Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A different type of post Sonia vs The Duck on Film and Art

We will take a respite from the normal fare to do a special post on film and art. One of the regular features of this blog is that we sometimes mix up our style.

1 All of us have films that we wonder why they are so over rated. Like Elaine on Sienfeld, I think the English Patient was very over rated. It was not a bad film in any description, just one that had too many needless plot lines and needed editing. What is your view of the English Patient ?
Are there films that you feel are somewhat over rated?

2 I am a fan of some films that are seldom shown as forgotten classics. One of the films I used to look forward to seeing was Lord of the Flies. Other seldom seen films that I enjoyed are the Grapes of Wrath, Harry and Tonto and Laura. Name some older films prior to 1975 that you feel are over looked.

3 Sonia is a fan of eroticism in film. She enjoyed Eyes Wide Shut which I felt was a bore. There have been some really dreadful films with vicarious sexual content notably Bolero. I am not a cinema prude but Eyes Wide Shut was over the top and contrived. I prefer the nudity fit into the story line and be believable. Ducky what are your views of nudity and eroticism on film?
Can either of you name a film where the nudity seemed well integrated into the story line.

4 What are your views on the sword and socery films. Lord of the Rings was well done and faithful to the book. The Conan films were poorly done and did not convey the essence of the charachter. Conan frequently uses his brain and humor in the books by Howard and that was missing in the film.

5 Some film adaptations of books are excellent like Lord of the Flies, The Grapes of Wrath. Yet others like Conan and Gangs of NY fall short. Can both of you name films you feel were faithful
to books and well done and those that were not.

6 Lets talk about musicals and drama from the stage to cinema. The King and I, Oklahoma and Fidler on the Roof stand out as excellent adaptations. However, Evita did not even come close to the stage performance. I would like to have seen Bye, Bye Birdie on stage but my parents swear it was an excellent adaptaion. Both versions have a singing Paul Lynde. Grease was better on film than stage. For obvious reasons I have not heard of the Emeperor Jones being performed in my memory. However, it does not translate well over time.The Odd Couple was an excellent film and even better TV series. However, some of this is due to the immense talents involved Klugman, Randall, Mathau and Lemon were very capable. What are your thoughts on adaptations from the stage to Cinema? Name some good and bad examples.

7 There are some movies that are so bad and poorly written that they become enjoyable. My favorite examples are Johny Guitar and Superfly. Are there films that are so poorly written that
they become enjoyable.

8 We did interview a charachter actor Bruno Amato who points out that he does get type cast.
He plays detectives, wrestling coaches, criminals and said he will not ever be cast as an accountant. Vincent Price is an example of a very capable actor in Laura who evolved over time
into an almost cimena version of a loveable uncle in horror films. Can you name some good examples of people known for playing against familiar roles we associate them with. Paint your Wagon has a singing Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Ray Walston.

9 What are your views on the following cinema types the Disaster Epics, Martial Art films and Westerns. Can you name any notable films that you felt were good or bad in each genre.

Your thoughts on specific films

10 Forrest Gump. Puching out a commie made a good film greater.

11 Ben Hur

12 The Original Planet of the Apes Films. My favorite was the ending in the second film and humans worshiping the atomic bomb.

13 The Towering Inferno.

14The Last Emperor

15 The Indiana Jones Films.

16 Rain Man

17 Zorba the Greek

18 The James Bond Films

19 Pick five all time bombs. Mine are 1 Yentyl 2 Bolero 3 Battlefield Earth 4 Cocktails 5 Dirty Dancing.

20 Do we see to many sequels?

21 What is your favorite comedy team of all time?

22 Name your five all time bombs.

23 Are there any recent films within the last five years you envision becoming classics?

24 What is your view of Michael Caine as an actor.

25 Pick an actor and an actress that you think should find other employment.
John Travolta and Bette Midler.

42 comments:

Farmer John said...

Actors are rare. We're drowning in part casting.

Film will never be as intimate as theatre. If I could ban film, I would.

Vinny Barabarino never was, and never will be, an actor.

Ducky's here said...

I'll answer these over lunchtime, Beak. I'll be honest but I'll try to be a bit provocative.

beakerkin said...

Duck

Seriously add your thoughts on Mr Rodgers. How does he get spare, because he was non comercial?

On a serious note I had zero idea of the work he did with seriously abused kids. I think Rodgers himself was unaware of his calming influence in many troubled homes until those kids grew up and told him.

Always On Watch said...

Duck,
I'll be honest but I'll try to be a bit provocative.

I wouldn't expect--or want--any other way.

Beak,
Looking forward to seeing the answers to these questions.

beakerkin said...

Farmer I am with you.

AOW feel free to comment on your own. I am desperately looking for someone who has read the book that inspired Ben Hur to comment on the movie.

This is an example of the fare this blog was known for before a certain person spammed a community.
A certain Beak critic has never pondered why I am considered responsible and reasonable enough to leave when asked and his cohorts
John Brown/LWB and Slave Revolt spam away.

This critic has been treated very well in our community. Maybe he needs to look at his own community

sonia said...

1 All of us have films that we wonder why they are so over rated. Like Elaine on Sienfeld, I think the English Patient was very over rated. It was not a bad film in any description, just one that had too many needless plot lines and needed editing. What is your view of the English Patient ?
Are there films that you feel are somewhat over rated?


I agree with you about The English Patient and about all Anthony Minghella films as well (Breaking and Entering was very lame too). The most overrated among the recent films were: BORAT and the SPIDERMAN trilogy.

2 I am a fan of some films that are seldom shown as forgotten classics. One of the films I used to look forward to seeing was Lord of the Flies. Other seldom seen films that I enjoyed are the Grapes of Wrath, Harry and Tonto and Laura. Name some older films prior to 1975 that you feel are over looked.

HAXAN from 1922, a Danish film about witchcraft.
TABU from 1931, set in the South Pacific.
SUMMER WITH MONICA from 1953, one of the best early Bergman films (and the most sensual).
ONIBABA from 1964, the best Japanese film ever.
LUCIA from 1968 – a masterpiece from Cuba, of all places.

3 Sonia is a fan of eroticism in film. She enjoyed Eyes Wide Shut which I felt was a bore. There have been some really dreadful films with vicarious sexual content notably Bolero. I am not a cinema prude but Eyes Wide Shut was over the top and contrived. I prefer the nudity fit into the story line and be believable. Ducky what are your views of nudity and eroticism on film?
Can either of you name a film where the nudity seemed well integrated into the story line.


That’s an easy one. NAKED VENUS (1958), THE NUDIST STORY (1960), DIARY OF A NUDIST (1961) and countless other films set in nudist camps.

There is also THE EMERALD FOREST (1985) and other films set among jungle tribes where everybody is naked.

SHOWGIRLS (1995) and other films set in strip clubs would also look weird if there were no nudity.

4 What are your views on the sword and sorcery films. Lord of the Rings was well done and faithful to the book. The Conan films were poorly done and did not convey the essence of the character. Conan frequently uses his brain and humor in the books by Howard and that was missing in the film.

I agree about LOTR. I never saw the Conan films. My favourite sword & sorcery film is EXCALIBUR (1981) and the (aptly named) THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER (1982)…

5 Some film adaptations of books are excellent like Lord of the Flies, The Grapes of Wrath. Yet others like Conan and Gangs of NY fall short. Can both of you name films you feel were faithful
to books and well done and those that were not.


Movies that are better (or as good) as the books:
CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971),
THE GODFATHER (1972),
SALO OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM (1975),
THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING (1988),
DANGEROUS LIAISONS (1988) (and VALMONT (1989)),
THE DA VINCI CODE (2006),
A SCANNER DARKLY (2006) and, of course, the
LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy.

Great books that are better than any of their adaptations:
DON QUIXOTE,
LES MISERABLES,
DAVID COPPERFIELD, BONJOUR TRISTESSE and
QUO VADIS…

6 Lets talk about musicals and drama from the stage to cinema. The King and I, Oklahoma and Fidler on the Roof stand out as excellent adaptations. However, Evita did not even come close to the stage performance. I would like to have seen Bye, Bye Birdie on stage but my parents swear it was an excellent adaptaion. Both versions have a singing Paul Lynde. Grease was better on film than stage. For obvious reasons I have not heard of the Emeperor Jones being performed in my memory. However, it does not translate well over time.The Odd Couple was an excellent film and even better TV series. However, some of this is due to the immense talents involved Klugman, Randall, Mathau and Lemon were very capable. What are your thoughts on adaptations from the stage to Cinema? Name some good and bad examples.

RENT was awful (really awful), but DREAMGIRLS was a very successful adaptation. But my favourites are films that get adapted as stage plays and then become films again. John Water’s film HAIRSPRAY (1988) became a stage musical, that become a great film with John Travolta in the role originally played by Divine. Andrew Lloyd Webber ‘s Sunset Boulevard was adapted from Billy Wilder’s classic 1950 film with Gloria Swanson.

7 There are some movies that are so bad and poorly written that they become enjoyable. My favorite examples are Johny Guitar and Superfly. Are there films that are so poorly written that
they become enjoyable.


I never saw Superfly, but Johnny Guitar is a very good film and not poorly written at all. Poorly written films that are enjoyable nonetheless are MANIAC (1934), NUDE ON THE MOON (1961), ET DIEU CRÉA LA FEMME (1956) and LA BRIDE AU COU (1961) - the last two with Brigitte Bardot…

8 We did interview a character actor Bruno Amato who points out that he does get type cast.
He plays detectives, wrestling coaches, criminals and said he will not ever be cast as an accountant. Vincent Price is an example of a very capable actor in Laura who evolved over time
into an almost cinema version of a loveable uncle in horror films. Can you name some good examples of people known for playing against familiar roles we associate them with. Paint your Wagon has a singing Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Ray Walston.


My favourite casting against type was Ben Kingsley in SEXY BEAST (2000). The movie was awful, but to see Gandhi as a psychopathic gangster was certainly jolting.

9 What are your views on the following cinema types the Disaster Epics, Martial Art films and Westerns. Can you name any notable films that you felt were good or bad in each genre.

TOWERING INFERNO (1974) was the best disaster epic, Earthquake was among the worst.

DRUNKEN MASTER 2 (1994) with Jackie Chan,
ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA (1990) with Jet Li and
WOMEN ON THE RUN (1993) are my favourite martial arts films. Everything Jet Li has done in Hollywood are among the worst.

The best westerns are
HIGH NOON (1952),
THE GUNFIGHTER (1951) and
THE SEARCHERS (1956).

TERROR OF THE TINY TOWN (1938) was the worst And not just because all cowboys were midgets.

Your thoughts on specific films

10 Forrest Gump. Puching out a commie made a good film greater.


Forrest Gump’s anti-communism made me forgive it for stealing the best film Oscar from Pulp Fiction which ought to have won that year.

11 Ben Hur

I prefer the 1925 version to the 1959 version. And the 1925 version has a lot of nudity.

12 The Original Planet of the Apes Films. My favorite was the ending in the second film and humans worshiping the atomic bomb.

The first was the best. And the last, THE BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (1973) was the second-best. I didn’t like the second one. The Tim Burton’s remake was quite weak.

13 The Towering Inferno.

The best disaster pic of all time, but unfortunately too overdressed.

14The Last Emperor

Excellent film. And quite sexy too.

15 The Indiana Jones Films.

The first and the third are masterpieces. The second one has some good scenes.

16 Rain Man

Good, but not exceptional.

17 Zorba the Greek

I never saw it.

18 The James Bond Films

The best: GOLDFINGER. The worst: the last three Bond films.

19 Pick five all time bombs. Mine are 1 Yentyl 2 Bolero 3 Battlefield Earth 4 Cocktails 5 Dirty Dancing.

I disagree about Dirty Dancing. I never saw Yentl.

My Bottom 5 – films that I hate the most (for ideological reasons) are:

Letter To Brezhnev (1985), about a British girl who emigrates to the Soviet Union;
The Eternal Jew (1941), a Nazi documentary about Jews;
Santa Fe Trail (1940), the film about the original John Brown (which paints him as a villain);
Carla’s Song (1996), a film that praises the Sandinistas;
The Blood Of The Condor (1969), a rabidly anti-American Bolivian film produced with the approval of the same left-wing military junta that killed Che Guevara with the help of the CIA (go figure, Latin American politics rarely make any sense)…

20 Do we see to many sequels?

Way too many, especially this year.

21 What is your favorite comedy team of all time?

Since ‘’a team’’ can be more than two, Marx Brothers.

If only two, then Laurel and Hardy.

23 Are there any recent films within the last five years you envision becoming classics?

Y tu maman tambien, Sin City, Apocalypto…

24 What is your view of Michael Caine as an actor.

Versatile, but he works too much. Too many bad films: The Quiet American, Austin Powers, Jaws The Revenge, Victory, The Swarm …

25 Pick an actor and an actress that you think should find other employment.
John Travolta and Bette Midler.


John Travolta is a great actor (and actress – in Hairspray). Bette Midler has already found other employment (and good riddance).

Mine would be: Sacha Baron Cohen and Jennifer Connelly

sonia said...

I read the Ben Hur book. It's very bad. The films are way better.

The Merry Widow said...

I have read Ben-Hur, and prefer it to the movie. It was well done, but a movie leaves out so much, especially from a large story.
I have resisted watching Gone With The Wind because of it.
The Hunt For Red October did a better job, but it just leaves out the details that make a story interesting.
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!

tmw
BTW-I also preferred the book, Anna and the King, over the movie.

nanc said...

beak - the bible inspired the movie "ben hur", but it is a fictional piece.

the best comedy team of ALL time was george and gracie - honestly, gracie was priceless.

five bombs:

bicentennial man - that's a start!

most barbra streisand movies.

all tom cruise movies, with the exception of "far and away".

...i'll think of some more...

classics to come:

gladiator

black hawk down

braveheart

apocalypse now (it already is)

a very underrated, yet stunningly real movie:

hotel rwanda - excellent and believable

if this is a formal occasion, sonia needs to put some clothes on - at least a tie.

Ducky's here said...

1. Overrated films -- I have only seen portions of The English Patient. There wasn't much to hold my attention.

The Matrix -- Overblown nonsense for the "slashdot" crowd who take these alternate reality scenarios seriously. Utter pretentious crap.

Easy Rider -- Looking back on it this film is an incredible embarrassment. Back in the day I was a politico, not a druggie so I didn't much care for it even then. The 60's, first time tragedy, second time farce.

2001: A Space Odyssey -- Late Kubrick is a real mixed bag. This film had some great visuals but they had nothing to do with a coherent theme. Overblown.

Magnolia -- Some douchebag tries to pull off a stylistic remake of Nashville. Incoherent junk. The great Robert Altman showed this punk how it could be done when he reprised "Nashville" with "Short Cuts".

Pulp Fiction -- Pure crap from L'il Quentin. Recurring themes in a Tarantino film -- toilets, black guys with misbehaving white wife or girlfriend (oohh, how naughty, Quentin), Samuel L. Jackson talking like a dumb white boy thinks blacks talk, Samuel L. Jackson looking like an utter asshole while he tries to talk tough (Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown).
Utter nonsense.

Ducky's here said...

Under appreciated films. Actually your list isn't bad, Beak. Art Carney was a pretty good actor .. check him out with Lilly Tomlin in "The Late Show".
Now when you say "older" I assume you are talking pre 1940.

1. "Grass: A Nation Battles for Life"

This is a documentary done by the pair who would go on to produce "King Kong". It concerns a nomadic people who have to move their herds to new pasture and must cross fast flowing rivers and snow covered mountain ranges.
This film is utterly mesmerizing. Simply an incredible trial and the camera crew were risking their lives at points. Fantastic stuff.

2. The Passion of Joan of Arc

Carl Dreyers silent film. It is notable for many reasons but first among its attributes are Maria Falconetti's performance as Joan. Any discussion about great female performances are talking about second place after hers.

3. Men in War

I'm not a big fan of combat films but I do enjoy the "lost platoon" genre. This on takes place in the Korean War and is strong in all points and is bolstered by the presence of the most under rated American actor, Robert Ryan.

4. High School

Unfortunately, Fred Wiseman's documentaries are rarely shown and they are not commercially available. His genius is to just shoot and let people make his point by being natural.
I believe this is the only film in which he included a soundtrack. It opens with Otis Redding singing "Dock of the Bay" and proceeds to become quietly devastating as it shreds a suburban school to pieces.

5. A Women Under the Influence

John Cassavetes looks at a housewife having a nervous breakdown. As someone said of Cassavetes, "He takes all of the 'about' out of it."
It was a great time for American film, one of the few. See also Barbara Loden's "Wanda" and William Greaves's "Symbiopsychotoxiplasm".

Ducky's here said...

Nudity and eroticism, well first I'd say they aren't synonymous and this is the place pretentious boors hide most often.

The most erotic film I can think of is Nagisa Oshima's "In the Realm of the Senses". It's relentlessly graphic but it is telling a documented story of two people who allowed passion to drive them to death. Not a great film but certainly not frivolous.

I can think of Bunuel's "Belle de Jour" and wonder how someone can make a film starring Catherine Deneuve an utter yawn fest. But Bunuel always went after soft targets and was a chief practitioner of the "sex equals profundity" school.
"I am Curious: Yellow", can't believe that caused a scandal. Again, it seems utterly boring today.

Then there is "Sweet Movie" which may rank as the worst "serious" film ever made. People doing it in tubs of feces and other profound moments. Pretty good proof that when you start to get hard core you generally get demented and produce rubbish. Explicit sex destroyed Pasolini's career also.

I can't think of anything lately that's of interest. You have Harmony Korine's "Kids". This guy is big with the mall crowd and they really think they are being daring and rebellious. Maybe generations have to go through it on their own. Sad but inevitable.

Ducky's here said...

A little further on the erotic theme. There are films which deal with the subject and never hint at nudity.

Knife in the Water

Repulsion

One of the very best is Imamura's "The Pornographers". These lowlifes are kinda laughable and the film's has a terrific ending. A guy has been trying to develop the perfect party doll and his barge becomes untethered and floats into Tokyo Bay and out to sea. Imamura has such a soft spot for low life losers. Hilarious and insightful film.

Ducky's here said...

Adaptations of stage to screen usually doesn't work all that well. Stage and cinema have separate vocabularies and films that are films of plays, essentially, aren't all that compelling. "Streetcar Named Desire" and "A Raisin in the Sun" would be examples of good films that never really get the immediacy of a good stage play.

The greatest adaptations to my mind are Kurasowa's adaptations of Shakespeare. "Throne of Blood" (Macbeth), "The Bad Sleep Well" (Hamlet) and "Ran" (King Lear) ever try to be stage plays and they are superb. Watch the demise of the Macbeth character in "Throne of Blood". Those are real archers and real arrows, beautiful stuff. Dips like L'il Quentin could take a lesson on how to film an action sequence.

"Oklahoma" is probably the best screen adaption of a stage musical. The choreography really carries it.

Ducky's here said...

Enjoyable bad films. Well what can I say. I love the old Republic serials and the old "B" movies. I really love them.

The Drums of Fu Manchu

Forbidden Planet

Creature from the Black Lagoon

My dad was pretty strict and didn't allow me to see this stuff so I had to sneak out with the guys and sometimes ditch school.

I remember the day we snuck out to see "Godzilla" ...

Remember 3D glasses, the drive in ... those were the days. The cinemas greatest heights.

Ducky's here said...

An actor not playing to type. First one who comes to mind is Jackie Gleason. Most think of him as a comedian.

"The Hustler" was a great performance as Minnesota Fats.
Yeah, "I am shooting pool, Eddie. When I miss then you can shoot."

He was in a very little know picture with Steve McQueen (also cast against type here), "Soldier in the Rain". Gleason played a sergeant who took a clutz of a private (McQueen) under his wing. It all ends tragically and there is a hint of a homosexual attraction. Very good film that has apparently been lost.

Ducky's here said...

Disaster epics. Well recently there was "28 Days After" which seemed pretty well plotted and "Children of Men" was very good. Otherwise this genre seems a wasteland.

Martial Arts has run it's course. There were some good efforts but now it's all parody. Of the low budget stuff, Jackie Chan had some fun efforts. I never cared for Bruce Lee.It's all kind of formula and never developed the way the samurai genre was able to.

Westerns are pretty much dead. I think the most interesting aspect of American Westerns is how they cross pollinated with the Japanese samurai film. Both genres are dead now and mores the pity.

Best western ever - Stagecoach

Best samurai epic - Seven Samurai

Ducky's here said...

Forrest Gump -- Tom Hanks sucks the gaspipe and the film is even worse. To me it's the Reagan crowd looking back on the sixties and thinking they're having a laugh. Never question anything and go through the world living by chicken soup for the mind aphorisms. Yes sir, a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing. Much like Ronnie Raygun himself. Utter dog food.

Ben Hur --- Kinda follows the deMille formula so it isn't very creative but it was a formula that always delivered a good entertainment. It's aged pretty well and is still interesting. Of course, the chariot race is superb.

Planet of the Apes

Haven't seen it.

The Towering Inferno

Haven't seen it.

The Last Emporor

Haven't seen it.

The Indiana Jones series

Had a great time at the first one. The sequels (as is almost always true of sequels) were boring.

Rain Man

What was the point? Worst road trip ever.

Zorba the Greek

I REALLY need to see this one some day

The James Bond series

Dropped off when Connery left. These are no more than an extension of my beloved Republic serials. Goldfinger and Thunderball are the highpoints.

Farmer John said...

To what forces do you attribute the demise of both the "cowboy" and "samurai" movie?

CB said...

Sonia,

You've got to see Zorba the Greek!

Ducky's here said...

Big stinky bombs. I'll assume you mean lousy films, even if they made money.

Star Wars: Episode 1

Lucas is a no talent douchebag but this really takes the prize.
He stole the idea for the series from Kurasowa's vastly superior "Hidden Fortress". I wish Kurasowa and Mifune could return from the grave and just bitch slap Lucas.


A.I.

Spielberg, go to your room you dope. Lord what a pretentious mess.

Pearl Harbor

Virtually anything Michael Bay is involved with will make a "worst" list. Has Ben Affleck ever been in a good film? Don't even start about that crap "Good Will Hunting".

Grindhouse

L'il Quintin must be freakin' out with this one going in the toilet. The Italian press really badmouthed it so L'il Quentin started on about Italian cinema and Sophia Loren literally told him to "shut the bleep up. You don't even understand American cinema, you hack".

King Kong (the recent remake)

I really can't stand it when a no talent douchebag like Jackson decides that he is going to remake one of the best loved films of all time to show how much he admires it. Hey Jackson you lousy pimp, if you loved it you wouldn't turn out a piece of crap that casts Jack Black. You wanted to make a buck and be considered in the limelight with fellow no talent douchebags Lucas and Spielberg.
The original owns your no talent ass.

Ducky's here said...

... oh and the worst loser movie of all time is definitely "Love Story".
I can't believe they made a sequel of that crap.

beakerkin said...

FJ

The classic Hero in a black and white setting got transformed into the anti hero in the Leone films.

Wayne could carry a bad film and make it memorable, but few others could.

CB

My biggest surprise was that neither film devotee has seen Zorba the Greek. Excellent film that makes you think Quin at his best.

I avoided films that I thought would be obscure like Savage Inocents or the Beast an Israeli Movie about Afghanistan that is well done. I also love Kazablan but that is way too obscure.

CB said...

Duck,

You and Sonia need to schedule a viewing of Zorba together. A great sample of Anthony Quinn at his tortured best.

Ducky's here said...

That's really a fine question, Farmer.

I think they both moved into space. That's what Lucas did with Star Wars. He took the western and samurai film into space.

Then everything became overwhelmed and rather vapid with the coming of special effects.

There was a very serious purpose to the Ford and Hawks westerns. The Japanese were very effective using the samurai genre to critique Japanese culture just after the war.

I can't say that the special effects fest have continued with much sense of purpose.

Farmer John said...

What did you think of QT's "Resevoir Dogs"? Or should I just walk away....

Farmer John said...

You might be right about their moving into "space". Did you ever see any of the "Firefly" series? Very "western".

Ducky's here said...

sequels -- I have a rule, never bother with a sequel. It isn't fool proof but you can't go far wrong. Sequels are Hollywood's way of telling you they haven't had a fresh idea in a decade.
-------------------------
Favorite comedy team?

Put on Laurel and Hardy's "The Music Box". After that we can talk about who is the second best comedy team.
----------------------------
Recent films that might become classics

I think the new ideas are coming from Asia and it will be the minimalist Asian style of limited dialog, long takes and minimal plots that will prove enduring.
Yi Yi
Cafe Lumiere
Days of Being Wild
Last Life in the Universe
Platform

Errol Morris's documentaries are also going to make the cut
Rumors of War
Thin Blue Line
----------------------------
Michael Caine

Odd you should mention him. I wanted to watch a film last night and I put on "Funeral in Berlin". The middle portion of his career was especially good. Ipcress File, The Italian Job,Zulu, The Man Who Would Be King. Fine all around actor. He's rarely in a bad film because he can make a bad film passable.
---------------------------
Actor and Actress who should be working in a freakin' carwash

Julia Roberts -- And now her no talent kid is getting roles. What a loser. Junk,junk,junk. Kate Winslet, why not follow Julia out the door. I can't believe I actually paid money to see "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".

Jim Carrey -- Must be great to get paid millions to repeatedly play an asshole. Jack Black and Samuel L. Jackson wouldn't be missed if they joined him.

Ducky's here said...

cb, I have no idea why I have never seen Zorba. I put it on my netflix queue, gotta get this done.

sonia said...

Ducky,

never hint at nudity. Knife in the Water

There is nudity in Knife In The Water (I've got a nude scene from that movie on my sidebar!).

Quentin Tarantino is a genius, and so is Peter Jackson. Your taste in movies is almost as bad as your taste in politics.

Star Wars: Episode I wasn't stolen from Kurosawa. Star Wars: Episode IV was. But Hidden Fortress is one of Kurosawa's weakest films, Lucas's version is way better.

Tarantino stole some ideas from Ringo Lam's City On Fire for Reservoir Dogs. But Reservoir Dogs is a masterpiece, and City of Fire a boring and lame movie.

Btw, such stealing is called post-modernism now.

Martial Arts has run it's course. It's all kind of formula and never developed the way the samurai genre was able to.

I suspect you've never seen the best martial arts movies from Hong Kong. I bet you can't even tell Tony Leung Chiu-Wai from Tony Leung Ka-Fai...

Robert Bayn said...

High Noon is my favorite western, although I have to admit I'm not a big fan of Western movies, they often seem dull and boring to me.

I can't stand the Star War films, I never could understand why people like that crap so much, I just fall asleep if I watch it.

Tom Cruise was good in Mission Impossible and Risky Business.

I did enjoy the Da Vinci Code movie, it was a good fictional movie.


My favorite movies of all time would be:

Rudy (great football movie)

Office Space (one of the best comedies ever!)

Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Die Hard series

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

sequels -- I have a rule, never bother with a sequel. It isn't fool proof but you can't go far wrong. Sequels are Hollywood's way of telling you they haven't had a fresh idea in a decade.

I whole-heartedly agree. Very rarely will I see a sequel movie. It has to be a sequel I knew was a franchise when I saw the first one. No one is surprised that there's been 3 Spiderman movies.

Why was there a "Legally Blonde 2." Or the first one for that matter.

Ducky's here said...

Tarantino is a stiff. I'm really sorry that Seijun Suzuki is pushing 90 and can't slap the little punk for all the ideas he stole.

NOTHING in Tarantino is original. Even the Samuel L. Jackson (with the dipshit permed afro) and Travolta team were stolen from Don Siegel's Lee Marvin/Clu Gulager hit team in The Killers. Now, what would really be funny is if Lee Marvin came back and started bitch slapping Quentin and L'il Quentin starts having flashbacks to the days when everyone was stealing his lunch money.

Reservoir Dogs is a masterpiece? If you use "masterpiece" to describe that piece of dog food then what's left for Rules of the Game, Tokyo Story and hundreds of others.

Want to know why L'il Quinton always shoots indoors? Because the little dipshit can't move a freakin' camera. Wanna give me some examples of memorable camera work in a L'il Quinton film? He sucks. Come on bring it. I got your freakin' masterpiece right here.

Botched heist picture... Kubrick's The Killing. It also features non linear multiple story lines. I actually saw L'il Quinton on Charlie Rose talking as if he had a lead in developing that technique. Of course the contemporary pimple faced mall rat sub species Americanus with absolutely no knowledge of film history will fall for it.

Netflix a copy of Tokyo Drifter, Youth of the Beast, Suzuki owns Tarantino.

Or maybe you think L'il Quimton's daring pairing of black men with naughty white girls is just so avant.

Bring it ... name a memorable visual in a Tarantino film. Can he do anything with an edit except jump? Reminds me that Godard should slap his little punk face.

A masterpiece. Tie a can on it.

...and the "worst" Kurosowa. Pretty much makes The Hidden Fortress better than 60% of the films out there.

Next we can talk about Lord of the Rings. A film whose best actor is an animation. I was embarrassed when I saw it half the freakin' audience were mumbling and carrying drool cups. Oh and Lord of the Rings is a Christian epoch. I liked how no talent Jackson ended it. Frodo takes a boat ride with the elves. No Allen, you missed it.

beakerkin said...

It is amazing how often I agree with the Duck on film. There are plenty of points I agree with Sonia as well but this is not surprising.

Many of the Beaker critics assume I am not well rounded. One of these reasons the interviews work so well is that I am often familiar with the material in the questions.

Who would have bet CB and myself would have seen Zorba and both the Duck and Sonia had not. The Duck is rectifying the situation, but I am slightly surprised Net Flix would offer an obscure title.

sonia said...

Ducky,

name a memorable visual in a Tarantino film.

Are you on drugs? There are more visually memorable scenes in a single half hour of a Tarantino movie than in all the films of most directors....

1. The camera panning around the criminals sitting around the table in Reservoir Dogs talking about Madonna.

2. The title scene from Reservoir Dogs.

3. The way we forget about Tim Roth's character lying on the floor. (RD)

4. The look on Rosanne Arquette's face when John Travolta is about to hit Uma Thurman with a syringe.

5. Uma and John dancing. (PF)

6. The camerawork during the restaurant heist sequence in Pulp Fiction.

7. The long shot when Samuel L.Jackson shoots Dave Chappelle in Jackie Brown.

8. The point-of-view shot of Robert Foster car as it backs down in Jackie Brown.

9. The way camera moves during the long take (no cuts) in the restaurant scene in Kill Bill 1.

10. The fight scene in the restaurant in Kill Bill 1.

11. The way Uma Thurman gets out of the coffin in Kill Bill 2.

12. The way the collision scene was filmed in Grindhouse.

13. The way we get from day to night to day in Grindhouse.

.... and this is just from memory. I have only seen Kill Bill 2 and Grindhouse once. Kill Bill 1 only 2 times. And I haven't seen his first three films in 5 years. Let me see them all again, and I will find you 5 times as many great visual scenes...

And then we can talk about one-liners and dialogue scenes...

z said...

I'm mostly into old films....KNIFE IN THE WATER is a wonder. THE SEARCHERS is a great film...glad to see them both mentioned here.

I must recommend a new film, however: THE LIVES OF OTHERS, the Best Foreign Film from Germany this year. It's got the best last line of any film I have ever seen.

I loved reading all of this; thanks Beak, Ducky, Sonia..et al.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

If I had a thousand dollars for every time Quentin Tarantino wrote the word "nigger" in a script, I could finance Ducky's film about why Quentin Tarantino sucks.

QT's style is supposed to be an "homage" to those who did it before and arguably better.

Sometimes he hits the mark, most of the time he doesn't.

My will go on record and say my favorite QT movie is Reservoir Dogs. Four Rooms (QT plus 3 other directors) is pretty hilarious.

I thought the Kill Bill movies stank.

Mr. Beamish the Kakistocrat said...

I would have preferred that Jackson stick to the books in his take on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He could have kept the eye-candy special effects without making so many plot deviations from the masterwork.

Frodo and Sam were supposed to return to a devastated, burnt out Shire. Saruman was supposed to be destroyed in the second movie, not the third.

Liv Tyler's Arwen character wasn't supposed to be a major character.

And so on. From a Tolkien purist nerd standpoint (and I am such a critter) the movie doesn't even scratch the surface of the whole story.

You can truly say "the book is better."

Always On Watch said...

Duck,
Off topic....You are named.

Elmer's Brother said...

the two towers was not as faithful to the book as it should have been

the Ents were more noble as well as Faramir

Ducky's here said...

Now Sonia, let's try again. Camera movement.

I was recently looking at a major Chinese scroll painting, "One Hundred Li Down the Yangtze River". Rather jaw dropping, you look at it and can't figure out the masters brushwork.

Now, Mizoguchi will develop his scenes with beautiful long pans like a scroll. That's camera work.
Kurasowa developing the use of long focal points to include multiple story lines in the same frame. And of course there's Ozu who didn't need to move the camera at all.

Are you prepared to compare the camera movement in scenes on the water that unfold in "Sansho the Bailiff" or "Ugetsu" to a bunch of stiffs sitting around a table talking about Madonna.

Ducky's here said...

Next Sonia will explain the "artistry" of current martial arts editing.

Jump, one second pan, jump, accordion, two second pan, jump, jump accordion. Brilliant, right?

Of course you keep it going at a constant pace so that the soundtracks all sound the same. Boring repetition.