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Time. What is time? Swiss manufacture it. French hoard it. Italians squander it. Americans say it is money. Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook. - Peter Lorre, Beat The Devil
I learn about myself. There is no self. You learn you're not a self. You learn you're nothing. Ultimately. Hopefully. - Harry Dean Stanton
There was no tit for tat, Mr. Hero! - Paul Giamatti in Shoot 'Em Up
Slicker Smith: Throw your chest out! Go on! Throw your chest out!
Herbie Brown: I'm not through with it yet!
Ace: Captain's Log, stardate 23.9, rounded off to the... nearest decimal point. We've... traveled back in time to save an ancient species from... total annihilation. SO FAR... no... signs of aquatic life, but I'm going to find it. If I have to tear this universe another black hole, I'm going to find it. I've... GOT TO, MISTER.
Philip Stockton, who collected the trophy for Best Sound Editing, Hugo
I want to thank everybody who is here tonight, and everybody who isn't, and everybody who has ever been born or may be born or be born again or reborn, if I've forgotten anybody then you probably know who you are.
Check out My Top 250:
My Top Films of Each Decade:
(Perfect Scores in BLUE)
The Haunted Castle
A Trip To The Moon
The Fat and The Lean Wrestling Match
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari
The Thief of Baghdad
The Last Laugh
Port of Shadows
The Lady Vanishes
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington
Make Way For Tomorrow
Bringing Up Baby
The 39 Steps
Out of The Past
The Third Man
The Time of Their Lives
Who Done It?
It's A Wonderful Life
Bud Abbott & Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
And There Were None
Sweet Smell of Success
12 Angry Men
On The Waterfront
Dial 'M' For Murder
Pickup On South Street
Paths of Glory
North By Northwest
Strangers On A Train
Abbott & Costello Meet The Invisible Man
Once Upon A Time In The West
Cool Hand Luke
2001: A Space Odyssey
It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World
The Godfather II
The Onion Field
Life of Brian
The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother
Return of The Secaucus Seven
Monty Python & The Holy Grail
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Prince of The City
My Neighbor Totoro
Crimes And Misdemeanors
Come And See
This Is Spinal Tap
The Breakfast Club
City of Hope
Shadows and Fog
The Usual Suspects
The Last of the Mohicans
Men With Guns
The Last of The Mohicans
A Shallow Grave
The Fisher King
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
American History X
Three Colors: Blue
Waking Ned Divine
Eyes Wide Shut
Glengarry Glen Ross
Coupe De Ville
There Will Be Blood
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
A Serious Man
Lost In Translation
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Midnight In Paris
My Favorite Actors
Harry Dean Stanton
Lee J. Cobb
My Favorite Actresses
Eva Marie Saint
Greatest Scenes In Film
-Joe Kenehans's monologue on equality
-the shootout at the end
The Hill (1965)
-trudging the hill
-Jacko King's breakdown
-The entire ending
Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
-Cheyenne boarding the train
The Apartment (1960
-Baxter's story about the bullet in his leg
-The diary readings
Rear Window (1954)
-Lisa's adventure into Thorwald's apartment
On The Waterfront (1954)
-The long walk back to work
Paris, Texas (1984)
-Confronting the wife
Planes, Trains, And Automobiles (1987)
-The Bravewood Inn
-Dropping the F-Bomb
The Last of The Mohicans (1992)
-Final 25 minutes (specifically Chingachcook's revenge)
Blue Velvet (1986)
A Shallow Grave (1994)
-The final twist
-Blume smoking in the elevator
-Blume destroying the bike
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind (2004)
-The beach house
Mulholland Drive (2001)
-Fixing the bed spring
The Set-Up (1949)
The Fisher King (1991)
-Grand Central turning into a ballroom
A Serious Man (2009)
-Doc Holliday's duel
Gran Tornio (2008)
-Leonard's 'goodbye' to the girl he likes
Quick Change (1990)
-trying to get some change
Lost In Translation (2003)
-the whisper between Murray and Johansen
-getting into the space suit
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
-the unexpected call
Who Done It? (1942)
Bottle Rocket (1996)
There Will Be Blood (2008)
-'I drink your milkshake!'
Say Anything (1989)
Favorite TV Shows
Trailer Park Boys
They Might Be Giants
The Presidents of The United States of America
We Were Promised Jetpacks
Favorite Single Artists:
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Heartattack and Vine - Tom Waits
Join Us - They Might Be Giants
Float - Flogging Molly
Ruby Vroom - Soul Coughing
Bang Bang - Dispatch
Graceland - Paul Simon
Frizzle Fry - Primus
Whiplash is an awesome film. Let me tell you why:
Miles Teller is on a crazy streak; doing some decent movies and putting in even better performances, but Whiplash definitely taps his greatest effort thus far in his incredibly young career.
J.K. Simmons hands in his role of a lifetime, playing a mentor who taps the spirit of R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket, and throws 'acting punches' when you think the film can't get any better.
The movie as a whole put me through a ride. My nerves were being toyed with as I watched Miles Teller's character share screen time with J.K. Simmons. The on screen chemistry is their and in full-bloom.
And what puts the whole thing together? The grade A soundtrack that acts as the lifeblood of this gem of a film.
See this film if appreciate jazz, young musicians and/or the musical process. The ending is also one of the best in any film I've seen. 10/10
I saw this awesome documentary at a premiere in my hometown, and I didn't know very much about the film prior to it coming out. I tell you, this is one of those films that makes you rethink your life. I did, and I kept thinking about how one man made such a crazy impact on the world. Of course, he only revolutionized skiing, but it comes down to so much more than that. Shane McConkey is a hero and a legend. I don't think I could ever do half the stuff he did, but after watching the documentary I am completely inspired to give a lot of crazy new things a shot. Watching this in a full theater was thoroughly entertaining when the funny stuff came up. Many people were on the floor laughing from McConkey's outlandish and spontaneous behavior, and even though the movie ends on a relatively sad note, you can't help but smile when you think back on the larger-than-life personality the last hour and forty minutes entertained you with. I highly recommend this venture, especially if you're looking for gorgeous views, intense winter sports, a high-profile bio, and a great story. Also, one helluva soundtrack.
City of Hope (1991)
A cry for help is the world's unrealized motto.
John Sayles knows how to write a movie. More than that, however, Sayles knows how to compose such a fantastic ending to a movie. He can weave concepts and ideas from scene to scene and from character to character showing us all the different shades of the spectrum while still maintaining a mostly unbiased view of politics and corruption. In Sayles' City of Hope, this is no different, and I am not surprised that as I peruse through it's film page that less then 2,000 people have viewed this cinematic genius at work. Throughout the film, we are introduced to an easy count of 30 characters, who we can understand and compare, whether they're on screen for one hour or one minute. Vincent Spano and Joe Morton hold the most ground and screen time while never letting the viewer down on their performance. While Tony Lo Bianco and John Sayles are nothing short of brilliant in their roles as well. But above them all, David Straithairn subtly steals the show with one helluva performance that we never take full notice of until the incredible ending.
I love how Sayles gave himself and Kevin Tighe the ugliest characters in the film (after seeing him do so well in Sayles earlier masterpiece, Matewan). All I can say is that this film is absolutely worth watching. It reminds us (as it reminded me) how badly society needs help and how problems don't go away until it is finally realized that such problems exist. The separation between social classes is apparent and it is also the major issue that Sayles weaves in and out of most of his character motives. Racial slurs, bigotry, prejudice, and politics are all where Sayles points the blame in this film.
And by the end, Sayles has us wanting more as we see the lowest and most unnoticed character in the entire film shout for help and is totally unheard. 10/10
Repo Man (1984)
"I'd rather die standing, than live kneeling."
"The life of a repo man is always intense," says Miller to Otto as they zip across the L.A skyline.
Repo Man is a fantastic venture into a world of wackiness well crafted by writer-director Alex Cox. There are funny one-liners, bizarre concepts, and quirky characters melded with solid acting (especially from Harry Dean Stanton and Tracey Walters), raw punk music, and incredible atmosphere. If there were any film to define a 'cult classic' it would be between this, Brazil, and Rocky Horror. From the familiar generic food labels to the lobotomized driver of the Chevy Malibu, we have a memorable film that subtly questions the choices we make and boldly answers the coincidental moments that happen in life.
The special effects may not work for everyone, but it all still holds up even after almost 30 years. This is a fun film. So sit back and enjoy it for what it is: an absurd and eccentric ride.
Repo Man manages to pack in references of religion, extra-terrestrial existence and the question of our own existence all at the same time. The repo men is a touch job that calls for bold action, and Otto tries to learn the way. As Bud says in the film, "I'd rather die standing than live kneeling." Highly recommended. 9/10
James Stewart, the Legend
What a charming film, only hindered by a somewhat overrated performance by Josephine Hull. Elwood P. Dowd is possibly the greatest character ever seen on film as James Stewart plays the performance of his already incredible and legendary career. Harvey is filled with great comedic one-liners and situations of well-crafted irony and mockery.
But the greatest moment of the entire film is Elwood's touching and incredibly well-written monologue in the alley. I instantly replayed the scene to re-watch Stewart's magical charisma take full swing. It was one of the few moments I can recall in recent time that has really "Wowed" me.
Elwood P. Dowd: Harvey and I sit in the bars... have a drink or two... play the juke box. And soon the faces of all the other people they turn toward mine and they smile. And they're saying, "We don't know your name, mister, but you're a very nice fella." Harvey and I warm ourselves in all these golden moments. We've entered as strangers - soon we have friends. And they come over... and they sit with us... and they drink with us... and they talk to us. They tell about the big terrible things they've done and the big wonderful things they'll do. Their hopes, and their regrets, and their loves, and their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar. And then I introduce them to Harvey... and he's bigger and grander than anything they offer me. And when they leave, they leave impressed. The same people seldom come back; but that's envy, my dear. There's a little bit of envy in the best of us.
Overall, highly recommended. Wonderful cast, amazing writing and Stewart shines in all its glory. 10/10
Being an American, I have taken my fair share of history courses and studied many of the wars America has been in ever since it's formation and eventual birth in 1776. Just like everyone else, I leaned about Francis Scott Keys and the thirteen original colonies, but above all that, I also learned about the many events and politics which led to our independence. In school, they teach us about WWI and WWII as well as The Civil War, The revolution, the French and Indian War, etc etc. However, as history is so big and vast it well comes down to the perspective of how it is written and how one receives it.
John Sayles has taken on an incredible project. He has done something only one other filmmaker has done, and portrayed all his characters and events in a very different perspective. I say we learn about all the big wars and we always root for America, but Sayles brings to the big screen something that even today we hold in contention, which is the right for one country to invade another. The Philippine-American war is something any American can say they've never heard of (for the most part). It is a part of history America never looks back at, and there are reasons why. Sayles chooses to show America as the invader; the people who don't belong in the situation at hand (such as the War in Iraq), and it is a very intriguing perspective.
The story focuses on a small garrison of American soldiers who have taken post at a small baryo in the Philippines. We're introduced to a whole array of characters with very solid acting behind them all. There are great turns by DJ Qualls, Dane DeHann, Lucas Neff, and Brian Lee Franklin supported by the promising Garrett Dillahunt and always wonderful Chris Cooper. But above them all Joel Torre steals the show as the main character, Rafael, who is also what the title refers too.
Sayles masterfully crafts scene after scene and leads us through a captivating story. Throughout the film, Sayles makes us wonder, "Who is right?" or "What if both sides are right?", while there is a heavy wondering of God and if doing what God says justifies your actions. But then, what about personal choice or following your heart? Between Rafael and his rebellious son, there is a rift. His son helps the colonials, while Rafael is restricted to do what he wishes and must follow the American law that resides.
This is a film I recommend to all who enjoy the 'forgotten' parts of history. What Sayles has done here is another remarkable job of writing and directing while also serving another very unique perspective to the events which happened during the Philippine- American War. It's wonderful storytelling that leads to another well-crafted and haunting John Sayles-esque ending.
A Simply Stunning Film
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
My third Murnau film, and the silent film I've probably been recommended the most behind Metropolis and Nosferatu. My review: As I write this I'm still wiping my eyes and blowing my nose because of a movie that has touched me deeply. A week or so ago I posted a thread to hear about everyone's greatest tearjerker to see what really pangs their emotional chords, and I wrote I wish it could happen to me. Well, it's happened.
Sunrise is everything I could have wanted in an emotionally ridden film. Murnau hits all the right buttons and conducts a more than masterful outlook on the relationship between a husband and wife; one that has seemed to be at it's end until a huge turn of events and feelings changes everything. Sunrise is poignant, beautiful, funny, charming, riveting, and subtly keeps you smiling. Even the word cards/word art have you wriggling in your seat when you see them melt on screen. I cannot recall a film since Matewan or The Hill that has touched me so deeply with some sort of emotion. I am only nineteen (inexperienced with serious relationships) yet feel for everything I saw happen between these two humans. The performances by George O'Brien and the incredibly charming and adorable Janet Gaynor are nothing but excellent. They are a great pair who convey the woes and laughs (ups and downs) of a relationship to near perfection. I have to say I was taken back a bit from all the hype this film was getting, but I have absolutely no regrets watching this and can understand where all the hype now comes from. All I can say is that I am in awe. Sunrise is a simply stunning film. 10/10 Masterpiece.
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Well Executed and Brilliantly Written
Just watched this flick yesterday. It's a rather under-looked piece of cinema from director Sidney Lumet who absolutely does not disappoint with this feature. The film is a Hercule Poirot detective/Agatha Christie vehicle that works really well. The cast is incredible with the like of Sean Connery, Michael York, Ingrid Bergman (who won an Oscar for her role in this), Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Richard Widmark, Anthony Perkins, and Albert Finney who does a fantastic job as Poirot himself. Overall the film is well executed and brilliantly written (thank you Agatha Christie!)
I have found myself to really love Lumet's work. I don't give that many perfect scores and three of his films have that from me (12 Angry Men, The Hill, Prince of The City). Lumet is just an incredible storyteller even if he's had a lot more misses than hits. 'Express' is no different from his other work as it has an Oscar winning performance, great editing, a wonderful score, and (the greatest Lumet trademark) a film that takes place mostly in one setting.
A take my hat off to you, Mr. Lumet. A recommended film. 8/10
Before 1999 John Sayles had already brought himself into fame as one of the biggest names in Independent filmmaking. He has found his niche in writing for the screen and directing, yet he receives mediocre attention to what density his films carry. My all-time favorite film, Matewan (1987), is also by Sayles, and in Limbo, he has done something incredible bringing us a true-to-heart narrative in a small Alaskan town.
From the first moments of picture; of salmon restlessly waiting to find a place to go, til the heart-throbbing and hard-hitting ending we examine sub texts between the characters and their past. While the beginning may take a bit to set up shop on where Sayles exactly plans to take us, he does it methodically weaving dialog in and out of shots; interlocking sentence after sentence between different characters while at the same time making a point.
The Alaskan wilderness is a perfect setting because nature is unpredictable and Juneau (among other places) is one of the few areas in which all roads lead to virtually nowhere. Meanwhile, Sayles is just prepping us to realize we too as viewers of this narrative, are in Limbo. David Strathairn, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Vanessa Martinez deliver wonderful performances that from the beginning reveal their character's interesting pasts. Strathairn seems lost ever since a boating accident that took two friends, and has never gone fishing since while Mastrantonio is a club singer constantly on the move to find a living and a place to keep her and her daughter happy. And finally Martinez is the confused teenager also lost for who she may be and where she belongs. She has a drifting relationship with her mother (Mastrantonio) and finds comfort when talking to Strathairn's character at work.
When the three are kept on an Alaskan island with nothing but the clothes on their back, a new element is subtly brought in when Martinez finds a long lost diary of a stranger. She begins reading passages by night as we delve into another world; a lost perspective that is engagingly poetic and raw with character emotion.
As the backdrop strengthens we are soon deep into Sayles' fantastically created narrative. We think we know where the story is going, but right when you think you know the answer Sayles takes us in the complete opposite direction. It is unconventional storytelling and a film that brings us one of the greatest endings in cinema history.
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Life is Unsatisfying
Wow. Easily the second best film behind Drive for me. Woody Allen seems to have taken pieces from 'Purple Rose' and 'Bullets of Broadway' to create one of his greatest efforts (although I have yet to see Annie Hall). The writing is great and as of now I hope for Allen to win best screenplay. 'Midnight' follows the Woody-Allen-esque character Gil Pender and his fiancé's family on their trip to Paris. Right away we can see Pender is a person who enjoys the very romantic things in life and is in no way materialistic. Late one night he is brought into the world of the 1920's which he dreams about day in and day out. Soon, to his surprise and sheer joy, Gil ends up meeting all the famous authors and painters of the time. Allen cleverly brings everything together in the end and provides plenty of laughs along the way. The one thing that truly hit home with me is that a majority of people wish to live in the past or aspire to live in a time that has been long gone. We dream about it being better than the present because we are bored in the time period we're in, but as Gil says, "That's what the present is. It's a little unsatisfying because life is unsatisfying." This movie already sticks with me because I don't think I 've ever connected with a main character more than Gil Pender.