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Old 12-10-2007, 01:22 AM   #481
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Final round: pot vs. kettle
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:22 AM   #482
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Final round: pot vs. kettle
Whoever wins.....we lose.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:26 AM   #483
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Lance's Mom vs. LMP's Mom

Whoever wins...is loose.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:26 AM   #484
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Lance's Mom vs. LMP's Mom

Whoever wins...is loose.
Lance and a little bastard's lineage.

Pwned.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:24 AM   #485
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Duck You Sucker, aka A Fistful of Dynamite, aka Once Upon A Time... The Revolution - 9.5/10

Well, I'm now officially versed in all the "essential" Sergio Leone projects, so I'm finally going to allow myself to call the man my favorite director. I just wanted to make sure his track record was unanimously excellent as I had always suspected it was (we don't count The Colossus of Rhodes, though I will see it eventually, for completionist's sake).

I can't quite call this particular film a masterpiece. At least not on first viewing, which is only slightly disappointing, because then he'd be, I believe, the first director who I'd ever award four consecutive 10/10's scores to his catalogue. That would mean his four last films of his career, four epic, beautiful, soul-changing films, all masterpieces. As it stands:

Fistful of Dollars - 9.5/10
For a Few More Dollars - 9/10
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - 10/10
Once Upon A Time in the West - 10/10
Once Upon A Time... The Revolution - 9.5/10
Once Upon A Time in America - 10/10

But that could so easily change after another viewing. This film is a marvel. It's an obvious evolution of Leone's techniques and personal vision, but the satirical wit that heavily influenced the design of OUATITW is even more prevalent here, making a truly unique genre film. That's what so peculiar about this one though, it constantly defies any genre expectation, and serves as Leone's most self-aware film, as well as his darkest.

If Once...the West is his deconstruction of the Western genre, Once... the Revolution is the bloody aftermath; twitching, aching, tearing itself apart with explosive force. It's a fascinating turn contrasting the Mexican revolution with that of the Irish, placing an Irish "terrorist" in the middle of a setting we've become so familiar with. He defies convention, and leaves a trail of fire and rubble in his wake, twisting a common tale of heroics into something thankless and ugly.

The film itself is a wonder of craftsmanship. It's not as tightly constructed as the nearly perfect Once... The West, but this is a narrative that calls for imperfection and surprise and steady discomfort. There were several scenes of such profound power, they really caught me off guard, such as the cave scene and the midnight execution.

Is this Leone's best film? Not by a long shot. But it's remarkable just the same. I'm not sure if I can place it among those other masterpieces from his catalogue just yet, but I'll let it digest and see how it sets after a second course.

Another moment I loved was when Juan and John were in the cargo car of the train, discussing which door opened to the road to America. The entire film really made a theme out of the American ideal, a theme brought to beautiful fruition in Leone's next and final film, Once Upon A Time In America (which has sort of become my go-to answer whenever someone asks me what the greatest film I've ever seen has been). I plan on watching Once...in America again some time this week, and I think it'll gain even another extra layer of thematic depth serving as the follow-up to Once Upon A Time... The Revolution.

(BTW, that's what I'm calling this film, since that's what Leone always wanted to call it, and Duck You Sucker is such an awful title.)
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:29 AM   #486
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I would like to see the complete lists before I weigh in with an expert opinion on the 32.
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:49 AM   #487
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lancemc
Duck You Sucker, aka A Fistful of Dynamite, aka Once Upon A Time... The Revolution - 9.5/10

Well, I'm now officially versed in all the "essential" Sergio Leone projects, so I'm finally going to allow myself to call the man my favorite director. I just wanted to make sure his track record was unanimously excellent as I had always suspected it was (we don't count The Colossus of Rhodes, though I will see it eventually, for completionist's sake).

I can't quite call this particular film a masterpiece. At least not on first viewing, which is only slightly disappointing, because then he'd be, I believe, the first director who I'd ever award four consecutive 10/10's scores to his catalogue. That would mean his four last films of his career, four epic, beautiful, soul-changing films, all masterpieces. As it stands:

Fistful of Dollars - 9.5/10
For a Few More Dollars - 9/10
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - 10/10
Once Upon A Time in the West - 10/10
Once Upon A Time... The Revolution - 9.5/10
Once Upon A Time in America - 10/10

But that could so easily change after another viewing. This film is a marvel. It's an obvious evolution of Leone's techniques and personal vision, but the satirical wit that heavily influenced the design of OUATITW is even more prevalent here, making a truly unique genre film. That's what so peculiar about this one though, it constantly defies any genre expectation, and serves as Leone's most self-aware film, as well as his darkest.

If Once...the West is his deconstruction of the Western genre, Once... the Revolution is the bloody aftermath; twitching, aching, tearing itself apart with explosive force. It's a fascinating turn contrasting the Mexican revolution with that of the Irish, placing an Irish "terrorist" in the middle of a setting we've become so familiar with. He defies convention, and leaves a trail of fire and rubble in his wake, twisting a common tale of heroics into something thankless and ugly.

The film itself is a wonder of craftsmanship. It's not as tightly constructed as the nearly perfect Once... The West, but this is a narrative that calls for imperfection and surprise and steady discomfort. There were several scenes of such profound power, they really caught me off guard, such as the cave scene and the midnight execution.

Is this Leone's best film? Not by a long shot. But it's remarkable just the same. I'm not sure if I can place it among those other masterpieces from his catalogue just yet, but I'll let it digest and see how it sets after a second course.

Another moment I loved was when Juan and John were in the cargo car of the train, discussing which door opened to the road to America. The entire film really made a theme out of the American ideal, a theme brought to beautiful fruition in Leone's next and final film, Once Upon A Time In America (which has sort of become my go-to answer whenever someone asks me what the greatest film I've ever seen has been). I plan on watching Once...in America again some time this week, and I think it'll gain even another extra layer of thematic depth serving as the follow-up to Once Upon A Time... The Revolution.

(BTW, that's what I'm calling this film, since that's what Leone always wanted to call it, and Duck You Sucker is such an awful title.)

A thousand times yes.

I actually prefer this to Good/Bad/Ugly, and while it's not as tight, it's more ambitious and I admire what it has to say a lot more.

As for his best film, I go back and forth between West and America each time I see one of them. I tend to say America more because it's a bit more epic.

Colossus of Rhodes is...interesting. Not as bad as you'd imagine, though.
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Old 12-10-2007, 12:18 PM   #488
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Yes, I'd really like to see it, if I can ever find it anywhere.

And was it just me, or did a few select scenes in The Revolution foreshadow (surprisingly closely) a few specific memorable scenes from another epic film released 3 years later regarding the Mob in America?
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:08 PM   #489
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Are you referring to The Godfather? Because that was released only 1 year after ...Revolution. Plus the book was written before that.

What scenes are you referring to?
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:14 PM   #490
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Quote:
Originally posted by lazarus
Are you referring to The Godfather? Because that was released only 1 year after ...Revolution. Plus the book was written before that.

What scenes are you referring to?
I was actually thinking about some of the Vito Corleone scenes from The Godfather Part II. Some of them seemed to emulate almost perfectly some of the scenes in Revolution, specifically the flash backs. Though I may just be imagining things. Not saying Coppola stole anything from Leone, it could have been an unconscious borrowing, or just coincidence likely. Though I do believe Coppola was influenced by Leone quite a bit, as many 70's directors (even more contemporary ones) were.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:34 PM   #491
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THE POT OUGHT NEVER ACCUSE THE KETTLE OF ANYTHING.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:55 PM   #492
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I'm Not There - very amusing if you're familiar with Dylan's life. Otherwise, it might be a bit confusing to say the least. I found the Richard Gere vignette to be the most head-scratching confusing and boring except for a wonderful Jim James (My Morning Jacket) cameo. The rest of it I really enjoyed. It was fun being on "the inside" of the jokes, knowing these parts of Dylan's life somewhat, and piecing things together. It was unusual and very creative with some great performances. Aside from the obvious performances everyone's talking about, I thought Julianne Moore was particularly great. Definitely not a movie for everyone.
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Old 12-10-2007, 04:56 PM   #493
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I think my local arts centre must have seen my pissy moan the other day as they're showing pretty much all of the recent highlights that bypassed other cinemas around here in January and February. Hurrah for that.

------------------------------

Tokyo Story
My introduction to Yasujiro Ozu and along with Jean-Pierre Melville and Wong Kar-Wai is a director I simply must begin to explore. This film follows an elderly Japanese couple as they undergo a lengthy journey from their home out in the country to visit their four children, all of whom have moved towards the capital. After stopping by each one and a couple of old acquaintances they head back home. This slight plot runs to two and a half hours due to Ozu’s lingering shots and emphasis on highlighting what largely goes by unsaid. This is definitely a film to revisit every few years as growing old and the role of parents in a family are key themes and it seems to be one that has more offer with more life experience. Seeing as I love it already that makes it indispensable.

The Proposition
My second time seeing this after catching it on a limited cinema run early last year. It has lost none of its power to shock with a violent mood permeating the entire film, regardless of whether any physical violence is being depicted onscreen or not. Guy Pearce pulls off another impressive performance as Charlie Burns, given the evil task to kill his older brother in exchange for his younger brother’s life. The Australian outback becomes a character in it’s own right, beautifully shot but always viewed as a menace. Some of the views on display hark back to John Ford, but the film overall owes a great deal more to Sam Peckinpah, from The Wild Bunch to Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid with a touch of The Getaway. This was one of my top five from last year and watching it again reminded me exactly why.

Russian Ark
"2,000 Actors. 300 Years of Russian History. 33 Rooms at the Hermitage Museum. 3 Live Orchestras. 1 Single Continuous Shot." One of the most audacious films ever made, this hour and a half stroll through Russian history has to be seen to be believed. From the opening scene in the snow outside the museum to the final CGI assisted view of the ocean not once does the camera cut the scene and it barely even stops moving. The result is hypnotic and dreamlike; one of the most visually engrossing films I’ve ever seen. The camera represents the POV of the narrator and a 19th Century European traveller joins both him and us on this tour. Famous figures, both real and fictional are seen and interacted with along the way, with the European and narrator either passing through unnoticed or visibly. It doesn’t seem to matter. But beyond this impressive technical feat, is the film interesting? Well, that depends on your love of Russian history. Otherwise it’s one for film lovers eager to see something a bit different only.

The Best Years of Our Lives
One of the final few on my IMDb challenge and one that I approached with trepidation. I have to admit, a two and a half hour plus melodrama on family life in America after World War 2 didn’t exactly appeal. But I ended up really enjoying it and the time flew by as I became engrossed in the lives of three discharged servicemen and those close to them. (This is one of the reasons why I started this challenge in the first place, to plug some gaping holes as well as open a few cinematic doors I otherwise wouldn’t have bothered with.) The plotting in itself isn’t anything particularly impressive, as it follows these three men of differing rank and station as they return home before revealing that just because one ranks the highest in the service doesn’t make him the most successful civilian and those that have ‘apple pie’ lives at home don’t necessarily have it made. The joy is in the subtle ways their true characters and positions are developed in such a transitional period and how both war and age mean that those men who left their families don’t return as the same men or to the same families.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:01 PM   #494
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Cool to see you enjoyed ...Revolution lance, it's the last of the six major Leone's I've to see too. I'd heard some harsh reviews elsewhere but it's good to know it's held up high by you and laz.
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Old 12-10-2007, 05:30 PM   #495
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MS, I was lucky enough to see Best Years of Our Lives on a huge screen in Los Angeles recently, and it really is an underseen gem. You're right in that synopsis doesn't look very interesting, and yet I found myself very moved by the story and characters. You'd think a film made right after the end of the war would have been a lot more congratulatory, but it's a very penetrating look at what happens when troops come home. Post-traumatic stress disorder isn't something that was new with the Vietnam War, and I'm glad the filmmakers had the courage to show this dark shadow of the Allies' success.

One of the more deserving Best Picture winners, and this one really cleaned up, if I'm not mistaken. Harold Russell (the real-life veteran who lost both bands) won a Supporting Actor Oscar (as well as a special honorary award), and Frederick March won Best Actor. It was a little strange to see Myrna Loy in a serious role, but she did have a couple moments of levity that fleshed her out well.
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