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Posts posted by DavidAustin

  1. This list needs some kung fu, and not just Crouching Tiger. Either some King Hu - Dragon Gate Inn, A Touch of Zen or Come Drink With Me, all stone cold classic masterpieces. Or something less arty but equally influential, Bruce Lee's Fist of Fury aka Chinese Connection or Chang Cheh's Five Deadly Venoms or One-Armed Swordsman, Jackie Chan's Police Story.


    Or hell, let's get some Heroic Bloodshed in there - how about John Woo's The Killer vs Hard Boiled?


    Every movie above is worthy of the Canon.

  2. I'd certainly go with the original here (which was a blockbuster, maybe not in America, but a massive success at home), instead of the well-made but mostly derivative remake. Though if it were just up to me, I'd probably go with Infernal Affairs II, which I prefer to both. It has a more emotional heart, whereas Infernal Affairs is a very cold movie.

    • Like 1

  3. Easy no for me. It's an entertaining enough movie, and decently rewatchable, but not even close to Canon-worthy. It's far from the best MCU film - hell, I'd say Ragnarok, Black Panther, Spider-Man and Winter Soldier are all substantially better, and maybe Dr. Strange and GOTG 1 also. It's not even of historical importance, because it's not the movie that kicked off the MCU - Iron Man is. I doubt it would even make my list of top 10 superhero films, let alone the Canon. I'm not sure the MCU has produced a Canon-worthy film yet (though I'd at least entertain Ragnarok for really capturing the comic book feel), but they are certainly getting better and better on the whole.

  4. I rather like both of these movies, but Crouching Tiger is far and away the winner for me. My only problem with the movie is the fact that the subplot with Lo feels like a bit of s narrative dead end. Jen's initial meeting with him doesn't really alter her life all that much; she already longs to be free from her stifling noble life and has been training with Jade Fox. When he comes to "rescue" her from her marriage, he doesn't change the situation, nor does her decision to run away later seem at all motivated by his showing up. And at the very end, he doesn't even factor in to her choice of whether or not to leap from the mountain.


    When I mentioned this in a newsgroup conversation back when it was initially released, and someone compared it to the Rick/Ilsa story from Casablanca. I don't think that comparison carries much weight, though, since the entire plot of Casablanca hinges on their history and how it affects both of them. I dunno, what does everyone else think?


    I rather like the de-emphasis of the romance. She's not dissatisfied and trying to break free because she's in love a desert bandit, it's much more internal. I think even without Lo, she'd end up in roughly the same place.

  5. Between 1991's release of Thelma & the 2000 release of Gladiator, there were only three Ridley Scott films. Can you imagine such a thing now, in the year after he released two films, one of which he re-shot a great portion of? I know it's easy to shrug Scott off, if nothing else due to his prodigious output appearing at times workmanlike, but he's been a major, influential voice in cinema for way too long to get the short shrift he gets from critics.


    Interesting point. I think Scott deserves to be called a major director on the basis of Alien, Blade Runner and The Duellists, but my instinct was to say that everything from Gladiator on was crap (Hannibal, Kingdom of Heaven, Prometheus, Alien: Covenant), But looking back, he has made some solid, good films since Gladiator - Blackhawk Down and The Martian in particular.


    I hadn't thought about this, but it really was a monumental year for East Asian cinema, with Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Battle Royale, In The Mood For Love, and Yi Yi all coming out in 2000 and all Canon-worthy for my money.


    Yeah, tons of good stuff coming out of Asia that year. I forgot about Yi Yi. You should check out The Foul King if you've never seen it, not Best Picture quality but damn good fun.


    And on the accent point, like Italian movies, HK movies are so often dubbed or ADR'd that I tend not to worry too much about the vocal quality, though I'm not sure if that's as common in mainland films.


    The hosts said that it was hard to determine a consistent theme to Ang Lee's work, but I'd say the thing that he has always been most interested in is how social pressures and expectations keep individuals from expressing their true selves. You can see this in Brokeback Mountain, Sense & Sensibility, The Wedding Banquet, and Eat Drink Man Woman, but it's probably stated most clearly and cleanly in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.



    The Ice Storm too.


    Love that this is looking like a rout - will Gladiator get completely shut out?

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  8. Forget Gladiator, the real competition for Best Picture that year should have been between Crouching Tiger and Battle Royale. Gladiator was a mediocre, trite, modern peplum with utterly garbled fight scenes that had me leaving the theater feeling like the entire affair was a total waste of time (a few good performances aside).


    Crouching Tiger, on the other hand, may not be the best wu xia swordplay film, but it is a great one, and one I revisit pretty regularly. The cinematography is stunning, the story and characters are engaging, and everyone involved is at the top of their game. Plus it introduced an entire generation to the joys of Chinese swordplay films and revitalized the genre at home and abroad. It was a gateway for so many to the works of King Hu, Tsui Hark, Chu Yuan and Chang Cheh.


    Hell, even putting aside Crouching Tiger and Battle Royale, I’d have been happier seeing the Oscar go to The Foul King, Memento, American Psycho or In the Mood for Love, among others, rather than Gladiator.

  9. So this was a great episode with a lot of insight from both Amy and David. However, it was really offputting to hear David constantly interject “yeah” every time Amy spoke a sentence. I timed it out and at times while Amy was making a point he would interject a “yeah” every 6-9 seconds.


    Once I noticed what he was doing it was a huge distraction. It seemed completely unintentional, but it comes off as a bit domineering - as if he is granting his approval to Amy for every single sentence she speaks. He also interrupted her several times while she was in the middle of a sentence, somewhat ironically even while discussing issues of gender and power holding. Maybe it was nerves or maybe it’s just how he interacts with people, but once I noticed it I couldn’t unhear it.


    So while he made some solid points about a great film, I really think he should learn quietly listen to the other person in a conversation, wait a beat, and then respond. Again, he seems like a smart and friendly guy, but his interjections were just constant.


    More than just that, he was in full lecture mode the whole time. This was the most uncomfortable episode since Armond White was on. A rare instance where I couldn't get through the whole episode, because it was just offputting. And I quite like The Hustler.

  10. I enjoyed this as a kid, but even then thought the narrative was a bit of a mess, and that the message didn't really work. I think Neverending Story still has some amazing emotional and visual moments (the knight going through the sphinxes, the horse in the swamp, the "strong hands" monologue, the incredibly creepy confrontation with the wolf), but, like Dark Crystal (another visual treat I love), doesn't hang together that well as a story. So call this a soft no with all due affection.


    I do remember reading the book after watching the movie, and being very surprised at how different it was.

  11. Ashby has never done much for me. Maybe it's coming to him too late in life, or too far past the era of creation, but I generally find his films interesting but deeply, deeply flawed. I've only seen The Landlord, Harold and Maude and The Last Detail, but I felt the same way about all of them - interesting time capsules but nothing I'd want to revisit. I'll have to abstain from the vote, though, because I still haven't seen Being There (that and Shampoo are on my list, but I haven't been in any great hurry to get to them).

  12. What might have been a soft yes is a soft no because Robocop is a hard yes (nice putting your thumb on the scale, Amy). But Starship Troopers is pretty great.


    I remember seeing this during college in the theater with friends when it came out, expecting nothing more than a splattery sci-fi action flick. I remember picking up on the underlying fascist and militaristic themes, and being uncertain as to whether they were being mocked or embraced (not knowing anything at the time about Verhoeven personally), and my resulting growing discomfort. And I remember getting to the end, when Doogie Howser walks out to the cowering brain bug dressed like a Gestapo officer only to declare triumphantly that “It’s afraid!” and relaxing, because it was clear that Verhoeven knew exactly what he was doing.


    And postscript, I remember that cheap second run theater in the 50s and miss it too.

  13. I could listen to Kier-La Janisse and Amy dissect films all damn day.


    I got House of Psychotic Women for my birthday and have yet to delve into it, but I’m even more stoked about it after listening to this ep. Cannot wait for Yuletide Terror this holiday season.


    The Fly is not in The Canon and I doubt one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations, Dead Zone, will ever be included (esp after so many political paranoia films have been accepted), so I’d gladly have The Brood.


    There are a few doc horror movies worth mentioning that came out around this same time including Patrick and The Fury, though Patrick (save for the soundtrack) is a boring representation of a horror film. Asylum, the anthlogy film from 1972, is just a fun watch for horror fans, but also lends a weary eye towards psychology and psychiatry.


    If Oliver Reed isn’t in The Canon for The Brood, can he be in The Canon for The Devils?


    Yes, please, let's get The Devils in there. Need some Ken Russell.


    Very soft no on The Brood. Good movie, just not a masterpiece. The context Amy and Kier-la provided definitely made it much more interesting, though. Put up Videodrome, though, and I'm a definite yes.

  14. Very soft no. I quite like The Host, though I think it's by no means Bong's best film. I think the initial attack is really well done, and does a fantastic job of upending the tropes of typical monster attack films. And I think the following bit with the family competing to show grief and making absolute fools of themselves is great as well, really undercutting the normally somber tone of such a scene. The problem is that after those two outstanding set pieces, the film really loses steam, and fails to establish the brother and sister as characters in their own right.

  15. I agree with Amy on Chris Tucker’s character being more annoying than funny. Tucker has some funny moments, but I find his whole motormouth schtick exhausting. And I think the drive-by, the gun, and the serious fight at the end give the movie severe tonal whiplash and really don’t work in the context of the low-key story the rest of the film is telling. I actually expected the film to reveal that the drive-by was just a stoned dream for a few minutes, and was surprised and disappointed when it didn’t. That said, it’s still a really fun and funny hangout comedy with some great performances. Soft yes.


    And I definitely prefer House Party. Fond memories of that one, though it's probably been 25 years since I saw it as a kid.

  16. I don't particularly want either in the Canon, but I'll give a soft yes to Top Gun. Hard no to Minority Report, which is a decent but no more than that sci-fi actioner. Leaving me with Top Gun, which I don't particularly love or even like but probably deserves to get in the basis of its zeitgeist-defining qualities. If I had to have a Tom Cruise film in the Canon, I'd probably go with Risky Business.