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Valentine & Black History February Challenge


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#41 of 84 Michael Elliott

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Posted February 12 2013 - 01:32 PM

I actually saw this in the theater back in 1992 or 1993.  It played in Maryland since Mfume's son lived there.  It screened at the now-defunct Westview Cinema (right next to a drive-in.)  It was originally called "The Weekend it Lives."  Part of me wants to buy a copy for "I remember when..." reasons, but would I ever actually watch it again?  I prefer the original title.

Wow, if I ever meet you in person the drinks are on me. It's just amazing that something this bad would get an official release to a theater and then VHS and DVD. I heard about the film from that book I mentioned on the first page and it ended up making that guys "worst of the worst" list. I can't imagine actually paying to see this thing so it's pretty cool that you were one a the few to see it on the big screen.

#42 of 84 PatW

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Posted February 13 2013 - 12:04 PM

Don't have the time to say very much about what I've watched. Salmon Fishing on the Yemen (2011) (Netflix) :star::star::star::star: Thought this would be boring and not my cup of tea. I guess it goes to show that you can't judge from a title. I loved this so much I'm thinking of adding the blu ray to my collection. The Enchanted Cottage (1945) (tcm) :star::star::star::star: This is the second time watching this. Though I find the whole premise questionable as pertaining to the question of beauty, the romance is lovely and I've watched it for that reason. I just find it a bit problematic when it's suggest that less than pretty or beautiful people can only attract the same but oh well.

#43 of 84 Michael Elliott

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Posted February 13 2013 - 05:28 PM

SALMON FISHING is one I missed last year but I do plan on watching it at some point. The trailer left me rather cold but everyone I've talked to has really enjoyed the film. Leaving Las Vegas (1995) :star::star::star::star: Depressing account of a man (Nicholas Cage) who goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death and once there he strikes up a relationship with a prostitute (Elisabeth Shue). Going back and watching this film after so many years had a lot of things going through my mind. Such as the first time I watched this it was in the theater as the second part of a double feature with DEAD MAN WALKING. Talk about a depressing four hours in the theater. The second thing it reminded me of was what a terrific actor Cage was and how at the time many people were calling him one of the greatest of his generation. I bring this up considering the type of films Cage is currently doing. LEAVING LAS VEGAS is without question a very dark and depressing film and it always amuses me that people attacked the picture for this. I mean, there are several films each year that shows the fun side of drinking so I always find it strange that so many could object to a film showing the ugly side. I can understand people not wanting to sit through a nearly two-hour suicide movie but at the same time those who can stomach the story are going to be shown one of the best performances from this era. Cage is simply marvelous as the alcoholic who goes on a death wish for reasons we're not fully told. It's funny but the screenplay really doesn't give us much insight to either character other than both are troubled, alone and find some sort of comfort with each other. This love story between the two certainly isn't all that casual or romantic but it's quite unique in its own way. The way Cage controls this character, his various emotions and the physical nature of his body falling apart are simply amazing to watch. It really reminds one of how great he can be when the material is right. Shue also turns in the best performance of her career and you can really see the pain in her eyes as this man she loves is slowly dying. Julian Sands is also quite effective in his few scenes. Director Mike Figgis does an extremely good job with the material but a lot of credit also needs to go towards his film score. LEAVING LAS VEGAS isn't a very pretty movie to watch but then again, why would anyone expect alcoholism to be pretty? Da Hip Hop Witch (2000) BOMB Incredibly awful and rather pathetic "movie" about five idiot white people who go into the ghetto to look for the title creature. This witch just happens to stalks various rap artists so the white kids try to get famous by looking for her. This parody (?) of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT is beyond awful in every way imaginable. The screenplay is awful. The acting is awful. The direction is awful. The entire intent of this thing is awful and for the life of me I can't understand what writer-director Dale Resteghini was trying to do other than get idiots like me to watch this film. What we've basically got is a bunch of scenes that make no sense thrown together and the "highlight" is seeing various hip hop artists talk about their encounter with the witch or stories they've heard about the witch. These include Eminem talking about how the witch tried to stick her butter finger up his butt. Really? Was this meant to be funny? Were we supposed to take this serious? Mobb Deep, Rah Digga, Pras, Killah Priest, Ja Rule and Vanilla Ice also show up. There's no question that this film wasn't made to try and win an Oscar but at the same time you'd hope for at least some cheap entertainment or fun. This movie really offers neither and it actually gets worse as it goes along. It's just mind-blowing that the director would make a film like this but, again, I'm sure it was for money. Even then, was there a reason for this to clock in at 90-minutes? The entire film looks incredibly cheap and from what I've read the director just pretty much showed up at the various artists' locations, threw them some money and then had them talk. It's clear none of them knew what the heck was going on as their stories just drag on and there's no point to any of them. DA HIP HOP WITCH is a complete piece of junk that probably ranks as the very worse I've ever seen. I at least can't think of another movie where less effort was done.

#44 of 84 JohnS

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Posted February 14 2013 - 09:14 AM

Trying to spend the day with romance movies I love. Chasing Amy (1997) My second favorite Kevin Smith film. I love the performance by Joey Lauren Adams. Kevin Smith writes a great script with lots of the usual laughs. Cruel Intensions (1999) My all time favorite guilty pleasure. I've seen all three films and this is the more sophisticated of the three. In fact the other two can't compare. There's just something about this movie that really makes me love it when I probably shouldn't. Fantastic soundtrack that compliments the story. Many great moments with Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe. Sarah Michelle Gellar is sexy and can play a terrific bitch.

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#45 of 84 PatW

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Posted February 15 2013 - 11:34 AM

Colour Purple (1985) (bluray) :star::star::star: I use to like this film a lot better than I do now. I don't know what it is exactly but parts just rub me the wrong way. No denying Spielberg's talent. It's a well crafted, and well acted film. The movie is especially kind to women but the men are misogynist abusive brutes. The few whites are portrayed stereotypically abusive. Some important subjects are touched on but only sketchily. The person who really wins here is Whoopie Goldberg as Celie. Her performance is the best part of this movie and fortunately she was able to establish her presence as a personality after this film. But unfortunately I don't think anything this meaty has come along again for her. This film was too drawn out and overlong. Some scenes were just pointless. I understand the dreamy aspect of the purple flowers but the shock of the children playing at the beginning and then jumping to those scenes of ugliness just didn't do it for me. It gets a passing grade because it's Spielberg who is probably my favourite director.

#46 of 84 JohnS

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Posted February 15 2013 - 12:34 PM

Lost in Translation one of my absolute favorite films. Most people find this film boring, and I can see why. I'm a fan of Scarlett Johansson, so maybe ats anger reason why I love it. I love lots of the shots of Charolette walking throughout Tokyo. I also love the night they both spend with the group of people having a night on the town. The soundtrack also blends well with the movie. Just a terrific film.

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#47 of 84 PatW

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Posted February 15 2013 - 05:42 PM

Eat Pray Love (2010) (Netflix) :star::half: Yes, Eat Pray Love or how to ditch three wonderful guys without a second thought. Yes, what we've got here is the female version of a womanizer. There was some pretty travellog scenes though and I've always liked Javier Bardem. The rest of the movie not so much.

#48 of 84 Michael Elliott

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Posted February 15 2013 - 06:05 PM

I've had EAT PRAY LOVE in my queue since its DVD release. I've heard it's pretty horrid, which is why I'm curious about it. I guess it would perfectly fit in since I'm watching so many bad ones this month. CHASING AMY is also one of my favorites. Certainly one of the best love stories out there. Leonard Part 6 (1987) :half: Bill Cosby co-wrote, produced and stars in this disaster that he eventually would be kind enough to tell people to avoid before its release. In the film he plays secret agent Leonard Parker who is hired by a firm to track down a crazy woman (Gloria Foster) who uses animals to carry out her murderous plans. LEONARD PART 6 really is a complete disaster but I'm going to at least give it credit for attempting to do just about everything you could think of in a bad movie. I mean, there's no question that this is a horrid film but I still give a little credit to Cosby for at least trying to go all out and deliver something unlike you've ever seen before. He actually succeeds at this because I personally can't think of another movie like this one but just because you're different or original doesn't mean your good. Sadly, all the "different" things here are all terrible so there's nothing to be entertained by. I guess I should also mention that I give Cosby credit for warning people about the film and he even went a step further by buying the television rights so that it couldn't be shown there. I'm really not sure where to start with this thing but there's no question that the entire thing just has a very uneven feel to it and worse of all is that there's not a single laugh to be had. I guess the movie is worth watching at least once so you can say you've seen it and you might even get into a debate about which sequence or scene is the worst. I'm going to have to go for the one where Cosby battles some bad guys by throwing meat on them. As for Cosby, he's incredibly bad here and you have to wonder what type of ego he had to go ahead and say okay to his own screenplay. I'm sure no one around him was being honest by saying this was crap so I guess he just had to see it for himself once it was all filmed. Either way, LEONARD PART 6 lives up to its reputation, which is about the only thing it does right. Ben & Arthur (2002) BOMB Sam Mraovich wrote, produced, directed, shot, scored and did just about everything else in this gay movie, which many consider the alternate of THE ROOM. In the film Mraovich plays Arthur, a gay man happily in love with his boyfriend Ben (Jamie Brett Gabel) and the two plan on getting married in Hawaii. Sadly, the state overturns their policy on gay marriage so they can't be together and things get even worse when Ben's wife refuses to give him a divorce thinking he's just confused. Things take a far more dangerous turn when Ben's brother is kicked out of his church because Ben is gay and he decides to kill his brother and his mate. Oh, what will Ben and Arthur do? Here's yet another film I first heard about in Michael Adams' "Showgirls, Teen Wolves and Astro Zombies" book and yes, it lives up to its reputation. The connection to THE ROOM really isn't all that fair since that movie was at least so bad that you could laugh at it whereas this one here is just plain bad. I guess we can give Mraovich a little credit considering how much he did to get this film made but sadly the hard work didn't pay off anywhere. The film really is a complete mess and we can start with the story itself, which is just so silly and over-the-top that you can never take it serious. Even worse is some of the dialogue and especially during the scenes where the righteous brother seeks advice from the "higher up" about his gay brother. There are many bad sequences here including one "romantic" sequence, which is just downright bad from the word go. Even worse are the performances, which are among some of the worst that you're going to see in any movie no matter the subject or genre. The continuity errors here are also quite shocking and worse than anything you'd see in an Edward D. Wood, Jr. movie. One example has Arthur going to an interview wearing a blue shirt and shorts but when he walks through the door he's all of the sudden wearing a black shirt. One scene he talks about his male lawyer but in the next scene we meet the lawyer and it's a woman. There are many other issues like this throughout the picture. Speaking of Ed Wood, you might want to really compare this to GLEN OR GLENDA? since you have a filmmaker trying to tell a serious story about his own issues. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) :star::star: Considering the talent in front of and behind the camera, there's really no way to look at this adaptation of the James M. Cain novel as anything but a disappointment. In the film, Jack Nicholson plays drifter Frank Chambers who enters the lives of Cora (Jessica Lange) and her much older husband Nick (John Colicos). Soon the drifter and Cora start up a sexual relationship, which leads to them planning the murder of the husband. This here would be the fourth version of the classic story and the second one filmed in America. Unlike the previous versions, director Bob Rafelson didn't have to worry about censors but even so this version isn't nearly as hot as the earlier one with Lana Turner. Outside a rather intense sex scene towards the start of the picture, this thing really never takes off, which is too bad because they've got a terrific cast and some beautiful settings but in the end the film is just flat. I think the first forty- five minutes are the best thing in the film as we see the love triangle set up and there's no question that the director has the look of the era down perfectly. I thought the setting really added a lot of atmosphere but sadly very little else happens. Nicholson was the perfect choice to play a drifter but the screenplay really doesn't give him too much to work with. Lange is clearly the best thing in the movie as she delivers a sexual charge to the thing. Colicos is also extremely good as the husband in a strong supporting performance. What really hurts the film is the second half because the director never really makes us believe or feel anything for the two leads. Are we supposed to hate them for what they've done? Are we supposed to be rooting for them to get away with the murder and live happily ever after? The entire second half of the film features way too many dialogue scenes that lead no where and in the end the "romance" that starts to bloom towards the end just never fully works. The film isn't nearly as bad as its reputation but at the same time there's no question that it's a major disappointment and a bitter feeling takes over when you think about what could have been.

#49 of 84 PatW

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Posted February 16 2013 - 02:27 AM

I hadn't read any reviews of Eat Prey Love so I was looking forward to it since I do like Julia Roberts. What a big disappointment. As far as Salmon Fishing on the Yemen, I watched it with my husband, a friend, my son and his wife. I'm the only one that enjoyed it. The others were bored to tears. Their movie picks though, tend to be a lot more different than mine except for Sci-fi.

#50 of 84 Michael Elliott

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Posted February 18 2013 - 01:31 PM

The Black Gestapo (1975) :star::star: General Ahmed (Rod Perry) forms a black power group that wants to handle their own people peacefully but first they must get rid of the evil white people. Once this is done Ahmed has another issue come up and that's a former friend (Charles Robinson) who is now former his own group who are bent for violence and destruction. If you're looking for some sort of drama that talks about hard-hitting issues about the ghettos of America then this here is certainly not that film. If you're looking for a pretty bad but entertaining Blaxploitation flick then this one here is about as good as you're going to get. THE BLACK GESTAPO isn't a "good" movie like certain films in the genre (FOXY BROWN) but it's more of a really bad movie that's so politically incorrect that you can't help but enjoy it. I thought the film certainly had a few messages throughout but for the most part director Lee Frost just kicks back and throws all sorts of trash at the viewer. There's some violence throughout, plenty of naked women as well as several other exploitation moments including white women being offered up for black soldiers who join the bad guy's party. As you'd guess from the title, this bad guy is taking a page from Hitler but these elements really aren't explored that much and for the most part this thing stays pretty far from the Naxiploitation genre. Director Frost actually manages to keep the film moving at a very fast pace and I give him a lot of credit for at least making sure the entertainment level never went down. Still, there's no question that we're given some bad moments throughout but thankfully a lot of them turn to camp. Just check out the sequence where one of the white guys gets driven off the road and what happens is just priceless. I will say that both Perry and Robinson were entertaining in their parts and you can keep your eyes open for Uschi Digard in a small role. The Black 6 (1973) :star::star: Blaxploitation flick about a black kid who is killed by a white motorcycle gang after they catch him with a white woman. Soon after his brother Bubba (Gene Washington) shows up with his five friends to get to the bottom of the crime and soon realize that they're going to have to take down quite a few honky's. THE BLACK 6 isn't a classic movie in the same field as THE DEFIANT ONES but who in their right mind is going to come into this thing expecting greatness? If you're looking for an ultra-cheap, silly and poorly made film that at least keeps you entertained then this here offers that. Again, there's no question that the film doesn't offer up anything of real quality but if that's what you're expecting then it's best to just stay away to begin with. The film's big point to get people to watch it is that the six black guys are all played by NFL players with the two biggest names being Joe Greene and Mercury Morris who most people will know from being on ESPN each year whenever the last undefeated team finally loses a game and protects his Dolphins only perfect season. None of the six NFL players can act but this really doesn't take anything away from the picture. The other motorcycle gang really can't act either so I guess you could say that everyone is on a level playing field. I really thought the story here was pretty predictable and it's certainly nothing we haven't seen before yet it kept me interested in the characters and there's no doubt that the six bikers were fun to watch. There's a very funny sequence towards the start of the picture where the six black guys are taking care of an elderly white woman, which I'm sure was meant to show that they didn't hate white people, just the ones that harmed them. This is followed up by another funny scene where a racist couple refuses to serve them so they literally tear down the building. THE BLACK 6 isn't as bad as its reputation as long as you go into it not expecting it to be something it's not. Swept Away (1974) :star::star::star::star: Rich woman Raffaella Lanzetti (Mariangela Melato) and her servant Gennarino Carunchio (Giancarlo Giannini) end up being taken away from their boat as the current sweeps them away and onto a deserted island. Now that the tables are turned and her money isn't going to save her, Gennarino plans to teach the woman a lesson about life. Lina Wertmuller's SWEPT AWAY has been called a masterpiece by many, a evil picture by some and there are certainly some that fall somewhere in between. I think the reason there are so many mixed reviews of this film is that it's so hard to fully put your hands on it. I mean, a hundred different people could attend a screening of this film and then afterwards each of them would see something different. Is it a drama? It is a political message about living conditions between the rich and poor? Is it some sort of dark comedy where the poor man gets his day in the sun? SWEPT AWAY is a film I really loved watches even if parts of it certainly rubbed me the wrong way. The opening twenty-minutes or so clearly set up that this rich woman is rather heartless, cruel and uncaring about anyone other than herself. When she gets lost at sea you're happy to see her get a dose of reality but at the same time I can't say I enjoyed how she got it. There were times where the man physically abuses her and I must admit that this didn't make me care for him any or cheer for him to "teach" the rich woman. Yet, the film takes these ugly moments and does stuff with them that most films wouldn't dare try, nevermind actually making them work. Another rather remarkable thing is how much you can believe what you're seeing. I'm not going to ruin what actually happens but director Wertmuller really makes you believe it from start to finish and talk about the perfect ending. The film contains some very harsh language and some ugly violence but in its own pay these scenes are rather poetic. Another major plus is that both Melato and Giannini turn in two of the greatest performances you're going to see. Both of them were simply terrific in their roles and even when the tables are turned, both of them are believable and really sell the fire and passion of the story. SWEPT AWAY is a very unique film that's quite unlike any other including the countless imitations that have been released. The film manages to work on so many levels and it's greatness is also what many might see as ugliness.

#51 of 84 PatW

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Posted February 19 2013 - 10:39 AM

16 I Capture the Castle (2003) (Netflix) :star::star::half: I'm not sure how I feel about this movie. Parts of it were good but parts bored me to tears. The book I understand is lovely but this film certainly doesn't give me any desire to read it. This is a quirky film and usually I love quirky and perhaps I just wasn't in the right frame of mind when I watched this but I have no desire to revisit at a later date. 17 Just Like Heaven (2005) (Mtime) :star::star::star::half: This is a revisit though I missed the first half hour the last time I watched. A young woman apparently dead, is haunting a lonely landscape architect who is living in her former apartment. He is the only one that can see and interact with her, and an expected romance starts to develop. Of course this is extremely predictable but it's a nice pleasant romantic comedy with good acting and a good script to while your time away with. I've seen much worse.

#52 of 84 Michael Elliott

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Posted February 20 2013 - 05:33 PM

Swept Away (2002) :star: Guy Richie's remake of the 1974 classic has Madonna playing the rich woman who finds herself on a deserted island with a poor Italian farmer (Adriano Giannini) who decides to turn the tables and teach her what it really means to be a worker. SWEPT AWAY got killed by the critics and often times I think critic and fans are too harsh on remakes. It seems that most of the time the remake is just beaten to death simply because it dared to remake a great film. This here is in no way, shape or form better than the original. We can just throw that out right now and there's no question that there's not a single thing here better than the previous film. With that out of the way, there's also no question that we're left with a really bad movie. It seems a lot of people want to blame Madonna for the film's disastrous quality but she only deserves part of the blame. The majority has to go to her then husband Richie who doesn't do anything right here. Everything feels rushed. The movie has no laughs or romance. Nothing that happens is believable. The entire picture just has a rather cheap feel to it. There's nothing here that works in regards to the technical stuff. The only thing that saves this from being a complete bomb is the performance by Giannini who is the son of the actor who played the same part in the original. He's certainly not as good as daddy but I thought he was very much watchable and at least gave it his all. The performance would have been greatly used in a better movie but sadly everything around him is just bad. This includes the performance by Madonna. Who knows why she even thought she could do anything with this role but she's not believable when she's being the mean rich woman and she's not believable in any form that this character changes into. The two just don't have any chemistry together but a lot of the blame here can go towards the director and screenplay. There's some nice visuals but a monkey could put a camera in a beautiful location and it would still look great. SWEPT AWAY is a really bad movie but at the same time it's bad enough to where fans of bad movies should at least get a kick out of it. Ghosts Can't Do It (1989) BOMB Director-writer John Derek and wife Bo made a total of four films together starting with FANTASIES and then moving onto TARZAN THE APE MAN and BOLERO. All three movies were pretty bad but nothing in them was bad enough to prepare for you how downright awful their fourth and final film was. In the film, Bo plays a young woman married to a much older man (Anthony Quinn) who ends up killing himself. The old man's spirit sticks around to have conversations with his woman and soon the two of them decide it's best for his spirit to enter a younger man so that they can have sex again. GHOSTS CAN'T DO IT is without question one of the worst films I've ever seen and especially one of the worst romances I've seen. I really would have loved to have been a fly on the wall whenever the Derek's were discussing the films that they should make. There's no question that John loved his wife and was proud of her body and thankfully he wasn't a prude about showing it off. Bo has always been an amazingly beautiful woman and that's true here as she has several scenes where she's totally naked. Without this cheap nudity the film would be completely horrible so at least John was smart enough to add nude scenes but this could be said for all four of their films. As for acting, I've never quite found Bo to be as bad as many others but there's still no question she doesn't give that much of a performance here. Quinn basically stands around behind some filter meant to make him look like his in another world. His performance is pretty campy and over-the-top. Vets Don Murray and Julie Newmar also appear but add very little. Again, I'm really not sure what John Derek was trying to do here unless he was really preparing his wife for his own death since he was much older. Perhaps this was just some sort of perverted fantasy that he had about dying himself. I'm not sure what the goal was but the end result is just a complete disaster that's certainly not romantic, never funny and just a real painful experience to try and make it through.

#53 of 84 JohnS

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Posted February 21 2013 - 02:56 AM

Shes Out of My League (2010) A semi favorite of mine. It's a paint by numbers boy meets girl romantic comedy. These types of movies can get pretty tiresome, but I like it for the fact that it doesn't rely on crude or raunchy humor. It feels real and doesn't annoy the audience. I just wish that Krysten Ritter was used just a little bit more.

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#54 of 84 Aaron Silverman

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Posted February 21 2013 - 06:52 AM

Ugh, I hated She's Out of My League. The stars had absolutely no chemistry. I didn't buy for a second that that girl would go for such a schlubby guy just because he returned her phone. He had nothing to offer. The one good thing about it was T. J. Miller, who was hilarious. I watched Salmon Fishing last night. Kind of mediocre. It started out well enough, but got too silly and melodramatic. Also, romantic movies where the leads start off with other people and ditch them are a pet peeve of mine. My wife fell asleep partway through and I didn't bother to wake her up. Young Adult was kind of an anti-rom-com, but it was good (assuming you don't mind a movie about a total douchebag). :) The Hunger Games had its issues, but I enjoyed it more than I'd expected to. I almost turned it off after 5-10 minutes due to the unwatchable shaky-cam, but that nonsense tapered off after a while. I saw Eat Pray Love some time ago. It does have some very nice traveloguey stuff, but the story -- oy vey. 2+ hours spent watching a snotty, overprivileged whiner complain about her feelings is 2+ hours I could've spent more productively by whining about my own issues. :)
"How wonderful it will be to have a leader unburdened by the twin horrors of knowledge and experience." -- Mr. Wick

#55 of 84 Michael Elliott

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Posted February 22 2013 - 01:52 PM

Love Story (1970) :star::star::half: Rich law student Oliver (Ryan O'Neil) falls in love with poor girl Jennifer (Ali MacGraw) and even though the two have nothing in common they end up in a wonderful love affair that leads to marriage and tragedy. LOVE STORY is a film that I just watched for the first time and it's one that I knew about the ending long before. I guess everyone who knows anything about movies knows about the ending here but I'll get to more on that in a bit. I really, really, really understand why so many people love this movie and I understand why it was such a huge hit back in the day. Sometimes I watch movies and don't see what others see in it but there's no doubt that I fully understand the love some have for this film. With that said, it didn't completely work for me. There's no question that it will keep you entertained from start to finish but there were still a few major flaws that kept me from falling for it more. The biggest issue I had with the picture is that the screenplay was way too simple and cute for my liking. Not for a single second did I ever really feel like I was watching a real relationship and a real couple. Even their meeting scene and the eventual falling in love just seemed way too cute for their own good. It really did seem at times like the screenplay was just overbearing in its attempt to show how much these two loved one another. The dialogue was really forced at times and I think less would have been so much more. I also didn't think O'Neal was the greatest actor here. He perfectly fit the role and it's not hard to watch him here but at the same time I don't think the performance is great. MacGraw was good in her part as she certainly made you believe she was this character. Ray Milland was also extremely good because he didn't have to go over-the-top to play the mean father. I also enjoyed John Marley in the role of the girl's father. The film does benefit from some nice cinematography as well as a good score that perfectly fits the film. As for the ending, even though you're told about it at the very start of the film, it still manages to be quite good and perfectly handled by the director. LOVE STORY is a decent little movie but I think it could have been much better with a few changes in its story. What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) :star::star::star::star: Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) tries adjusting to his small town where the weight of the world is on his shoulders. He must try and take care of his eccentric family including his retarded brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio), his obese mother (Darlene Cates) as well as try and keeps his affair with a married woman (Mary Streenburgen) quiet. After meeting a stranger (Juliette Lewis) he begins to think that he might be better served just leaving the town and his family behind. I watched this movie when it was first released and thought it was extremely good but I think it's safe to say that time has been very good to the film as its not only shaped into a classic but I think it's improved all around. I think the movie is just about as perfect as you can get in showing someone who is just at the end of everything including being fed up with their life and the burden of the expectations that are on them. This here is where the film is so special because the Gilbert character really does feel like a real person who just wants to escape but can't find a way to do it. The film was incredibly realistic and I think it manages to be rather heartbreaking along the way even though there are certainly bits of romance and comedy scattered throughout. The greatest thing going are without question the performances. DiCaprio turns in one of the greatest performances that you're ever going to see as the mentally challenged Arnie. Just the way he performs the character is something really special to watch as he's got some perfect small touches and not for a second do you ever believe you're just watching an actor do a part. The supporting cast is terrific with Lewis, Steenburgen, Cates, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover and Kevin Tighe perfectly fitting their roles. Depp, and everyone for that matter, were overlooked due to how great DiCaprio was but I think he too gives one of the better performances of his career. Everyone's gotten so used to his over-the-top and flashy characters that it's pretty amazing to see him play the opposite. The film has so many touching and memorable scenes and the director really pulls them all together wonderfully. Classics get better over time and I think this is a perfect example of that.

#56 of 84 JohnS

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Posted February 22 2013 - 02:22 PM

I'm using this weekend and part of next week to watch Richard Pryor stuff. For the first time I watched Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip (1982) Lots of great stuff here. My favorite stuff was him talking about penitentiary and his free basting days. I'm going to rewatch The Toy and Brewsters Millions Also going to try and watch Stir Crazy for the first time. The other reason I'm re watching Brewsters Millions is that TCM is playing the original March 1st. This coming Wednesday I will be putting up the Sci-fi March challenge thread.

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#57 of 84 Michael Elliott

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Posted February 22 2013 - 02:28 PM

Pryor's stand up was always so much better than his actual films but I've always loved MOVING. I saw this one when it was released and it's always stayed with me. Really, really funny movie as long as you don't take it too serious. I also like STIR CRAZY, although It gets a bit long after a while. BUSTIN LOOSE is another winner. That 1945 version of MILLIONS is extremely good. And bring on the Sci-Fi. I've already got everything lined up but I guess we should call it the "Everything You Can't Fit Into the Horror Challenge." :D

#58 of 84 TravisR

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Posted February 22 2013 - 02:33 PM

I'm using this weekend and part of next week to watch Richard Pryor stuff.

I picked up the Richard Pryor box set recently and it confirmed my belief that that dude was truly a genius.

#59 of 84 JohnS

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Posted February 22 2013 - 03:46 PM

I'm also going to watch for the first time Eddie Murphy's RAW. Which I've been told is his best stuff ever.

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#60 of 84 PatW

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Posted February 22 2013 - 04:50 PM

Yeah, bring on the Sci-fi challenge. That's the largest portion by far of my video collection. Can't wait since it's becoming a chore watching so many romantic movies.




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