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Everything posted by chaplinatemyshoe

  1. chaplinatemyshoe

    Episode #92: STAND BY ME

    So I actually agree with Devin that the movie is told through the backwards staring gaze of Gordy's character. That said, I don't think the movie does anything with that. An adult writer's perspective on childhood events should bring more meaning to the proceedings than it ultimately does, and I come away from Stand by Me feeling like they've done a whole lot of work to replicate something that feels authentic on the surface, but doesn't have much to say beyond that. By contrast, take what Yves Robert did in adapting Marcel Pagnol's autobiographical novels in both My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle. In that, he both captures what it's like to be a child but allows the backwards gaze to imbue everything with a much more knowing and deeper meaning. Those movies are about both the sweetness that nostalgia can provide but also the added pain that subsequent tragedy can infuse upon certain memories. They use nostalgia as an entry point to re-experiencing joy and sorrow on a deeper level with the benefit and clarity of hindsight. So I'm a strong no. This is a Hollywood version of a coming of age movie. It's fine. It's good enough. But it feels a little trite and contrived too often for it to resonate with me on a deeper level. On top of that, I find it really really hard to stomach Wheaton and Feldman's performances, especially in contrast to what Phoenix is doing here.
  2. chaplinatemyshoe

    Homework: Labyrinth (1986)

    Just leaving this here.
  3. chaplinatemyshoe

    Episode #90: PENNIES FROM HEAVEN

    I feel bad for voting this one down, because it's a movie I'm affectionate towards, even though I don't think it's very good. But I'm voting no. I would compare this in a weird way to Watchmen, another movie I'm affectionate towards despite its massive flaws. I think the movies are both a little too literal in their adaptation without really fully capturing what makes the originals more successful (and both have major casting issues). I think the movie really really doesn't get the lip synching device. In the series, it's way more of a music and theatrical dance hall based thing, and that approach to filming those sequences reflects that. In the movie version, it's more of a Hollywood musical approach which undercuts our expectations in a way that I don't think the movie ever really earns and opens it up for legitimate "why isn't this performance a little better" criticisms. I also think Devin is right about Martin vs. Hoskins. Hoskins essentially saves that production by making a pretty shallow character watchable and relatable. I don't think Martin really pulls that off entirely because you don't really feel sorry for the guy. He's just sort of too obvious about his intentions, too delusional about reality and too shallow in his ambitions. And while I think that's on the character as much as its on Martin, Martin doesn't really do the character many favors with his approach. Beyond that, I think a lot of Devin's issues with the story apply to both versions. Both versions of Pennies from Heaven are interesting, but not necessarily stuff I'd recommend with enthusiasm to anyone but fans of Dennis Potter's work or certain kinds of non-traditional musicals. I think The Singing Detective (the series not the film adaptation) is the Dennis Potter work I'd point to as it pretty much does everything Pennies from Heaven does but better (although Pennies has better roles for women). So I vote a very soft no, with all apologies to Amy who made a pretty good case for the movie. Incidentally, another good indulgence pick type movie that involves Jessica Harper and Bob Hoskins, 1975's Inserts, is a movie very much in line with the spirit of Pennies From Heaven and also well worth checking out for anyone who wants to keep wallowing in the misery of depression era entertainment as reflected through the lens of the 1970s malaise.
  4. chaplinatemyshoe

    Episode #87: THE GENERAL

    So....I vote no. It's a personal preference thing for me. I like other Keaton work. I don't like this one. I don't like the lost cause stuff (grew up in the south so I've had my fill of that noise). I don't like the endless train stuff. I don't like that it looks nothing like the south. I don't like the central conflict or characters. It's just not a Keaton movie I particularly like, but it's the one that I've watched the most because it's the one that's been deemed historically important and so has been shown to me or assigned to me, etc. I get that it's held in historical esteem, but that's not really a good enough reason for me to recommend friends watch the movie. If someone ever asked me if they should watch The General, I'd only recommend it for two reasons: 1) they're a big Keaton fan who just hasn't seen his most touted movie for whatever weird reason 2) they're one of those who need to see all the movies on the critics top 100 lists because this one is definitely on those lists.
  5. chaplinatemyshoe

    Your Indulgence Picks

    I'm going with The Fifth Element. The movie isn't culturally important nor is it by any means perfect. The story is pretty stupid and there are a ton of jokes and character choices made that just fall flat. However, it's a movie that I've compulsively watched more and more the older I get to the point where I can no longer argue against its own inclusion in my personal canon. The costume, production design and eccentric casting choices put it over the top for me. It's a trainwreck, but it's a trainwreck I love. My runner up for an indulgence pick would be Commando, which is so effectively the embodiment of an 80s action movie that it borders on parody.
  6. chaplinatemyshoe

    Overlooked great movies

    In the great overlooked movies category, My Father's Glory and My Mother's Castle are two great companion movies about childhood and nostalgia that are probably a little quaint for internet cinephiledom, which tends towards harder, edgier fare. It's hard to think of movies that deal with having a great childhood and the sharp pain of time ebbing that childhood away as well as these movies do. Jan Švankmajer's Faust is also underseen with his go-to recommended feature generally being Alice. It's clever, fun and alive with creativity. If you're a fan of Terry Gilliam's animation or features, Švankmajer's influence on Gilliam will be readily apparent. A must see for stop motion animation fans. Finally, I think people who are fans of blaxploitation and/or the dark surrealist satires of the late 60s/early 70s should check out Larry Cohen's Bone. It features really great central performances by Yaphet Kotto and Joyce Van Patten and is really worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of movies like Putney Swope, Smile or Little Murders (also three great comedies worth tracking down).
  7. chaplinatemyshoe

    Similar film podcasts?

    I'd really recommend The Projection Booth to anyone who wants really really deep dives on all different kinds of notable and classic movies. Their last episode was Apocalypse Now, and it's 2 hour and 45 minute deep dive on the movie that includes an interview with Fax Bahr (one of the guys behind Hearts of Darkness). I don't find the conversation about the movies they cover to be quite as entertaining as what Devin and Amy do on the Canon, but they do a lot of interviews and research that maybe provides a little more sourced insight into the productions.
  8. chaplinatemyshoe


    I went into this re-watch really hoping to vote for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. It's more of a Marilyn movie than Some Like It Hot, and for whatever reason, I had come away from my previous viewing of Some Like It Hot with the impression that maybe it was a tad overrated. But in retrospect, the previous viewing was in the context of being on a Billy Wilder kick. So I was coming to the movie in the context of all his other brilliant work, and it didn't seem like quite the accomplishment. However, this time around, it's sort of undeniable how great the movie is. It's funny and well acted and hits all the notes it's going for. And while I don't go as far as Devin did projecting a greater emotional pull to the last line, it's a pretty perfect button to end the movie on. As for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, I enjoyed it a lot, but it falls into that White Christmas category of being a movie with great Canon worthy sequences that also has a plot you kind of have to actively ignore to enjoy the movie. This was my first viewing of the movie though, so maybe it gets better with age. But in this particular context of viewing, where I'm comparing it directly with Some Like It Hot, it's damn near impossible for me to recommend it over its competitor. Sorry Amy...going with Devin on this one.
  9. chaplinatemyshoe

    Episode 79: THE USUAL SUSPECTS

    This is the most convoluted way possible to tell us you don't like Stephen Baldwin.
  10. chaplinatemyshoe

    Episode 78: BOYZ N THE HOOD

    No. This one feels like a blown opportunity for a Menace II Society vs. Boyz in the Hood episode (or if I'm really being honest a New Jack City vs King of New York showdown). But yeah, the movie's way too melodramatic and on the nose for my tastes. And while I remember the movie having a strong initial impact on teenager me, subsequent viewings have exposed its flaws to the point of borderline parody.
  11. chaplinatemyshoe

    The Yellow Scarf

    That misses the point at what the yellow scarf is a dig at. It's not meant to be a commentary on Amy's vapidness. More that she dismisses movies based on smaller details that she feels hold no deeper meaning. In the Se7en episode for example, she complained that there wasn't more to the aspirin bottles being in John Doe's apartment than set design, and Devin made the yellow scarf callback. It's more Amy specific than gender specific.
  12. chaplinatemyshoe

    Episode 76: MARATHON MAN

    To piggyback your point, Goldman's major contribution was supposedly telling them to cut out a spy plot storyline that apparently dominated the movie's second half and refocus the script on the romance.
  13. chaplinatemyshoe

    Episode 76: MARATHON MAN

    Easy no. I think Marathon Man is a pretty good 70s paranoia thriller with a fun performance by Olivier. But I think it's more like The Parallax View in its good not greatness. If you're a fan of thrillers from the 70s, it's worth checking out, but if we're talking general Canon, it really doesn't belong. That said, this makes a fun double feature with The Boys From Brazil where you can watch Olivier first play an evil Nazi and then hunt an evil Nazi.
  14. chaplinatemyshoe

    Episode 73: THE LOST WEEKEND

    I really liked Devin's argument this week largely because he took a more personal tact. I'm not really won over by the "historical importance" argument because there are just a lot of movies that have interesting historical context, even the bad ones (sometimes especially the bad ones). There's an argument to be made that movies like Heaven's Gate or Cleopatra have more historical importance than The Lost Weekend, but I wouldn't necessarily say they're better movies. Anyway, I'm digressing. I'm another soft no. It's a good movie. I'm glad I finally saw it. But there are a dozen other Billy Wilder movies I'd rather recommend people watch (if we're going lesser heralded Billy Wilder, I'd love to hear what you guys think about some of his 60s comedies), and I'm not really a big social problems movie guy. Good movie. Great episode. Soft no.
  15. chaplinatemyshoe

    Suggestion: Black Swan vs. Whiplash

    What about Black Swan vs. The Red Shoes?
  16. chaplinatemyshoe


    But I have roasted meats, green tights and a willingness to laugh at any joke you make.
  17. chaplinatemyshoe


    I know of the movie's importance. I get its influence. It will 100% get in the canon. But... I find Flynn's Robin Hood to be among the most insufferable protagonists ever. He irritates me and sort of makes it borderline impossible to enjoy this movie. Beyond that, because this movie is something I'm coming to do as an adult that's seen all the endless media that this movie influenced, my viewing of it last week felt like it came probably a little too late. Sometimes you see the original and it stands up to the test of time. Sometimes it feels like its been stripped of all its original spark by everything that came after it. And this fell into the latter camp for me. So it's a nay for me with the total understanding that it will likely get in easily and probably should be in. I just don't personally like the movie, finding it irritating (largely due to Flynn's Robin) and dull (largely because I've seen the beats of this story told over and over again in movie's likely influenced by this one).
  18. They were both midnight movies. In fact, they were played on a double bill for awhile after The Holy Mountain was released. I prefer The Holy Mountain, which is why I suggested it. But I don't mind El Topo going up instead.
  19. Since you guys already covered The Rocky Horror Picture, how about presenting us with the Sophie's choice of midnight movies and pit The Holy Mountain vs. Eraserhead? It would provide an entry point into talking about Jodorowsky and Lynch, movie culture in the 1970s and the different approach each man took to presenting surrealism and dreams into their movies.
  20. chaplinatemyshoe

    Dreamcatcher (2003)

    I will continue to beat the drum for this masterpiece of "What Were They Thinking" cinema.
  21. chaplinatemyshoe

    Suggestion: The Princess Bride

    Reiner's output declined when he stopped working with top notch writing talent. Maybe the material wasn't being offered to him because he was out of step with the next wave of talent or maybe he just stopped being able to identify the next great collaborator. But it's real obvious the down tic in quality when you look up the credits of his movies from about North on and see who wrote on them.
  22. chaplinatemyshoe

    Suggestion: The Princess Bride

    If you want a brutal versus, you could always go with a Rob Reiner themed episode and do The Princess Bride vs. When Harry Met Sally.
  23. chaplinatemyshoe

    Favorite and least favorite movies in The Canon

    Least Favorite: Cannibal Holocaust Favorite: (Tie) The Thing & Do the Right Thing Favorite Exclusion: Manhattan
  24. chaplinatemyshoe

    Homework: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

    I haven't actually watched The Adventures of Robin Hood. Just never got around to it. This is as good an excuse as any to finally watch it.
  25. chaplinatemyshoe

    Homework: Batman (1989) vs. Superman (1978)

    I'm really interested to see if either Amy or Devin actually advocate Batman over Superman.