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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:40 am 
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The B- for the Godfather will probably rustle some feathers, but then every move considered 'great' has its detractors. For example, even though I like Clint Eastwood's films in general, I don't think Mystic River is all that good.

That said, I think the Godfather is a masterpiece. There's something about Michael Corleone's moral decline that I find really compelling. The Godfather Part II I can take or leave; I've never figured out why its considered the equal of its predecessor.


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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:55 am 
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I have a soft spot for the Godfather book, and the movie did it justice for the most part. I mostly like Godfather II for the flashbacks to Vito's past.

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 2:21 am 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
The B- for the Godfather will probably rustle some feathers, but then every move considered 'great' has its detractors.


I am very consciously not trying to do any "objective" rating but instead rate purely on my actual enjoyment. The Godfather is stunningly directed and acted and it is very easy for me to see why it is considered a masterpiece. But, as I've learned during this project, I just can't care about these oh-so-serious dramas about tough-guy assholes. These guys all bore me senseless, no matter how well made the film is.

(Despite the blasphemous B-, The Godfather has been the most enjoyable "Rise and Fall of the Asshole" stories for me but I've realized that it's mostly because Brando's character is not another boring tough-guy asshole. Brando's character is fascinating; Pacino's character I couldn't care less about.)

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:36 pm 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
The Godfather Part II I can take or leave; I've never figured out why its considered the equal of its predecessor.


I consider is far superior actually. One of the few sequels that outstrips the original. Magnificent movie.

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:06 pm 
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While I found it far inferior because I had zero interest in watching Al Pacino be an asshole to literally everyone for 3 whole hours.

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:12 pm 
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You are of course entitled to your opinion, however misguided! :P

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:40 pm 
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Indeed! :D

But more generally, whether or not these movies are great or whatever, I am finding it really interesting how many stories of horrible but powerful men are on these classic movie lists. I don't really understand why there is such an apparent fascination with these loathsome, usually violent men. :?

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:35 pm 
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Gratification of the id?

I've only seen the first two Godfather films, and that was many years ago, but I remember them as very powerful, even tragic, precisely because these men could have been something else—in another world, or (in Sonny's case) if they made other choices. They turned out to be—ahem—jerks, or worse, in part because they were trapped by the bonds of family. Respecting those bonds isn't inherently bad; in most cases it's a virtue or at least a kindness to others.

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:34 am 
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Alatar wrote:
Túrin Turambar wrote:
The Godfather Part II I can take or leave; I've never figured out why its considered the equal of its predecessor.


I consider is far superior actually. One of the few sequels that outstrips the original. Magnificent movie.


Well, yes, I know that people think it's good, I still don't know why (and I can usually see that with movies that are considered great even if I don't really enjoy watching them myself, like Citizen Kane). To me it suffers from the lack of characters as interesting as Vito and Sonny, and it simply can't match the drama of events like Vito's attempted assassination(s), the way Sonny is betrayed or the infamous montage. Nor can it match the weight of Michael's original fall - I feel like it's trying to achieve the same effect by just having him fall a bit further in similar circumstances.


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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:42 am 
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Amelie is one of my favorite movies. It really is.

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:42 am 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
Alatar wrote:
Túrin Turambar wrote:
The Godfather Part II I can take or leave; I've never figured out why its considered the equal of its predecessor.


I consider is far superior actually. One of the few sequels that outstrips the original. Magnificent movie.


Well, yes, I know that people think it's good, I still don't know why (and I can usually see that with movies that are considered great even if I don't really enjoy watching them myself, like Citizen Kane). To me it suffers from the lack of characters as interesting as Vito and Sonny, and it simply can't match the drama of events like Vito's attempted assassination(s), the way Sonny is betrayed or the infamous montage. Nor can it match the weight of Michael's original fall - I feel like it's trying to achieve the same effect by just having him fall a bit further in similar circumstances.


Its the juxtaposition of Vito's rise and Michael's fall that makes it compelling for me. Plus, well, Fredo. :(

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:17 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
It doesn't help that each of these films follows the same basic structure - guy becomes successful and powerful by being an asshole, but in the end he is sad, boo hoo. Citizen Kane and Raging Bull are two more mega-beloved classics also follow that same trajectory and, unsurprisingly, I think both of those movies suck too. I'm calling it The Rise and Fall of the Asshole trope and apparently film lovers can't get enough of it but good lord am I sick of it already. As I said elsewhere in a mini-review of Scarface, "All these classic movies about tough guy machismo bullshit, I find it all so tiresome. I'm sorry but your manly quest for power or whatever is dumb and boring and I don't care." :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:


Do you make an exception for Breaking Bad?


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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:51 pm 
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I only watched the first 6 episodes or so. I intend to get back to it someday and give it a real shot again. I didn't care for it but at least in those early episodes it didn't seem like the kind of thing I'm talking about, which is more of about a bunch of tough-guy, machismo, "don't take sh*t from no one" power trips than what B.B. seemed to be going for.

I was talking about this with a friend about this and he made the observation that maybe this is an American obsession. So I checked out what the imdb list would look like if you only included foreign language films and sure enough, this particular archetype, sooo prevalent in American movies, seems entirely absent from what are considered great foreign films.

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:05 pm 
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BB is technically about the rise and fall of an asshole*, but it has a very different feel than the sorts of films you mentioned for various reasons I can't spell out without spoiling things. For what it's worth, I love love love it, which is really unusual for something that was both popularly and critically acclaimed and not cancelled halfway through. But that's another thread.

*or about how the rise makes him into an asshole, or brings out the assholiness that was there all along, but answering that question is kind of the point. :P


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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:38 pm 
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I know he's an asshole, but it doesn't seem like he's an asshole of that "alpha-male" variety that all these movies have. Is that the difference you're feeling?

Part of what ties these all together as very samey feeling stories for me is that all have this "quest for power for power's sake" vibe that often comes off like some dumb, constant d*ck measuring contest, a bunch of guys who constantly prove they have the biggest D in the room. :roll: :roll: Walter White, from what bit I saw, doesn't seem like one of those guys.

(This Guy Type is also often found in the archetypal Western and, unsurprisingly, I almost never like Westerns either. And the imdb list is filled with those too....)

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:17 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
I know he's an asshole, but it doesn't seem like he's an asshole of that "alpha-male" variety that all these movies have. Is that the difference you're feeling?


Probably. Walter White has a very specific reason for starting down the path he takes, and it isn't an inherent love of money and power for their own sake. He puffs up when threatened, but doesn't (typically) strut or swagger. He's also one of a very few INT leading characters out there who isn't eventually made to apologize for being that way.


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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:11 am 
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Time for another update on my progress here. 11 list movies watched since last posted. A bit of a poor crop on this one, with the movies I didn't care for outnumbering the ones I enjoyed, and none that I full-on loved. Here's my ratings:

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind A-
Saving Private Ryan B+
The Maltese Falcon B+
Unforgiven B
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid B-
Pulp Fiction C+
The Deer Hunter C
Vertigo C-
Wild Strawberries C-
Yojimbo C-
Mary and Max D+

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:11 pm 
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I admire your fortitude. You must surely have the credentials to be a film critic after watching all these films.

That said, while I'm not a Tarantino fan as such, I think Pulp Fiction is a classic.


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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:05 pm 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
I admire your fortitude. You must surely have the credentials to be a film critic after watching all these films.


I'd probably be disqualified for disliking films critics are supposed to love like Citizen Kane, Godfather II, Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia, Charlie Chaplin, ect. :)


Túrin Turambar wrote:
That said, while I'm not a Tarantino fan as such, I think Pulp Fiction is a classic.


Oh, totally, Pulp Fiction is a damn masterpiece. Stylish, bold, inspired film making. But on a personal level, I find listening to Tarantino characters talk like Tarantino characters for any length of time tedious and exhausting. It's why the only Tarantino film I like (and I really really like it) is Kill Bill 1 - tons of awesome visual flair, minimal Tarantino-speak.

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 Post subject: Re: IMDB Top 250 films
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:22 am 
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yovargas wrote:
Túrin Turambar wrote:
I admire your fortitude. You must surely have the credentials to be a film critic after watching all these films.


I'd probably be disqualified for disliking films critics are supposed to love like Citizen Kane, Godfather II, Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia, Charlie Chaplin, ect. :)


I'm sure there's space for a contrarian critic somewhere :).

yovargas wrote:
Túrin Turambar wrote:
That said, while I'm not a Tarantino fan as such, I think Pulp Fiction is a classic.


Oh, totally, Pulp Fiction is a damn masterpiece. Stylish, bold, inspired film making. But on a personal level, I find listening to Tarantino characters talk like Tarantino characters for any length of time tedious and exhausting. It's why the only Tarantino film I like (and I really really like it) is Kill Bill 1 - tons of awesome visual flair, minimal Tarantino-speak.


That's funny, because I think the script is strongest part of the film (I'm not sure how much of it was actually Tarantino's writing, though).


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