Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Help Me Out

I'm doing something a little different tonight. Despite not having seen more than a movie or two for the past 10 days, I'm still catching up with work and a movie isn't in the cards.

So, instead of a review tonight, I'm asking for suggestions.

One of the problems of watching movies off a list is that I tend to overlook a lot of movies that are worth my time but never make it to one of the lists I'm pursuing. I've put up a list on Letterboxd for suggestions of non-Oscar and non-listed horror movies that are worth my time.

If you get the chance, please offer me suggestions either here or there. Since Fridays are Oscar days, I often watch something not attached to one of my various lists. What have I missed? What's worth my time on an upcoming Friday?

30 comments:

  1. I'd love to help you out, but I wouldn't even know what to recommend. At this point, you've seen far more films than I've ever seen or ever will see. It's like trying to figure out what gift to give a billionaire—the guy with everything. I suppose the only two films to come to mind would be ones from my "23 Movies" list: "Why Did Bodhidharma Go East?" and "L'homme du train"—the pre-remake version with Johnny Hallyday and Jean Rochefort. The first film, which is Korean, is very languid and will put you to sleep if you're not careful, but as filmic expressions of Zen go, it's one of the better, truer expressions out there, full of Zenny symbolism. "L'homme du train" is, in my opinion, a good, touching story about a strange friendship that hinges on a grass-is-greener outlook. The movie's conclusion is considered off-puttingly spiritual by some, but I saw the ending as merely emphasizing the connection between the two friends.

    My two scents, said the skunk.

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    1. You'd probably be surprised at the things that are missing from my personal filmography. The fact that I've seen a lot of movies doesn't mean that there aren't great ones worth seeing.

      Thanks for the tips--I'll add them to the list.

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  2. There's some great recent films from your list there, Incendies (2010), The Hunt (2012), Under The Skin (2014), I'd highly recommend those. If you are in the mood for a light movie, The Intouchables is a good choice.
    Last 2-3 years, I compiled yearly lists of the films I rated Rated 4.5 or 5 on letterboxd. Maybe you'll stumble upon something you haven't seen that's of interest:
    http://moviesandsongs365.blogspot.com/2010/04/movie-marathons.html

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    1. Well...I think you more than doubled my list. Thanks!

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  3. If you haven't dug into the Cornetto Trilogy, then screw all these Oscar movies and watch those immediately.

    Based on what you have so far, I'd recommend The Commitments, You're Next and Capt America: Winter Soldier. Don't bother with The Dark Knight Rises. Critics seem to love them some Upstream Color, but I just covered it on Your Face and dumped all over it. Take that for what it's worth.

    From Chris's lists, I'd second El Mariachi, Silverado, City Slickers, Pale Rider, Brick, Hard Boiled, The Player, Run Lola Run, and Insomnia (in no particular order)

    -Nolahn

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    1. I've seen the first two Cornetto movies, and you've tasked me with the third one, so that'll be happening later this year. I've heard mixed comments on both The Dark Knight Rises and Upstream Color, but I think I really should see both.

      As for the others, I've seen Silverado, Pale Rider, The Player, Run Lola Run, and Insomnia. Brick is on another of my "chosen for me" lists this year. I'm adding the others. Thanks!

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  4. I'm a total sci-fi nerd, so most of these are sci-fi. but still:

    If you liked Primer, Coherence (2013) was a total surprise and a very welcome one; it deals with a similar mind-bending situation, but is more inter-personal and group-oriented than Primer's clinical and analytical methodology. Saw it once, and immediately bought it off Amazon, and have since rewatched it a few times. I'd love to see what you'd have to say about it.

    To double-down on both the Primer references and the comment above mine (despite Nolahn detesting the film), I really enjoyed Shane Carruth's sophomore effort Upstream Color; it's very similar to Primer, in that you need to watch it a few times to be able to piece together everything that's happening, but once you do, the film is absolutely swimming with emotion, which added with the gorgeous cinematography makes for a very ethereal experience. I will grant, however, that a lot of it may have just been my supreme love of Primer carried over to Carruth's next flick, but I still got a lot out of it; as long as you're fully aware of what kind of filmmaker Carruth is and what he tries to achieve with his films, and thus go into it with the right outlook and mindset, it can be very rewarding.

    Speaking of Primer, I'd love to see a review of that one from you, just to gauge your reaction to it.

    I know most people don't care for it and consider it the weakest among Aronofsky's films, but I still believe The Fountain is a misunderstood modern classic. Even so, this might be the one I'd hesitate the most to recommend to you, mostly for fear of you falling into the majority crowd that didn't care for it.

    Another really good sci-fi flick from the past few years was Duncan Jones' Moon (2009). Sam Rockwell was an absolutely massive long-shot for an Oscar nom for it, but he really did carry the film completely and easily, twice over in fact (you'll get it if you watch the film). Plus, DAT SCORE by, who else, Clint Mansell.

    Another long-shot Best Actor Oscar nom, but one that absolutely should've been nominated (and is, I personally consider, one of the biggest Oscar snubs in recent memory) is Tom Hardy for Bronson (2009). I saw that film for the first time in film school, and had no idea who Tom Hardy was. I was an instant fan after that screening, and I still get a little bit of glee when I hear people say they're fans of Hardy because of films like Inception and Dark Knight Rises and Mad Max; I just think to myself, "Heh. If you thought he was good in those, watch Bronson. You'll be so confused as to how he didn't get nominated for that film," and indeed I even say that and recommend the film to them out loud. The film itself is quite uncomfortable, as it probably should've been, but Tom Hardy is truly holy-shit brilliant in it.

    (continued in reply:)

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    1. Roger Ebert always had a soft spot for a little sci-fi gem called Dark City, and it's one of my personal favorites as well; I'd recommend that one too if you haven't seen it. BIG HOWEVER, though: make sure you watch the Director's Cut and not the theatrical, regular release version. If you do see it, I'll explain why.

      Speaking of films that you should see the director's cut over the theatrical version, I suspect you've seen this already, and if you have, damn man; find an excuse to put up a review of Donnie Darko already. One of the 1001 list's most egregious omissions, in my opinion.

      And, what the hey; I just saw the trailer for the upcoming sequel last week, so why not throw in a recommend (again, if you haven't seen it already) for Zoolander. So unbelievably quotable, that film is, and hilarious to boot; it definitely grows on you with multiple viewings. I'll fully admit you might not share my opinion with this one; I just added it in because it came to mind since I just watched the trailer for the upcoming second one, but it's another personal fav.

      Any others I think of that you likely haven't seen, I'll add them on. These are just the ones that came up almost instantly in my head as recommendations.

      Cheers!
      -Adol

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    2. I haven't seen Primer so I'm adding both that and Coherence.

      I've seen The Fountain (not bad, but my least favorite Aronofsky), Moon (love it completely) and Bronson (not great, but Hardy is worth seeing). I've also seen Zoolander which is stupid/funny and which I like probably more than I should.

      I'm adding both Donnie Darko and Dark City, both movies that I'm a little ashamed I haven't seen.

      Thanks!

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    3. Just be warned: you will be confused after seeing Primer for the first time. It's going to be inevitable, so prepare yourself for it. As long as you don't get angry-confused at a film, I think you'll find a good deal of merit in it, though. That, and it's veeery low-budget, and comes across as such a few times, but I liked that about it; it was encouraging to a wannabe filmmaker such as myself. :)

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  5. Just throwing these out there....

    -Kiki's Delivery Service
    -High Fidelity
    -Cube (I can never remember if you've seen this or if I made you watch it)
    -Spaceballs
    -Clue

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    1. I'll add Kiki's Delivery Service. I've seen and really like the others.

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  6. Nicolas at Beyond1001movies made an interesting list a few months ago of movies included in the local versions of the 1001 book. There were a lot of interesting titles and movies most people have never heard of, but with quality enough to be included on the local lists. That might be an idea to check out, especially if you feel like Greek movies.

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    1. I might look through them if I get the chance. Still buried with work for a couple of days, though.

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  7. If you want some non-fiction, 'The Imposter' (which I just reviewed) is definitely worth your time. The Indian film 'The Lunchbox' is gorgeous.
    'Secretary' is strange, but I love it.
    'Lore,' a German-Australian film, is very good.

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    1. Of these, I've seen Secretary, which is everything 50 Shades of Gray wanted to be and so much (much, much) more. I'll add the others.

      Thanks!

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    2. I second Julia's recommendation re: "The Lunchbox." A beautiful little film about a particular kind of intimacy.

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  8. The best film of 2014 was a documentary,
    "The Overnighters," with a twist that only real life can provide thanks to all those billions of religious hypocrites and Nimbies or Nimbiers.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll add it to the list.

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    2. As a teacher, I'm a big fan of Mads Mikkelsen in "The Hunt." Hands down the scariest film a teacher will every see. And in keeping with horror, Mads Mikkelsen is also great as Hannibal Lecter in "Hannibal.." Of course, he and Alicia Vikander had their own horrific ordeal as doomed lovers in the Oscar nominated, "A Royal Affair."

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    3. Now I'm even more interested in watching The Hunt.

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    1. Assuming I can find it. NetFlix doesn't have it.

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    2. I used to have it on VHS and I watched it over and over again. I don't think I've ever seen it scheduled on TCM either.

      Too bad. Lionel Atwill is SO EVIL!

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  10. Since you're a Barbar Stanwyck fan, I suggest these Stanwyck films from the early 1930s:

    Night Nurse (with Joan Blondell and Clark Gable)
    Ladies They Talk About (Barbara's "women in prison" film! One of her fellow inmates is the glorious Lillian Roth!)
    The Miracle Woman (Barbara plays Aime Semple McPherson)
    Annie Oakley (This is so much fun!)

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    1. These I will absolutely add. you can never have enough Barbara Stanwyck.

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  11. If you're looking for Oscar contenders I say definitely check out Shutter Island and Hunchback of Notre Dame. As a movie lover Life Itself is a fascinating look at Roger Ebert and films from your list that I love are Niagara, a great chance to see what Marilyn could have done as a noir anti-heroine had her career taken a different course, Easy A and Unstoppable.

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    1. All of the films on the list on Letterboxd are either ones I've been recommended or ones that I just really wish I had seen by now. All of the ones you mention are both, so now they're even more so.

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    2. A little backstory on Niagara and MM. Fritz Lang had requested her for the role that Gloria Grahame played in The Big Heat having worked with her previously in Clash by Night. Fox wanted too much for a loan-out so Columbia said no and Zanuck put Marilyn in this noir in color which ended up being a big hit and furthered her ascent. It's probably for the best, Marilyn would have been an interesting Debbie but I have a hard time believing anyone could have been better than Grahame.

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    3. I agree on The Big Heat. I've grown to like both Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford more and more over the past five years.

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