View Poll Results: Which film (from KF's "Top 10 Favourite Films") do you enjoy most?

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  • 1. THE LORD OF THE RINGS (2001 - 2003)

    29 32.22%
  • 2. the Silence of the Lambs (1991)

    10 11.11%
  • 3. Apocalypse Now! (1979)

    5 5.56%
  • 4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

    7 7.78%
  • 5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

    7 7.78%
  • 6. Blade Runner (1982)

    20 22.22%
  • 7. C’era una volta il West (1968)

    2 2.22%
  • 8. the Third Man (1949)

    4 4.44%
  • 9. BEN-HUR (1959)

    3 3.33%
  • 10. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001)

    3 3.33%
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  1. #1
    EMMA WAS RIGHT!!! Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    Cool Kieran Frost's "100 Greatest Films"

    Back in 2005, while I was halfway through my university degree(s) I made a concerted effort to watch all the "greatest films" of cinema. I had grown frustrated at having directors or other actors reference a film, or say along the lines of "that amazing moment in [INSERT FILM]... do it like that." So I compiled numerous lists from numerous "100 Greatest Films", ranging from AFI, BFI, Sight and Sound, IMDB, Empire, SFX, the Guardian, etc; and have systematically 'crossed off' the films once I've seen them.

    But along with seeing them, I also started to compile my own list of what I thought were the '100 Greatest Films'. You'd be amazed how quickly you run out of 100 slots! Now (of course) this is all subjective; but I try to use a gage of: where appreciation and enjoyment collide to a very high standard. We all have films we love, but truthfully we also know they are pretty worthless (artistically). Similarly we have all seen films we appreciate... but CHRIST we'd never want to sit through again. The only other "rule" I have in place is no actor can be the lead in more than 5 films, and no director can have more than 5 films in the list (this is purely because, at some point, it's obvious you just have a perchance for said actor or director, and therefore your objectivity has become clouded).

    I've been meaning to do a thread like this for ages; and put "reviews" of the newest films I've seen that either go into my "100 Greatest Films" list, or I watched because other lists rank it as 'one of the greats'. Anyway, that's my thread. Enjoy, don't enjoy; entirely up to you.

    Kieran Frost's "100 Greatest Films"
    1. 12 angry men (1957)
    2. the Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
    3. the African Queen (1951)
    4. Андрей Рублёв (1966) ~ Andrei Rublev ~
    5. Alien (1979)
    6. All About Eve (1950)
    7. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
    8. All the President’s Men (1976)
    9. American Beauty (1999)
    10. Apocalypse Now! (1979)
    11. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
    12. BEN-HUR (1959)
    13. Billy Elliot (2000)
    14. Birdman; or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)
    15. the Birds (1963)
    16. Black Narcissus (1947)
    17. Blade Runner: the Final Cut (1982)
    18. the Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
    19. Brief Encounter (1945)
    20. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
    21. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
    22. Cabaret (1972)
    23. Casablanca (1942)
    24. C’era una volta il West (1968) ~ Once Upon A Time in the West ~
    25. Chicago (2002)
    26. Chinatown (1974)
    27. Cidade de Deus (2002) ~ City of God ~
    28. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
    29. Close Encounter of the Third Kind (1977)
    30. the Devils (1971)
    31. Dirty Harry (1971)
    32. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
    33. the • Elephant • Man • (1980)
    34. the Exorcist (1973)
    35. Fargo (1996)
    36. Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
    37. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
    38. the Full Monty (1997)
    39. Gladiator (2000)
    40. the Godfather (1972)
    41. Gone With the Wind (1939)
    42. Gosford Park (2001)
    43. Gravity (2013)
    44. Heat (1995)
    45. the Hustler (1961)
    46. In Bruges (2008)
    47. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
    48. It Happened One Night (1934)
    49. Jaws (1975)
    50. the King of Comedy (1982)
    51. el Laberinto del fauno (2006) ~ Pan’s Labyrinth ~
    52. the Ladykillers (1955)
    53. the Lady Vanishes (1938)
    54. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    55. the Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
    56. Life of Pi (2012)
    57. the Lion In Winter (1968)
    58. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
    59. THE LORD OF THE RINGS (2001 - 2003)
    60. M (1931)
    61. the Maltese Falcon (1941)
    62. M*A*S*H* (1970)
    63. the Matrix (1999)
    64. Mrs. Miniver (1942)
    65. Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988) ~ Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown ~
    66. My Fair Lady (1964)
    67. Mystic River (2003)
    68. Network (1976)
    69. Nora Inu (1949) ~ Stray Dog ~
    70. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
    71. On the Waterfront (1954)
    72. Ordinary People (1980)
    73. Ostre sledované vlaky (1966) ~ Closely Observed Trains ~
    74. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    75. Rain Man (1988)
    76. Rebecca (1940)
    77. Road Warrior (1981)
    78. Secrets & Lies (1996)
    79. Sense and Sensibility (1995)
    80. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001) ~ Spirited Away ~
    81. sex, lies and videotape (1989)
    82. Shakespeare In Love (1998)
    83. the Shawshank Redemption (1993)
    84. Shichinin no samurai (1954) ~ Seven Samurai ~
    85. Short Cuts (1993)
    86. the Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    87. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
    88. det Sjunde inseglet (1957) ~ the Seventh Seal ~
    89. the Social Network (2010)
    90. Some Like It Hot (1959)
    91. Star Wars - Episode V: the Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    92. the Terminator (1984)
    93. There Will Be Blood (2007)
    94. the Third Man (1949)
    95. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
    96. Touch of Evil (1958)
    97. Unforgiven (1992)
    98. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
    99. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
    100. Wo hu cang long (2000) ~ Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon ~



    N.B. the ones in BOLD won Best Picture at the Oscars
    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 12-18-2015 at 06:57 PM.

  2. #2
    EMMA WAS RIGHT!!! Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    MOST RECENTLY ADDED:
    Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988) ~ Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown ~
    Short Cuts (1993)
    Close Encounter of the Third Kind (1977)
    Андрей Рублёв (1966) ~ Andrei Rublev ~
    Birdman; or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

    MOST RECENTLY BUMPED OUT:
    Children of Men (2006)
    Se7en (1995)
    der Name der Rose (1986)
    Don't Look Now (1973)
    Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (1966) ~ the Good, the Bad and the Ugly ~

    TOP DIRECTOR: Ang Lee directed 4 films (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi, Sense and Sensibility and wo hu cang long)
    RUNNERS UP (with 3): Sir Alfred Hitchcock, Sir David Lean, Sidney Lumet and Sir Ridley Scott

    TOP ACTOR: Robert Duvall starred in 5 films (Apocalypse Now!, the Godfather, M*A*S*H*, Network and To Kill A Mockingbird)
    RUNNERS UP (with 4): Sir Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford, Jack Hawkins (and Sir Anthony Hopkins… sort of… - voice of Oliver Reed in Gladiator)

    OSCARS: 26 films won Best Picture
    - 18 men WON Best Actor
    - 16 people WON in the Best Supporting categories
    - 12 women WON Best Actress

    ERA
    - 4 films from the 2010’s
    - 14 films from the 00’s
    - 14 films from the 90’s
    - 12 films from the 80’s
    - 16 films from the 70’s
    - 11 films from the 60’s
    - 13 films from the 50’s
    - 9 film from the 40's
    - 7 films from the 30’s
    - 0 film from the 20’s
    - 0 films from the 1910’s

    LATEST REVIEW
    BIRDMAN; or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) [OSCAR]
    #126 on IMDB's "Top 250"
    dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu [OSCAR]
    writers. Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo [OSCAR]
    Starring: Michael Keaton [nom.], Edward Norton [nom.], Emma Stone [nom.], Amy Ryan, Lindsey Duncan and Naomi Watts

    ONE SENTENCE SYNOPSIS: faded Hollywood star Riggan Thomson (Keaton), famous to the world as the fictional superhero Birdman, attempts to relaunch his career on Broadway by adapting, directing and starring in Raymond Carver's short story "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love"

    THOUGHTS: Chekov said if there's a gun in the script, someone's going to shoot it; and I was so hoping the film was going to surprise me on every level. I cannot praise the directing enough. Iñárritu deserves Best Director at the Oscars for this film. He creates a near continuous shot, tricking you into thinking it's all one take. Following the cast down corridors, up stairs, out doors, through windows; he'd have you believe it was all done in one smooth movement. It perfectly reflects the world of theatre in film (where everything does just continue, scenes meld into scenes and time changes, while simultaneously ticking forward like clockwork). It's brilliant, and the technicality of it deserves endless praise. So too do the performances. Yes Michael Keaton was born for this role and he is stunning... but Emma Stone! WOW! She surprised me; she was dynamite. A thousand times better than Patricia Arquette in Boyhood (2014). If there is one major surprise I'd love to see at this year's Oscars, it's Emma Stone taking home the gold [EDIT - nope, sadly Arquette still got it ]. Every scene she's in, she nails it; profound, loveable, broken, yet never the cliché. But everyone is excellent (minus Naomi Watts, randomly, and I generally adore her). The defining moment was Michael Keaton's confrontation with the theatre critic (perfectly portrayed by theatre goddess Lindsey Duncan); expressing EVERYTHING any actor or director or writer (or anyone in the entertainment industry) has ever felt about critics. And yet her views on theatre, how it should be more than just a whim of film actors; how it's about craft, training, hard work, determinations... I get that too. A perfectly balanced arguement (and one fascinating to see championed in a film). But that scene alone isn't the reason the film is so good, for it has many terrific scenes; each one different and enjoyable in their own way. Originally I felt the ending was a major flaw. It felt... unfinished. Not that there wasn't a conclusion, but I don't feel Iñárritu committed fully to one specific ending (so gave us three instead). Endings are so crucial to a film's concept and message, and I wanted something more cathartic. But maybe that was the point? I loved that he had the "Birdman beak", I loved Emma Stone's reunion after his near suicide, and the idea "this is power" about the vigil. Really my only gripe was did he jump, did he fly or did he not jump at all? And truthfully maybe leaving that up to the audience is more powerful, it's (at-least) a brave choice. One I originally didn't like, but have come to accept. Ultimately it's still a colossal film. I so rarely can say I have seen something unlike anything I've seen before. Something... utterly unique. It's a brilliant achievement AND MOST IMPORTANTLY (unlike Boyhood) the concept is but one of its many, many praise-worthy delights.

    OVERALL
    Truly original; a film bursting with creativity and originality. A stunning ensemble lead by Michael Keaton (in what will be his career defining performance) and an intelligent, witty script; partnered with magnificent directing. A triumph on every level.
    ~ rating: 5 out of 5 [grade: A+]

    N.B. added to my "Top 100"; bumping out the Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 12-18-2015 at 07:00 PM.

  3. #3
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    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
    Casablanca
    Gladiator
    BEN-HUR
    Alien

    I liked those films

  4. #4
    EMMA WAS RIGHT!!! Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    Another wonderful film from Almodóvar

    TODO SOBRE MI MADRE (1999) ~ All About My Mother ~
    director & writer. Pedro Almodóvar
    Starring: Cecilia Roth, Marisa Paredes, Antonia San Juan and Penélope Cruz

    One Sentence Synopsis: a grieving mother, Manuela (Roth) returns to Barcelona to locate the father of her recently deceased son; but soon discovers it is she who must repair the broken hearts and lives of everyone around her.

    Thoughts: Winner of the 1999 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the title is inspired by All About Eve (1950) which Manuela's son is watching at the start. An utterly beautiful film, with a power house performance by Cecilia Roth. The film is, in many ways, a homage to theatre. Much focus is given to stage actress Huma Rojo (Paredes), as well as Manuela's own experience of stage in A Street Car Names Desire. LOVED the play at the end was the House of Bernard Alba, purely because I often compare Almodóvar to Lorca (the playwright of that particular piece). Not as incredible as Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988); but I found it more powerful and pleasing that Volver (2006); though all three are wonderful. Special praise should also be given to Antonia San Juan as the hilarious and strong transvestite Lola (San Juan herself being transsexual). Beautifully written, wonderful pace, strong performances across the board, and excellent Almodóvar flare. I'd recommend it to everyone.
    ~ rating: 4 out of 5 [grade: A-]

    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 04-11-2016 at 03:19 AM.

  5. #5
    EMMA WAS RIGHT!!! Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    May all your days be circus days...

    THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1952) [OSCAR]
    director. Cecil B. deMille [nom.]
    writer. Fredric M. Frank, Barré Lyndon & Theodore St. John [OSCAR]
    Starring: Charlton Heston, Bette Hutton, Cornel Wilde and James Stewart

    One Sentence Synopsis: Brad Braden (Heston) is the "boss man" of the world's largest rail road circus, determined to fill a whole season despite dipping box-office numbers and a dangerous rivalry between his girlfriend Holly (Hutton) and his headliner, the Great Sebastian (Wilde).

    Thoughts: voted by Empire magazine as the third biggest Best Picture travesties (behind Braveheart (1995) and A Beautiful Mind (2001)); I wasn't expecting much. And to be honest... I was pleasantly surprised how good it was. Firstly, let's just get this out the way: MY GOODNESS Cornel Wilde was hot! He was ALSO really good. Jimmy Stewart... I used to really dislike him as an actor, but since seeing Harvey (1950), the Philadelphia Story (1940) and now this... I have to admit he's really good. He was excellent in this as the loveable (but NOT over-the-top, as so often he can be) Buttons the Clown. Most impressive of all were the set pieces. Like the chariot race in BEN-HUR (1959) all this is real; and from the elephants to the horse riding dogs, it was a true spectacle. Cecil B. deMille really did "bring the circus" into the cinema. At a few moments I think he languished on them (Jesus, how long did that parade of countries last?); but it had far more "delights" than dullities (I can make that a word, right?). My favourite moment was the trampolining between Holly and Buttons while everyone played music on their day off. It reminded me so much of the episodic novel the Circus In Winter; which focuses on a travelling circus when they are not on tour. As wonderful as the spectacle of circus is, seeing them just 'be' ordinary people on their days off was lovely.
    spoilers:
    Also Steven Spielberg often cites the climatic train crash as one of the major inspirations that led him into film.
    end of spoilers Is it a masterpiece? No, but it's still a very good film, visually stunning and well acted. A little slow, a little indulgent, but some killer segments; such as the "high fly off" between Holly and Sebastian, or Klaus' chilling revenge on Angel. Worth a look, but not "a must see".
    ~ rating: 4 out of 5 [grade: B+]

    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 04-11-2016 at 03:38 AM.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Kencana's Avatar
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    Wow! It's nice to know Kieran's favorite movie. I'm voting for Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001). The Lord of The Ring is good, but I enjoyed Spirited Away very much.

  7. #7
    EMMA WAS RIGHT!!! Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    I NEED to add this too my "Top 100"... but what to bump out???

    SHORT CUTS (1993)
    director. Robert Altman [nom.]
    writer. based on the short stories by Raymond Carver
    Starring: Anne Archer, Bruce Davidson, Robert Downey, Jr., Peter Gallagher, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Huey Lewis, Andie MacDowell, Frances McDormand, Matthew Modine, Julianne Moore, Tim Robbins, Lily Tomlin, Tom Waits and Fred Ward

    One Sentence Synopsis: the intersecting lives of various Californian suburbanites; where luck, death and infidelity rule their lives in equal measure.

    Thoughts: intersecting films is a genre of cinema so rare to get perfect. From Crash (2004), Magnolia (1999), Love Actually (2003), Babel (2006), even Pulp Fiction (1994); I've never found one I can adore. Always one (or even two) of the stories let down the structure, or several of the performances let down an otherwise flawless ensemble. Short Cuts (for me) is the first time everything has worked, every story connects to me on some level. Firstly I adore that Altman DOESN'T try and have all the connections and overlaps be meaningful. Sometimes it's as meaningless as passing one another in a shop, or collecting photos at the same drive-in. They don't all end up having profound 'moments' as they overlap. And that's the second thing I love: there aren't really "profound conclusions". There is a very definite "climax" to the film, but the stories don't all conclude; they keep going (as it is in life). Thirdly I love how Altman can create so many beautiful (even fantastical) visuals, build in a very grounded world. From playing the cello as the garage fills with fumes, to the helicopters spray for medflies, or a body floating in the water, or a shot through a fish tank... it's all so stunning. I love the stories too, I love the clown obsessed with death, and the phone-sex worker picking her toes while she talks dirty to a client, I love the little doggie riding in the cop's bike, or Julianne Moore's amazing monologue while wearing only a blouse. Nudity is very prevalent in the film, but in all cases it was very "real." It wasn't to be sexy, it wasn't to be edgy, it was there to ground the film, to make nudity an everyday common thing (JUST as it is in life). I honestly have no complaints about the film, it was simply a masterpiece.
    ~ rating: 5 out of 5 [grade: A+]



    N.B. on a somewhat odd side-note; Wikipedia's page on Short Cuts has a link that says "incest in films"... ugh, am I being really thick here, I don't remember ANY of the stories having that as a catalyst???

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Cuts
    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 04-11-2016 at 03:40 AM.

  8. #8
    EMMA WAS RIGHT!!! Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (2013)
    dir. John Wells
    writer. adapted by Tracy Letts from his 2008 Tony/Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name
    Starring: Meryl Streep [nom.], Julia Roberts [nom.], Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson, Marge Martindale, Misty Upton, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney and Benedict Cumberbatch

    "Eat the fish. Eat the fish. Eat the fish. Eat the fish. Eat the fucking fish. Eat the fish, bitch!"
    ~ Barbara Fordham

    One-Sentence Synopsis: the extended Weston family gather at their baking hot family home in Oklahoma after patriarch Beverly Weston goes missing on a fish trip.

    Thoughts: to give you some back story: I saw the original Broadway cast of August: Osage County which won Best Play, Best Director (the first time a female won Best Director for a play) and also saw Deanna Dunagan (Violet) and Rondi Reed (Mattie Fae) collect a Tony for their incredible work (Amy Morton was also nominated, but lost to Dunagan). It is (quite simply) the greatest play I've ever seen... so I have put off seeing the film (despite being thrilled at Meryl Streep's perfect casting) because it just couldn't live up to the play. I was very pleasantly surprised; no it wasn't as good as the play, but it was DAMN GOOD none-the-less. Very little has been cut from the play (though I am sad Johnna's only dialogue heavy scene was cut). I was also sad that Marge Martindale didn't get to shine like Reed did in the film. When Violet is talking about what Mae suffered (on stage) it was her silent reactions that stole that scene; but in the film the camera focused on Robert (denying Martindale her finest moment).

    This is a film for performances, and we have them in spades. Meryl Streep gives one of my favourite performances of her career (though to be fair the pill-popping, foul mouthed matriarch is such a brilliant role; how could she go wrong?). Every scene, every moment she is incredible. When I first heard Julia Robert was cast, I was worried (I felt Allison Janney would have been perfect in the role). Barbara is both the least sympathetic character, but the one we MUST feel for -- it's her story, in many ways. She doesn't get the juicy insults that Violet has in spades; and if Robert's dropped the ball the film would fail. This was Robert's finest performances since Erin Brockovich (2000). She met the challenge perfectly, small, subtle, controlled with wonderful violent outbursts. I tip my hat to her (though Janney would have still been better ).

    I recommend this film to anyone who wants to see great acting. Chris Cooper is also perfectly underplayed. Disappointingly I felt Cumberbatch was the weakest link. He tried waaaaaaaaay too hard, attempting to add huge pathos to every single shot. Less is more, sometimes, Ben. The film also lacks the "conceptual brilliance" of the stage play (which is a metaphor for the history of America, the film completely misses that underlying subtext). Lastly, the film has he most glorious (and awful) funeral dinner scene in the history of cinema. 20 minutes of bile, hate and cruelty; damn that was brilliant. Watch it just for that!

    ~ rating: 4 out of 5 [grade: A-]

    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 06-28-2014 at 10:57 AM.

  9. #9
    EMMA WAS RIGHT!!! Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    I still need to bump something out for Short Cuts (1993). I'm thinking Se7en (1995) or the Hustler (1961). Nora Inu (1949) is basically Se7en (conceptually); but beating it by about 45 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kencana View Post
    Wow! It's nice to know Kieran's favorite movie. I'm voting for Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (2001). The Lord of The Ring is good, but I enjoyed Spirited Away very much.
    YEY!

  10. #10
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    Quite the list Kieran, a lot of good ones on there.

    My list would be more along the lines of what you said in your preamble; films I like, but don't have much going artistically haha. I take it documentaries aren't being counted amongst these, or just aren't quite as eye catching as films?

  11. #11
    EMMA WAS RIGHT!!! Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    BUMPED OUT - Se7en (1995)
    ADDED - Short Cuts (1993)

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCooper View Post
    Quite the list Kieran, a lot of good ones on there.


    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCooper View Post
    My list would be more along the lines of what you said in your preamble; films I like, but don't have much going artistically haha.
    Ha, one day I might post what the list STARTED as way back in 2005. A lot more "because I like them" films in there. My logic works purely on the fact I can adore so many films, and can easily find 200 I adore AND respect artistically. It gets VERY hard to bump anything out now, because they meet both my criteria in spades.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperCooper View Post
    I take it documentaries aren't being counted amongst these, or just aren't quite as eye catching as films?
    Hmmmmm... I've not 'specifically' decided it must be fiction. I just don't watch documentaries (I think Grizzly Man, Bowling for Columbine and "sort of" the quasi-documentary Waltz With Bashir are the only documentaries I've really watched). The film must be 1 hr 10+, I know that. I don't have a rule against silent films either, though (so far) Battleship Potempkin is the only one that made it into the list (and has since been bumped out). Which is why no silent films made my "Top 100". Sound is such a huge part of cinema, I'm not sure silent films will make it back in though.
    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 06-28-2014 at 11:35 AM.

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    THE BIG SLEEP (1946)
    director. Howard Hawkes
    writer. based off the novel of the same name by Raymond Chandler
    Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers, John Ridgely and Charles Waldron

    One Sentence Synopsis: private detective Philip Marlowe (Bogart) is hired by rich aristocrat Gen. Sternwood (Waldron) to find out who's blackmailing his youngest daughter Carmen (Vickers); but it is the general's eldest daughter, the enigmatic Vivian (Bacall) that proves the greatest danger.

    THOUGHTS: often cited as one of the greatest film noir's of all time (as well as the most convoluted). The scenes with Bogart/Bacall really do sizzle; but plot wise I just found myself so confused. Quite simply I lost count of who was dead, track who was missing, and utterly bewildered to what all these people wanted. For me it was too complex, with too many characters and too little pay off in the mystery. So moments were fantastic; Bogart and the General, in the sweltering heat the greenhouse, surrounded by orchids = gorgeous! Effortlessly engaging. But so much left me wanting. The score by Max Steiner was just bizarre, at points it was a marching band or a playful jig (in very unplayful moments) -- and this is the genius behind the incredible score for Gone With the Wind (1939). There just seem no "synch" of scene to music. Very odd. Lastly, I want a "shout-out" to Dorothy Malone, who played the Bookshop Proprietress. She did exactly what actors should do in small roles, be interesting, be engaging, create a fully developed character and for god sake don't try and make it all about you. I'm pleased to learn she would later go on to win an Oscar for Written in the Wind (1956); because she really does shine (even in a small role).

    OVERALL
    It's no surprise the chemistry of Bogart/Bacall overshadow the film, because the plot's a mess. Strong directing and performances mostly disguise a rambling story, with little pay off. A tad disappointing, considering the hype.
    ~ rating: 4 out of 5 [grade: B+]

    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 06-28-2014 at 10:56 AM.

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    THE HUNGER GAMES (2012)
    director. Gary Ross
    writer. based on the novel by Susanne Collins
    Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutchinson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Donald Sutherland

    "May the odds be ever in your favor."

    ~ EFFIE TRINKET

    ONE LINE SYNOPSIS: every year a boy and a girl from each of the twelve Districts are chosen at "the Reaping" to compete at the annual Hunger Games; a reality show where they must all fight to the death, until only one "tribute" remains.

    THOUGHTS: let's get this out in the open straight away = yes, it's basically Battle Royale (2000)... so what? Battle Royale is more or less a regimented Lord of the Flies, which itself is inspired by Peter Pan (oddly enough, Golding wanted to the explore the darker reality of an island ruled by adolescent boys). Each is different and unique in its own way; and people have stolen from the best since the dawn of man. For me the Hunger Games does a fantastic job in both character and commentary on reality TV. Without ever overtly hammering home the mirror it holds to modern reality shows, it clearly paints a vary scathing picture. I loved the "show element"; how people can donate by send you simple survival items like water or bandages; how people need to like you, care for your story, how you dress, what you say, it all matters in gaining "allies" in the viewing public. The visuals are stunning, the politics of "entertaining" the views was fascinating. The pacing is perfect; you spend just enough time in each 'section' of the film, from District 12, to the capital, the chat-show circuit, training, then the actual games. Excellent plotting, excellent pay-off; I tip my hat to director Gary Ross.

    Jennifer Lawrence is utterly compelling as Katniss Everdeen. I finally get why so many love her as a strong heroine for girls; she's loving, bad-ass, determined; without ever being sickly sweet or "noble virgin". The entire cast is excellent, to be fair. LOVE Elizabeth Banks; and in-fact the film does a great job of making you care for characters who initially seem rather unlikeable or who you assume will be nothing more than a 2D antagonist (esp. Banks and Harrelson). My sole complaint is I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about the love triangle. Surely everyone cares more for Peeta/Katniss than Gale/Katniss; purely because Gale (while pretty and a nice guy) has barely any depth and vastly less screen-time with her to build a bankable romance.

    OVERALL
    Fiiiiinally I "get it". This film was a joy, from start to finish; I get why people loved it so much. Fantastic pacing, not too heavy on the special effects, not too self-indulgent at any moment. An excellent film from start to finish; and while not as brutally honest as Battle Royale, it has a more satisfying conclusion.
    ~ rating: 5 out of 5 [grade: A+]



    FUN FACT: director Gary Ross has previously been nominated for the Oscar in writing for Big (1988), Dave (1994) and Seabiscuit (2004) (as well as nominated for Best Picture for Seabiscuit).
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (2013)
    director. Francis Lawrence
    writer. based on the novel by Susanne Collins
    Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutchinson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks and Donald Sutherland

    "I did know Rue. She wasn't just my ally, she was my friend. I see her in the flowers that grow in the meadow by my house. I hear her in the Mockingjay song. I see her in my sister Prim. She was too young, too gentle and I couldn't save her. I'm sorry."

    ~ KATNISS EVERDEEN

    ONE LINE SYNOPSIS: a year after surviving "the Hunger Games" surviving tributes Katniss Everdeen (Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Hutchinson) are forced to once against enter the games; as surviving tributes from the last 25 games compete against one-another for one last shot at freedom.

    THOUGHTS: re-reading my review, I feel I'm not conveying my enjoyment enough. I DID thoroughly enjoy the second instalment; it had so many wonderful qualities that I so adored from the first. The only problem is (ultimately) we are merely revisiting old ground. It's not surprising the first half was vastly more interesting than the second; because the first half was giving us new exploration (their lives having won, the rebellions, the victory tour, interactions in the Capital now they are winners, not merely just tributes). But eventually they have to return to the games, and in that I became quite bored. It was basically a less interesting games from the film before, getting sillier and sillier (acid fog, CGI killer monkeys, spinning clock, blah blah). It's such a shame, because the first one is just brilliant. Some moments are truly moving, such as visiting Rue's district. I cried. And again, the cast is fantastic, and Elizabeth Banks STEALS IT with such wonderful depth to the originally depthless Effie. Stanley Tucci is as full of joy as before, and another surprisingly endearing performance of Lenny Kravitz seals the deal. But in the end the film's just... pointless, really. GOD KNOWS how the last two instalments will go. In many ways it makes me thinking of the Matrix's trilogy. The first one stood on its own, and just ticked all the boxes. The second two tried to expand on ideas already succinctly expressed in the first one. What's the point? Also the lack of LGBT characters (and Finnick could so easily have been gay) is... annoying (considering how much of the Capital is quite clearly influences by LGBT people). When the first one finished, I instantly popped in the second because I couldn't wait another minute before watching. Had I owned the third, I doubt I'd have managed to watch it, even now. Damn, this sounds way harsher than I mean. But I enjoyed everything I enjoyed because it was the same as I enjoyed the first time round (but, sadly, THE SAME is the most important part of that sentence). Last thought = MY GOODNESS Sam Clafin was beautiful... I have developed quite a crush

    OVERALL
    In many parts it is as exciting and scathing as the first film; but the ultimate "games" get far too silly and far too complex. Like the Matrix: Reloaded (2002) before it; an excellent concept is revisited, and starts getting a little too "grand" for its own good. Hopefully the last two instalments don't follow the same pattern as the Matrix: Revolutions (2003) and descend into painful absurdities.
    ~ rating: 3 out of 5 [grade: B]

    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 12-17-2015 at 03:56 AM.

  14. #14
    EMMA WAS RIGHT!!! Kieran_Frost's Avatar
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    SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
    writer. adapted from the Grim Fairy tale "little Snow White"
    Voice Performances: Adriana Caselotti, Lucille la Verne and Harry Stockwell

    ONE SENTENCE SYNOPSIS: you can't be serious?

    THOUGHTS: unbelievably I've never properly watched the original Disney film. I've seen clips, but I've not sat down and watched it from start to finish. In 1998 it was ranked 49th in the AFI's "100 Greatest American Films" (and bumped to 34th in the revised 2007) and in 2008 AFI awarded it the "greatest American animated film of all time" (followed by Pinocchio (1940) and Bambi (1942)). And all I can say is: what a load of rubbish! Don't get me wrong, parts are excellent, but (even though it's ground-breaking) it's by no means "the greatest." The pacing is, at times, painful (repeating everything seven times GETS OLD FAST!). The 'entertainment night' in the Dwarves cottage and the "who's been in our house" segment dragged on. That said, there is much to admire. A lot of the directing reminded me of films by Hayao Miyazaki. There is a playfulness in many segments, an unnecessary but joyous "gift" in certain moments and interactions. Visually the two most creative sections were: the evil queen's laboratory where she created the poisoned apple; and Snow White's flight into the wood, where every shadow and tree becomes a menacing illusion... those were fantastic. So clever and original. As a pet peeve I found "hi ho hi ho, it's off to work we go" annoying (since they were going FROM work to home, not from home to work); and the prince looked like he was wearing a lot of make-up.

    OVERALL
    Obviously we must tip our hats to this ground-breaking film... but there is more to 'the greatest films' than who got there first. And the pacing (for me) let's down an otherwise charming, innovative and harmless animated milestone.
    ~ rating: 4 out of 5 [grade: B+]



    FUN FACT: in the actual Grimm Fairy Tale; the queen tries to tempt Snow White three times (poisoned laces, a poisoned comb and finally the apple); and in the end the queen is made to dance to death at Snow White's wedding wearing burning hot iron slippers.

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~spok/grimmtmp/042.txt
    Last edited by Kieran_Frost; 02-11-2015 at 03:33 AM.

  15. #15
    I am Storm's fiance RLAAMJR.'s Avatar
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    No Titanic?
    "Lightning, deliver this place from darkness." - Storm in X-men TAS.


    You should read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl solo, X-men Gold, Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther solo, Black Panther And The Crew and Black Panther: World of Wakanda


    "The Month of May is Ororo Munroe aka Storm Month"


    Faves: Ororo Munroe aka Storm (Marvel), X (Dark Horse), Vincent Van Goat (Valiant), Superboy Prime (DC), Ingrid (Street Fighter), Celine Dion (Music)

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