Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Last Chance Harvey (2008, Joel Hopkins)
Q&A with Dustin Hoffman

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Rating: 82/100

I can't get over the fact that at 71 1/2 and with over 40 movies under his belt, Dustin Hoffman repeatedly gave the impression at the Q&A of someone who grappled with a struggling career. "Why don't they writes roles for people my age?" he vented. He worked for ten years as a waiter before his career took off and he said, "The feeling of being a failure never quite leaves you." I found this interesting, especially since I consider him one of the great actors of our time.

He said that he enjoyed working with Emma Thompson on Stranger Than Fiction. They had two scenes together, one of which was cut severely. It was Emma who had the connection to writer/director Joel Hopkins and he developed this script with both actors in mind.

On to the review of the film:

Finally a movie that doesn't pull any punches and is honest as well as enjoyable. The setting of London is glorious and the moments of humor in this drama are well placed. Since the movie was hand-crafted for the two leads, it felt natural. Even before knowing that, I thought it wouldn't have worked half as well without these two actors (Hoffman/Thompson).

The movie is about a man who goes to London for his daughter's wedding. He hasn't been close to her for the last several years. In a moving scene with Emma Thompson, he explains how it happened so gradually that one day he just wasn't part of her life. To make matters worse, he is an embarrassment to the family and finds himself one prickly situation after another. He just can't win.

It progresses and ends with a satisfying amount of closure. With all the disappointing films today and so much advertising being spent on films without a decent script, it's a shame that this one will most likely go unnoticed by a lot of people. If you get the chance and have any interest, I highly recommend it.

In closing, Dustin talked about the directors he wanted to work with: P.T. Anderson and Scorsese. He admired Brando's working relationship with Kazan. He also liked Martin McDonagh's film In Bruges, which leads us to the actors he said he admired. He was on a roll: Ralph Fiennes, Bruno Ganz, "Seymour" Hoffman, Sean Penn, Ginger Rogers in 5th Ave Girl, Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel, Eddie Murphy in Coming to America, Russell Crowe in Body of Lies, the casts of The Lives of Others, 4 mos., 3 wks, and 2 days, and both sisters in Rachel Getting Married. Whew!

Edited by: Sandy
Thank you!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Revolutionary Road (2008, Sam Mendes)

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Rating: 2.5/4 star, 61/100

Overall, disappointing. This movie likes to take jumps in time. The problem is that it wants to be Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf at times. Kate & Leo seemed to be overacting, both of them trying for that impossible Oscar. It also makes Kate & Leo's relationship to be turbulent. One moment you think they're going to strangle each other or at least be perpetually unhappy, and the next moment they are over the moon to the point where you become overly hopeful for them.

Then of course, things take yet another crazy turn at the end. You're left wondering how you got there. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the romanticism of Titanic, even though I was never the world's biggest fan of the movie.

While the writing was solid, and while the screenwriter admitted to making things a tad happier in the movie than the book (SPOILER: In the book, Leo's character gives the kids away to relatives; in the movie he is always close to them.), he still joked about the movie's day after Christmas release: "On Christmas you open up all your presents, only to go to the theater the next day to find out what your life is really like."

In closing, I'd like to confirm that this movie is not so stand-out, in accordance with my rating. Some people have actually enjoyed the acting, even though it wasn't as subtle as I would like. The story isn't one that can be adored unless you like having your expectations blown in a bad way. I would recommend seeing it if you really must quench your curiosity. After all, Kate & Leo together again after 11 years is something a lot of people won't be able to stay away from.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seven Pounds (2008, Gabriele Muccino)


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Can "Good Deeds" Make Up for Past Mistakes?
Rating: 3/4 stars, 73/100, 7/10

(Minor spoilers in the review)

Calling to mind 21 Grams and I Am Legend (and being directed by The Pursuit of Happyness' Gabriele Muccino), this movie is pretty good, but never does it break as much ground as Memento or Pulp Fiction. Overall, pretty good performances by Woody Harrelson, Will Smith, and Rosario Dawson.

Even though Rosario Dawson is very good in this and everything she's done post Josie and the Pussycats, there is a personal gripe I have with the scene where she proclaims Charles Aznavour's "Formidable" is her favorite song. She knows the English words, but hums during French part of the song. That famous song is actually one of my favorites. However, I was thrown out of the movie for a second when the character didn't know the words to her own favorite song. I think this is primarily director Gabriele Muccino's fault. He should have spent the extra time with Rosario in order to have her be able to sing two whole lines.

There are a few "how is that possible" moments in the script which could easily be justified by the screenwriter, such as how did he meet the people he's trying to help or regarding the complication due to the jellyfish infecting its victim.

I would say that the movie is entertaining and that if you can ignore some of these perceived flaws, it would be a great movie to see for the holiday season. The ending is sort of bittersweet and the film itself is not for those who can't handle a non-linear story at all. It's the kind of movie you have to just go with until things start making sense.

Friday, December 12, 2008

20 Favourite Actresses

Meme from: House of Mirth and Movies
Also see my: 20 Favourite Actors

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01. Bette Davis (Key role: Dangerous)

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02. Isabelle Huppert (Key role: La Cérémonie)

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03. Sandrine Bonnaire (Key role: Jeanne la Pucelle II - Les prisons)

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04. Faye Dunaway (Key role: Bonnie and Clyde)

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05. Isabelle Adjani (Key role: Camille Claudel)

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06. Gloria Swanson (Key role: Sunset Blvd.)

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07. Janet Gaynor (Key role: A Star Is Born)

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08. Audrey Hepburn (Key role: Roman Holiday)

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09. Naomi Watts (Key role: Mulholland Dr.)

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10. Rita Hayworth (Key role: Gilda)

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11. Irène Jacob (Key role: La Double vie de Véronique)

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12. Jean Seberg (Key role: À bout de souffle)

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13. Monica Vitti (Key role: Il Deserto rosso)

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14. Margit Carstensen (Key role: Angst vor der Angst)

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15. Ludivine Sagnier (Key role: La Fille coupée en deux)

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16. Mia Farrow (Key role: Crimes and Misdemeanors)

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17. Brigitte Bardot (Key role: Viva Maria!)

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18. Natalie Wood (Key role: Inside Daisy Clover)

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19. Barbara Stanwyck (Key role: The Lady Eve)

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20. Catherine Deneuve (Key role: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Working Girls (1931, Dorothy Arzner)

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I've been reading Directed by Dorothy Arzner and have been familiar with nearly all of the Dorothy Arzner films Judith Mayne talks about due to the wonderfulness that is TCM.

However, there was one film that I hadn't seen: Working Girls. In the book, Mayne stated that this was never released to the general public and then described the movie in furious detail. After all, she was able to see it through UCLA's archives.

So I got the idea to see what the process was for checking out UCLA's archives and emailed them Wednesday. I happened to email them right before the end of the semester. Someone wrote back requesting that I send them my academic information and reasons for wanting to view the film. Yikes! I wrote back that I was interested in Arzner's films for their "historical value", in addition to researching films directed by women in general. I hoped that was sufficient and that I didn't have to be working on a thesis!

When I got there Thursday afternoon, they had everything ready for me in their viewing room in the Powell Library and all I had to do was give them my ID.

Then on glorious VHS, I saw the very amusing film! There may be spoilers from this point.

Working Girls is a very dated film, sure, and probably amusing for that very fact. It's the story of two sisters: Mae & June who come to New York for their big break. Mae gets knocked up basically, and June marries the man that Mae jilts.

It was a very interesting experience. Deemed too racy at the time, it is extremely tame by today's standards. In Mayne's book it seemed that the happenings in the movie were overt. However, even by pre-code standards, nothing was spoken of directly. And when it was, Mae and June were mostly naive about what was going on.

June applies for a job working as a secretary for a professor, but she isn't educated enough. Mae, who has two more years of high school on June gets the job, but she is no Albert Einstein either. Mae pleads with the prof. for the job, and he gets the idea that she is offering sexual favors or at least is coming on to him.

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Above is June (Judith Wood) who meets Mr. Michael Kelly, a saxophone player who makes $90 a week (June & Mae think they'd hit it big making $25 a week). Even though her younger sister Mae (Dorothy Hall) finds a "Harvard Man" named Boyd Wheeler (played by Charles "Buddy" Rogers), June likes Kelly for the tangible things he can give her. Kelly gives her some candy, then is chided into giving her orchids, perfume, and an umbrella, all on the first date.

The professor proposes to "little April" when Mae corrects him on her name. "Oh, I bet your pardon, Miss Springtime," he says. Yeah, for a professor, he is a little ditzy. Mae reveals to the prof. that she has a love interest and is promptly fired.

June is worried about Mae's relationship with Boyd Wheeler and tells Mae "keep your shirt on" throughout the film. June however refuses to break a date with Michael Kelly when Mae has to meet Boyd for dinner at his place. When Mae gets there, she finds that the "friend" Boyd Wheeler was going to have along with her has canceled. Mae has the idea that most girls did at the time: that if she is alone with Boyd in his apartment, she will be corrupted. She says , "Something tells me if I take this coat off, I'm not of strong character."

A little dramatic perhaps, but she does indeed succumb to Wheeler's wiles and becomes pregnant.

Wheeler of course has a fiancée. To make a long story short, Wheeler dumps the fiancée, but only after Mae has agreed to marry the professor because of her situation.

When June finds this out, she pleads with Michael Kelly to come along with her and Mae to Wheeler's: "Have you got a gun? We're going to a wedding!"

Things end happily, Hollywood style, with June and Michael Kelly having to tell the professor at a Chinese restaurant that Mae is going to have to break her engagement to him.

The professor asks if June herself is engaged to Kelly, the man she came with. "Engaged. To that one? I should say not."

Kelly removes himself from the table while waiting for their food to arrive. June asks the prof. if he knew that Mae was pregnant with Wheeler's child when he agreed to marry her, in so many words. He says yes. June is overcome by this chivalrous man who would have fought to protect her sister's honor. She asks him if he'll marry her. The prof. is overtaken by her boldness, yet agrees. As Michael Kelly returns, June tells the prof. she likes "lots of petting", even though she previously told Kelly to keep his hands off despite the numerous gifts she demanded of him.

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Though these characters are indeed likeable, the most unfortunate thing is that Judith Wood and Dorothy Hall never really made names for themselves as actresses. Maybe it's because Dorothy Hall has charmingly painful lines like "Aww, you don't need to speak so sarcasmly." In addition, they didn't have the gumption or beauty of Arzner's other leading ladies: Katharine Hepburn, Clara Bow, or Rosalind Russell to name a few. There is no way to tell if Wood and Hall would have become stars had the film actually been released, but as it was, fame was not in the cards for these two ladies.

As for Arzner's direction, it is impeccable. She does what she can with Wood and Hall's talents, and the film glides by delightfully. In the scene where Mae meets Boyd Wheeler in a shoe store, he spies on her through the shoe fitting stool's mirror. Arzner's subsequent shots are amazing too, but that one is my favorite.

One has to notice the very crafty lesbian undertones in this film. The all-girl boarding house Mae and June live in is very strict. To visit "family" overnight, they must sign out to avoid being corrupted by young men. Of course, one of the girls who is signing out states, "You oughta meet a man like my aunt."

There is also a butch girl named Lou Hollings (played by Frances Moffett) that lives amongst them as well as a dim-witted one that starts following Mae and June at first, as if she has a crush on them.

The girls are also ordered to keep the windows closed so they won't hear the uncouth music coming from the nightclub right across from their building. Of course, one night they open the windows and the girls begin to dance with each other. How's that scene for a lesbian director in the early nineteen thirties? Of course since the film was sadly never released to the public, Arzner didn't quite get away with it.

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(Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Blondell in Night Nurse)

What is left behind, however, is a pretty decent film despite its lack of any huge stars unless you count Frances Dee who has a very minor role. Based on the play "Blind Mice" by Vera Caspary and Winifred Lenihan), Zoe Atkins' script was good, but unfortunately not appropriate for the times. What is amazing is what films of that same pre-code era got away with: Illicit (racy dialog) and Night Nurse (girls in their underclothes) both with Barbara Stanwyck. Working Girls also features a scene with one of the girls in just a bra and lacy panties, which was probably the only thing that should have been cut in order for the film to be shown in theaters across the USA (and maybe the scene with the two girls dancing). All in all it was a great experience. This movie deserves to be seen by more people. Hopefully, UCLA and TCM or some DVD company will work something out in the future. There is definitely an interest in pre-code films, in addition to Dorothy Arzner's works and feminist cinema.

Special thanks to: UCLA Library

Addendum: Please also note some of the quotes from this movie that I added to IMDB.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

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When I saw the movie Dear Zachary, I was not prepared for such an emotionally challenging and relevant documentary. It is about a man who was murdered and the person who murdered him was let out on bail for several years until the opportunity came for her to kill again.

It was made by the victim's best friend, who started the documentary in order to show his friend's legacy to his son.

At the end of the documentary, there is a call to action to support bail reform. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Even if you want to turn it on for a few minutes just to check it out. You will not be disappointed.

It aired on MSNBC yesterday and will show again this Sunday. Don't miss it! Details below:
IMDB TV Schedule:
Sun. Dec. 144:00 PMMSNBC

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cinéma à trois: A Thanksgiving Day at the Theater

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Four Christmases (Seth Gordon, 2008)
Rating:
63/100
This movie was as bad as I was expected, but as long as the screenwriter was going to make it suck, at least they had enough decency to make it terrible in a way I didn't expect.

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Transporter 3 (Olivier Megaton, 2008)
Rating: 72/100
Knowing that this movie couldn't be worse than Transporter 2, and hoping it would be better than Four Christmases, but not having any expectations after lukewarm reviews, this film surprisingly delivered.

A shirtless Jason Statham? Check.
Great action/chase scenes? Check. One was even so good I clapped!!
A cute yet harmless twist that keeps the movie going? Check.

So there's this government guy that is threatened by the bad guy. And the government guy finds out the bad guy's name is "Johnson" right? And in the next scene, Jason Statham's phone (who can only receive and dial to the bad guy) says JOHNSON on the caller ID. Now, the bad guy wouldn't want Jason Statham to know his name even if the government guy and the audience does. But the audience isn't stupid. We know the only call he's going to get is from Johnson aka THE BAD GUY. So this seems to be a weird flaw. The other thing is when the "girl" won't tell Jason her name throughout the whole entire movie. And suddenly he starts calling her Valentina.

Those are the only problems I had with the movie. The rest was great. I didn't even realize till the end credits, but it was co-written with Luc Besson! Great stuff here. And it was a pleasure to watch.

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Twilight (Catherine Hardwicke, 2008)
Rating: 73/100
And then came the vampire movie. This was better than I was expecting. The cool thing to say is that only 14 or 15 year old girls will like this movie. I suppose I could be an emotionally held back adult who enjoys stuff meant for 15 year old girls, but that's besides the point. The movie was crafted well, was fun, and had good acting.

Yeah, Edward Cullen sort of looked effeminate and goth. I mean seriously, was that lipstick he was wearing the whole time?

But everyone knows that vampires aren't supposed to go into the light and that the sun burns their skin. This movie kind of turns the vampire genre on its head, inventing new rules.

I had even forgotten my initial excuse for seeing the movie by the time the film was over: a woman directed this. Catherine Hardwicke of Thirteen fame. In addition, a woman wrote the screenplay and a woman wrote the book this film was based on. Whoa, whoa! Estrogen overload! All in a very good way.

So don't go see this movie unless you're a 14 year-old girl. Because unless you become like a child, forget it!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beröringen / The Touch (Bergman, 1971)

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Saw it Saturday night. Bibi Andersson reminded me of lots of women, including an older version of herself in Persona, Juliette Binoche, Mia Farrow, Jane Fonda, and even my mother (only with blonde hair). I saw these women in her and it was creepy. It wasn't a boring movie, but looking at her and seeing different people in her kept me pretty occupied.

In the movie, she and Elliott Gould are attracted to each other and they have this nice but violent relationship. I don't want to spoil it...

But Ingmar Bergman described how he felt after the death of his father, and a character in this film goes through the exact same emotions in the exact same scene Bergman described to the journalist. The affair between Elliott and Bibi also happened to Ingmar Bergman in his own strange life.

Elliott Gould was there for a Q&A. Iin fact he donated his print of the film to UCLA, and we watched his print of it. And he said, "I don't do impressions, but..." and proceeded to do an impression of Ingmar Bergman and how Ingie called Elliott "My leetle brothah" in a deep voice, with an accent that sounded more German than Swedish.

Elliott was charming and even said he wouldn't leave until the last person in the theater left. I did stay for a little bit and listen to some fans introduce him to their wives and parents. He was very gracious, but I didn't want to talk to him and make a fool out of myself.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cadillac Records Premiere

I attended the Cadillac Records Premiere Monday night, because I thought maybe Beyonce would be there.

I saw these people walk the red carpet:

-Rachel Roberts (yeah, who? I happened to know who she was and so did the photographers, but a lot of people were saying 'Rachel, who?')
-Gabrille Union (who was in the movie)
-Adrien Brody (someone next to me said his girlfriend looked like a "new" Natalie Portman, but her face reminded me of Scarlett Johanssen)
-Some guy with an unfamous girlfriend. She said her name was Tynee and spelled it out for the photographers. When you have to do that, you know you're not famous.
-A very beautiful African American young woman named Lauren London.
-Someone said this chick was Anika Noni Rose (She was in Dreamgirls with Beyonce), but it is actually Sanaa Lathan per Reuters.
-Then Jeffrey Wright was there (actually I couldn't tell who he was in the movie, because he completely transformed into Muddy Waters. He has an incredible gift for being unrecognizable, if only because he is incredibly adept, WOW!!!)
-Then Etta James arrived. Beyonce plays her in the movie. She had long gorgeous hair with highlights and she was standing up! I actually saw her live March, 2002 and she was in a wheelchair, so I didn't expect to see her standing up.
-Then actually Beyonce showed up. She was looking very gorgeous with her hair pulled back. Her mom followed her shortly thereafter. About her performance in the film: I will be very surprised if she isn't nominated for an Oscar. She was absolutely amazing. And I say that as a person who isn't very easily impressed (Heath Ledger's turn as the Joker anyone? Yes, quite a joke).


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All in all it was a very exciting night, even if I had to do a lot of waiting around.

Review of Cadillac Records:

Rating: 7.5/10, 75/100, 3/4 Stars

Cadillac Records has a lot of potential for Oscar season. It had everything Walk the Line had, only multiply that by five. We are not talking about one story, but stories centered around about five top blues artists from the fifties period.

Some people would say it's about Leonard Chess, since "Chess Records" gave out Cadillacs to its artists. That is probably why the movie is called Cadillac Records. The movie seems to center on Muddy Waters, before also exploring the careers of Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James, and Chuck Berry.

In the beginning it started out well. But when some of the musicians were supposed to be playing, the camera focused on the actors' faces, then it cut to a close-up of fingers on guitar, and no wide shots, meaning that not all actors were actually playing the instruments. Even in a movie like School of Rock, they got kids that could play their instruments! However, that became a non-issue after Beyonce as Etta James became part of the movie. She was emotionally moving and I would be surprised if she wasn't nominated for an Oscar.

The music in this movie was especially good, and I wouldn't be surprised if a whole new generation of "kids" came to love these old blues artists because of the attention brought to them by this movie.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Doubt

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I want to know if Meryl Streep is an evil bitch that is dead set against anyone without 50 years experience in the church or if she is a martyr fighting against a man who is doing unquestionably bad things to children?

I love the part where Streep gives her vicious speech in the preview where she is almost screaming. I wouldn't be surprised if she was nominated for an Academy Award for a fifteenth time, blowing Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis' records out of the water. Not that Streep is a better actress than Bette. Maybe she's just had better opportunities.

Also I want to know why they wear the little Amish costumes, but then a boy has an iPod in the movie? That almost takes me out of the stern coldness of the film, but at the same time it intrigues me. I hope to see it ASAP. If there isn't an advance screening, then I have opening weekend marked on my calendar!

In addition, I just found out about this juicy sounding French film today:

Le Code a changé
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Great cast & director! Now if I can only figure out what it's about. Oh yes, great poster too.

Monopoly - the movie!

Ridley Scott has been developing Monopoly the movie for over a year now. I have to question what's taking him so long to figure everything out, because I came up with a solid summary for the movie.
You know the funny thing is that I see exactly how Ridley Scott should make Monopoly. He should base it on the plot to Transformers. Instead of good and bad transformers they could be good and bad real estate agents. And Shia LaBoeuf is like "omg I got all these monopolies and now I have Park Place. I've just gotta get Boardwalk." and Megan Fox the hot chick could be like "omg I don't know how we're going to get it against Donald Trump." And Shia's like, "well he may have money and smarts, but we have determination." And they're like about to make an offer on Boardwalk but Donald Trump sends his assassins out to get them. they elude the assassins Bourne style and then they're about to close the deal when they have to hide out at Shia's Mom & Dad's and grab a few beers and stuff. And Megan keeps acting hot and beating up the assassins, and there's a cool freeway scene Die Hard 4-style.

And then after some James Bond poker style rant that Shia gives that makes no sense but sounds way too cool to be wrong they some how snag Boardwalk and live happily ever after. They donate their purple properties to charity and sail off in their yacht going out into the sunset.

But now that everyone foresees that Megan Fox won't be hot after Diablo Cody's new script proved to be sucky, they'll get Evan Rachel Wood. And now that Shia broke his hand, they'll get some douche like Jim Sturgess. Oh shoot, that's the cast for
Across the Universe. Oh well, modern day audiences will eat crap like this up. Maybe we can throw in a few musical numbers and it will be the next Moulin Rouge...
Maybe it's not fair for Ridley, because my background is in screenwriting and I just happened to be listening to Donald Trump's book-on-tape Think Like a Billionaire (not to mention that Monopoly was my favorite board-game growing up because I was kind of a geek). But whatever the case, it shouldn't be taking Ridley Scott this long. I wonder if I should offer to help him out?

Oh, and if anyone begs me, I will write and post the Shia/James Bond/Monopoly speech. I might write the movie anyway and change the character names and of course infuse my own originality into it, and no one would ever know... because unfortunately, I am not Pamela Pettler. I can't believe someone else was hired to write the script!! Oh no.
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952, Vincente Minnelli)

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Rating: 3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100
Rank: #50 (Top Favorites)

If you don’t like movies about Hollywood, stay away from this one. If you do, this movie is composed of three stories of people who were screwed over by Hollywood. The last story is by far the weakest, but still memorable. All three stories are tied together in a nice bow, justifying the choices that the characters make.
Les Demoiselles de Rochefort/Young Girls of Rochefort (1967, Jacques Demy/Agnès Varda)

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Rating: 3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100
Rank: #49 (Top Favorites)

Great music, great dancing, great sister act! Highly recommended.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961, Blake Edwards)

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Rating: 3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100
Rank: #48 (Top Favorites)

Weirdly enough, when I saw it the first time, I didn’t like it. A rewatch at my grandmother’s house proved that this movie is charming, classic, and a must-love!
Gilda (1946, Charles Vidor)

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Rating:
3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100

Rank: #47 (Top Favorites)

I’m all for melodramatic film noirs (there aren’t many, in fact this is an animal of its own). Add Rita Hayworth to the mix and viola, a hit! No wonder those prison guys in Shawshank Redemption went crazy over this movie. Lots of great quotes too.
My Man Godfrey (1936, Gregory La Cava)

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Rating: 3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100
Rank: #46 (Top Favorites)

A movie that makes fun of class distinctions can also portray social matters in a very disturbingly truthful light. Carole Lombard and William Powell were a delightful couple; too bad they didn't last. Hmmph!

Viewings
: 2, each one delightful

The Graduate (1967, Mike Nichols)

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Rating: 3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100
Rank: #45 (Top Favorites)

When I was 19, I didn’t see this play in London like everyone else, because the plot disgusted me. However, this fine film was made so well – it’s hard to find a better film than this. I have since seen a play version. Not as good, but what can you do.
I Heart Huckabees (2004, David O. Russell)

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Rating: 3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100
Rank: #44 (Top Favorites)

Who knew existentialism could be turned into such a riveting film? Well, my favorite acting part is between Isabelle Huppert/Talia Shire. Two great actresses going off on each other. Apparently actress Lily Tomlin went off on David O. Russell during filmmaking (look on Youtube). Too funny.
Blue Velvet (1986, David Lynch)

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Rating: 3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100
Rank: #43 (Top Favorites)

The first couple times I saw this, I didn’t really like it very much. However, it grew on me quite a bit. The story is extremely well put together. The movie has great music and it is also extremely quotable.
Tideland (2005, Terry Gilliam)

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Rating: 3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100
Rank: #42 (Top Favorites)

I don’t care about beautifully shot movies, but this movie is exceptional. It’s about a little girl lost in a fantasy world. Done the wrong way it could be boring . However, Jodelle Ferland is such a great actress and the movie is made with such tender loving care. YES! I LOVE IT!
Amores Perros/Love's a Bitch (2000, Alejandro González Iñárritu)

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Rating: 3.5/4 stars, 8.5/10, 88/100
Rank: #41 (Top Favorites)

This movie is intense, well-balanced (heck, what else would you expect from Guillermo Arriaga), and bloody. Okay, so maybe you were expecting nothing like me, because this was the first movie from Arriaga/Iñárritu which sparked two more wonderful collaborations also dealing with connections.


May I say it? Gael García Bernal is hot.

L.A. Confidential (1997, Curtis Hanson)

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Rating: 4/4 stars, 9/10, 90/100
Rank: #40 (Top Favorites)

Once again, great directing and good story, but the actors shine above all else.