Lord_Lyndon's movie thread

Lord_Lyndon
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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #50

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Tue Jun 02, 2020 7:11 pm

Raxivace wrote:Well if it helps I don't like All the President's Men either. [laugh]


Yeah. That actually makes perfect sense.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #51

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:40 pm

Scent of a Woman (1992; Martin Brest)
Pretty solid film with two highlights: Al Pacino's performance and one scene near the end where he delivers one of his trademark speeches.

And Justice for All (1979, Norman Jewison)
Very good legal drama/satire which climaxes with yet another one of Pacino's legendary monologues/speeches.

Lucy (2014; Luc Besson)
I thought it was a rather entertaining nonsense by Besson. I wouldn't call this science fiction, though. More like fantasy/superhero film.

Fist of the North Star (1986; Toyoo Ashida)
A Japanese animated film. It is a very bloody post-apocalyptic martial arts film. It isn't the most narratively focused thing ever, but I really liked it.

Ninja Scroll (1993; Yoshiaki Kawajiri)
An excellent Japanese animated samurai film. I would recommend it.

Sword of the Stranger (2007; Masahiro Andô)
Another excellent Japanese animated samurai film. Animation was really beautiful in this one.

Leave Her to Heaven (1945; John M. Stahl)
Very good Technicolor drama/noir. I decided to check it out because Gene Tierney was my favourite classic beauty.

Police Story 2 (1988; Jackie Chan)
Very good sequel. I still think I preferred the first one because I liked the stunts/set-pieces in the first one more.

The Villainess (2017; Jung Byung-gil)
Surprisingly good Korean action film with Kim Ok-bin in a leading role. She is mostly known because she was in Park's underrated vampire film called Thirst (2009). I would certainly recommend that one.

Kong: Skull Island (2017; Jordan Vogt-Roberts)
John C. Reilly was good, but this is mostly a disappointing effort. A couple of good action scenes, but it is mostly boring. I wouldn't recommend it.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #52

Postby Raxivace » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:27 pm

Lord_Lyndon wrote:Police Story 2 (1988; Jackie Chan)
Very good sequel. I still think I preferred the first one because I liked the stunts/set-pieces in the first one more.
I'd have to think about which one I'd like better but right now I'd probably also go with the first one.

Kong: Skull Island (2017; Jordan Vogt-Roberts)
John C. Reilly was good, but this is mostly a disappointing effort. A couple of good action scenes, but it is mostly boring. I wouldn't recommend it.
Ah I liked this. [sad]
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #53

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:11 am

RED (2010; Robert Schwentke)
Very entertaining action comedy with many veteran actors in leading roles. I loved it.

Two Women (1960; Vittorio De Sica)
An Italian neorealist film. Sophia Loren won a Best Actress Oscar for it. I really liked the last 30 minutes, but the rest was just too much talking and nothing really interesting happened. Overall, it's just a solid film.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982; Nicholas Meyer)
I decided to see this because everyone was saying it's the best Star Trek film. I thought it was only okay. Call me crazy, but I enjoyed the ones directed by Abrams much more.

Self/less (2015; Tarsem Singh)
An underrated action thriller with an element of sci-fi. It's nothing original, but it is slick and entertaining. I think it's worth watching.

Bullitt (1968; Peter Yates)
A good cop film directed with an European flair. If I didn't know it was directed by Yates, I'd have thought Melville himself came to San Francisco to direct it. It is mostly know for one really excellent car chase. Also, it is probably somewhat similar to The French Connection in style. So I'm not sure you would like it, Rax.

St. Vincent (2014; Theodore Melfi)
A solid dramedy with very good performances from Bill Murray and Naomi Watts. I guess it is worth watching.

Knight and Day (2010; James Mangold)
A watchable action comedy with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Not recommended. It's probably Mangold's worst film.

Stand Up Guys (2012; Fisher Stevens)
Al Pacino and Christopher Walken play two old gangsters who are trying to recapture their glory days. I have to say this film really resonated with me for some reason. I think it's really underrated.

Bridge to Terabithia (2007; Gabor Csupo)
An excellent film that is essentially 'Pan's Labyrinth' for children. I really recommend it.

The Way Way Back (2013; Nat Faxon, Jim Rash)
Now I know why they call him Sam Rockwell. Because he friggin' ROCKS! But seriously... This is a fantastic coming-of-age film with a fantastic supporting performance from Sam Rockwell. Highly recommended.
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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #54

Postby Raxivace » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:49 am

Yeah unfortunately I haven't seen any of these. I don't remember what I've said about The French Connection specifically before but yeah its not one of my favorites so Bullitt might do much for me either, unless McQueen's performance is just really strong or something.

Speaking of Mangold, did you see Ford v Ferrari?
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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #55

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:32 am

Raxivace wrote:Speaking of Mangold, did you see Ford v Ferrari?


I haven't seen it. I did see Bale's interview about the film where he said he thinks the film is poignant because basically it's a story about underdogs succeeding against all odds. I'm sure the film is well executed but it seems like something fairly conventional. So it's not a big deal if I miss it.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #56

Postby Raxivace » Thu Jun 18, 2020 5:35 am

Yeah it was pretty conventional. Its my own least favorite of Mangold's films that I've seen, which makes me wonder how it might compare to something like Knight and Day.
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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #57

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:05 am

Raxivace wrote:Its my own least favorite of Mangold's films that I've seen, which makes me wonder how it might compare to something like Knight and Day.


What have you seen from Mangold so far? Other than Knight and Day, I've seen:
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Identity (2003)
Walk the Line (2005)
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Logan (2017).
I heard that Cop Land (1997) is really good too, and that Stallone is excellent in it. I haven't seen it yet.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #58

Postby Gendo » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:48 pm

Wow he did a lot that I didn't know about... I only knew him as "the guy that did Logan". The ones I've seen:

Kate & Leopold - Forgettable standard romcom dumb.

Identity - Huge fan; seen multiple times.

Walk the Line - Don't remember much about it; but I said it was "good" in another thread a few years ago.

3:10 to Yuma - I also liked this one even though I don't remember it all that well.

The Wolverine - Didn't really like it.

Logan - Loved it.

I've always wanted to see Cop Land and Girl, Interrupted.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #59

Postby Raxivace » Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:58 pm

Lord_Lyndon wrote:
Raxivace wrote:Its my own least favorite of Mangold's films that I've seen, which makes me wonder how it might compare to something like Knight and Day.


What have you seen from Mangold so far? Other than Knight and Day, I've seen:
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Identity (2003)
Walk the Line (2005)
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Logan (2017).
I heard that Cop Land (1997) is really good too, and that Stallone is excellent in it. I haven't seen it yet.

I've seen:
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
The Wolverine (2013)
Logan (2017)
Ford v Ferrari (2019)
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #60

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:02 pm

I'm back.

A Short Film About Killing (1988; Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Very good and aesthetically pleasing film that seems to be a condemnation of not only capital punishment, but any kind of violence/murder. It is available on Youtube with English subtitles.

A Short Film About Love (1988; Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Another good film by Kieslowski with shades of 'Rear Window'. It is also available on Youtube with English subtitles.

Ordet (1955; Carl Theodor Dreyer)
This is considered as one of all-time great films and I'm not going to dispute that. I loved it (especially the ending).

Breaking the Waves (1996; Lars von Trier)
Tieman said that this is a 'gritty sequel to Dreyer's Ordet' so I decided to see it right after Ordet. I thought it was only good.

L'Humanité (1999; Bruno Dumont)
Excellent art film by Dumont that is heavily influenced by Bresson. I loved it.

The Devil, Probably (1977; Robert Bresson)
Now an actual film by Bresson himself. It is incredibly bleak and depressing. Unlike Dumont's film, it offers no hope for its protagonist and society as a whole.

The Color of Paradise (1999; Majid Majidi)
An acclaimed Iranian art film. I was a bit bored during this one.

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970; Vittorio De Sica)
Apparently one of the best Holocaust films. I was bored during this one too.

Andrei Rublev (1966; Andrei Tarkovsky)
There is not much to say here. It is an epic film that is magnificently directed by Tarkovsky. I would recommend it.

The Sacrifice (1986; Andrei Tarkovsky)
It was his last film. Not only is it in Swedish, but it feels much more like a Bergman film. I thought it was solid.

Nostalgia (1983; Andrei Tarkovsky)
This, on the other hand, fells like an actual Tarkovsky film. I loved how he filmed/used architecture in this one. Absolutely brilliant. His trademark directing style is apparent in this one.

The Cranes Are Flying (1957; Mikhail Kalatozov)
Another excellent film by guy who did 'I am Cuba'. The story itself is nothing special (two lovers are separated by war), but his excellent direction really elevates things. He was a master with camera.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #61

Postby Raxivace » Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:50 am

I haven't seen any of this bunch either. :(
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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #62

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:51 pm

Lots to catch up here too.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:American Beauty (1999)
I rewatched this after 20 years. I liked it. It was funny.

City of God (2002)
Another rewatch. I think there are three reasons why I and everyone else liked it:
1) It is a very entertaining gangster film.
2) Its unique setting; favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
3) The film is made with some really audacious style; it features some really inspired camerawork and editing.
Highly recommended.

Stardust (2007)
Another rewatch. I think this film is one of the greatest fantasy films of all time. Also highly recommended.

Hard Eight (1996)
I rewatched PTA's debut film. I liked it much more this time. It features some really nice ambiance; it is a very good character study. Philip Baker Hall is excellent in it. It is a minor film, but it is worth watching.

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
Great animated film that has something for everyone: an emotional story, great action sequences, lovable characters. Recommended.

Stir of Echoes (1999)
Film with Kevin Bacon that is somewhat similar to Sixth Sense. It came out the same year as Shyamalan's classic and it was rightfully overshadowed. It is a solid film that is worth watching.

Frailty (2001)
Interesting serial killer film directed by legendary Bill Paxton. Most of the plot is told in flashbacks narrated by McConaughey's character. It is not quite as good as something like Se7en, but I have to say that I loved it overall. I would certainly like to hear your opinion guys (if you decide to check it out) as it seems the film is quite divisive.

Cloverfield (2008)
Another film like Mendes' 1917 which has characters traveling from point A to point B. I liked this one much more. It was just so much more thrilling.
I said it in Gendo's thread, but American Beauty is one of those films that shouldn't work as well as it does. It definitely has a bit of cheese and Oscar Bait-y aspect to it, but something in the combination of the performances, music, and general tone still works.

City of God is awesome. Just a pure adrenaline rush from beginning to end and, yeah, the style definitely galvanizes that energy.

Stardust was good. I mostly saw it because of Neil Gaiman, though he's had a spotty track record with films and adaptations. It's not perfect, but probably the best thing he's done.

I hated Hard Eight back when I saw it, though I couldn't say specifically why. I just remember thinking it was completely bland/boring. I may think later PT Anderson got a little too pretentious, but I prefer most of his try-hard films to H8 where it doesn't seem like he's trying much at all.

Kubo is awesome. Here was my review:
Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight) – 8.5/10

Here’s a wonderful surprise: an American animated from a studio besides Pixar that has aspirations to something beyond family entertainment—namely art. Laika was not a name I was familiar with, though I realize that I’ve seen their previous films—Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls. None of them were adequate preparation for a phenomenal success such as this.

It’s essentially a classic fable rooted in Japanese lore and culture: Kubo is a young boy who takes care of his ill mother on an isolated mountain while traveling to town and delighting audiences with his magical ability to bring origami to life while playing his shamisen. After being attacked by his evil, magical ninja aunts, his mother sends him on a quest to retrieve his father’s magical samurai items to guard against his grandfather’s evil. On his journey he’s joined by a talking monkey statue and an amnesiac Beetle/samurai warrior.

It sounds silly, and while Kubo isn’t without its whimsical humor it’s most remarkable for its darker elements—broaching the subject of mental illness and death—and the complexity of its themes, which are essentially told in an allegorical fashion: the association of the night/moon with coldness, forgetfulness, death, and anti-social behavior as a defense mechanism.

But animated films sink or swim on the strength of their visual imagination and this is where Kubo joins the ranks of the great. If not quite as gorgeous as the best Ghibli or, say, the films of Tomm Moore, it’s perhaps a step above Pixar and Dreamworks, with the most memorable sequence being an underwater adventure with the “Garden of Eyes,” huge monster plants/flowers whose gaze causes hypnosis and hallucinations.

Really, from the so-smooth-I-can’t-believe-it’s-stop-motion animation, to the superb voice vast—Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Roony Mara, Matthew McConaughey—who bring the perfect balance of levity and gravity, there’s only top-shelf quality here wherever you look; and perhaps most exciting is the thought there’s another serious contender in the animated age of Ghibli and Pixar.


Stir of Echoes is one I know I saw but don't remember much. I know my mom loves that one so I've caught bits and pieces when she's had it on and I'm visiting.

Ditty with Frailty (seen it, don't remember much).

I love Cloverfield. Am talking about it some with Rax in his thread.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:8MM (1999)
Certainly a darker portrayal of pornographic world than something like Boogie Nights, which came out a couple of years before. I really wanted to like this film. It was written by the same guy who wrote Se7en, and Se7en is probably my favourite screenplay ever. But I didn't like it. I'm not 100% sure why. Schumacher's direction was actually pretty good, and the film is really well shot. I think it was writing that was a bit of a letdown.
At least I finished this film. There are more and more films I give up on after 30 minutes.
I remember that film completely sucking ass.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:I rewatched two John Woo films.

Face/Off (1997)
Ridiculous plot. Over-the-top action scenes. Two hilarious performances by Travolta and Cage. Those are three reasons why this film is an action classic from the 90's. Definitely one of the greatest action films of all time.

The Killer (1989)
A Hong Kong action film about friendship, betrayal, redemption and honor. It is mostly elevated by Woo's direction of action scenes, but it is pretty good in its quieter moments too. I do think it is a slightly overpraised film, though.
Both of these are awesome. Woo is a fantastic stylist, so you just have to appreciate his films on that superficial level and they're fine.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981; Steven Spielberg)(rewatch)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989; Steven Spielberg)(rewatch)
Probably two best adventure films of all time.

There's Something About Mary (1998; Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly)
Finally saw this classic comedy in its entirety. I liked it. It was funny.

Sexy Beast (2000; Jonathan Glazer)(rewatch)
'A beguiling conglomerate of romanticism, perversity absurdity and bloody gallows humor.' Indeed. This crime film also must be watched because of Ben Kingsley's utterly bizarre and hilarious performance. That he was nominated for Oscar was an inspired choice by the Academy.

Wings of Desire (1987; Wim Wenders)
A story about an angel who yearns to be human. Didn't particularly like this one.

L'Argent (1983; Robert Bresson)
Brilliant film which examines corruptible nature of capitalism, all that done in Bresson's signature austere/minimalist style. Really loved this one.

Diary of a Country Priest (1951; Robert Bresson)
Film about a priest trying to uphold his morals/worldview while dealing with various people in his parish. This is essential Bresson.

Au Hasard Balthazar (1966; Robert Bresson)
Film about society's moral decay told from perspective of a donkey. It is a good film but I didn't love it like everybody else.

Satantango (1994; Béla Tarr)
An excellent film by Tarr which is basically a 7 hour long mood piece. Needless to say... this film is not for everyone. Also... this is not the longest film I've seen. I saw Rivette's legendary Out 1, noli me tangere (1971) which is 12 hours long.
While I really like the Indiana Jones Trilogy I've always thought they were slightly (only slightly) overrated. TBH, The Last Crusade might be my favorite, if only because I loved the ending and the chemistry between Ford and Connery as father/son.

I remember enjoying There's Something About Mary, but I never quite got the hype. It's funny, but not all-time-great-comedy funny.

Sexy Beast is good for Kingsley's performance and that's it. I really disliked the film otherwise.

Loved Wings of Desire. Beautiful, haunting, meditation on the nature of life and mortality and, well, desire. It's also an utterly unique film too. I can't think of another that spends so much time from such an outside perspective as when the angels are observing/commenting on humanity. I'm a pretty big fan of Wenders as a filmmaker in general and that's probably his masterpiece, though many prefer Paris Texas.

I love Bresson, but L'Argent didn't do a lot for me, though I'd be interested in seeing it again. Funnily enough I actually remember reading the Tolstoy short story it was based on. Diary of a Country Priest is a masterpiece, however, and one of the finest films about religious faith ever made. It's just such an agonizing depiction of the everyday struggles of life and how people use faith to fight through them and how difficult it is to maintain faith in the face of that struggle. Balthasar is, IMO, Bresson's supreme masterpiee. "The whole world in 90 minutes" as Godard said. Shame you didn't love it. It's such a beguilingly simple film, so much so that the ending is surprisingly devastating.

Satantango is a masterpiece too, but you nailed it by calling it a 7-hour mood piece. There's definitely more substance there about post-war communism/capitalism in Hungary and its economic effects, and the opening shot of cattle wandering aimlessly is quite appropriately symbolic of its characters. That scene with the kid and the cat haunts me to this day. Even though I know the cat was fine it's still a bit hard to watch, especially given its length.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:The Turin Horse (2011; Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky)
Another film from Tarr in which nothing much happens; as we observe daily life of two people in long takes. He creates ominous mood using mostly wind. That was cool.

Dust in the Wind (1986; Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
Goodbye, South, Goodbye (1996; Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
Not sure what to say about these two, except that the first one was very good and second one was only good.

Distance (2001; Hirokazu Koreeda)
Underrated film which tells a story of people brought together by a traumatic event in the past. In that respect, it is sort of similar to another good Japanese movie that came a year earlier. It is called Eureka (2000). Both are recommended.

Chunhyang (2000; Im Kwon-taek)
Solid film which combines traditional Korean storytelling called 'Pansori' (singing narrator accompanied by drums) with cinematic storytelling. Certainly an interesting experiment.

The Double Life of Véronique (1991; Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Excellent film from Kieslowski that is mysterious, haunting and sumptuous. I loved it so much that it probably rivals 'Red' as my favourite Kieslowski film.
Turin Horse is probably Tarr's most metaphysical/allegorical film. What, exactly, it's an allegory for is hard to say, but the longer that film goes on, the more it feels like they're trapped in a kind of hellish purgatory, with that home being the only shelter against the evils of the outside world. It also has something of a modernist chamber play to it, like a Beckett or Ibsen play.

Dust in the Wind is perhaps the most wistful film in existence. There's just something about that film that captures the passage of time so beautifully. Even after having seen it three times I couldn't tell you much of what the plot is about, but the whole film feels the way that nostalgic memories feel. Goodbye South, Goodbye isn't one of my favorite Hou's, but I think it's interesting because it was his first mature film that really focused on the present rather than the past, and his distaste for Taiwanese youth and especially the gang culture is pretty evident in how he depicts them as aimless and lost. There's some great moments in that film but I don't think it quite works as a whole, and I also think his style here is a bit at odds with the themes; it's a bit too superficially beautiful. I think with Millennium Mambo (and the modern section of Three Times) he found a style that was much better at depicting the problems he saw with Taiwanese youth. FWIW, it's really best to watch Hou in chronological order starting either with The Boys from Fengkuei or The Time to Live and Time to Die (the latter is his first masterpiece, but the two films before it are pretty good too). The reason being is that his style has radically evolved over time and you really get a much better idea of where he's coming from as a filmmaker going chronologically in a way you don't otherwise.

Double Life of Veronique is Kieslowski's most beautiful, perhaps most haunting, film. I don't put it quite on the level of Dekalog or Red/Blue, mostly because I think those films have more substance to them, but as an aesthetic exercise it's probably his best.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:Spotlight (2015; Tom McCarthy)
I know you didn't like this one, Rax, but I thought it was fabulous. Sort of reminded me of a classic film All the President's Men (1976).
Neither Rax nor I liked this one. We discussed it a lot a while back. Here was my review:
Spotlight (Tom McCarthy) ­ 5/10

The plot of Spotlight involves the Boston Globe’s investigation and unveiling of the Catholic Church’s coverup of
the pedophile priest epidemic. The film is told with all the factual detail accruement of a great documentary,
all the drama of bad fiction, and all the aesthetic style of a string mop. How the Academy went from awarding
one of the most aesthetically daring mainstream film in recent memory like Birdman to awarding this is a
mystery.

On the plus side, the performances are uniformly excellent. Watching this veteran cast do their
things is one of the film’s few real highlights. Unfortunately, the writing doesn’t do much to create or develop
them as characters. Instead, they exist mostly as cogs in a procedural structure.

All of this could’ve been forgiven if the film had managed to generate real drama or excitement, but there’s
even very little of that. There are a few attempts made, but they’re mostly impotent: the conflict over whether
to run with the story or wait, the growing realization of how deep it goes and how many are complicit, the
constant threat of it being hushed up or buried; but none of it really materializes into anything of substance.
Compare this to a film like Zodiac where the ambiguous atmosphere of paranoia and fear hovering over the
detailing of facts concerning a case could become almost oppressive.

Ultimately, this is another mediocre Best Picture whose only saving grace is the interesting story, the decent
writing, and excellent performances, but which has nothing to offer beyond that.


Lord_Lyndon wrote:Scent of a Woman (1992; Martin Brest)
Pretty solid film with two highlights: Al Pacino's performance and one scene near the end where he delivers one of his trademark speeches.

Fist of the North Star (1986; Toyoo Ashida)
A Japanese animated film. It is a very bloody post-apocalyptic martial arts film. It isn't the most narratively focused thing ever, but I really liked it.

Ninja Scroll (1993; Yoshiaki Kawajiri)
An excellent Japanese animated samurai film. I would recommend it.

Police Story 2 (1988; Jackie Chan)
Very good sequel. I still think I preferred the first one because I liked the stunts/set-pieces in the first one more.

Scent of a Woman is another of my parents' favorites. I never cared much for it but Pacino's performance and that speech is a lot of fun.

I didn't care much for Fist of the North Star or Ninja Scroll. I think the animation was the main selling points for both, but story-wise they were incredibly meh. I also think Ninja Scroll was quite notable for how violent it was for an anime back then.

I really enjoyed the Police Story's back when I was into Jackie Chan as a kid. Really fun stuff. Another good martial arts/wuxia film that gets overlooked is the Once Upon a Time in China series.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:Two Women (1960; Vittorio De Sica)
An Italian neorealist film. Sophia Loren won a Best Actress Oscar for it. I really liked the last 30 minutes, but the rest was just too much talking and nothing really interesting happened. Overall, it's just a solid film.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982; Nicholas Meyer)
I decided to see this because everyone was saying it's the best Star Trek film. I thought it was only okay. Call me crazy, but I enjoyed the ones directed by Abrams much more.

St. Vincent (2014; Theodore Melfi)
A solid dramedy with very good performances from Bill Murray and Naomi Watts. I guess it is worth watching.

Bridge to Terabithia (2007; Gabor Csupo)
An excellent film that is essentially 'Pan's Labyrinth' for children. I really recommend it.
Yeah, Two Women is one of those I saw from that Loren/DeSica box set I got, but it was pretty damn forgettable.

I tried to get into Star Trek as a kid but it just never resonated much with me. STII is probably the most praised because it still kinda works as drama even if you know nothing about the characters/world, while most of the other films perhaps capture more of ST's oddities. Of the other films I remember enjoying STVI a lot, actually, and Generations was interesting because of Picard/Kirk meeting. I also remember the first film having this odd, almost Solyaris quality to it, though not as well made (and I'm not a fan of Solyaris anyway).

St. Vincent was mostly only worth it for Murray and Watts, but otherwise forgettable.

I enjoyed Bridge to Terabithia and "Pan's Labyrinth for kids" is a pretty good description. Not a masterpiece, but pretty solid.

Lord_Lyndon wrote:I'm back.

A Short Film About Killing (1988; Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Very good and aesthetically pleasing film that seems to be a condemnation of not only capital punishment, but any kind of violence/murder. It is available on Youtube with English subtitles.

A Short Film About Love (1988; Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Another good film by Kieslowski with shades of 'Rear Window'. It is also available on Youtube with English subtitles.

Ordet (1955; Carl Theodor Dreyer)
This is considered as one of all-time great films and I'm not going to dispute that. I loved it (especially the ending).

Breaking the Waves (1996; Lars von Trier)
Tieman said that this is a 'gritty sequel to Dreyer's Ordet' so I decided to see it right after Ordet. I thought it was only good.

The Devil, Probably (1977; Robert Bresson)
Now an actual film by Bresson himself. It is incredibly bleak and depressing. Unlike Dumont's film, it offers no hope for its protagonist and society as a whole.

The Color of Paradise (1999; Majid Majidi)
An acclaimed Iranian art film. I was a bit bored during this one.

Andrei Rublev (1966; Andrei Tarkovsky)
There is not much to say here. It is an epic film that is magnificently directed by Tarkovsky. I would recommend it.

The Sacrifice (1986; Andrei Tarkovsky)
It was his last film. Not only is it in Swedish, but it feels much more like a Bergman film. I thought it was solid.

Nostalgia (1983; Andrei Tarkovsky)
This, on the other hand, fells like an actual Tarkovsky film. I loved how he filmed/used architecture in this one. Absolutely brilliant. His trademark directing style is apparent in this one.

The Cranes Are Flying (1957; Mikhail Kalatozov)
Another excellent film by guy who did 'I am Cuba'. The story itself is nothing special (two lovers are separated by war), but his excellent direction really elevates things. He was a master with camera.
While I really like both of Kieslowski's "Short Films," I do feel they work better in the context of Dekalog. If anything, it's possible to just watch Dekalog, but watch the "A Short Film" version of those two episodes.

Ordet's a masterpiece, of course. When a film can make an ending that ridiculous transcendent rather than silly you know it's done something right.

I don't see much in common between Breaking the Waves and Ordet, though I know Von Trier was a big Dreyer fan. I think his most Dreyer-esque film is probably Medea. To me, Breaking the Waves is all about Emily Watson's heartwrenching performance. If Dreyer's and Bresson's films were about the positive aspects of faith in the face of struggle, I think BtW was the opposite. It shows how faith can delude people and lead them down terribly destructive paths.

I remember really liking The Devil Probably. I'm not sure why it's so underrated in Bresson's filmography, and I'd love to see a Criterion version of it as the version I had was pretty bad visually.

I enjoyed The Color of Paradise and the other Majidi film I saw called Children of Heaven. I think the latter was slightly better, but I preferred both to Kiarostami's films about kids like Where Is My Friend's Home?

Andrei Rublev is Tarkovsky's masterpiece. I think it's only rivaled by Stalker, and while I probably enjoyed Stalker more I think Rublev is much more impressive. One of the most uniquely structured, formal films ever made for sure.

I think I still have my reviews for both Nostalgia and The Sacrifice:
The Sacrifice ­ Andrei Tarkovsky ­ 8/10

Shot in Sweden by Sven Nykvist and starring Erland Josephson, it’s hard not to think of Ingmar Bergman
watching Tarkovsky’s last film. Even the premise, which involves Josephson’s Alexander praying and offering a
“sacrifice” to a servant girl (who may be a witch) named Maria to save them from a nuclear holocaust, is like
a cross between Bergman’s Shame and Winter Light.

The difference between the masters is that Tarkovsky lacks Bergman’s sense of drama, which leads to much
metaphysical ponderousness.

The first 20 minutes consist of little more than a superficial philosophical conversation between Alexander and
his friend, Otto, shot at a great distance; and the final 30 minutes seem an interminable and turgid creep
through the process of Alexander burning down his house to offer his sacrifice (someone should’ve told
Tarkovsky he isn’t Victor Fleming and this isn’t Gone with the Wind). One also can’t help but recall Tarkovsky
had also chosen a similar ending with his previous film.

The middle 100­-minutes-­or-­so, however, is some of the most beautiful cinema ever crafted.

Because of the lack of dramatic momentum, Tarkovsky was at his best when his characters were more like
sculptures in a silent space, allowing the maestro to conduct his haunting symphonies with his moving camera.
There are scenes and images of rare visual and poetic power, from something as simple as a curtain billowing
in a room pregnant with light, to seeing the news of the impending nuclear war as flickering lights across the
faces of the frozen­-with-­fear characters.

Ultimately, this film is typical of the cryptically poetic Russian; simultaneously beautiful (often peerlessly so)
yet hollower than his greater predecessors like Bergman and Dreyer.
Couldn't find my one for Nostalgia, but I think I gave it the same rating. To me, they're strangely opposite films where I think Nostalgia is more consistent, while The Sacrifice has much stronger highers, but much lower lows too. If forced to pick I'd probably take The Sacrifice if only because it's memorable bits are among the best of Tarkovsky's career.

Cranes are Flying is great too, though I still feel it pales a bit compared to I Am Cuba.
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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #63

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Tue Jul 21, 2020 6:02 pm

Dust in the Wind is perhaps the most wistful film in existence. There's just something about that film that captures the passage of time so beautifully. Even after having seen it three times I couldn't tell you much of what the plot is about, but the whole film feels the way that nostalgic memories feel. Goodbye South, Goodbye isn't one of my favorite Hou's, but I think it's interesting because it was his first mature film that really focused on the present rather than the past, and his distaste for Taiwanese youth and especially the gang culture is pretty evident in how he depicts them as aimless and lost. There's some great moments in that film but I don't think it quite works as a whole, and I also think his style here is a bit at odds with the themes; it's a bit too superficially beautiful. I think with Millennium Mambo (and the modern section of Three Times) he found a style that was much better at depicting the problems he saw with Taiwanese youth. FWIW, it's really best to watch Hou in chronological order starting either with The Boys from Fengkuei or The Time to Live and Time to Die (the latter is his first masterpiece, but the two films before it are pretty good too). The reason being is that his style has radically evolved over time and you really get a much better idea of where he's coming from as a filmmaker going chronologically in a way you don't otherwise.


Here is what I've seen from Hou so far. I will try to rank them from my favourite to least favourite.

1) A City of Sadness
2) Café Lumière
3) Three Times
4) The Puppetmaster
5) A Time to Live and a Time to Die
6) Flowers of Shanghai
7) Dust in the Wind
8) The Assassin
9) Millennium Mambo
10) Goodbye, South, Goodbye
11) The Sandwich Man

I loved the top 8. As for the bottom 3, I only liked them. I'm not a completionist, so I don't know if I'll ever see more of his films.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #64

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Thu Jul 23, 2020 2:37 pm

Lord_Lyndon wrote:Here is what I've seen from Hou so far. I will try to rank them from my favourite to least favourite.

1) A City of Sadness
2) Café Lumière
3) Three Times
4) The Puppetmaster
5) A Time to Live and a Time to Die
6) Flowers of Shanghai
7) Dust in the Wind
8) The Assassin
9) Millennium Mambo
10) Goodbye, South, Goodbye
11) The Sandwich Man

I loved the top 8. As for the bottom 3, I only liked them. I'm not a completionist, so I don't know if I'll ever see more of his films.
Cool that you've seen so much Hou. I haven't even seen The Sandwich Man yet! You should definitely Flight of the Red Balloon, which is also a masterpiece, and Good Men, Good Women, since it's basically the final part of his "Taiwan Trilogy" after ACOS and The Puppetmaster. Here's my rating/rankings:

10/10
1. A City of Sadness
2. The Puppetmaster

9.5/10
3. A Time to Live and Time to Die
4. Flight of the Red Balloon

9/10
5. Dust in the Wind
6. Flowers of Shanghai
7. The Assassin

8.5/10
8. Cafe Lumiere
9. Millennium Mambo
10. Good Men, Good Women

8/10
11. A Summer at Grandpa's
12. Goodbye South Goodbye
13. Three Times

7.5/10
14. Boys from Fengkuei

4/10
15. Cute Girl
"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being." -- Carl Jung

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #65

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:56 am

Hot Fuzz (2007; Edgar Wright)
Fabulous film. I was expecting a murder mystery with a slight comedic touch for some reason, but this is more of an unabashedly post-modern dark comedy/action film. Highly recommended. Simon Pegg stars and he co-wrote it.

Baby Driver (2017; Edgar Wright)
I think Gendo saw this. It is a very good film which owes a lot to Mann's classic 'Heat' and even more so to Hill's 'The Driver'. It does get weaker as it progresses, but I think it's worth watching.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962; David Lean)
A very good epic film which is mostly remembered for its magnificent cinematography. I think everyone who loves that aspect of filmmaking should watch it.

Suicide Squad (2016; David Ayer)
A mediocre superhero film with two standout performances: Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and Jared Leto as The Joker.

Wonder Woman (2017; Patty Jenkins)
This was very good. It was entertaining and it had a good mixture of action/comedy/romance/mythology. I think Rax saw this and he liked it too.

A Moment of Innocence (1996; Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
Interesting self-reflexive film from Makhmalbaf which blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction, past and present. It ends with a glorious freeze-frame which was a nice nod to Truffaut's 'The 400 Blows'.

Good Men, Good Women (1995; Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
Very good film in which Hou explores the connection between Taiwan's past and present. It is his final film in his trilogy (as Eva said), and also the weakest. It is not a big deal, though, especially considering the fact that A City of Sadness (1989) and The Puppetmaster (1993) are both masterpieces and among greatest films ever made.

Porco Rosso (1992; Hayao Miyazaki)(rewatch)
Interesting film from Miyazaki (about an Italian fighter pilot) which is somewhat influenced by some Bogart films (namely 'Casablanca' and 'To Have and Have Not'). It allows Miyazaki to indulge in one of his biggest obsessions: flying sequences. And boy are they gorgeous. Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy the scenes on the ground as much as the first time I watched it. This film definitely went down in my estimation. It doesn't change the fact that it's a very good film.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #66

Postby Raxivace » Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:49 pm

Yeah I liked Wonder Woman. Honestly I thought Suicide Squad was fine too.

Lawrence of Arabia never did much for me though tbh. A rewatch may change my opinion, but at four hours in length its not one I'll go to again on just a whim.
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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #67

Postby Gendo » Thu Jul 30, 2020 5:18 pm

Lawrence of Arabia is coming up very soon for me. Maybe in about a week; basically the next time I have a chance to sit down for 4 hours.

Hot Fuzz (2007; Edgar Wright)
Fabulous film. I was expecting a murder mystery with a slight comedic touch for some reason, but this is more of an unabashedly post-modern dark comedy/action film. Highly recommended. Simon Pegg stars and he co-wrote it.


Have you seen Shawn of the Dead and The World's End? I need to re-watch Shawn of the Dead now that I understand Edgar Wright, but I remember liking Hot Fuzz a lot and really love The World's End.

Baby Driver (2017; Edgar Wright)
I think Gendo saw this. It is a very good film which owes a lot to Mann's classic 'Heat' and even more so to Hill's 'The Driver'. It does get weaker as it progresses, but I think it's worth watching.


Yeah, this is the most recently Wright I've seen. It's gotten better in my mind as more time as passed since seeing it. But really just for the music and style. The story was just lacking to me; compared to Wright's other stuff.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #68

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Fri Jul 31, 2020 5:38 am

Gendo wrote:Have you seen Shawn of the Dead and The World's End? I need to re-watch Shawn of the Dead now that I understand Edgar Wright, but I remember liking Hot Fuzz a lot and really love The World's End.


I haven't seen them. I saw that 'Scott Pilgrim vs. the World' film and I quite liked it.
I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Lawrence when you see it.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #69

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:11 am

I saw some films by the legendary Greek filmmaker Theodoros Angelopoulos. They were good.

Broadcast (1968)
Reconstruction (1970)
Days of 36 (1972)
The Travelling Players (1975)
Voyage to Cythera (1984)
Landscape in the Mist (1988)
Eternity and a Day (1998)

I can't say anything particularly interesting. I will say that 'The Travelling Players' is my favourite of those.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #70

Postby Raxivace » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:20 am

Is there a film you'd recommend starting Angelopoulous with? I've eyed his filmography a few times over the years (I think I've seen Jimbo recommend Ulysses' Gaze before) but I have yet to take the plunge into it.
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #71

Postby Lord_Lyndon » Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:01 am

Raxivace wrote:Is there a film you'd recommend starting Angelopoulous with?


I would suggest trying with Landscape in the Mist (1988) or Eternity and a Day (1998). Those two seem to be his most beloved films. Why? Probably because they are not too long and they are some of his most accessible films.

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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #72

Postby Eva Yojimbo » Sat Aug 08, 2020 12:45 am

Raxivace wrote:Is there a film you'd recommend starting Angelopoulous with? I've eyed his filmography a few times over the years (I think I've seen Jimbo recommend Ulysses' Gaze before) but I have yet to take the plunge into it.
Short on time again, but I'll make this quick: The Traveling Players is his masterpiece, but it's nearly 4 hours and steeped in both 20th century Greek history (mostly the WW2 period) with tons of references to classic Greek literature. If you plan on reading The Oresteia by Aeschylus, wait to see TTP until after you've read that, or just familiarize yourself with the House of Atreus mythology. His most accessible films are, as Lyndon said, Landscape in the Mist and Eternity and a Day. The former has a reference to TPP, though it's not a huge deal if you miss it. Ulysses' Gaze was the first of his I saw and I love it too, and it's probably more visually interesting than Landscape or Eternity. So take your pick. I will say that most of his films are peerlessly beautiful.

FWIW, here's my Angelopoulos rating/ranking:

10/10
1. The Traveling Players

9.5/10
2. Landscape in the Mist
3. Alexander the Great

9/10
4. Ulysses' Gaze
5. Voyage to Cythera
6. The Suspended Step of the Stork
7. The Hunters

8.5/10
8. Eternity and a Day
9. The Weeping Meadow
10. Reconstruction

8/10
11. The Dust of Time
12. The Beekeeper

7.5/10
13. Days of 36
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Re: Lord_Lyndon's movie thread   Reply #73

Postby Raxivace » Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:49 am

Eva Yojimbo wrote:If you plan on reading The Oresteia by Aeschylus, wait to see TTP until after you've read that, or just familiarize yourself with the House of Atreus mythology.
Thanks for the writeup. I did pick up a copy of The Oresteia btw, and was planning on read it sometime after I finish the few Euripides plays I have.
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris


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