line and doesn't offer anything like a satisfying resolution and Ponyo is more or less in the same league. Very disappointing stuff given what's preceded it.


I didn't feel the endings weren't satisfying, but like I said, truncated, like he wrote himself into a corner and wasn't willing to spend the extra ten to twenty minutes to fill it out. This seems rather strange considering how perfectionist his films have come across otherwise.


Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:28 am
Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Meatloaf wrote:
What's with all the hate for Die Hard 2? Die Hard is a perfect film that is one of the best movies of all time. Die Hard 2 is just slightly below that level and therefore deserves a rating of 3.5. It's simple mathematics really.


Someone must have failed math then.


Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:25 am
Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Patrick wrote:
Meatloaf wrote:
What's with all the hate for Die Hard 2? Die Hard is a perfect film that is one of the best movies of all time. Die Hard 2 is just slightly below that level and therefore deserves a rating of 3.5. It's simple mathematics really.


Someone must have failed math then.


Touche. I remember having a similar discussion on Die Hard 2 with a different thread but can't quite remember which one.


Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:16 pm
Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
JJoshay wrote:
oafolay wrote:
79. Miller's Crossing
81. The War Zone


Out of curiosity, what did you find to be flawed about Miller's Crossing and The War Zone?


Honestly, I can't think of any one particular flaw with either of these titles. I just didn't quite get that vibe that I'd normally feel with a **** flick. I don't mean to slight either of these films or any of the others on my list; I mean the fact that I would even consider putting any of them on here means that I still have a great deal of respect for them (in the case of Miller's Crossing, it might be second only to No Country for Old Men in the Coen's filmography and The War Zone, in addition to being a promising directorial debut for Tim Roth, was just a brutally powerful piece of filmmaking) but I just don't quite see them as **** films. Also, bear in mind that I haven't seen some of these in quite some time so I'm only going off my most recent recollections of them. I always reserve the right to change my mind one way or the other after subsequent viewings, if need be.


Mon Jun 28, 2010 4:32 pm
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
JJoshay wrote:
majoraphasia wrote:
JJoshay wrote:
Ponyo (2008, Hayao Miyazaki)
The film is perfect until the truncated ending, which still isn’t bad but rather sudden.


Miyazaki is great but he's blown two endings in his last two films: Howl's Moving Castle rushes to the finish line and doesn't offer anything like a satisfying resolution and Ponyo is more or less in the same league. Very disappointing stuff given what's preceded it.


I didn't feel the endings weren't satisfying, but like I said, truncated, like he wrote himself into a corner and wasn't willing to spend the extra ten to twenty minutes to fill it out. This seems rather strange considering how perfectionist his films have come across otherwise.


Howl's Moving Castle is based on a light fractured fairy tale kind of novel by Diana Wynne Jones. All the machinery and war was added by Miyazaki, and I think the story can't handle the added weight. It was a major disappointment to me.

The main problem about Ponyo to me is that it often pitched to a young age level without much for adults. Sometimes, however, it is spectacular, as in the scene where Ponyo is riding a tidal wave while she's pursuing her friend.

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Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:14 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Hi there

The key point here is the amount of perfect and near perfect movies you've seen as a percentage of the total films you've seen. I love Roger Ebert, but he's way to easy with 4 stars.

I've seen way more than 10,000 movies and less than 40 get a perfect 10 and about 250 get a 9.

So 3% score close to perfect and less than one half of one per cent are perfect

Rob


Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:14 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Halloween--easily the scariest and most disturbing horror movie ever made, it takes a while to get going. It's not until night that the film actually starts getting scary

Black Book--Brilliant film, but the explanation of how it all came to be is confusing.

Spirited Away--An almost perfect film, but resolution isn't explained. Still one of the best films ever made IMO.

Air Force One--A few clunky lines and a fairly obvious plothole keep me from giving this a ****

A Few Good Men--Something must be said for a courtroom drama that merits endless viewings and you can pick it up at any point on TV and get sucked right into it. The only flaw is an ill-placed and unnecessary flashback at the beginning.

Boys Don't Cry--A few awkward transitions and an unneccessary dream sequence

Confession (2005)--A thriller starring Chris Pine that got no release but was brilliant. One scene of bad acting by Pine's dad and a low budget (the last one couldn't be helped, though).

Face/Off--Travolta goes a little too over the top in his final action scene

Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire--Like Boys Don't Cry, this is a virtually flawless movie except for a few awkard transitions and filming techniques here and there.

The Man From Elysian Fields--Wonderful movie, but it can get more depressing than it probably needed to.

Up in the Air--Again, the ending is the problem. Although it makes sense on one level, I didn't really buy it.

Prime--A few moments here and there that don't work, but the humor is hilarious, and the romance is startlingly real and effective.

Mrs. Henderson Presents--A limited budget forced the inclusion of some archive footage, and the mix doesn't really work. But it's a great movie!

What about movies that work so well that you would give them **** despite their flaws? For me, these would be:
Fear--it looks like it was made by a hack, but one cannot deny the emotional resonance of the characters and their little dramas, nor the terror that the ending provides.
Aliens--Not everything works, but what does cannot be understood unless it has the highest rating.
The Game--The ending feels a little like a cheat, even though it makes sense when you think about it. Still, this is one of the most suspenseful movies I've ever seen.
This Film is Not Yet Rated--This is not a very good movie, but it sure was disturbing.
True Lies--It starts telling one story, then abruptly stops and starts telling another, then suddenly brings them all together. However, it's a whole lot of fun.
Rush Hour--It's not perfect by any means, but it's just so much fun to watch.
Paranormal Activity--The first act is a little ridiculous, but again, the terror is undeniable.

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Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:51 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
moviemkr7 wrote:
Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire--Like Boys Don't Cry, this is a virtually flawless movie except for a few awkward transitions and filming techniques here and there.


Did anyone else find this film really funny?


Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:36 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Dario Argento was mentioned above, and when I think of really good but not truly great films, I always think of Suspiria. Visually, the film is a feast. It's a masterpiece of cinematography, one of the finest-shot films I have ever seen. Plot-wise it's a mess; if you really stop to think about the plot it makes practically no sense at all. But the film looks so damn good that it is very easy to overlook its shortcomings elsewhere.

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Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:07 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Dario Argento was mentioned above, and when I think of really good but not truly great films, I always think of Suspiria. Visually, the film is a feast. It's a masterpiece of cinematography, one of the finest-shot films I have ever seen. Plot-wise it's a mess; if you really stop to think about the plot it makes practically no sense at all. But the film looks so damn good that it is very easy to overlook its shortcomings elsewhere.


Whereas for me the terrible plot and characterization makes the film virtually unwatchable

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Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:17 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
JamesKunz wrote:

Whereas for me the terrible plot and characterization makes the film virtually unwatchable


I totally understand the reaction to it. It's not an uncommon one. Suspiria is one of those films that is just pure style, all storytelling and no real story. A lot of Argento's work is like that...some of his stuff is better than others.

I've always told people that if they're looking for a more plot-driven Argento film, they should probably go with Deep Red.

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Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:56 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:

Whereas for me the terrible plot and characterization makes the film virtually unwatchable


I totally understand the reaction to it. It's not an uncommon one. Suspiria is one of those films that is just pure style, all storytelling and no real story. A lot of Argento's work is like that...some of his stuff is better than others.

I've always told people that if they're looking for a more plot-driven Argento film, they should probably go with Deep Red.


I did indeed prefer Deep Red to Suspiria, but I don't think it's an especially good movie in its own right

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Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:22 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
I just wanted to add to the Die Hard 2 debate.

My god, what a horrible film. Taken on it's own, it's just bad, but in comparison to Die Hard, a classic of the genre, it is just awful.


Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:37 pm
Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
And speaking of Dario Argento, I had the dubious pleasure of watching Giallo at the Munich Fantasy Film Festival last year.

By the end of the movie, I want to put out my eyes with toothpicks. It was that bad. Adrien Brody was embarrassingly bad.


Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:40 pm
Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Quote:
The key point here is the amount of perfect and near perfect movies you've seen as a percentage of the total films you've seen. I love Roger Ebert, but he's way to easy with 4 stars.

I've seen way more than 10,000 movies and less than 40 get a perfect 10 and about 250 get a 9.


It entirely depends on your own personal rating system as well, for example a 10 for me is just something I consider truly excellent it doesn't have any relation to it being 'perfect'. I will however agree that Ebert does hand out a 4 star rating far too easily, these days it seems like once a week.


Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:08 am
Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Nick wrote:
Quote:
The key point here is the amount of perfect and near perfect movies you've seen as a percentage of the total films you've seen. I love Roger Ebert, but he's way to easy with 4 stars.

I've seen way more than 10,000 movies and less than 40 get a perfect 10 and about 250 get a 9.


It entirely depends on your own personal rating system as well, for example a 10 for me is just something I consider truly excellent it doesn't have any relation to it being 'perfect'. I will however agree that Ebert does hand out a 4 star rating far too easily, these days it seems like once a week.


Hi Nick

A film that I consider is excellent is a 9 for me. However, a very few films are films i love and have great artistic merit. I guess it's the masterpiece argument. Those special few.

Since Roger became ill he has given more 4 and 3.5 star reviews. His argument is that he sees his role as the town cryer , shouting from roof tops.

Rob


Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:01 am
Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Wow, I'm glad that you all decided to get this thread going again. In the interim, I have seen a few other films that I would consider adding to this list. Some of these include the following:

Stranger Than Fiction - when I refer to this as Charlie Kaufman-lite I don't mean that as an insult; I felt that flick took ideas similar to the ones found in Kaufman's films and made them more accessible and in the process showcased Will Ferrell's strongest performance to date (arguably)

Kick-Ass - do I really need to explain this one, dude?

Boys Don't Cry - it's actually been a while since I saw this one but the images still sear themselves into my mind

I know there were more but I just can't think of them right now!


Thu Sep 02, 2010 12:05 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
Late to the thread yes. Here are a few of my choices.

Gladiator A very well-made sword and sandal popcorn movie. But nothing more than that.

Born On The Fourth Of July Well-made, well-acted. But overall too depressing. Yes, Platoon was depressing too. But that one I find myself going back to again and again. Born I can only take once in a great while.

Crash Emotionally affecting yes. Best Picture material? That's debatable. Crash suffers when put up against Magnolia (a better multi-character multi-arch film) and Do The Right Thing (a better treatise on race and interaction in America). Those two films worked as well as they did primarily because they told personal stories and used those stories as a means to make a larger comment on the state of things in America today. Crash seems like it's trying to tell a personal story in the context of making a larger statement about America.

There Will Be Blood Love the movie. But I can't quite give it the full four. ***1/2 definitely.

The Hurt Locker

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Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:26 am
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Post Re: Excellent films that you don't quite consider masterpieces
I have seen well over 11000 movies and only 38 scored 10
However there are hundreds of 9s
I won't post a list

We need to define masterpiece for the purposes of this thread
Rob


Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:03 am
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