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

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19 minutes ago, lorddemaxus said:

It's honestly kinda absurd that one of the best action films of all time didn't make it into the top 100 here but a mediocre comic book movie did. 

Follow the money.

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38 minutes ago, lorddemaxus said:

It's honestly kinda absurd that one of the best action films of all time didn't make it into the top 100 here but a mediocre comic book movie did. 

I know right? How did a recently released movie that made over $2 billion that’s a part of the biggest thing in pop culture and has a devoted fan following lose out to a Hong Kong movie from the 80s that went direct-to-VHS in many territories? It just doesn’t add up! 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

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8 minutes ago, Eric Skywalker said:

I know right? How did a recently released movie that made over $2 billion that’s a part of the biggest thing in pop culture and has a devoted fan following lose out to a Hong Kong movie from the 80s that went direct-to-VHS in many territories? It just doesn’t add up! 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

I guess that makes it even more embarassing that that film was only 2 places above a Hong Kong movie from the 2000s that went direct-to-VHS in many territories.

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I mean I sympathize but I don't think Police Story has a broadly acknowledged All-Time Great Masterpiece You Have To See status. There isn't much of an incentive for people who aren't action junkies to seek it out. 

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1 minute ago, Jake Gittes said:

I mean I sympathize but I don't think Police Story has a broadly acknowledged All-Time Great Masterpiece You Have To See status. There isn't much of an incentive for people who aren't action junkies to seek it out. 

Yeah, I guess its become more an action cult-classic these days rather than a widely known classic. It honestly sucks how Hong Kong action films are rarely mentioned much these days when it comes to great action films eventhough many films that will make it into this list (the most obvious one being The Matrix) probably owe it to Hong Kong action cinema.

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43 minutes ago, Jake Gittes said:

I mean I sympathize but I don't think Police Story has a broadly acknowledged All-Time Great Masterpiece You Have To See status. There isn't much of an incentive for people who aren't action junkies to seek it out. 

The action is insanely good but the dramatic scenes aren't anything special.

 

And that's being kind to it...

 

I still love it and more people should absolutely watch Jackie Chan try to kill himself every 10 minutes

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4 minutes ago, Daxtreme said:

The action is insanely good but the dramatic scenes aren't anything special.

 

And that's being kind to it...

 

I still love it and more people should absolutely watch Jackie Chan try to kill himself every 10 minutes

The best part though for me is that the film has almost no dramatic scenes though. Even at the end, the movie rather indulges in the how absolutely bonkers it is (including the dangerous stunts) rather than the dramatic tension that surrounds it. The reason why the sequel (still a great film imo) falters a bit compared to the first film is because it has a lot of uninteresting drama. 

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"If it bleeds we can kill it."

 

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"A team of special force ops, led by a tough but fair soldier, Major "Dutch" Schaefer, are ordered to assist CIA man, Colonel Al Dillon, on a rescue mission for potential survivors of a Helicopter downed over remote South American jungle. Not long after they land, Dutch and his team discover that they have been sent in under false pretenses. This deception turns out to be the least of their worries though, when they find themselves being methodically hunted by something not of this world."

 

Its Legacy

 

"We prefer you fight—not for our fair hearts but for our pleasure. To awaken us yes. Because we feel vibration in the burrow somewhere yes. Believe a change comes to us by watching you. Brief vision of our lives reduced to plot. Who got shot or gave another shit and where, how bad, and why? Who eviscerated whom on YouTube for our pleasure?  At best we fight ungrammatical constructions on the listserv or redevelopment in the subdivision: these construction plans are not what we imagined when we voted to close the school: the lots are too small, the homes they’ll build too cheap. We can’t know who will immigrate and find us in our havens watching Libyan cities burn on television.

 

Our burning isn’t esophageal, fixable with a pill or by going gluten free. Instead it’s 1987: it scarred something into us that’s lived for 30 years, burrowed in the lining of the heart.  Like the loan we took out to pay the interest on our loans, it too accrues without our thought.  The shadow on the lung shows up long enough after Fukushima that makes it hard to prove causation.  Our hearts are landscapes though we don’t often believe in them. Landscapes can be laid to waste by the making of a film. We thinned out a hundred miles of jungle to make the scene believable. Thirty years on you can still tell the location from the air.  In the projector room we switch the reel invisibly. In the electric room our hearts are working hard. We’re getting hard watching light move across our men. We’re bewitched by the action on the screen. Maybe we were always hard but couldn’t tell until you showed us what it meant. I mean means: it still echoes through our lives.  I hear it everywhere in our mouths as we talk to wives or sparring partners, believers, lovers. Hover outside our windows some night after dark and try to decode our fights’ grammar: What happened to the hammer I was using earlier? I certainly didn’t move it or leave it there. It didn’t move itself. The neighbors didn’t take it. Nor the baby. It’s like you never listen to me. It’s like you don’t love me and you don’t know me at all."

- Two Essays on Predator
By Ander Monson

 

From the Filmmaker

 

"Captain America in particular seems to irk the filmmaker. “The cult of American hyper-masculinity is one of the worst things to have happened to the world during the last 50 years,” he says. “Hundreds of thousands of people have died because of this idiotic delusion. So how is it possible to watch a film called ‘Captain America?!’”

 

Asked whether he believes the studios are “poisoning action cinema with their ideologies,” McTiernan is just as explicit: “All they’re making are comic book adaptations. There’s action but no human beings, they’re films made by fascists,” he says. “They’re making all the kids in the world think that they’ll never be important enough to have a film made about their life. And it’s a unique moment in the history of cinema, it didn’t used to be like this. A kid used to be able to learn how a man or a woman should act by watching films. Morals. Comics make heroes for businesses.”"

- IndieWire Interview with John McTiernan

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"More than just another dumb '80s Schwarzenegger actioner, Predator has gradually become a sci-fi and action classic. It's not difficult to see why. John McTiernan's direction is claustrophobic, fluid and assured, staging the action with aplomb but concentrating just as much on tension and atmosphere.  It's cheesy as hell, of course, but enormously entertaining and deeply cool, with a ton of quotable lines - 'I ainít got time to bleed' - while The Predator itself is an utterly unforgettable villain. But most bad guys are only as good as their heroes and, long before he became a shambling self-parody, Arnie delivers - and not just in the walking and talking without falling over sense. He's an awesomely indestructible figure here, at the height of his physical powers. He's the archetypal immovable force meeting an irresistible object. Only Arnie at his most iconic could convincingly defeat the Predator (as those who've seen Danny Glover in 'Predator 2' know).  There's also something ironic in the climax, where immigrant Arnie - now fully embraced by the U.S. - kicks the tar out of a real illegal alien. We could go into the sexual subtext, but maybe we're just reading too much into it." - Chris Hewitt, Empire

 

User Opinion

 

"One of the most bad ass movies ever . When I watch this movie , I watch the beginning credits scene like ten times, with the fantastic Silvestri soundtrack and all these macho men coming out of the helicopter before Arnie slowly appears . Possibly the most bad ass beginning of a movie along with "once upon the west" .  Arnold generally made way better choices when he was in his prime compared to Stallone and he didn't fight communism , almost in every movie , and being trapped in the Reagan era movies despite being a republican. His classic movies hold so much better than Stallone's (whose only real classics are Rocky and first blood ) ." - @Thrylos 7

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Hunter now hunted

 

Macho, explosion, boom, boom

 

Hunter now dead, dead

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - Unranked, 2013 - Unranked, 2014 - Unranked, 2016 - Unranked, 2018 - 80

 

Director Count

 

Mel Brooks - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, David Lean - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, Richard Linklater - 1, John McTiernan Bob Persichetti - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, The Russo Brothers - 1,  Lee Unkrich - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1

 

Franchise Count

 

Before Trilogy - 1, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 1, Pixar - 1, Predator - 1, Spider-Man - 1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1 

 

Decade Count

 

1950s - 1, 1970s - 1, 1980s - 3, 2000s - 2, 2010s - 4

 

 

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23 minutes ago, The Panda said:

From the Filmmaker

 

"Captain America in particular seems to irk the filmmaker. “The cult of American hyper-masculinity is one of the worst things to have happened to the world during the last 50 years,” he says. “Hundreds of thousands of people have died because of this idiotic delusion. So how is it possible to watch a film called ‘Captain America?!’”

 

Asked whether he believes the studios are “poisoning action cinema with their ideologies,” McTiernan is just as explicit: “All they’re making are comic book adaptations. There’s action but no human beings, they’re films made by fascists,” he says. “They’re making all the kids in the world think that they’ll never be important enough to have a film made about their life. And it’s a unique moment in the history of cinema, it didn’t used to be like this. A kid used to be able to learn how a man or a woman should act by watching films. Morals. Comics make heroes for businesses.”"

- IndieWire Interview with John McTiernan

 

Umm...wow.

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"Very odd, what happens in a world without children's voices."

 

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"The world's youngest citizen has just died at the age of eighteen, and humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction. Set in and around a dystopian London fractious with violence and warring nationalistic sects, this movie follows the unexpected discovery of a lone pregnant woman and the desperate journey to deliver her to safety and restore faith for a future beyond those presently on Earth."

 

Its Legacy

 

"Watching Children of Men today, with its stark scenes of caged “fugees” forcibly detained in militarised border camps, it feels unnervingly like a grim prophecy of our current climate, a world reshaped by right-wing populism and homeland insecurity. In August 2016, the political scientist and bestselling author Francis Fukuyama claimed Cuarón’s film “should be on people’s minds after Brexit and after the rise of Donald Trump”. Just weeks later, Vanity Fair’s chief critic, Richard Lawson, suggested Children of Men “should be required viewing for anyone grappling with feelings of dread about modern civilisation. Which is to say, probably everyone.” The roots of the film, however, were much less overtly political. Adapted from a 1992 novel by the veteran British crime author P.D. James, Children of Men takes place in Britain in 2027, an authoritarian state weakened by a mysterious worldwide cataclysm that has rendered the entire human race infertile. As Britain is one of the last remaining semi-stable nation states, it becomes a magnet for migrants fleeing plague and war in their homelands, only to find themselves demonised and imprisoned in vast coastal internment camps. Terrorist bombs and violent extremists have reduced London to a grimy, grubby, low-level war zone.

 

Struggling to find hope in this fallen world is the film’s sardonic anti-hero, Theo Faron (Clive Owen), a former activist who is cajoled back into political engagement by his ex-wife Julian (Julianne Moore), the leader of a pro-immigrant revolutionary cell called the Fishes. Julian shares a miraculous secret with Theo: these underground radicals are harbouring the world’s first pregnant woman for two decades, Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey).  But after Julian dies in a roadside ambush, Theo breaks free from the treacherous Fishes and goes on the run with Kee, hoping to deliver her to a secretive fertility research group called The Human Project. He is aided along the way by his old friend Jasper, an ageing hippie radical played by Michael Caine in one of his most unusual autumnal roles. Caine suggested to Cuarón that he model Jasper on John Lennon, and the results are delicious.  Premiered in Venice in September 2006, Children of Men struck a timely chord, earning positive reviews and Oscar nominations. But as an almost unrelentingly bleak, morally complex thriller whose biggest headline star is killed off in the first half hour, its commercial appeal was always going to be tricky. In the States, Universal effectively dumped the film with a Christmas holiday release. It went on to earn an underwhelming $70m, less than its $76m budget, and was soon filed away in the canon of well-regarded flops. Cuarón then dropped off the radar for “the five most intense and difficult years of my life”, but eventually bounced back with the hugely successful Gravity.

 

Many left-wing observers, meanwhile, received Children of Men as an excoriating critique of contemporary neoliberal capitalism. The late cultural theorist and author Mark Fisher began his feted 2009 manifesto Capitalist Realism with a paean to Cuarón’s dark masterpiece. “What is unique about the dystopia in Children of Men is that it is specific to late capitalism,” Fisher argued. “For all that we know, the authoritarian measures that are everywhere in place could have been implemented within a political stricture that remains, notionally, democratic. The War on Terror has prepared us for such a development.”  Fisher also detects in Children of Men an echo of the apocalyptic aphorism, sometimes attributed to the Slovenian Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek, that “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism”. In a neat piece of symmetry, Zizek himself appears in the extra features on the film’s 2007 DVD release. “I think that the film gives the best diagnosis of ideological despair of late capitalism, of a society without history,” he says. “This, I think, is a true despair of the film. The true infertility is the very lack of meaningful historical experience.”

 

But Cuarón’s own political intentions in Children of Men are harder to read. The film’s most committed leftist characters are the Fishes, a guerrilla group tearing themselves apart with nihilistic violence and back-stabbing factionalism. With their plans to exploit Kee’s baby to incite anarchy, these old-school revolutionaries are clearly portrayed on screen as part of the problem, not part of the solution. Judean People’s Front? Splitters.  Cuarón himself grew up with Marxist sympathies. But looking back on Children of Men in his 2016 Vulture interview, he suggested that his generation was “tainted by ideology” and should step aside to make way for younger, less dogmatic idealists. “Ultimately, ideologies are mental tools of separation,” he concluded. “I’m a pessimist about the present because I know my generation. But every time I see younger generations, I’m hopeful.”  Perhaps this helps explain the enduring power of Children of Men in the era of Trump and Brexit. Like Roma, it feels like a radical plea for empathy in dark and divided times, a tiny beacon of hope bobbing on stormy seas."

- Stephen Dalton, British Film Institute

 

From the Filmmaker

 

"Okay, yes, it wasn’t marketed all that well, so I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who saw it for that sort of reason. But I’ve seen, at least anecdotally, that people are giving word-of-mouth endorsements recently, what with the coming of Brexit and the Trump victory. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to Children of Men now.
AC: There’s so much, man. A very sad fact is that people, they’ve been talking about the stuff that’s been happening. People have been warning about it. The thing is, we are surprised now, but it’s been talked about. Children of Men is a product of that. Children of Men is not a prophetic piece. It’s just a compound of studies and essays of other people around the time [when it was made].

 

Who were you reading back then? I know Slavoj Žižek was one person, but who else?

 

AC: Naomi Klein and [political philosopher] John Gray. But also, in terms of population studies and stuff, it was [sociologist] Saskia Sassen. What I find of these people — Chomsky, too — they are amazing at diagnostics. It’s not that most of these people have tried to come out with solutions. They are just stating the diagnostics of the situation, the state of how things are. One thing they started talking about, because of the environment, was [geographer] Fabrizio Eva. He’s talking about the natural thing that happens with that, which is migration. The natural thing was to explore migration. You go and you start talking with people or researching about the effects. This is stuff that they’ve been setting up for a long time. Now we’re in shock because the paradigm suddenly seems to be changing. It’s not. It’s just the natural evolution of what has been happening the last few years.

 

In the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about the bit in Children of Men where Theo talks to Nigel, who’s been rescuing Europe’s great artworks and preserving them. Theo tells him, “In a hundred years, there won’t be one sad fuck to look at any of this. What keeps you going?” and Nigel says, “You know what it is, Theo? I just don’t think about it.” I used to think that was an appalling way to look at the world, but lately, I’ve been wondering if he had the right idea. After all, if you focus on the coming apocalypse, you might become fatalistic or even nihilistic. So maybe you should just not think about it.

 

AC: That’s so funny, because I never saw it as so philanthropic. I don’t think it’s philanthropy there, with this character. I think it’s just what gets him through the night. He has the means and the power to put [the art collection] together and yes, he can claim that it is for the good of humanity like everybody claims that everything that they do is for the good of humanity. But ultimately, he is using those just as subjects of décor. It’s decoration. [Michelangelo’s] David belongs to a context. A context that is a cultural context that deals with ethnic, spiritual, religious, aesthetic use. You know? You cannot just strip that part and put it in your living room as décor. You’re going to put Guernica as a backdrop for your fancy dining table served by butlers? At that point, what does it mean anymore? It becomes wallpaper. Also, there’s the line where [Nigel’s] just talking about all these cities and the catastrophes how it’s a blow to art.

 

Right, and then Theo says, “Not to mention people.”
 

AC: [Nigel] does not mention people. But you cannot divorce people from art or from culture. Otherwise, it’s just an object. If an alien civilization comes one day, I don’t know that they’ll be able to distinguish a piece of marble in the shape of the David from just marble in nature. Art has to do with the culture. The moment that you divorce from that, there’s nothing left. And [Nigel] is divorcing art from the people. You know, it’s either decoration or a turn of power, at that point."

- Vulture Interview with Alfonso Cuaron

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Nothing goes out of date more quickly than films set in the future. Big-screen visions of tomorrow always reflect the era in which they were made – hence the disco outfits in Flash Gordon. Most soon become quaint relics rather than uncanny prophecies of the shape of things to come. But then, on the other hand, there is Children of Men. Alfonso Cuarón’s feverish dystopian chase thriller is set in a decade’s time, in 2027, but it also came out a decade ago. By now, we should be chuckling at how far off-target its predictions were, both in their overall picture and their background minutiae. Instead, it’s tempting to ask whether Cuarón had access to a crystal ball.  Children of Men is one of the most acclaimed films of recent times: BBC Culture’s poll of international critics placed it as the 13th best film of the 21st Century. Partly, that’s because of the shocking immersive style of its brilliantly choreographed action sequences, which were shot in long unbroken takes. It’s also because of how believable its depiction of a cluttered and grimy near-future was, but if Children of Men seemed accurate 10 years ago, it seems a lot more accurate today.

 

If the plot harks back to two classic fictions of the 1940s, Casablanca and Nineteen Eighty-Four, the setting is breathtakingly contemporary. Cuarón doesn’t use captions or speeches to explain what has happened to civilisation, but, judging by the old newspapers we glimpse, society has been rocked by climate change, pollution, nuclear accidents, social division, and terrorist bombings. Nevertheless, all of Britain’s troubles have been blamed on asylum seekers, who are locked in cages, and then bussed to hellish shanty towns. “Poor fugees,” says Theo’s hippy friend Jasper (Michael Caine). “After escaping the worst atrocities, and making it all the way to England, our government hunts them down like cockroaches.”  Ring any bells? Mass migration was a major issue in 2006, so it’s not surprising that it should be so central to Children of Men. But, a decade ago, no one had predicted the Syrian refugee crisis, or that the US’s President-elect would propose registering Muslims, or that the UK would vote to leave the European Union after a campaign that focused on immigrant numbers. Today, it’s hard to watch the television news headlines in Children of Men without gasping at their prescience: “The Muslim community demands an end to the army’s occupation of mosques.” “The homeland security bill is ratified. After eight years, British borders will remain closed. The deportation of illegal immigrants will continue.” In 2006, all of this seemed plausible enough, but perhaps a little strident, a little over-the-top.

 

But Cuarón’s most effective decision was to shoot so many scenes on the streets of London, without adding much except graffiti, litter and all-round squalor. (And, speaking as a Londoner, I haven’t noticed the capital getting any cleaner over the past decade.) This decision pays dividends in the nerve-jangling bomb blast sequence which opens the film. The scene was shot on Fleet Street in central London, with St Paul’s Cathedral visible in the distance. In 2006, it was an astonishing logistical achievement. If the same sequence were being shot today, it would probably be conjured up on a computer instead. But while digital backdrops tend to look artificial with a few years’ hindsight, the explosion at the start of Children of Men is still horribly credible.."

- Nicholas Barber, The BBC

 

User Opinion

 

"I thought it was a pretentious piece of crap." - @DeeCee 

 

:rant:

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Capitalism

 

Society collapsing

 

The children are gone

 

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Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - Unranked, 2013 - 83, 2014 - 94, 2016 - Unranked, 2018 - Unranked

 

Director Count

 

Mel Brooks - 1, Alfonso Cuaron - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, David Lean - 1, Hayao Miyazaki - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, Richard Linklater - 1, John McTiernan Bob Persichetti - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, The Russo Brothers - 1,  Lee Unkrich - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1

 

Franchise Count

 

Before Trilogy - 1, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 1, Pixar - 1, Predator - 1, Spider-Man - 1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1 

 

Decade Count

 

1950s - 1, 1970s - 1, 1980s - 3, 2000s - 3, 2010s - 4

 

 

Edited by The Panda
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"The first rule of Fight Club, is you don't talk about Fight Club."

 

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"A nameless first person narrator (Edward Norton) attends support groups in attempt to subdue his emotional state and relieve his insomniac state. When he meets Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), another fake attendee of support groups, his life seems to become a little more bearable. However when he associates himself with Tyler (Brad Pitt) he is dragged into an underground fight club and soap making scheme. Together the two men spiral out of control and engage in competitive rivalry for love and power. When the narrator is exposed to the hidden agenda of Tyler's fight club, he must accept the awful truth that Tyler may not be who he says he is."

 

Its Legacy

 

"In time, it became what we know it to be now: the centre of one-too-many late night conversations about hollow materialism, and the need to break through just to feel something real in this fake world.  They’re just like Fight Club‘s Narrator (Edward Norton), a grey suit insomniac who has been anaesthetised to life until he meets the enigmatic Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). The two form a fight club, where the “spiritually” lost men of generation X pummel each other to return to their ‘primal roots’, though it escalates into a guerrilla movement against the consumerist masses.  For the stirred viewer, Tyler’s monologues could be memorised as mantras: like Trainspotting‘s ‘Choose Life’ speech, they were perfect to hang on posters and etch into moleskins, or to turn into a menacing trance song.  “You are not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank,” Tyler says. “You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”  Whoa. Every year, a new group of teenage boys discover Fight Club, and have their minds blown. I would know: in 2008, I was one of them.  With a few months of my first watch, I hadn’t founded a fight club, but I had all the merch I could need to reject materialism for good. There was the DVD and the book, sure, but I also had the screenplay, the soundtrack, a poster and a bootleg T-shirt. I even dressed up as Edward Norton’s character not once, but twice: first, for my 15th birthday party, then for a school book fair.

 

It’s easy to see the appeal for teenage boys and young men. Fight Club taps into angst and dissatisfaction and points the finger at huge forces out of our control: we’re all cogs in the machine, man. What can we do?  Well, Tyler presents nihilism as the answer — albeit sold in a sexy, stylish Hollywood package. While a handful of fans have formed real-life fight clubs or even planned (and failed) Starbucks bombings à la the film’s finale, most Fight Club fans land on a much more innocuous but still irritating smugness about the seeing the world as it really is, awakened and separate from the sleeping masses.  For many bros, that means watching Fight Club is the red-pill revolution, a film which expresses how they’re ‘gifted children‘ who have been stifled and shoved into unfulfilling lives. And so they have to tell the world.

 

The problem is, that’s only a partial reading of the film, whose ultimate target isn’t capitalism itself but masculinity under its spell, and what happens when men who are sold the promise of the world by birthright realise they’ll never reach the 1 per cent. The game is rigged, yes, but men tend to turn towards violence time and time again, whether that be through terrorist acts or domestic and sexual violence.  20 years on, it’s hard to take Fight Club for what it is — a satire about men who want to blow up the world rather than process their own feelings — without first imagining its frat boy fans. Maybe we don’t need to reclaim the film (there’s plenty of other meditative films and tv shows on toxic masculinity), but Fight Club‘s stature in 2019 as a shorthand for an insufferable pseudo-intellectual bro reveals a lot about how fanbases can fail the things they love."

- Jared Richards

 

From the Filmmaker

 

"“We were making a satire,” Fincher said. “We were saying, ‘This is as serious about blowing up buildings as ‘The Graduate’ is about fucking your mom’s friend.'”  Fox went ahead with the script Fincher planned with screenwriter Jim Uhls. Having directed Brad Pitt already in the serial killer drama “Se7en,” all Fincher had to do was convince the actor to read the script during the making of “Meet Joe Black” in order to get him to sign on as Tyler Durden. Edward Norton caught Fincher’s eye after the director watched him in “The People vs. Larry Flynt.” Like Fincher, Norton viewed “Fight Club” as a comedy.  Just how funny “Fight Club” should be ended up being a point of contention on set between Fincher and Norton. The two men fought over the movie’s tone, often resulting in long breaks between scenes where other actors would wait around aimlessly.  “I think Edward had this idea of, ‘Let’s make sure people realize that this is a comedy,’” Fincher said. “He and I talked about this ad nauseum. There’s humor that’s obsequious, that’s saying, ‘Wink-wink, don’t worry, it’s all in good fun.’ And my whole thing was to not wink. What we want is for people to go, ‘Are they espousing this?’”"

- IndieWire Interview with David Fincher

 

Fight-Club.jpg?mtime=20161020070355

 

Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"These early scenes have a nice sly tone; they're narrated by the Norton character in the kind of voice Nathanael West used in Miss Lonelyhearts. He's known only as the Narrator, for reasons later made clear. The meetings are working as a sedative, and his life is marginally manageable when tragedy strikes: He begins to notice Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) at meetings. She's a "tourist" like himself--someone not addicted to anything but meetings. She spoils it for him. He knows he's a faker, but wants to believe everyone else's pain is real.  On an airplane, he has another key encounter, with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a man whose manner cuts through the fog. He seems able to see right into the Narrator's soul, and shortly after, when the Narrator's high-rise apartment turns into a fireball, he turns to Tyler for shelter. He gets more than that. He gets in on the ground floor of Fight Club, a secret society of men who meet in order to find freedom and self-realization through beating one another into pulp.  It's at about this point that the movie stops being smart and savage and witty, and turns to some of the most brutal, unremitting, nonstop violence ever filmed. Although sensible people know that if you hit someone with an ungloved hand hard enough, you're going to end up with broken bones, the guys in "Fight Club" have fists of steel, and hammer one another while the sound effects guys beat the hell out of Naugahyde sofas with Ping-Pong paddles. Later, the movie takes still another turn. A lot of recent films seem unsatisfied unless they can add final scenes that redefine the reality of everything that has gone before; call it the Keyser Soze syndrome.

 

What is all this about? According to Durden, it is about freeing yourself from the shackles of modern life, which imprisons and emasculates men. By being willing to give and receive pain and risk death, Fight Club members find freedom. Movies like "Crash" (1997), must play like cartoons for Durden. He's a shadowy, charismatic figure, able to inspire a legion of men in big cities to descend into the secret cellars of a Fight Club and beat one another up.  Only gradually are the final outlines of his master plan revealed. Is Tyler Durden in fact a leader of men with a useful philosophy? "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything," he says, sounding like a man who tripped over the Nietzsche display on his way to the coffee bar in Borders. In my opinion, he has no useful truths. He's a bully--Werner Erhard plus S & M, a leather club operator without the decor. None of the Fight Club members grows stronger or freer because of their membership; they're reduced to pathetic cultists. Issue them black shirts and sign them up as skinheads. Whether Durden represents hidden aspects of the male psyche is a question the movie uses as a loophole--but is not able to escape through, because "Fight Club" is not about its ending but about its action.  Of course, "Fight Club" itself does not advocate Durden's philosophy. It is a warning against it, I guess; one critic I like says it makes "a telling point about the bestial nature of man and what can happen when the numbing effects of day-to-day drudgery cause people to go a little crazy." I think it's the numbing effects of movies like this that cause people go to a little crazy. Although sophisticates will be able to rationalize the movie as an argument against the behavior it shows, my guess is that audience will like the behavior but not the argument. Certainly they'll buy tickets because they can see Pitt and Norton pounding on each other; a lot more people will leave this movie and get in fights than will leave it discussing Tyler Durden's moral philosophy. The images in movies like this argue for themselves, and it takes a lot of narration (or Narration) to argue against them."

- Roger Ebert

 

User Opinion

 

"Rewatch this movie recently. I have seen it 2 time before, but when I was pretty young. Guess third time is the charm, cause I like it much more than I did. Discover a few new things. Very engaging movie with incredible acting performances, especially Pitt (also Norton, who I'm not normally fond of, but he was great in it). Good direction with the usual distinct Fincher style, which is a very good thing. Fight Club is his second best work for me, after The Social Network and tie with Zodiac." - @Sam

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Dudebros hype this up

 

But do they not realize?

 

It's laughing at them.

 

Fight-Club-Featured.jpg?mtime=2019041401

 

Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - 18, 2013 - 18, 2014 - 26, 2016 - 39, 2018 - 39

 

Director Count

 

Mel Brooks - 1, Alfonso Cuaron - 1, David Fincher - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, David Lean - 1, Hayao Miyazaki - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, Richard Linklater - 1, John McTiernan Bob Persichetti - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, The Russo Brothers - 1,  Lee Unkrich - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1

 

Franchise Count

 

Before Trilogy - 1, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 1, Pixar - 1, Predator - 1, Spider-Man - 1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1 

 

Decade Count

 

1950s - 1, 1970s - 1, 1980s - 3, 2000s - 3, 2010s - 4

 

 

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21 minutes ago, The Panda said:

That is what came up when I googled "John McTiernan interview predator" and I decided

 

"You know what, let's roll with it."

Considering that Predator is a film about hyper-masculanity, I'd say there's some connection between the movie and McTiernan's comments.

 

Speaking of Predator, I think if I rewatched it (it's been 10 years since I last saw it, one of my first R rated movies ever), it would've been somewhere high on my list.

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"Sell me this pen."

 

About the Movie

 

Synopsis

 

"Jordan Belfort is a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 22 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scam that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including shoe designer Steve Madden."

 

Its Legacy

 

"Victims don’t get much screen time in Wolf—“Fuck the clients,” a senior trader tells Belfort by way of an education early in the movie—but there is no shortage of cruel, duplicitous, and remarkably ugly behavior. No attempt is made to defend such conduct as the requirement of a well-functioning financial sector.  In fact, the movie regards the technical details of finance (high and low) as ultimately irrelevant. Whenever Belfort begins to explain the mechanics of an IPO or the schemes he’s using to launder money—an occasion in which it seems natural that he’d defend his practice—he stops short. “Who cares?” he says, looking straight into the camera. He’s acknowledging a conspiracy of interest between the audience and him: Neither party cares very much for complex financial mechanisms, and hearing about them won’t convince anyone that they are either essential to ensuring broad prosperity or warrant all kinds of bad behavior to support them.

 

We, the audience, are not treated like Belfort’s clients, which is to say, with contempt for our intelligence. He makes no efforts to explain or justify his actions. On the contrary, he trusts that, vicariously at least, we are glad to participate in the deception and debauchery. “I want them to live like me,” he says of his savages, and for three hours, that includes us.  In this respect, Wolf stands out not only as the most anti-Wall Street movie I’ve ever seen from a major director but as a scathing indictment of the American Dream or what’s become of it in an age of extreme inequality and decadent consumerism. As Scorsese presents it, today, the American Dream has nothing to do with creation or client service—“We don’t create shit,” the same senior trader tells Belfort—the essence of it is simple: money, lots and lots of money.  “There is no nobility in poverty,” Belfort tells the trading floor at his firm, Stratton Oakmont. “I’ve been a rich man and I’ve been a poor man, and I choose rich every fucking time. At least as a rich man, when I have to face my problems, I show up in the back of a limo wearing a $2,000 suit and a $40,000 gold watch.” And if anyone should think he is “superficial” or “materialist” for saying such things, Belfort has a message for them: “Go get a job at fucking McDonalds, because that’s where you fucking belong.”

 

Wolf is rife with Belfort’s vulgar moralizing, and it serves to make him something more than an unglamorous Gordon Gekko. He ultimately embodies of a vision of the world where any attempt to describe a causal connection between “greed” and “good” seems not quaint or mistaken but entirely beside the point. For Belfort, all you need to know is that money is the sole criterion of status, success, and moral superiority. In the broadest sense, it is how human beings keep score, and he tells his shock troops he wants a “room full of winners.” How exactly they get their money, whether by laudable or even legal means, is ultimately irrelevant to him and, he intimates, to us. “This is Ellis Island,” he says. “This is the land of opportunity. Stratton Oakmont is America.”  Let’s hope not. According to Scorsese, the American Dream is a nihilistic bacchanal where any excess is redeemed by the ability to be excessive. “Enough of this will make you invincible,” Belfort says as he unrolls a $100 bill. The moral achievement of The Wolf of Wall Street is not that it shows Belfort to be wrong—it doesn’t—rather that it asks the audience:  What does it say about us if he’s right?"

- John Paul Rollert, An Ethicist on the Wolf of Wall Street

 

From the Filmmaker

 

"What, in your view, are the ingredients of a great movie? Do all great movies share anything in common?

 

MS: The first thing that comes to mind, I guess, is if it means something to people over a long period of time -- people are still interested in experiencing it, not necessarily watching it, but living with it. If it still has something to say, like a great play, or a great novel, or a great painting or a great piece of music. You know, there are instances where people love certain films for 20 years or so and then they've seen enough of them, or they've read a novel two or three times but switch on to some other author. So does it have a universal appeal? And will it stand the test of time? There's no way I know that about my films; there's no way we'll know, you see? We can tell sometimes with films made about 50 years ago, 60 years ago -- some are still art and even younger audiences respond on a basic human level. I'm not talking about humanistic; I'm talking about something else, deeper and stronger.

 

You said in another interview that it has sometimes taken you years to decide to pursue a project, including The Wolf of Wall Street. Why is that?

 

MS: Yes. Well, [with Wolf] I had to ask myself what could I bring to it? What could I bring to it that I hadn't brought to other pictures that I'd made? Stylistically, it's similar to other films I made, yet I wanted to expand the style and it was a challenge. Can I extend that style? Can I go further with it? Can I stay interested in it, in terms of the making of the film? That's what I meant. Is there a passion for making the picture? Because there's nothing worse than being someplace you don't want to be, or being with people who don't want to be there -- or yourself being with people who want to be there but you don't want to be there. I hate to say it, I'm sorry to say, but not the greatest amount of money in the world -- unless there's problems in health or whatever, and maybe, you know, financial problems, but even that-- It's very, very hard to be in a place where you just don't want to be, you know? There's just too much to take on. And other projects take 20 years sometimes because I have to come around to them. Yes, I've always been interested, tried to find ways to do it, wasn't satisfied, and finally-- In the case of The [Last] Temptation of Christ or in the case of trying to make this film Silence that's coming up, it's taken many years; Silence needed 20 years just to even think about."

- Interview from THR with Martin Scorsese

 

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Why It's the Greatest

 

Critic Opinion

 

"Jordan's loving the buzz when a crash forces him into a penny-stock trading firm, offering postmen and plumbers modest buys. Here too, with his drive and desire, Jordan strikes it rich, launching his own firm with neighbour Donny (Hill) and 'young, hungry, stupid' guys who get super-rich. When they're not ensuring the client 'either buys or f***ing dies', the brokers do drugs and sex like there's no tomorrow. But the FBI's watching their orgy.  DiCaprio runs away with Jordan, magnetic as he trains his pack to hunt, brutally funny when high on drugs, he crawls to his low-slung Ferrari. You feel Jordan's hunger for dough, his itching hands, his lips licked at the thought of his next billion. DiCaprio is compelling, quipping amidst carnality and cocaine, "This is obscene in the normal world - but who the f*** wants to live there?" Swinging from magnificent to meatloaf, DiCaprio nails over-the-top, yet fragile Jordan, unraveling after meeting Patrick Denham (Chandler), FBI.
 

There are further 'highs' - Hill's memorable as chubby, grotesque Donny, Jean Dujardin's like a polished fondue as slick Swiss banker Saurel, veteran British actress Joanna Lumley's in a nice cameo as Aunt Emma to Jordan's bombshell wife Naomi (Robbie). The movie could have snipped 20 minutes off but the soundtrack's peppy-bright against greed raw and stark, capturing the violence and vulgarity embellishing the victories of Wall Street. The 'F' word's sprinkled generously, like salt on French fries, shocking your taste-buds more. Prepare your appetite. This Wolf makes you wince, think, laugh - and growl."

- Times of India

 

User Opinion

 

"As Donnie Azoff, Hill plays what could possibly be his funniest role to date. As Belfort’s optimistic partner and right hand man, Hill is terrific. Hill transforms into the role completely, right down to his voice and look. Matthew McConaughey (in his brief appearance at the beginning) is hilarious as Mark Hanna, Belfort’s mentor, and the man who inspires him to start his stockbroker company. McConaughey is clearly having a good time, and despite his limited screentime, he chews up the scenery quite well. Kyle Chandler appears an FBI agent, and the scene where he confronts on DiCaprio on his boat, makes you wonder why this actor isn’t getting more lead roles. There are also female characters and actresses in this film, Cristin Milioti (in a small role) plays Belfort’s first wife Teresa. Milioti (in her small screentime) plays her part more serious than a lot of the cast does and brings more of a down to earth feel to the film. However much more noteworthy, in what could possibly be a star making role (or just a role that gives her work for a few years, before she disappearances into lesser movies) is Australian actress Margot Robbie as Belfort’s second wife Naomi Lapaglia. Robbie doing a very good Brooklyn accent, and plays the part of an alluring, beautiful but clearly intelligent woman well. Rob Reiner (in his first acting role in a movie in exactly a decade) also has a small role as Jordan Belfort’s father. Reiner plays the role of a man who is described as being “quite angry on the phone, but completely fine when he’s off it”, with some good emotion, and even has a noteworthy scene.

 

Scorsese direction is in full force as ever. The way he shows us scenes is just as revealing as this movie reveals to the audience just how corrupt the stockbroker system is. The script by Terence Winter (known for being the created of the acclaim series broadwalk empire, which is produced by Scorsese), is full of witty and sharp dialogue, and the plot moves at a brisk pace inspite of its long run now.  Also of note is that The Wolf of Wall Street is the first film to be shot entirely digitally. That is unfortunate because it signals the end of regular motion picture filmmaking as we know it. Despite this though, The Wolf of Wall Street is an animal of a movie, and is glorious entertaining and a film as a whole." - @Fancyarcher

 

The Panda's Haiku

 

Stonks, up, up they go

 

Prostitutes and ecstasy

 

Oh yes, says the wolf

 

Wolf-of-Wall-Street-Feature.jpg?mtime=20

 

Factoids

 

Placement on Prior Lists

 

2012 - Unranked, 2013 - Unranked, 2014 - Unranked, 2016 - 88, 2018 - Unranked

 

Director Count

 

Mel Brooks - 1, Alfonso Cuaron - 1, David Fincher - 1, Rian Johnson - 1, David Lean - 1, Hayao Miyazaki - 1, Adrian Molina - 1, Akira Kurosawa - 1, Richard Linklater - 1, John McTiernan Bob Persichetti - 1, Peter Ramsey - 1, Rodney Rotham - 1, The Russo Brothers - 1,  Martin Scorsese - 1, Lee Unkrich - 1, Kar-Wai Wong - 1

 

Franchise Count

 

Before Trilogy - 1, Marvel Cinematic Universe - 1, Pixar - 1, Predator - 1, Scorsese -1, Spider-Man - 1, Star Wars - 1, Studio Ghibli - 1 

 

Decade Count

 

1950s - 1, 1970s - 1, 1980s - 3, 2000s - 3, 2010s - 5

 

 

 

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