Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Cries and Whispers (1972)

IMDb plot summary: When a woman dying of cancer in early twentieth-century Sweden is visited by her two sisters, long-repressed feelings between the siblings rise to the surface.
Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Harriet Andersson, Kari Sylwan, Ingrid Thulin, and Liv Ullmann.

Boy, when I don't get Bergman, I *really* don't get him. This is interminably slow and cold, presumably to mirror the coldness of the sisters toward each other, but I can find no way into this film, no way to glean any information from long close-up shots of faces doing nothing against a black background or seeming nonsequiturs muttered aloud. I get the vague sense that there's a semblance of story here that I'd really love if I could make my way to it through all the distancing artistic choices, but as it is I found it a frustrating and alienating viewing experience.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Cries and Whispers < They Made Me a Fugitive
Cries and Whispers > Drive Me Crazy
Cries and Whispers < Birdman of Alcatraz
Cries and Whispers < A Man Called Peter
Cries and Whispers < The Phantom of the Opera (2004)
Cries and Whispers < Spinning Into Butter
Cries and Whispers > Scrooged
Cries and Whispers > Move Over, Darling
Cries and Whispers < Madame Blueberry
Cries and Whispers > One Hour Photo
Cries and Whispers < Multiplicity
Final spot: #2018 out of 2735.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Big Sick (2017)

IMDb plot summary: Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family's expectations, and his true feelings.
Directed by Michael Showalter. Starring Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, and Ray Romano.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Big Sick > They Made Me a Fugitive
The Big Sick > Quartet
The Big Sick > Garden State
The Big Sick < A Night at the Opera
The Big Sick < The Fisher King
The Big Sick < Best in Show
The Big Sick < Jean de Florette
The Big Sick > Lady on a Train
The Big Sick < Another Woman
The Big Sick > American Splendor
The Big Sick < Silver Linings Playbook

Final spot: #327 out of 2734.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

IMDb plot summary: Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.
Directed by Jon Watts. Starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., and Marisa Tomei.

While I like the non-mopey take on Spider-Man and I like Michael Keaton as a villain, it's just hard to really care about the umpteenth reiteration of this story in the middle of one giant Avengers story. More and more with the MCU I just feel like I'm watching random TV show episodes and they're not really going to be interesting to me until the entire thing is done.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Spider-Man: Homecoming < They Made Me a Fugitive
Spider-Man: Homecoming > Drive Me Crazy
Spider-Man: Homecoming > Good Night, and Good Luck.
Spider-Man: Homecoming > What Women Want
Spider-Man: Homecoming < The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
Spider-Man: Homecoming > Peter Pan (2003)
Spider-Man: Homecoming > Music Within
Spider-Man: Homecoming > Blow Out
Spider-Man: Homecoming < No Highway in the Sky
Spider-Man: Homecoming > Following
Spider-Man: Homecoming > Pleasantville

Final spot: #1458 out of 2733.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Wind River (2017)

IMDb plot summary: A veteran tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Service helps to investigate the murder of a young Native American woman, and uses the case as a means of seeking redemption for an earlier act of irresponsibility which ended in tragedy.
Directed by Taylor Sheridan. Starring Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Graham Greene, and Gil Birmingham.

So I'd love Hollywood to keep making movies about modern Native American life BUT they've gotta find a way to do it without making all the protagonists white. Like, why is Jeremy Renner's character not Native American? There's no reason for that at all except casting having a bankable star, and it really diminishes the story and the themes. It allows the viewer to keep this world at a distance and never really get inside someone else's experience. I just wanted to see more of the girl and her parents, but instead we get Jeremy Renner going all Liam Neeson, which is not compelling and not new. Disappointing.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Wind River < Gifted
Wind River > Drive Me Crazy
Wind River < Birdman of Alcatraz
Wind River > A Man Called Peter
Wind River > What Lies Beneath
Wind River < Anything Else
Wind River < SpaceCamp
Wind River < Star Trek: Nemesis
Wind River < Legend
Wind River < Les Miserables (1935)
Wind River > Defending Your Life

Final spot: #1790 out of 2732.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Duel (1971)

IMDb plot summary: A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.
Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, and Lou Frizzell.

The moments of this that work *really* work. It's got a very cool creepy faceless villain and is great during the tenser scenes. (Some of those shots of the truck are way more terrifying than a shot of a truck should be.) There are, however, also a lot of moments where it gets reeeeeal slow, and some of those slow scenes could have been put to use fleshing out our main character a bit.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Duel > They Made Me a Fugitive
Duel < The Front
Duel > Neighbors
Duel < The Ladykillers (2004)
Duel < The Call
Duel > Brave
Duel < Good Kill
Duel > Finding Vivian Maier
Duel < Ripley's Game
Duel > The Prestige
Duel < Now You See Me

Final spot: #967 out of 2731.

Fury (1936)

IMDb plot summary: When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.
Directed by Fritz Lang. Starring Sylvia Sidney, Spencer Tracy, Walter Abel, and Bruce Cabot.

Great story, though the acting sometimes feels distractingly dated.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Fury > They Made Me a Fugitive
Fury > Quartet
Fury < Glengarry Glen Ross
Fury < Robin Hood (1973)
Fury < Rock of Ages
Fury < Widow's Peak
Fury < Ordet
Fury > The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Fury < Spellbound (2002)
Fury < Fright Night (2011)
Fury > And Now for Something Completely Different

Final spot: #669 out of 2730.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Freaks (1932)

IMDb plot summary: A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.
Directed by Tod Browning. Starring Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova and Roscoe Ates.

How it entered my Flickchart:
Freaks < They Made Me a Fugitive
Freaks > In the Company of Men
Freaks > Good Night, and Good Luck.
Freaks > Apocalypto
Freaks < The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
Freaks < Peter Pan (2003)
Freaks > Where to Invade Next
Freaks > The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer
Freaks < The Circus
Freaks > The Sunshine Boys (1996)
Freaks > Planes, Tranes & Automobiles

Final spot: #1498 out of 2729.