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BOT's Top 100 Movies of All Time - Hindsight is 2020 Edition

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15 minutes ago, Ethan Hunt said:

That's so depressingly bad for Finding Nemo.

 

I'm devastated 


I know, it shouldn’t have made the list at all. 

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24 minutes ago, Plain Old Tele said:


I know, it shouldn’t have made the list at all. 

I can see how a father and son story wouldn’t resonate 

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Glad Ratatouille managed to outrank that other, middle of the road Pixar film

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13 minutes ago, Jake Gittes said:

Glad Ratatouille managed to outrank that other, middle of the road Pixar film

You're a middle of the road Pixar film.

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I guess the 'Live Action' version really did soil this one's rep.

 

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"Remember, who you are."

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"A young lion prince is cast out of his pride by his cruel uncle, who claims he killed his father. While the uncle rules with an iron paw, the prince grows up beyond the Savannah, living by a philosophy: No worries for the rest of your days. But when his past comes to haunt him, the young prince must decide his fate: Will he remain an outcast or face his demons and become what he needs to be? "

 

Its Legacy

 

"Few animated films have charged onto the screen with the confidence of Disney’s 1994 smash “The Lion King.” Eschewing opening titles, a giant red sun rising over the Serengeti filled the screen, as the soundtrack blasted the majestic opening song, “The Circle of Life.” The anthem of birth and death gathered intensity as giraffes, elephants and zebras assembled to witness the presentation of the newborn lion, who was held aloft as the music swelled; the zebras stomped, the monkeys whooped, and the sun shone down upon the cub.  That opening sequence — so iconic that the teaser trailer for Jon Favreau’s new “Lion King” remake is, in effect, a shot-for-shot recreation — is a kickoff of such brashness and bravado, feverish anticipation and enthusiastic reception, that it’s easy to read as a metaphor for “The Lion King” itself, one of the most profitable and culturally inescapable films of the 1990s. It’s also easy to forget that at the time of its release a quarter-century ago, this was one of the riskiest ventures of Disney’s history, and it was met with some resistance. But “The Lion King” would not only change the way Disney did business, but also contribute to a shift in the industry itself.

 

But for “The Lion King,” the studio was, mostly out of necessity, breaking from the traditions of its predecessors. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the stage composers whose songs had given those pictures such vivid life, were unavailable; Ashman had died during the production of “Aladdin,” and Menken was working on the studio’s 1995 release, “Pocahontas.” The directors responsible for those features were likewise committed, leaving those duties to a pair of first-timers, Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff.  They weren’t the only gambles. This was the first Disney animated feature populated solely by animals; even “Bambi” featured a world that humans touched, and occasionally infringed upon. And unlike that film, the traumatic death at the center of this story would occur onscreen.

 

When the time came to put the film into theaters, Disney took one more risk: a summer release. Its three previous hits had all come out during the year-end holidays, an ideal window for pictures intended as family outings. A summer release could be eaten alive by the adult and teen fare typical of that season. Summer 1994 promised Arnold Schwarzenegger in “True Lies,” Keanu Reeves in “Speed,” Harrison Ford in “Clear and Present Danger” and Tom Hanks in something called “Forrest Gump.”    So the studio’s unparalleled marketing machine went to work, with a monthslong ballyhoo campaign of breathless behind-the-scenes reports and all-access press events. The hype took. Reviews were positive, and box office was astonishing; its $42 million opening weekend more than doubled predictions. Within six weeks, it had eclipsed “Aladdin” to become the studio’s highest-grossing feature to date at the domestic box office, and it would replicate that feat worldwide in the fall. Back home, Disney decided to pull the film from theaters at the end of September, and rerelease it in late November, to bring in more bucks over the holidays. When it hit home video the following spring, it became the best-selling VHS tape in history.  Over the next quarter-century, “The Lion King” would be referenced by everyone from Chance the Rapper to Titus Andromedon on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Yet for all the enduring affection and nostalgia, it’s worth noting that the movie’s march toward cultural ubiquity was also dogged by controversy. (Conversations about problematic art didn’t begin with Twitter, you know.) Concerns over the considerable amount of violence and terror in the G-rated film raised alarms for parents and educators within days of its release; adults were genuinely asking whether it was safe to take their children to see the latest Disney movie. (Judging by the grosses, many seem to have decided it was.)

 

Aside from its own products, “The Lion King” contributed to a new sense of commercial aspiration among major studios in the mid-1990s, as one of a handful of films (along with “Jurassic Park,” “Forrest Gump,” “Independence Day” and finally, “Titanic”) that earned the kind of money “Star Wars” had in the 1970s and “E.T.” in the 1980s. They proved that films like that weren’t occasional cultural outliers, but the kind of successes that could be delivered every year, if they were engineered carefully enough. And that may be why the new “Lion King” feels like such an empty exercise. It’s a painstaking, meticulous recreation, so carefully calculated to capitalize on familiarity and good will, that it cannot reproduce what made the original film special: a sense of freedom, spontaneity and, above all, risk."

- Jason Bailey,  The New York Times

 

From the Filmmaker

 

Can you talk a bit about how you went about recruiting animators to come work on The Lion King? I've always heard that -- because Pocahontas was supposed to be this prestige project -- most of the Studio's A-list animators gravitated to that production. Which then supposedly made it kind of tough to initially recruit animators to come work on The Lion King. Which at that time was still having some pretty significant story problems. Is that true?

 

Roger Allers: True, indeed. But this was a chance to give some really deserving young animators their chance to lead a character. Tony Bancroft (Pumbaa), Mike Surrey (Timon), James Baxter (Rafiki) are all brilliant guys - we lucked out!

 

Rob Minkoff: Lion King was originally called King of the Jungle and was not well regarded around the studio. So when [then-Disney chairman] Jeffrey Katzenberg announced that the studio would be split in two to make two films simultaneously, many of the top animators wanted to work on Pocahontas instead of The Lion King. Jeffrey had deemed Pocahontas the "home run" and Lion King the "risk." That gave a lot of newer animators a chance to step up to leadership roles."

- Interview with Roger Allers and Rob Minoff, 

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"A certain blockbuster and a future classic, The Lion King is a scrumptiously delightful moviegoing experience.  From the stealthy array of talent selected to perform the voices, including such deep-tone stalwarts as James Earl Jones and Jeremy Irons, one almost expects a tragedy in the Shakespearean tradition. And, in certain aspects, The Lion King does fit this bill. Instead of the house of Hanover or Stuart, the drama centers on the reign of the mighty lion Mufasa (Jones), the king of a perfectly balanced African kingdom of animals who thrive in stunning abundance. A beneficent monarch, Mufasa, raises his young male cub, Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, then Matthew Broderick as an adult) to know that "we are all connected in the great circle of life."

 

But, even in this teeming ecosystem, there is rancor; Mufasa's avaricious younger brother, the dark lion Scar (Irons), plots to become king. He orchestrates a bloody internecine intrigue, killing Mufasa and sending the young Simba into exile in the wilderness.  Essentially, The Lion King is a coming-of-age story as the young Simba grows and matures to a point where he is ready to reclaim his birthright and, more importantly, carry on the harmonious work of his father. While weighty in theme, and propelled by several remarkable moral lessons, The Lion King's screenplay (by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton) bursts along at a spectacular dramatic gait, nourished with light humor, tending romance and frisky escapades.  Directors Roger Allen and Rob Minkoff, respectful of both the story's epic grandeur and personal power, have fashioned a radiantly multidimensional film.  The crowning glories of The Lion King must be bestowed upon the legions of animators who contributed to its majestic, playful and glowing look. Composer Hans Zimmer's throbbing, percussive musical score also is a highlight, while the songs of Tim Rice and Elton John not only propel the plot but add cheerful zest to the splendid terrain of The Lion King." Duane Byrge, THR 1994

 

User Opinion

 

"Just saw it again in theaters. As Simba says, "It's beautiful." I know this movie by heart, but every time, I can't get over how amazing some of the shots are." - @cannastop

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Kids do not like it

 

Oops, that's the 2019 version

 

Please ignore, move on

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 12, 2013 - 21, 2014 - 5, 2016 - 36, 2018 - 17

 

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, 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 - 1, 1950s - 2, 1960s - 2, 1970s - 4, 1980s - 7, 1990s - 4, 2000s - 9, 2010s - 11

 

 

 

Edited by The Panda
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"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

 

 

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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

 

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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

 

 

 

Edited by The Panda
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3 hours ago, The Panda said:

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"Anyone can cook."

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"A rat named Remy dreams of becoming a great French chef despite his family's wishes and the obvious problem of being a rat in a decidedly rodent-phobic profession. When fate places Remy in the sewers of Paris, he finds himself ideally situated beneath a restaurant made famous by his culinary hero, Auguste Gusteau. Despite the apparent dangers of being an unlikely, and certainly unwanted, visitor in the kitchen of a fine French restaurant, Remy's passion for cooking soon sets into motion a hilarious and exciting rat race that turns the culinary world of Paris upside down."

 

Its Legacy

 

"Ratatouille plays on the dualistic cultural construction of rats that exists in
today’s world. In this film, rats are not all good or bad. They exhibit an
ability to learn and become civilized, a process exemplified by the transformation
of Django’s vermin colony from garbage-picking, sewer dwelling creatures,
undiscriminating about what they eat, into a pack of well-organized,
rule-bound animals willing and able to help out in Gusteau’s gourmet
kitchen. Remy the rat is the prime example of a creature that undergoes
change from animal to human. He, along with the rest of the rat colony, is
associated with garbage and the sewer. But throughout the film he evolves
into a different kind of being, gradually demonstrating inborn traits or acquiring
new ones associated with humanity. Remy even becomes a kind of pet rat to Linguini.

Linguini takes him into his home, providing the little creature food
and shelter. When the two of them have a falling out, and Remy temporarily
abandons the human world, Linguini expresses deep remorse. Linguini
returns home, only to find Remy gone. We view him pining over Remy’s
tiny sleeping area in fact, a tiny bed – now empty. It is above all Remy’s
interest in food and cooking that motivates him to learn and exhibit civilized
behavior. Everything from his bipedalism to his attention to cleanliness and
his thirst for reading can be attributed to his passionate involvement in the
culinary arts. Hence he is a near-perfect fictional embodiment of Wrangham’s
admittedly controversial thesis. Ratatouille is above all a story of the
civilizing process.

 

But this film is also a Proustian tale of the awakening of memory and
emotional sensibilities through food. At the end of the tale, ratatouille, the culinary
item, is finally introduced into the plot. Aside from finally revealing to
viewers the meaning of the movie’s title, the result of this narrative sequence
is particularly poignant. Anton Ego has come to Gusteau’s to experience for
himself whether or not the restaurant deserves recent critical accolades. Stuck
with the job of preparing a meal for this demanding snob, yet devoid of the
service of the regular kitchen staff, Remy decides to prepare ratatouille. Upon
hearing of this decision, Colette frowns and exclaims: ‘Rataouille? It’s a
peasant dish. Are you sure you want to serve this to Ego?’ Remy proceeds to
prepare his own version of this very ordinary fare. When Ego takes his first
bite, he becomes rapturous and is mentally transported back to childhood.
We view him as a little boy having just fallen from his bicycle, with skinned
knees. As a consolation, his mother places a soothing dish of ratatouille
before him. Ratatouille, a simple vegetable stew originating in Nice, France,
proves as perfect a dish for Anton Ego the wounded child as for Anton Ego
the food critic. Ratatouille becomes the medium through which Anton Ego
is converted from a snobbish food connoisseur into a person who understands
the power of uncomplicated, familiar, and healthy cuisine to produce emotional,
as well as biological, nourishment.

 

As the film reaches its conclusion, satisfying in that it is both foredrawn and
surprising, we are reminded of the many clever inversions employed to keep us
engaged: peasant food becomes haute cuisine, rats become diners, and a critic
becomes an adoring fan. The colorful imagery is a feast for the eyes, and the
energetic thrust of the storyline, as revealed in imaginative angles, dangerous
cuts, and wildly shifting points of view, provides a kinesthetic delight impossible
to achieve in any other medium. In other words, this is art and anthropology at

their best: it is appealing, revealing, and, dare we say, fun. And so we hope this
analysis may serve as a modest pitch for the uses of animated film in the
larger work of understanding ourselves, as anthropologists, as moviegoers,
as people.


In the film Ratatouille, the meal of ratatouille, as produced by Remy the rat,
unites man and beast. Ratatouille the film and ratatouille the food communicate
the idea that humans and rats ultimately share more in terms of aptitude and
feelings than divides them. The film thus speaks to the growing passion for
animal rights and awareness of harmony among all living beings. Yet Ratatouille
is not a simple tale. Rather, this film is a multifaceted artifact, reflecting the
complexities of our times, the comic play of stereotypes and their transformations,
the changing values around food and its preparation, and indeed, not
only what it means to be ‘civilized’, but what it means to be humane."

- Ratatouille: An Animated Account of Cooking, Taste and Human Evolution

Stanley Brandes & Thor Anderson, UC Berkley & San Francisco Art Institute

Ethnos

 

From the Filmmaker

 

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Toward the end of Ratatouille, Pixar's latest animated romp, writer-director Brad Bird mounts such a cogent, feeling, pained deconstruction of professional criticism that viewers might almost suspect he's had problems with persnickety critics in the past. But how is that possible, when everything he touches is wonderful? The writer-director behind The Iron Giant and The Incredibles (the former a critically beloved, poorly marketed underperformer, the latter a critically beloved smash) and an animation consultant on the likes of King Of The Hill and The Simpsons, Bird has a rare cinematic gift: the ability to stage slam-bang action sequences without neglecting the rich emotional resonance that makes for a great story. Ratatouille never hits the heights of The Incredibles, if only because it's operating on a much smaller and less mythic, culturally resonant stage, but it's solid enough to prove that Bird hasn't let success, critical or otherwise, go to his head.

 

As always, Pixar (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, etc.) leads the growing pack of CGI studios on sheer quality; the visual attention to tiny details is almost distractingly opulent, from the cuts and nicks on the chefs' hands to the way Remy's tiny chest flutters when he's panicked. And Bird aptly nails Pixar's heady house blend of pathos, action, quirk, and sheer good humor. Bird and his co-writers leave room for quiet moments and gentle morals, but for the most part, they send visual gags and verbal punchlines tearing past at an enjoyably demanding speed, whipping up the film's energy at every turn. That makes it a little frothier than Bird's other films, but it's delectable nonetheless."

Tasha Robinson, AV Club

 

User Opinion

 

"Love this, perhaps I am biased since I love rodents, but there hasn't been a better Pixar film since. Great visuals, story, and characters!" - @CaptainJackSparrow

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Rat in the kitchen!

 

Throw him in the boiling pot!

 

Cook Ratatouille!

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 51, 2013 - 62, 2014 - 31, 2016 - 52, 2018 - Unranked

 

Director Count

 

Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 3, Alfonso Cuaron - 2, Stanley Kubrick - 2,  John McTiernan - 2, Lee Unkrich - 2, 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, 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, Billy Wilder - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1

 

Franchise Count

 

Pixar - 4, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Before Trilogy - 2, Spider-Man - 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, WDAS - 1

 

Decade Count

 

1940s - 1, 1950s - 2, 1960s - 2, 1970s - 4, 1980s - 7, 1990s - 3, 2000s - 9, 2010s - 11

 

 

Yay, best Pixar 

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"We all lie to ourselves to be happy."

 

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"Memento chronicles two separate stories of Leonard, an ex-insurance investigator who can no longer build new memories, as he attempts to find the murderer of his wife, which is the last thing he remembers. One story line moves forward in time while the other tells the story backwards revealing more each time. "

 

Its Legacy

 

"What is identified in Memento is the way in which memory -- the work of memory -- is presented by the way the film works. Memory is not added on., it is already present. The Deleuzian abstract quality  does not lie in the negative relation to representation/externality/figure. It is there in the way memory is present. Abstraction is not present simply because memory lacks a given determination, and thus all that is apparent in the film is memory in the abstract. Abstraction here  means a particular type of filmic presentation. It is the employment of abstraction as an already determined form of film construction.  This presentation and what allows the film to be abstract is the confrontation with the conventions of abstraction. Engaging with abstraction within abstraction must be understood in terms of the construction; in other words in terms of a response to the construction/structure of the film, in which narrative/subject matter can only be identified with their emergence from the way in which particular sequences/scenes work. What is significant is that  Memento affirms the presence of memory by holding and presenting memory within timed space; the dual presence of memory within the film forms part of the timing of space. Timed space is part of the way in which the film works.


Film works in remembering in the abeyance of destruction and by figuring complex relations.  Within the generalised field of film this relation may be generic, or it may involve the specific subject of the specific work. With Memento there is a dual work of memory -- two interrelated forms of memory are present. The first emerges as part of the film narrative itself. The film allows time and memory to figure as an essential part of the film's work. Both the structure and the narrative itself, enact different takes on the question of memory. It is thus that memory is already implicated in the work. It is this enactment that bring into play another aspect of memory. Here what is remembered and then played out is that particular manifestation of abstraction that is linked to negation and autonomy. The complex presence of the disjointed relation of sequences enacts a shattering of the notion of autonomy.  Autonomy/immediacy/negation are not themselves subject to negation. It is alternatively that they are no longer appropriate to the way in which the film works. The fracture that results in their abeyance is effected by timed space. Timed space becomes the enactment of other abstractions/possibilities."

- Nolan's Memento, Memory and Recognition

Adrian Gargett, Purdue

Comparative Literature and Culture

 

From the Filmmaker

 

"When you were making this film, did you ever wonder if the puzzle structure would play to an audience?

 

There’s this weird irony, because you actually find yourself as a filmmaker in the position of the protagonist that has to trust these notes he’s written himself. It sounds a bit trite, but it’s really true. I watch the screen and think, okay I read the script three years ago and it seemed like a good idea at the time. But it’s like you really are, at a certain point, you’re so immersed in the material. You’re just having to trust yourself. You have so many points along the way where the film stops being real and you just have to say: this is what I’m making, this is what I’m doing and switch that half of your brain off and absolutely trust your initial instincts, your editor, your actor’s instincts and your own instincts about whether you’re getting what you want. The weird thing is you go through these torturous creative machinations and then you look back at the original script and it’s pretty, pretty close to what’s on the screen. It’s almost exactly the same. You say, “Thank God, how did that wind up like that?”

 

Is the puzzle aspect of the film in the story that it was based on?

 

It’s been a weird organic process, because my brother told me the concept when he was writing the story. He told it to me while we were driving from Chicago to LA, across country. And I was like great, can I go and write a screenplay for this while you write the story? Because he’d been doing draft after draft and in fact it took him another two years. As we were finishing the film, he was finishing his final draft of the short story.  We had decided that in our own ways we were going to try and tell the story in the first person. Me in film and him in a short story. We’re both trying to escape the boundaries of the particular medium that we’re choosing to tell, because we really want to create an experience that doesn’t feed into your head, that bleeds around the edges. I was going for something that lived in its own shape, that was slightly built from that standard linear experience. My brother in the same way, in writing the story, had wanted to randomize it somehow. Like he’s done the web site [www.ontnemem.com] and that’s in an electronic form."

- Nolan Remember Memento, IndieWire Interview

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"It's remarkable that Nolan is able to build such suspense based on our finding out what already has happened. We know where all of this action is leading -- to Leonard pumping lead through the head of an enigmatic guy named Teddy (Joe Pantoliano).  Obsessed with finding his wife's killer, Leonard tries to keep the clues straight through an elaborate system of taking Polaroid pictures of key people and locations and writing himself notes and tattooing important pieces of information on his body. This way when someone arrives supposedly to help him, he can check the person's identity on the photo and read his own handwritten caption, "Don't believe his lies."  Nevertheless, Leonard is a renegade gumshoe (we learn that he once was an insurance investigator) in an almost constant state of confusion. All of a sudden he's running from someone firing a gun or he's waking up next to someone and having no idea why. In a sense, Leonard is living a prolonged version of those paranoid moments almost everyone experiences at some point -- where you feel like everyone in the room knows what's going on but you.

 

Mixed in with the reverse-order flashbacks are black-and-white scenes showing Leonard on the phone discussing the puzzling case of Sammy Jenkins (Stephen Tobolowski), a man who suffered from a similar "condition." These forward and backward elements come together by the end to explain what really happened.  At least you think they do. The key to a puzzle movie is the feeling that everything ultimately fits together, even if you couldn't instantly articulate how. As satisfying as "The Usual Suspects" is, I don't think the plot actually passes the credibility test; why would the villain go to all that trouble?  I'm convinced, however, that "Memento" makes sense, even though I've seen it twice and still haven't figured out how to place a final few pieces inside the frame.  Because Nolan has done such a fine job of making sure his revelations and jokes have impact, he can trust that his audience will want to do some of the mental heavy lifting. The mystery -- and Nolan has given his movie the perfect last line -- isn't just what lies behind the narrative gimmick but also the mystery of how people selectively construct the narratives of their own lives. Like Leonard, viewers may find themselves uncontrollably driven to examining the clues over and over."

- Mark Caro, The Chicago Tribune

 

User Opinion

 

"It's amazing. I haven't watched it in a decade so it was a really rewarding experience. I remembered the bare bones of it but I had forgot a lot of important moments like the reveal of Carrie Ann Moss manipulating him. The script and especially the way it is structured is unreal. All the themes and character development are pretty much built in the unconventional structure and while you have the feeling that you 're in constant hurry to catch up with the movie's narrative the tragedy of this story creeps up on you. It's just perfect. Guy Pearce, Carrie Ann Moss and Joe Pantoliano are all mesmerizing in their roles and Nolan just really has the audience at the edge of their seat struggling to put the puzzle in place and in the end it all makes so much sense. " - @Joel M

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

I can't remember

 

My dead wife, how can I not?

 

She was my wife.  Ouch.

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 25, 2013 - 51, 2014 - 32, 2016 - 75, 2018 - 70

 

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, 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 - 4, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3, Before Trilogy - 2, Spider-Man - 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, Toy Story - 1

 

Decade Count

 

1940s - 2, 1950s - 2, 1960s - 2, 1970s - 4, 1980s - 7, 1990s - 4, 2000s - 10, 2010s - 11

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Jake Gittes said:

Glad Ratatouille managed to outrank that other, middle of the road Pixar film

I mean Ratatouille is a classic but Nemo is also a classic. Though Ratatouille is clearly superior.

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"No, Buzz. I *am* your father!"

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"While Andy is away at summer camp Woody has been toynapped by Al McWiggin, a greedy collector and proprietor of "Al's Toy Barn"! In this all-out rescue mission, Buzz and his friends Mr. Potato Head, Slinky Dog, Rex and Hamm springs into action to rescue Woody from winding up as a museum piece. They must find a way to save him before he gets sold in Japan forever and they'll never see him again!"

 

Its Legacy

 

"The production of Toy Story 2 is enough to give any aspiring filmmaker the cold sweats.   Initially conceived as a quickie direct-to-video follow-up in the style of The Return of Jafar, the sequel to the groundbreaking, Oscar-winning Toy Story was rushed into production by embattled chairman Joe Roth. The sequel's story was cobbled together from a number of unused story ideas for the first film, from the idea of Woody being a sought-after collectible doll to a ravenous toy collector. After a rough version was brought in by Toy Story animator Ash Brannon, the movie was both looking better than anyone at Disney or Pixar expected, but also not completely up to par.  Disney was heartened enough to move the project to a theatrical exhibition, but Pixar didn't feel like the story or animation was up to snuff. John Lasseter, veteran Pixar employee and director of the original film, stepped in. With less than a year before the movie was due, Lasseter held a meeting at his house with many of Pixar's chief creative minds -- including Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, and legendary story artist Joe Ranft (who tragically died before the release of Cars) -- and drastically overhauled the project. He fired the original producer, brought in Lee Unkrich as co-director, and worked with the team to bring the movie in on time. In The Pixar Story, a terrific Leslie Iwerks documentary currently on Disney+, it's revealed that the entire movie had to be redone in nine months. (Pixar employees were frazzled.) And this is before you factor in the story of how 90 percent of the film was accidentally deleted by a processing error and only restored thanks to supervising technical director Galyn Susman, who was on maternity leave and had one of Pixar's giant computers at home --complete with a back-up of the entire movie.

 

And yet, Toy Story 2 arrived on time (released wide on November 24, 1999) and garnered even stronger reviews than the original film. Talk about a miraculous turnaround. 20 years later, there are still lessons to be learned from the super sequel and takeaways that can be gathered, mostly when it relates to aspects of emotional storytelling in movies -- how to use it effectively -- and the way it conveyed a grounded, relatable message instead of getting lost in the bloat that consume most follow-ups.  To be fair, Toy Story 2 is a much bigger movie than its predecessor. The original film took place mostly in a series of rooms, with the show-stopping moving van chase saved for the very end of the film. Toy Story 2 has a number of pivotal locations and, more than that, travel between those locations. That element is something that seems downright incomprehensible, given that there was only one film in between the two Toy Story installments (1998's A Bug's Life, which made great strides in crowd simulations and texture mapping). The opening sequence of Toy Story 2, which imagines Buzz Lightyear as the star of his own videogame, is downright dazzling and a reminder of just how far the technology and storytelling had progressed from the original film. (Fun bonus fact: This sequence was originally meant for the first film and was intended to showcase Buzz as the star of his own Saturday morning cartoon series. A year after Toy Story 2 was released, Buzz actually got his own animated Saturday morning cartoon series with Buzz Lightyear: Star Command.)

 

But as awe-inspiring as some of these showier moments are, particularly the chase at the end of the film, with our characters maneuvering through a major airport, those aren't the moments that stand out when you think back to the film. Instead, what makes Toy Story 2 such a triumph are the quieter, more emotional beats meant to emphasize character development or enrich our understanding of this world.  The biggest, greatest example of this emotion-over-spectacle approach is, of course, Jesse's song, "When She Loved Me". For the first film, Lasseter had '70s songman Randy Newman compose new tunes. But instead of the characters singing these new songs, as was very much in vogue in the mid-'90s, Broadway-influenced Disney animation, the songs would simply be played over montages on screen. It was a very different approach than audiences were used to at the time, and it worked spectacularly well. So it makes sense that Newman would be recruited for the sequel; this time, he wrote a song that he didn't sing himself, instead enlisting Sarah McLaughlan at the peak of her Lilith Fair powers. What makes the moment even more powerful is that it encapsulates the entire backstory of Jessie (Joan Cusack), a cowgirl toy from the same line as Woody, who was beloved by a child and left by the wayside as her child got older. Nothing like that had been attempted before and even looking back on it now, the boldness of its storytelling is just as striking, even if the animation (especially compared with recent marvels like Toy Story 4) is a little wooden and inexpressive."

- Drew Taylor, No Film School

 

From the Filmmaker

 

"In 1996 when Pixar announced they were going to do a direct-to-video sequel to the original Toy Story, a lot of people expected the finished results to be a mediocre low budget video made to cash-in on the company's initial success. Animation World Magazine wanted to find out how this project became a major animated feature that could very well set new box office records.  A talk with Ash Brannon, co-director of the film, quickly laid the matter to rest. He explains that, "When we started the film in 1996, the thing to do was to make a direct-to-video sequel. That's the way Disney did it and we follow suit. Nobody was making animated theatrical sequels (with rare exceptions including American Tail 2). So that was what we did, but we knew we had a great story. We worked on the film keeping the standards of a theatrical film. And to top it off, all of the original cast returned. The entire cast is back including Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. In addition we have some great new voices including Kelsey Grammar, Wayne Knight and Joan Cusack. We started developing the project in 1996. We went into production around 1997. We soon realized this film was going to be much better than a direct-to-video product. At the beginning of 1998 we announced it would be a theatrical feature."

 

Lee Unkrich explains that in making the sequel they didn't want to stray too far from the look of the original film, but the company had developed a lot of new software since the first feature had been completed. He remarks, "We wanted to take advantage of the technological leaps that have been made since Toy Story. We learned a lot while making A Bug's Life. It was full of organic life forms. Nothing was made of plastic in the entire film and that was a big challenge for us. We also made great leaps in automating animation, both with crowds of ants and grasshoppers and animating wind through grass and leaves on trees. It was a complicated movie." He says that the new film "looks like the Toy Story we remember, but it is far more lush and vivid."  "When we finished Toy Story we were at the forefront of animating the human form, but all of us would agree, looking back on it, it was the best we could do at the time. If we were to ever tackle humans again we would want to spend more time on it and do a better job of it. "We had a whole team of people on Toy Story 2 dealing with the humans, especially the lead character Al, the toy collector who steals Woody. I think everyone will agree that we have made great strides forward. He is such a realistic person, but at the same time it's good to point out that we never set up for ourselves that we would try to recreate reality. We're not trying to make a human on the screen that people will think is a real human interacting with the toys. Part of the world of Toy Story is that we stylize the humans somewhat and give them a caricatured look."

- Karl Cohen, Animation World Network

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Your film column this week announces the end of all blather about computer technology representing the annihilation of human feeling. This rubbish has gone on long enough, and now that we are all grown-up, well-partied, 21st-century veterans we must accept that computers can be a pure enhancement of human capacities. If you don't believe this then I urge you to go and see Toy Story 2 immediately.  The film is humane in ways that few live-action films ever are. These computer-animated figures are brought into being by force of wonderful technology, great ingenuity, some of the best screenwriting to be had, top musical scoring and a range of voices that are deeply, imaginatively persuasive about human liveliness.  The makers of Toy Story 2 are in touch with the older, lighter touch in American movie-making: the walking, talking toys move through their graphic world like people in the movies of Ernst Lubitsch or Billy Wilder.

 

Equally blub-making are the parts to do with the TV show Woody's Round-up. Through pure magic, director John Lasseter and his team re-create the old, black-and-white show on a television screen, with all its scratches and fuzziness. As well as giving the doll Woody a history, it also – in one of the film's lovely enlargements of human emotions – shows how we all live with the business of one kind of popular technology coming to eclipse another.   Toy Story 2 shows a unity of form and subject matter here. The film is the technology that puts an end to the now innocent-looking Woody's Round-up, yet by ingeniously making it a part of Woody's past and his present, the film invites a little pop-cultural nostalgia, a little contrast, to undermine the brilliancy of the cutting edge.   But mainly you'll love it for the lightness of its movement. Lasseter is now one of the movie world's greatest assets. Toy Story was good, and A Bug's Life was amazing, but Toy Story 2 is better and more replenishing than either. Woody's voice is by Tom Hanks, and there are spectacular shades of feeling in Joan Cusack's voice for Jessie and Joe Ranft's voice for the penguin Wheezy. It's not a film just for children; it's a film about childhood, and will light up the day for all of you who had one. That covers everyone, I suppose."

Telegraph 2000

 

User Opinion

 

"Toy Story 2 is Pixar’s first attempt to bring a true humanity to their films, and it nails it so well. A sequel shocking in how much better it is than the already great original, it evolves the world of toys in a logical and emotionally relevant way, while bringing the scale up that truly impresses. The animation stands up remarkably well too; there are moments here and there that look a bit dated, but the story is finally complete in such a way that they’re not noticeable at all. The emotion is so strong that it’s hard to make it through without tearing up multiple times. More importantly, it’s still funny, still charming, and still one of the smartest movies Pixar has made. Toy Story 2 is a masterpiece in every sense, transcending the original by introducing new fantastic characters and allowing the old ones to go on a journey that develops them in ways beyond the first’s imagination. An exemplary sequel and a marvelous film." - @Blankments

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Why must there be four?

 

When this second hits the spot

 

Climax of the Toys

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 73, 2013 - 71, 2014 - 30, 2016 - 42, 2018 - 47

 

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, Akira Kurosawa - 1, John Lasseter - 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 - 10, 2010s - 11

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, The Panda said:

Pixar - 5, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 3,

Guess Pixar can go up 7 or even 9 with Toy Story, Inside Out, Wall E still remaining. I don't like Monster Inc. that much, but that will also make it. Hopefully Incredibles make too.

Edited by charlie Jatinder

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"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

 

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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

 

tumblr_npbzklTiKi1qetb0ho1_640.jpg

 

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

 

 

Edited by The Panda
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City of God has the best editing achievement in cinematic history. 

 

The other film I can think of that can make this debatable includes Memento, Apocalypse now, JFK

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Kane is great and all but don't be sleeping on the rest of Welles' work. I wish Touch of Evil stood a chance to make it on here, it's such a cracking unhinged thriller (not to mention a prime ACAB movie) and my favorite film he made. The Magnificent Ambersons and Chimes at Midnight are nothing to mess with either.

Edited by Jake Gittes
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bGe5L8g.png

 

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"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

 

 

 

flaherty-4-1024x545.png

 

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!

 

2001-3.jpg

 

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

 

 

Edited by The Panda
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8 minutes ago, The Panda said:

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2016 - 14, 2018 - 660

Damn that was a hell of a drop. Glad we came back to our senses 

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15 hours ago, Ethan Hunt said:

That's so depressingly bad for Finding Nemo.

 

I'm devastated 

 

#FTSBF

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13 minutes ago, The Panda said:

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2016 - 14, 2018 - 660

Dat recovery

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