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j_scanlon

Favorite and least favorite movies in The Canon

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Tangerine would have won, and deservedly so. I almost want to make an unofficial poll to see if it gets in or not. Alas, this would not be wise.

 

Well, since they haven't OFFICIALLY covered it yet, it's not like they couldn't rectify their (Devin's) error by putting it up again.

 

Really, I'm beating my drum here, but I'd like to see more borderline/controversial/unknown picks put up to the vote. Of COURSE The Third Man, or Psycho, or Casablanca, or Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Seven Samurai, or 8 1/2 are going to be voted into The Canon, if only they were selected. I am SO much more interested, and invested, in those episodes where the movies up for discussion aren't quite so clear. Head for the border(line) picks, and you'll get the best debates, I think. Ideally, I think the show should be about a constant effort to discern where the border even is, not just celebrating those flicks that are obviously Canon-worthy. If you really want to, throw an addendum to each episode. "So, let's vote on whether or not....'The Avengers' gets in...but, at the same time, let's acknowledge how '2001: A Space Odyssey' is such an obvious choice, we're not even going to put it up for a vote".

 

Or something. If we all know it's going in, just put in it. LIke with Godfather I and II.

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Favorite is probably… Casino Royale (although Old Boy is more deserving)

Least favorite is either Goodfellas or Pan's Labyrinth.

Should have been in: Mission Impossible (Tough category, because so few films selected don't meet the criteria of significant in film history for any reason at all)

Happy it missed:

.

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Well, since they haven't OFFICIALLY covered it yet, it's not like they couldn't rectify their (Devin's) error by putting it up again.

 

Really, I'm beating my drum here, but I'd like to see more borderline/controversial/unknown picks put up to the vote. Of COURSE The Third Man, or Psycho, or Casablanca, or Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Seven Samurai, or 8 1/2 are going to be voted into The Canon, if only they were selected. I am SO much more interested, and invested, in those episodes where the movies up for discussion aren't quite so clear. Head for the border(line) picks, and you'll get the best debates, I think. Ideally, I think the show should be about a constant effort to discern where the border even is, not just celebrating those flicks that are obviously Canon-worthy. If you really want to, throw an addendum to each episode. "So, let's vote on whether or not....'The Avengers' gets in...but, at the same time, let's acknowledge how '2001: A Space Odyssey' is such an obvious choice, we're not even going to put it up for a vote".

 

Or something. If we all know it's going in, just put in it. LIke with Godfather I and II.

While I totally get what you're saying and mostly agree, I love hearing Amy & Devin discuss and dissect those 'obvious choices' so much, I'd be sad to lose that.

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Here's the thing: The Canon is about the best and most influential pieces of cinema. While lesser known works are more interesting to discuss, you can't talk about canonical films without talking about obvious milestones. And that doesn't stop episodes for Blade Runner and Goodfellas, for example, any less listenable.

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Casino Royale is my least favourite. That film becomes a real bore once Le Chiffre dies and the pacing is all off. Very little makes sense in that film, it's just full of holes. I would have much preferred a Connery film to be part of the canon, they are far more enjoyable and just as well amde, if not better. I also really dislike Goodfellas. Also boring.

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Well, since they haven't OFFICIALLY covered it yet, it's not like they couldn't rectify their (Devin's) error by putting it up again. Really, I'm beating my drum here, but I'd like to see more borderline/controversial/unknown picks put up to the vote. Of COURSE The Third Man, or Psycho, or Casablanca, or Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Seven Samurai, or 8 1/2 are going to be voted into The Canon, if only they were selected. I am SO much more interested, and invested, in those episodes where the movies up for discussion aren't quite so clear. Head for the border(line) picks, and you'll get the best debates, I think. Ideally, I think the show should be about a constant effort to discern where the border even is, not just celebrating those flicks that are obviously Canon-worthy. If you really want to, throw an addendum to each episode. "So, let's vote on whether or not....'The Avengers' gets in...but, at the same time, let's acknowledge how '2001: A Space Odyssey' is such an obvious choice, we're not even going to put it up for a vote". Or something. If we all know it's going in, just put in it. LIke with Godfather I and II.

 

I hit the "like it" button, but this is good enough to deserve a second post. I proposed a similar system back on the shitty forums.

 

Make the episode about something that's borderline, and then have a 5 minute summary of an obvious choice they want to talk about a bit. Vote the episode show as normal. If the obvious classic doesn't get voted in, then they can do a full show about why it should go in and put it to a real vote. If it does get in, and they really want to talk about it more, it can be one of those "director" commentary bonus segments.

 

The episodes get pretty boring when it's just 2 people arguing that a film school standard for 30 years has historical significance. We knew that when we saw the title of the episode.

Edited by mrbs

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Favourite: Jurassic Park, my favourite movie in general (Rocky and Evil Dead II are close behind)

Least Favourite: Blade Runner

Favourite Exclusion: The Fly (With Empire Strikes Back being a close second but it deserved to lose to both of its opponents)

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I hope you do give it another chance, and, moreso, that you find more to enjoy the second time. I'm one of the many who feels that THIS was the movie where Wes Anderson finally came together to produce something more than just cute and twee, but actually meaningful and timeless.

 

Out of curiosity, how do you feel about Anderson's other films? As far as stageyness goes, what about Fantastic Mr. Fox in particular? I find it hard to wrap my mind around how anyone could like that film (which I consider one of his weakest) but not ADORE Grand Budapest. Sure, the latter is a very setpiece-based film, enormously stagey, a love letter to a time the filmmaker could never have known himself, based on the work of someone long dead who actually did understand his past, even as he struggled to understand his present. But....it's of a time long ago. How could any of us (fairly) young people hope to understand such a time, without indulging in some amount of either shallow fancy, or passive acceptance? Zweig's a fascinating author (do read "The World of Yesterday" if you have any interest in what must have been running through Anderson's mind when he came up with this movie), but "Grand Budapest" must exist as half-second-hand-memoir and half high-fantasy romance, in every sense of that word. It's a story all about a time that has almost completely faded away. Almost every impression is going to be second-hand now.

 

As a compulsive devourer of the culture of bygone days, I couldn't have resisted this movie if I tried. It was MADE for me. There's my bias.

 

However, I must take exception to something you said in this post. Borderline racist depiction of Eastern Europeans? I don't want to get into a broad/vague/pointless discussion of what races are or what it means to have negative perceptions of anyone different from you, but....you had clear heroes, clear villains. Very old-fashioned, that. But everyone (with the possible exception of Agatha, I'm not sure I remember what her story was) was Central/Eastern European in some way. In a fictional way, of course. Where was the Lobby Boy from? Turkey? Probably. Played by a guy with an Italian name. The others? Hungarian? Russian? White or Red Russian? Polish? Austrian? Does it matter? I prefer to think it didn't, at least to the author (the author-within-the-movie) especially since the clear sentiment of the film was based on a (as the film pointed out) bygone sentiment that such notions as nationality didn't need to matter. Not that they didn't, to some. But that, at least to the heroes, they didn't. The historical backdrop to the movie was the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Which, sadly, was not a multicultural utopia where everyone lived in harmony regardless of their religion or the culture they accepted as their first. But, also sadly, was a more multicultural and tolerant state than the various nation-states that succeeded it, where anyone - Hungarian, Austrian/German, Romanian, Czech/Slovak, Serbian, Croat, Italian, Jewish, others - who found themselves living in a successor state where they weren't of the majority...ethnicity?...were certainly worse off in their new "modern" nation-state than they were in the old one. It's not a co-incidence that most ended up going full-on fascist during this period.

 

Long story short (too late), Grand Budapest is an elegy to an age that, while it certainly wasn't the acme of civility and tolerance, being very socially rigid and tradition-bound, it nonetheless "officially" held such civility in high esteem (as Fiennes' character represented)., and was, once, wistfully looked back upon by many in Europe who lived during the most savage and tragic time of the 1930s and 1940s. Things were inconsolably bleak at the time (Zweig committed suicide in distant Brazil before World War II even ended), and, in that light, the old days couldn't help but seem like an Elysium, whatever faults it had paling in comparison to the manifest sins of their present.

 

It's a movie about nostalgia. Partly rose-colored, but partly not. About missing more innocent days, if only because modernity can sometimes be worse. And, most of all, missing the idealism and innocence of a time that wouldn't know how to tell the difference between the two, because it hasn't even conceived of how much worse things could be, but which we, the readers/viewers know better from hindsight. I don't think you have to be necessarily wistful of the past to feel an emotional pull from "Grand Budapest". I think, maybe, it's enough to appreciate innocence, to think that there maybe were SOME advantages to living in an earlier time, when things weren't necessarily worse than they are now, even if that innocence was based in a necessary ignorance of the future. Or at least, to be able to empathize with those who were necessarily tinged with this innocence and ignorance, given the time they lived in.

 

You're absolutely right that the film is based on ignorance. At least the flashbacks are, the way Future Zero tells most of the story, it's clearly framed to put the viewer in the 1930s, and not the 1960s looking back on the 1930s. Had these characters (in their younger days) known what was to come of their communities in the years following the main part of this movie, they probably would have acted very differently in their time, if they could even have believed it (and it's quite likely they couldn't have, I think, given the example of actual witnesses of the time, who couldn't believe what they were witnessing). But that's nonetheless what the film's about. It doesn't advocate the idea that the past was necessarily better. Just that the future isn't necessary better for being closer to our present, and that intolerance of any kind, in any time, is always with us, and, one hopes, always worth fighting against, even if it doesn't work out in the short term. Just the example of standing up for one's sense of standards, of decency, it can leave a mark on the future. It can inspire. And, one day, perhaps that bygone sense of civilization can flourish again, once they are rediscovered.

 

Thank you so much for your elaborations. I was thoroughly touched by the passion and lenghth of your arguments - a rare feat in here as well as in any forum on the internet, I feel. Right now I don't have neither the time nor the muse to answer in a just way, but let me say so much: I DEFINITELY need to rewatch Grand Budapest, now more than ever.

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Favorite: King Kong (Especially enjoyed the commentary, still an amazing film)

Least favorite: Chi-Raq (I love Do the Right Thing and Spike Lee but I have to agree that Tangerine should have been the 2015 movie pick. Hopefully there's a Tangerine episode in the future. If feature length movies are being filmed on Go Pros now I think it merits an episode.)

Happy it didn't make it in: Inception, American Beauty

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Favorite: The 400 Blows

Least-Favorote: Cannibal Holocaust

Favorite not to make it: The Road Warrior, The Hurt Locker

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Favorite in the Canon: Double Indemnity or Fury Road

Least Favorite: Animal House and Working Girl are pretty high up there

Favorite that didn't make it: Temple of Doom / Close Encounters

Most ardent 'no' vote: Romeo + Juliet

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Favorite that made it - "Blow Out" and "Nights of Cabiria"

 

Least favorite that made it "Clerks" - although I have fond memories of the day I saw it because it was with a girl I liked, its charms are just lost on me.

 

Favorite that didn't make it, "The Fly" (Although I love "The Thing")

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Favorite in the Canon: Slacker or Two Lane Blacktop

 

Least Favorite in the Canon: Clerks

 

Wanted to see in the Canon: The Decline of Western Civilization and The Goonies

 

Happy to see not in the Canon: American Beauty

 

Personal Nomination for the Canon: Mean Streets

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Favorite: The Searchers, Election, Antichrist, O Brother Where Art Thou, Godfather II

Least Favorite: Chi-Raq

Didn't make it in: Close Encounters

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Favorite IN: Oldboy

 

Least Favorite IN: Working Girl (I still cannot believe this is included among a list of the all time great movies and not because it's bad, but just because it is pretty much the definition of mediocrity... there are a few other movies that got in that I don't enjoy or personally hate like Sex, Lies and Videotape or Antichrist, but I at least understand their significance and/or why others put them on pedestals... Working Girl has none of that)

 

Favorite OUT: Close Encounters of the Third Kind - I will love that movie and its depiction of a shitty dad who abandons his family until the day I die. Romeo + Juliet is a close second... that movie is a masterpiece.

 

Overjoyed that it didn't get IN: Jerry Maguire

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Favorite Movie in: Apocalypse Now!

Least Favorite in: Animal House/Working Girl/There's Something About Mary

Favorite Out: Inception.

 

Apocalype Now is one of the movies that made me realize cinema is an amazing artform, I'll forever love it. Animal House and Mary are sort of lame comedies that are funny the first time and then are tedious on rewatches, and Working Girl is pretty mediocre.

 

Inception surprised me on a rewatch, since I only saw it once when it came out and remember liking it, but Devin's arguments for it made me look at it with a new eye and I think it's a remarkably constructed and original speculative fiction story that utilizes elements that can only be done through cinema. Really striking film.

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Fave in the Canon: Jurassic Park

 

Least Favorite in the Canon: Cannibal Holocaust

 

Favorite not in: Empire Strikes Back

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Animal House is why there needs to be a "none of the above" option for vs. episodes.

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Favourite in the Canon: Evil Dead II

 

Least Favourite in the Canon: Blade Runner or Fast Times? I just don't care for either film.. at least with Blade Runner I understand the importance, but less so with Fast Times.

 

Favourite not in: Close Encounters. This episode still hurts me.

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Favorite: The Thing (Even though my heart still aches for The Fly)

Least favorite: Blade Runner (this movie is a chore to get through)

Bummed at the exclusion of: Jerry Maguire (I feel like every Tom Cruise movie has the potential to end like the beginning of The Stepfather and that makes Jerry Maguire interesting to me)

 

Side note: the episode about Goodfellas made me realize the dvd I own has a scratch and skips an entire section of the movie (I'd always just assumed it was a crazy bit of editing)

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Favorite in the Canon: ALIEN

Least Favorite: ANIMAL HOUSE

Favorite that didn't make it: THE FLY

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few seem to be happy with Chi-Raq in the canon. i think they goofed not letting Tangerine happen.

I'm really surprised that so many people dislike Chi-Raq I thought it was really special but Tangerine is kind of next level in my opinion.

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I'm really surprised that so many people dislike Chi-Raq I thought it was really special but Tangerine is kind of next level in my opinion.

 

I'm not so sure it's dislike of Chi-raq so much as how it's not Canon. I liked Chi-raq but I honestly think if that episode happened a second time, Creed would've won (as it should have). Still surprised it lost.

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Favorite Winner: Two-Lane Blacktop (Was introduced to it through the episode as well)

Favorite Loser: The Lost Weekend (Even though I agree with its rejection)

Least Favorite: Mad Max: Fury Road (It was okay)

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