JFF: What Was the Last Film You Saw, and How Would You Rate It? (Pt. 19)

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Simply a follow up to Jen's great post; there were getting to be so many pages in that one I thought it could use a refresh.  Happy to carry on the tradition!  
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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Posted 9 months ago

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Alexander NYVKE

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From Paris With Love (2010)

Awful. 2/10
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15yearsIMDber aka ElMo

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"Irrational Man" was Allen's last great film
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Alexander NYVKE

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This is not Allen's "Midnight In Paris".

It's a  somewhat Tarantino-eque Travolta "Action Thriller" but worse.
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cinephile

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Babettes gæstebud (9/10) 

At first, I wanted to watch and read every supplement of the criterion collection before reviewing it. I'm sticking to that, but I didn't want to wait to give my rating. At this moment, I still have to watch the last 20 mins of the documentary on Karen Blixen + the 2 video essays + read the 60 pages of the written essay.
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cinephile

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Paris, Texas (8/10)
It is by this film that I discovered Wim Wenders is filmography and learned to appreciate the immense character actor that is Harry Dean Stanton which is quite funny since he plays the leading role in this Palme d'or.

I couldn't ask more than this movie, it proposes an in-depth analysis of relationships (Father-Son, Brother-Brother, Husband-Wife) in a realistic and touching way while taking maximum profit of complex acting performances and simple yet effective directing

There is nothing less or more to say about Paris, Texas. It is a movie that can't be described traditionally, you need to see it to feel it.

Eyes Wide Shut (6/10)
Kubrick never lost his talent for directing, but he certainly missed the key that alimented is precedent daring and ambiguous stories. In a certain way, this film surfed on the cult status of 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and A Clock Work Orange.

This film is faithful to Kubrick's previous ones in terms of color palette, it is always enjoyable to see how many different emotions he can transpose to screen with red. However, all those gimmicks in the production design are for fans of Kubrick clues to the resolution of the story.

The so call "odyssey" of Bill felt long and extremely redundant in ideas exactly like the predictable and cheesy dialogue.

But really, Eyes Wide Shut is too explanatory. If you pay a little attention you can easily notice that Kubrick is giving away every bit of substances, and you realize that after all, it is just bones wrapped in aesthetic eroticism.

PS: Concerning Babette's Feast, I only have to read the short story by Karen Blixen before writing my review.
(Edited)
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15yearsIMDber aka ElMo

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Please cinephile, do me a favor. Check my reviews of the film you watch... I would love to get insights from you.
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Alexander NYVKE

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The Usual Suspects (1995) (Rewatch)

Still a very good film

7/10 (-1)
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15yearsIMDber aka ElMo

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Is it me or the film gets "less better" after each new viewing?

I used to watch the film on a regular basis, ready to be blown away at the final act, but recently I could never finish it... the first act feels tedious and like an expositional bouillabaisse... it gets better once the question "who's Keyser Soze?" Is asked but then the more I process the villain's plan the less sense does the confession and even the actual plan make.

It is a great film and my review still gives it a 10 but I'm not as enthusiastic about it as I used to be...
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Alexander NYVKE

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No, it's not you.

This is why I don't watch a film more than 4 times, and those are my absolute favourites. 

This was only my 3rd watch of "The Usual Suspects", and my first in over a decade.

I mentioned earlier on the thread that I am doing some millennial nostalgia rewatches of titles from c.95 to c.05.

I'm restricting to those that I have not rewatched in a significant period of time... ~10 years plus. This was the first of those.

I will probably do The Matrix, Pearl Harbor, or Fight Club next.

Stay tuned.
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Alexander NYVKE

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And yes, the plan is over the top.

Like teaching oil drillers to be astronauts (which requires years of formal technical education, physical education and training, psych evals & astronaut specific training) instead of vice versa.
(Edited)
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Alexander NYVKE

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Here are my top 10 films of all time (not in order)



Here are my watch counts, to best of my recollection, for these titles:

1 - 3 - 2 - 4 - 4 - 2 - 3 - 4 -2 - 3
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15yearsIMDber aka ElMo

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Interesting
Thanks for sharing this...
My top 10 is set between 1967 and 1985 lol
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Alexander NYVKE

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And Then There Were None (Mini-Series, 2015)

It's a testament to the quality of both the source material and this production that it kept me highly engaged; despite having read the book ~25 years ago & knowing everything that would happen.

9+/10
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cinephile

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Completely agree with you, I have also read the book, and honestly, this is the best adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel that I have seen so far.

Charles Dance should get more important roles. For example, the fact that he only got the role of Louis Mountbatten in The Crown is outrageous, he should have gotten the role of Prince Philip in the final seasons.

 Jonathan Pryce is the "no brainer" of everyone now, but you simply can't find an actor who fits Prince Philip more than Charles Dance.
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cinephile

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The Last Emperor (8/10)

Definitively, a grandiose piece of arts.

One of The Last Emperor, is great strength is excellent production values, especially, in the costume design and production design, and Bertolucci's directing feels only more necessary as it develops the history and mystic surrounding the Forbidden City. Like Pu-Yi in his early years, we are new to the traditions and life of the emperors.

Besides, I couldn't praise without mentioning the underappreciated performance of John Lone and Peter O'Toole. Together these performances were able to explore Pu-Yi's story from emperor to citizen.

Dr. Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia respectively made us love snow and sand, I sincerely believe that after watching this film, you are gonna love China.
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cinephile

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Babettes gæstebud (9/10)
I have posted my rating earlier, but not my review (now I have read the short story)
Babette's Feast is not simply better than the short story of Isak Dinesen/Karen Blixen. It is a masterpiece in many ways.

After 30 years in France, Gabriel Axel came back to Danemark, and this is his first Danish film. Fortunately, for him, Out of Africa of Sydney Pollack released 2 years before Babette's Feast was a major success, and stimulated studios to produce another adaptation of Karen Blixen's career.

First of all, this film is most certainly, the best food movie of all time. At the opposite of modern films, food is so much more than just an accessory, it is elevated to an art form.

But most importantly, Axel extracted the core of Blixen's story, and the most moving parts when he crafted that film leaving out the unneeded backstory behind General Lorens Löwenhielm.

In short, Babette's Feast is a fable that doesn't leave you indifferent and that you must watch.ààà
(Edited)
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Brijesh Marand

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Babe 1995 - 6/10 It made me realize why people complained about Lion King live-action not having emotions. The story overall is good, but lacks emotion. Btw, I liked the Lion King.

Koyaanisqatsi 1982 - 7/10 Documentaries are not my cup of tea. This has great music and visuals, but no dialogues and 'story'.

Dead Alive 1992 - 6/10 Was this intentionally made to look like B movie? It is entertaining in parts.

The People vs. Larry Flynt 1997 - 7/10 The lead cast is great and some really great story inclusions which generally miss out from biopics. I think the whole aspect of patriotism didn't work for me.

Hard Boiled 1992 - 8/10 China's answer to Die Hard. The action sequences are very well choreographed. The action, thrill are top notch.

The English Patient 1996 - 7/10 2 love stories on the backdrop of war. 1 is convincing, the other is not quite the same. Looks somwhat inspired from Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia.
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Alexander NYVKE

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Men In Black: International (2019)

Not great, but perhaps not as bad as I had expected it to be.

6-/10
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cinephile

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Today:

Cop Land (3/10)

This movie is one of my biggest disappointment, I expected a lot when I saw the cast (Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Sylvester Stallone, Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick), but truly, Cop Land is not more than a bland caricature concerning some crooked cops, and the good cop trying to keep his town peaceful.

I have rarely said that of De Niro's character, but he has screentime only because he is Robert De Niro, his character had no point at all in existing, and Bob De Niro himself seems disinterested in bringing passion to his role.

In other words, don't drink this soup of Brussels sprouts.

The Great Escape (9/10)

Indeed, The Great Escape is not a war movie. Instead, it is a wonderful and thrilling entertainment filled with top-notch action sequences.

 The joyful score and the physical humor simply did a great job to keep investment in the story while the screenplay unpacks all the nuance in his characters. 

Even the Germans aren't completely ridiculed or demonized which brings me to the point that it is one of those American war films that aren't deliberately patriotic!

The Great Escape is most certainly one of the greatest action films of all time.

and I purchased 2 films

Fantasy Island in DVD
and
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn in Blu-ray/DVD/Digital

(Edited)
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Alexander NYVKE

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Most people hated Fantasy Island. This was clearly advertised as a Blumhouse Horror flick; but people still complained about it not being like the 1960s (or whenever) TV show. I enjoyed it very much, 8/10.

I thought Birds Of Prey was a new low for the trainwreck that is the DCEU. Others will disagree, though. 2/10.
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cinephile

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I have seen Bird of Prey last night (just after posting the previous post), I think 2/10 is fair. Personally, I gave it 3/10.
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Stephen Atwood

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Mystery Science Theater 3000 (TV Series)Robot Holocaust (1990)
Crow T. Robot one sentence review: "Gives robots a bad name." 1/10 for the movie.
10/10 for the really early in the series episode.









(Edited)
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cinephile

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Call Me by Your Name (7/10)
The screenplay is not particularly memorable in Call Me by Your Name, the situation seems too convenient to be gripping, and to me, it felt more like a lust story than a love story.

 Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer are the ones carrying this film with their performances and the directing of  Luca Guadagnino

So, is Call Me by Your Name a good movie?
 I guess so, but it doesn't stand out as must-watch.

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (10/10)
You can throw Touch of Evil away. Birds of Prey is a MASTERPIECE!

Margot Robbie would deserve 3 Oscars for her performance as Harley Quinn. This film deserves the BIG FIVE (Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Actor).

Ewan McGregor is making a big come back as Black Mask is character is multi-layered, and the gimmicks were well worked.

The action scenes are just so well filmed and choreographed!

Bird of Preys is the best film of all time!!!!
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cinephile

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Spoiler:
For me, Call Me by Your Name is a scapegoat to erotic films like Fifty Shades of Grey, I wonder if it would have won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Oscars if it was about a 24 years old research assistant flirting with a 17 years old girl.

Probably not, it would have been considered as a poorly written unrealistic mess among with Fifty Shades of Grey and 365 Days.
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cinephile

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My review for Bird of Preys is a troll btw, my real rating 3/10.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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cinephile, I was wondering whether your review of BOP is sarcasm. 

I liked this movie. It's far from perfect, but it would've took the theaters by storm, for example, 90's. By modern standards characters are wasted left and right, but in 90's we've got lucky to see a few characters and here we have some of them adapted to a degree they never had in the media.  

It's also a very visually pleasing movie. Like there direction, art direction, acting and especially costume design really shine. I love when characters in comic book movies actually dress like they won't care what current fashion is, what year it is, etc. This movie got that idea right: most characters (who have certain status) have the most outrageous comic book outfits which will absolutely turn heads.  

Also, some people say that R rating was pointless, but man, fewer things are jarring in my case and one with grenade explosion was. 
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Alexander NYVKE

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Dark Corners (2006)

Garbage. Gave up 2/3rds through.

2/10
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Brijesh Marand

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The Jungle Book 1967 - 8/10

As refreshing as it was before. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Mary Poppins 1964 - 8/10

The concept, songs, music, choreography, acting all of it is so good about the movie. I have rarely seen a movie with no real negative character.

Mary Poppins Returns 2018 - 7/10

In comparison, the good thing about this is that is shows harsh reality instead of glossing. The bad is the transition of Bert like character, does not work. And the innocence seems to lost somewhere in transition.

Dil Bechara 2020 - 7/10

Probably one of the most discussed movie in recent time. I felt it is not what is said about it on the forums. It is not the worst as some people say it, but at the same time it is not 10/10 and not worthy of Top 250.

Coming to actual film, the lead pair's chemistry, A.R. Rahman's music and this being last movie of SSR, it works. The emotion required for these type of movies seems thin on the screen and I didn't feel the connect. The songs and particularly lyrics are not good.

May be if I re-watch, I might rate it 1 point lower, but this feels right to me now. I need to watch "The Fault in Our Stars", if I find it.
(Edited)
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Alexander NYVKE

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Aquaman (2018)

Initially gave this a 2, but realised I can't be judging the DCEU by Nolanverse and MCU standards. Average film gets an average rating - 5/10

Ordeal By Innocence (Mini-Series, 2018)

Dame Christie is probably turning in her grave at this weird adaptation; but it was an engaging mini series in its own right - 9/10
(Edited)
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Alexander NYVKE, totally agree and I'm all for embracing the subjective outlooks.

And I am also a big sucker for slasher genre, always on the lookout for interesting oddities fewer people remember like Masterblaster (1987), or Blood Rage (1987), or Houseboat Horror (1989)

God, latter is an almost unwatchable Australian DTV weirdness and yet somehow it had more charm than adequately produced Curfew (1989) which I saw back-to-back with it during a Halloween marathon.  
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Alexander NYVKE

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Incidentally; who "panned" Iron Man 3?

It has a respectable 7.2 on IMDb, lower than Iron Man 1 (7.9) but higher than Iron Man 2 (7.0).

It also has a decent enough Metascore of 63.

And, if you're interested, I rate all 3 titles equally. (8/10)
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Alexander NYVKE, oh it got better with time. 

Initial backlash over Mandarin and a few other choices was rather unprecedented for MCU movies. Internationally it felt so mixed compared to previous entries it was actually kinda surprising.

Especially since, you know. Thor: The Dark World (2013). Word 'bland' was coined for this movie.    
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Alexander NYVKE

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Aaah... Mandarin. 

I could have played him. I would just have needed to pitch up and be myself :)
(Slovenly, drunk, and profligate.)
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Alexander NYVKE, I mean, once you know who really is him, it makes sense. 

And it makes more sense then how they used Zemo, to be honest, even though it's a very similar approach and, as usual, one movie was harshly criticized for what another one was praised. 
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Alexander NYVKE

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The Old Guard (2020)

Run of the mill shoot-em-up/beat-em-up action movie; with some Highlander-esque "Sci Fi" thrown in. Too long. Lame antagonist.

Not sure why everyone is gushing so much over this film. Perhaps they have not seen a new film with a decent budget and A-list actors in it for too long, due to Covid19.

6-/10

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cinephile

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The Secret Garden (2/10) 
 I thought that this kind of fantasy died with Percy Jackson and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland in 2010. Visibly, I was naive.


First, this is the déjà-vu story, of a young child discovering a magic world (not so magic in this case), and trying to solver her problem with it. In other words, it is a fairy tale.

Of course, she had to be an orphan, her uncle had to be a grumpy widow and the housekeeper had to be a strict and old fashion old lady. the only thing missing at this point is the "wise" magical creature or old man.

That is not the only problem, the garden just looks like a bunch of cheap CGI. Each time that the narrative gets boring because Colin Firth is an overrated actor and that the child actress is inexperienced, they switch to bland in meaning scenes of flower exactly like in National Geographic documentary. 

Federico Fellini binge-watching
1-La Strada (9/10)
2-La Dolce Vita (9/10)
3-81⁄2 (9/10)

I resisted the temptation of reviewing those films, as I won't pretend to be an expert in Fellini, but if anyone as interpretations to share I would gladly hear them.
(Edited)
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15yearsIMDber aka ElMo

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Funny, August has always been my Fellini-binge month, 4 films in August 2011, 4 in 2012, 4 in 2011, 1 in 2016, 1 in 2019, here are my reviews of the three you just saw:

LA STRADA: https://m.imdb.com/review/rw2471269/
LA DOLCE VITA: https://m.imdb.com/review/rw2664042/
8 1/2: https://m.imdb.com/review/rw2665560/

For the last one I couldn't get into it the first time I saw it and I labeled Fellini as a weird director for almost one year and half (during which I discovered Bergman) it's only after watching Fellini's realistic movies that I could appreciate his evolution.
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cinephile

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La Strada
I agree with pretty much everything in that review, except for some minor details.

I think that Nino Rota's score more dictates than reflects the movement in certain scenes. The closest comparison that I can make is Paul Dukas's score in Fantasia (The Sorcerer's Apprentice).

and when you say that The Fool was everything missing in the personality of Zampano and Gelsomina, it is interesting because I don't see it that way. I think that The Fool is the personification of the witty/happiness of Gelsomina. Thus, when Zampano kills The Fool, he doesn't simply kill an inspiration or a role model for Gelsomina, he kills a part of her soul.

La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita was made to be seen in the 1960s, it captures a moment in cinema where everything was about Post-War reconstruction rather than the Post-War destruction depicted in La Strada. (Fellini even talks about that in a 1965 interview)

Some people think that La Dolce Vita is less outrageous now than it was before. To me, Fellini's vision is double powerful because he was right. The fact that today we aren't outraged by such things is proof that Fellini predicted the future.

Out of these three, La Dolce Vita is my favorite.


8 1/2
Fellini's talking about his success and the difficulty to live up to expectation. It is a film about what some people call a "mental block". But I think that Mastroianni is partially right when he says that his movie is not only about Fellini, it could be about 100 million, different people. Fellini only chose his own experience to portray a far larger phenomenon.

Your conclusion greatly explains why this film is so great:
After all, didn't you say that compromising oneself to please the others is the first step to mediocrity?
Fellini unpacks his thought process in a most honest way, and that is even discussed in the movie when Guido says: 
 I thought my ideas were so clear. I wanted to make an honest film. No lies whatsoever. I thought I had something so simple to say. Something useful to everybody. A film to help bury forever all the dead things we carry around inside. Instead, it's me who lacks the courage to bury anything at all. Now I'm utterly confused, with this tower on my hands. I wonder why things turned out this way. Where did I lose my way? I really have nothing to say, but I want to say it anyway. Why don't those spirits of yours come to my aid? You always said they had lots of messages for me. Let them get to work.
(Edited)
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15yearsIMDber aka ElMo

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Thanks for putting so much time and so many intellectual efforts to answer what was basically a series of copy-pasted reviews,  to be honest, I forgot a little about these films, except for 8 1/2, which I watched several times because I needed to see beyond its peculiarity, it was too strange not to hide much deeper meanings behind that strangeness, it doesn't take a genius to see the self-referential symbolism but I wanted to appreciate the film for its aesthetic qualities, its escapist value, the way it built a whole new world out of the author's own psyche, I simply wanted the movie lover I was to appreciate the film on its cinematic level.

Some movies are deemed to be perceived as strange or weird or unreachable, and I think we should regard that as a quality when it's done with sincerity, it's not about succeeding or failing but having the guts to renounce to all cinematic conventions in order to convey your own vision of the world with your own personal style, many film-makers have talent but not style. Who's got style? Kubrick had. Hitchcock. Cassavettes. Gilliam, Wes Anderson or Tarantino etc. That doesn't diminish the merit of other conventional movies, WIlliam Wyler directed many masterpieces but they didn't carry a "personal" touch, they didn't revolutionize cinema... and that doesn't mean that "author" or stylish directors can get away with everything they make, sometimes QT gets wrapped up in his own style, Gilliam films can be too extravagant for their own good and even Fellini went too far sometimes... I didn't like the way he "exploited" his wife Giuletta Masina in "Juliet of the Spirits" for instance.

Speaking of Masina, you should watch her in "Nights of Cabiria", one of the greatest female performances ever and an emotional climax like you've never seen before, in fact, you should also watch other neo-realistic Fellini films, "I Vitelloni" and "Il Bidone" (that was especially, with Broderick Crawford)
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Stephen Atwood

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The Tingler (1959), 3/10. Live commentary track by Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff AKA The Mads from MST3k. 8/10.


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15yearsIMDber aka ElMo

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Kind of off-topic but I just learned about the passing of Kelly Preston... I was shocked to learn that it happened more than one month ago. Sometimes I miss the red banner from IMDb... it totally escaped my attention... so sad... and shocking.
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Alexander NYVKE

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I See You (2006)

Epitome of "decent enough idea; beyond dismal execution".

2/10
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Alexander NYVKE

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Witness For The Prosecution (Mini-Series; 2016)

2 x 1-hr mini-series format does not work well for a short story. Pacing is sluggish; with lots of boring filler.

6/10
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Alexander NYVKE

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Clownface (2019)

Literally unwatchable.

The killer doesn't wear a clown mask.

Also, most of the cast members are uglier than the Clown Face.

Unrateable.
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cinephile

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Shichinin no samurai (9/10)


Neon Genesis Evangelion (?/10)
I'm in episode 2, and usually, that is enough to say that I'm engaged in a series, but I don't understand the plot of this series. I only began to watch this series because apparently it is necessary if you want to watch The End of Evangelion, but I don't know if I'm gonna make it.

However, the opening is great :)
(Edited)
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Stephen Atwood

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Let me reiterate my claim that network tv in the 70s and 80s was part of the Dark Ages of the medium.

High School U.S.A. (1983 TV Movie) 1/10 for the TV movie. 10/10 for the commentary track.


(Edited)
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Alexander NYVKE

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Modern Era: 2000 - present

Classic Era: 1985 - 1999

Middle Ages: 1970 - 1984

Ancient: Pre 1970.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Alexander NYVKE, I would honestly rather not try to divide ages in Golden, Silver, Dark or any other descriptors suggesting either flourish or utter decline. 

Golden Age in comics is mostly infancy of those as an art form. Middle Ages in history according to some historians could be easily stretched up until eighteenth century in terms of casual life. Classifications of such kind rarely work in their native areas, projected into other realms they fail almost entirely. 
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cinephile

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Upgrade (8/10) 

Upgrade is a sci-fi film directed by Leigh Whannel known for Insidious: Chapter 3 and more recently, The Invisible Man. It is about a paraplegic man and his quest for revenge on the murderers of his wife.

Despite, the first few minutes of this film slightly getting inspiration from Ex Machina, it rapidly evolves into a much more gory feature film. Honestly, Upgrade has major issues, like the choppy choreographies of  Chris Weir and the empty acting of Logan Marshall-Green, but you will want to forget all these when you see the final results. I'm not saying that Whannell is an excellent director but camera angles and violence treatment are some things that he knows to handle.

I recommend this movie if you have no problem with mixing Asimov and violence.
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Alexander NYVKE

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Comfortably above average film, with a plot twist I did not see coming - which is rare.
I gave it a 7/10.
(Edited)