Damn, I only have time to watch movies on weekends part 01

  • 1. Annie Get Your Gun (1950) - I watched this movie because I'm rehearsing for AGYG now (performances are Nov. 22, 23, 24). The movie was pretty disappointing. I've never liked Betty Hutton, and in this movie, her overacting is atrocious. Sure, Annie Oakley is supposed to be brassy, but Hutton is just plain goofy. I was unimpressed by the other actors as well, plus much of the play's script was changed for the movie. The movie had a few strong points, but it was too little too late.
  • 2. Alien (1979) - As I said on my "How to Succeed..." list, I thought "Alien" was really scary. The first half-hour was rather uneventful, but after that, I was caught in the story of "Alien", experiencing the same fear and suspense that the characters were feeling. Well, maybe not exactly the same, since I actually knew that no aliens were really going to attack me in my living room. But still. Damn good movie.
  • 3. Prizzi's Honor (1985) - For some reason, the IMDB and the back of the video box both list the plot of this movie as being a hit man and a hit woman who are in a relationship realize that they have been hired to bump each other off. But that really only happens in the last 1/4 of the movie. And before that, the movie is agonizingly slow, and the 2h9m was way too long for such a movie. Also, Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner had absolutely no chemistry, and I never really bought their relationship. Also, the script wasn't great, and it wasn't very funny. Finally, why the hell did Anjelica Huston win an Oscar for this? Sure, her performance was probably the best part of this weak movie, but it was still mediocre.
  • 4. The Bank Dick (1940) - Ah, classic W.C. Fields. Quite a funny man. This is a good effort of his, but I wouldn't call it his best (as some do). It's oftentimes hilarious, but there are some dull parts (e.g., any time they spend actually developing the plot). Fields is very funny, however, and the supporting cast is strong.
  • 5. Ghost World (2001) - If someone came up to me on the street and asked me to sum up the mood of "Ghost World", I'd probably look at them strangely and run off in the other direction. But if I were an acclaimed movie critic and the same thing happened, I would say, "quirky." The humor is quirky, the characters are eccentric, even the scenery is delightfully bizarre. The performances from Birch and Buscemi are amazing; even Scarlett Johannson (who disgusted me in "Eight Legged Freaks" and did not impress me in "The Man Who Wasn't There") gave a good performance. The movie is also very quirkily funny (is "quirkily" a word?). But I didn't get the ending. Can anyone out there tell me what all that was supposed to mean?
  • 6. Pi (1998) - As a Jew who is good at math and has studied Fibonacci, I actually felt like I could understand some of Max's thought process throughout this movie. I think some abstract, bizarre films out there were only made for the purpose of being abstract and bizarre, but "Pi", I think, had some important things to say. It held my attention every step of the way, and when it was over, I couldn't believe that 90 minutes had gone by already. Ignorance is bliss.
  • 7. What's New, Pussycat? (1965) - It's movies like this one that make me think I've seen every good comedy and should give up watching comedies altogether (with a few exceptions, of course). I laughed on occasion, mostly at the genius Peter Sellers; if they put enough zaniness in a movie, it will cause me to laugh somewhat. However, too much of the movie is just a cluttered mess, and even Sellers is unamusing. It's disappointing that Woody's first screenplay has little of the usual Woody wit. As far as the acting goes, O'Toole is decent at best, as is Allen, and most of the women have the same character, merely serving as sex objects. I can't stand the rampant objectification of women in movies, then and now. Oh yeah, and the only other part of the movie I liked was Ursula Andress running around in her underwear.
  • 8. The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) - ...and this is the kind of movie that makes me want to keep watching comedies. Much funnier here, and the zaniness of the movie is much more inspired. Alec Guinness is so much fun to watch, and a strength of the film is his chemistry with Stanley Holloway. This was my first Ealing comedy (I think), and I'm eager to try another.
  • 9. Witness for the Prosecution (1957) - I have a ton of recorded movies that I haven't watched yet, and before I eventually picked this movie, I wasn't sure which movie to watch. I regret not picking "Witness for the Prosecution" earlier - I should've known that Billy Wilder would never let me down, and besides, I love this kind of movie anyway. This is another brilliant film in Wilder's canon. I would recommend this to anyone.
  • 10. Die Another Day (2002) - Well, it wasn't a great movie, but it was certainly enjoyable. It's fun to see everyone performing these great action scenes, etc., but even though I've only seen a few Bond movies, I could feel that everything was just going through the same formula. But that's the point, I guess. On the plus, Halle Berry was sexy, the "virtual reality" scenes were entertaining, and the villains were actually rather competent rather than that usual cliche where they explain their whole plan to Bond while he's tied up. Nevertheless, a couple of the stunts were pathetic because they were so obviously computer-generated.
  • 11. Ordinary People (1980) - I have a confession to make, and I'm sure it will make me sound ignorant or like I have bad taste, but here goes. I'm not a big fan of movies where there isn't much plot, where it's just characters living their lives with each other. Especially when the movie is quiet, mellow, and slow-paced. I hated "The Accidental Tourist." I liked "Ghost World", but just because the characters were bizarre and quirky. Many characters in such movies aren't - they're just...well, ordinary people. It's hard to make a character-driven movie that I like (one that I do like is "You Can Count On Me"). That having been said, I expected to hate "Ordinary People"...but I didn't. I actually really liked this movie. I'm not sure why, but I did. Oh well.
  • 12. Strangers on a Train (1951) - An excellent film from the master of suspense. There are many brilliant moments here, one of my favorites being when Bruno looks at Guy during a tennis match while everyone else in the stands watches the ball. The shot really isolates Bruno. I don't know why I liked that shot so much, I just did. However, there are two logical flaws in the movie - minor flaws, but ones I must discuss. Spoilers:
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    First of all, after Guy talks to Bruno at Bruno's house and calls him a lunatic, he just puts the gun down on the bed for Bruno to pick up. Why? Could he be any stupider? He just double-crossed Bruno; he knows he's a lunatic; Bruno feels that Guy is in debt to him; why the hell would he give Bruno such a great opportunity to kill him? Second, I hated the part when Bruno accidentally drops the cigarette lighter down in the sewer. I mean, come on, that lighter is absolutely crucial. How stupid and clumsy do you have to be? And what really bugs me about these two flaws is that neither was necessary to move the plot along; they were both written just to heighten the suspense, and both could easily have been removed from the script, or better yet, left on the cutting room floor.
    But despite these flaws, I still really enjoyed the movie.
  • 13. Out of Sight (1998) - Well, let me start off with saying that this movie has the best opening scene I've seen in a while. It's funny, it's cool, and it nicely establishes Clooney's character early on. The rest of the movie made for a cool action movie, but it was less funny than the opening scene. I dunno, maybe it used that "subtle" humor that I've been hearing so much about lately. Nevertheless, I still really enjoyed the movie. Clooney has a lot of chemistry with both Rhames and Lopez. The movie also has a unique style - it tries making the audience think it's "Pulp Fiction" or "Get Shorty" but then it branches off into its own universe.
  • 14. Friends: The Complete Second Season (1995-1996) - Not a movie per se, but ah well, it's my list. I really liked the 2nd season; "Friends" did a lot then. Ross and Rachel are dating, Tom Selleck is making guest appearances, Joey is on "Days of Our Lives", Phoebe meets her brother. It was a good season, back when the "Friends" writers still had wit and imagination. As for the DVD itself: the picture and sound quality is very good. However, the bonus features were rather lacking. The episode commentary was sparse, but somewhat interesting; the tour of Monica and Rachel's apartment was also mildly interesting; and the rest of the features were pure crap. It seems like they just like running clips of the episodes from season 2, and they've found creative (?) ways to do so. I wish they'd left off the features and charged us less; sometimes, you just don't need a gimmick. But still, it was a fun way to spend 566 minutes of my life.
  • 15. Working Girl (1988) - A chick flick, but I enjoyed it. I liked seeing Tess McGill in the workforce. Another thing that made the movie work was the chemistry between Griffith and Ford. Sigourney Weaver is always fun to watch, and I enjoyed Philip Bosco's performance as well. All in all, a fun, light romantic comedy-drama.
  • 16. The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - Wow. I'm stunned. What an awesome movie. A lot of brilliant performances, especially Harvey and Lansbury. And Gregory. And Sinatra. Leslie Parrish is really hot. The cinematography was awesome. The plot was wholly suspenseful. I can't think of anything bad to say.
  • 17. The Bicycle Thief (1948) - What amazed me most about this movie was its simplicity. It shows that you don't need special effects, a complex storyline, or even professional actors to make a remarkably interesting movie. The movie has a lot of heart in the way it portrays post-WWII poverty in Italy. I thought about the person who steals the bicycle - can he really be blamed? Maybe someone else stole HIS bicycle. And thus, the cycle continues. Hey, I just got that (bicycle / cycle)!
  • Ah, winter break. I just got to Florida, and I always watch a ton of movies in Florida (anyone else think I'm overusing the font effects?). I expect that there will be about 25 additions to this list in the next 2 weeks .
  • 18. A Place in the Sun (1951) - This movie takes a little while to get off the ground, but when it does, it was a decent movie, although it still dragged here and there. Good performances, blah blah blah. The AFI named this one of the 100 greatest American movies of all time. I disagree, but it ain't too shabby either.
  • 19. L.A. Confidential (1997) - Yes, yes, I finally saw "L.A. Confidential", and I sure wish my parents would've let me see it sooner. An awesome movie with beautiful cinematography that made me feel as if I actually were in Hollywood circa 1952...well, OK, I don't actually know what Hollywood circa 1952 looks like, but if I did, this would be it. "Memento" made me a Guy Pearce fan, and he is excellent in this movie. It deserved more Oscars than a pathetic Best Supporting Actress for Kim Basinger (I seriously doubt she gave the best performance of this movie's cast) and a Best Adapted Screenplay. P.S. to jgandcag - you suggested that this movie's ending go on my Worst Endings page. What didn't you like about it?
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    It's dark and cynical, just how a noir's ending should be. What was it that you disliked?
    Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush.
  • 20. The Seventh Seal (1957) - I love bizarre, abstract films, even when I am probably not getting the point of them. "Seventh Seal" is no exception. One guy is playing chess with Death, a guy's wife is running off with an actor, one guy asks a witch how to talk to the Devil. Why, you ask? Hell if I know. But it's still incredibly entertaining, especially because of all the witty dialogue ("Love is the blackest of all plagues . . . if one could die of it, there would be some pleasure in love, but you don't die of it"). This is my first Ingmar Bergman film, and I'm eager to try another.
  • 21. Gangs of New York (2002) - My, but this is a bloodthirsty movie. In one scene, people walk through, literally, pools of blood in the streets. I enjoyed the movie very much, but let me just say that, if the main characters were actual human beings, they would probably be dead long before the movie was over. DiCaprio especially lives through way too much; in real life, he should be dead. But, I suppose that's the point of the movie: to portray a gang war in the mid-1800's and pull no punches. The more bloodshed, the better. I think I seem overly critical of the movie when, in reality, I really enjoyed it, especially Daniel Day-Lewis's performance. Cameron Diaz is always fun to watch. Scorsese hasn't lost it...yet. The script is also excellent.
  • 22. Giant (1956) - Hmm, I am a bit behind on my 25-movie schedule. Mostly because I took the time to watch this 3-hour-20-minute movie. I kinda liked it, but I have much less tolerance for long movies, and yes, the movie did drag in parts. I am actually surprised at how well my "Place in the Sun" comments fit here. "Giant" did take a little while to get off the ground; it did drag; I don't think it's one of the 100 greatest American films, but it's not THAT bad; I could even say that Elizabeth Taylor was good in each movie. Well, anyway, I'd better get back to "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her."
  • 23. Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her (2000) - A very low-key, dramatic movie with an excellent cast. Not much happens in the movie, but I didn't mind. I was surpised at how well the movie was able to hold my attention with nothing. Glenn Close looks sad. Kathy Baker sneaks around with a plant. Cameron Diaz reads Braille. It's so simple...yet so complicated. A very interesting movie.
  • 24. Monty Python's Flying Circus - Set 6 (1972-1973) - Again, it's not a movie, but who cares? This was some very funny stuff here. Monty Python is always uneven, but when it's good, it's absolutely hysterical. I have this one and set 7, and none of the set 6 stuff really compares to the Buying an Ant episode of set 7, but a lot of it is still good. Some of my favorite moments were the Sam Peckinpah parody, the man who doesn't want to be disturbing but is, the parody of foreign films, lemon curry. Umm...yeah.
  • 25. Chungking Express (1994) - Two guys at my school are really into filmmaking. They are planning to make (a) film(s) in homage to Asian cinema. One of them always says that, in his films, he would always pick style over substance, because, well, it's just cooler that way. As I watched the DVD for "Chungking Express" that they loaned me, I was reminded of this. "Chungking Express" is art. It's stylish. It's beautiful. It does have some things to say, and the characters all have interesting stories to tell (mostly about pineapple), but the most important part is the style of the film. And hey, I'm perfectly okay with that. It certainly entertained me.
  • 26. Catch Me If You Can (2002) - I actually tried to see this film on Christmas day. The place was packed, and they wouldn't even let us in the theater till 10 minutes before the movie started (the previous showing had been delayed). So I was pretty pissed off when I actually got into the theater. But "Catch Me If You Can" brightened my spirits. Recently, I've been seeing such depressing movies, and you can tell by all the bitter, depressing endings of the films I've listed here so far. But "Catch Me If You Can" is so much more light-hearted, so much more fun. I enjoyed it immensely. I would say that the movie is a little unbelievable that Abagnale would be able to accomplish so much...but it's a true story, so what the hell do I know?
  • 27. Double Indemnity (1944) Ah, another bitter, depressing movie. But it really wasn't, because I actually love film-noir. Plus, how can you go wrong with Billy Wilder? The man is a genius. I think the Wilder film that I've liked the least is "Sabrina"...and that's a great movie! The script, also, is fantastic; I ate up the dialogue ("I killed him. I killed him for money and for a woman. I didn't get the money, and I didn't get the woman"). Plus, Edward G. Robinson was outstanding as Keyes, not to mention Stanwyck and MacMurray. All in all, an amazing movie.
  • 28. To Have and Have Not (1944) - You know, I must admit that I liked this movie more than "The Big Sleep." Both films had lots of fun with the great chemistry between Bogart and Bacall, but "To Have and Have Not" simply had a better story; the script of "The Big Sleep" was just plain confusing. I also enjoyed Walter Brennan's comic relief as the lovable drunk. A thoroughly entertaining thriller.
  • 29. Far From Heaven (2002) - An amazing drama with a fatal flaw. Allow me to explain. This movie does an excellent job of capturing the mood of the late 1950's. That makes the movie all the more realistic, and the filmmakers should be lauded for it...but here is the problem: the movie is so accurate in taking us back to the 50's that its social commentary seems dated today. This would be a very important movie in the 50's, but today, we are more accepting of African-Americans and homosexuals. The movie's characters and stories are wonderful, but since it was made in 2002 rather than 1955, its morals seem less important today. I dunno, that's just the way I felt - I hope I articulated what I wanted to say well enough. (oh yeah, and Julianne Moore deserves a Best Actress Oscar) Update: Since I wrote this, I have appreciated the movie more. I realize now that I was wrong about the movie. I thought that, since the whole movie feels like the mid-1950's and the moviemakers never compare this lifestyle to 2002, the movie is pointless. But it was I who missed the point. The point of the movie is not to ask us to accept blacks or homosexuals. The point is to show us how people in the 50's kept their feelings bottled up inside them, and beneath their Pleasantvillesque exteriors was a world of pain. Today, we are much more accepting of people's anguish. And we all know that, so there's really no point for the film-makers to take a modern-day perspective on it. The film portrays a positive view of the direction in which our society is going. I take back what I said about "Far From Heaven" initially.
  • 30. Catch-22 (1970) - I got so excited after finishing the book that I went right out and bought it and watched it. I worked hard to see this damn movie, and...well, it was kinda disappointing. I'm glad that my dad forced me to read the book, not just because it was better, but also because it's impossible to understand the movie without having read the book. Such a talented all-star cast should have done better. Orson Welles is awesome; Bob Newhart and Alan Arkin are good; the rest are only mediocre. I expect more from Martin Sheen, Jon Voight, Charles Grodin, etc. There are many things they changed that they should not have. I'll only mention a few. First of all, why change the order of events? The chronology of the book was fine. Second of all, they shouldn't have eliminated Clevinger, which is the first time we realize that it's not just a funny story about crazy people, but it's also about serious death. Third, Anthony Perkins is a great actor, but he is terribly miscast as the chaplain. Fourth, why eliminate so many funny parts (i.e., Yossarian having fun with censoring letters, most of the stuff about Major Major especially the Washington Irving stuff, the letter to Doc Daneeka's wife, the accusations of the chaplain towards the end, etc.)? Sigh. Read the book.
  • 31. Monty Python's Flying Circus - Set 6 (1970) - Again, it's not a movie, but who cares? This was some very funny stuff here. Monty Python is always uneven, but when it's good, it's absolutely hysterical. Note how I just copied the first three sentences of my previous Monty Python review and you'll see how uncreative I'm feeling right now. Yeah, yeah, some of my favorite parts were Spam, dirty Hungarian phrasebook, and the naughty bits.
  • 32. Glory (1989) - I had to watch this movie for school, but I actually ended up enjoying it anyway (although I will not enjoy writing the damn essay on it). Denzel Washington and Andre Braugher give great performances in the dramatic scenes, which are interspersed with very realistic depictions of battle. One complaint I have is that Matthew Broderick just isn't given enough to do. He's a damn good actor, but he just doesn't have as many good moments as the black actors, or even as many as John Finn. His one great moment is as he watched the burning. Ah, well, it was still a good movie.
  • 33. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) - I just realized that, after "Far From Heaven" and "Glory", this movie completes a trilogy of anti-racism movies specifically having to do with blacks. Each movie has a different method of expressing its message, and GWCTD probably does it the worst. The problem is that it never even attempts to have a plot other than the "let's accept blacks more" angle; the movie is just a lot of conversations about the topic. Yes, some of them are well-written and / or well-acted, but what's the point? The characters just talk and talk until they reach the obvious conclusion. I think the story behind the screen is more interesting than the story onscreen: Director Stanley Kramer had to accommodate Spencer Tracy for his illness, and Tracy died shortly after shooting his last scene. Lifelong friend Hepburn realized during the shooting of the movie that Tracy wouldn't be around for much longer, and she projects her depression into her performance. If only they had a more interesting script to work with.
  • 34. Roma (1972) - Not a conventional movie, but a series of vignettes which illustrate Fellini's view of Rome. It's hard to review because there's not really a plot, and we don't really see very much of the characters. This, of course, was Fellini's intention, and it works to some extent. I dunno, I don't really understand its appeal. The scenes are interesting, but not enough to make a movie out of them. I think that this is a bad choice to be my first Fellini experience. I bet that if I knew Fellini's style better, I'd enjoy the nuances and subtleties of the film more and understand Fellini's appreciation of Rome better.
  • 35. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) - I enjoyed "Magnificent Ambersons" on a critic's level but not a viewer's level. As a movie critic / historian, I marvelled at Orson Welles's direction, at the cinematography, at the interesting characters. As a viewer, I was bored out of my mind. I don't usually care for this kind of movie. You know the kind. We see multiple generations of a rich family. A lot of the characters have romances, then break up, then get back together ad infinitum. Then people get mad, yada yada yada. Well, I guess I'd still recommend it to those who like to see important films, but not to the casual viewer.
  • 36. Analyze That (2002) - Oy. I don't know how I ended up going to this movie. I wanted to see something like "Rabbit Proof Fence" or "Chicago" or "Adaptation", but my family doesn't like good movies, and they wanted to all do something together for New Years Eve. So we all went to see this movie, which none of us really wanted to see a lot, but none of us had strong objections against. And I must admit that I laughed. It was a decent movie. But then again, most of the negative comments I've heard about it are that it's just a tired retread of the original. Having never seen "Analyze This", I wouldn't know. Oh well, at least I got out of seeing "Two Weeks Notice."
  • Update: I hope to hit my mark of 25 movies, but I still have some homework to do (Assigning us homework over winter break? I hate my teachers), so I'm not sure if I can squeeze in 6 more. But I'll have fun my last 4.5 days of vacation, and happy New Years to everybody!
  • P.S. Check this out: http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=40171760&loc=322. Three classic German silent movies that are VERY hard to find. The three together cost $9.49. If I tried to buy any one of these individually, each would cost well over 20 bucks. Think there's a catch? If so, what? Should I take a chance and buy it?
  • 37. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) - I must admit that I'm a big Harry Potter fan, and this movie was at least as good as the first movie, if not better. Of course, it wasn't as good as the book, but is it ever? I think we all just have to accept the fact that movies won't be as good as books and evaluate the movies on a curve. But the moviemakers certainly adapted the book well; they knew what to leave out and what to keep in. For example, the points contest was really unnecessary in this book; therefore, they ended the movie earlier. I have no problem with that. The Hogwarts set design is also dazzling; it looks pretty much how I pictured it from the book. Oh yeah, and major kudos to the whole cast, esp. Isaacs, Branagh, Harris (so sad to see him die), Margolyes, and the kids.
  • 38. Adaptation (2002) - I FINALLY get to see the movie "Adaptation." And I must admit, it's not what I expected. It's a very strange movie, not conventional in the least bit. I think Nic Cage would have a chance of a Best Actor Oscar, if the Academy's tastes weren't so damn conservative. His performance really is great. I also liked watching Brian Cox. The movie is so appealing because of its bizarreness, and its converging of fantasy and reality. My one complaint would be that the ending kinda loses the focus of the rest of the film; it's the most absurd part, yes - but it has less to do with the screenwriting. I'm guessing that the real Charles Kaufman, like the Charles Kaufman in the movie, was having troubles ending the movie. The movie is also very funny; it combines lowbrow humor (to quote "La Vie Boheme" from the hit musical Rent : "mucho masturbation") with more subtle humor (
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    Cox warned us against a deus ex machina ending and that crocodile eating Laroche is about as deus ex machina as it gets.
    ). I would recommend this if you like strange films, but if your tastes are more conventional, skip it.
  • 39. 42nd Street (1933) - This musical is just plain fun, as a musical should be. It doesn't convey any major life messages. It has no dark side. We just get some quirky characters, some nice legs, some good music, and the mandatory love story. The movie succeeds with flying colors; I enjoyed it immensely.
  • So, I'm going home from Florida tomorrow, and I actually only squeezed in 22. Why was my initial prediction too large? Probably for a number of reasons. First of all, I did more reading than I expected; I couldn't keep my nose out of "Sirens of Titan" by Vonnegut. I finished that in only a day and a half. I also read the last half of "Catch-22" and some of "Mort" by Pratchett. Second, three of the movies I watched were 3 hours or longer (well, 2 of them weren't technically movies, but no matter). Finally, I had a good deal of homework over the break, way too much, in fact. So, I missed my mark by a little bit, but I still got a lot of additions to this list in. And now I'm relaxed enough to tackle midyear exams. Yay.
  • 40. Jean de Florette (1986) - We actually watched this film in French class when our teacher was still in France from winter break. When she got back, we thought we'd have to actually do work again, but no, she started showing us "Manon of the Spring", the sequel (which, I might add, contains one of the strangest nude scenes I've ever seen). Anyway, "Jean de Florette" is a beautiful, quiet little film. It also has some subtle humor. Take the scene where the mourners find out that Bouffigue was buried with a loaded rifle. In a dumber movie, the rifle might go off and shoot someone, causing contrived hijinks. But no, in "Jean de Florette", no one is shot - but the mourners casually move to the sides to get out of the way of the gun's aim. I loved Daniel Auteuil as Ugolin; he looked so goofily lovable, it was hard to believe he was the villain. Ugolin seems so torn apart by what he is doing, and yet, you have to remember, he's ruining this guy's life. It's almost funny. My one complaint was that the movie really dragged in the middle and I kinda zoned out. But, no matter, the writers are forgiven. BTW, a "Manon of the Spring" review should be coming on Monday.
  • 41. The Full Monty (1997) - A pleasant, funny movie. Carlyle is great. I have no complaints...and nothing else to say.
  • 42. Cabaret (1972) - I was rather pleased with how they adapted this movie from the play. They only cut out one song I really liked ("Don't Tell Mama"), and luckily, they kept in "If You Could See Her Through My Eyes", "Money Makes the World Go Round", "Two Ladies", and, of course, "Wilkommen" and "Cabaret." I really enjoyed this musical, although it wasn't really a musical in the sense that people walk down the street breaking out into song. "Cabaret" is a musical in the sense that "Saturday Night Fever" is a musical. Fosse kicks ass. And all the actors are good, yada yada yada.
  • 43. Chicago (2002) - And speaking of Fosse... I really liked "Chicago." It reminded me of "Moulin Rouge!", but "Chicago" was much better than "Moulin Rouge", because both are gushing with trippy style and awesome songs, but "Chicago" actually has a good plot with a point, while "Moulin Rouge" was nothing but the style. Many of the song scenes are bloody brilliant (the ventriloquist one stands out), and I think the actors didn't even dub their voices with real singers. There are a lot of fun performances here, especially Queen Latifah and the three leads. Might I also add that I am quickly becoming a John C. Reilly fan; I liked him in "The Good Girl" and "Gangs of New York", and now I like him in "Chicago." I bet if I saw "The Hours", I'd like him too. I think he should be up for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar...but for which movie?!
  • 44. In the Mood for Love (2000) - Remember those two Asian film-makers / film-lovers at my school, whom I shall henceforth refer to as "Alan" and "Michael", the reason being that those are their names, the latter of whom loaned me the DVD for "Chungking Express"? Well, Alan recently loaned me "In the Mood for Love", a later Wong Kar-Wai film. It had a similar tone as "Chungking Express" - artsy camera angles and a lot of style. I liked "In the Mood for Love", but it won't be a classic or anything. I don't know why Criterion included it in their selection.
  • 45. Manon of the Spring (1986) - As promised. Well, I liked "Jean de Florette" a lot, but looking back on it, it was really just building up to this movie, which is the payoff. I liked "Manon of the Spring" better, if only for the ending. What a delightfully ironic conclusion to bring this epic to. Again, a sad movie, with some more humor, such as when Ugolin talks to Manon for the first time - that guy definitely does not know how to talk to women. Another brilliantly bittersweet movie.
  • 46. Time Bandits (1981) - At one point in this movie, the main character, some random kid, tells an ancient soldier that he wants to stay with him. The soldier asks, doesn't the kid want to go back to his parents? At this moment, I thought: "Finally! It's about time we see what this kid thinks of his parents! Why he was so quick to leave them and join a bunch of midgets on a ridiculous quest to steal stuff throughout the history of the world! It's about time Gilliam finally showed us some character development instead of merely flaunting his large budget at us with characters who wear a lot of make-up, wear ridiculous costumes, and have elaborate sets." Much to my dismay, the kid replies, "No." And that's it. This movie is about the kid and some midgets getting into predicament after predicament, and solving each problem with means that are supposed to be clever but aren't. The villains in this movie are incompetent: an invisible barrier can be broken by throwing a blunt object at it, a cage can be unlocked by simply using a knife, an ogre will just let you throw him overboard. Then when the midgets encounter an obstacle that they can't overcome in 5 minutes...
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    they give us a deus ex machina ending - literally!
    But then, after one ending, we get another ending - this one cliche. And after the trite ending, we get a twisted ending. The performances and directorial style are pretty flat; the final battle seems to be conducted more like a board game (first, the good guys take a turn, then the evil guy, etc.). It's a really disappointing movie, probably Gilliam's worst. He spent too much time designing sets and costumes and maybe 10 minutes or so on the script.
  • 47. The Third Man (1949) - Awesome movie, and hey, whaddya know, it's a classic too! This suspenseful, bittersweet movie was beautifully shot with many interesting camera angles, and some great performances, especially Orson Welles (who I'm told actually wrote the amazing speech he gives after the ferris wheel ride). My enjoyment of the movie may have been dampened, however, by the fact that I knew the plot twist that occurs at about one hour into the movie. If you plan to see "The Third Man", I beseech you, do not read anything on its IMDB page before seeing it.
  • 48. About Last Night... (1986) - No, I'm not watching the Superbowl, because I really don't care less about either of the teams. I got my entertainment from this movie tonight. I appreciated "ALN" on two different levels, a critical level and an ordinary viewer's level. -- Here is my critic's review: "About Last Night" is an interesting, enjoyable romantic-comedy. I liked the characters played by Rob Lowe and Demi Moore and sympathized with their situations, perhaps partially because they seemed so realistic. The moviemakers really knew what they were doing. James Belushi's performance is also humorous, and the script was replete with witty dialogue. It wasn't a classic, but it was certainly a fun movie. -- And now, here is my ordinary viewer's review: Demi Moore!!! Hot hot hot hot hot hot!!! Yippee!!!! -- Thank you and enjoy your buffalo wings as you watch Oakland get creamed. Update: Having seen the play "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" (on which "About Last Night..." is based) in London, I realize that the movie pales in comparison to Mamet's brilliant script. My appreciation of the movie is lessened. If the movie were more faithful to the source material instead of becoming Hollywoodized, I would like it more. Nonetheless, Demi Moore is still really really hot.
  • 49. White Heat (1949) - Ah, I love movies like this. Movies in which the male characters almost always wear the same kind of hat - not to keep them warm, not because they think the hats are stylish, but simply because it seems like the appropriate thing to wear. It's hard to beat those classic crime / film-noir movies, and this one is no exception. In fact, this may be superior to some of those movies, because we really delve deeply into the inner workings of the mind of James Cagney, who gives a great performance. We see how he only trusts his mother and how he comes to trust one other person. We see how Cody Jarrett's intricate character leads us to the brilliant, climactic finale. Highly recommended.
  • 50. Fun With Dick and Jane - Somehow, I can always find obscure comedies from the 70's that no one has ever heard of, and sometimes, they even turn out to be good. "FWDAJ" is one of the good ones, just because it's...well, fun. It's a lighthearted romp through the middle class world, social distinctions, and armed robbery. Some of it is a little unbelievable (they pull off all these robberies and no one ever identifies them?), but hey, that's one of the key characteristics of this aforementioned group of movies. Another characteristic is that the humor is hit-or-miss; some of it works (the first time Dick tries to rob a drug store) and some doesn't (Jane getting a job as a model and destroying the whole restaurant). But hey, we have to sit through some unfunny scenes, or else these movies might not be so obscure.
  • 51. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) - George Clooney certainly found his directorial style quickly, and I predict a long directing career for Clooney. My, but this is a stylish movie, with a lot of cool camera angles, especially shots so close-up that one can see the pores of the actors' faces. Charlie Kaufman produced another delightfully abstract and bizarre script, and the result is almost as good as "Adaptation." It's darkly hilarious and there's much social commentary. One problem with the movie was that the footage of the CIA missions is often muddled and confusing, but no matter, it's a minor part of the plot, and besides, this is the kind of movie where plot doesn't matter as much as ideas. As far as the acting, Rockwell is very good, Roberts is her usual self, and Barrymore has always kinda annoyed me, but she's passable here. All in all, an excellent movie.
  • 52. After Life (1998) - Woo-hoo! Snow day! As you may have guessed if you've been reading my previous entries, Alan loaned me this movie. It's a cool little film based on an interesting concept. It was a little slow-paced and low-key, but I was never bored. The execution of the idea is unconventional, but I liked that too. The only thing I wish the movie had was some explanation of why things are this way. This whole "pick one memory to keep with you for eternity" thing seems to have been going on for centuries - but why is it that way? The movie keeps us in the dark. But still, I really enjoyed this movie.
  • 53. The Man in the White Suit (1951) - Not quite as good as "The Lavender Hill Mob", but another interesting Ealing comedy that makes good use of subtle humor. Alec Guinness is fun to watch, as always. I bought this as part of a 5-DVD set of Ealing comedies starring Guinness. Hopefully, "The Ladykillers" and "Kind Hearts and Coronets" will be more entertaining, but "The Man in the White Suit" was a nice little comedy.
  • 54. Psycho Beach Party (2000) - I did not watch this movie by choice; I was at a small gathering at a friend's house and he has a rather unique taste in movies. This film was a parody of B-movie horror flicks and 60's beach party movies. The parody of the former often works; the parody of the latter rarely does. The movie feels nothing like a 60's beach party movie, and it doesn't do much to make fun of them either. "Beach Blanket Bingo" has more unintentional laughs than "Psycho Beach Party" has intentional ones. The only beach party spoof scene I laughed at was when the characters are "surfing", and in reality they're clearly just flailing their arms before a blue screen, but even this was overused. The B-movie horror flick parody was better, but I still didn't laugh as much as I could've. It was just a mediocre spoof; fun sometimes, but I can't bring myself to recommend it. P.S. Check out some of the IMDB reviews of this movie. Some people complained that "the acting was bad." These people should not be allowed to review movies.
  • 55. Insomnia (2002) - As my house was surrounded by about two feet of snow, I had a choice to make. I could either work on my history project, or I could watch "Insomnia." On the one hand, I need to improve my history grade. On the other hand, I didn't feel like doing it. Both were strong aruments, but when I found out that my school has already closed for tomorrow, history didn't stand a chance. Christopher Nolan, the brilliant film-maker who directed "Memento", probably my favorite film of the 00's, has made another movie that I enjoyed immensely, and while the direction is fabulous, there's no denying that this is Al Pacino's movie. His performance is excellent, showing us a man driven to insanity by guilt and, well, insomnia. Robin Williams is also good here, as the lunatic who's the most logical character in the movie. I think "Insomnia" is a lot like "L.A. Confidential", in that it's about whether certain police work is honorable or not. Damn good movie. Maybe I'll check out the original, as long as I don't have to pay 40 bucks (plus tax) for the Criterion DVD.
  • 56. Detour (1945) - To like this movie, you have to get beyond the inconsistencies, you have to get beyond the illogical decisions of the characters, you have to get beyond the weak ending, you have to get beyond the fact that this movie had a very low budget and was shot in all of 6 days (and it shows). If you ignore all that, as I was able to, you have a good film-noir with some very intriguing characters. Some people may not be able to get past that stuff. Some people would shout at Al Roberts, "What the hell are you doing, you idiot?" But hey, in the end, you have a fun low-budget movie. And hey, it's only an hour and seven minutes long. Recommended, but just barely.
  • 57. Charade (1963) - Somewhere else on this site, I recall that jgandcag said that all movies after the silent era up through 1955 were all about the script, and most movies made after 1955 are focused on something else. Even though "Charade" was made in 1963, I think it falls under the "all about the script" category. The script is full of plot twists, and the dialogue is awesome ("Pepperment-flavored heroin!"). Can you believe I've never seen this movie before? Me, the big comedy guy. I wonder why I waited so long. And ya know, it's been way too long since I'd seen a Cary Grant movie; the man is one of the greatest actors of all-time. But it's the script that makes "Charade" work. Okay, and the chemistry between Hepburn and Grant helps too. And you can't go wrong with George Kennedy or Walter Matthau. Highly-recommended, very witty and suspenseful movie.
  • 58. The Hours (2002) - This movie seems to scream out "Oscar Contender!!!", and it's bound to win many awards, mostly for the wonderful performances in the movie. The movie's script is interesting, but the movie is all about the acting. There are themes of life and death and freedom and love and sexuality and feeling trapped and suicide, and it's a very well-made film. And, I'm done.
  • 59. Dead Again (1991) - The movie to be used for my experiment.
  • 0:00 - If you didn't read the teaser, I plan to watch a movie I've never seen before, and after 15 minutes, I'll stop and write my comments and predictions here. Then after another 15 minutes, I'll stop and write comments / predictions here again. And so on until the end. Then we'll see how my comments differed throughout the movie. Note that if I make any predictions as to any plot twists before they actually occur, these are not spoilers because I of course am just making educated guesses. Alright, here I go. I'll be back in 15 minutes.
  • 0:15 - Well! I can tell this is going to be a good movie just by the credit sequence. The score was very cool. I also liked the dream sequence. After that, it just started to set up the plot. The scene with Robin Williams was kinda random. Not much has happened yet, but I'm eager to see what happens next.
  • 0:30 - This movie continues to impress me, especially Emma Thompson's performance. I wonder what the connection is between the double-casting of the two leads. Maybe the writers believed in reincarnation. I wanna see what happens with this hypnosis, but my dad is making me spend some quality time with him now. So I'll come back to the movie later.
  • 0:45 - So
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    Branagh and Thompson are bound together forever since he gave her that anklet, even going into their future lives
    ? Sounds cool to me. However, part of the movie is starting to annoy me, because Branagh doesn't believe in the hypnosis stuff. Why is it that in every movie with something supernatural, someone always has to be a skeptic? Oh well, I'll see how this pans out.
  • 1:00 - Potato prince, eh? Who is this Doug O'Malley guy? Maybe he was someone else in a previous life. I'm almost certain that one of the characters from the present is going to pop up in 1948 in a previous life. I think it'll be either Doug or Robin Williams.
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    This person is probably the one who *really* killed Margaret Strauss, because I doubt that Roman actually did it.
    Well, back to the 2nd session of hypnosis.
  • 1:15 - OK, now I'm not sure of anything anymore. This movie is getting better and better. I really wanna see what happens when he's under hypnosis. Catch you in 15 minutes!
  • 1:30 - Woo! 3 great plot twists in only 15 minutes!
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    He's driving out to the antique shop now. That crossed my mind, but to be honest, I did not see that one coming.
    This has been a very well-made movie that kept me in suspense the whole way through. I can't wait to see how it ends.
  • end - Aw, jeez, what happened to what I wrote here for the ending before? I hate computers! I swear I wrote something before, but for some reason it's not showing up. I loved the film, yes, but I had some comments about the ending, which I will post in discussion rather than on the list. I also believe I asked y'all if you thought this was interesting, and if you think I should do this again?
  • 60. Rope (1948) - Jeez, I don't know why people thought the long shots were distracting. If I hadn't heard about them before I saw the movie, I probably wouldn't have noticed them. Still, you gotta admire Hitchcock for doing this kinda thing; it must've been extremely difficult. I really wanna see "Russian Ark", a new film that's all one continuous take. As for the movie itself, I found it a quite interesting character study of Brandon, the psycho who takes some sick pleasure in teasing everyone about his murder of David. An excellent performance from John Dall there, and Stewart was very good as usual. Cons: I thought the direction was a bit too deliberate. When Hitchcock zoomed in on something, the camera stayed there for an inordinate amount of time, especially
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    zooming in on that rope wrapped around the books. Jeez, does he think we don't get it yet? Go back to the people!
    I'm guessing that Hitchcock meant it to be this way, but I found it annoying. Another con, albeit a minor one, is that James Stewart gets a bit preachy at the end. But oh well. I still enjoyed this movie. P.S. I didn't notice Hitchcock's cameo in this movie. I think it would have been cool if Hitchcock had played David, the murder victim, who has a good eight seconds on-screen.
  • 61. Wild Strawberries (1957) - Ernest Hemingway once said that his stories were like icebergs in that "The dignity of movement of the iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water." Bergman's films are a lot like Hemingway's stories; this film is seemingly about a road trip to a ceremony, but that, of course, is only the tip of the iceberg. This film is so damn intellectual, that it's hard to really appreciate it unless you go into deep analysis. "Wild Strawberries" is a great work of art, yes, but as for my personal enjoyment of it, I'm sure I would like it more if I read interpretations of it. By this means, the film distances itself from the casual viewer. Now, all this sounds like I didn't like "Wild Strawberries", which is not the case. And I don't think it would be a better film if it were easier to understand; in fact, the opposite is true. Some films are abstract merely for the purpose of being abstract, but "Wild Strawberries" definitely had a lot behind it. Or maybe I'm over-analyzing it. I'm assuming that every single thing in the film has to mean something. Like that car crash. There's a bickering couple in the car for five minutes before Marianne makes them get out. This was an interesting thing to see, but it didn't really go anywhere. But if I'm over-analyzing the film, maybe Bergman just put that in there to be entertaining. (sigh) I don't know. One thing I just didn't get why everyone kept saying this professor was cold and ruthless; he always seemed like a perfectly nice guy to me, except maybe in the beginning when he was kinda harsh to Agda. Well anyway, just because I didn't fully understand the movie doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, as there were many memorable scenes, like the dream sequence, or when Isak visits his mother, or when Anders and Viktor argue about God. Maybe works of art are not supposed to be fully understood, but then I feel left out. If anyone would like to present me with analysis or opinions of this film to try to help me understand just everything that was going on, be my guest. Well, I'll stop blabbing now, but I must make this one statement before I go: Ingrid Thulin is HOT.
  • 62. Talk to Her (2002) - Yes, I finally saw this movie, and I was dazzled. This is definitely one of the best films of the year. Somehow, it manages to be depressing and yet a joy to watch. It is a very dark drama, yes, but it has some laughs too, including a hilarious send-up of strange silent films. The acting is very good, but the real star here is Pedro Almodovar; the direction and screenplay are fantastic. I was just so impressed because "Talk to Her" is not the kind of foreign film that is so bizarre and abstract and stylish and so wrapped up in its own ideas that it confuses the audience. "Talk to Her" is realistic, it's about real people with real problems and it doesn't cop out.
  • 63. Meatballs (1979) - watched again - There are some films that simply demand a second in order for the viewer to pick up on all the subtle details and interesting nuances that he or she missed on the first time around. "Meatballs" is, of course, not one of those movies. In fact, the only reason why I watched it again was that I was kinda zoned out and didn't really pay attention the first time, so I felt that I didn't really give it a good enough chance to impress me. Although I enjoyed it somewhat, don't hold your breath for me to watch "Meatballs" a third time. This is Bill Murray's movie, and his one-liners and deadpan delivery are hilarious, but the scenes without Murray suffer - they just aren't as funny. There are many cliches and the acting is pretty bad, but in a movie like this, that doesn't matter. The point is that the movie is kinda funny, but not as funny as it could be.
  • 64. Run Lola Run (1998) - Psychologists say that different colors evoke different emotions in us subconsciously. I remember once discovering a list on the Listology of "orange" songs. What if we had to assign colors to movies? I haven't really studied this, but I would think that cool, soothing blue might be a happy comedy / drama; purple or pink might be a romantic movie; black would, of course, be a dark film-noir; white mightbe a very simple movie; orange or green might be a creative, somewhat odd movie. One thing's for sure: "Run Lola Run" is a red movie, and the director knew it - red keeps showing up in key shots (e.g., Lola's hair, the phone, the ambulance, the scenes with Lola and Manni in bed together, etc.). "Run Lola Run" is an adrenaline-soaked, fast-paced, yet intelligent movie. It even uses a techno score well - and I hate techno music! This movie is certainly not for everyone, but it is a very interesting concept, and I loved how it all played out. I couldn't begin to analyze the varying themes in the three parts, but I have a theory that
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    the first part is when there is no real luck and the character's decisions control their fate; the second part is bad luck; and the third part is good luck.
    Wow. I wonder what the average shot length of this film is - maybe three-tenths of a second? "Run Lola Run" is a truly unique film.
  • 65. Old School (2003) - This movie is quite intriguing. It's trying to be a raunchy college movie bursting with testosterone, but it can't escape the fact that deep down, it wants to be a sweet PG-13 romantic-comedy with a moral about faithfulness to your significant other, or lack thereof. Two of the funniest parts in the movie involve Will Ferrell's attempts to get rid of a toaster he got for his wedding. Another great scene involves a tranquilizer and parodies "The Graduate." Another involved Ferrell streaking (we only see rear nudity). All of these scenes could be a part of a PG-13-rated movie, although the streaking scene may be a stretch. Unfortunately, most of the R-rated stuff is completely unnecessary and unfunny. A guy finds out his wife has been having orgies when two blindfolded naked people discover him. A guy drops a cinderblock attached to his penis, which falls down a manhole, causing him to plummet off a high ledge (but don't worry, he's just fine in the next scene). Women take a fellatio class with vegetables, which reminds us of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", only the same scene was much funnier in 1982. Two naked girls cause an old guy to fall over dead in a very sick and twisted manner (this is not a spoiler, as it is in the preview). These scenes are just not funny. The studio audiences may have laughed when a groom-to-be hears the words "Real smart, one vagina for the rest of your life", or when a guy with a supposedly comical accent says, "Love is a motherf**ker", or when a taxi driver suggests that Luke Wilson "quit being such a faggot", but I did not laugh. These scenes and lines are based on the principle that common people laugh at what is shocking, and unfortunately, that principle too often holds true. But I know better. I liked some parts of "Old School", but there were too many jokes that did not work.
  • 66. Magnolia (1999) - I love movies where there are a jillion characters and their lives intertwine, and "Magnolia" is no exception. I was reminded of "Short Cuts" in some respects, as it is another epic movie with a jillion characters whose lives intertwine, and it has a similar tone. I can't decide which one I liked better. But I did love "Magnolia" for the most part - although it did drag in some parts, and I don't think it can justify its long running time. But it can for the most part, and let's not focus on the negative. The script is very intelligent, and the acting is marvellous; Tom Cruise and Melora Walters especially stand out. My first P.T. Anderson film, and I'm eager for more.
  • 67. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) - I think I told Jim that I was going to watch this about 3 months ago, and now that I finally have, I think he'll be pleased to hear that I loved it. "Best Years of Our Lives" was the first movie that made me cry. The scene that did it was one between Wilma and Homer; Homer's story was so poignant, so touching, it's hard to believe Harold Russell was not a professional actor and it's disappointing that he only did 2 other movies in his life. But I guess it would be hard for him to match the perfect performance he gives here. The rest of the movie was excellent as well; Dana Andrews is always fun to watch, and his story is also brilliant. The script is very intelligent, and that's about all I have to say. Oh, wait: the one flaw in the movie was Michael Hall's laughably awkward performance as Rob Stephenson, but luckily, he's not in the movie for very much time.
  • 68. Bringing Down the House (2003) - This is far from one of Steve Martin's best movies, but it is better than I was expecting. It takes a little while for it to get off the ground, but when it does, it's a lot of fun. The script is mediocre, but the energy of the cast really saves the film. Perhaps I should feel guilty for laughing, but I did laugh. There's just something that tickles my funny-bone when I see
    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    Joan Plowright smoking some weed
    . The film also manages some very intelligent scenes on parenting a teenager; the scene when Queen Latifah helps Steve Martin advice with his daughter's situation is actually a very accurate scene. I know a certain two parents who could learn a lesson from that scene (rolls eyes). The movie does have some low points; as I said, it takes some time to get off the ground. Also, Missi Pyle's scenes are completely unfunny and totally unnecessary. But still, the movie is not as bad as the critics are saying. It was criticized for being racist; well, some of the characters are racist, yes - but is the movie racist? If you think that this movie encourages racism, well, you's trippin', boy.
  • 67. Smokey and the Bandit (1977) - I considered turning this movie off after about 20 minutes. I guess the reason why I didn't was because, while the acting ranged from decent to atrocious, the cast had a lot of energy and seemed like they were having fun. It's the movie's one saving grace, too. The script is awful; I felt like turning my brain off to laugh at a movie, but even after doing that, I only managed a chuckle. And the joke wasn't even that funny - I think it was just that the rest of the movie is so unfunny that this one part seemed funny in comparison. I don't know why anyone would really want to watch this movie. If you like to see cars wrecked, go to a monster truck rally. I guess if you like to see cars being wrecked at the same time that a thin plot is going on, you might enjoy this movie. As a side note (though it's somewhat related), I'm realizing that it is much harder to write a good script than to give a good performance. I can think of plenty of movies where both the script and acting are good, plenty of movies where both the script and acting are bad, plenty of movies where the acting is good but the script is bad... but I can't think of very many movies where the script is good but the acting is bad (although a few Kevin Smith films come to mind). I think that would be a good idea for a list - films where the acting is bad but the script is good, or at least where the script is much better than the acting. But I don't think I could make that list. I think jgandcag could make a list like this, or possibly AAA. What do you say, guys? Are you up to it?
  • 68. Yojimbo (1961) - I was intrigued by how much this movie reminded me of "Gangs of New York." I kinda liked "Gangs", but I know there were some people on this site who didn't. I originally said that the script was "excellent", but now I think that was an overstatement. It is a good movie, but it's overrated. If you wanna see the movie that "Gangs" was trying to be, see "Yojimbo." Which one was better? That's a no-brainer. I am glad that I loved this movie; I was a self-declared Kurosawa fan after seeing only "Rashomon", and I'm relieved that "Yojimbo" just strengthened my admiration for him. If I thought that the script for "Gangs" was excellent, the script for "Yojimbo" must be a freakin' masterpiece. Another strong performance from Toshiro Mifune. He is excellent as the bodyguard, trying to keep his thoughts on money and killing, but noticably affected by the ruthless actions of the other characters. Highly recommended.
  • 69. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) - Let me start off by saying that with the hype that this movie has, there is no way that I could NOT have been disappointed by this movie. This movie is like any other swords and sorcery epic, and contains all the usual cliches: many races of characters, fighting with swords and bows, dialogue that is comprised of wise axioms, and people who talk funny ("I care not"? Is there anything wrong with just saying "I don't care"?). However, the movie is set apart by three things: (1) it is based on one of the most popular book series of all time, (2) a budget that could pay off the national debt, and (3) a script that is free of most of the usual plot holes that come with this kind of movie. Does this make it a good movie? Maybe. Maybe I would've liked it better if I had read the books. Or maybe I'm just not really into this genre so much. Some strong points were the performances of Ian McKellen (though, for a wise old leader, give me Richard Harris as Dumbledore any day) and Sean Bean. A weak point of the movie is the editing of its fight scenes. I can't stand when fight scenes are so quickly edited that you can't see what is happening. Another thing I didn't like was that the power of the Ring confused me; I'm not quite sure exactly why everyone wants it so badly. But I guess that's the point, and I don't think the movie would be improved if the power of the Ring was explained more clearly. I dunno, it wasn't a bad movie, I just can't identify with its cult status. It's currently #4 on the IMDB's top 250 list, and to that, I say, "Poppycock."
  • 70. The Quiet American (2002) - I really don't like Brendan Fraser. He cannot act. He is only a big Hollywood star because he is a pretty face. He's actually half-decent in this movie, but I think that the movie would have been better if a stronger actor was in this role. Oh, and BTW, jgandcag, if you thought it was scary that I remembered your rambling about the ending to "L.A. Confidential", I seem to recall that you said that Fraser is a good actor, and if anyone doesn't believe you, they should see "Gods and Monsters." I haven't seen "Gods and Monsters", but maybe I should. Well, enough about Fraser. Let's talk about Michael Caine. He is excellent here and certainly deserves his Oscar nomination. The scene in which he goes into his office raving mad and looking for Pyle is brilliantly done. As for the rest of the movie, the thriller part is quite strong, but the best part of this movie is the romance; the interactions of the characters and the well-written dialogue are what makes the movie fascinating. I have one more thing to say, and that is that this movie is proof that the MPAA's decisions are abritrary and ridiculous. They rated it R for "images of violence and some language." The f-word is said twice. As for the violence, that's only one scene, which is somewhat bloody, but it is necessary to convey the horror. If they think that I, a 16-year-old, shouldn't be allowed to see this by myself, they seriously need to be straightened out.
  • 71. Analyze This (1999) - What makes this movie work, of course, is the chemistry between DeNiro and Crystal. That is what was good about "Analyze That." What was bad about "Analyze That" were some of its pointless subplots. Fortunately, "Analyze This" has a better script. It also has a couple of strong supporting characters in Viterelli and Kudrow (who always plays the same character, but is still always fun to watch). I like how Harold Ramis found a nice balance between broad and subtle humor, even working some drama in there - but I guess here the drama is just the MacGuffin, an excuse for Crystal and DeNiro to spend time together. No matter. The result is still a very funny movie, the funniest movie I've seen since #57.
  • 72. Go (1999) - I don't know what it is, but I just haven't felt much like thinking recently (maybe that's what Spring Break does to you). I haven't been watching any classic older movies (except "Yojimbo"). Not that "Go" is a stupid movie. On the contrary, it's a very inte
Author Comments: 

Mainly inspired by jgandcag's delightful lists, I too have decided to write down what I think of every movie I see. I was pretty much already doing that for my "How to Succeed..." list, but this way, I can voice my opinions on all movies and not just the classic movies on that list.

Note that I have little or no time to watch movies on weekdays, and I'm pretty busy on weekends too, so this will be less fast-paced than jgandcag's lists.

Woo-hoo! I love these. jgandcag, thanks for the inspiration. AJ, thanks for picking up on it. :-)

I can't really help you with Ghost World as I feel like one of the few that didn't really dig it. But quite a few folks here loved it, so I'm betting you'll get some help.

I've got a monopoly on posting to this list. :-) To complete the hattrick, I just want to say I'm glad you enjoyed Out of Sight; my favorite Soderbergh to date. And you're so right about that opening scene. If you liked this you might want to check out The Limey, another good Soderbergh, and quite similar in some ways including the rather subtle humor.

In regards to your Bicycle Thief comments, I have been told that a better interpretation of the title would be The Bicycle Thieves, which certainly emphasizes the, well, cycle you spoke of. Interesting, eh? Great film. I'm thrilled you had the chance to see it.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Good point - I've seen the title translated as both of those. BTW, sorry to everyone for forgetting to end the spoilers in "Strangers on a Train", making all the text white; I have corrected that now.

Finally, I found this review of "Ladri di biciclette" on the IMDB. It's an interesting perspective, one I hadn't considered:

IMDb user comments for
Ladri di biciclette (1948)

Page 5 of 26

Comments index for The Bicycle Thief


Date: 22 November 2002
Summary: Marxist Symbolism Overlooked

The other commentators say that the protagonist, Antonio Ricci, is a poor man for whom we feel sympathy. This is not what the movie-makers had in mind. This is a Marxist allegory and Antonio is as much the bad guy of the movie as the hero.

When the movie opens, Antonio sits apart from the other unemployed workers because he thinks of himself as in a class better than the others. (He is the only worker in the movie who wears a fedora rather than some kind of worker's cap.) He will pay for this arrogance later. Antonio was a member of the petty bourgeoisie, with sheets on his bed and a bicycle. A financial crisis forced him to pawn one of them, so he pawned the bicycle.

The government employment agent gives him a job that requires a bicycle, even though Antonio admits he no longer has a working bicycle and there are other workers in the crowd who do. This symbolizes the government's favoritism of the bourgeoisie over the working poor. Antonio and his wife sell the sheets to redeem the bicycle, so he can take the job. The bicycle represents the means of production. A thief, wearing an old German hat, steals the bicycle. He represents the international proletariat. In stealing the means of production he is carrying out a miniature Marxist revolution.

Throughout the film we meet people who show solidarity with the working class and proper Marxist conciousness. E.g., the old man who won't "rat" on the thief and who attends a church service only so he can get a free meal. The neighbors of the thief who are prepared to perjure themselves in his defense. The crowd that gathers in sympathy when a boy falls into a river. By contrast, Antonio is concerned only when he thinks the boy might be his son. When he discovers that it is not his son, he forgets the real endangered boy and takes his son off looking for a pizza parlor.

Marx thought that the proletariat would inevitably triumph. In the context of this movie, that would mean that Antonio doesn't get the bicycle back in the end. You'll have to see the movie to find out if the movie-makers agreed with Marx about that.

[end quote]

I'm not sure if this person is right or not about the filmmakers agreeing with Marx (I have learned not to always trust IMDB commenters for facts), but it's certainly a fascinating interpretation.

It is interesting, but I don't really think it holds water. We are obviously meant to feel sympathy for Antonio and his son. He is alone at the beginning of the film because De Sica often films stories of men whose poverty drives them to isolation. He is given the job (IIRC) because he signed up as a poster hanger while the others didn't. If we are not meant to be moved by the Antonio's predictament, then the restaurant scene serves very little purpose.

It is VERY popular for psuedo academics to deconstruct art by crafting alternate symbolic schemes whereby the art's meaning is changed. (This is supposedly done to illustrate the elusiveness of meaning and the absolute determinism of context and environment, but truth be told, this is often done because it is a fun little game to play that seems rather intellectual and because it is ten times easier to craft an original thesis about a work when one is no longer bound by the true effects or intentions of the work.) However, especially in this case, this requires a very selective vision, ignoring major sections of the film that would contradict the proposed interpretation. Additionally, it usually requires some creativity. The idea that the first thief represents 'international proletariat' because he supposedly wears an old German hat (and does he, or are we talking this person's word for it) is just silly. Even if the thief's hat indicated the international symbolism, that symbolism would hardly be necessary to portray the theft as a miniature Marxist revolution.

De Sica is a Marxist, but a very humane. When the father grows cold and cruel towards the end, it is not because he is mean or a desensitized member of the bourgeoisie, it is because De Sica is arguing that poverty drives good people to do deeds usually considered bad. Hence, at the end he becomes the very bicycle thief he hates at the beginning of the film.

I'm going on much too long. The review appears to attempt to correct the wrong opinion most have of the film, but in truth, I suspect the reviewer is either a) trying to make the film mean something the reviewer can believe in, b) trying to shock the audience to make a point, or c) is having quite a bit of fun.

MHO, natch! I'll add that I have had the opportunity to watch this film with a director who was friends with De Sica. This film was his favorite film ever - he had seen it well over two hundred times - and he was certainly under the impression that Antonio represented the poor and was to be both admired and pitied. From his comments, I can promise you that he would have been very offended at the above views (truth be told, he is easily offended). That doesn't prove anything, but if the reviewer is arguing that his or her view is the view intended by the director, I think it seriously weakens that stance.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

25 movies in the next two weeks?! No way. :-) But I'm looking forward to seeing you try. Thanks for whetting my appetite further for Gangs of New York! I don't think I've ever been disappointed by Daniel Day-Lewis; the man has some game.

I too am curious as to what jgandcag didn't like about the ending of LA Confidential, although I'm guessing it's that it wasn't dark enough (?).

First off, I have confidence young AJ can do the 25 movies. I know when I was in my prime I could do it without working up a sweat. Ah the wonders of youth.

I dont know what is scarier that AJ remembered my ramblings I wrote somewhere or Jim thinks I would want something to be darker...but of course he is correct. The movie wimps out and wraps up the story of Pearce, Crowe and Basinger too neatly and positively for my taste.

Of course I absolutley love just about everything else in the movie as it does end up on my top 100 movies list. I had actually read the Ellory book when it first came out and the ending is consistent with the book so my complaint is not really with the makers of the movies as much James Ellory. Ellory is a very good writer but he often has trouble ending his books and LA Confidential is one of the prime examples.

I think the comment you reference is the same one where I misplaced Chinatown as a bad ending. In truth the ending of Chinatown is what makes it the superior movie to LA Confidential. Both are wonderful movies but the ending of Chinatown just resonates with the viewer long after the end credit. LA's ending is soon forgotten as a typical hollywood experience.

Just my honest opinion of course.



Jaaannne!!! Stop this crazy thing!!!

L.A. Confidential was written by James Ellroy.

Dan I knew what you meant, It was just an attempt at a little levity to cover my laziness in not looking up the spelling.

Hmm, that's a good point about "Chinatown" / "L.A. Confidential." The ending of "Chinatown" certainly resonated with me long after I saw that movie; I can't say the same for the latter.

P.S. Of course I remembered your ramblings! As I recall, the last movie whose ending you said was bad was "Apocalypse Now", and when I watch that movie, I'll probably ask you again (unless I think the ending isn't dark enough). :-)

Totally agree with your comments on L.A. Confidential. Like Casablanca, it's a film I've heard a little backlash against recently (well, last 6 months), and I don't understand it at all. That movie is all class. It's great.

Just wanted to make more people read this (it's posted on the actual list, if you're on "Recent Posts" now):

Check this out: http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=40171760&loc=322. Three classic German silent movies that are VERY hard to find. The three together cost $9.49. If I tried to buy any one of these individually, each would cost well over 20 bucks. Think there's a catch? If so, what? Should I take a chance and buy it?

Amazon has it too. I'm guessing the "catch" is that there are no extra features, and I don't know about the quality of the print. But it seems like it'd be hard to go wrong at $10!

22 movies in two weeks - fantastic! I think I enjoyed your vacation almost as much as you did. :-) Great comments across the board. Thanks!

I'm grateful to you for your Jean de Florette comments. I saw this movie years ago and all I remember of it is how depressing it was. I'd completely forgotten the smaller moments like the guy buried with the loaded gun. You've reminded me that I owe this one another viewing.

Terrific list! I love checking in here once a week or so and seeing what you're watching and what you think of it.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Regarding Catch-22
Catch-22, despite its terrific story and a potentially bang-up cast, falters in the storytelling department. We shouldn't have to read Heller's novel to fully grasp what's going on; I think a lot of the narrative problems could have been remedied by another trip back to the edit booth. Jon Voight’s really outstanding as the scheming Milo Minderbinder. This goes without saying for film fans, but don’t watch the “formatted for your TV” version. The cinematography in Catch-22 is incredible, particularly some of the airplane scenes, and most particularly, the mass take-off. There’s one great shot where two characters are talking next to the runway as a wounded B-25 is landing behind them. We hear an explosion. The camera pans with the characters as they walk, revealing the wrecked plane. Brilliant.

"don’t watch the 'formatted for your TV' version"

Yeah, I realized too late how wide "Catch-22" is, but I didn't like it enough to rent / buy the widescreen version, and I don't think I'd like it more if I did either.

Chalk it up in the bad movies that look great column. Hey...there may be a list there!

I'm definitely curious to see the results of your "write something every 15 minutes" experiment! Have you picked a movie yet?

Yes, I'm curious as well. It is a great idea. I can't wait to see how it plays our in reality.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Not yet. Any suggestions?

Well, from your "How to Succeed as a Movie Buff..." list my top choices would be:

Nobody's Fool
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raise the Red Lantern
The Seven Samurai

Close followers would be:

Das Boot
Do The Right Thing
Gone With the Wind
The Last Picture Show
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Pulp Fiction
Rear Window
The Right Stuff
Schindler's List
The Wild Bunch

But it really doesn't seem like you could go wrong with anything from that list.

Hmm, well, I already went to Blockbuster before I could read your post. Since I only have time to watch movies on weekends (see the title of this list), I'll probably have to use one of those movies. But if my thoughts turn out to be interesting, I could certainly do this again with some of the ones that you mentioned.

When I went to Blockbuster, I figured that the best movie to do this with would be a suspense movie with a lot of plot twists, so I picked up Branagh's "Dead Again" and Hitchcock's "Rope." I also got Bergman's "Wild Strawberries", just because I wanted to see it. I guess I'll do it with one of those, sometime this weekend.

Here's hoping this experiment works.

If you really want plot twists, Dead Again is your film. It is too often over-looked, and it certainly winds plenty. My doppleganger is also a character in that film, so I have to love it! :) Wild Strawberries, however, seems to float through my thoughts quite often since I viewed it and refuses to leave my mind, so if you want a meditative film that stays with you, you may want to run with that one.

Of course, Rope is THE most under-rated film in Hitch's career.

So, basically, I guess you can't really go wrong! Good luck; we anticipate your results!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Well, that's cool. I'll probably do this tomorrow. And you've got be wondering, who might your doppelganger be?

Also, as a side note, how long is "Rope"? The IMDB says 80 minutes but the video I have says 2 hours 21 minutes. Quite a big difference, I think.

As promised, here are my comments on the ending of "Dead Again". I still loved the film, but I thought the ending was good but not perfect. Here is my explanation, which I have enclosed in spoiler tags: The idea of reincarnation is that injustices in past lives are made up for in future lives. Yes, both "Grace" and Mike Church got revenge on Madson for killing their past lives (one with scissors and one indirectly), but there are still the matters that (a) Roman Strauss was executed for a crime that he didn't commit and (b) Madson got away with a crime that he should have been executed for. A perfect ending would have "Grace" actually kill Mike and frame Madson for the murder. Therefore, Roman Strauss did not kill Margaret, but it occurs in future lives, so Roman's execution is no longer an injustice. And of course, Madson would be executed for the murder of Mike Church, so even though he was not executed when he does kill Margaret Strauss, he is executed when he does not kill Margaret's future life. This ending would wrap up all the previous injustices of fate, but I can understand why the filmmakers would not want this ending; it is too dark for this film, especially with all the romance between "Grace" and Mike Church. The real ending isn't that bad though. There. Now, should I do this again? Your thoughts?

I greatly enjoyed this as an experiment; thanks for doing it! You picked a good movie to do it with, and I think you're right that the technique is probably best suited to twisty movies. That said, I think I prefer reading your more traditional reviews.

After reading my comments on "Dead Again" again, I agree with you; I don't think breaking it into 15-minute segments really adds anything to the review. I thought this might be interesting, but, oh well.

BTW, have you seen "Dead Again", Jim?

I did see it quite awhile ago, and I remember liking it. I don't quite remember it well enough to discuss it thoroughly, but I do remember my one complaint (isn't that always the way?): I thought the use of slo-mo in the climax completely diffused the tension. While generally liking the movie (quite a bit, if memory serves), I was quite disappointed by that.

Yeah, that kinda annoyed me too.

Nice to see I'm not the ony person here who's caught Talk to Her. Even nicer to see I'm not the only one to really like it.

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Ah, yes. What a great movie. I think I'll have to get the DVD when it comes out.

I'm still surprised that a movie theater near me was even showing "Talk to Her." Much to my delight, I think that same theater is changing its ways of showing crappy movies, since "The Quiet American" is playing there. I really must see that.

I may have to nab that DVD as well. So far, Talk to Her is pretty solid in my top five for the decade.

Nice to hear about your theater. I'd love to catch The Quiet American soon. And The Hours. And The Pianist. And About Schmidt. And Adapatation. And...


Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I know I'm not the only one here happy to see you liked The Best Years of Our Lives! I only recently saw the movie for the first time, and I agree with you that it's wonderful. I can't remember how I came to add this movie to my to-see list; it was either from a jgandcag recommendation, or from Cintra Wilson's book (I know the movie isn't mentioned on that link, but it is in the book).

I was also sad to learn that Harold Russell's acting career foundered after this movie. I have to assume that was from lack of opportunity rather than lack of desire. If so, that's truly a shame.

Now I'm thinking maybe it's better that Russell wasn't too eager to continue his acting career. I mean, you can only make so many movies about a veteran whose hands had to be amputated. He would probably be reduced to playing roles like some kind of psychotic Bond villain named Mr. Claw (with a comical accent). And he's too good for those roles. He worked more noble causes throughout his life, according to his IMDB bio.

Aww, this is so sad! This may have been mentioned in that book, Jim, but I'm posting it here anyway:

"In August 1992, Russell sold his supporting-actor Oscar, saying he needed the money to pay his wife's medical bills and other expenses."

Wow. He must have had such a fascinating life. Maybe I'll read his autobiography.

Russell spent his life after Hollywood working as an advocate for the disabled, helping establish the veteran's advocacy group AMVETS and creating a consulting business that helped the handicapped get jobs. He said it was his life's work to show disabled people that life could still be great. His statuette sold for $60,000+, his life's work was priceless.

I for one loved Fellowship, but it's certainly not the #4 movie of all time, so I second your "poppycock" in that regard, but pretty much only in that regard. :-)

I think it's important thing to keep in mind that, yes, the movie is rife with fantasy cliches, but Tolkien invented those cliches, at least in modern terms. So he (and the movie) gets a free pass on those (IMO).

I'd also give the movie the "best of genre" crown, which should score it some points (unless somebody can name me a better one?). Of course, I can't help you with not liking the genre.

Lastly, Richard Harris topping Ian McKellan as wizard of the year? Never! While this is the most subjective of my points, Harris was just too frail. If you were picking the All-Librarian team, by all means go for Harris's Dumbledore. But if you're going to be waging a war, McKellan's Gandalf is definitely your man. :-) I also prefer him as an actor, although both are hit or miss for me. In these two movies, Harris missed, McKellan hit.

Just my opinions, of course! Yours is a good dissenting critique, even if disagree with it.

I recognize that Tolkien invited the cliches, and I wasn't really criticizing the movie for using them. I was just saying that, aside from the 3 points that I mentioned, the story and environment are pretty much the same as every other movie of its genre. As for "best of genre", I'm not really sure. It depends how you define the genre. If you would consider "The Princess Bride", the Star Wars trilogy, and the Harry Potter films as part of the same genre, I must say that I liked all of those better than "Fellowship." But if you're keeping it within the 82 films defined as sword-and-sorcery at IMDB (http://us.imdb.com/List?tv=on&&keywords=sword-and-sorcery&&heading=19;sw...), then yes, I agree that "Fellowship" is the best of the genre, but then again, it's not a very strong genre, is it?

I think the reason why I liked Harris better was because he seemed wiser, and because he always kept a level head. Just check out the scene in which Gandalf is urging Frodo to take the ring and flee: he is in such a panic. But Harris always kept his cool as Dumbledore. He had that look in his eye that he knew everything was going to be okay (Speaking of eyes, why the hell do all the "Fellowship" characters have such freakishly blue eyes? Anyway, back to the point). McKellen was awesome, but he had to prove his awesomeness by doing stuff like fighting with Saruman. Harris was awesome despite being frail.

I'm curious, did you agree with me about the editing? That annoyed me. I made fun of the average shot length in "Run Lola Run", but during the battles of "Fellowship", it was probably less than half a second.

Hmm, I'm not really sure I'm up for rigorously defining the boundaries of the genre, but I certainly consider the field to be broader than the 82 "sword and sorcery" movies. I would not include Star Wars because I figure Science Fiction and Fantasy are distinct, but even if I included it, I'd give Fellowship the nod (in my book it's a no-brainer over any Star Wars movie except The Empire Strikes Back, and even there I'd say the victory is fairly decisive). For me the toughest call would be The Princess Bride. Given Bride's gentle spoofiness I'm not sure they are comparable, but if you forced me, I'd probably waffle and choose Fellowship just to support my argument. :-)

Harry Potter is clearly competing in the same venue though, and I must admit that I'm very surprised you preferred it. I haven't seen the second one, but my wife and I saw both Sorcerer's Stone and Fellowship in the theater while my wife was very pregnant. We saw Harry Potter first and she had some false contractions. We saw Fellowship a week later and she went into labor. I've come to consider that appropriate: one was a poser, the other was the real thing. :-)

As for Harris, you haven't won me over, but I will concede that I may have been biased against Harris because I wanted James Cromwell to play Dumbledore. Sure he's quite a bit younger, but makeup could have taken care of that and I'm convinced he would have been pitch-perfect. I don't know if Cromwell was ever even considered for the role, but I never forgave Harris for stealing it from him. :-)

Finally, I hate to continue to be contrary, but I can't agree with you on the action editing either. I watch a fair amount of action movies, and I hate it when I can't follow what's going on. I didn't have that problem here, although I did see the movie on the big screen, so perhaps that helped. I thought the entire Moria sequence was brilliantly done, and it made my Favorite Action Scenes list. Although perhaps that's just an indicator that you shouldn't use that list as a source of recommendations. :-)

I dunno, maybe my preferring Harry Potter to LOTR carried over from my love of the book Harry Potter - I haven't read the book version of LOTR. Or maybe it partially stemmed from the fact that LOTR was way over-hyped, and Harry Potter, while it did do very well at the box office, was not taken particularly seriously as a quality movie. So I was pleasantly surprised by Harry Potter but disappointed by LOTR.

As for the action scenes: when I said that about the editing, I was mainly talking about the battle scenes, especially the ones towards the end of the movie. I agree that the escape from Moria was a great scene, probably my favorite scene in the movie. But I think you are correct that the movie would be better when seen on the big screen.

As for Harris: I think he was just so charming as Dumbledore, the way he spoke to Harry, always with a twinkle in his eye. The way he always looked as if he knew more than he was letting on, not in a pretentious way, but by being playfully wise, if frail. I would love to have Richard Harris as my principal. So sad to see him die, but if anything good will come of it, maybe James Cromwell will replace him as Dumbledore and you'll like the next few Harry Potter movies.

By the way, Jim, have you read the book version of LOTR? How about the book version of Harry Potter?

P.S. I like how you put a smiley face at the end of all your paragraphs. :-)

Hah! I didn't even notice that smiley thing. Subconsciously trying to make sure contentious statements weren't received with a contentious tone, I guess. How obnoxious; I'll cut it out. :-) [ ;-) ].

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled debate . . .

We don't have TV, so perhaps that kept me unaware of the hype differential between the two movies. Hype is a killer.

Don't get me wrong, I liked Harris, I liked Harry Potter, but not nearly as much as McKellan or FotR. I'm not going to hold by breath for Cromwell in HP 3, although that would certainly make my day. I actually have high hopes for the third Harry Potter movie, as I'm grateful for the director switch. Chris Columbus exceeded my expectations by a considerable margin, but they were pretty low.

Finally, yes, I've read all the books and I've loved them all. I grew up on LotR, and I was really surprised by how impressed I was with HP.

The director of "Y Tu Mama Tambien"??? Now THAT should be interesting...

Re: Wild Strawberries.

Ingrid Thulin reminds me a bit of Lisbeth Movin from Day of Wrath (1943). Have you seen it? Kickass movie, in addition to Lisbeth Movin being hot.

I have not seen it, but I definitely should.

R.I.P. Ingrid Thulin. :-(