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Old 11-18-2008, 12:15 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,325 posts, read 30,354,818 times
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Obviously I have more than one favorite. I'll pick, rather than a quiet gem such as Local Hero or the visually and sonically stunning '94 version of Little Women, the epic Soldier of Orange (Soldaat van Oranje (1977).

This movie is great because all of its elements come together perfectly: the writing (based on the memoirs of Erik Hazelhoff, a talented Dutch war hero with a wry attitude), the cinematography, the acting (notably a very young Rutger Hauer). Director Paul Verhoeven brings us the horror of war with its random brutality and bitter betrayal, but also humanity and even humor.

A movie is great if it gets inside you, stays with you. Soldier of Orange tells a story of several young people in the Netherlands who, when faced with the German invasion, must choose which path to take.

The different perspectives add up to a multi-faceted tale that has always fascinated me. I bought the movie, and finally even tracked down and English version of the book.
I highly recommend Soldier of Orange.
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Old 11-18-2008, 01:30 PM
 
Location: South Bay Native
9,758 posts, read 13,849,111 times
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One of the best antiwar movies I recall

A Pál-utcai fiúk (1969)

It was nominated for the Best Foreign Picture Oscar - should have won. Few people have even heard of this movie, but if you read the user comments and message board for the film, you'll see that those who have seen it have a distinct impression from it.
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:34 PM
 
Location: South Florida
1,015 posts, read 1,406,948 times
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I love Local Hero. It's just a sweet, warm, funny, fish out of water story about a big oil company that wants to build a refinery on this Scottish fishing village. The towns people (who are the quirkiest characters) want to sell and get a big hunk of cash, except for this old guy who just wants to live the rest of his life on the beach. The film is so charming, has a really good "green" message, and examines the true meaning of life. It makes me feel good every time I watch it! (It's Al Gore's favorite movie too!)
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:10 PM
 
2,753 posts, read 3,505,192 times
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I'm trying to stay a little obscure here, though this one has been on cable, so maybe many of you have seen, "You Can Count on Me," with Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney with Matthew Broderick playing a supporting role. I think that all great movies have that undefinable something, often something that wasn't even intentional, maybe not even in the minds of the writers or the directors or the actors while they were making it. I think it was Jack Lemmon who said something like, "There are so many people that go into making a movie, so many hands in the soup, that it's a miracle when they come out well."

Could be Jack and I are talking about slightly different things, but I do know that that magical quality I'm referring to seems almost accidental as well. For example in the above mentioned Ruffalo and Linney movie I think it was a happy accident that their chemistry as brother and sister traumatized in two different ways by the traffic accident that killed both their parents when they were kids is what makes this movie special. Linney the older sibling, is responsible, has a son to a wayward father, tries to keep it together and pretty much does until Ruffalo comes home. He, on the other hand we see has handled their mutual tragedy by running and running, from one town and job to another, even a stint in jail after a bar fight. Matthew Broderick, as always is perfect, as the tight assed new boss of the samll town bank Linney works at, and once their affair starts we see what a time bomb Linney is underneath it all, and we get a hint as to the intensity of the pressure she's been under.

Speaking of Lemmon and chemistry, anybody see Prisoner of Second Avenue? The chemistry he has with co-star Anne Bancroft in this comedy about a middle-aged executive who gets canned and begins to come apart is just right. Magical.
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:26 PM
 
485 posts, read 899,213 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExPit View Post
Pick one of your favorites and tell us why?

For instance, "American Beauty," is one of my favorites over the past what is it ten or so years. Why? Generally speaking it captures a mood, a suburban bliss but the way all bliss is, not really, and the main character Kevin Spacey, afflicted with a glowing example of mid-life crisis, questions his occupation, his marriage, his role as father, nursing a real hunger for youth, his own or just to be next to it, so to speak, he quits his job, starts smoking pot, working out, takes a job at a hamburger joint and lusts after his daughter's best friend.

There's a surreal quality to the ambience of this picture, the music is haunting, I'm sorry I can't remember who did it, but as I write this I can hear it in my head. We find out in the opening narration that the Spacey character will be dead within a year, which of course lends an immediacy to everything that follows, and a bit more empathy than we might have had for his character otherwise; though I, a middle-aged guy with a busy past that I also mourn would have been able to relate regardless.

His daughter's newfound boyfirend, is also his pot supplier, and is played by Wes Bentley, someone I've seen never before or since, and considering the totally captivating performance he gives as the fatalistically surviving son of an abusive, closeted homosexual retired Marine colonel, I wonder why. His father is Chris, can't think of his name, but he's great and his mother is someone else who I've seen often and who was superb as the wife of this guy, and who keeps her head turned away from the abuse both her son and she herself live with, and maintains a life of silent desperation.

Quote:
If you haven't seen this movie check it out; it has that releasing quality of a movie theme that many of us can relate to, the relief we would all feel if and when we had the guts or were otherwise fed up enough to roll the proverbial dice and bust out of our ill-conceived lives.

Bustin' Loose!
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:01 PM
 
Location: South Bay Native
9,758 posts, read 13,849,111 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExPit View Post

Speaking of Lemmon and chemistry, anybody see Prisoner of Second Avenue? The chemistry he has with co-star Anne Bancroft in this comedy about a middle-aged executive who gets canned and begins to come apart is just right. Magical.
Yes, I saw it back when I was a teen and LOVED it. The whole movie is a hoot.
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Old 11-19-2008, 05:32 PM
 
Location: The Frenchie Farm, Where We Grow 'em Big!
2,077 posts, read 4,188,076 times
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OMG.....where to begin.

Pulp Fiction. I know. It's the only one I can think of right now.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:10 PM
 
2,753 posts, read 3,505,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DontH8Me View Post
Yes, I saw it back when I was a teen and LOVED it. The whole movie is a hoot.
Lemmon was a guy that could do anything. The Days of Wine and Roses to the Odd Couple, could be the mark of a real actor is versatility, if that's so Jack was one of the best ever. Saw him one day when I was walking down Wilshire Blvd in West L.A. and I peaked into a sporting goods store to see him trying out a new putter, and he looked dead serious about it too.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:01 PM
 
Location: West Seattle, WA
12,887 posts, read 19,624,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExPit View Post
Lemmon was a guy that could do anything. The Days of Wine and Roses to the Odd Couple, could be the mark of a real actor is versatility, if that's so Jack was one of the best ever. Saw him one day when I was walking down Wilshire Blvd in West L.A. and I peaked into a sporting goods store to see him trying out a new putter, and he looked dead serious about it too.
Speaking of Jack Lemmon, and speaking of American Beauty...
Save the Tiger (1973) is a wonderful film; arguably one of Lemmon's best performances. It is rather a 70's version of American Beauty; a man questioning his married, upper-middle class existence and looking for something meaningful. I highly recommend it.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0070640/

I also love Paul Mazursky's An Unmarried Woman (1978), an unvarnished look at a woman reeling from her broken marraige and reassembling her life. Jill Clayburgh is terrific in this, as is the supporting cast. Plus, it's a great snapshot of 1970's NYC.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0078444/
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
38,757 posts, read 39,360,792 times
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"Jackie Brown" is my favorite American big-studio release. It did not insult my intelligence with a totally impossible scenario. The acting was excellent by evryone, and it had a good script about a fairly compex plot. It moved at a good pace, had just the right amount of action, people had real pesonalities. The only thing I could not relate to was the ending. If Pam Grier is revving up a sports car with lots of cash on the seat beside her, and says "come with me"---I go. But, then, that would be the expected ending, cut to the beach in the Caribbean, and roll the credits. This movie was better than that.
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