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  1. 55 points
    After 6 or so years I've decided to step down from my Admin role on the forums. In 2020 I have found it hard to be on the forums enough to do a proper job of moderating and after much deliberation I decided it would be better if I stepped down. I'd like to personally and publicly thank @Shawn for the opportunities he has provided me. As someone who was not an active forum poster and pretty quiet in general it was a honor to be asked to join the staff. @Water Bottle you have always been supportive, especially when it came to my Derby requests and @Plain Old Tele - I modeled my moderation style after you. The forums lost a great resource when you stepped down from the staff. I won't attempt to mention all the members and staff that I've enjoyed interacting with over the years. It's been great. I just hope that some of the old-timers will return to posting more often. I do want to mention that the one thing I learned about moderating here is how important different views are in a social setting such as the BOT forums. I hope the forums continue to contain a diverse and tolerant attitude towards both movies and life in general. I'll still be around as much as I can so this is not goodbye and the Derby will continue to operate with @ChipDerby's help.
  2. 30 points
  3. 27 points
    Number 5 Spoiler "Take her to the moon for me, okay?" 591 points, 32 lists directed by Pete Docter & Ronnie del Carmen | US | 2015 The Pitch: Inside the mind of a teenage girl, five personified emotions attempt to guide her through life as she moves to a different city. #1 Placements: 2 Top 5 Placements: 3 Top 12 Placements: 7 Metacritic: 94 Box Office: $857m WW Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature; 10 Annie Awards BOT History: #3, Top Movies of 2015; #1 (2016), #1 (2018), Top Animated Movies of All Time; #40 (2016), #20 (2018), Top 100 Movies of All Time; 5 BOFFY awards, including Best Picture and Original Screenplay, out of 12 nominations Critic Opinion: “While other Pixar productions like the Toy Story movies, Monsters, Inc., and Up (the latter two directed by Docter) have stood out in a crowded animation field for their innovative ideas, what really distinguishes Pixar films is the way they take surprising narrative risks and dig deeply into painful emotions that most kid-friendly films strive to avoid. Inside Out does it more literally than other Pixar films, but it does it magnificently. There are endless comedic possibilities in the scenario of five demanding emotions fighting for dominance, and the film periodically toys with those possibilities to lighten the mood. But mostly, it uses the setup to explore why emotions exist, how they change as people grow up, and how a simple surface reaction might come from complicated inner conflict. [...] Like so many Pixar films, Inside Out uses a rambunctious, chaotic adventure to shape a story about growing maturity and understanding. In a deeply evocative way, it’s about coming to terms with sadness (or in this case, Sadness) and still moving forward. And it draws on recognizable, relatable experiences and feelings cleverly, in a way that isn’t entirely tied to a single age or experience. Pixar vets will remember the profound emotions brought up by the opening sequences of Up, the final scenes of Toy Story 3 and Monsters, Inc., and so many other watershed moments in the company’s library of films. Inside Out not only evokes that profundity of emotion, it does it with emotions capable of examining their own response. The emotional control room isn’t a new idea. Inside Out just manages the most ambitious and expressive version of that idea to date.” - Tasha Robinson, The Dissolve BOT Sez: “This is one of the most superlative animated films I know of. Nearly everything here works amazingly. All of these characters are given full stories and their actions all make sense, while the lack of a villain in the movie is something so rare in tentpole animated films, yet the film has a stronger sense of conflict than so many other films. I ended up caring for the wellbeing of one young girl more than the possible destruction of cities in your typical summer blockbuster. Even some of Disgust, Fear, and Anger's decisions work because they ultimately want what's best for Riley, and all of the emotions really do care not just for Riley, but for one another. Joy gets not only one of the best character arcs in Pixar History, but cherishes every bit of power Amy Poehler gives to her role. Sadness goes without saying, and Bing Bong was another obvious standout who becomes way more unexpected and nuanced a character than I thought going into this film.” - @Spaghetti "Joy is a fucking monster in Inside out. She's so ridiculously mean. She is a fucking bully" - @Ethan Hunt Commentary: Our first top 5 finalist is BOT's favorite animated movie. Successfully executing one of Pixar's more high-concept premises, Pete Docter's third feature solidified him as the studio's most imaginative and consistent voice and somewhat unexpectedly became its most successful original film unadjusted for inflation. It's also the highest grossing release in our top 10.
  4. 27 points
    I just learned that my uncle is in critical condition in an ICU and the doctors say he has it. Crazy thing was literally 3 days ago we had a video chat; I told him to stay safe and he said he felt fine. Scary how fast someone can deteriorate. All I can do is hope.
  5. 23 points
    We're over halfway through one hell of a year, there's so many questions and concerns, and one of them is surely, "What really is the definitive best 100 movies ever made?". Well we're all about to find out! *Gulp* We received 36 lists from members, lower turnout than in the 2018 edition, but that was also fresh off of Infinity War's release and we currently still in the era of Bloodshot being the reigning Box Office champ, so overall decent turnout given everything else that is going on. A few factoids about the movies that made the list: - No more than 10 funny book films made the list (potentially less). - No more than 15 cartoons made the list (potentially less). - Some fan favorite directors made the list, and some did not at all. - Not all of the movies that made the list are in the English language. - The list was highly competitive, every list caused quite a bit of changes to the ordering and what made it through. - I'll reveal numbers 250-101 as well over the course of the list, that way we'll be able to show IMDb what's really the top 250 movies. Hahahaha... *help* - There are some newcomers to the list, some returners, some movies that made past lists and didn't even crack the top 250 here. - While most movies did need at least 10 or more votes to make it onto the list (and even more the higher up you go), there were a few movies that managed to make it through from a smaller but very passionate base. One movie made the list with only 4 votes! Here are the first 25 movies that did not make the list for you to chew on while I prepare the first write up! 1. Raiders of the Lost Ark 2. The Empire Strikes Back 3. The Dark Knight 4. Schindler’s List 5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 6. The Godfather 7. Back to the Future 8. Titanic 9. Goodfellas 10. Mad Max: Fury Road 11. Jaws 12. Star Wars 13. T2: Judgement Day 14. 12 Angry Men 15. Do the Right Thing 16. Spirited Away 17. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 18. Jurassic Park 19. Casablanca 20. The Godfather Part II 21. The Matrix 22. Lawrence of Arabia 23. Inside Out 24. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 25. The Shawshank Redemption 26. The Silence of the Lambs 27. Parasite 28. Pulp Fiction 29. Inception 30. Alien 31. The Wizard of Oz 32. Aliens 33. Taxi Driver 34. The Incredibles 35. Heat 36. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 37. Apocalypse Now 38. Princess Mononoke 39. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly 40. Singin’ in the Rain 41. Saving Private Ryan 42. Toy Story 43. Forrest Gump 44. Pan’s Labyrinth 45. The Social Network 46. The Truman Show 47. Seven Samurai 48. Rear Window 49. Psycho 50. The Shining 51. Once Upon a Time in the West 52. Vertigo 53. Wall-E 54. Beauty and the Beast (1991) 55. 2001: A Space Odyssey 56. City of God 57. Toy Story 2 58. Memento 59. Citizen Kane 60. The Lion King (1994) 61. Ratatouille 62. Finding Nemo 63. A Clockwork Orange 64. The Thing 65. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 66. Rocky 67. Inglourious Basterds 68. Mulholland Drive 69. Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 70. Monty Python and the Holy Grail 71. It’s a Wonderful Life 72. Before Sunrise 73. Spider-Man 2 74. North by Northwest 75. Joker Avengers: Endgame 76. Aladdin (1992) 77. Captain America: The Winter Soldier 78. The Apartment 79. The Terminator 80. Die Hard 81. Unforgiven 82. Whiplash 83. Gravity 84. Toy Story 3 85. Boyhood 86. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 87. The Wolf of Wall Street 88. Fight Club 89. Children of Men 90. Predator 91. The Bridge on the River Kwai 92. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 93. Avengers: Infinity War 94. Coco 95.  In the Mood For Love 96. My Neighbor Totoro 97. Blazing Saddles 98. Ran 99. Star Wars: The Last Jedi 100. Before Sunset 101. Groundhog Day 102. The Departed 103. L.A. Confidential 104. The Princess Bride 105. There Will Be Blood 106. The Big Short 107. Chinatown 108. Fargo 109. Gladiator 110. Network 111. Duck Soup 112. The Sixth Sense 113. Your Name 114. Blade Runner 115. The Big Lebowski 116. The Usual Suspects 117. Rashomon 118. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 119. Pinocchio 120. Silence 121. Grave of the Fireflies 122. Raging Bull 123. Bambi 124. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 125. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 126. Amadeus 127. All About Eve 128. Se7en 129. Get Out 130. Arrival 131. Interstellar 132. Halloween (1978) 133. Guardians of the Galaxy 134. Bicycle Thieves 135. The Grapes of Wrath 136. Sunset Boulevard 137. District 9 138. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith 139. The Great Escape 140. La La Land 141. Some Like it Hot 142. Eyes Wide Shut 143. Mary Poppins 144. Ghostbusters 145. Apollo 13 146. The Deer Hunter 147. Life of Pi 148. Nashville 149. Oldboy (2003) 150. The Handmaiden 151. Call Me By Your Name 152. The Bourne Ultimatum 153. Come and See 154. Days of Heaven 155. The Sound of Music 156. Batman Begins 157. Lady Bird 158. Return of the Jedi 159. The Avengers (2012) 160. The Searchers 161. Reservoir Dogs 162. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 163. Office Space 164. Akira 165. The Intouchables 166. Django Unchained 167. The Jungle Book (1967) 168. Good Will Hunting 169. A Separation 170. The Iron Giant 171. The Best Years of Our Lives 172. Cinema Paradiso 173. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 174. Creed 175. Life of Brian 176. The Third Man 177. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World 178. Ben-Hur (1950) 179. Shrek 2 180. Young Frankenstein 181. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire 182. Black Panther 183. Arsenic and the Old Lace 184. The Elephant Man 185. The Raid (2011) 186. The LEGO Movie 187. Hot Fuzz 188. American Beauty 189. Modern Times 190. RoboCop (1980) 191. Gone With the Wind 192. Zootopia 193. Captain America: Civil War 194. Up (2009) 195. City Lights 196. Zodiac 197. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 198. All the President’s Men 199. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 200. No Country for Old Men 201. Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey 202. Notorious (TIE) Magnolia JFK 203. Margaret 204. When Harry Met Sally 205. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl 206. Ocean’s Eleven 207. Frozen (2011) 208. To Kill a Mockingbird 209. Close Encounters of the Third Kind 210. 1917 211. 8 ½ 212. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 213. Police Story 214. Black Swan 215. Fantasia 216. A Night at the Opera 217. Paths of Glory 218. X-Men: Days of Future Past 219. Planes, Trains and Automobiles 220. West Side Story 221. The Conjuring 222. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford 223. Malcolm X 224. Minority Report 225. Sicario 226. Casino Royale 227. Thor: Ragnarok 228. Back to the Future Part 2 229. The Young Girls of Rochefort 230. The Music Man 231. American Honey 232. Barry Lyndon 233. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 234. The Maltese Falcon 235. Andaz Apna Apna 236. Fiddler on the Roof 237. (500) Days of Summer 238. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 239. Roma 240. The 400 Blows 241. Tropic Thunder 242. Ida 243. Iron Man 244. The Quiet Man 245. Dangal 246. The Sting 247. The Battle of Algiers 248. Dunkirk 249. Before Midnight 250. Once Upon a Time in America
  6. 22 points
    "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." About the Movie Synopsis "The Godfather "Don" Vito Corleone is the head of the Corleone mafia family in New York. He is at the event of his daughter's wedding. Michael, Vito's youngest son and a decorated WW II Marine is also present at the wedding. Michael seems to be uninterested in being a part of the family business. Vito is a powerful man, and is kind to all those who give him respect but is ruthless against those who do not. But when a powerful and treacherous rival wants to sell drugs and needs the Don's influence for the same, Vito refuses to do it. What follows is a clash between Vito's fading old values and the new ways which may cause Michael to do the thing he was most reluctant in doing and wage a mob war against all the other mafia families which could tear the Corleone family apart. " - IMDb Its Legacy "Like millions of other people around the world, I have been obsessed by The Godfather trilogy. I wanted to write about that. And, then, as I started writing about the films, I realized that I also wanted to write about other films depicting Italian-Americans and how horrible the stereotypes were. That made me start thinking about the journey that immigrants had made coming to America, the whys behind the journey and really the history of the mob. I started thinking about my own life, and I thought, I want to make this, in part, a memoir because I am half-Italian and half-English. There was a pull, because I had a very Italian name growing up in a very Anglo world. When I saw The Godfather: Part II, and when ten minutes into the film there is the image of the young Vito on board the ship coming to America and passing by the Statue of Liberty, all of a sudden the light bulb went off. That image brought home to me my grandfather’s journey and how brave, at age 13, he was arriving here alone. At age 13, I was in a private school running around wearing my uniform and school tie, so removed from his experience. So it became not just a movie I loved as a movie lover, but a very personal depiction of the American journey for me. The film changed Hollywood because it finally changed the way Italians were depicted on film. It made Italians seem like more fully realized people and not stereotypes. It was a film in Hollywood made by Italians about Italians. Previously, it had not been Italians making the mobster films featuring Italian gangsters. I feel it helped Italianize American culture. All of a sudden, everyone was talking about Don Corleone and making jokes about, “I am going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.” I think it helped people see that in this depiction of Italian-Americans was a reflection of their own immigrant experience, whether they were Irish or Jews from Eastern Europe. They found that common ground. Then, of course, it changed me because when I saw what I felt was my grandfather on that ship coming to America, it was as if I was fully embracing my Italian-ness. I had never really felt Italian until then. Italian-Americans are very sensitive about their image in movies because it has traditionally been so negative, as either mobsters or rather simple-minded peasants who talk-a like-a this-a. I don’t like these stereotypical images, and yet, I love these films so much. I think the vast majority of Italians have come to accept and actually embrace the film because I think the genius of the film, besides the fact that it is so beautifully shot and edited, is that these are mobsters doing terrible things, but permeating all of it is the sense of family and the sense of love. Where I feel that is completely encapsulated is in the scene toward the end of the first film when Don Corleone [Marlon Brando] and Michael Corleone [Al Pacino] are in the garden. It is really the transfer of power from father to son. Don Corleone has that speech: “I never wanted this for you.” I wanted you to be Senator Corleone. They are talking about horrible deeds. They are talking about transferring mob power. The father is warning the son about who is going to betray him. But you don’t even really remember that is what the scene is about. What you remember is that it is a father expressing his love for his son, and vice versa. That is what comes across in that crucial scene, and that is why I feel that overrides the stereotypical portrayal that others object to. I think it squashed the idea that Italians were uneducated and that Italians all spoke with heavy accents. Even though Michael is a gangster, you still see Michael as the one who went to college, pursued an education and that Italians made themselves a part of the New World. These were mobsters, but these were fully developed, real human beings. These were not the organ grinder with his monkey or a completely illiterate gangster. It is an odd thing. I think to this day there are still some people who view the Italian as the “other”—somebody who is not American, who is so foreign. In films like Scarface [1932], the Italians are presented almost like creatures from another planet. They are so exotic and speak so terribly and wear such awful clothes. The Godfather showed that is not the case. In the descendant of The Godfather, which is of course “The Sopranos,” once again the characters are mobsters. But they are the mobsters living next door in suburban New Jersey, so it undercuts a bit that sense of Italian as the “other.” On the sociological level, we had been facing the twin discouragements of the Vietnam War and Watergate, so it spoke to this sense of disillusionment that really started to permeate American life at that time. I think also the nostalgia factor with the Godfather cannot be underestimated, because in the early ’70s (the first two films were in ’72 and ’74), it was such a changing world. It was the rise of feminism. It was the era of black power. And what The Godfather presented was this look at the vanishing white male patriarchal society. I think that struck a chord with a lot of people who felt so uncertain in this rapidly changing world. Don Corleone, a man of such certainty that he created his own laws and took them into his own hands, appealed to a lot of people. The term “the godfather.” Puzo made that up. Nobody used that before. He brought that into parlance. Here we are 40 years later and all the news reports of the mob now refer to so and so as the godfather of the Gambino crime family. Real-life mobsters now actually say, “I am going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.” That was totally invented by Puzo. I think these are phrases and terms that are not just used by the general public, but are also used by the FBI. So that is a powerful piece of art. The Godfather reaches its tentacles into so many levels of American life. I love the fact that it is Obama’s favorite movie of all time. I just love that." - Tom Santropietro interviewed by Megan Gambino for "The Godfather Effect" with Smithsonian Magazine From the Filmmaker Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "Francis Ford Coppola directed the Albert S. Ruddy production, largely photographed in N.Y. Dean Tavoularis was production designer and Gordon Willis cinematographer (Technicolor) for the handsome visual environment, which besides World War II and postwar styles and props, is made further intriguing by some sort of tinting effect. There are people under 40 who grew up in the period of the film and who recall such color tones as evocative of 20 years earlier, that is, the end of the Roaring Twenties and the Depression. Evidently the artistic effect here is to show some sort of antiquity which no longer exists. Puzo and Coppola are credited with the adaptation which best of all gives some insight into the origins and heritage of that segment of the population known off the screen (but not on it) as the Mafia or Cosa Nostra. Various ethnic counter-cultures are part of the past and part of the present, and the judgment of criminality is in part based on the attitudes of the outside majority. Nobody ever denied that a sense of family, cohesion and order are integral, positive aspects of such subgroups; it’s just the killing and slaughter that upsets the outsiders. It is Pacino, last seen (by too few) in “Panic In Needle Park,” who makes the smash impression here. Initially seen as the son whom Brando wanted to go more or less straight (while son James Caan was to become part of the organization), Pacino matures under the trauma of an assassination attempt on Brando, his own double-murder revenge for that on corrupt cop Sterling Hayden and rival gangster Al Lettieri, the counter-vengeance murder of his Sicilian bride, and a series of other personnel readjustments which at fadeout find him king of his own mob. In a lengthy novel filled with many characters interacting over a period of time, readers may digest the passing parade in convenient sittings. But in a film, the audience is forced to get it all at one time. Thus it is incumbent on filmmakers to isolate, heighten and emphasize for clarity the handful of key characters; some of that has been done here, and some of it hasn’t. The biggest achievement here is the establishment of mood and time. Among the notable performances are Robert Duvall as Hagen, the non-Italian number-two man finally stripped of authority after long years of service; Richard Castellano as a loyal follower; John Marley as a Hollywood film mogul pressured into giving a comeback film role in a war film to Al Martino, an aging teenage idol; Richard Conte as one of Brando’s malevolent rivals; Diane Keaton as Pacino’s early sweetheart, later second wife; Abe Vigoda as an eventual traitor to Pacino; Talia Shire as Brando’s daughter, married to a weak and traitorous husband Gianni Russo; John Cazale, another son who moved to Las Vegas when that area attracted the mob, including Alex Rocco as another recognizable character; Morgana King as Brando’s wife; and Lenny Montana as a mobster. Nino Rota’s fine score, plus several familiar poptunes of the period, further enhance the mood, and all the numerous technical production credits are excellent. So, at the bottom line, the film has a lot of terrific mood, one great performance by Pacino, an excellent character segue by Brando, and a strong supporting cast. That will be enough for some, only half the job for others." - A. D. Murphy, Variety User Opinion "My favorite of all time. Got the restoration blu-ray set for Christmas.I can discuss this movie all day long. The acting is just so superb. One of my favorite of all time scenes that doesn't discussed much is the scene where Vito gets shot and poor Fredo is so inept he can't even get the gun right to shoot back. The acting from John Cazale and the pain and guilt he feels because he couldn't do anything to help his father really gets to me. It's a small thing and would get un noticed but that's just how great the story and acting is from all the players." - @ecstasy "It's a masterpiece. My second favorite movie of all time. The restaurant's and final revenge scenes are just amazing" - @peludo "One of the greatest movies of all time... And I'm not just saying that to be "hip"." - @The Stingray The Panda's Haiku Family and crime Tied together with thin strings Controlling each move Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - 4, 2013 - 16, 2014 - 6, 2016 - 4, 2018 - 9 Director Count Steven Spielberg - 5, James Cameron - 4, Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Francis Ford Coppola - 3, Richard Linklater - 3, Hayao Miyazaki - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Martin Scorsese - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2, David Lean - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Robert Zemeckis - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Michael Curtiz - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Pete Docter - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, Spike Lee - 1, David Lynch - 1, George Lucas - 1, Sidney Lumet - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, George Miller - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Lana and Lilly Wachowski - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Pixar - 9, Cameron - 4, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Scorsese - 3, Studio Ghibli - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, The Godfather - 2, Nolan - 2, Spider-Man - 2, Star Wars - 2, Terminator - 2, Back to the Future - 1, Die Hard - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, Jaws - 1, Jurassic Park - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, Mad Max - 1, The Matrix - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1 Decade Count 1930s - 1, 1940s - 3, 1950s - 7, 1960s - 7, 1970s - 11, 1980s - 12, 1990s - 20, 2000s - 16, 2010s - 16
  7. 22 points
    "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads." About the Movie Synopsis "Marty McFly, a typical American teenager of the Eighties, is accidentally sent back to 1955 in a plutonium-powered DeLorean "time machine" invented by a slightly mad scientist. During his often hysterical, always amazing trip back in time, Marty must make certain his teenage parents-to-be meet and fall in love - so he can get back to the future." - IMDb Its Legacy "Here we are in 2015: Rick and Morty, which began as a parody of Back to the Future‘s Doc and Marty, is about to start its second season; a $250 figure of Marty McFly sells out instantly; Japan has created an iPhone case based on Back to the Future II‘s DeLorean and it sells like wildfire at nearly $100. It’s been 30 years since Back to the Future came out but it still has a strong impact on today’s pop culture. Why is that? Why is a movie from 30 years ago (which is primarily set an additional 30 years earlier) still so beloved? And where else has it been felt within our culture today? We’re going to take a look at what in Back to the Future resonates with us and try to figure out why. Above anything else, the reason Back to the Future stands the test of time is that it’s a good movie. It did well with both the audience (worldwide gross of $381 million off a $19 million budget) and it did well with critics (96% of critics gave it a good review, according to Rotten Tomatoes). But beyond that, it broadly addresses how fast pop culture changes and specifically allows us to see that through the lens of a teenager hanging out with his parents when they were his age. It’s such a simple idea that it allows all sorts of fun adventure and character-based humor. The fact is, the movie is very specifically set in 1985 and 1955 but instead of dating it, it makes it timeless because now we can in turn compare our present to their past and gain additional contrast in how pop culture has changed. The 1950s were really when the teenager came into existence as a target market as a consumer and it’s only grown more powerful from now until then. In the movie we see what they do for entertainment and compare the 50s to the 80s. Now we can compare that to the 10s. For instance, when Marty McFly first visits the 50s, he tries to order a Tab soda but the soda of that era is Pepsi. While Pepsi is around in the 50s, 80s and today, it’s interesting to see how quickly tastes can change based on fads. Tab isn’t really a thing anymore and Pepsi has increased competition from energy drinks like Monster or Red Bull that just didn’t exist 30 years ago. But the scene at the soda shop remains notable because of the idea behind it. A teenager getting a beverage at their hangout of choice. In the 50s, it was the diner. In the 80s? We don’t really see but it’s more likely to be a fast food joint (we see Burger King fairly prominently in the movie’s “present”). But today it’d be a machine. Kids don’t need a physical hangout location anymore. They connect by Facebook and texts or have plans to do something specific. The fact that the movie shows us how things were and instantly makes us compare it to how things are today keeps it relevant. Politics has changed, too. In the 50s, Doc Brown laughs at Marty’s statement that Ronald Reagan is the president. It seems absurd in that decade. A movie actor attaining the highest office? But that hardly phases us today. Movie stars like Schwarzenneger and Eastwood have been governors and mayors. Politics and acting are careers that people can jump between without barrier. In fact, the familiarity the public feels with actors helps give them a huge leg up in elections, before issues are even discussed and debated. How about how the movie treats terrorism? Doc Brown swindled some Libyan terrorists out of plutonium to charge his time machine only for them to track Doc down and kill him. In the 80s, we had very clearly defined enemies: Middle Eastern terrorists and Soviet Communists. And we were totally comfortable using them as bad guys, in this case in a family comedy. It seems inconceivable that we could use domestic terrorists in such a casual way post 9-11. In the 80s, terrorism was something that happened overseas. These days, we think of it every time we use public transportation, watch the news, or even when we go to public gatherings like marathons or movie theaters. If the 80s thought the 50s were a more innocent time, we can look back on both of them as downright quaint. The reason the first Back to the Future movie remains especially relevant to our culture is that it didn’t predict the future, like the sequel did. Because while Back to the Future II is a funny look at a future generation as seen through the prism of the 80s and even got a few broad ideas right, it doesn’t look or feel right. But it captured its present and its past in a very accurate way. It’s a time capsule that allows us to continue to make the movie a part of our culture because it’s comparing generations and we get to continue to do that. The concept of wondering what it would be like to interact with our parents at the same age is a fascinating one. Would we be friends? How similar are we? What do we take for granted that they never even envisioned? Music, food, entertainment. It’s how we spend our free time but in very different ways. So it’s no surprise that those of us who grew up with Back to the Future then and have disposable income now would like to remember it. We’ll buy a flux capacitor watch even though a kid today may not know what it’s supposed to be. Maybe it’ll pique their curiosity and we’ll have the opportunity to introduce them to a great movie: Back to the Future." - Chris Piers, Robot's Pajamas From the Filmmaker Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion ""They don't make 'em like they used to" is seldom said of films of the Eighties, but Back to the Future proves that sometimes it should be. For this is entertainment of the purest kind, a picture so tightly plotted, wittily scripted and pacily directed that it's impossible not to dive in head-first and be swept gleefully along. One sign of its sure-footedness is that the story makes effortless sense when you watch it, but resists easy précis. The barest bones are that Marty McFly (Michael J Fox), son of a chronic loser, accidentally travels back 30 years to 1955 in a time machine built by his friend, the Doc (Christopher Lloyd). Once he's there, his then-young mother falls for him instead of his father, and Marty has to unite them, while persuading the young Doc to get him get back to 1985. This fusion of sci-fi, action, romance and comedy could have been a dreadful mess, were it not for writer-director Robert Zemeckis and co-writer Bob Gale's refusal to let a loose line or idea escape their pens. The funnies come thick and fast – Doc excitedly describing the forthcoming high-school dance as "a rhythmic ceremonial ritual"; Marty's hapless dad (the incomparable Crispin Glover) tremblingly telling his ma "I'm your density..." – but more satisfying still is the intricate interplay between past and future. It turns out that Marty's Uncle "Jailbird" Joey loves, as an infant, to stay in his cot ("Better get used to these bars, kid"). The young Doc's incredulity on hearing of actor Ronald Reagan's next job – "Who's Vice-President? Jerry Lewis?" – spoke for the world, and Marty's means of returning to 1985 is a stroke of narrative genius. Scheduling clashes very nearly led to Marty's being played by Eric Stoltz, but (with all respect to the very capable Stoltz) thank heavens a solution was found, as the film would have been immeasurably the poorer without Fox's uniquely energetic charm. It's particularly cruel that so physically nimble a performer should since have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but he continues to approach it with a hero's grace and humour, and has become a major figure in increasing awareness for the disease." - Mark Monahan, The Telegraph User Opinion "I love the script of that movie. Because I feel nowadays people are so into like smoke and mirrors, shock and awe. They want to trick the audience instead of planting breadcrumbs. And everything you need to know about that movie you find out in the first five minutes before the credits even finish rolling. What is the first thing you hear? An ad for a Toyota truck. What does Marty want and get the end of the movie? a Toyota truck. It sets up the clock tower, It sets up the plutonium, It sets up that this kid is always late in an order for him to save himself in the future he needs to be on time. I love it. You as an audience are rewarded for paying attention and figuring out the story as it unfolds. Also Power Of Love is a BANGER! It’s honestly like my favorite movie. Well. It’s like my top 10 favorite movie. Because I’ve got like my 10 and depending on my mood which ever one is my favorite" - @Cap "Funny. Well-acted. Dramatic. Romantic. Re-watchable. Original. Crowd-pleasing. Fun. A Classic if there ever was one. Back to the Future - the best movie ever made." - @Andy Stitzer The Panda's Haiku I need to get back! Ew, mom, please do not kiss me Oh jeez, oh jeez... AH! Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - 19, 2013 - 13, 2014 - 16, 2016 - 19, 2018 - 13 Director Count Steven Spielberg - 5, James Cameron - 4, Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, Hayao Miyazaki - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Martin Scorsese - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, Francis Ford Coppola - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2, David Lean - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Robert Zemeckis - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Michael Curtiz - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Pete Docter - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, Spike Lee - 1, David Lynch - 1, George Lucas - 1, Sidney Lumet - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, George Miller - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Lana and Lilly Wachowski - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Pixar - 9, Cameron - 4, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Scorsese - 3, Studio Ghibli - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, Nolan - 2, Spider-Man - 2, Star Wars - 2, Terminator - 2, Back to the Future - 1, Die Hard - 1, The Godfather - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, Jaws - 1, Jurassic Park - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, Mad Max - 1, The Matrix - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1 Decade Count 1930s - 1, 1940s - 3, 1950s - 7, 1960s - 7, 1970s - 10, 1980s - 12, 1990s - 20, 2000s - 16, 2010s - 16
  8. 22 points
    "I'm the king of the world!" About the Movie Synopsis "84 years later, a 100 year-old woman named Rose DeWitt Bukater tells the story to her granddaughter Lizzy Calvert, Brock Lovett, Lewis Bodine, Bobby Buell and Anatoly Mikailavich on the Keldysh about her life set in April 10th 1912, on a ship called Titanic when young Rose boards the departing ship with the upper-class passengers and her mother, Ruth DeWitt Bukater, and her fiancé, Caledon Hockley. Meanwhile, a drifter and artist named Jack Dawson and his best friend Fabrizio De Rossi win third-class tickets to the ship in a game. And she explains the whole story from departure until the death of Titanic on its first and last voyage April 15th, 1912 at 2:20 in the morning." - IMDb Its Legacy "The story of the world's most famous shipwreck has been filmed more than 10 times, including a 1912 German version slapped together just days after the real tragedy and the British film long accepted as the definitive cinematic take on the incident, A Night to Remember (1958). But none have ever achieved the status of Titanic (1997), James Cameron's version of the incident. It was the most expensive movie made up to that time ($200 million) and remains the #1 box office champ, dropping only a few notches in that category when adjusted for inflation. It is tied with Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) and Ben-Hur (1959) for the most Academy Awards won by a single picture (11) and with only one film, All About Eve (1950), for the most nominations (14). It has received dozens of other awards throughout the world, inspired numerous parodies and imitations, and spawned a Grammy-winning hit theme song ("My Heart Will Go On"). It has also spurred renewed interest in the historical facts and a huge increase in the demand for Titanic memorabilia and souvenirs. Although not universally acclaimed by critics, it is perhaps the perfect example of modern Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking, combining the most successful elements of multiple-genre narrative construction, state-of-the-art technical resources, and effective marketing strategies. The film's tremendous success and popularity lie in its ability to integrate dazzling special effects and large-scale historical epic with a human drama that contemporary audiences could connect with on some level. That was Cameron's stated goal on this picture, "to integrate a very personal, very emotional, and very intimate filmmaking style with spectacle, and to try to make that not be kind of chocolate syrup on a cheeseburger." Cameron has said the movie was conceived as a love story, and that it was only the need to recreate the RMS Titanic and its sad fate that necessitated major visual effects. Whatever one's view of how effectively he achieved this integration, Titanic certainly drew praise for having instilled a sense of freshness and suspense into a story whose conclusion is not only foregone but globally known and for working against a nearly century-old air of tragedy and doom to open the picture with such optimism and excitement. An entire book can be written about the technical aspects of making Titanic (and several have been), so it would be unwise to try to cover more than a few highlights here: - The catastrophic rendezvous of the ship with a North Atlantic iceberg was recreated in real water by ramming a large-scale miniature of it into a miniature of the side of the ship constructed out of relatively easy-to-pierce lead. The underwater dolly carrying the iceberg replica was moved through the tank by a cable connected to a truck in the parking lot outside the studio of the special effects company Light Matters. Because of the speed and force needed to tear into the "ship," the impact was shot at 48 frames per second, allowing it to be projected back at the slower normal speed of the actual incident. - Expert model makers from Vision Crew Unlimited were contracted to create details for the extremely exact 45-foot replica of the ship. The craftsmen made lifeboats, davits (the structures used to lower the lifeboats), cranes, ventilators, and 2,000 portholes with working windows. The 14-person team had to cast many of the pieces entirely out of brass because of scale and stress issues. For example, the davits on the real boat were 20 feet high; the models were 9 feet high and quite thin but still had to be positionable and functional, able to support the weight of a lifeboat with 24 model oars in it (even though, according to the model makers, the boats were covered and the oars not seen). - Production designer Peter Lamont obtained the actual Titanic blueprints from the original shipbuilders. In the process, he discovered that the manufacturer of the ship's carpeting was still in business, so he had the firm recreate the exact patterns and colors used throughout the ship. - James Cameron himself made the first of a dozen 12,378-foot dives to the sunken ship at the start of production in the fall of 1995 to shoot the fictional salvage operation that comprises the contemporary portion of the story. Overall, Cameron said the production, with its numerous challenges, hardships, and risks, had him feeling like he was on the bridge of the actual ship. "I could see the iceberg coming far away, but as hard as I turned that wheel there was just too much mass, too much inertia," he said in an interview put together by the Academy of Achievement in Washington, DC, in 1999. "You're in this situation where you feel quite doomed, and yet you still have to play by your own ethical standards, you know, no matter where that takes you. And ultimately that was the salvation, because I think if I hadn't done that...they might have pulled the plug....We held on. We missed the iceberg by that much." Titanic also turned the spotlight on another performer, giving her first feature film appearance in eleven years and reminding the world that she was once a promising young starlet in the 1930s. As the older Rose, Gloria Stuart had her most noteworthy role since the days when she played in such movies as James Whale's The Old Dark House (1932) and The Invisible Man (1933), Busby Berkeley's Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935), and the Shirley Temple hits Poor Little Rich Girl (1936) and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938). Stuart retired from films in 1946 to concentrate on a successful visual art career. She returned to acting in the mid-1970s when she was in her 60s, playing a number of bits and small supporting parts on television and the big screen until Cameron cast her in a role based in part on the well-known sculptor Beatrice Wood. Stuart's work earned her an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress (at 86, the oldest nominee in Academy history), although she commented in her autobiography that she might have won had not so much of her performance been cut from the final release. Following this project, she appeared as a different character in The Titanic Chronicles (1999), a recreation of the 1912 Senate hearings about the oceanic disaster. All the major actors in that production previously appeared in other movies about the Titanic. The bodies of many of the accident's victims were recovered by ships out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and brought back there for burial. The film's success has brought floods of visitors to the gravesites. One that has caused quite a stir is marked with the name of engine room crew member J. Dawson. Cemetery workers say teenage girls are convinced the headstone marks the grave of Jack Dawson, the fictional character played by DiCaprio." - Rob Nixon, TCM From the Filmmaker Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "Short of climbing aboard a time capsule and peeling back eight and one-half decades, James Cameron's magnificent Titanic is the closest any of us will get to walking the decks of the doomed ocean liner. Meticulous in detail, yet vast in scope and intent, Titanic is the kind of epic motion picture event that has become a rarity. You don't just watch Titanic, you experience it -- from the launch to the sinking, then on a journey two and one-half miles below the surface, into the cold, watery grave where Cameron has shot never-before seen documentary footage specifically for this movie. In each of his previous outings, Cameron has pushed the special effects envelope. In Aliens, he cloned H.R. Giger's creation dozens of times, fashioning an army of nightmarish monsters. In The Abyss, he took us deep under the sea to greet a band of benevolent space travelers. In T2, he introduced the morphing terminator (perfecting an effects process that was pioneered in The Abyss). And in True Lies, he used digital technology to choreograph an in-air battle. Now, in Titanic, Cameron's flawless re-creation of the legendary ship has blurred the line between reality and illusion to such a degree that we can't be sure what's real and what isn't. To make this movie, it's as if Cameron built an all-new Titanic, let it sail, then sunk it. Of course, special effects alone don't make for a successful film, and Titanic would have been nothing more than an expensive piece of eye candy without a gripping story featuring interesting characters. In his previous outings, Cameron has always placed people above the technological marvels that surround them. Unlike film makers such as Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, Cameron has used visual effects to serve his plot, not the other way around. That hasn't changed with Titanic. The picture's spectacle is the ship's sinking, but its core is the affair between a pair of mismatched, star-crossed lovers. Titanic is a romance, an adventure, and a thriller all rolled into one. It contains moments of exuberance, humor, pathos, and tragedy. In their own way, the characters are all larger-than- life, but they're human enough (with all of the attendant frailties) to capture our sympathy. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Titanic is that, even though Cameron carefully recreates the death of the ship in all of its terrible grandeur, the event never eclipses the protagonists. To the end, we never cease caring about Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio). As important as the characters are, however, it's impossible to deny the power of the visual effects. Especially during the final hour, as Titanic undergoes its death throes, the film functions not only as a rousing adventure with harrowing escapes, but as a testimony to the power of computers to simulate reality in the modern motion picture. The scenes of Titanic going under are some of the most awe-inspiring in any recent film. This is the kind of movie that it's necessary to see more than once just to appreciate the level of detail. One of the most unique aspects of Titanic is its use of genuine documentary images to set the stage for the flashback story. Not satisfied with the reels of currently-existing footage of the sunken ship, Cameron took a crew to the site of the wreck to do his own filming. As a result, some of the underwater shots in the framing sequences are of the actual liner lying on the ocean floor. Their importance and impact should not be underestimated, since they further heighten the production's sense of verisimilitude. For the leading romantic roles of Jack and Rose, Cameron has chosen two of today's finest young actors. Leonardo DiCaprio (Romeo + Juliet), who has rarely done better work, has shed his cocky image. Instead, he's likable and energetic in this part -- two characteristics vital to establishing Jack as a hero. Meanwhile, Kate Winslet, whose impressive resume includes Sense and Sensibility, Hamlet, and Jude, dons a flawless American accent along with her 1912 garb, and essays an appealing, vulnerable Rose. Billy Zane comes across as the perfect villain -- callous, arrogant, yet displaying true affection for his prized fiancé. The supporting cast, which includes Kathy Bates, Bill Paxton, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill (as Titanic's captain), and David Warner (as Cal's no-nonsense manservant), is flawless. While Titanic is easily the most subdued and dramatic of Cameron's films, fans of more frantic pictures like Aliens and The Abyss will not be disappointed. Titanic has all of the thrills and intensity that movie-goers have come to expect from the director. A dazzling mix of style and substance, of the sublime and the spectacular, Titanic represents Cameron's most accomplished work to date. It's important not to let the running time hold you back -- these three-plus hour pass very quickly. Although this telling of the Titanic story is far from the first, it is the most memorable, and is deserving of Oscar nominations not only in the technical categories, but in the more substantive ones of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress." - James Berardinelli, ReelViews User Opinion "Ive seen this film at least a 100( Iwatch it a few times every few weeks from the 1997 debut)..And its true, never has a movie moved me so much..(Though I give props to Lion king and Avatar sequences) .... Just an incredible work indeed.. And like Sigourney said when a fellow asks you to do more than just do your nails and come to work when your cues and out works everyone putting sequences together, how can you not aim to do the same. For those that understand him, james is very much loved and has a huge loyal following baumer.. Dont forget Ahnold as well:D" - @Kalel009Shel " I've watched it three times now in the last week. Twice with different commentary and then last night, just the film. The amount of care that went into this, the amount of work and the amount of research, it all paid off. The film is a wonder. The Romeo and Juliette script is fantastic but when you listen to the commentary by the two historians who worked on the film, Cameron went to great lengths to make sure he nailed every detail. The correct breed of dogs were shown in the film, the correct car, every small detail, every nuance was done to perfection. Titanic is truly, imo, one of the best films of all time. If you haven't listened to the commentary, you should give it a chance." - @baumer The Panda's Haiku I'm holding on, Jack I will never let you go Nvm, bye bye Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - 5, 2013 - 26, 2014 - 59, 2016 - 28, 2018 - 8 Director Count Steven Spielberg - 5, James Cameron - 4, Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, Hayao Miyazaki - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Martin Scorsese - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, Francis Ford Coppola - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2, David Lean - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Michael Curtiz - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Pete Docter - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, Spike Lee - 1, David Lynch - 1, George Lucas - 1, Sidney Lumet - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, George Miller - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Lana and Lilly Wachowski - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1, Robert Zemeckis - 1 Franchise Count Pixar - 9, Cameron - 4, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Scorsese - 3, Studio Ghibli - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, Nolan - 2, Spider-Man - 2, Star Wars - 2, Terminator - 2, Die Hard - 1, The Godfather - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, Jaws - 1, Jurassic Park - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, Mad Max - 1, The Matrix - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1 Decade Count 1930s - 1, 1940s - 3, 1950s - 7, 1960s - 7, 1970s - 10, 1980s - 11, 1990s - 20, 2000s - 16, 2010s - 16
  9. 22 points
  10. 21 points
    It appears I was being a bit of a Joker. The clown did not in fact bring down our BOT society, this funnybook movie did. (Yes, the last entry was the troll entry that is a requirement for any list) "I am inevitable." About the Movie Synopsis "After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins due to the efforts of the Mad Titan, Thanos. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers must assemble once more in order to undo Thanos's actions and undo the chaos to the universe, no matter what consequences may be in store, and no matter who they face..." Its Legacy "It’s been 11 years since the groundbreaking movie Iron Man graced theaters; since then, Marvel Studios has consistently churned out films in their own cinematic universe, some more well-received than others. The immense level of hype surrounding 2012’s The Avengers is difficult to explain in hindsight, you simply had to be there to understand it. Now, in 2019, we are slowly creeping towards the conclusion of some of our favorite big-screen Marvel heroes’ stories, and it has led some fans to reflect on their experience with the franchise. One of these fans in particular is Wiregrass high-school senior, Casey Moran. “Endgame feels like a culmination of many things, both of the franchise itself and, in a way, my childhood,” Moran explained. “Marvel movies have been a pretty big part of my life since I was in the third grade.” Marvel has been very tight-lipped with their promotion of Endgame and Moran has taken note of this. “I think that there’s a lot that could have gone wrong with the promotion of Endgame,” Moran said. “Marvel and Disney have managed to keep the most anticipated movie of all time a relative secret, and I have to commend them for that.” Despite this, fans have noticed death flags around certain characters in promotional material, and are worried for their favorite heroes. “These marathons were some of my favorite experiences; the atmosphere was incredible and it really captured the experience I had with these amazing movies,” Moran explained. Since the first trailer for Endgame was released, fan theories on the events of the film have run rampant on the internet. Moran appears aware of, and enjoys, these theories: “There are obvious ones devouring the internet lately, but I’m a big fan of the time travel theory and the fact that we’ll re-experience characters and storylines that have been in the making for years.” While it’s difficult to guess what Endgame will bring, it may be easier to guess the trajectory of the Marvel cinematic universe moving forward. “I think we’re going to switch focus onto the more recently introduced heroes moving forward,” Moran said. “I really hope that they keep the heart that has been driving these movies and fans for the past decade.”" - Avengers Endgame: the impact the MCU has had on fans From the Filmmaker "Sims: When you were on set for Infinity War and Endgame, you had all these arcs to manage at once. How do you separate the signal from the noise for the actors? Joe: You have to have a very cohesive plan. You’re making thousands of decisions a day. There are multiple filming units, there’s a whole visual-effects team, we have actors coming to us, saying, “I wouldn’t say it this way, I’d say it that way.” Our job is to collect all this information and be the arbiters of taste and provide focus for the entire process. You have to leave room for everyone else to be empowered and assist in making creative decisions. Sims: Infinity War has so much action and wrenching chaos. Endgame is a lot slower, more deliberate on the character stuff, and I appreciate that viewers got the chance to slow things down and sit with the team for a while. Is there a scene that exemplifies that new approach that you particularly enjoyed doing? Anthony: The scene that Joe was in, Cap’s counseling session [with other survivors of Thanos’s decimation]. Sims: A scene about which a studio would immediately ask, “Do we need this? Can this go?” Anthony: You are very right [Laughs]. But it was very important to us! If you have a story point where you kill half of all living things, you have to move beyond the experience of the Avengers. To have an everyman in the story at that moment, and see Cap in a sensitive moment that spoke to his history as a character and the reality he’s living in now—that was an important thing for us. Sims: For 11 years, these movies have been stand-alones that tell their own stories, but they’ve all been aimed toward Endgame. Do you think Marvel will continue that storytelling style, or will things get more diffuse now that you’ve done the big conclusion where everyone’s together? Joe: You have to find a new path forward. That was always our [pitch], which is why I think they allowed us to make these really disruptive choices. You can’t keep giving people chocolate ice cream. Sims: You have to blow up S.H.I.E.L.D. immediately after giving people S.H.I.E.L.D, in The Winter Soldier. Joe: Exactly. So I think [Marvel has] to find a new path forward in this next mega-story they’re going to tell, and I think they’re going to make some very different and surprising choices. The thing we’re most proud of is how diverse the Marvel universe will be, moving forward. The first gay hero is coming, characters of different nationalities are going to be introduced—it’s going to pull the entire world into the story. Sims: Do you have to get to the level of success that Marvel is at now to make those riskier choices that a studio might balk at earlier on in the process? In 2008, if Feige had [proposed] an African hero, a gay superhero, maybe a studio would have wavered. Is that how Hollywood always has to work—that you build up capital to spend it on “riskier” stuff? Anthony: When we were in the edit room on The Winter Soldier, I remember Kevin walking in one day and putting a hand on us and saying, “Can you believe that we’re getting away with making a political thriller as a superhero movie?” Because of the success of the series, we’re all empowered to make decisions that you may not have been able to before. There’s a cycle happening there, because when you make those choices, it surprises audiences worldwide, if you tell the stories well. You’re being very noisy as a storyteller, and that feeds the beast even more. Joe: Black Panther was perhaps one of the more significant cultural events in movie history. That only emboldens the studio to keep moving forward. You’d hope that decisions would be made irrespective of the financials, but ultimately it is called show business, and things are driven by dollars and cents. What’s great about audiences today is that voices can be heard, and people can collectively ask for things from their storytellers and receive them." - Sims interviews The Russo Brothers Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "The previous Avengers movie, Infinity War, stunned believers and unbelievers alike with its sheer stupendous scale, and that devastating ending in which the evil Thanos appeared to have gained victory by getting hold of all six of the Infinity Stones, causing a crumbling-to-dust of many key players: a terrible cosmic loss, irreparable, irreversible, surely? We were of course promised wild new surprises with this colossal climactic movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and directed by the Russo brothers, Joe and Anthony. But would these surprises be .... new ways of coming to terms with the unchangeable disaster? Unexpected coping strategies? Novel means of simply accepting the Avengers’ stunningly permanent defeat? Or could it be … something else? Paul Rudd, who plays Ant-Man, was challenged on TV about the possibility of his character shrinking to a tiny size, flying into some convenient orifice of the evil Thanos, and then grossly enlarging himself to make the great villain go splat like Mr Creosote. Rudd declined to be drawn. Well, I won’t disclose how things progress here, other than to say it allows the main players to revisit some of the scenes of their most spectacular franchise triumphs. And I have to admit, in all its surreal grandiosity, in all its delirious absurdity, there is a huge sugar rush of excitement to this mighty finale, finally interchanging with euphoric emotion and allowing us to say poignant farewells. But part of this movie is about how Thor comes to terms with the memory of his mother, Frigga (Rene Russo), and also in fact how Tony Stark achieves closure on the subject of his dad, Howard (John Slattery). And there are many more characters and subordinate narrative arcs to absorb. The poster is not an infallible guide. It is, as ever, a huge intricately detailed and interlocking mosaic of figures within that strange Avengers universe, which uniquely (and bizarrely) combines both the mythic and the contemporary – and which is here the stage for a Tolkienian quest. Avengers: Endgame is entirely preposterous and, yes, the central plot device here does not, in itself, deliver the shock of the new. But the sheer enjoyment and fun that it delivers, the pure exotic spectacle, are irresistible, as is its insouciant way of combining the serious and the comic. Without the comedy, the drama would not be palatable. Yet without the earnest, almost childlike belief in the seriousness of what is at stake, the funny stuff would not work either. As an artificial creation, the Avengers have been triumphant, and as entertainment, they have been unconquerable." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian User Opinion "My audience screamed so loud I thought the roof would blow. It was magic. It was such a strange, euphoric experience that I doubt I will ever recreate in a movie theater. What is the greatest cinematic experience of my life? Getting to see, and feel, and hear pure joy. I love this movie. I could easily write another 5k squee fest scene-by-scene breakdown on how much I love this movie. I even wonder if my years of being Officially Over It regarding the MCU made me love it more. I love that the Wakanda Battle Sequence and Avengers Assemble Battle Sequence have the exact same beats; there's such satisfaction in knowing "I have watched this before and watched them loose, but now because they're working together, they're going to win." I love how everything feels like such a natural progression, so that when Tony Stark "is the one to lie down on the wire" and Steve Rogers is the one to "cut the wire" it makes complete sense. I love that use the Time Heist sequence to playfully balance shameless fan service and showing off how these characters have changed/evolved over the twenty-two movie arc. It was absolutely my favorite movie of the year. It might even be my favorite movie of the decade… LOL JK Winter Soldier #1 4EVA. It is the capstone to a truly monumental piece of work. Whether you just want to call it a production factory, or the greatest television series of all time, or natural step in comic book episodic storytelling, the staggering work, dedication, and faith in their proof of concept that Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, and everyone at Marvel Studios displayed over the past 10 years is remarkable. The truly mind-blogging 357M domestic opening weekend, and 1.2 Billion Global Total Opening Weekend is something we'll likely never see again. Not for a very, very long time unless a Chinese film blows up. Avengers: Endgame could be the crescendo of Kevin Feige's cinematic symphony or only the end of its first movement. Who knows what will happen in the next decade? Hell, who knows if we'll even be here in the next decade? (LMFAO, Note: I wrote this before COVID, so that's extra funny to me.) All I know is that for one crazy weekend in April, everyone in the world went to the cinema." - @Cap The Panda's Haiku The joke's on you BOT Endgame made it not Joker Trololololol Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - n/a, 2013 - n/a, 2014 - n/a, 2016 - n/a, 2018 - n/a Director Count The Russo Brothers - 3, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, Richard Linklater - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Lee Unkrich - 2, Mel Brooks - 1, James Cameron - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, David Fincher - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, David Lean - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, Hayao Miyazaki - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, Martin Scorsese - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Before Trilogy - 1, Cameron - 1, Die Hard - 1, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Pixar - 2, Predator - 1, Scorsese -1, Spider-Man - 1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1, Terminator - 1, Toy Story - 1, WDAS - 1 Decade Count 1950s - 1, 1960s - 1, 1970s - 1, 1980s - 5, 1990s - 2, 2000s - 4, 2010s - 11
  11. 20 points
    Hello, old friends. Hope you are all healthy and happy as can be in this time of pandemic. Speaking of, pandemic or not, the industry was largely headed for a self-made hell for the last 7-10 years. The good and bad news is that theaters will survive. The good is obvious. The bad is murky. Mostly the industry will need to be bailed out by studios and large tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Netflix and others. It is already happening. There are things in the works that will blow your mind. Amazon will absolutely own one of the larger chains and likely a smaller dine-in type chain as well. It will be a loss leader to drive Prime membership similar to what they have done with Whole Foods. Studios with resources will either move on their own or with strategic partners to cut out the middle man. The very, very bad of the industry is that at least for the next year or longer programming will be the definition of stale. My personal prediction is that pretty much EVERYTHING is moving from 2020. Not such a bad thing as with many productions shut down or delayed, the content can slide into 2021 and fill large gaps. The win/win for the studios and consumers is that straight to VOD/streaming/PPV or whatever you want to call it is here to stay. Mid-budget movies are thriving. Creative freedom to take chances that aren't considered failures because the opening weekend wasn't large enough is a thing of the past. It allows things like The Old Guard, Greyhound, Extraction and others become actual hits. Forget 2020 and gear up for 2021. The industry will be back, it will take some time and look different, but theatrical is here to stay.
  12. 20 points
  13. 19 points
  14. 19 points
    "I'll be back." About the Movie Synopsis "Sent back from a dystopian 2029--where the cold machines have conquered the entire world--to 1984 Los Angeles, the indestructible cyborg-assassin known as the "Terminator" commences his deadly mission to kill humankind's most important woman: the unsuspecting, Sarah Connor. However, from the same war-torn post-apocalyptic future comes a battle-scarred defender--Kyle Reese, a brave soldier of the human Resistance Army--bent on stopping the cybernetic killer from eliminating the world's last hope. But, the Terminator has no feelings, he doesn't sleep, and above all, he won't stop until he carries out his grim task. Does our future lie in our past?" Its Legacy "Thirty years ago, a killing machine from 2029 — assuming the form of an Austrian bodybuilder — arrived with a lethal directive to alter the future. That he certainly did. The Terminator, made for $6.4 million by a couple of young disciples of B-movie king Roger Corman, became one of the defining sci-fi touchstones of all time. Its $38 million gross placed it outside of the top-20 box-office releases for 1984, yet the film grew into a phenomenon, spawning a five-picture franchise that’s taken in $1.4 billion to date and securing a place on the National Film Registry, which dubbed it “among the finest science-fiction films in many decades.” The movie launched the career of James Cameron, who went on to direct the top two box-office earners of all time, Avatar and Titanic. It also boosted Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose monotone delivery and muscle-bound swagger made a cyborg assassin the height of cool. The actor, now filming next summer’s Terminator: Genisys in New Orleans, took a break to reminisce about his most indelible role. Settling for a landline call after four failed attempts to FaceTime — the former California governor’s favorite mode of communication — Schwarzenegger quipped, “Obviously we need James Cameron to provide the technology to link us.” His Terminator comrades also shared their memories via phone — just like it was 1984 again." - The Terminator at 30: An Oral History, Joe McGovern From the Filmmaker DEATH METAL NIGHTMARE It all started in 1981 with a dream. Cameron, then a 26-year-old model maker and art director for Corman, was in Rome attempting to get his name off the ignominious Piranha II: The Spawning, a low-rent horror sequel he had directed for five days before being fired. JAMES CAMERON (director-coscreenwriter) Nightmares are a business asset; that’s the way I look at it. I was sick, I was broke, I had a high fever, and I had a dream about this metal death figure coming out of a fire. And the implication was that it had been stripped of its skin by the fire and exposed for what it really was. When I have some particularly vivid image, I’ll draw it or I’ll write some notes, and that goes on to this day. Returning to Los Angeles, Cameron showed his sketches to Gale Anne Hurd, a 26-year-old Corman assistant. She would soon become, in succession, Cameron’s writing partner, producer, wife, and ex-wife. CAMERON Gale was working for Roger on a movie called Humanoids From the Deep, and they were doing reshoots of some teenagers in a pup-tent getting raped by slimy creatures from the swamp. She was young and supersmart. I showed her what I was working on, and she thought it was pretty cool. GALE ANNE HURD (producer-coscreenwriter) He told me about the dream he had of the metal endoskeleton, and the whole story came together as a result of that stirring image. CAMERON We both were committed to the same principle. It could be shot out in the streets of L.A., cheaply, guerrilla-style, which is how I was trained by Roger Corman. And it involved visual effects elements that I could bring to the table that another director couldn’t and do them economically, because I knew all those tricks. HURD We had what we called a scriptment. It was 40 pages, single-spaced typed. We batted ideas back and forth and always kept in mind that if we wanted to not only sell this script but produce and direct, it had to be at a budget level that wasn’t intimidating to investors. THE WAR ZONE Crucial to both Cameron and Hurd were the ideas of a strong heroine — hence Sarah Connor, a waitress who is targeted by the Terminator because she will give birth to a rebel leader — and an annihilated future world. HURD For me and Jim, always, was the idea that heroic people are the ones who least expect to be heroes. There’s a tradition of male characters who go to war, who are in the boxing ring, who rise to be the corporate titan, you name it. But Jim has always found women to be the more compelling parts to write. Culturally, they’re the ones who feel less equipped, because that’s what society tells them. CAMERON People think that I was a typical male director who was brought to task by a strong female producer and forced to do these themes. But they have connected the dots in the wrong way. My respect for strong women is what attracted me to Gale. It’s what made me want to work with her. Ultimately, it’s what made me want to be married to her. When we went into [1989’s] The Abyss, we were already divorced but we still wanted to work together because we knew how strong the creative partnership was. MICHAEL BIEHN (Kyle Reese): In preparation for the film I’d read a book about the guys that held out in Warsaw during World War II. When they were killing all the Jews or taking them away and putting them on trains, there was a bunch of Jewish guys who were hiding in the rubble. And they fought the Germans against insurmountable odds, like 30 or 40 of them, some women, some children. That grittiness and that mentality — that there’s no time for love or tenderness or music or religion, there’s only time for survival. I said to myself, “This is where this guy came from. This is how he would feel.” HURD Being of Jewish descent, of course I also read all those things. I don’t think we explicitly wanted to say that this future world was inspired by stories of living underground in Warsaw. But on the other hand, whatever I read as historical fact was going to influence our work by virtue of the verisimilitude of that experience and how profound it was. It’s that same kind of a violent harrowing experience. CAMERON The Terminator themes had been important to me since high school. Those apocalyptic visions, ideas about our love/hate relationship with technology, our tendency as a species to move in a direction that might ultimately destroy us, and a central faith in the resourcefulness of humanity. And those are motifs that have gone through all my films — Titanic has a lot in common with Terminator for those reasons." - The Terminator at 30: An Oral History, Joe McGovern Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "The strangest realization you’ll have re-watching James Cameron’s The Terminator is that it’s a low-budget film. That feels surreal, considering the legacy this film has cemented in sci-fi and action cinema, let alone making Arnold Schwarzenegger the 1980’s most bankable Hollywood star. But The Terminator is just that: a B-movie premise that Cameron’s masterful vision and memorable characters transformed into an A-list thriller. And more than thirty years later, the film holds up remarkably well. Mostly. The Terminator was a gamble for Cameron. With only Piranha II: The Spawning under his belt at the time, Cameron sold his script- conceptualized from a nightmare of a killer machine attacking him- for a dollar in exchange for being put in the director’s chair director. A mish-mash of gritty sci-fi, John Carpenter’s Halloween and the dystopian landscape of Mad Max, the film’s narrative genius was its time-travel component. In The Terminator, Los Angeles waitress Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) finds herself hunted by the Terminator (Schwarzenegger), a cybernetic assassin disguised under a layer of human skin who’s been sent back to 1984 from the dystopian, robot-ruled future of 2029. Sarah’s only salvation lies in Kyle Reese (Michael Bien), a human resistance soldier sent from that future to protect her, or rather her unborn son John, who will eventually grow up to lead the Resistance against the machines. Most moviegoers familiar with Schwarzenegger’s action hero status, especially post-T2, will probably find his role in The Terminator slow-paced by comparison. More importantly, they’ll find it scary. Upon arriving in the present, the Terminator’s first act is to rip out the heart of a punk who won’t give him some clothes. When he needs to self-repair, he peels back synthetic tissue on his arm to reveal mechanical gears and wires covered in blood. And once the mechanical exoskeleton rise from an explosion like Frankenstein’s monster, it really feels like this creature is unstoppable. Equally unique is the mystery surrounding the film’s first act. Until Reese tells Sarah about the future she’s destined to birth, the audience is relatively in the dark about what’s going on. As the Terminator goes on a killing spree against random Sarah Connor’s across L.A., hoping he’ll get the right one eventually, it’s clear our Sarah is being targeted, but for what? The answer’s obvious now, but this Sarah Connor isn’t the weapons expert mom from T2 who regularly tops “Best Female Character” lists. This is an ordinary woman with a roommate and a lackluster job who’s gotten caught in some greater futuristic war beyond her comprehension. Sarah’s arc is about growing into the fighter she’s destined to become. This emphasis on characterization is something the post-T2 films have unfortunately downplayed in favor spectacle and revisiting franchise high points. Because of the film’s cat and mouse pursuit, we’re made to spend time with Connor and Reese as they gradually grow closer together. It’s great character development that also builds on film’s paradoxical sci-fi moments, turning John’s birth and Kyle’s relationship with Sarah into a self-fulfilling act. Ironically, Terminator’s inevitability of history would be completely rejected in the sequel, still the better film in my opinion." - Ben Wasserman, mxwdn User Opinion "Cameron's best by quite some margin. The ultimate chase movie." - @The Stingray The Panda's Haiku Ready for the hunt Coldly picking up the gun Hasta la vista Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - 28, 2013 - 91, 2014 - 83, 2016 - 81, 2018 - 68 Director Count Alfonso Cuaron - 2, Richard Linklater - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Lee Unkrich - 2, Mel Brooks - 1, James Cameron - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, David Fincher - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, David Lean - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, Hayao Miyazaki - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, The Russo Brothers - 1, Martin Scorsese - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Before Trilogy - 1, Cameron - 1, Die Hard - 1, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 1, Pixar - 2, Predator - 1, Scorsese -1, Spider-Man - 1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1, Terminator - 1, Toy Story - 1 Decade Count 1950s - 1, 1970s - 1, 1980s - 5, 1990s - 1, 2000s - 4, 2010s - 9
  15. 19 points
  16. 19 points
  17. 18 points
  18. 17 points
    "Recuérdame, hoy me tengo que ir mi amor" About the Movie Synopsis Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history. Its Legacy "For Latinos, “Coco” is not just a visually resplendent animated film with a poignant story about the importance of family. It’s also a rallying cry. “I am certain that Disney/Pixar did not set out to make this a political film, but that is exactly what they have done,” said Benjamin Bratt, who provides the voice of Ernesto de la Cruz, the musical star idolized by the film’s central character, 12-year-old Miguel. “‘Coco’ inspires love around the world, and for Latinos in particular. It’s a reminder that we are worthy of loving ourselves. And if this ain’t a revolutionary act, I don’t know what is.” The movie is not only a box office hit — amassing $731 million worldwide — and an almost certain Oscar winner — but it’s also been a timely and soothing tonic for a community that has felt attacked and disrespected, particularly by President Trump’s rhetoric and eagerness to erect a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. “Where our country might be wanting to put up a wall, Pixar built a beautiful marigold bridge,” said Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who wrote the movie’s Oscar-nominated song “Remember Me” with her husband, Robert Lopez. (The film, which is centered on the Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead, features a bridge between the land of the living and the land of the dead decorated with marigold petals.) “Coco,” which opened Nov. 22 and is also nominated for an Oscar for animated feature — could not have come at a more opportune moment. “The timing is healing, given the open hostility toward our people by the current administration,” said Bratt, whose mother is Peruvian. “The thing I am most proud of is that Latinos instantly developed a proprietary relationship with the film. They have claimed it as their own, visiting it in theaters on multiple occasions, like they would a close family member.” One of those visitors is writer Carlos Aguilar, who has seen it three times, twice in English and once in Spanish. “My family back in Mexico City was shocked and moved by how truthfully the film captured traditions and Mexican idiosyncrasies,” he said. “They couldn’t believe that an American studio had made the film, as it felt like an authentically Mexican work of art.” Aguilar was born in Mexico and has spent most of his life in the U.S. “The film came out just a couple months after Trump had dismantled DACA [the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy], at a moment in which we’re being attacked and called lazy and our identities are portrayed in a negative light by the president and other people,” said Aguilar. “To have a film that bridges that cultural gap is very important.” Since Aguilar cannot return to Mexico because of his immigration status, the film resonated all the more powerfully. “For many of us Dreamers who haven’t been back to Mexico, we have this memory of a place we used to know,” he said of Dreamers, immigrants who as children were brought to the U.S. without visas. “You can lose that along the way living in the U.S.”" - Claudia Puig, LA Times From the Filmmaker "I work in production, so our time on films can be super short – like, a couple months – to four years, depending on what department you work on. So I heard about it, and I had to work on the Mexican Pixar film. My family is Mexican. But it took a while to get there. I actually only worked on the film for two years because I was working on Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur after that. But I knew it would lead me to Coco and everyone who places you – because it’s about availability and timing – they all knew I was going to go on it eventually. So I started off as a layout manager. That’s camera and staging. And then I transitioned into the animation manager position. So basically what I do is I work within the teams and I make sure the artists have everything they need to do their work, and I’m constantly communicating updates and keeping them informed. At the same time, I’m also a liaison between departments and the producers if priorities change. If all of a sudden, we need a shot for a commercial, I need to know this and communicate this. Just making sure the team is happy as well, having a good time. We see the finished product, and I’m super proud and I’m hearing the audience reactions, and I can get into the movie, but then that one troubling shot comes up and you’re like, ‘Ohh!’ All that history and baggage behind it comes back. So it is hard to be really streamlined and just watch the film." - Slashfilm Interview with Adrian Molina Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "Well, that’s more like it. As someone who has written at some length about the decline of Pixar Animation Studios since its acquisition by Disney, I am especially pleased to be proven wrong, even if only intermittently. The studio’s latest release, Coco, is one such occasion. Though Pixar has never acknowledged as much publicly, its cinematic philosophy (and business model) has shifted notably: Where the studio once aspired to excellence with every single picture—Pixar president Ed Catmull wrote an entire book expressing this ideal, Creativity, Inc.—it now seems content to roll out a few profitable, hyper-merchandise-friendly sequels for every genuinely original feature it unveils. (To put it another way, the studio has shifted away from “creativity” and toward “inc.”) But if Finding Dory and Cars 3 are the price we must pay for a film such as Coco, then so be it. Pixar’s latest is up there with Inside Out among the studio’s best features in years—less complex than Pete Docter’s 2015 film, but perhaps a tad more emotionally resonant. Directed by longtime Pixarian Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3), the tale that unfolds from these beginnings is not terribly innovative (less so, for instance, than 2014’s similarly themed though less well-realized The Book of Life). But it is a tale told with considerable wit—this is one of Pixar’s funniest films—and genuine tenderness. There are a few nice twists and reversals along the way. And while the movie’s conclusion is not difficult to see coming, anyone whose heart is not warmed by it may wish to consult with an cardio-therapist. Befitting its subject, this is the most musical feature yet produced by Pixar, with songs co-written by Robert Lopez, of The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, and Frozen fame. There are clever pop-cultural nuggets scattered throughout: a Mac Plus that is condemned as a “devil box” and smashed with a shoe; a gatehouse between the lands of the living and the dead that bears a distinct resemblance to the entrance to Disneyland; a hilariously avant-garde stage show put on by a deceased Frida Kahlo." - Christopher Orr, The Atlantic User Opinion "One of Pixar's finest masterpieces. There are small quibbles here and there, but none of that matters because how real these characters are and how humanity can be found within this tale. An emotional rollercoaster and an utterly beautiful film. Easily one of the best of the year and a future animated classic. It will rightfully be remembered and cherished by generations to come." - @Blankments The Panda's Haiku "Recuérdame (me!) If you have to say goodbye Recuérdame (me!)" Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - Unranked, 2013 - Unranked, 2014 - Unranked, 2016 - Unranked, 2018 - Unranked Director Count Mel Brooks - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, Richard Linklater - 1, Lee Unkrich - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Before Trilogy - 1, Pixar - 1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli -1 Decade Count 1970s - 1, 1980s - 2, 2000s - 2, 2010s - 2
  19. 17 points
    Amazing. Imagine keeping an alt in storage for 2 and a half years just in case and then getting discovered after two posts because you just... can't help but be yourself.
  20. 17 points
    "Only grown-up men are scared of women." Historical Setting: 1938 Salzburg, Austria Source from the Period "The excitement of the first Sunday in Advent had hardly died down when the sixth of December came around, one of the most momentous days for all houses where little children lived. On the vigil of this day Saint Nikolaus comes down to earth to visit all the little ones. Saint Nikolaus was a saintly bishop of the fourth century, and being always very kind and helpful to children and young people, God granted that every year on his feastday he might come down to the children. He comes dressed in his Bishop’s vestments, with a mitre on his head and his Bishop’s staff in his hand. He is followed, however, by the Krampus, an ugly, black little devil with a long, red tongue, a pair of horns, and a long tail. When Saint Nikolaus enters a house, he finds the whole family assembled, waiting for him, and the parents greet him devoutly. Then he asks the children questions from their catechism. He has them repeat a prayer or sing a song. He seems to know everything, all the dark spots of the past year, as you can see from his admonishing words. All the good children are given a sack with apples and nuts, prunes and figs, and the most delicious, heavenly sweets. Bad children, however, must promise very hard to change their life. Otherwise, the Krampus will take them along, and he is grunting already and rattling his heavy chain. But the Holy Bishop won’t ever let him touch a child. He believes the tearful eyes and stammered promises, but it may happen that, instead of a sweet bag, you get a switch. That will be put up in a conspicuous place and will look very symbolic of a child’s behavior.” - Maria Augusta von Trapp, The Story of the Trapp Family Singers Historical Context "In July 1934, Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss was assassinated by Austrian Nazis, as part of a failed coup. The Christian Social party came out of the civil war victorious, and the place of Dollfuss was taken by Kurt Schuschnigg, who abolished other parties and imposed a semi-fascist regime on the country. The question of union with Germany remained alive, however, and the Nazis maintained a constant campaign of terror against the Christian Social regime. In 1936, Schuschnigg agreed to end the ban of the Nazi party in Austria and accepted Nazis into his cabinet. This did not satisfy Adolf Hitler, who upped his demands for incorporation of Austria into the Reich – part of a general foreign policy of Heims in Reich, literally, “home into the Reich,”, which called for bringing ethnic Germans living beyond the country’s borders under German sovereignty. In practice, this would include annexation of Austria, western Poland and Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland. This was the prelude to the Anschluss, which was greeted by vocal protests from the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the Vatican, but not much more. On March 12, when German forces crossed the border into Austria, they faced no resistance, and were greeted with flowers. That same afternoon, Hitler arrived, crossing into the country at Braunau, his birthplace. Over the next few days, he toured the country, with the climax of his visit taking place in Vienna on March 15, where he appeared at a rally before some 200,000 people at the Heldenplatz. A month later, a plebiscite on incorporation was held, and 99.7 percent of the population voted to approve. (By that time, some 70,000 potential dissenters had been rounded up and imprisoned.)" - David B. Green, Haaretz Historical Accuracy "While The Sound of Music was generally based on the first section of Maria's book The Story of the Trapp Family Singers (published in 1949), there were many alterations and omissions. Maria came to the von Trapp family in 1926 as a tutor for one of the children, Maria, who was recovering from scarlet fever, not as governess to all the children. Maria and Georg married in 1927, 11 years before the family left Austria, not right before the Nazi takeover of Austria. Maria did not marry Georg von Trapp because she was in love with him. As she said in her autobiography Maria, she fell in love with the children at first sight, not their father. When he asked her to marry him, she was not sure if she should abandon her religious calling but was advised by the nuns to do God's will and marry Georg. "I really and truly was not in love. I liked him but didn't love him. However, I loved the children, so in a way I really married the children. There were 10, not 7 von Trapp children. The names, ages, and sexes of the children were changed. The family was musically inclined before Maria arrived, but she did teach them to sing madrigals. Georg, far from being the detached, cold-blooded patriarch of the family who disapproved of music, as portrayed in the first half of The Sound of Music, was actually a gentle, warmhearted parent who enjoyed musical activities with his family. While this change in his character might have made for a better story in emphasizing Maria's healing effect on the von Trapps, it distressed his family greatly. The family did not secretly escape over the Alps to freedom in Switzerland, carrying their suitcases and musical instruments. As daughter Maria said in a 2003 interview printed in Opera News, "We did tell people that we were going to America to sing. And we did not climb over mountains with all our heavy suitcases and instruments. We left by train, pretending nothing." The von Trapps traveled to Italy, not Switzerland. Georg was born in Zadar (now in Croatia), which at that time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Zadar became part of Italy in 1920, and Georg was thus an Italian citizen, and his wife and children as well. The family had a contract with an American booking agent when they left Austria. They contacted the agent from Italy and requested fare to America." - US National Archives The Film Itself The Story "Maria (Dame Julie Andrews) had longed to be a nun since she was a young girl, yet when she became old enough discovered that it wasn't at all what she thought. Often in trouble and doing the wrong things, Maria is sent to the house of retired Naval Captain Georg Von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), to care for his children. Von Trapp was widowed several years before and was left to care for seven "rowdy" children. The children have run off countless governesses. Maria soon learns that all these children need is a little love to change their attitudes. Maria teaches the children to sing, and through her, music is brought back into the hearts and home of the Von Trapp family. Unknowingly, Maria and Captain Von Trapp are falling helplessly in love, except there are two problems, the Captain is engaged, and Maria is a postulant." Critic Opinion "For the story of the Von Trapp family singers, of the events leading up to their becoming a top concert attraction just prior to World War II and their fleeing Nazi Austria, Wise went to the actual locale, Salzburg, and spent 11 weeks limning his action amidst the pageantry of the Bavarian Alps. Ted McCord catches the beauty and fascination of the terrain with his facile cameras, combining the splendor of towering mountains and quiet lakes with the Old World grace of the historic City of Music, a stunning complement to interiors shot in Hollywood. Against such background the tale of the postulant at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg who becomes governess to widower Captain Von Trapp and his seven children, who brings music into a household that had, until then, been run on a strict naval office regimen, with no frivolity permitted, takes on fresh meaning. Richard Rodgers composed two new songs for the picture, for which he also wrote the lyrics, as he did with added numbers to the remake of “State Fair.” Pair, “I Have Confidence In Me,” sung by Miss Andrews, and “Something Good,” an Andrews-Plummer duet, replace three songs from the original stage show which didn’t blend well into changes made by Lehman in the libretto. While neither is as catchy, perhaps. As certain of the other songs. Both are made into interesting numbers. Of particular interest is the sequence simulating part of the famous Salzburg Festival and actually shot in the spectacular Felsenreitschule, or Rocky Riding School. The stage of the vast amphitheatre is backgrounded by scores of arched tunnels carved out of the rocky mountain that surrounds the city and it forms an impressive backdrop for the climactic scenes of the film, which show the Von Trapp family making their escape after an appearance onstage while storm troopers are waiting for them in the audience." - Whitney Williams, Variety BOT User Opinion "Emotional, gripping and having something to say would be qualities that I seek in movies and Sound of Music final 40 minutes has that in spades." - @Goffe Factoids The Sound of Music was directed by Robert Wise. It received 36 points and 6 votes Countries Represented: Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Japan (2), Spain (1), United States (3) Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 21st Century (1), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3) Cross Section of Times and Countries: 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (1), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1) Directors Represented: David Fincher (1), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Penny Marshall (1), Sam Mendes (1) Steven Spielberg (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1) Decades Represented: 60s (3), 70s (1), 80s (1), 90s (1), 00s (1), 10s (3)
  21. 16 points
    "Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire." About the Movie Synopsis "Oskar Schindler is a vain and greedy German businessman who becomes an unlikely humanitarian amid the barbaric German Nazi reign when he feels compelled to turn his factory into a refuge for Jews. Based on the true story of Oskar Schindler who managed to save about 1100 Jews from being gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp, it is a testament to the good in all of us." Its Legacy "When I first heard that Steven Spielberg was set to make a film version of Thomas Keneally's “Schindler's Ark”” the special 10th anniversary of edition of “Schindler's List” comes out this week” I worried. I feared that in the story of Oskar Schindler, Spielberg, like Keneally, had found a gentile prism, rather than a Jewish one, through which to tell the horrific events of the Holocaust era. Although Oskar Schindler saved more than 1,000 Jewish lives during the Holocaust, there were many aspects of his story that bothered me. There was something offensive about the paternalistic attitude of Schindler toward “his Jews.” Conversely, the devotion of the Schindlerjuden to him, basically supporting him for the rest of his life, seemed like an unhealthy Stockholm syndrome-like reaction. But that was not my biggest concern. I worried that the story of Schindler would be misleading, that the emphasis would be on Schindler and not the Jews. “For one Oskar Schindler, how many collaborators were there?” Elie Wiesel once wrote in TV Guide. Schindler and the others deemed “the Righteous” and “the Just” stand out because they were the exceptions to human behavior during those dark years. As Wiesel noted, in his own Holocaust experience there were no Schindlers: “None of the Just crossed my path during the war. None of our Christian neighbors in my small village of Sighet, in Romania, risked his life to take in, to hide, to rescue a Jewish child or Jewish friend.” I worried that the story of Schindler, rather than showing the truth of what occurred, would create a dangerous myth: That not only were non-Jews in Poland not complicit in the murders, but regular people, Nazi Party members like Oskar Schindler, saved Jews — Jews who were too weak, too powerless, too lacking in any heroism to even save themselves. This would be a slur on the survivors and a second death for the murdered. Such is the problem of making an example of the exceptional. Then I saw the film and all my reservations disappeared. I succumbed to the power of the movie making. It was as if Spielberg had used all the tools at his disposal to tell a compelling and engrossing story. He checked his ego at the door and let the story be the star. It was an amazing achievement: Spielberg used Liam Neeson as the handsome gentile to seduce the audience into caring, much as Schindler seduced the Nazis into saving lives. It was a valid way, even a commercial way, to tell the story of the Holocaust. For once he had not made a Spielberg film. For that he received an Oscar. For that the film went on to make a fortune. Spielberg used the money to fund the Survivors of the Shoah Foundation once again, reaching beyond himself to make something that would have a lasting impact on others. But I still didn't grasp the full impact of the film until that evening in my hotel room in Ukraine. Annette Insdorf, author of “Indelible Shadows: Film and the Holocaust,” the definitive and essential tome on the subject, feels “Schindler's List” also made it easier for Holocaust films to get made, because, as she wrote me by e-mail, “despite the difficult subject matter, hefty running time and choice of black and white, it had both commercial and critical success.” In the recently published third edition, which looks to be about three times as thick as the first, Insdorf notes that since her last update in 1989, she's seen approximately 170 Holocaust-related films. As she notes in her introduction to the third edition, “The number of cinematic reconstructions” fictional as well as documentary is staggering. They both reflect and contribute to the fact that awareness has replaced silence about the Shoah.” Further, in founding the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, Spielberg has dramatically increased our storehouse of knowledge. The recording of 52,000 Holocaust survivors™ testimonies is a great accomplishment, a monumental resource for historians, students” it gives succor and satisfaction to Holocaust survivors and their families, that their experiences are recorded for history for posterity. At best it gives lie to the intention of the Nazis and their henchmen that their crimes and the lives they plundered would be forgotten, would disappear like the ashes dispersed to the wind from the crematoria chimneys at Auschwitz and the other extermination camps. Ten years after the release of “Schindler's List” our knowledge is wider, but is it deeper? What has “Schindler's List” taught us? Certainly, Spielberg has said that the movie shows how one person can make a difference. But that speaks to the good in man. What does “Schindler” teach us about evil? As concerns the Shoah, itself, the search for meaning must remain elusive. The words of Pinhas Epstein, a survivor of Treblinka, still ring in my ears: “Whoever was in Treblinka, will not go out of it, and whoever was not in Treblinka, will not go into Treblinka.” The Holocaust is not a thing to be understood. It is an event to be remembered. It can serve as inspiration, as lesson, as reminder, as a spur" but even the survivors themselves who experienced it are at a loss to understand it. Even more difficult, we must ask some tough questions: What good has it done to have released “Schindler's List” all over the globe in the last decade? To what end? It is a curious coincidence that even as “Schindler's List” is released on DVD and its 10th anniversary is celebrated, the media has been headlining the subject of the power of film to foster anti-Semitism rather than extinguish it. “The Passion” is the 800-pound elephant in the room. No one brings it up in public, but when I mention the 10th anniversary of “Schindler” to friends, they bring up “The Passion.” As if “The Passion” is payback or backlash for years of Holocaust films. As if “The Passion” were saying: “You've had your turn making important Holocaust films, now I want to tell you the most important story for the Christians — one as horrific and violent as anything that occurred during World War II. A story that the world needs to hear, know and see. A story that many people, to this day, denied occurred.” As if “The Passion” is not so much anti-Semitic as it is pro-Christian, and anti-Jewish. “The Passion,” you see, is not a film about the Christ killers. Instead, it is a film that responds to the Christ deniers. Because that's who the Jews are: The people who deny that Christ is the messiah. Crazy? Sure. That's why I write “As if.” But it does bring me back to my point: What 10 years later is the impact of “Schindler's List”? To answer that question, I watched “Schindler's List” again, this time on DVD. I was more aware of the film's artistry this time” which Insdorf details with great precision in her book. What Schindler accomplished did not seem possible: women arrived at Auschwitz, were there in fact for three weeks and Schindler was able to rescue them. It was true but never did fact seem more like fiction. Finally, I was struck by the moral universe presented in “Schindler's List.” In Schindler we are presented with absolute evil” embodied in Amon Goeth and witnessed by the liquidation of the Krakow ghetto; and absolute good” in the words of Itzhak Stern, “The list is life.” In between the two is a world of moral ambiguity. Sid Sheinberg, the former MCA executive who first brought the novel “Schindler's List” to Spielberg's attention, told me this week that for him the essential drama of the movie is simply: “Why did he do it?” Schindler, a Nazi Party member and war profiteer, loves wine, women and fine food. He appears to be amoral in every way. Then I recalled a peculiarity of Jewish belief” the yetzer harah, or evil inclination. As Rabbi Joseph Telushkin explains in “Jewish Literacy,” Jewish tradition would have us born with the evil impulse, while the impulse to be good and altruistic, the yetzer hatov is thought to be a learned trait.” As Jewish lore reminds us on several occasions, the evil impulse (ego, envy, lust) has often fueled great accomplishments, even good deeds. This is the story of “Schindler's List,” I realized: How greed, wine, women, lies and bribes saved Jewish lives. Schindler saved Jews by appealing to people's basest impulses. It now appears that we were wrong to think that a movie, even one as powerful as “Schindler's List,” would rid us of Holocaust deniers, or even reduce anti-Semitism. That is not the way the world works. The evil impulse is always among us. However, we must never forget that one Schindler can subvert the evil inclination, and induce people to accomplish great things. That is man's challenge and our never-ending struggle. And, 10 years later, the lesson of “Schindler's List.” - Tommy Wood, Jewish Journal From the Filmmaker Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "Steven Spielberg has made his own Holocaust museum. In Schindler’s List (Universal), an adaptation by Steven Zaillian of Thomas Keneally’s book, Spielberg has created a 184-minute account of the fate of Kraków’s Jews under the German occupation, centered on the German businessman and bon vivant, Oskar Schindler, who devised a ruse to save 1,100 Jews from the Auschwitz ovens. A closing note tells us that in Poland today there are fewer than 4,000 Jews but in the world there are 6,000 “Schindler Jews,” survivors and descendants. For this film Spielberg has done the best directing of his career. Much of his previous work has been clever and some of it better than that, but Schindler’s List is masterly. He has, with appropriate restraint, shot it in black and white (except for two closing sequences in color). Janusz Kaminski’s superb cinematography uses shadows like prosody—illuminates with shadows. Michael Kahn has edited with intensity and line, never breathless, always fast. (One demurral: the intercutting between a Jewish wedding in a camp, a wild German officers’ party and a German officer’s boudoir romp is heavy.) John Williams has arranged a score, with Itzhak Perlman doing violin solos, that for the most part is quiet: Jewish melodies on woodwinds or a small children’s chorus under scenes of inhumanity. Spielberg has not used one trite shot, one cheap tear-jerking assemblage. Tears are evoked, but honorably; his aim was to make a film that gripped us with authenticity. To this end he often uses newsreel angles and newsreel cutting. Yet he is not band-held-camera nutty: where a panorama is needed--Jews in a long street assembling for deportation, Jews in a (seemingly) mile-wide file coming over a great field toward liberation--he understands how to present it and leave it alone. (Most of this picture was filmed in Poland.) Imagination, talent, commitment shine in every flame. This film is a welcome astonishment from a director who has given us much boyish esprit, much ingenuity, but little seriousness. His stark, intelligent style here, perfectly controlled, suggests that this may be the start of a new period in Spielberg’s prodigious career." - Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic User Opinion "Appropriate that my first review on the new site should be dedicated to the most moving, powerful, and best film of all time, Schindler's List. From top-notch acting, with a compelling lead by Neeson, who dominates as Oskar Schindler in one of the most moving roles I've seen on screen, to powerful storytelling, it's a must see. Fiennes delivers a haunting performance as psychotic Amon Goeth, the new "caretaker" of the camp. His performance is as captivating as Neeson's. Ben Kingsley also delivers a stunning performance. All around, excellent acting. The story is superbly crafted, and the ending is a tear-jerker. One of the greatest scenes in cinematic history is Schindler's personal epiphany of ways he could have helped save more Jews, by selling a car or a ring, etc. Very moving scene in a bleak and tearjerking movie that should be witnessed by everyone." - @The Creator "The filmmaking on display is so good it transcends the utter blackness of the subject matter. I saw it five times in theaters. The first time, it was still in limited release, and I drove 40 miles to San Francisco to see it by myself (I was 19 and none of my friends were interested). There was this old man seated next to me (honestly, I didn't even really notice him until the end), and when the credits were rolling and everyone in the theater was just sitting there, pole-axed, he turned to me and said, "I was there, in one of those camps."I was so flabbergasted and stunned all I could manage was, "oh wow..." (Surely one of the more idiotic things I could've said), and then he got up and left.The 40-mile drive back home was a thoughtful and powerful one." - @Plain Old Tele "I saw it when I was in University in Ottawa. Saw it with 4 friends. We drove home in silence. No one knew what to say. You're just speechless after watching something like that. IMO, Spielberg didn't need that film to show us how good a film maker he was but for all those who just thought of him as someone who directed light hearted movies for kids, they never thought that again after this. And I don't think you'll ever have another director have a year the way he did in 93. Jurassic Park destroyed box office records and then Schindler's List kills it at the Oscars." - @baumer The Panda's Haiku What a scene I saw As she passed through the horror Why did I not act? Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - 21, 2013 - 10, 2014 - 15, 2016 - 10, 2018 - 15 Director Count Steven Spielberg - 6, James Cameron - 4, Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Francis Ford Coppola - 3, Peter Jackson - 3, Richard Linklater - 3, Hayao Miyazaki - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Martin Scorsese - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2, David Lean - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Robert Zemeckis - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Michael Curtiz - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Pete Docter - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, Spike Lee - 1, David Lynch - 1, George Lucas - 1, Sidney Lumet - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, George Miller - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Lana and Lilly Wachowski - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Pixar - 9, Cameron - 4, The Lord of the Rings - 3, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Scorsese - 3, Studio Ghibli - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, The Godfather - 2, Nolan - 2, Spider-Man - 2, Star Wars - 2, Terminator - 2, Back to the Future - 1, Die Hard - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, Jaws - 1, Jurassic Park - 1, Mad Max - 1, The Matrix - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1 Decade Count 1930s - 1, 1940s - 3, 1950s - 7, 1960s - 7, 1970s - 11, 1980s - 12, 1990s - 21, 2000s - 17, 2010s - 16
  22. 16 points
    "Open the pod bay doors, HAL." About the Movie Synopsis ""2001" is a story of evolution. Sometime in the distant past, someone or something nudged evolution by placing a monolith on Earth (presumably elsewhere throughout the universe as well). Evolution then enabled humankind to reach the moon's surface, where yet another monolith is found, one that signals the monolith placers that humankind has evolved that far. Now a race begins between computers (HAL) and human (Bowman) to reach the monolith placers. The winner will achieve the next step in evolution, whatever that may be." - IMDb Its Legacy "The movie initially provoked mixed reactions from film critics and the public. It was highly unusual because it had very little dialogue, instead trying to tell its story through imagery. The movie had three primary segments. The first depicted prehistoric Earth, where families of man-apes lived in fear of their predators until an alien monolith appears in their midst. After touching it, they quickly evolve to use primitive tools, bones to crush the skulls of their prey and their adversaries. In one of the most famous scenes in cinematography, an ape tosses a bone into the air where it is replaced by the image of a satellite in space, an editing trick that advances the story millions of years into the future in the span of only a few seconds. In the second segment, astronaut bureaucrats discover another monolith buried on the moon and when sunlight touches it for the first time in millions of years, it sends a powerful signal to Jupiter. In the third segment, humans mount a space mission to Jupiter where another monolith is orbiting. But things go terribly wrong when the spacecraft's computer, known as HAL 9000, goes insane and kills all but one member of the crew. The sole survivor, David Bowman, disconnects HAL and approaches the monolith. He passes through a fantastic light show (during showings many people would apparently take psychedelic drugs and, at this point in the movie, sit in the front rows of the theater). In a bizarre, and for many people highly confusing, final scene, Bowman grows into an old man alone, in the presence of the monolith. Just before his natural death, he is transformed into a baby who, in the final scene, is depicted overlooking the Earth. The sequence symbolized the continuing evolution of humanity into something greater than it is, with alien assistance. Although the movie was not universally praised when it first premiered, it soon came to be widely regarded as a classic by film critics and historians. It was praised for its visual inventiveness, its originality and symbolism, its sound and visual special effects and its musical score. Movies that came after 2001 reflected many of its influences. For instance, Kubrick had originally hired a music composer to write a score for the film and provided him with examples of classical compositions that he thought illustrated the mood he wanted to convey. But ultimately Kubrick discarded the composer's work and used the classical music he had selected instead. Kubrick used Strauss' "Blue Danube Waltz" as background for the docking of a space shuttle with a space station. Not only did recordings of Strauss' music suddenly become very popular, but the music was also used in other films and TV shows, often as a comic or ironic homage to 2001. It was even played on the Apollo 8 mission around the moon. Similarly, Kubrick used the theme from Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (Thus Spake Zarathustra) in the opening of the movie to illustrate a dramatic appearance, and the theme was thereafter used for everything from high school graduations to beer commercials. In a recent television commercial for a bank, the director used music similar to the experimental music that Kubrick also featured in the film and depicted automatic teller machines as monoliths. But perhaps 2001's most profound cultural impact was its effect on how people visualize space exploration. As space historian Howard McCurdy has noted, 2001 established the popular image of what a space station should look like. When Americans are asked to draw a space station, they almost inevitably draw a giant spinning wheel in orbit, undoubtedly based upon their exposure to 2001. Perhaps more subtly, 2001 created expectations in the minds of people that the United States would continue to aggressively pursue space exploration after Apollo and would soon develop giant orbiting space stations and bases on the Moon. When Kubrick made 2001 in the midst of the Apollo program, his advisors did not think that bases on the moon and missions to Jupiter would be extremely far-fetched 30+ years in the future. When the actual year 2001 rolled around, however, various newspaper and magazine articles either lamented that the world had not lived up to their false expectations, or snorted that the movie had "gotten the future wrong." As at least one comic joked, "It's the twenty-first century; how come my car doesn't fly?" Space exploration enthusiasts viewed 2001 as a positive predictor of the future and were disappointed that reality did not live up to their dreams. These false expectations even tended to cloud official planning for space exploration. Yet, as some have noted, the real world of 2001 did have its space stations and space shuttles, but they somehow seemed less exciting than the movie versions." - Dwayne Day, U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission From the Filmmaker Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "The movie broke with many of the conventions of the time, like mood music to tell you what to feel and think. “2001” left you alone in space with your thoughts. The story begins four million years ago in Africa, where a bunch of bedraggled primates are losing the battle of the survival of the fittest until a strange black monolith appears. To the thunder of “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” one of those apemen is inspired to pick up a bone and use it as a club to kill the animals that have been pushing him around. Suddenly, the apemen are eating meat and chasing their rivals away from the water hole. In a moment of exultation the ape throws the bone into the sky where, in what has been called the longest fast forward in film history, it turns into a spaceship. Around that toss Kubrick pivots his movie and all of human evolution. Another monolith appears on the moon, and yet another in orbit around Jupiter, where an astronaut named Dave Bowman connects with it after subduing a neurotic computer, the HAL 9000, which has murdered his shipmates. In the finale, Bowman is sent through a “star gate” on a trip through space and time, death and rebirth, returning as a glowing Star Child to float like a fetus over the Earth. One revelation is how haphazardly the movie was made. Nevermind the special effects and the model spaceships, Kubrick and Clarke were making up much of the story as they went along. Up until the very end, Mr. Benson tells us, they were struggling with how to portray the alien being responsible for the monoliths, until they realized it couldn’t be done. We don’t know what is out there. It would be hubris to even try to imagine. Where the script has really flipped is in the future history of evolution. Robots have taken over the sacred task of exploring for us. Increasingly sophisticated and smaller machines have spread out to every world of the solar system, buzzing the rings of Saturn, daring the dark voids beyond Pluto and landing on comets, scanning the heavens for new planets, new places to dream about. There have been enough robots, landers and orbiters violating the skies and surface of Mars to spark legends and myths and paranoia among whatever life-forms might be there. The next generation extending our telepresence across the universe will be even smaller and cleverer. Plans are afoot to send fleets of spaceships the size of iPhone chips toward Alpha Centauri, like clouds of butterflies across interstellar space. Even if our bodies don’t ever cross the voids between the stars, our DNA surely will, in a microscopic cascade of space invaders that could still colonize the galaxy. We all carry HAL in our pockets now, and in a few years he, it, will be in our bloodstreams. The future, to the extent that humans are part of it, is bionic." - Dennis Overbye, The New York Times User Opinion "I have a strange sensation with this movie that I do not have with any other. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. Technnically, it is probably the best movie ever and the most complex too. When I have liked it, it is absolutely fascinating, but when I have not liked it I find it pretentious and boring as hell. I think it all depend on the mood and predisposition of viewer. Fortunately, last time I have seen I loved it." - @peludo The Panda's Haiku I need to get out Open the pod bay doors, HAL Bad robot! Bad! Ah! Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - 22, 2013 - 17, 2014 - 43, 2016 - 14, 2018 - 60 Director Count Stanley Kubrick - 3, Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Brad Bird - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, James Cameron - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, David Fincher - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Alfred Hitchock - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, David Lean - 1, David Lynch - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, John Lasseter - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Hayao Miyazaki - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Christopher Nolan - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, Martin Scorsese - 1, Steven Spielberg - 1, Andrew Stanton - 1, Quentin Tarantino - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Pixar - 5, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Before Trilogy - 2, Spider-Man - 2, Toy Story - 2, WDAS - 2, Cameron - 1, Die Hard - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, Monty Python - 1, Nolan - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1, Scorsese -1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1, Terminator - 1 Decade Count 1940s - 2, 1950s - 2, 1960s - 3, 1970s - 4, 1980s - 7, 1990s - 5, 2000s - 11, 2010s - 11
  23. 16 points
    "Why return to the City of God, where God forgets about you?" About the Movie Synopsis "Brazil, 1960s, City of God. The Tender Trio robs motels and gas trucks. Younger kids watch and learn well...too well. 1970s: Li'l Zé has prospered very well and owns the city. He causes violence and fear as he wipes out rival gangs without mercy. His best friend Bené is the only one to keep him on the good side of sanity. Rocket has watched these two gain power for years, and he wants no part of it. he keeps getting swept up in the madness. All he wants to do is take pictures. 1980s: Things are out of control between the last two remaining gangs...will it ever end? Welcome to the City of God." Its Legacy "However, as with any other city in the world, things get a lot bleaker when you scratch the surface. In 2002, a movie was released that not only scratched that surface but smashed our perceptions of Rio de Janeiro into pieces. That movie was City of God (Cidade de Deus). City of God tells the story of two residents of the City of God favela in Rio, a kid named “Rocket” and another named “Lil Ze”. The story spans over three decades and shows the vastly different directions that Rocket and Lil Ze take in their lives. Rocket wants to live a legitimate, prosperous life whereas Lil Ze only ever wanted to be a gangster, allured by the Robin Hood lifestyle that we see at the start of the film where a gas truck gets robbed and the contents shared between the residents. With a short stature and an even shorter temper, Lil Ze had his life of crime planned out. Crime is still prevalent in the City of God favela but has dropped drastically since the movie was released, largely in part due to the “pacification” of the area by the Brazilian authorities. Pacification meaning that the area is stacked with security forces. The Brazilian economy also picked up and soared in 2010, leading Brazil to both dream of and live in a financial fairytale with the help of domestic industries, such as the automobile industry. For a brief period, Brazil had money and with money comes jobs. In 2015, Brazil had hit its worst recession in three decades. This led to unpopular anti-austerity measures being put in place by the Brazilian government. President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office as a result of impeachment, in part due to accusations of corruption. Corruption is nothing new in Brazil and this is something that was touched in Cidade de Deus, the idea that the “upper echelons” of Brazilian society do not care for the lower classes of Brazil, that the poor are something that can be cast off into the corner. Things could look up for the poor in Brazil, however. Favelas such as the City of God have introduced their own alternative currencies, similar to what America and Germany did during their periods of economic turmoil. This encourages the locals to buy locally instead of going into the wealthier towns and pumping more money into the cities that look down on them, some of these alternative currencies have actually become stronger than the Brazilian Real, so outsiders are coming in looking for bargains. It’s not unheard of for foreigners who move to Brazil for work to actually choose to live in the favelas. Whilst you could dismiss this as some twisted gap year fantasy or whatever derogatory term you want, foreigners can change their local currency into the currency of the favela, thus aiding those financially who have been left behind by the corruption and greed of those in power. Films like City of God and Elite Squad changed the game for Brazilian cinema, they grossed more abroad than they could ever dream of and set the standard for the Cinema Novo movement, but they also forced the eyes of the world on the problems in Brazil and most importantly, the eyes of the Brazilian elite on Brazil." - Rhys Johnson, Some Guy From the Filmmaker "Alice Braga: I was just 18 when I got the phone call from director Fernando Meirelles. I was still in high school and had only appeared in a few commercials. He told me he was looking for someone who wasn't famous, since he didn't want the slum kids who would be acting in his film, a crime drama set in one of Rio de Janeiro's favelas, to feel intimidated. I didn't really audition: I just went to Rio and met the actors who had been chosen by the casting director, Fátima Toledo. About 2,000 young people had turned up after the studio placed an advert in a local paper. Of those, about 200 were selected for an "actors' workshop" lasting several months. Then they selected the leads. Lamartine Ferreira: Our goal with City of God was to do away with the prejudice that exists about favelas. Yes, there is crime in Rio, and we portrayed that, but we wanted to show that people from the slums can lead normal lives and improve their situation if they take advantage of their opportunities. Rocket, one of the central characters, was born in the favela and has many things going against him, but he's able to realise his ambitions. He becomes a photographer and gets his pictures in the newspaper – and people come to understand that he is not just another criminal from the favela. During the nine weeks of filming, we were in constant contact with the residents' association, and they helped us every step of the way. I would go to people's houses and meet the parents of people working in the movie. When a project is presented in a caring manner, you can enter and leave such communities: the drug traffickers were there doing their work, and we were there doing ours. We wanted to show what they do, but we did not want to be involved with them." - How We Made City of God, The Guardians Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "It would be rather cheap to tag City Of God "the South American Goodfellas", as if every region of the world is somehow entitled to at least one gangster masterpiece in the freewheeling Scorsese tradition. (Where, you might ask, is the British Goodfellas?) However, since the audience for a two-hour-plus Brazilian movie might not show without some strong encouragement, let's make this clear: City Of God is the South American GoodFellas. And not just because of the episodic flashback structure, or the controlling voiceover based on a first-hand account of real events. Nor even because in gurning, gun-toting Zé Pequeno, City Of God boasts a jabbering psychotic every bit as compelling and unpredictable as Joe Pesci's Tommy. No, City Of God is the South American GoodFellas simply because it's more-or-less in the same class. And only a handful of movies can make that claim. Based on Paulo Lins' eyewitness testimony of the bloody turf war which for years raged in Rio De Janeiro's most notorious slum, City Of God contains enough indelible characters and unforgettable stories to fill several good films. After some five years of preparation, director Meirelles marshals this wealth of material in a dizzying variety of ways, finding – even after two hours of gun battles – new ways to shoot and edit a sequence. However, if City Of God were notable chiefly for inventive editing, then it would be merely a remarkable technical achievement; but the film's real ace is the kids. Through an exhaustive series of open auditions and workshops, Meirelles and co-director Lund not only unearthed dozens of non-professionals right out of the favelas, they also encouraged them to improvise large sections of the script. The results are right and true in a way that Harry Potter can never be. The scene in which two young kids must decide whether they want to be shot in the hand or the foot contains some of the most powerful acting ever committed to celluloid. Devastating." - Colin Kennedy, Empire User Opinion "I remember when I first saw this I was simply blown away. Taking us into the crime world of Rio De Janeiro it belongs up there with the great crime films, like the Godfather, Goodfellas, Mean Streets, etc. It's an epic film that spins three decades. It's got great performances from mostly non actors. It's brutal and violent and very harrowing. And the ending of this movie is scarier than anything I've seen in a horror movie. If you haven't seen it please do." - @DAR The Panda's Haiku Please do not fire man What condition leads to this? Murder of murders Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - 81, 2013 - 58, 2014 - Unranked, 2016 - Unranked, 2018 - 97 Director Count Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, Stanley Kubrick - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Brad Bird - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, James Cameron - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, David Fincher - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Alfred Hitchock - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, David Lean - 1, David Lynch - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, John Lasseter - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Hayao Miyazaki - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Christopher Nolan - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, Martin Scorsese - 1, Steven Spielberg - 1, Andrew Stanton - 1, Quentin Tarantino - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Pixar - 5, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Before Trilogy - 2, Spider-Man - 2, Toy Story - 2, WDAS - 2, Cameron - 1, Die Hard - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, Monty Python - 1, Nolan - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1, Scorsese -1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1, Terminator - 1 Decade Count 1940s - 2, 1950s - 2, 1960s - 2, 1970s - 4, 1980s - 7, 1990s - 5, 2000s - 11, 2010s - 11
  24. 16 points
    "Rosebud." About the Movie Synopsis "A group of reporters are trying to decipher the last word ever spoken by Charles Foster Kane, the millionaire newspaper tycoon: "Rosebud". The film begins with a news reel detailing Kane's life for the masses, and then from there, we are shown flashbacks from Kane's life. As the reporters investigate further, the viewers see a display of a fascinating man's rise to fame, and how he eventually fell off the top of the world." Its Legacy "No less ubiquitous since Kane has been the screen drama told through conflicting memories, from Rashomon and Last Year in Marienbad to Memento and Magnolia. No less “modern” in style, especially since Robert Altman added fresh colours to Kane’s master sketch, is the crowded fresco of life enriched with overlappings of plot and dialogue. Kane got there first nearly every time. When it didn’t, its brilliance destroyed the memory of predecessors. Orson Welles didn’t bother with the ABC of filmmaking. A precocious marvel, aged 25 when he made Kane, he went straight to the XYZ. X for Kane’s home, the mist-wreathed castle of Xanadu, a megalomaniac’s dream built atop a man-made mountain. Y standing for “Why?” – again the simplest, most important question. Why was Kane successful, why was he a failure? Why was he a triumph and a tragedy? Why is he, simultaneously and almost symbiotically, all of us and none of us?” And Z? That has to be for Zaharoff. Many Kane lovers – me included – think that is how it all began. In 1936 Welles, a radio-producing prodigy in New York, helped to craft a March of Time obituary of the munitions tycoon Sir Basil Zaharoff. Dramatised vignettes opened with Zaharoff’s secretaries burning his papers in the giant fireplace of his castle. Later, witnesses are called to remember Zaharoff’s life. Later still the dying, castle-dwelling Zaharoff, played by Welles, is given his own voice and his own valedictory cameo. He announces a wish to be wheeled into the sun “by that rosebush”. We know what the rosebush became. “Rosebud”. The most important uttered sound in Citizen Kane, the dying Kane’s last word, the secret to his sorrow. It is the name of his childhood sledge, ultimately thrown to the flames as oblivion sears the movie’s final scenes. Author and one-time film critic Jorge Luis Borges, who loved Citizen Kane, thought the Rosebud motif its single major weakness. The film, he wrote, “has at least two plots. The first [is] of an almost banal imbecility … At the moment of his death, [Kane] yearns for a single thing in the universe: a fittingly humble sled that he played with as a child!” ... You can script a labyrinth. Mankiewicz helped to do so. But a writer’s pen cannot carve and build it, give it size and echo. The labyrinth in Kane, the tomb of life, the palace of death, is a pure delirium of cinema, the creation of the man behind the camera. Its mirrored infinity is crafted by a director who loved reflections (the fairground hall-of-mirrors shootout at the climax to The Lady from Shanghai), its shadowed enormities by a man who loved shadows (Touch of Evil). Supremely Wellesian is the film’s obsessive “showdowning” – sometimes you have to invent a word when one isn’t available – between the theatrical and the cinematographic. No one has come near this filmmaker in understanding this tension. Citizen Kane is all “about” the quest to pierce through proscenium enactment to reportorial truth; and to wonder, in the process, if even reportorial truth is the last level of reality. The Kane sets and ambience are monstrously theatrical yet we keep going through them, behind them, above them. The sign over Susan Alexander’s nightclub is – in an “impossible” shot achieved with flyaway scenery – travelled through by the camera. It’s a world of greasepaint and artifice, challenging us to find concealed truths. Welles’s own portrayal becomes more theatrical by the reel. To play the older Charles Foster Kane he spent six hours each morning in the make-up chair: a grown-up playing charades. Yet ultimately the force of the movie, aided by the power of our curiosity, blows the sense of cosmetic make-believe apart. Rosebud is part of the same action. What seems a fairy-tale simplification, a motif from the props department, opens up to become part of the movie’s resonance. Welles was an amateur magician later in life; his last feature, F For Fake, was all about conjuring and imposture. No wonder the facile-seeming key to Kane’s story – the name of his childhood sled – may be the actual key. More literally, it is the bud that opens for moviegoers by being the bud that doesn’t open in the movie. On screen “Rosebud” tells us Kane’s life was nipped in its growth by a too-early rendezvous with wealth and destiny. But in our experiencing of the film “Rosebud” communicates the opposite. The spell of the word grows and grows. Like so much in the movie it starts as a hint, and expands by a process of change, association, counterpoint and contradiction into the holistic and all-comprehending. Reality in tension with artifice. Crystallisation in tension with expansion. The distilled in tension with the discursive. And, of course, fact in tension with fiction. Was Citizen Kane a portrait of the multimillionaire newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst? Of course it was. Hearst recognised it, banning any mention of the film in his publications. Louis B Mayer, on behalf of a Hollywood threatened with dire reprisal by Hearst, offered RKO Studios $805,000 to burn all prints and the negative. At the same time, Citizen Kane wasn’t about Hearst at all and has outlived him as an iconic world memory. You could as justly argue, and probably should, that Kane is Joseph Conrad’s Kurtz. Heart of Darkness (later to inspire Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now) was the debut film on which Welles had started pre-production. Too expensive, it gave way to Kane. But the stories are virtually identical. An “explorer” (in Kane, an investigative reporter) voyages “up-river” (against tides of resistance) through a “jungle” (of conflicting and contradictory information) to find a man – or, in Kane, the secret of a man – who has lived as a wilful, ruthless, overlording tyrant. Then again, Kane is Welles himself. Kane lovers and critics recognise the stormy, capricious boy wonder in front of the camera as the one behind it. The fully-grown genius who was simultaneously an overgrown baby. The cranky tyrant who was a lost, lovable, richly imaginative soul. The rosebud who was also rose …" - Nigel Andrews, Slates From the Filmmaker Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "While numerous individual elements of the film are truly artistic—cinematographer Gregg Toland’s deep-focus camera work leaps to mind—those elements are subservient to what was presumably Welles’ original purpose, and certainly his ultimate effect: to grab the audience from the very first frame and take it on a breathless rollercoaster ride through early twentieth-century America, leaving it at the end of the trip exhilarated and spent, but begging for more. As for the social relevance of Citizen Kane, it—like the film’s art—is there when needed but always subjugated to the film as grand entertainment. At the time of Kane’s release, social commentators (particularly on the Left) felt the film failed to inveigh sufficiently against the abuse of wealth and power by such as Kane/Hearst. Instead, it tells the audience what it already believes: money doesn’t buy happiness. While the absence of a desire to transform human consciousness may bother some, for most of us Kane-as-Daddy Warbucks, lonely despite vast riches, is a far more engaging character than the malefactor of great wealth some would have him be. It is in the telling of the story of Charles Foster Kane that the film transcends the limitations of popular entertainment and achieves greatness. That it does it through the devices of popular entertainment is irrelevant. From the first moment when the camera conspiratorially draws the viewer behind the giant iron gate with its “No Trespassing” sign, to the final moment when the sled is consumed by flames, every aspect of cinematographic art—photography, music, set design, editing, costuming, special effects—is assembled with a unifying vision into an endlessly fascinating portrait of a not-all-that-fascinating man. The New York opening of Citizen Kane was at Broadway’s RKO Palace, newly converted from a vaudeville house, on May 1, 1941. While from the beginning the film’s extraordinary quality was recognized, it was not what today would be called a blockbuster. Its initial release earned RKO most, but not all, of its total cost—as Hearst-inspired fears of booking on the part of many exhibitors probably contributed to its failure to earn a profit. However, beginning in the 1950s, a series of releases brought the picture to the attention of a new generation of filmgoers. Most of them saw the film in grainy 16 mm prints in “art” houses. Despite all of the attention the film has subsequently received, few viewers have, according to Welles himself, seen the film as he intended it to be seen." - Roger P. Smith, Criterion Collection User Opinion "This is a movie that makes me wish we didn't have "Best Of" lists. I think its status as the Greatest Film of All-Time takes people by surprise. When you hear that statement, you expect Citizen Kane's magic to be apparent the minute it begins. But the film is much more subtle than that. It literally takes till the last shot to understand the storyline fully. And even after you understand the storyline, it might take multiple viewings to truly appreciate the film.With all that being said, I do think it lives up to the hype. It's an emotionally engaging film. I found Kane's character to be surprisingly moving. I could empathize/sympathize with his desire to redeem lost innocence (rosebud) and how that explained so many of his actions. I also loved the film's narrative techniques. The fact that the storyline is pieced together from different people's memories of Kane adds mystery and complexity to his character. The fact is that people can never come to unanimous decision on a single person's life. Some will see tragedy in a person, others will see success, others will see only failure, others will see all of those things, etc. And all of the different people see different thinks in Kane, which helps complicate his character greatly. Ultimately, it's a masterpiece for these reasons (and others). It's in my Top 10 Favorite Movies Ever and if I had to make a "Best Films Ever" list, this could very well be at the top.4/4Oh, one more thing: Baumer, sue me." - @Dark Jedi Master 007 The Panda's Haiku Boo him off the stage Forgotten over the decades French find the wonder Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - 53, 2013 - 64, 2014 - 82, 2016 - 50, 2018 - 83 Director Count Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, Stanley Kubrick - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Lee Unkrich - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Brad Bird - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, James Cameron - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, David Fincher - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Alfred Hitchock - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, David Lean - 1, David Lynch - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Hayao Miyazaki - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, Martin Scorsese - 1, Steven Spielberg - 1, Andrew Stanton - 1, Quentin Tarantino - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Pixar - 4, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Before Trilogy - 2, Spider-Man - 2, WDAS - 2, Cameron - 1, Die Hard - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, Monty Python - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1, Scorsese -1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1, Terminator - 1, Toy Story - 1 Decade Count 1940s - 2, 1950s - 2, 1960s - 2, 1970s - 4, 1980s - 7, 1990s - 4, 2000s - 9, 2010s - 11
  25. 16 points
    "You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. But you're going to go through life thinking that girls don't like you because you're a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won't be true. It'll be because you're an asshole." Historical Setting: Early 2000s, United States Source from the Period "So there’s definitely fun thinking about this but we always thought this could be a great business as well. It’s actually Harvard Connection that was rebranded to connect to you but the idea was to help students connect more easily on campuses. We went to Harvard for undergraduate but in — in Boston alone there’s at least 50 schools. There’s so many different students but by junior year legal we hadn’t really met many people from outside of your walk of life. You — you know your own sports team, you do — you have your major and you don’t really like connect outside of your bubbles. Like life’s too busy and geography constraints, whatever. So we sort of said like let’s let our fingers do the walking. And let’s put real life social networks online and let’s use email addresses to filter people into networks within networks. So if you go to Harvard, you have a email address. You can’t get that unless you’re actually a student. The Registar gives you one and they don’t issue you more than one. So you can’t just give one — and extra one to a friend. So — and the same thing if you go and you work at company — let’s say you go to work at Goldman Sachs, you get a Goldman Sachs, you know, email address. I can’t get one because I don’t work there. And so all the sudden you can start building some order online. You know the predecessors to connect (inaudible) were MySpace Friendster but they were just one network, a whole morass of people. You couldn’t really find people based on their schools or where they were and that was really the breakthrough that we — that we had that later was, you know, pushed into — into Facebook." - Interview of Winklevoss Twins Historical Context "Social media have had profound impacts on the modern world. Facebook, which remains by far the largest social media company, has 2.3 billion monthly active users worldwide (Facebook 2018). As of 2016, the average user was spending 50 minutes per day on Facebook and its sister platforms Instagram and Messenger (Facebook 2016). There may be no technology since television that has so dramatically reshaped the way people get information and spend their time. Speculation about social media's welfare impact has followed a familiar trajectory, with early optimism about potential benets giving way to widespread concern about possible harms. At a basic level, social media dramatically reduce the cost of connecting, communicating, and sharing information with others. Given that interpersonal connections are among the most important drivers of happiness and well-being (Myers 2000; Reis, Collins, and Berscheid 2000; Argyle 2001; Chopik 2017), this could be expected to bring widespread improvements to individual welfare. Many have also pointed to wider social benets, from facilitating protest and resistance in autocratic countries, to encouraging activism and political participation in established democracies (Howard et al. 2011; Kirkpatrick 2011). More recent discussion has focused on an array of possible negative impacts. At the individual level, many have pointed to negative correlations between intensive social media use and both subjective well-being and mental health.1 Adverse outcomes such as suicide and depression appear to have risen sharply over the same period that the use of smartphones and social media has expanded.2 Alter (2018) and Newport (2019), along with other academics and prominent Silicon Valley executives in the \time well-spent" movement, argue that digital media devices and social media apps are harmful and addictive. At the broader social level, concern has focused particularly on a range of negative political externalities. Social media may create ideological \echo chambers" among like-minded friend groups, thereby increasing political polarization (Sunstein 2001, 2017; Settle 2018). Furthermore, social media are the primary channel through which misinformation spreads online (Allcott and Gentzkow 2017), and there is concern that coordinated disinformation campaigns can affect elections in the US and abroad." - The Welfare Effects of Social Media, Hunt Allcott, Luca Braghieri, Sarah Eichmeyer and Matthew Gentzkow (2019) Historical Accuracy "In contrast to the real Zuckerberg, it’s hard to imagine Eisenberg’s version, care of Aaron Sorkin, squirm in front of Congress, be wishy-washy about Holocaust deniers or Alex Jones, or act flummoxed about trolls using the site to harass or interfere in elections. Michael Cera is the actor who comes to mind for that depiction, not the man who would become Lex Luthor. The complexity of the film version of Zuckerberg adds immeasurably to the The Social Network’s impact and power, but a change of this magnitude can’t help but strike a dangerous note with the hindsight of the past eight years. When The A.V. Club reviewed Zero Dark Thirty, another film whose accuracy was fretted over, the critic wrote that it “stands to become the dominant narrative about this important historical event, no matter its distortions, composite, or other slippery feints of storytelling. In that, it wields a dangerous power.” There’s a similar issue at play with The Social Network. The film defines Zuckerberg for many people, and given his centrality to today’s world, who knows what impact that’s had? Like the company that is its subject, The Social Network is a huge platform for its message, and it’s a problem when that message is less about the truth and more about emotional manipulation. Of course, the real Zuckerberg must have some of the attributes the film depicts—he did create the most influential company of modern times and squeeze allies out of it, both of which require a certain amount of cold-bloodedness—which makes comparing the film’s depiction to the real person tricky. However, there’s no denying that other parts of The Social Network, just as central to its thesis about who Zuckerberg is, were more or less invented. Sorkin said the film is “absolutely nonfiction,” albeit “nonfiction about facts that are in dispute.” He also said, “I don’t want my fidelity to be to the truth; I want it to be to storytelling.” Still, if the film isn’t accurate to Zuckerberg’s history, it is prescient about the personality type that would become dominant online in the subsequent years. The character’s coiled anger and nonstop sarcasm are very trollish, just as his FaceMash revenge campaign, waged from the safe distance of cyberspace, is reminiscent of the Gamergate harassment that would occur four years after the film’s release. Both elevate male victimhood, specifically the pain and humiliation that come from female rejection, into the kind of all-consuming fury for which every possible response counts as a proportional. Ultimately, this is why the film made such an impact, and why it continues to be discussed. It isn’t accurate, but it is true, ecstatically so." - Ryan Vlastelica, The AV Club The Film Itself The Story "Every age has its visionaries who leave, in the wake of their genius, a changed world--but rarely without a battle over exactly what happened and who was there at the moment of creation. "The Social Network" explores the moment at which Facebook was invented--through the warring perspectives of the super-smart young men who each claimed to be there at its inception. The movie moves from the halls of Harvard to the cubicles of Palo Alto to capture the heady early days of a culture-changing phenomenon in the making--and the way it both pulled a group of young revolutionaries together and then split them apart. In the midst of the chaos are Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), the brilliant Harvard student who conceived a Web site; Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), once Zuckerberg's close friend, who provided the seed money for the fledgling company; Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), who brought Facebook to Silicon Valley's venture capitalists; and the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer and Josh Pence), the Harvard classmates who asserted that Zuckerberg stole their idea and then sued him for ownership of it. Each has his own narrative, his own version of the Facebook story in this multi-level portrait of 21st Century success--both the youthful fantasy of it and its finite realities as well." Critic Opinion "There was a lot of pre-release hype for THE SOCIAL NETWORK -- and for once, the buzz is well-deserved. This is truly an enthralling film; all of the pieces -- writing, plot, direction, acting, soundtrack -- create a memorable, timely movie that couldn't be more relevant to the current zeitgeist. If a story about a business' Ivy League founders or Harvard social intrigue or young billionaires in the making doesn't sound compelling, this movie will surprise you. And the credit must go to director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin, who've taken what sounds like a very boring premise -- boy genius possibly steals an idea to create one of the dominating media forces of the decade -- and turned it into an award-worthy film that even Facebook objectors will enjoy. Eisenberg plays Zuckerberg as a socially awkward computer genius who isn't an adorable geek (like many of Eisenberg's previous roles). He's a huge jerk -- or, as his date tells him in the first scene, a first-class "a--hole" -- obsessed with status and, later, getting back at said date for rejecting him. How many multibillion dollar ideas started out as a way to show up someone who rejected the innovator? And how many business are built on the backs of broken friendships? As Saverin, British import Garfield is pitch perfect. He exudes the confidence that comes with wealthy, but unlike Zuckerberg or the Winklevoss twins, he's not condescending. In many ways, he's the heart of the movie, because his character is so much more likable than Zuckerberg -- so much so that you want him to win his lawsuit against Facebook. The movie's biggest scene-stealers are Timberlake -- who's all slimy and paranoid charm as Parker -- and the Winklevoss brothers, who are played by Hammer so well that you'd swear it was twin actors. Each twin is patrician perfection personified, and the fact that their social networking idea is the seed that Zuckerberg turns into Facebook serves as a slap in the face to their entitlement. What's true and what isn't doesn't quite matter for the purposes of this film; in the end Facebook's "status" is bigger than all its players." - Sandie Angulo Chen BOT User Opinion "One of the greatest films of all time. An intoxicatingly entertaining movie with some of the snappiest and most intelligent dialogue I've ever heard, amazing performances (especially from the mesmerizing Jesse Eisenberg who deserved an Oscar), great cinematography, slick editing, a fucking fantastic score, a goosebump inducing final scene and overall masterful directing from David Fincher.The Social Network is about as close as you can get to cinematic perfection. It will go down as the best movie of its time." - @Jack Nevada Factoids The Social Network was directed by David Fincher. It received a total of 34 points and 6 votes Countries Represented: England (1), France (1), Japan (1), Spain (1), United States (3) Time Periods Represented: 17th Century (1), 19th Century (1), 21st Century (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (2) Cross Section of Times and Countries: 19th Century - United States (1), 21st Century - United States (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - United States (1) Directors Represented: David Fincher (1), Anthoney Harvey (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Penny Marshall (1), Sam Mendes (1) Steven Spielberg (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1) Decades Represented: 60s (2), 90s (1), 00s (1), 10s (3)
  26. 15 points
    #16 Ready Player One 86 pts, 27 lists "People come to the Oasis for all the things they can do, but they stay for all the things they can be." Top 5 placements: 2 Top 10 placements: 3 Top 15 placements: 5 Box Office: 137.7M DOM, 582.9M WW Rotten Tomatoes: 72% Metacritic: 64 Awards: 1 Academy Award nomination, 1 BAFTA nomination, 4 Teen Choice Award nominations Critic Review: "Ready Player One was a substantive film and a far more depressing/disturbing/self-aware one than negative reviews indicated. Maybe the best example of major movie subverting a best-selling novel since American Psycho." - Matt Zoller Seitz BOT User Review: "That Shining scene. Jesus Christ I orgasmed in that part." - @baumer Its Legacy: Became the highest-grossing Spielberg film of the 2010s. Boasts and celebrates notable pop culture events, figures, and films. Is part of a very long, very tiring, very annoying discourse. Gave Ben Mendelsohn a paycheck. Commentary: Just gonna get this out of the way. I get there are a lot of weirdos here who like to act as if Ready Player One is the reason everything in the world is wrong. Well we’re not gonna do any of this mindless and irritating discourse here. We’re celebrating Spielberg, not complaining about him. And just remember what I said right here: Okay? Okay. Now then. Much has been said about Ready Player One, with it becoming one of the most polarizing modern Spielberg titles. Some say it’s a fun, nostalgic romp with spectacle and flair. Others believe it to be a mindless barrage of pop culture references only made to appeal to geeks. Many even go into a nuanced position, arguing the film is a commentary about the endless pop culture spewing life has become, whether that was intentional by Spielberg or not. And that very much applies to the rankings here. Some people placed it at the bottom of their list, while others were far more favorable, placing it high up on their lists. We actually had two users put it in their top 5. Regardless on how you feel about it, there’s certainly passion for this movie, whether good or bad. And I think that makes it a fitting midpoint for this countdown.
  27. 15 points
    "This is reality, Greg." About the Movie Synopsis "After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott. Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as the alien is dubbed, to his brother and his little sister, Gertie, and the children decide to keep its existence a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both Elliott and the alien." Its Legacy "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was one of Spielberg’s greatest achievements; according to Box Office Mojo, when adjusted for inflation, the film has made the fourth highest gross of all time ( E.T. was his most successful in terms of revenue. Spielberg’s combination of alien supernatural occurances and suburban reality created an incredibly loved film. The use of a mysterious film elements created such an interesting atmosphere of uncertainty and possibility, which when in contact with Elliott, was able to provide answers for the concerns he was dealing with. The authentic human characters and normal day to day situations made the film seem relatable, in many ways, to a large audience. As Andrew Gordon, in his article “E.T. as Fairy Tale” puts it, “For children, E.T. is a voyage of emotional discovery, for adults, a rediscovery of feeling we thought we had lost or outgrown”(Gordon, 303). With the target audience being kids, each of the three siblings could appeal to a different age a children viewing the movie. With the film appealing to such a wide audience, it became the highest grossing movie of it’s time, beating the current records of another film that Spielberg made, Jaws; both films were made early in the modern blockbuster process that Spielberg played a huge role in. E.T. had an incredible heart warming impact with a happy ending, and would pave the way for future science fiction films to come that would involve children and their experiences with the extraterrestrial. The link between reality and the supernatural in this film as a means of displaying childhood conflicts and their solutions played a large role in the success of the movie. Gordon argues that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial depicts a fairy tale environment that is suitable for all children, while the characters experience meaningful conflicts throughout the film. His argument goes along with mine, in that this film depicts childhood conflict, and because of this, it adds to the films greatness and the film is successful. Spielberg was able to create a masterpiece by combining realistic problems with a non-realistic environment; attracting people who either wanted to see a cool sci-fi film or a family friendly film, or both. While E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial wasn’t the first film to put aliens in a realistic environment, it was definitely one of the most iconic films to do so, and it used the lurking factor of childhood conflict within its reality. This film paved the way for other films and shows that have used children in a realistic setting being affected by supernatural sources, and the film continues to be used today. Two great examples of film being that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial had an influence on are Super 8 and Stranger Things. The film, Super 8, has direct ties with E.T. because Steven Spielberg was a producer for the film. The film stars children in a realistic environment dealing with alien activity, just like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The Netflix original series Stranger Things, a currently running, popular show, also depicts kids in the same kind of setting, once again, dealing with aliens. The show goes so far as to copy E.T. with scenes of the characters on their bikes, levitation special effects, and much more. These shows and movies that copy aspects of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, do so because the films was an incredible depiction of the conflicts mixed with extra-terrestrial elements that are discussed in this exhibit. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial has influenced films since its creation, and will continue to do so, because of its incredibly accurate depiction childhood conflict in a sci-fi genre." - Utah State University, Digital Exhibits From the Filmmaker Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "Full disclosure, right off the top: I am a total geek for "E.T." I was 9 years old when "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" came out in 1982, and it was one of the first truly transforming movie events of my life. Every time I saw it, I cried when E.T. died -- even though I knew he'd come back to life. And I had the biggest crush on Henry Thomas -- he was right up there with Rick Springfield and Scott Baio in my preadolescent opinion. Something about the friendship between a lonely young boy and an alien who's far from home tugged at my heart. It was full of awe and wonder, so sweet and sad and sometimes scary. And it still is. Twenty years and $700 million in worldwide box office revenue later, "E.T." is back in theaters, with new footage and enhanced visual effects. It holds up beautifully. I hadn't seen "E.T." in about 15 years and rented it recently, wondering whether it would have the same emotional impact on me as an adult. Sitting on the couch, blubbering, I realized that it did -- and I have to admit, I got a little teary-eyed seeing the updated version, as well. That kind of enduring moviemaking comes along once every 20 years." - Christy Lemire, The Associated Press User Opinion "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is pure magic. Spielberg's direction has rarely been as touching and marvelous as it is in this film. Elliot and ET's friendship is believable and heartwarming, with Henry Thomas delivering one of the greatest child actor performances ever. ET himself is technically astounding, not once appearing false to the audience or to his friends. The way Spielberg uses divorce as a backdrop to further the emotional connection is brilliant, and particularly, his use of lighting in every scene is incredible, always managing to draw out the appropriate mystique and emotion at every possible moment. Humorous and heartfelt, the film's legacy as one of Spielberg's best will also live on for decades and decades to come. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a classic of the family film genre, still amazing audiences to this day." - @Blankments The Panda's Haiku Flying on a bike Through the moon and the sun Whoops, E.T. pushed me! Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - 42, 2013 - 25, 2014 - 69, 2016 - 34, 2018 - 35 Director Count Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Steven Spielberg - 3, Lee Unkrich - 3, Brad Bird - 2, James Cameron - 2, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, David Fincher - 2, Akira Kurosawa - 2, John Lasseter - 2, Sergio Leone - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Hayao Miyazaki - 2, Christopher Nolan - 2, Martin Scorsese - 2, Andrew Stanton - 2, Quentin Tarantino - 2, Roger Allers - 1, John G. Avildsen - 1, Ash Brannon - 1, Mel Brooks - 1, Frank Capra - 1, John Carpenter - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Ron Clements - 1, Francis Ford Coppola - 1, Frank Darabont - 1, Jonathan Demme - 1, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 1, Bong Joon-Ho - 1, Gene Kelly - 1, David Lean - 1, David Lynch - 1, Katia Lund - 1, Michael Mann - 1, Fernando Meirelles - 1, Rob Minkoff - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, John Musker - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, Ridley Scott - 1, Guillermo del Toro - 1, Gary Trousdale - 1, Orson Welles - 1, Peter Weir - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Kirk Wise - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1, Robert Zemeckis - 1 Franchise Count Pixar - 8, Cameron - 2, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Toy Story - 3, WDAS - 3, Alien - 2, Before Trilogy - 2, Nolan - 2, Scorsese -2, Spider-Man - 2, Studio Ghibli - 2, Die Hard - 1, Hannibal - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, Monty Python - 1, Oz - 1, Predator - 1, Rocky - 1, Star Wars - 1, Terminator - 1 Decade Count 1930s - 1, 1940s - 2, 1950s - 6, 1960s - 6, 1970s - 7, 1980s - 10, 1990s - 15, 2000s - 15, 2010s - 14
  28. 14 points
    "That's the way it crumbles... cookie-wise." About the Movie Synopsis "Insurance worker C.C. Baxter lends his Upper West Side apartment to company bosses to use for extramarital affairs. When his manager Mr. Sheldrake begins using Baxter's apartment in exchange for promoting him, Baxter is disappointed to learn that Sheldrake's mistress is Fran Kubelik, the elevator girl at work whom Baxter is interested in himself. Soon Baxter must decide between the girl he loves and the advancement of his career." Its Legacy "Billy Wilder was at the peak of his directing powers negotiating the tricky mix of melancholy and humour. Shirley MacLaine recalls Wilder never sitting, often chain-smoking and pacing while directing. Every word mattered. (Diamond stood nearby, policing the exact delivery of each line.) Sometimes she would take a relieved breath after completing a long speech, only to find she’d left out an “and” or a “then”. The takes continued until the dialogue was perfect. This is not to say that Wilder couldn’t swing with a good suggestion. MacLaine, who was then embroiled in a difficult love affair of her own, once casually sighed: “Why do people have to fall in love with other people anyway? Why couldn’t they fall in love with a kangaroo?” Wilder rebuilt the entire set, and re-filmed a key scene to include the line. And again, when MacLaine shared the trials of learning how to play gin, lessons she was then getting from Sinatra and the Rat Pack, Wilder and Diamond wrote that into the script too. And so was born the gin game between Lemmon and MacLaine that continues throughout The Apartment. When filming on The Apartment was completed, so exact was Wilder’s execution that the entire movie was edited in a matter of days. “There was about five feet of unused film,” Wilder remembers with only slight exaggeration. It was, he also recalls, one of the few occasions when he knew the power of the picture while filming. Reviews were not uniformly excellent, with some critics attacking the raciness of the film’s subject matter, not to mention Lemmon’s pimp-hero, but audiences responded quickly. The film was a hit, and the roll continued through Oscar night. When Wilder was at the podium, accepting the Academy award for best director, playwright Moss Hart half-seriously whispered in his ear: “It’s time to stop.” But Wilder did not stop. Moments later, he was awarded the Oscar for best picture as well. And Wilder would go on to direct nine more films. He often discusses future ideas, though he wonders if his physical stamina could match his still-racing mind. He is, as he says with characteristic lack of pretension, a writer. But if you look hard enough around Wilder’s apartment, you can spot his Oscars standing in a clump within the cabinet by his den. And the one out front, standing guard among the other statuettes, is his best picture award for The Apartment. He offers the film his highest compliment. “It worked.” Though our book is finished, our relationship continues. Just the other day, a small miracle happened when Wilder agreed to a rare on-camera interview for The Today Show. I sat beside him in the NBC studio that was once the home of Johnny Carson, and listened as the interviewer leaned forward and posed what was clearly an important question. “We are doing a show on the Century’s Great Thinkers,” he said, “and I’d like you to comment on the next millennium. What would you like to say about the future?” In our current world where anyone of even questionable importance feels a duty to offer lofty thoughts about The Next Thousand Years, Billy Wilder blinked suspiciously behind large glasses. “Nothing,” he said, slightly incredulous, as if to answer would condemn him to a prison filled with pretentious twits. “Nothing.” I watched the frustrated interviewer with some sympathy. Wilder is, after all, not the easiest interview. Just as he has for some seventy years of film-making, today Wilder will leave the chest-beating to others. The interviewer thumbed through his pages of questions. “What’s next,” Wilder asked, professionally pleasant, stealing a look at his watch. “How else can I help you?”" - Cameron Crowe, The Guardian From the Filmmaker "BW: Yeah, but I am not a Strasberg man. I am not an actor. I’m not even a born director. I became a director because so many of our scripts had been screwed up. The idea was that we [Wilder and collaborator Charles Brackett] were under contract to Paramount, and had to deliver eleven pages every Thursday, on yellow paper. Eleven pages. Why eleven, I do not know. And then the script. We were not allowed to be on the set. We were supposed to be upstairs on the fourth floor writing the script. So they would chase us off, and [Mitchell] Leisen was the worst one. Mitch Leisen. I remember one episode. Leisen was directing Hold Back the Dawn [1941]. We were already writing the next script, and not allowed on the set. Policemen! Policemen were on the set to say, “No, no, no!” That was the situation we had then. In pictures, in those days, they didn’t even let you watch what you wrote. So we had written a scene in Hold Back the Dawn where the hero — actually, he’s a gigolo — Charles Boyer, is lying there in that dirty Hotel Esperanza, across the border. It was for the first third of the picture, he’s stranded in Mexico. He hasn’t got the papers to get in, but he would like to get to America. He lies there in bed all dressed, and there is a cockroach that is crawling up the wall and the cockroach wants to get onto the broken, dirty mirror. And Boyer was to imitate a border guard, with a stick in his hand, and say to the cockroach [officiously], “Hey, where you going? What are you doing? Have you got a visa?…What, no visa?! How can you travel without a passport!! You can’t!” That was the scene, meant to appear in the first act. They are shooting the picture, and Brackett and I are going for lunch to Lucy’s — that was the restaurant across the street from Paramount. Now we are finished with lunch, and we passed a table where Mr. Boyer had a nice French lunch with the napkin tucked in here, and a little bottle of red wine. “Hi, Charles, how are you” “How are you boys?” “What are you shooting today?” “We are shooting the scene with the cockroach.” “Oh, yeah, that’s a good scene, isn’t it?” He says, “We changed it a little bit.” [Wilder’s eyes widen.] “What do you mean, you changed it?” He says, “We changed it because it’s idiotic — why would I talk to a cockroach if a cockroach can’t answer me?” I say, “Yeah yeah yeah, but just the same, we would like you to do it.” “No no no,” say Boyer, “we talked and I convinced Mr. Liesen, I’m not talking to a cockroach.” So it was nothing. The scene became flat, nothing. So now we were upstairs writing the end to this picture, Hold Back the Dawn, the last ten pages. I say to Brackett, “If that son of a bitch doesn’t talk to a cockroach, he ain’t talking to nobody! Cross out his dialogue!” [Laughs] We won…kind of." - Conversations with Billy Wilder, Medium Why It's the Greatest Critic Opinion "Back in the day, The Apartment scooped the Academy Awards, taking home Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay. It was a major hit and gets top ratings in all the movies-on-TV guides, yet it’s not often revived. Considered as a Billy Wilder movie, it has never become as admired as Double Indemnity or as beloved as Some Like It Hot. Perhaps its relative obscurity is down to the lack of a movie icon. And maybe it’s that this comedy tells truths about American business and sexual morés as uncomfortable now as they were in 1960. However, since even committed Wilder fans are likely to have seen The Apartment only once, years ago on late-night television, this re-release reveals a fresher picture than many a classic you can recite by rote. Made just after Some Like It Hot, the film has barbed jokes about the Marilyn-style blondes most of Jack Lemmon’s lecherous colleagues drag to his apartment for a quick shag, before they take the commuter train to their wives and families. Lemmon, an everyman stranded in a sea of desks who spends more time juggling other people’s affairs than his job, shows the subtlety that marked the maturing of his manic comic personality MacLaine, with a serious haircut, embodies Wilder’s horrifying notion of what Marilyn’s screen character might be like if she were real (who, sadly, Monroe was never actress enough to play). Here MacLaine plays to perfection, heartbreaking with MacMurray and offbeat sexy with Lemmon. Wilder fan Cameron Crowe recently lifted wholesale from The Apartment for the climax of Almost Famous, but the original walking-off-the-overdose scene is more affecting in the shift from farce, to sober drama, to bizarrely touching." - Kim Newman, Empire User Opinion "One of my favorites, a wonderful mix of comedy and drama. It says it all that this is an extremely rare romantic film that actually earns the shot of one character running desperately for the other in the last moment. (It helps that Wilder follows it with a great joke - the champagne bottle - and a perfect closing line, and also doesn't have the characters kiss and fall all over each other). Shirley MacLaine in this movie is one of my all-time biggest cinematic crushes." - @Jake Gittes The Panda's Haiku I have not seen this Nor do I know about it Uncultured Panda Factoids Placement on Prior Lists 2012 - Unranked, 2013 - Unranked, 2014 - Unranked, 2016 - Unranked, 2018 - Unranked Director Count Alfonso Cuaron - 2, Richard Linklater - 2, John McTiernan - 2, Lee Unkrich - 2, Mel Brooks - 1, James Cameron - 1, Damien Chazelle - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, David Fincher - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, David Lean - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, Hayao Miyazaki - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, The Russo Brothers - 1, Martin Scorsese - 1, Billy Wilder - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1 Franchise Count Before Trilogy - 1, Cameron - 1, Die Hard - 1, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 1, Pixar - 2, Predator - 1, Scorsese -1, Spider-Man - 1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1, Terminator - 1, Toy Story - 1 Decade Count 1950s - 1, 1960s - 1, 1970s - 1, 1980s - 5, 1990s - 1, 2000s - 4, 2010s - 9
  29. 14 points
    "What befalls others today, may be your own fate tomorrow." Historical Setting: Tokugawa Shogunate, Japan Source from the Period “For generation after generation, men have taken their livelihood from tilling the soil, or devised and manufactured tools, or produced profit from mutual trade, so that peoples’ needs were satisfied. Thus the occupations of farmer, artisan, and merchant necessarily grew up as complementary to one another. But the samurai eats food without growing it, uses utensils without manufacturing them, and profits without buying or selling. What is the justification for this? When I reflect today on my pursuit in life, [I realize that] I was born into a family whose ancestors for generations have been warriors and whose pursuit is service at court. The samurai is one who does not cultivate, does not manufacture, and does not engage in trade, but it cannot be that he has no function at all as a samurai. He who satisfies his needs without performing any function at all would more properly be called an idler. Therefore one must devote all one’s mind to the detailed examination of one’s calling. The business of the samurai is to reflect on his own station in life, to give loyal service to his master if he has one, to strengthen his fidelity in associations with friends, and, with due consideration of his own position, to devote himself to duty above all. However, in his own life, he will unavoidably become involved in obligations between father and child, older and younger brother, and husband and wife. Although these are also the fundamental moral obligations of everyone in the land, the farmers, artisans, and merchants have no leisure from their occupations, and so they cannot constantly act in accordance with them and fully exemplify the Way. Because the samurai has dispensed with the business of the farmer, artisan, and merchant and confined himself to practicing this Way, if there is someone in the three classes of the common people who violates these moral principles, the samurai should punish him summarily and thus uphold the proper moral principles in the land. It would not do for the samurai to know martial and civil virtues without manifesting them. Since this is the case, outwardly he stands in physical readiness for any call to service, and inwardly he strives to fulfill the Way of the lord and subject, friend and friend, parent and child, older and younger brother, and husband and wife. Within his heart he keeps to the ways of peace, but without, he keeps his weapons ready for use. The three classes of the common people make him their teacher and respect him. By following his teachings, they are able to understand what is fundamental and what is secondary." - The Way of the Samurai, Yamaga Soko Historical Context "The Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 established the power of the Tokugawa Shogunate over Japan and brought to an end the period of almost continuous warfare that preceded it. Tokugawa Ieyasu set up his power base in Edo (present-day Tokyo), which during the period was to become the largest city in the world. The Tokugawa clan directly controlled the most strategic areas of the country including the cities of Edo, Kyoto, Osaka and Nagasaki, while those daimyo who were on the losing side at Sekigahara (tozama 外様 or "outside lords") were relegated to the more remote areas of Japan, such as the Mori clan who were forced out of their lands in Hiroshima and moved to the remote town of Hagi on the Japan Sea coast. The fudai lords (譜代大名) were the trusted hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa and provided the shogunate with its officials and administrators. Feudal lords or daimyo were forced to spend alternate years in Edo under a system known as sankin kotai (参勤交代), set up in 1635 to allow the authorities to keep a close watch for any sign of dissent. Rebuilding or extensions to existing castles were also tightly controlled and needed permission from the shogun. The Tokugawa government vastly improved the Gokaido (the five main roads leading to and from Edo (Tokyo) - the Tokaido, Nakasendo, Nikko Kaido, Oshu Kaido and Koshu Kaido). This network of highways allowed their power to spread to the furthest parts of Japan and were the routes taken by the daimyo and their retinues to and from Edo to perform sankin kotai." - Japan Visitor Historical Accuracy (Not about the film specifically but about a famous incident of Seppuku in 1877 that's very interesting and provides some context for the film) "The story of Saigõ s seppuku is often juxtaposed with fantastic legends of his death. Ivan Morris, for example, in his influential Nobility of Failure, wrote that Saigõ "bowed in the direction of the Imperial Palace and cut open his stomach." This heroic death helped inspire amazing stories of Saigõ s valor, including "the fantastic legend according to which Saigõ would reappear in 1891 on a Russian warship in order to rescue his country from foreign danger" (Morris 1975, 267, 273). In their study of early Japanese newspapers, The Birth of the News (Nyüsu no tanjo), Kinoshita Naoyuki and Yoshimi Shun'ya contrasted the associ- ation of Saigõ and Mars with the seemingly objective details of his death: "rumors of the appearance of a 'Saigõ star* had already become a topic of popular conver- sation before Saigõ stabbed himself to death (jijin) on September 24th" (1999, 229). These juxtapositions are misleading. Saigõ s seppuku is merely another Saigõ legend, not an empirically grounded account of his death. Saigõ did not "cut open his stomach" or "stab himself to death." These tales of suicide, like stories of Saigõs ascent to Mars, were attempts to represent the enormous implications of Saigõs death. If, for example, Saigõ was the last true samurai, then he needed a spectacular and iconic death. What is fascinating about Saigõs seppuku is how it has morphed into something else: a standard account of Saigõ s demise, reproduced in reference works and textbooks. How and why did this happen? The transformation of Saigõ s seppuku from fantasy to history coincided with the rise of bushidõ as a national ideology. Con- necting Saigõ to bushidõ allowed ideologues both inside and outside the Meiji state to embed him in a longer narrative of Japanese martial heroes. A glorious death by seppuku also meant that critics could both venerate Saigõ and criticize his insurrection: a proper suicide ensured that Saigõ was dead, but honorably dead. This was a fitting end for a man who was both a leader of the Restoration and a major threat to the Meiji state. The legend of Saigõ s seppuku was thus most amenable to late Meiji nationalism and its emphasis on bushidõ. Seppuku turned Saigõ into a forerunner of Japanese militarism, rather than a dangerous challenger to the state." - The Apocryphal Suicide of Saigō Takamori: Samurai, "Seppuku", and the Politics of Legend, Mark J. Ravina The Film Itself Storyline "Peace in 17th-century Japan causes the Shogunate's breakup of warrior clans, throwing thousands of samurai out of work and into poverty. An honorable end to such fate under the samurai code is ritual suicide, or hara-kiri (self-inflicted disembowelment). An elder warrior, Hanshiro Tsugumo (Tatsuya Nakadai) seeks admittance to the house of a feudal lord to commit the act. There, he learns of the fate of his son-in-law, a young samurai who sought work at the house but was instead barbarically forced to commit traditional hara-kiri in an excruciating manner with a dull bamboo blade. In flashbacks the samurai tells the tragic story of his son-in-law, and how he was forced to sell his real sword to support his sick wife and child. Tsugumo thus sets in motion a tense showdown of revenge against the house." Critic Opinion "Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi came of age in the postwar moment, a time when filmmakers were at the vanguard of dissident expression in that country. Drawing upon a rich history of protest in Japanese cinema, which had fallen dormant during the war and occupation years, filmmakers seized the opportunity to challenge those institutions that remained wedded to the nation’s feudal past. Of this generation of directors, none was as passionate as Kobayashi. Every one of his films, from The Thick-Walled Room (1953) to the feature-length documentary Tokyo Trial (1983) to The Empty Table (1985), is marked by a defiance of tradition and authority, whether feudal or contemporary. Kobayashi found the present to be no more immune to the violation of personal freedoms than the pre-Meiji past, under official feudalism, had been. “In any era, I am critical of authoritarian power,” the filmmaker told me when I interviewed him in Tokyo, during the summer of 1972. “In The Human Condition [1959–61], it took the form of militaristic power; in Harakiri, it was feudalism. They pose the same moral conflict in terms of the struggle of the individual against society.” Like other directors of this period—notably Akira Kurosawa—Kobayashi often expressed his political dissidence via the jidai-geki, or period film, in which the historical past becomes a surrogate for modern Japan. In Kobayashi’s hands, the jidai-geki exposed the historical roots of contemporary injustice. (Japanese audiences were well schooled in history and could be counted on to connect the critique of the past with abuses in the present.) Harakiri, made in 1962, was, in Kobayashi’s career, the apex of this practice. In the film’s condemnation of the Iyi clan, Kobayashi rejects the notion of individual submission to the group. He condemns, simultaneously, the hierarchical structures that pervaded Japanese political and social life in the 1950s and 1960s, especially the zaibatsus, the giant corporations that recapitulated feudalism." - Joan Mellon, Criterion Collection BOT User Opinion "One of those films that feels like it should be much more widely known and accepted as a classic than it is. Both fully accessible and absolutely masterful on basically every level. " - @Jake Gittes Factoids Harakiri was directed by Masaki Kobayashi and received 33 Points and 4 Votes Countries Represented: England (1), Japan (1), Spain (1), United States (2) Time Periods Represented: Middle Ages (1), 17th Century (1), 19th Century (1), World War 2/1940s (2) Cross Section of Times and Countries: 19th Century - United States (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - United States (1) Directors Represented: Anthoney Harvey (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Penny Marshall (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1) Decades Represented: 60s (2), 90s (1), 00s (1), 10s (1)
  30. 13 points
    Can Sorkin win here? Oh wait. BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott, and Spike DA 5 BLOODS Pete Docter, Mike Jones, and Kemp Powers SOUL Emerald Fennell PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN Eliza Hittman NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS Darius Marder and Abraham Marder SOUND OF METAL Andy Siara and Max Barbakow PALM SPRINGS And the BOFFY goes to...
  31. 13 points
    Finally I can say it: 800 is one of the best war pic I've ever seen. Definitely the best choice to save cinemas at this point. Ready for it to smash!
  32. 13 points
    Some more just misses "A world in disarray can only be brought back into a unified stability through an open and honest dialogue between people. We make so many assumptions, take in so many inferences, draw too many conclusions, but we don't sit down and honestly try to talk and understand each other. Arrival is a somber film that leaves you with a sense of hope, but more importantly it tries to guide you to a truth. Arrival is a mirror to a fundamental flaw in human society, a flaw that has led humanity to so much violence. Language and how we talk to one another is how our differences are formed, and the only way to settle them. Humans have tried to settle this lack of understanding, and the fear it causes, with violence, with panic, with rushed conclusions. We'd take every option, and take so much for granted, that we skip over the talking part (or spending time to see if the two people having a conversation are even using the same road map, the same framework). Arrival was sci-fi, exactly how sci-fi is meant to be. It critiques humanity, and offers hope." - @The Panda "This is fucking great. Talk about a debut for Jordan Peele. The old lady next to me kept falling asleep though so that was annoying." - @aabattery "My favorite movie of all time. Factually one of the greatest movies of all time, period. Some of the best performances in the careers of the star studded cast (especially in Spacey's case). Masterful dialogue and world building. Grizzly, unafraid to shock - but its shock aren't unearned or done for the hell of it; they have a place within the narrative and within the movie's whole purpose: to put the viewer to think about the world that surrounds him. Is it one of the most cynical films ever created? Absolutely. But cutting to the chase here, as far as filmmaking is concerned, this is a masterpiece. Fincher's masterpiece, more precisely. And I love most of his work - Fight Club, Zodiac, Social Network, Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl... all incredible. Se7en puts them all to shame, and that's saying something." - @MCKillswitch123 "All About Eve is a film which makes you happy to be a movie lover. It boasts one of the best scripts ever written and has a cast that matches that script word for word. Davis gives one of the best female performances I've ever seen and should have won the Oscar for it. It's easy to see why it is so highly lauded. Direction is flawless." - @acsc1312 "A beautiful film, good acting (at least the main characters) and nice costumes. Most interior scenes are lit far too bright. Takes some liberties with history and biography but that makes fur a fun Mozart." - @IndustriousAngel
  33. 13 points
    99th: Infernal Affairs - Hong Kong (2002) 0 top 10 votes 78 pts (more votes tiebreak) Assumed Plot: A pre-telling of the Leonardo DiCaprio film that instead moves the action to the seedy underbelly of gangland Hong Kong. Possibly directed by John Woo, this is a glorious festival of guns and doves that has Oscar Bait written all over it. Technically this film only got 1 vote and the rest voted for a Richard Gere Legal Thriller. And wow, even the films that I thought I had some passing knowledge of, I actually know nothing about,.. What I got from that trailer is that the will be a lot of people looking up from whatever they were previously doing. On a serious note, I really expected this to place higher as I just kind of assumed it would be fighting to be among the top finishing Hong Kong/ Taiwan/Chinese films on the list. Whereas in reality it crept into the top 100 off the back of the 5th lowest placed film on the final list I tallied. This is the first (of likely many) films on this list that Hollywood has had a crack at remaking in its own image and is arguably among their best tries at doing such a thing. I wonder what the highest placed film with a Western remake will be? From Amazon user, Otterpawps: I actually watched the Departed [countless times] not even knowing it was based off this masterpiece. When I found out I immediately got it and I am upset at myself for having not seen it sooner! The inspiration taken from this movie by Scorsese is quite obvious, but it was nice to see I wasn't simply watching The Departed all over again. It shows the skills of both directors and writers that they have similar story-lines, but very apparent differences that make each film their own. The movie doesn't slow down and keeps the viewer hooked, especially if you're a The Departed fan.Which do I like better? Hard to say. I will say that Infernal Affairs sits with me a lot longer than The Departed. The Departed I can talk about for a long time, but right after watching it I can move onto the next thing. Everytime I watch IA I sort of just sit around and think about everything in the film. Films by Nation 1 - France 1 - Hong Kong
  34. 13 points
    I'm presuming he's referring to the fact that so many states, especially in the south, felt the jump to total lockdowns in March was sudden and disproportionate to the spread of the virus (relative to the major outbreaks in NY and CA at the time). As a result, a lot of people in regions like where I live (TN) feel like it was pointless or over-reactionary... and now that they/we know what that was like, there's an even stronger resistance to doing it again regardless of the fact that the virus outbreak is spiking closer to home now. Also... hello, Tele and everyone.
  35. 13 points
    "By his own approximation, Bob assassinated Jesse James over 800 times. He suspected no one in history had ever so often or so publicly recapitulated an act of betrayal." Historical Setting: Late Reconstruction Era, The American West Source from the Period "Governor McClurg: DEAR SIR: I and my brother Frank are charged with the crime of killing the cashier and robbing the bank at Gallatin, Mo., Dec. 7th, 1869. I can prove, by some of the best men in Missouri, where I was the day of the robbery and the day previous to it, but I well know if I was to submit to an arrest, that I would be mobbed and hanged without a trial. The past is sufficient to show that bushwackers have been arrested in Missouri since the war, charged with bank robbery, and they most all have been mobbed without trials. I will cite you the case of Thomas Little, of Lafayette county, Mo. A few days after the bank was robbed at Richmond, in 1867, Mr. Little was charged with being one of the party who perpetrated the deed. He was sent from St. Louis to Warrensburg under a heavy guard. As soon as the parties arrived there, they found out that he (Mr. Little) could prove, by the citizens of Dover, that he was innocent of the charge -- as soon as these scoundrels found out that he was innocent -- a mob was raised, broke in the jail, took him out and hanged him. Governor, when I think I can get a fair trial, I will surrender myself to the civil authorities of Missouri. But I never will surrender to be mobbed by a set of bloodthirsty poltroons. It is true that during the war I was a Confederate soldier, and fought under the black flag, but since then I have lived a peaceable citizen, and obeyed the laws of the United States to the best of my knowledge. The authorities of Gallatin say the reason that led them to suspect me was that the mare left at Gallatin, by the robbers, was identified as belonging to me. That is false. I can prove that I sold the mare previous to the robbery. It is true that I fought Deputy Sheriff Thomason, of Clay county, but was not my brother with me when we had the fight. I do not think that I violated the law when I fought Thomason as his posse refused to tell me who they were. Three different statements have been published in reference to the fight that I had with Thomason, but they are all a pack of falsehoods. Deputy Sheriff Thomason has never yet given any report of the fight, that I have seen. I am personally acquainted with Oscar Thomason, the Deputy's son, but when the shooting began, his face was so muffled up with furs that I did not recognize him. But if I did violate the law when I fought Thomason I am perfectly willing to abide by it. But as to them mobbing me for a crime that I am innocent of, that is played out. As soon as I think I can get a just trial I will surrender myself to the civil authorities of Missouri, and prove to the world that I am innocent of the crime charged against me. Respectfully, Jesse W. James" - The Liberty Tribune, June 24, 1870 June, 1870 Historic Context "Well before he died, Jesse James was a legend. Some thought him a Robin Hood, who robbed banks and handed out cash to the poor. Others, including President Ulysses S. Grant, judged him a homicidal crook. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that he redistributed his ill-gotten gains. And as for his violent behavior, it appear to have been rooted in a very specific historical context. Born in 1847, he and his brother Frank came of age during the American Civil War. They enlisted with the Confederate Army as teenagers and although the war ended in 1865, for the James brothers, it was never really over. T. J. Stiles is the award-winning author of, "Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War." In an email interview, he laid out some of the conditions that led Jesse James toward a life of post-Civil War violent crime. The influences of Zerelda and Archie Clement combined with Jesse James' war experiences to foster James' career of politically-tinged violence. Stiles notes that the Confederate guerrilla group he joined at the age of 16, was, "essentially a death squad, going farm to farm in the county where he had grown up, murdering farmers in their fields or homes simply because of their loyalties." In other words, the war taught him he could commit acts of terrorism and get away with it. And post-Civil War politics had everything to do with his longevity as a criminal. "The reason Jesse James lasted free and alive as a fugitive for more than a decade — far longer than the typical outlaw," explains Stiles, "is that he was seen as a political hero to former Confederates, a role he cultivated." But the protection this status afforded him would not last forever. After a bank robbery in Minnesota went wrong, Jesse's gang barely escaped capture. They fled back to Missouri and while Frank James, his brother, seems to have settled down, Jesse went on another crime spree. The new governor of Missouri, Thomas Crittenden, convinced private corporations to offer a substantial reward for the capture and conviction of the James brothers. Then he arranged a secret meeting at a hotel after a ball in Kansas City with the last two remaining members of Jesse's gang, Charley and Robert Ford. By this time, Jesse had grown paranoid and the Ford brothers were the only people he still trusted. His trust was poorly placed. On the morning of April 3, 1882, Jesse and the Ford brothers breakfasted together before retiring to the living room to discuss their plans for an upcoming robbery. Jesse noticed a dusty picture on the wall and decided now was the time to clean it. He climbed onto a chair to reach it. Robert Ford took a deep breath and drew his gun. Jesse was a man Ford had long admired. A man he'd emulated. Yet Ford aimed his gun at the back of Jesse's head and fired. After the Ford brothers notified the authorities, they were arrested and thrown in prison for murder. They confessed and were sentenced to death. But this seems to have been part of the governor's plan. T. J. Stiles states that, given the circumstances, it seems almost certain that when Governor Crittenden met with the Ford brothers before the shooting, he promised to let them off the hook when the time came if they were up for some extrajudicial killing. "By the time Jesse James was marked for death," says Stiles, "his cause had run its course. Reconstruction was reversed nationwide and within Missouri, where former Confederates dominated the ruling Democratic Party. The outlaw had no more political support; he was simply a criminal. Crittenden had a free hand, so to speak. Two things suggest that Crittenden explicitly authorized the Ford brothers to kill Jesse James at their secret meeting after the ball in Kansas City: First, the brothers immediately surrendered to authorities after the murder and pleaded guilty. (A pardon could only be issued after a conviction.) They would hardly have done so if they were not certain of a pardon. Second, they were actually pardoned. I find it impossible to conclude that there was not an explicit understanding." Out of prison, the Ford brothers leveraged their notoriety into a travelling show in which they reenacted the killing of Jesse James. But over time, public opinion turned against them. They folded the show and went their separate ways. Frank James surrendered to the authorities after his brother's death. He spent a year and three weeks in jail but was never convicted for his many crimes. He married, had children and eventually returned to his mother's farm, where, after a long and mostly uneventful life, he died at the age of 74. Some people do not believe that Jesse James was killed on April 3, 1882; these people claim his death was faked and that he actually died of old age many years later. There is also a bit of controversy about whether he was actually standing on a chair or had just turned his back on Robert Ford, though most historians do ascribe to the theory that James had stepped up on a chair to do a bit of housekeeping." - The Cold-blooded Assassination of Outlaw Jesse James Oisin Curran Historical Accuracy "The James-Younger gang is in Blue Cut, Missouri, to rob a train. James himself is shown to be a greedy thug with a penchant for smashing people's faces in. It's true about the face-smashing but, other than that, reports of the Blue Cut robbery suggest the real James was in relatively good humour. He delivered a long rant against the railroad corporations, bragged about himself, and allegedly fetched a wet handkerchief to revive a woman who fainted, before giving her back the dollar he had stolen from her. Following this brief flurry of excitement, the film settles into a ponderous rota of lingering landscape shots and the occasional explosion of rough banter between incomprehensibly-accented bandits. Brad Pitt plays James as Hamlet: he wears big coats made of wolfskins, wanders gloomily on to frozen ponds to contemplate existential questions, and alternates moments of tenderness with raging fury. It's a supportable biographical portrait. Frustratingly, though, director Andrew Dominik is bent on keeping the style as solemn and remote as possible, rendering Pitt's performance almost too historically accurate. It's correct to the letter of the available sources, but communicates little sense of James as a human being. Finally, Ford gets his moment. In a painstaking reconstruction of the real-life scene, James uncharacteristically lays down his gunbelt, turns his back on it, and walks to the other side of the room to dust a painting of a horse. Ford seizes a gun and shoots him in the back of the head. The film suggests an intriguing interpretation of James letting his guard down at this moment, an odd piece of behaviour that has always puzzled biographers. You'll have to see the movie to find out what. Ford is drowning his sorrows in a bar when who should turn up but Nick Cave (composer of the exquisite soundtrack), wearing a bowler hat and a handlebar moustache, and singing a jolly folk song about "that dirty little coward" Robert Ford. This cameo by a modern rock star delivers a massive jolt to the movie's hypnotic serenity, which isn't entirely a bad thing. Cave would have been less incongruous in the 1986 TV version of James's life, which featured an all-star country and western cast: Kris Kristofferson as Jesse, Johnny Cash as Frank, June Carter Cash as, er, their mother, and Willie Nelson as Confederate general Joseph O Shelby. It may not be as accurate as this one, but it sounds a damn sight livelier." - Alex von Tunzelmann The Film Itself The Story "Taking place in Missouri in the early 1880s, the film dramatizes the last seven months in the life of famed outlaw Jesse James, beginning with the Blue Cut train robbery of 1881 and culminating in his assassination at the hands of Robert Ford the following April. In the time between these two fateful events, the young and jealous Ford befriends the increasingly mistrustful outlaw, even as he plots his demise." Critic Opinion "It happened with regularity in the '70s, but every once in a while, a major studio accidentally produces a work of art like The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford—a dark, iconoclastic Western that lacks clear heroes and villains, tucks its only shoot 'em up sequence in the opening reel, and closes on a note of profound ambiguity and regret. In look and tone, it recalls moody revisionist Westerns like McCabe & Mrs. Miller and The Shooting, but with a special attentiveness to the natural world that's closer to Terrence Malick. But perhaps its closest antecedent is Walter Hill's underrated Wild Bill, another story of an outlaw who had the misfortune of being a legend before his death, thus inviting fame-seekers to strike him down. Both films derive a sick sort of tension from the inevitable, as their paranoid anti-heroes wait for an end that they seem to know is coming. Much like writer-director Andrew Dominik's fine debut feature Chopper, which filtered real events through the self-inflating memory of famed Australian sociopath Mark Read, The Assassination Of Jesse James both respects the James legend and brings it back down to earth. As it opens in September 1881, the diminished James gang, led by Brad Pitt's Jesse James and his older brother Frank (Sam Shepard), has been forced to trust some dubious characters in order to pull off what would be its last train robbery. Among them are the Ford brothers, Charley (Sam Rockwell) and Robert (Casey Affleck), the latter a quiet, shifty 19-year-old who bows to no one in his idolization of the notorious gunslinger. Though clearly uneasy with the kid's gnat-like presence—at one point, he asks, "Do you want to be like me, or do you want to be me?"—James keeps him around until the bitter end." - Scott Tobias, The AV Club BOT User Opinion "It may be a film about betrayal, but oh man, this is so much more than that. Beautifully shot, great score, and potentially one of the strongest displays of an acting ensemble I've ever seen. Pitt, Affleck, and Rockwell were magnificent. This is one of those films that really creeps up on you with its greatness. It's a slow-moving, intricate film that takes time to build up the characters and get you into the atmosphere of the film. I love how nothing in the film is simply black or white. Every character is multi-dimensional, and multi-layered. It's simply one of those films that you get so involved with, you forget you're watching a movie. The 10-minute epilogue at the end was also fantastic......ironic, heartbreaking, poignant, and somewhat devastating. Definitely in my top 50 all-time." - @mattmav45 Factoids The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was directed by Andrew Dominik. It received 47 points and 7 votes. Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (2), Belarus (1), England (1), France (1), Germany (2), Israel (2), Korea (1), Poland (1), Japan (3), Spain (1), United States (16), Vietnam (1) Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (2), 18th Century (2), 19th Century (4), 1920s (1), 1930s (3), 1950s (2), 1960s (5), 1990s (1), 21st Century (2), Classical Period (2), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (6) Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - Austria (1), 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - United States (4), 21st Century - United States (2), 1920s - United States (1), 1930s - Germany (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1930s - United States (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1950s - United States (1), 1960s - United States (4), 1960s - Vietnam (1), 1990s - United States (1), Classical Period - Israel (2), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (2), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Belarus (1), World War 2/1940s - Germany (1), World War 2/1940s - Poland (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1) Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), Francis Ford Coppola (1), Kevin Costner (1), Andrew Dominik (1), Stanley Donen (1), David Fincher (2), John Ford (1), Milos Forman (1), Bob Fosse (1), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Philip Kaufman (1), Gene Kelley (1), Elem Klimov (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Stanley Kramer (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Adam McKay (1), Steve McQueen (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Martin Scorsese (2), Steven Spielberg (2), Oliver Stone (1), John Sturges (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1), William Wyler (1) Decades Represented: 40s (1), 50s (2), 60s (6), 70s (3), 80s (5), 90s (3), 00s (4), 10s (9)
  36. 13 points
    @Cap prepare for more ground to be broke "It was in the silence that I heard Your voice." Historical Setting: Tokugawa Shogunate, Nagasaki, Japan Source from the Period "1. Japan is the country of gods, but has been receiving false teachings from Christian countries. This cannot be tolerated any further. 2. The [missionaries] approach people in provinces and districts to make them their followers, and let them destroy shrines and temples. This is an unheard of outrage. When a vassal receives a province, a district, a village, or another form of a fief, he must consider it as a property entrusted to him on a temporary basis. He must follow the laws of this country, and abide by their intent. However, some vassals illegally [commend part of their fiefs to the church]. This is a culpable offense. 3. The padres, by their special knowledge [in the sciences and medicine], feel that they can at will entice people to become their believers. In doing so they commit the illegal act of destroying the teachings of Buddha prevailing in Japan. These padres cannot be permitted to remain in Japan. They must prepare to leave the country within twenty days of the issuance of this notice. 4. The black [Portuguese and Spanish] ships come to Japan to engage in trade. Thus the matter is a separate one. They can continue to engage in trade." - The Edicts of Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Excerpts from Expulsion of Missionaries, 1587 Historical Context "Early bereft of their foreign clergy and deprived of all Christian books,3 including the Bible itself, the kakure kirishitan evolved ac- cording to their own indigenous systems. Originally this was probably tactical: Christianity was outlawed in 1614 and the rite of ebumi , (trampling on a Christian plaque) was introduced in 1629,4 leaving the faithful with only four choices: martyrdom, conversion to Buddhism, self-imposed exile, or going underground. Going underground requires a strategy and the kakure kirishitan, surround- ed by a dominant Buddhist culture, attempted to absorb, imitate, but redeploy its symbols. This was not only necessary to survive, but also an attempt to preserve their own religious identity by paradoxically imitating that of their adversary. Such a strategy is indeed risky because what begins as a superficial adoption sometimes proves overwhelming and ends up subverting the very values its adoption strove to protect. One may start out by trying to convert foreign symbols to one's own system, but end up instead being converted by them. In the early days of Christianity in Japan, Christian symbols had been immensely popular: elegant ladies wore hairpins with gold crosses painted on them, while warriors' helmets and stirrups were sometimes similarly decorated. But when anti-Christian persecution commenced, a new relation to these symbols emerged which could be called forced or artificial syncretism with the dominant element being Buddhist. Kakure kirishitan made use of Bud- dhist objects but added some Christian symbol to convert them, as it were, to their own beliefs. Particularly prevalent were the household altar statues of Kannon, who in some cases can be found wearing a nearly undetectable cross around her neck; in other instances she bears a cross on the back of her head. … Symbols are indeed powerful, as also are the social forces that kept the kakure kirishitan hiding for so long that concealment became an all-encom-passing end in itself. Some hope of change and adaptation had been raised, but the faithful could not recover what they had hidden only too well even from themselves. In the end petty and insignificant differences kept them divided and left them vulnerable. The kakure kirishitan initially began by hiding their religious faith out of necessity, but they become so accustomed to concealing both their faith and their shame that the two became enmeshed. To be a kakure kirishitan on Goto was also to be a hirakimon, an itsukimon, a poor and despised human being. But once they reached a semblance of economic equality with the jigemon, the kakure kirishitan would seem to have nothing left to hide. But hiding and concealment have always been the mainstay, the very core of their religious and social identity, and it is truly ironic that religious freedom and economic stability pose a threat to the continued existence of the kakure kirishitan." - Religion Concealed: The Kakure Kirishitan on Narushima Christal Whelan Historical Accuracy "The history of Christian missionaries—in Japan and elsewhere—is a complicated one. Remember that when speaking about “Christian missionaries” we are talking about a 2,000-year history that begins with St. Paul and took place in almost every country in the world. Add to that the variety of the originating countries of the missionaries, and you get an idea of the complexity of the history. Even if we consider simply the era in which the film is set, the 17th century, almost every European country, was sending Christian missionaries abroad. Also, we must take into account the wide variety of approaches among the many Catholic religious orders active in the missionary field: Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans and so on. In some instances, missionary priests, brothers and sisters traveled with representatives of the colonial powers and were seen, rightly or wrongly, as adjuncts of these political actors. But the missionaries came to these new lands to bring what they considered a gift of inestimable value to the people they would meet: the Good News of Jesus Christ. Let us look at the case of Fathers Rodrigues and Garupe. Both have come to Japan to spread the Gospel. (We can reasonably presume their being sent from Portugal not simply to find Father Ferreira but later to remain in Japan.) They are bringing what they consider to be the most precious thing that they know to a new people: Jesus. Is it arrogant to say that they are bringing a gift? Others may think so, but not to my mind. Think of it as a physician wanting to bring medicine to someone he or she knows is in need. And doing so at peril to his or her own life. In reality, Jesuit missionaries poured themselves out selflessly for the peoples among whom they ministered—enduring extraordinary physical hardships, mastering the local languages (even writing dictionaries for those languages, which are still in use), eating unfamiliar foods and working as hard as any of the people with whom they ministered. (Read the diaries of St. Jean de Brébeuf, one of the North American Martyrs, and his admonitions to his brother Jesuits that they needed to paddle their canoes as hard as the Hurons did, so as not to be seen as lazy.) This is called “inculturation,” a loving insertion of oneself into the local culture. Jesuits both fictional and real did this out of love. Out of love for God and love for the peoples with whom they were ministering. If you doubt their motivation I would ask this: Would you leave behind all that you knew—your country, your language, your family, your friends, your food, your culture, your traditions—to travel across the globe at immense risk, in order to give a gift to a group of people whom you’d never met, a group of people whom many in your home country think are unworthy of being given that gift—knowing that you might be tortured and killed? To me that is an immense act of love." - Fr. James Martin answers 5 common questions about 'Silence' The American Jesuit Review The Film Itself The Story "Intent on investigating the truth behind Father Cristovão Ferreira's abrupt end of correspondence, the devout Portuguese Catholic priests, Sebastião Rodrigues and Francisco Garupe, set off to Japan, in 1633. In great disbelief, as the rumours of Ferreira's apostasy still echo in their minds, the zealous Jesuit missionaries try to locate their mentor, amid the bloodshed of the violent anti-Christian purges. Under those circumstances, the two men and the Japanese guide, Kichijiro, arrive in Japan, only to witness firsthand the unbearable burden of those who have a different belief in a land founded on tradition. Now--as the powerful Grand Inquisitor, Inoue, performs hideous tortures on the brave Japanese Christians--Father Rodrigues will soon have to put his faith to the ultimate test: renounce it in exchange for the prisoners' lives. There, in the ends of the world, a subtle change has begun; however, why is God's silence so deafening?" Critic Opinion "This is a direct challenge to Rodrigues’s perception of what it means to minister and have faith, one forged in a European context. That the image of Christ calls him to drop his preconceptions rends his heart and challenges him. He must not just repudiate his religious beliefs externally, but also relinquish his own idea of how he’ll serve God, which in turn causes him to wonder whether he is fit to do so at all. The agony of Rodrigues’s choice to trample the fumie, then, is the agony of letting go of his self-image of faith for another one, an ignominious one in which he will always be the priest who apostatized, no longer the agent of grace and the sacraments to the Japanese. The movie (and the novel) flip to another point of view after Rodrigues’s apostatization, and now we can only see his actions from the outside, rather than experiencing them through the voiceover of his thoughts, agonies, and prayers that we heard before. Rodrigues’s faith, as it were, has become silent. His suffering for Christ isn’t physical, but spiritual: He is questioning whether his faith is faith at all, and whether God is with him even when he seems to be so far away. But the fumie is an image of the Christ he is meant to imitate, and it is covered in mud, stepped upon by feet, nothing compared to the glorious image he holds in his mind. It’s more in keeping with the Bible’s depiction of Christ (as lowly, crucified in the manner of a thief), but its very kindness in the face of his impending betrayal is enough to break Rodrigues’s heart. During the film’s telling, climactic moment — when Rodrigues finally tramples on the fumie — you can hear a rooster crow somewhere in the distance. That, of course, is the same thing that happened in the Gospels, when Peter denied Christ before the crucifixion. Since seeing Silence, I’ve been eager to know how others will react to the film. I am a Christian, and Endō’s Silence has been widely read and studied in my community for decades. Even though I’m familiar with the story, I found the film unsettling: The tendency for any religious person is to seek definitive answers for the greatest, most troubling existential questions, and I was confronted with the suffering that can happen on the path to faith, and the doubt that has to be part of that. But it’s been remarkable to discover that Silence is a challenging film for many critics and early viewers, including those who aren’t interested in religion at all, or who don’t identify with a particular faith. The genius of Endō’s story and Scorsese’s adaptation is that it won’t characterize anyone as a saint, nor will it either fully condone or reject the colonialist impulses, the religious oppression, the apostasy, or the faltering faith of its characters. There is space within the story for every broken attempt to fix the world. Endō’s answer still lies in Christ, but his perception of Christ is radically different from what most people are familiar with — and even those who don’t identify with Christianity will find the film unnerving and haunting. Silence is the kind of film that cuts at everyone’s self-perceptions, including my own. I haven’t been able to shake it, because I need to remember — now, frankly, more than ever — that I am not able nor responsible to save the world, let alone myself. How the world changes is a giant, cosmic mystery. To grow too far from that and become hardened in my own belief is a danger: I grow complacent and deaf, too willing to push others away. In Silence, nobody is Christ but Christ himself. Everyone else is a Peter or a Judas, a faltering rejecter, for whom there may be hope anyway. What Scorsese has accomplished in adapting Endō’s novel is a close reminder that the path to redemption lies through suffering, and that it may not be I who must save the world so much as I am the one who needs saving." - Alissa Wilkinson, Vox BOT User Opinion "Not only is Silence the best movie of the decade, and the most overlooked one (which is shocking given it's Scorsese's career long passion project), not only do I find it to be the best film of Scorsese's career, it has just about moved its way into one of my top 5 films of all time. One of the most powerful movies I have ever watched. Silence is certainly not an easy watch, and one that you'll certainly leave gaps of time before you come back and re-watch it, but that does not diminish the immense power of the movie. It is not an easy, glowing endorsement of the faithful, nor is it a glorification of martyrdom, and it's also not a skeptical critique on religion. Silence is a layered and nuanced look at faith, to what extent a person will go to hold onto it (to what extent the faithful should hold onto it), a question about suffering and how it can be allowed, and ultimately a work that is affirming to the spirit and rewarding to the faithful. There's movies you never forget, there's movies that stick with you, there's movies that challenge you, but Silence is one of the few that goes beyond all of that. If you're willing and of the right state of mind, it just might etch its way in your soul. It's a movie with ideas and imagery that I'm still meditating over three years later, but ideas and imagery that were always there within my personal spiritual theology, it just provided the clarity to allow me to look and see them." - @The Panda Factoids Silence was directed by Martin Scorsese. It received 38 points, 6 votes and won over Apocalypse Now by having 2 Top 3 Placements to Apocalypse Now's 1 Top 3 Placement. Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (1), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Korea (1), Japan (3), Spain (1), United States (9), Vietnam (1) Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (2), 18th Century (1), 19th Century (2), 1930s (1), 1950s (1), 1960s (4), 21st Century (2), Classical Period (1), Middle Ages (1), World War 1/1910s (1), World War 2/1940s (3) Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - United States (2), 21st Century - United States (2), 1930s - Korea (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1960s - United States (3), 1960s - Vietnam (1), Classical Period - Israel (1), Middle Ages - England (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (2), World War 1 - France (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1) Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), Francis Ford Coppola (1), David Fincher (2), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Adam McKay (1), Steve McQueen (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Martin Scorsese (1), Steven Spielberg (1), Oliver Stone (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Robert Wise (1) Decades Represented: 60s (4), 70s (2), 80s (2), 90s (2), 00s (2), 10s (8)
  37. 13 points
    Personalizing a health plan based on an individual’s needs is smart and entirely appropriate — and IMO very different from the “vaccines will poison your child and cause autism because Big Pharma wants the money” commentary from the anti-vaxxer crowd.
  38. 13 points
    You know they said these lockdowns will produce a lot of divorces and a lot of babies......😂 I'm going to be a grandad.
  39. 12 points
  40. 12 points
    98th: Nights of Cabiria - Italy (1957) 1 top 5 votes 80 pts Assumed Plot: Cabiria is a quiet town in 17th century Italy. However when the sun goes down and the festivites begin, it is a hotbed of devilry, drama and debauchery. During this time, a young miller's daughter loses herself to the Renaissance underworld, and must find herself once more before it is too late. I mean I was about 400 years out with my setting, but that was the best guess so far. Nights of Cabiria is our first Oscar winner on this list as well as Italy's first foray into the top 100. It is also the first black and white film thus completing a trifecta of firsts that almost certainly will not also be lasts. This is another film to inspire Western interpretations as it later was retold on Broadway as Sweet Charity. Unsurprisingly Italian cinema has a lot of representation on the full master list and so it is little surprise to see a film representing it pop up so soon. From Amazon user, G. Fazio Perhaps the least "Fellini-esque" of Fellini's films but also one of his best. It starts off kind of like a hokey old film about a plucky young prostitute trying to get by in postwar Italy, but it's tightly scripted, and slowly evolves into something with far deeper residence about karma, grace, and perseverance. The lead actress is simply amazing, with a face so expressive, you could probably turn off the sound and subtitles and still follow the film This features one of the most time-stopping final shots in all of cinema, comparable only with something like Truffaut's "The 400 Blows". After the credits finish, you will be sitting there for a while wondering what just hit you. Films by Nation 1 - France 1 - Hong Kong 1 - Italy
  41. 12 points
    I don't post much here but I hope everyone in this forum is safe and doing fine. I really miss tracking the BO and going to the cinema. Last movie I watched before lockdown in cinemas was 'Little Women' but during quarantine I had time to catch up with movies like 'Sonic', 'Onward', 'Birds of Prey' or 'The Invisible Man' and I quite liked all of them. I live in The Netherlands and cinemas here are re-opening on the 1st of June with limited capacity and they are playing a mix of new movies (Onward, The Invisible Man) and "old" movies (Harry Potter, Interstellar) so I might go if cases here continue to decline and if I feel safe going. Also finally could book a plane ticket to go back home (Spain) for early July, I am a student living abroad so because of this situation I couldn't go back home until things cleared out a bit.
  42. 12 points
    ""Treason doth never prosper," wrote an English poet, "What's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason."" Historical Setting: 1960s, The Aftermath of the JFK Assassination Source from the Period "In a solemn and sorrowful hour, with a nation mourning its dead President, Lyndon B. Johnson Friday took the oath of office as the 36th chief executive of the United States. Following custom, the oath-taking took place quickly -- only an hour and a half after the assassination of President Kennedy. Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes of Dallas administrated the oath in a hurriedly arranged ceremony at 2:39 p.m. aboard Air Force 1, the presidential plane that brought Kennedy on his ill-fated Texas trip and on which his body was taken back to Washington. Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Kennedy, her stocking still flecked with blood from the assassination, flanked the vice-president as he raised his right hand in the forward compartment of the presidential jetliner at Love Field. About 23 White House staff members and friends were present as Johnson intoned the familiar oath: "I do solemnly swear that I will perform the duties of President of the United States to the best of my ability, and defend, protect and preserve the Constitution of the United States." The 55-year-old Johnson, the first Texan ever to become President, turned and kissed his wife on the cheek, giving her shoulders a squeeze. Then he put his arm around Mrs. Kennedy, kissing her gently on her right cheek. Mrs. Kennedy, in tears, was wearing the same bright pink suit she wore on the fatal ride, a ride in which she has been wildly acclaimed by friendly, cheering crowds in Dallas before rifle shots rang out and the President collapsed in the seat of the car beside her. Johnson had deliberately delayed the ceremony to give Kennedy's widow time to compose herself for one of the gruelling aspects of her husband's assassination. Connally spent four hours on an operating table, but his condition was reported as "quite satisfactory" at midnight. The assassin, firing from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building near the Triple Underpass sent a Mauser 6.5 rifle bullet smashing into the President's head. An hour after the President died, police hauled the 24-year-old suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, out of an Oak Cliff movie house. He had worked for a short time at the depository, and police had encountered him while searching the building shortly after the assassination. They turned him loose when he was identified as an employe [sic] but put out a pickup order on him when he failed to report for a work roll call. He also was accused of killing a Dallas policeman, J. D. Tippit, whose body was found during the vast manhunt for the President's assassin. Oswald, who has an extensive pro-Communist background, four years ago renounced his American citizenship in Russia and tried to become a Russian citizen. Later, he returned to this country. Shockingly, the President was shot after driving the length of Main Street, through a crowd termed the largest and friendliest of his 2-day Texas visit. It was a good-natured crowd that surged out from the curbs almost against the swiftly moving presidential car. The protective bubble had been removed from the official convertible. Mrs. Connally, who occupied one of the two jump seats in the car, turned to the President a few moments before and remarked, "You can't say Dallas wasn't friendly to you."" - KENNEDY SLAIN ON DALLAS STREET By ROBERT E. BASKIN Washington Bureau of The News Dallas Morning News Historical Context "On March 1, 1967, New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw was arrested at his home on 1313 Dauphine Street on charges that he conspired to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison believed that Shaw had conspired with Lee Harvey Oswald and David Ferrie, an affiliate of New Orleans private investigator Guy Banister, in the assassination of the president. On November 23, 1963, the day after the assassination, Oswald had been formally accused of assassinating Kennedy. Garrison, along with many Americans, found it hard to believe that Oswald acted alone. In 1966, Garrison began an investigation linking Oswald to two New Orleanians, David Ferrie and Clay Shaw. Ferrie was linked to Oswald through a 1955 photo that showed Ferrie and Oswald at a social event as members of the Civil Air Patrol. A dubious eyewitness, under Garrison’s interrogation, recalled that he had heard Ferrie, Oswald, and Shaw discussing an assassination plot at a party hosted in Ferrie’s home. Additionally, Garrison believed Shaw to be the unidentified “Clay Bertrand” who, the day after the assassination, had phoned a New Orleans attorney requesting that the attorney represent Oswald. According to Garrison, Bertrand was Shaw’s alias in the New Orleans gay society. (In his investigation Garrison often exploited Shaw’s purported sexual preferences and his private life.) On March 2, 1967, the day after his arrest, Shaw was released on a $10,000 bond. In the following two years, Shaw and Garrison dominated the headlines of New Orleans newspapers, leading to national coverage of the trial of Clay Shaw." - The Arrest of Clay Shaw Rebecca Poole and Connie Gentry Historical Accuracy "Stone's crucial question remains: Why was Kennedy assassinated? He privately acknowledges not knowing, but he presents a strong feeling in JFK that can easily be accepted as fact. The implication is that Kennedy's death came as a result of a supposed 1963 decision to end the war in Vietnam by first withdrawing 1,000 troops. This might be coupled with Kennedy's conciliatory American University speech and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, both in 1963. Hence, Kennedy's cold war "betrayal" became the supposed motive of the Establishment. Yet the record is much less clear than presented in JFK. The 1,000-force cutback slated for the end of 1963 mostly involved a construction battalion that had completed its work; it was understood that it would be replaced by other troops. Moreover, the testimony of several contemporaries and Kennedy's own statements suggest that he intended no pullout after the 1964 election. In a 1964 oral history interview, Robert Kennedy, who knew his brother best, confirmed that the administration had not considered a withdrawal. When asked what the president would have done if the South Vietnamese appeared doomed, Robert answered in a way that truthfully expressed the ad hoc nature of the Kennedy presidency: "We'd face that when we came to it." The recently published Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume 4, Vietnam, August-December 1963, further affirms the no-pullout conclusion. Regardless of his admiration for Kennedy, Stone's primary purpose is not to elevate JFK's reputation. Exposing the Establishment for betraying the people's trust most drives Stone. His targets are the Warren Commission, the intelligence agencies, the military, the media, and the other hypocritical myth perpetrators of the cold war era. He responds with a countermyth so colossal and compelling that it commands our attention. But only the knowledgeable viewer can discern Stone's qualifiers and subtleties. In the film's final message, Stone leaves the resolution of the assassination to the "young, in whose spirit the search for truth marches on." Of course, JFK distorts history; of course, it is potentially dangerous to an alienated and uneducated public; and, of course, Stone and Warner Brothers stand to make millions from it. This aside, Stone's riveting drama has contributed to an unprecedented interest in the Kennedy assassination. Teachers can use the film as a teaching tool in conjunction with the innumerable scholarly works on the assassination—many of them recently heading the best-seller lists. Moreover, this frenzied publicity may also cause the government to open all of the restricted material on the assassination—the files of the CIA and the FBI, the House investigation, the Church Committee investigation on intelligence in 1975, and the Warren Commission. Senator Edward Kennedy has indicated that the Kennedy family has no objections to such a release. On ABC's Nightline, in January, Congressman Louis Stokes, chair of the 1978 House Committee investigation, and David Belin, Warren Commission counsel, both indicated that they favored opening all of the material. Perhaps as a result of such a full disclosure, we might know much more about Kennedy's assassination and the investigations themselves despite the deaths of witnesses and the destruction of evidence. Only then might this matter be put to rest." - James N. Giglio, Professor of History at Southwest Missouri State University The Film Itself The Story "On November 22, 1963, president John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested for the crime and subsequently shot by Jack Ruby, supposedly avenging the president's death. An investigation concludes that Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby acted alone in their respective crimes, but Louisiana district attorney Jim Garrison is skeptical. Assembling a trusted group of people, Garrison conducts his own investigation, bringing about backlash from powerful government and political figures." Critic Review "The subterfuge and corruption of JFK takes place, not in a seedy noirish milieu, but in a world so bleached out that its brightness hurts the eyes. Stone knits together the searing imagery with rapid-fire editing that simultaneously scrambles then invigorates the brain (for all its visual pyrotechnics, the director plays out his most important points — Sutherland's informant X spilling the beans to Garrison—with just two men talking on a park bench). Much of Stone's visual and aural fireworks were laid out in his screenplay. Naturally, faced with a 158-page document filled to the brim with flashbacks, execs at Warner Brothers were confused, so Stone presented them with a simpler blueprint for the film and then rebuilt the current prismatic structure in the edit suite. "I wanted to do the film on two or three levels," ran Stone's erudite and convincing argument. "Sound and picture would take us back, and we'd go from one flashback to another, and then that flashback would go inside another flashback. I wanted multiple layers because reading the Warren Commission report is like drowning." JFK — which was awarded Empire's Movie Masterpiece in 2000 — makes a mockery of the idea that courtroom dramas have to be stagey affairs. Throughout the film, different formats and film stocks offer competing versions of truths; real and recreated news footage, 8mm home movies, still photographs, diagrams, black and white drama and colour all add to the fractured nature of the storytelling. Occasionally, it looks like a pattern is emerging from the intensity — monochrome seems to be the idiom for "speculation" — but there never is a formula. The razzle-dazzle editing is meant to enliven dry testimony, but it also sits at the core of JFK's theme: what we held true about the pastwill always be just a collage of conflicting histories." - Empire BOT User Review "I was taken to see this film by my Honors History teacher at the time. She took the history club, which I wasn't a part of, but since I was the only student in her class not part of the club, she let me tag along anyway. I do enjoy the film. It is well made and acted. I am not going to get into the inaccuracies or anything as they are well documented, but that doesn't change how good the film really is. It didn't affect me as much as some as my dad was heavy into the whole thing so I had books and such all around when I was a kid. So I read up a lot before the movie was even being done. But I can definitely see how this movie could influence people. Overall, if people were influenced in the right way, then that is a testament to the movie." - @75Live Factoids JFK is the first conspiracy fiction movie to somehow make the historical fiction list, it was directed by Oliver Stone. JFK received 54 points and 9 votes. Countries Represented: Algeria (1), Austria (2), Belarus (1), Brazil (1), England (1), France (2), Germany (2), Israel (2), Korea (1), The Ocean (2), Poland (1), Japan (3), Russia (1), Scotland (1), Spain (1), United States (17), Vietnam (1) Time Periods Represented: 16th Century (1), 17th Century (2), 18th Century (2), 19th Century (5), 1920s (2), 1930s (3), 1950s (2), 1960s (7), 1990s (1), 21st Century (2), Classical Period (2), Middle Ages (2), World War 1/1910s (2), World War 2/1940s (7) Cross Section of Times and Countries: 18th Century - Austria (1), 18th Century - United States (1), 19th Century - The Ocean (1), 19th Century - United States (4), 21st Century - United States (2), 1910s-1920s - Russia (1), 1920s - United States (1), 1930s - Germany (1), 1930s - Korea (1), 1930s - United States (1), 1950s - Algeria (1), 1950s - United States (1), 1960s - Brazil (1), 1960s - United States (5), 1960s - Vietnam (1), 1990s - United States (1), Classical Period - Israel (2), Middle Ages - England (1), Middle Ages - Scotland (1), Sengoku Period - Japan (1), Tokugawa Shogunate - Japan (2), World War 1 - France (2), World War 2/1940s - Belarus (1), World War 2/1940s - Germany (1), World War 2 - The Ocean (1), World War 2/1940s - Poland (1), World War 2/1940s - Spain (1), World War 2 - Austria (1), World War 2 - United States (1) Directors Represented: Park Chan-Wook (1), Francis Ford Coppola (1), Kevin Costner (1), Andrew Dominik (1), Stanley Donen (1), David Fincher (2), John Ford (1), Milos Forman (1), Bob Fosse (1), Mel Gibson (1), Anthoney Harvey (1), Terry Jones (1), Philip Kaufman (1), Gene Kelley (1), Elem Klimov (1), Masaki Kobayashi (1), Stanley Kramer (1), Akira Kurosawa (1), David Lean (1), Michael Mann (1), Penny Marshall (1), Fernando Meirelles (1), Adam McKay (1), Steve McQueen (1), Theodore Melfi (1), Sam Mendes (1), Lewis Milestone (1), Wolfgang Peterson (1), Gillo Pontecorvo (1), Martin Scorsese (2), Steven Spielberg (2), Oliver Stone (2), John Sturges (1), Guillermo Del Torro (1), Peter Weir (1), Robert Wise (1), William Wyler (1) Decades Represented: 30s (1), 40s (1), 50s (2), 60s (7), 70s (3), 80s (6), 90s (5), 00s (6), 10s (9)
  43. 12 points
    Here is the next batch of honorable mentions before I do a some more full writes ups for the top 50 in an hour or so. 91. The Godfather Part II 92. Persepolis 93. A Man for All Seasons 94. Blood Diamond 95. Becket 96. Barry Lyndon 97. First Man 98. Ugetsu 99. The Searchers 100. Cinema Paradiso
  44. 12 points
  45. 12 points
    So work caught up with me in a big way today and I may not have the time, and/or the energy, to post 10 entries as usual. If this happens and you don't see any updates in the next couple hours, rest assured that I'll do 15 on Saturday and 15 on Sunday. Sorry for the hiccup and thanks for your patience.
  46. 12 points
  47. 12 points
    I don’t care how corrupt they are at the moment, suspending support in the middle of a worldwide pandemic is beyond the pale — to say nothing of the other work they’re doing with non-COVID stuff at the moment. Not to mention Trump’s actions have nothing to do with their issues (legitimate or otherwise) and everything to do with finding a convenient scapegoat who isn’t him.
  48. 12 points
    May be premature in this case (and I hope it is) but God how I wish studios and filmmakers would get rid of the notion that "serious"/updated handling of genre material requires making it look as grey as possible.
  49. 11 points
    Some more of the outsiders "it's quite fantastic. great atmosphere and photography." - @luna "I remember loving this movie. Such a great movie with fantastic character and great emotional depth." - @Kvikk Lunsj "I saw it last Friday and I love it. It is the most enjoyable SH movie I have seen. For me, it is the best of MCU." - @peludo "After all, Carpenter followed in Hitchcock's steps, maybe director's should follow in his.Halloween personifies everything that scares us. If you are tired of all the mindless horror films that don't know the difference between evil and cuteness, then Halloween is a film that should be seen. It won't let you down. I enjoy being scared, I don't know why, but I do. But nothing has scared me in the 90's, except maybe one film ( Wes Craven's final Nightmare ). If you enjoy beings scared, then Halloween is one that you should see. And if you have already seen it a hundred times, go and watch it again, back to back with a film like Urban Legend. Urban Legend will have you enticed at all the pretty faces in the movie. Halloween will have you frozen with fear, stuck in your seat, not wanting to move. Now tell me, what horror film would you rather watch?And just to follow up after seeing Zombie's version, it makes you appreciate this that much more. This is a classic by definition. Zombie bastardized his version, but it doesn't take away from the brilliance of this one." - @baumer "I was shocked when Christian Bale showed up and started shouting obscenities at the camera. Something tells me that wasn't part of the script but Nolan kept it in because it came out so well. His decision to end the movie in the middle of the reveal as to whether McConaughey is actually an android or not was shocking. The entire audience groaned at that moment. I also thought that the editing with the hardcore sex scene intercut with a space shuttle launch used as a metaphor was slightly too on the nose, I mean he was just copying Hitchcock. Speaking of Hitchcock, and cock, Nolan's cameo as "Naked space alien #3" was distracting." - @grim22
  50. 11 points

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