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Why Does George Kaplan Hate This Movie Tournament?


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#41 of 259 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted May 27 2006 - 05:14 AM

I'm not sure how much I can say in response to why particular movie cause George to lose his mind without risking banishment. I don't actually need to specify the reason I have come to see for each particular one, since i think it is the same in most cases, which is that when someone has such an incredibly, well, um, "established", opinion of how things should be, it is threatening when something challenges that opinion. Nothing states his opinion better than the quote in his sig..."Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." He also seems to bear remarkable, permanent grudges against anyone who ever performed in a role, made a movie, said something or wore a tie he dislikes.

I will say this, I am pleasantly (and extremely) surprised that George has agreed to participate in this tourney.


Les Enfants du Paradis - Sure, it's long-winded, but it's also enjoyable to explore and just look at. I'm not as big a fan of it as most, but I've only seen it once. Why does George hate it? Probably because it's 3 hours and French.

Mulholland Drive - Lynch's most accessible? If you say so. Also only seen it once, and it didn't do all that much for me. Well, except for the scene. Still, I have it and will give it another try some day. Why does George hate it? It's unconventional and nonlinear and doesn't provide a nice, simple "answer".


Thelma and Louise - As road movies go, it's above average. Plus, how many people have never wanted to just drive off a fucking cliff? Why does George hate it? I have no idea. Maybe he wants to drive off a cliff and isn't willing to admit it. Don't read anything into that.

A Room with a View - A wonderful literary adaptation, even if Helena and particularly Julian Sands are rather flat. Denholm Elliott gives one of the greatest comedic performances of all time and Daniel Day Lewis does his best ever. Why does George hate this? Apparently the rest of us missed the memo that Merchant/Ivory were the worst filmmakers in history. My guess is, they did something at some point in one of their movies that rendered anything they ever did as unbearable.


Please realize, this entire post is made with tongue planted firmly in cheek. I am not trying to annoy anyone.

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#42 of 259 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted May 27 2006 - 05:48 AM

Mulholland Dr. - Hey, it's gonna lose anyway. Why does George hate it? The hot lesbian sex? Posted Image

Abstain - Been too long since I've seen ARWAV to make a decent judgment.

#43 of 259 OFFLINE   Bill McA

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Posted May 27 2006 - 09:39 AM

Mulholland Dr. - not Lynch's most accessible or best film (that would be Blue Velvet), but still a masterpiece of mood, texture, surrealism and best of all, it's pure cinema all the way...I loved every minute of it!

Why does George not like it...because it's very unlike '70s live-action Disney films Posted Image

A Room with a View - the only Merchant/Ivory film that will actually make you laugh out loud (intentionally, that is).
Daniel Day-Lewis is simply fantastic as a stuffy twit and the rest of the cast are game, the scenery is lovely and the dialog is sharp.

Why does George not like it...because instead of slapstick, it uses wit as humor, it's a period piece and it has several naked men in it. Posted Image
       

#44 of 259 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted May 27 2006 - 10:02 AM

Quote:
Why does George hate it? The hot lesbian sex?
Quote:
Why does George not like it...it has several naked men in it.
Some people are just never happy.

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#45 of 259 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted May 27 2006 - 02:48 PM

Les Enfants du Paradis obviously, though matched against a very good film...

Les Enfants du Paradis Long, yes. Boring, never. Beautiful to look at, fascinating, entertaining from start to finish...and one of the most heartbreaking endings ever put on film...perfection!

Mulholland Drive Sorry, George, while the film is admittedly surreal, it makes sense to me. If you are a reader, I recommend never attempting Gravity's Rainbow.

Thelma and Louise I don't see where the "bad taste" comes from. Because she shot a rapist? Boo hoo. Poor rapist. Posted Image And incidentally there's more going on here than just a road/buddy picture...

Abstain on 2.
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#46 of 259 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted May 27 2006 - 03:35 PM

Hey, maybe it's the profuse Texas bashing. Never occurred to me before.

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#47 of 259 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted May 27 2006 - 04:09 PM

Well Rain, you hit on a key point. You find Children of Paradise entertaining. Given that, your love for it is entirely appropriate. I've never pretended that my feelings about films were in anyway objective. No one's is. And my love or hatred of them is entirely correct, because it is all subjective.

I was glad to see you call Children of Paradise entertaining because some people seem to completely miss the point of that word. Entertaining does not necessarily mean light and frothy. A film can be serious, dramatic, deep, artistic, have multi-faceted characters and lots to say about various philosophical issues and still be entertaining. Those other things are a plus, but without the entertainment, I'm not impressed. It may not be easy to make an entertaining film, but there are thousands of them out there, including ones like The Seventh Seal, Rashomon, Citizen Kane, Aguirre: The Wrath of God, 2001, etc., etc., etc.

I'll abstain about your comments on the other films.
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#48 of 259 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted May 27 2006 - 05:38 PM

Just gave Mulholland Drive a spin, nearly 5 years after the other time I saw it. What do you know? I does make sense. Do I get the feeling David Lynch has a real obsession with The Wizard of Oz, based on this and Wild at Heart?

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#49 of 259 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted May 27 2006 - 11:56 PM

Since I put up the initial matches a bit late yesterday, I’ll let this one roll another day.
¡Time is not my master!

#50 of 259 OFFLINE   george kaplan

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Posted May 28 2006 - 12:24 AM

I does make sense.
Exactly!!! Read what you wrote VERY carefully. Posted Image I disagree with what you wrote, but that's a whole other story. Posted Image
"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun." - Billy Wilder

"Subtitles good. Hollywood bad." - Tarzan, Sight & Sound 2012 voter.

"My films are not slices of life, they are pieces of cake." - Alfred Hitchcock"My great humility is just one of the many reasons that I...

#51 of 259 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted May 28 2006 - 01:44 AM

Quote:
Exactly!!! Read what you wrote VERY carefully. I disagree with what you wrote, but that's a whole other story.
Mulholland Drive makes more sense than that did. The Wizard of Oz comment came from a fairly (though not trememdously) abstract impression of the events of the film. Probably obscure enough that I might not have made the connection if it weren't for knowing Wild at Heart. In another approach, the more recent movie Stay, which, ironically, also stars Naomi Watts, has a similar theme to MD, but a significantly more mundane execution.

BTW, your assertion regarding movies needing to be "entertaining" strikes me as serious backpedaling. You are just applying a far more broad definition to the word than it actually has. The word "entertain" has many meanings (it can be exchanged for "host", or "consider" or "amuse" or "to hold the attention of agreeably" and is a verb) but the word "entertaining" has a rather limited definition of "affording entertainment; amusing; diverting" and has a wholely "pleasant" connotation of "diversion" (as in getting away from reality, pain, etc.) or "amusement". Now, you may give it your own personal definition, but don't expect everyone else to go along. Movies, just as any story, can be painful (Pathos is a major factor in literature throughout history), confusing, challenging, mind expanding, moving or whatever. Just because you attach the requirement of being "entertaining" (aka, pleasant) and create your own definition of the word does not mean the rest of us have to follow along.


I'm sure George will come in and apply aggressive spin to that has been said, but I'm pretty sure I've expressed all I have to say on the matter.

"Movies should be like amusement parks. People should go to them to have fun."

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#52 of 259 OFFLINE   Brian Kissinger

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Posted May 28 2006 - 11:10 AM

Hey, I like Mulholland Drive.
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#53 of 259 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted May 29 2006 - 12:32 AM

Counting Brian’s comment as a vote, Les Enfants du Paradis and Mulholland Drive are tied at three votes each. I’ll break the tie for Children of Paradise.

A Room with a View wins 2–0.

Les Enfants du Paradis and A Room with a View move into the main field of 32.


Play-In Round: Bracket 3

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, a John Ford/John Wayne classic, set in Ford’s favorite location, Monument Valley, this movie won an Oscar for DP Winton Hoch stunning cinematography;

vs.

The Red Shoes
, one of the few films that can claim to have even better cinematography than She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (and with no stunning location shots to help), this film is considered by many to be the best of the Powell and Pressburger movies (which is saying a lot). Prima Ballerina, Moira Shearer is luminous as Victoria Page. This is my wife’s favorite movie.


Play-In Round: Bracket 4

Gone with the Wind, won a ton of awards in the packed 1939 field (1940 Oscars), this classic still attracts audiences today. Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland and set in the Old South, Victor Fleming’s version of the Margaret Mitchell novel is studio Hollywood at its zenith. Personally I admire its craft more than the movie itself and feel that Fleming (and the writers) pander a bit too much, but that is easily forgiven with lines like “As God is my witness, I’ll never go hungry again”;

vs

Blue Velvet
, a movie as far removed from the prior one as is possible and one that has divided critics and audiences (as has director David Lynch) since its release in 1986. I love the mood (helped enormously by Frederick Elmes’ cinematography) that Lynch sets up and consider this his best movie. Dennis Hopper is menacing as sexual psychopath Frank Booth.


Why does George hate these movies? He explains:

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

Typical wasted John Ford/John Wayne western with too much macho cowboy melodramatic bullshit.

Red Shoes, The

One of the least bad of these films. Again a victim of high expectations, plus the fact that while I love classical music, I hate ballet, and most of the ballet music is the least good classical music. Also, as with many of these, wallows too much in melodrama.

and

Gone with the Wind

A major case of overratedness. Plus, it has some of the worst acting of any big name film I can think of. Most of the cast are second-rate in their acting, but one actress is downright horrible. Not coincidentally she’s my least favorite actress of all time. As much as I love film history, if every print of every film she was in was destroyed tomorrow, frankly my dear, I wouldn’t give a damn.

Blue Velvet

Another typical Lynch film that has so much promise, but replaces good resolution of the mystery with overwrought weirdness for weirdness sake. Hated largely cause of how great the film could have and should have been.
¡Time is not my master!

#54 of 259 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted May 29 2006 - 01:20 AM

Quote:
Counting Brian’s comment as a vote...

Ha! I'll bet a godzillion dollars he ain't seen Children of Paradise.

Abstain on the first match - no The Red Shoes.

Blue Velvet

George does make some good points on BV, but I still like it better than GWTW (a great flick I suppose, but not one I'm that keen on).

#55 of 259 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted May 29 2006 - 01:41 AM

The Red Shoes

Blue Velvet
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#56 of 259 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted May 29 2006 - 02:44 AM

Abstain - No Red Shoes, though as a major classical fan, I can honestly say that there is a lot of wonderful ballet music.

Gone with the Wind - There's just too much about Blue Velvet that bothers me. Sometimes a big, fluffy (sort of) epic is just the order.

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#57 of 259 OFFLINE   Rain

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Posted May 29 2006 - 08:38 AM

Votes in bold:

The Red Shoes
I don't care for ballet either, but this is a great film. Shame on all of you who have not seen it, especially Rice because he's a photographer.

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
What George calls "macho bullshit" I think is one of Wayne's tenderest performances, especially the grave scene.

_____


Gone With the Wind
Disagree completely with George. Not only is the acting not poor, I still maintain (as did the voters in my long ago tournament) that Leigh's performance is the best by an actress ever captured on film.

Blue Velvet
One of the Lynch films, along with Mulholland Dr., that I do like. But no match for GWTW by any stretch of the imagination.
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#58 of 259 OFFLINE   Bill McA

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Posted May 29 2006 - 10:59 AM

The Red Shoes
Blue Velvet

I can't stand ballet either (I just don't get it), but Red Shoes really works despite this hurdle.

Blue Velvet is simply magnifique and I'll be seeing a new 20th Anniversary print this Friday and Saturday Posted Image

Gone with the Wind is one of the few films that George and I can actually agree on. I've seen it twice and I don't think that they'll be a third. A torturous experience but the movie does look fantastic.
       

#59 of 259 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted May 30 2006 - 12:35 AM

The Red Shoes (3–0) and Blue Velvet advance to the main field.

We now have our full 32. First up:

Round 1: Bracket 4

Requiem for a Dream, a present-day story about drug addicts and culture, that received reasonable, if mixed reviews. Not as good as Trainspotting, my only real question on this one is, “what prompted George to spend the time watching it?”

vs.

Taxi Driver
, almost universally considered one of Martin Scorsese’s best movies and routinely included in top 100 lists, this expressionist vision of sin and redemption is a New York City nod to European’s (notably Robert Bresson).


Round 1: Bracket 5

Blow Up, Antonioni’s enigmatic story of Euro ennui. Today not many of Antonioni’s movies are seen, much less appreciated, but its influence colored a generation (the 70s) of filmmakers. For me at least, the murder (or not) is beside the point—much the same as those who worry about the disappearance in L’Aaventura not being resolved are missing the point/

vs.

Persona
, another European movie, but one by Ingmar Bergman and a couple of his favoriate actresses: Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann. Some critics slammed this one as tedious and other’s as Bergman’s best.


Why does George hate these movies? He explains:

“Requiem for a Dream

“Whenever someone talks about great rap lyrics I just can't relate. The fact is I hate the rap music, so there's no way I'm ever going to appreciate the lyrics. Same for disco and hip hop. “And, same for certain thematic aspects of films. A film about a bunch of low life drug users may be the best of it's kind by a long shot, but I so do not care about the subject matter, that it doesn't matter. I hate the people in this film, I don't give a rat's ass about what happened to them, they had no redeeming qualities whatsoever, and I resent having wasted 2 hours watching their pathetic meaningless existence.

“Taxi Driver

“This is another one that falls largely in the 'overrated' category. For the most part its well made, but the Travis Bickle character, while not as annoying as the drug lowlifes in the previous films is pretty hard for me to care about at all. And then let's throw in a bunch of meaningless and pointless violence. Yech.


“Blow Up

“Now here's a film to hate! This is a film I loved until the last few minutes. It was a great murder mystery in the Hitchcock tradition. All it required was a halfway intelligent wrapping up of the mystery. Like films such as Vertigo and Rear Window, lots of deep meaning about various aspects of human behavior (obsession, voyeurism, etc.) could have been made in that format. Blow Up could have been a great film that made a wonderful statement about loneliness, etc., and still been a great mystery and a great film. Instead the lazy prick of a director gives us a fucked up piece of shit worthless ending about tennis playing mimes. What a complete and utter waste. Pathetic. If you can't tell, this one I REALLY hate.

“Persona

“I don't know how strongly I actually hate this. It was certainly not what it could have and should have been, and I certainly disliked it a lot and don't want to see it again, but it ain't no Blow Up!”
¡Time is not my master!

#60 of 259 OFFLINE   SteveGon

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Posted May 30 2006 - 01:15 AM

Taxi Driver

Persona



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