1975: Movies Sorted By Tier
Submitted by jim on Tue, 05/25/2004 - 01:58
Jaws... Having watched this countless times on TV, it doesn't thrill me anymore, but I still enjoy it immensely for the brisk plot and terrific characters. I particularly love everything that happens after Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss take to the boat.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Three Days of the Condor... I noted with amusement the credit that says this was based on the book Six Days of the Condor. Isn't that always the way it goes in the book-to-movie translations? You lose about half the material? I have to think this was one of the better screen adaptations though, as it was really a quite enjoyable conspiracy thriller. Sure, Faye Dunaway's actions are a bit unbelieveable, even if her abductor is Robert Redford, and I'm a bit troubled by the morality of how Max Von Sydow's character fares, and Redford has some perhaps-explainable curious avenues of expertise that allow him to survive the bulk of the movie, but who cares? It would be a fun double-feature to warm up with this, and then top it with The Bourne Identity.
Glad I Saw
Dog Day Afternoon... I sat down to this movie with a preconception. That preconception was, "I'm going to be disappointed; the 70s may be a great decade for film, but it's far from my favorite decade for film." For the first 30 minutes I thought that preconception was all up n' shattered, because I loved it. I was shocked that trademark gritty 70s realism could deliver such humor and yet still maintain that essential *feel* that this breed of 70s film has. Sadly it bogs down quite a bit in the middle, even if Al Pacino and John Cazale turn in fantastic performances (Pacino is so good in these early roles of his that he can keep getting work decades later as a mere caricature of his former self, and it's such a heartbreaker that Cazale only did five movies--all Best Picture nominees--before cancer took him). Happily, tension starts building again in the final act, and the end satisfies. It came in the nick of time too, as I was right on the cusp of falling asleep with about 20 minutes to go. Ah well, I think I just have to keep trying until I "get" the 70s, and then I'll be right on board with the rest of you.
The Man Who Would Be King... Sean Connery and Michael Caine do Heart of Darkness (similar themes, anyway). I love the gradually encroaching sense of doom you get as your two rouges dig themselves in deeper and deeper.
The Master of the Flying Guillotine... All these 70s kung-fu movies are varying degrees of outlandish, and once you reach a certain degree of outlandishness I don't enjoy them quite so much. This one is right on the edge. The flying guillotine is a ridiculous weapon and the beheadings are corny. The Indian yoga master has a ludicrous super-power. And yet the entire movie was an enjoyable hoot, and Jimmy Wang Yu comes off as a pensive Charles Bronson (the comparison is not an original one, but I think it's apt). Lots of solid fight scenes, with the final three duels being particularly enjoyable.
The Mirror... I was so out of my league. In hindsight, I think my biggest mistake was not watching the movie as if it were told in the first person. I *think* the movie is largely told from the perspective of Tarkovsky's brain: memories, dreams, desires, and culture. I'll keep that in mind for next time. As for this time, while beautiful to look at, I was continually grasping at threads, trying to see the fabric, instead of just letting it wash over me. I found some threads that moved me (the grenade) and some I liked looking at (the burning cabin, Margarita Terekhova's face), but I couldn't weave it together. "So wait, she's the mother and the wife? And which one has two kids and which one has one? Wait, who the hell's the Spanish guy?!" Ultimately, I have no shot without at least another couple viewings, and I just couldn't work up the motivation. Perhaps with another few hundred movies under my belt I'll be better prepared the next time around.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail... If I ever see this again I'd probably list it higher, but I saw it many years after it first came out, and I'd already heard all the best lines badly done over and over AND OVER by the time I got to it.
Nashville... An excellent movie that of course I didn't really dig, and will have to see again someday. I'm cursed with a sporadic awareness of quality combined with a short attention span. So I'm aware that something's good (sometimes), but I can't get into it, and guilt forces me to try it again later. It would be far more efficient to just develop my attention span and like the damn things the first time through. Anyway, I was ready to turn this off at about the same point as I was ready to turn off Short Cuts [ducks]. I persevered this time though, and I'm ready to make an analogy. Altman's movies are like entangled strings of pearls. Sometimes you have to go through lots of string before you get to anything that appears valuable though. One last thing: Lily Tomlin wasn't funny at all, and completely stole the show.
Could Have Missed
- None Yet
Should Have Missed
- None Yet
El Sucko Grande
- None Yet