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

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2 hours ago, baumer said:

I had no idea that aliens was lower than this on the other list. I really am surprised that it's this low. I thought pretty much everyone here had aliens as Cameron's best film. I'm glad it's on the list obviously but it's criminally underrated if it's only finishing in the 30s.

What? I like T2 and Titanic both more than Aliens

 

aliens is still great don’t get me wrong but I don’t think it’s a clear cut win

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1 minute ago, Blankments said:

What? I like T2 and Titanic both more than Aliens

 

aliens is still great don’t get me wrong but I don’t think it’s a clear cut win


Titanic is arguably Cameron’s weakest movie. 

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2 hours ago, baumer said:

I had no idea that aliens was lower than this on the other list. I really am surprised that it's this low. I thought pretty much everyone here had aliens as Cameron's best film. I'm glad it's on the list obviously but it's criminally underrated if it's only finishing in the 30s.

I always kind of felt the general consensus was Terminator 2 was considered Cameron's best. Whatever.

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3 minutes ago, Plain Old Tele said:


Titanic is arguably Cameron’s weakest movie. 

People think titanic is the weakest Cameron's entry because they want Cameron to make Sci-fi, guys-friendly, cool action movie.

 

In fact, million out there probably know James Cameron because of Titanic.

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4 minutes ago, Borobudur said:

People think titanic is the weakest Cameron's entry because they want Cameron to make Sci-fi, guys-friendly, cool action movie.

 

In fact, million out there probably know James Cameron because of Titanic.


Some people might, but not me. :) 

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More of the just misses, was only able to get five full entries in today, but should be able to get the full 10 in for the next three days and finish it up!

 

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"Who Framed Roger Rabbit exceeds both technically and in entertainment. Smartly using only character actors and leaving the big names to the cartoons, it places you in one of the most fascinating and wacky worlds in any movie. Bob Hoskins is perfect as Eddie Valiant, and Christopher Lloyd is surprisingly menacing. The cameos are delightful and never overtake the story. Roger, Benny, Herman, and Jessica are all great original characters for this loony noir adventure. The animation is pure fun to just marvel at. Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an enjoyable popcorn film that's combination of animation and live action is yet to be topped." - @Blankments

 

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""Even Hux is gone!"

 

I got this out from Family Video to prep for TLJ a few months ago and it skipped from Rey touching the lightsaber to after Daniel Craig's scene

 

What is the point of blurays if they skip

 

I guess the force truly doesn't awaken

 

:(

 

A" - @Blankments

 

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" My second all-time favorite Disney movie that focuses on narrative, behind Fantaisia. Loved it as a kid. Still love as a hunger for violence teenager. It's that amazing." - @Rorschach (in 2014)

 

"Bambi?  That wimpy Deer?!" - Kid from the Sandlot

 

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"DeNiro's performance is undoubtedly the movie, but I also love Joe Pesci lot in this.I think it's a great movie, one of Scorsese's bests. Gripping and honest, with great acting performances all around.There are many good and memorable scenes in the movie, but my favorite gotta be the ending scene when Jake was doing his monologue and pep talking before going on stage. The manner, the delivery of lines are perfect. Robert DeNiro is really a one of a kind actor." - @Sam

 

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"I'd heard all about how gutwrenchingly sad and depressing this film was before I saw it, but what I didn't expect was how much it's loaded with moments of pure, unadulterated beauty as well. It reminded me in a way of Life is Beautiful, with Seita trying to make life as fun as possible for his sister through the unforgiving realities of a war-torn country. Deserves every bit of its praise and then some." - @tribefan695

 

 

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Seven is a better Batman movie than TDK.

 

And Fight Club belongs in the top 30 no matter how many frat bro's like it.

 

Being popular among the bro's doesn't make a great film less great.

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"You are my lucky star. You... Lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky."

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"In the distant future, the crew of the commercial spaceship Nostromo are on their way home when they pick up a distress call from a distant moon. The crew are under obligation to investigate and the spaceship descends on the moon afterwards. After a rough landing, three crew members leave the spaceship to explore the area on the moon. At the same time as they discover a hive colony of some unknown creature, the ship's computer deciphers the message to be a warning, not a distress call. When one of the eggs is disturbed, the crew realizes that they are not alone on the spaceship and they must deal with the consequences."

 

Its Legacy

 

"Many aspects of moviemaking, from the role of women to story structure to production and sound design have felt Alien’s bite. The marketing department, too, thanks to that memorable, “In space, no one can hear you scream” tag line. Here’s what Alien has spawned:  Female action heroes  Sigourney Weaver’s beast-blasting Ripley character from Alien wasn’t the first female action hero, but she’s the most successful — with three sequels and a fourth being discussed — and arguably the most significant.  Before Alien, big showdowns were always about the last man standing, not the last woman.

 

Bechdel name-checked Alien for a 1985 episode of her comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, which quoted her friend Liz Wallace’s definition of what become known as the Bechdel Test for a female-positive movie: it must have a least two women, who talk about something other than a man.  “The only movie my friend could go see was Alien, because the two women talk to each other about the monster,” Bechdel said.  “But somehow young feminist film students found this old cartoon and resurrected it in the Internet era and now it’s this weird thing. People actually use it to analyze films to see whether or not they pass that test . . . surprisingly few films actually pass it.”

 

Before Alien, space travel was most often depicted as the pursuit of squeaky-clean astronauts in sleek designer vehicles, Han Solo and his Millennium Falcon notwithstanding.  Alien’s Nostromo is an unglamorous flying bucket of bolts, which shows heavy wear from years of commercial use. Its seven crew members dress like the maintenance people many of them are, putting comfort and utility ahead of fashion or any uniform dress code. Tom Skerritt’s Capt. Dallas sports a full beard, and Harry Dean Stanton’s engineer Brett wears a Hawaiian shirt. Apparently anything goes aboard the Nostromo, a concept copied by many sci-fi movies since.

 

A screaming great tag line  Alien was originally conceived as a “B” movie with “A” execution. The first advertising tag lines considered for it followed the tried-and-true of genre films past.  Considered but rejected were such doomsday snappers as “Prepare yourself” and “The universe trembles,” and such mouthfuls as, “No one should be allowed to even imagine that thing which is now headed our way.”  Then copywriter Barbara Gips came up with the tag line to beat all tag lines: “In space, no one can hear you scream.”  Considered by many to be the best movie tag line ever, much imitated but never bettered, it perfectly captured the mood of Alien and still causes goosebumps, 36 years after the beast stalked the Nostromo." - Peter Howell, The Star

 

From the Filmmaker

 

 

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"The year was 1979.  The director was a mostly unknown individual named Ridley Scott (Blade Runner).  The film, that changed the future look and ideas of what creatures should look and act like, was called Alien.  The movie became a huge hit and made both Scott and the film's star, Sigourney Weaver (Avatar), household names.  It also scared the daylights out of people in the same way that Jaws did four years earlier.  It spawned several sequels and even saw a crossover with the movie Alien vs. Predator.  As we get set to celebrate "Alien Day" and the 40th anniversary of the film's release, Twentieth Century Fox is releasing the movie on 4K for the first time.

 

Looking back at the film now it is distinctly Scott's work but at the time it was a fresh voice in the world of filmmaking.  With claustrophobic angles and dark, smoky rooms, Scott's unique vision permeates this film. He also assembled a strong cast and made an excellent choice with Weaver.  Her Ripley is an iconic symbol of a strong female who takes charge, kicks butt, and takes names later.  Tom Skerritt (Top Gun),   Hurt, Veronica Cartwright (Scary Movie 2),  Ian Holm (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), Yaphet Kotto (Homicide: Life on the Street) and Harry Dean Stanton (The Green Mile) all bring their A-game to every scene.  Alien helped redefine the Sci-Fi genre for a generation of moviegoers and became the bar that all other movies had to live up to or surpass. While technology has allowed for advances in filmmaking and things keep getting bigger and better, this movie is a classic that stands the test of time."

- Alison Rose, Flick Direct

 

User Opinion

 

"Alien is what a true horror masterpiece is suppose to be. All these new horror flicks we get are really a disgrace and embarresing. All it is is just gore. Or some ghost/supernatural crap that we get every year." - @K1stpierre

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

A cat floats in space

 

But no one can hear it purr

 

A sad state it's in

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 50, 2013 - 45, 2014 - 40, 2016 - 45, 2018 - 30

 

Director Count

 

Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 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, Martin Scorsese - 2, Steven Spielberg - 2, Andrew Stanton - 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, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 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, Christopher Nolan - 1, Bob Persichetti - 1, Jan Pinkava - 1, Sam Raimi - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1,  Ridley Scott - 1, Quentin Tarantino - 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, Before Trilogy - 2, Scorsese -2, Alien - 2, Spider-Man - 2,  Studio Ghibli - 2, Die Hard - 1, Incredibles - 1, Indiana Jones - 1, The Lord of the Rings - 1, Monty Python - 1, Nolan - 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 - 9, 1990s - 12, 2000s - 15, 2010s - 12

 

 

 

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"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling."

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible, inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea, but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming."

 

Its Legacy

 

"Five years ago this week, director Christopher Nolan’s Inception hit theaters. If it’s not the best blockbuster of the 21st century so far — and it might be — it’s certainly the most unusual. An original, un-franchiseable summer thriller, Inception managed to thrive in a sea of sequels, reboots, spin-offs and remakes. It’s a strangely personal, entirely unique film that also happened to be a breathtaking action movie.  Nolan’s film focuses on Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), an ‘extractor’ who use technology to infiltrate other people’s subconsciousness and extract their secrets. Separated from his home and children after being suspected of murdering his wife (Marion Cotillard), Cobb is offered one last chance to return to them by accepting a job from a corporate titan (Ken Watanabe) who wants to get into the head of his competitor (Cillian Murphy). A ‘70s-style spy thriller by way of cyberpunk and Escher, the film featured a striking, visual style, a number of crackling action sequences (including the famous fist-fight in the revolving corridor), and introduced a host of new language and images into the pop-culture lexicon, most notably the spinning top that Cobb uses as his ‘totem’ to ensure he’s not still dreaming.

 

A giant, effects-packed extravaganza, Inception is also a portrait of grief and a study of the human mind. For all of its idiosyncrasies though, Inception’s influence is still felt today, something that can’t be said for many of its noisier, splashier contemporaries. Alice In Wonderland, Tron: Legacy, Clash Of The Titans, even the megahit Avatar — all were all released close to Nolan’s film, but none continue to make quite the same impression on pop culture as Inception does.  Look, for instance, at one of this summer’s biggest hits, Pixar’s Inside Out. The animated feature is as different on the surface from Inception as you could imagine, but the two films share some surprising similarities, as the director of the Pixar movie himself, Pete Docter, has acknowledged: Both are thrilling adventures set within the human mind — a place where the stakes don’t involve the end of the world, but instead center around a single person’s emotional catharsis. Dreams and the subconscious play a crucial role in Inception and Inside Out, and each essentially turn the blockbuster movie into a kind of therapy session, all the while retaining the excitement and spectacle you’d expect. There are even some visual links: the crumbling Islands of Personality in Inside Out, for instance, and the Memory Dump both mirror the ruined city at the end of Inception.

 

What makes Inception’s success and legacy so surprising now is how little was known about it the film prior to its release. Like many of Nolan’s films, the marketing was shrouded in secrecy until almost the last minute. The film was a giant success despite the opaque campaign, earning rave reviews — critic Richard Roeper called it “one of the best movies of the 21st century.” It earned $800 million worldwide box office haul, hugely profitable even on a $160 million budget, and had an impressive awards-season run (Inception got eight Oscar nominations and four wins, including Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects)."

- Yahoo Movies

 

From the Filmmaker

 

""PAUL FRANKLIN SPECIALIZES in turning the imaginary into reality. As the visual effects supervisor for Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and now Inception, Franklin is well-versed in helping directors like Christopher Nolan populate their cinematic worlds with larger-than-life computer-generated images.  However, in spite of Inception's lush, physics-bending effects, Franklin's work on Nolan's cerebral sci-fi film was surprisingly measured.  "Some of the more spectacular imagery of the film – the street folding over in Paris, characters creating architecture out of thin air – are VFX shots that we created from a combination of live action and copious amounts of digital animation," Franklin told Wired.com in a phone interview.

 

Wired.com: Did most of your work on Inception end up being CG-based?

 

Paul Franklin: A lot of it was, but we used a miniature for a sequence featuring a giant, James Bond-like base out in the snow. At the end of sequence, in true action-movie style, we blow it up. The great thing about miniatures is they give you this chaotic reality that digital hasn't quite gotten to yet. Using CG versions of complicated action like falling buildings, explosions or certain lighting effects are all predetermined by the nature of the software and the ideas that went into it. In the effects world, there's still a lot of useful randomness in real-world physics.

 

Wired.com: How did you balance Nolan's devotion to realism with the film's patent unreality?

 

Franklin: That was the challenge on the VFX side. It was about remaining faithful to the "reality" that was shot on-set and using effects to subtly bend elements like physics, space and time. For instance, we have some great set pieces like a fight scene that takes place in zero-g. We built sequences like that to be very stylish, but not excessively stylized to hide effects work. Due to the amount of light and high-contrast images in Inception, we were very much committed to the same high standard of photorealism that we held for Batman Begins and Dark Knight.

 

Wired.com: Surely that made some of the grand illusions harder to pull off. Which one gave you the most trouble?

 

Franklin: By far, Limbo City at the end of the film. Part of the challenge was that this was an effect that continually developed during production. In the script, two characters wash up on a beach and look up at this incredible crumbling city. The city itself is definitely described as architecture, but it's supposed to look like a natural landform.  Again, this is very easy to picture in your mind, but getting to the reality of what that should look like on film turned out to be a little more challenging. We went through the normal design process of having artists build concepts, and Chris laid out his ideal vision: Something glacial, with clear modernist architecture, but with chunks of it breaking off into the sea like icebergs.  For a long time we just couldn't get it right – we'd end up with something that looked like an iceberg version of Gotham City with water running through it. So, what we came up with was a basic model of a glacier, and then one of the designers at Double Negative came up with a program that filled the open spaces with modernist architectural blocks. It was just a matter of methodically adding in elements like roads, intersections and ravines until we ended up with this extremely complicated (but organic-looking) cityscape."

- Terence Franklin, Wired

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Leonardo DiCaprio and friends are ninjas of the subconscious, dashing through the landscape of other people's dreams, in Christopher Nolan's Inception. This endlessly fascinating swirl of a film could have come only from Nolan, who blends the cerebral twistiness of Memento (his thriller that moves backward in time) with the spectacular action of his Batman megahit, The Dark Knight. DiCaprio, as a thief-for-hire named Cobb, doesn't merely skulk around sleeping minds, pilfering strangers' secret thoughts. He and his team, complete with architect, actually construct the dream worlds they'll enter, with streets that can rise up and become walls—the city as Murphy bed—or, if things go wrong, a train roaring through city traffic. You may get a headache keeping up with the plot as Cobb tries to plant a new idea in a man's brain; stealing thoughts is simple, but adding one is a risky operation involving a dream within a dream within a dream. Even as you tick off the film's overload of references, though—a Matrix here, a James Bond there—the amazing effects and Cobb's quest carry you along.  But Nolan is the brainiest of Hollywood directors, and Inception is more than the ultimate "it was all a dream" movie. It is the most sophisticated in a year of splashy screen events about parallel worlds, in which characters enter alternate realities and return with some solution to personal and often global problems. Cobb's dangerous assignment is meant to save the world from an energy conglomerate.

 

On the most superficial level, these alt-universes offer audiences the appeal of an easy fix; maybe we can dream our troubles away, just as Avatar's Jake and Lost's Locke can leave their wheelchairs behind and walk on Pandora and the island. More specifically, Avatar places its hope in science and ethics, Lost offers loosey-goosey spirituality, and Alice a familiar proto-feminism. Inception looks for solutions in the tougher realm of the unconscious. Yes, that's dizzying. Ellen Page, as the architect on Cobb's team, is saddled with thankless dialogue like "Wait, whose subconscious are we going into exactly?" (A sure laugh line.) But the complications are also a measure of Nolan's daring and his career-long obsession with control. Memento's hero, with acute short-term memory loss, tries to hang on to fleeting thoughts; Batman tames the chaos of Gotham. Raising those stakes, the characters in Inception try to control what is by nature uncontrollable: the unconscious. It's odd that a movie about disciplining thoughts is so over-the-top undisciplined, indulging its set-piece action at the expense of coherence. But at least there are ideas at play here and in the other parallel-world films, as they capture a cultural moment.

 

The moment they capture most directly, though, may drift in from two years ago, when these movies were still in the works and the Obama campaign was channeling hope for change and a brighter future. These films may be reminders that, even in the face of harsh political reality, indulging our imaginations is still the best way to find fresh solutions. Or, in a more dismal and timely reading of Inception: it might take a brain transplant to solve our energy problems."

- Caryn James, Newsweek

 

User Opinion

 

"Seriously, the first thing I noticed was the wobble at the end, so I was like, yep, probably real. And I prefer it that way. I'd like to think Cobb got his happy ending so to speak. The wedding ring evidence (which seems a little more than intentional) I think would support that.

 

First viewing is a pretty intense and gripping experience, but the over-reliance on expository dialogue makes this one more of a chore to get through with repeat viewings. Some great performances from Leo and Tom Hardy, and JGL was fine as well. The 2nd half is still very entertaining for me to watch. Middle of the pack Nolan film.

 

Fuck you Jake." - @MrPink

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

A collapsing dream

 

Wander through twisted city

 

Seeking my dead wife

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 24, 2013 - 22, 2014 - 10, 2016 - 24, 2018 - 14

 

Director Count

 

Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 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, Steven Spielberg - 2, Andrew Stanton - 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, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 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, Quentin Tarantino - 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, 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 - 9, 1990s - 12, 2000s - 15, 2010s - 13

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Plain Old Tele said:


Titanic is arguably Cameron’s weakest movie. 

 

I disagree but I see where you're coming from. I personally have it as his third best film but even if it was is weakest film, every film he is made is so incredibly strong that to have Titanic be his weakest would still be better than probably 90% of the films that are out there, in my opinion.

 

But fwiw imo

 

Aliens

T2

Titanic

Terminator

True Lies

 

All 9.5/10 or above

 

Abyss

Avatar

Piranha 2

 

That would be my order. 

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"Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say what one more Goddamn time!"

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) are two hit men who are out to retrieve a suitcase stolen from their employer, mob boss Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). Wallace has also asked Vincent to take his wife Mia (Uma Thurman) out a few days later when Wallace himself will be out of town. Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) is an aging boxer who is paid by Wallace to lose his fight. The lives of these seemingly unrelated people are woven together comprising of a series of funny, bizarre and uncalled-for incidents."

 

Its Legacy

 

"In May 1994 Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa’s first black president and the Channel Tunnel linking England and France finally opened. But another seismic event took place early one morning on the French Riviera when Quentin Tarantino’s crime drama Pulp Fiction was screened for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival.  “That would have been 8:30 in the morning,” recalls film critic Anne Thompson. She was inside the Palais des Festivals, as a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly, for what turned out to be a joyous screening. “I don’t remember anything but really enthusiastic applause. It was electric. There was a lot of expectation that this would be something remarkable – and it was,” she says.  The reaction was swift and very soon there were proclamations that Pulp Fiction had reinvented the gangster film in many dazzling ways.  At Cannes it won the Palme d’Or, the top award. In the weeks that followed, as the film travelled to other festivals and into general release, it was met with considerable praise, a little dissent and the odd bit of drama.

 

Pulp Fiction became a huge commercial hit, especially for an independent film. It eventually grossed more than $200 million worldwide. All of this was exceedingly good news for John Travolta, whose career the film revived. He received an Oscar nomination as did co-stars Samuel L Jackson and Uma Thurman. It was, of course, also a major triumph for Harvey Weinstein at Miramax Films, who backed the movie.  No factor accounts for Pulp Fiction’s tremendous impact  more than the almost universal verdict that the film felt entirely fresh. The story unfolds out of sequence as it chronicles a group of well-drawn underworld characters who inhabit a Los Angeles crime subculture. They include Travolta and Jackson as mob enforcers, Uma Thurman as the wife of a mob boss and Bruce Willis playing an ageing boxer.

 

Thompson, a big Pulp Fiction fan, concurs: “The reason it was so influential would be the violence, the extraordinary combination of humour and violence. It was just hugely entertaining.”  Pulp Fiction also brought audiences sympathetic characters even if they were violent,  says Dancyger, “It humanises them and it just pokes fun at the genre, plays with the genre, it’s playful. Tarantino is trying to humanise the gangster. He’s trying to say he’s anxious like you are. He’s philosophical.”  The film famously drew on numerous aspects of pop culture. It has an impressive soundtrack, striking cinematography and clever dialogue. It resonated with many young moviegoers who found it to be a totally intoxicating cocktail. 

 

It was the film’s form – its non-linear structure – that really startled audiences. Wheeler Winston Dixon, Professor of Film Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, says, “It changed the whole model of what people would sit through, because it was so long, the complexity of it, the intelligence of it, the vitality of it, the originality of it and the fact that it never really did what you expected and it constantly kept audiences guessing.”  But not everyone was won over by Pulp Fiction. Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan was one of the few dissenting voices. "The writer-director appears to be straining for his effects,” he wrote. “Some sequences have the uncomfortable feeling of creative desperation, of someone who's afraid of losing his reputation scrambling for any way to offend sensibilities.” There were several reviewers who found the film shallow – and gimmicky.

 

The film also had an impact on a new generation of filmmakers who were influenced by Tarantino.  There were several Pulp Fiction copycat films that emerged in its wake.  But in eyes of Tarantino’s admirers the excellence of Pulp Fiction has never been outdone.  “You could make lists of the films that were influenced by that movie without ever coming close to its brilliance,” says Thompson. “You didn’t know at the time that it would be so influential.  That it would have such an impact on all the movies to follow.”  This week film critics and journalists are gathering in Cannes once again 20 years after Pulp Fiction’s memorable unveiling. Many would love to witness the emergence of another movie just as groundbreaking. Whether or not you’re a fan of Pulp Fiction, everyone is hankering for a fresh, totally original new movie. It might just happen – that’s the wonder of Cannes. But it’s going to be hard to be beat what many have called one of the greatest films of all time."

- Tom Brook, The BBC

 

From the Filmmaker

 

 

Pulp-Fiction1-e1441375337173-609x360.jpg

 

Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"“PULP FICTION” is everything it’s said to be: brilliant and brutal, funny and exhilarating, jaw-droppingly cruel and disarmingly sweet. Quentin Tarantino, the postmodern Boy Wonder of American crass culture, for whom the only thing to fear is boredom itself, has produced a work of mesmerizing entertainment. To watch this movie (whose 2 1/2 hours speed by unnoticed) is to experience a near-assault of creativity.

 

With chatty asides like these, Tarantino makes unwilling—and disconcertingly easy—conspirators of the audience, no matter how outlandish the action. In one of the movie’s most harrowing sequences, Thurman has a drug overdose and Travolta—stuck with babysitting her for his boss—has to perform improvisatory surgery. It’s horrifying and oddly funny. As Travolta and drug-dealer Eric Stoltz attempt to revive her with the help of a medical book, the movie enters some out-there combination of Sam Peckinpah-style gruesomeness and “I Love Lucy.”

 

Tarantino, an L.A. video store clerk-turned-auteur, was raised on filmic bloodletting. Screen violence, assimilated secondhand from such films as “Straw Dogs,” “The Godfather” and “Scarface,” is his most immediate reference point. But he transcends himself by putting brutality in quotation marks, making it traipse hand in hand with absurdity. It may be that, with “Reservoir Dogs” and “Pulp Fiction,” Tarantino has over-mined his muse. Should he make another work remotely like either film, he’ll run the risk of rendering his work commonplace. But for now, his material is witty, ironic and inspired—although the irredeemably squeamish should know to stay away. In “Pulp,” you’ll see what it is to clean up a car spattered with brain gore. But you’ll also see an amusing Harvey Keitel, as a freelance clean-up man (dressed as if for a prom) supervising the icky proceedings. In the film’s most exhilarating showpiece, Willis undergoes an extended, hair-raising suspense ride that includes sword violence, rape, gunfire and torture. After the most brutalizing experience of his life, Willis returns to his girlfriend, who promptly starts crying. Shaken beyond compare, Willis is the one who has to do the consoling.

 

“How was your breakfast?” he inquires, as pleasantly as he can."

- Desson Howe, The Washington Post

 

User Opinion

 

"When you can have Christopher Walken talk with a straight face about hiding a watch in a place that was not meant to store medal, have Amanda Plummer and Tim Roth talk seriously about robbing a restaurant, have Travolta and Jackson talk about walking the Earth like Kane in Kung Fu, have Eric Stoltz shout at his wife to find his little black medical book before he gives a shot to an O.D-ing Uma Thurman, have Harvey Keitel appear in a full tuxedo at 8:00 AM and then appear on the scene to "solve problems" have Tarantino appear himself as a guy that knows the difference between gourmet coffee and the crappy stuff his wife buys, have Bruce Willis decide what weapon he is going to use to stop the bad guys, have Ving Rhames talk about having a guy pop out of a bowl of rice and "pop a cap" in someone's ass if he shows up in Indo-China and have it all make sense, well you have something special. Pulp Fiction isn't a movie, it is an experience, it is a gift to true film fans. This may not be for everyone as some people forget this is a film and they think it is a documentary on life and they get offended because it is not about love and honesty and morals and all that other crap that exists in some Hollywood films. This is a film that takes all that you have ever known about film and bludgeons it to death with a pen and paper. It redefines what is acceptable and what is off beat and all it asks you to do is enjoy this film for 2 and a half hours. I did, immensely, and I think most people will, and have. If you really have not seen this, then you are robbing yourself of one of the best cinematic experiences in the history of film. This is easily one of the best films ever made. How anyone can disagree is beyond my understanding and I can't see how you can truly call yourself a film fan if you can't see the brilliance of this film." - @baumer

 

"greatest film ever made." - @Jake Gittes

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Is it a royale?

 

A quarter pounder with cheese?

 

Or the Lord's Vengeance?

 

vlcsnap-2013-03-08-15h18m00s7.png

 

Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 1, 2013 - 2, 2014 - 25, 2016 - 6, 2018 - 12

 

Director Count

 

Alfred Hitchock - 4, Stanley Kubrick - 4, Richard Linklater - 3, The Russo Brothers - 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, Steven Spielberg - 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, Stanley Donen - 1, Clint Eastwood - 1, Victor Fleming - 1, Terry Gilliam - 1, Michel Gondry - 1, Peter Jackson - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, Terry Jones - 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, 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 - 9, 1990s - 13, 2000s - 15, 2010s - 13

 

 

 

Edited by The Panda
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