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Great movies?

matadorpoeta

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i saw tarantino in a cameo before he was famous. he plays a party guest explaing to someone that "top gun" was a gay movie. i saw that movie because meg tilly was in it but i don't recall the name of it.

i agree 'the big lebowski' is a classic. i forgot about that one.

quill, i don't know anything about tarantino as a person, but as a filmmaker, i don't find him interesting. i just liked 'reservoir dogs.'

brian sd, if you want to see some brilliant work with long camera shots, (i mean 15 minute scenes done in one long take, no editing) check out a movie called 'irreversible.' it's one of the best and most unique films i've ever seen. it's from last year and it's in french. if you're familiar with monica belluci, she does the most vivid (not graphic) rape scene ever.
 

banksmiranda

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CTGuy, I did put Ronin on my list
- I agree, it's a great movie. Das Boot was very good as well. Â The name of the movie alone sounds intimidating. I've heard mixed reviews about Lost in Translation. Â Fight Club was entertaining. Â Unfortunately I haven't seen Lawrence of Arabia yet. I want to see Monty Python's Life of Brian. MatadorPoeta, here's a link to another fellow's assessment that Top Gun was a "gay" movie, along with his take on other bad movies that everyone likes: Top Gun and other bad movies This guy ranks Top Gun as the #1 among the "s***ty movies that everyone loves."
1. Top Gun For those of you who don't remember, "Top Gun" was the movie about a bunch of guys who stand around high-fiving each other for about 90 minutes. The movie focuses on some loser named "Maverick" who penetrates deep into the coveted veil of the top gun academy of smug, sexually frustrated aviators. I know many of you reading this will probably think I'm exaggerating when I say this (since I exaggerate everything, except for my manliness which is enviable), but there were no fewer than 500 shower scenes in this movie. The wardrobe for this film must have consisted of a towel, a jump suit, and 50 pages of gay innuendo, because the rest of the time Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer were walking around naked eyeing each other's packages. Then as if the director didn't think all the high-fiving and shower scenes were suggestive enough, there was a gratuitous scene in which all the guys got oiled up and played volleyball. Every few minutes I half-expected to see Cruise and Kilmer lock lips to a ballad of "It's Raining Men:"
If you remember having good memories of this movie, then it was probably because you were too young to know what was going on, or an idiot. Don't bother resurrecting this classic to prove I'm right.
His takes on the other movies are amusing as well. Along with his inclusion of Sum of All Fears as the #4 movie on his list hs includes a "Tom Clancy Plot Generator."
5. The Last Samurai
Imagine a movie about an honorable samurai clan filmed in New Zealand and starring an American. Am I the only person who sees a problem with this? Where do we draw the line? I mean, why not make a movie about Zulu warriors starring James Hong? Or a movie about US Marines starring drunken kung-fu master Simon Yuen?
881,807 people are going to rent these movies to see if they're really as s****y as they remember.
 

Mike

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Kill Bills are eh... I think Reservoir Dogs is Tarantino's best. Part of appreciating RV is the soundtrack and how brilliantly implemented it is into, which is awesome. Another thing to note is how long the camera shots were - this takes a considerable amount of skill to pull off well.
Funny you guys brought this up as I just had a similar discussion the other day. Â I re-read "Rum Punch" by Elmore Leonard and had to watch Jackie Brown again, the movie based off the book to see how well Tarantino stuck to the book. Â He stayed close, which was nice. Â I was also suprised, going back and watching Jackie Brown, how good it was. Â Most people, after getting so much acclaim, as Tarantino did with Pulp Fiction, fizzle out and release either total crap or a re-hash of their previous film. Â Jackie Brown stuck with his reinterpretations and influence of older films and he added some new things in as well. Â The reason people didn't care for it as much, I suspect, is because they were expecting another Pulp Fiction. I originally liked Kill Bill Vol. 1, but after rewatching the other films by Tarantino I was disapointed. Rather than using influence from older films, Vol. 1 blatenly rips off old kung fu films. Â Also, the dialogue that made his other films so great was missing. Â I liked learning about characters and situations from what other characters said in passing, and in their everyday speech. Â When Uma gives you a voice over about someone, its hard to form your own opinion about them. Â Speaking of Uma, she isn't an action star, no matter how hard you try. Vol. 2 was better and I think it stands up there with Reservoir Dogs. Â Maybe its because I'd been watching more Spaghetti Westerns than Kung-Fu flicks when I watched it. Â He seemed to go back to using the influence of Sergio Leone (sp?) rather than taking entire scenes from A Fistful Of Dollars and putting them in. Â I haven't seen Vol. 2 since it was in the theaters so I don't know how it stands up now, having watched Reservoir Dogs, Pulp, and Jackie again. As for his Top Gun speech, that was from the film Chasing Zoe, directed by Eric Stolz- "Lance" in Pulp Fiction. Â The speech was written by Roger Avery, who wrote Pulp Fiction with Tarantino and who doesn't like him anymore, claiming all Tarantino does is steal ideas off of him. Â As for Tarantino himself- I like the fact that he got his education from actual films. Â I'm in college for film now and those classes definatly mess up your perspective. I know too many people who went in to college with great dreams and creativity, only to have it all destroyed and end up making convuluted and presumptuous crap. Maybe its because all the teachers do is teach, instead of beingg involved in filmmaking and the industry (Either mainstream, or indie). However, I think Tarantino does have a big head about himself. Â We'll have to see what happens when his next film, "Inglorious Bastards" is completed (he's writing it now). Thanks for putting up with my ramblings. Â
 

PeterMetro

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As for his Top Gun speech, that was from the film Chasing Zoe, directed by Eric Stolz- "Lance" in Pulp Fiction.
Actually, I think the movie was called Sleep With Me.
 

Brian SD

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Vol. 2 was better and I think it stands up there with Reservoir Dogs. Maybe its because I'd been watching more Spaghetti Westerns than Kung-Fu flicks when I watched it. He seemed to go back to using the influence of Sergio Leone (sp?) rather than taking entire scenes from A Fistful Of Dollars and putting them in. I haven't seen Vol. 2 since it was in the theaters so I don't know how it stands up now, having watched Reservoir Dogs, Pulp, and Jackie again.
I agree completely. Not really much else to say
 

Mike

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Actually, I think the movie was called Sleep With Me.
Good call. I got discombobulated looking at IMDB
 

matadorpoeta

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As for Tarantino himself- I like the fact that he got his education from actual films. Â I'm in college for film now and those classes definatly mess up your perspective. I know too many people who went in to college with great dreams and creativity, only to have it all destroyed and end up making convuluted and presumptuous crap. Maybe its because all the teachers do is teach, instead of beingg involved in filmmaking and the industry (Either mainstream, or indie). Â
mike, actually the biggest criticism of tarantino as a filmmaker is exactly what you like about him: he got his education from films. art is about life and to be a great artist one needs to experience life to its fullest. the fact that tarantino lived a boring suburban life before making movies (which are basically rip-offs from all the movies he watched sinced he had no life) is a giant obstacle to overcome as a person, let alone an artiste. imagine a poet who knew nothing of life but spent all his time reading poetry or a painter who does nothing but paint but never goes outside. the greatest films are about people and how we deal with our existence and relate to one another. until you've had some good times, bad times, and everything in between, you'll express very little in your films.
 

Mike

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I understand where you're coming from, Matador, but that argument has some holes in it. First, let's take a look at Orson Welles. He had no formal education in filmmaking, yet he made "Citizen Kane," "The Lady From Shanghai," & "Touch Of Evil" to name just a few films. Kane is considered to be one of the best films of all time. John Cassavetes got his first work as an actor, then decided to make his own films. He used the money he made off of staring in "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Dirty Dozen" to finace movies such as "Faces," "A Woman Under The Influence," and "Shadows," all very well done, emotionally charged film. Scorsese has said many times how spending time at the movies and in front of the television showing films since he had extremely bad asthma and couldn't spend too much time outside has influenced him.

That being said, you can't learn about life and loss in a classroom. That is what all these film teachers, at least some of the ones I have had, are trying to do. This is where Tarantino stood out, especially at the time when the Cannes buzz started about "Pulp Fiction." The festival was full of pretentious crap made by film school students, exploring themselves in the way that only film professors and Andy Warhol (who I like) enjoy. Then "Pulp Fiction" debuted and all hell broke loose. Obviously Tarantino got a big head, the news outlets flaunted his lack of a formal education and now everyone is going into film schools saying, "I want to make a film that starts with the long tracking shot at the begining of 'Touch Of Evil', has a lot of steady-cam like 'Mean Streets' and ends with a stand of like in 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly'." The backlash being all style and no substance.

The thing is, "Pulp Fiction" was loaded with substance. Under the flashy exterior of derivitive shots are stories about redemption, self sacrifice, self discovery, good versus bad, and so much more. The same goes with "Reservoir Dogs" and "Jackie Brown," although Jackie Brown was from a novel so all the substance was already there. "Kill Bill Vol. 1" was all style and no substance, IMO. However, it is made up in Vol. 2, as I have already stated.

I don't admire Tarantino's lack of a formal film education, I just think it was refreshing to see someone make a film because the grew up truely loving the medium, not just because they see it as a good medium to explore themselves in. I was rasied in the "Boring Suburban Life" you mentioned, which is probably why I want to make films. I fell in love with movies and the way they made me feel, the good and the bad. I still get the same feelings of excitement that I had when I was a kid when I go to a movie today. It was that boring lifestyle I wanted to get away from. I didn't want to be an engineer or a CPA or a teacher or whatever else the majority of the kids in high school wanted to be. I don't think that my lack of living as a gypsy, living on the streets, or whatever is not a boring suburban life has hindered my expansion as a person. I've experienced many good times and a lot of bad times, and I've had many connections to people. Somehow I think I may have somethings to express in my films. A young boy from the small town of Kenosha, Wisconsin named Orson Welles had quite a few things to express and look what he did.
 

Eric

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Better yet...

I just recently caught "On the Waterfront" and thought it was unbeleivably good.  Can't believe I've been deprived of such a good movie for so long.  Brandos a hell of an actor, I've only seen him (young that is) in Streetcar and didn't like that movie so much.

My list would include:

On the Waterfront,
Casablanca,
Braveheart,
Pulp Fiction,
Vanilla Sky,
Groundhog Day,
American Beauty,
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eric
 

Aaron

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Off the top of my head...

Classics

~12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda (one of the greatest social commentaries I've ever seen)
~8 1/2
~La Dolce Vita
~The Usual Suspects
~Citizen Kane
~Full Metal Jacket, Apocolypse Now, pretty much any Vietnam movie around that time.

Modern
~Fog of War (Robert MacNamara Documentary, amazing)
~Touching the Void
~Ray
~LA Confedential

There are hundreds more, I don't think you can ever have one "best movie ever."  Although, in the spirit of the holidays, the best Christmas movie ever, IMO, is "A Christmas Story" with Daryn McGavin.

Aaron
 

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