Author Topic: Scavenger Hunt #22  (Read 2761 times)

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Scavenger Hunt #22
« on: December 31, 2016, 07:14:00 AM »
Film #1 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #2: Watch any film that has a sequel or remake/reboot scheduled for release during 2017



The Transformers: The Movie
Year of Release: 1986
Directed By: Nelson Shin
Starring: Judd Nelson, Lionel Stander, Orson Welles, Leonard Nimoy, Susan Blu, Eric Idle
Genre: Action, Science-Fiction, Animation

Overview:
THE YEAR IS 2005… For millennia, the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), have been at war with the evil Megatron (Frank Welker) and his Decepticons over control of their home planet of Cybertron. However, an even greater threat – Unicron (Orson Welles, Citizen Kane), a colossal converting planet that devours everything in its path – is heading right for Cybertron. The only hope is the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Will the Autobots be able to save themselves and their home world in time?

An all-star cast, including Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club), Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek), Eric Idle (the Monty Python films) and Robert Stack (The Untouchables), brings this inimitable, explosively entertaining Autobot adventure to life.

My Thoughts:
Michael Bay has a 5th film in the live action Transformers franchise coming out in 2017, so I think this fits the bill well enough. :)

Transformers came out at the perfect time for me. I was 11, and it was the best film that came out that year. Oh, sure, Platoon won the Oscar, but if middle-schoolers could have voted, it would have been Transformers all the way. I must have seen it three or four times in the theatre. I remember getting my mom to drop me off there one day while she was in class and watching two showings of Transformers and one of Flight of the Navigator.

If you haven't figured this out by now, there is certainly quite a bit of nostalgia appeal here for me. It's a very 80's film, from the animation style, the color palette, down to the hair metal soundtrack. It's all the best parts of my post-Edmonson childhood, and these characters (and the cohorts on the Joe team and in TOS Star Trek) certainly gave me something to look forward to and hold on to in dark times, so I have a lot of very fond memories attached here.

It isn't just nostalgia though. This film holds up surprisingly well. There's a lot of darkness here that you don't expect in a kids film. Disney laid the blueprint for the animated kids film, and this isn't it. This is a war film, and a lot of beloved characters die here. Don't be fooled by them being robots - they're people, and kids know it. Starscream was my favorite as a kid, and his death just gutted me then. Yes, I know he's a villain, and it's okay to kill off villains in kids films, but the good guys die here too. Lots of them, and in merciless, cold-blooded fashion.

The animation looks tons better than a lot of 90's stuff, but that could be my child of the 80's glasses looking. There's a great cast here - Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Eric Idle, Orson Welles - and they give it their all. Yes, it is light on plot and heavy on action, and if you know the tropes you can predict how things will end, but it's a great ride along the way.

I haven't seen any of the Michael Bay films. I won't comment on this being better - only that I don't know how they could ever be as good. Unlike other things from my childhood, this still holds up as being a wonderful film, an immensely fun film, and one that still delights me every time I watch it.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
« Last Edit: December 31, 2016, 07:19:33 AM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
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Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2016, 07:17:37 AM »
Film #2 of Scavenger Hunt 22
Task #26: Watch an Italian horror movie (because 17 is unlucky in Italy)



The Bird With the Crystal Plumage (L'Uccello dalle piume di cristallo)
Year of Release: 1970
Directed By: Dario Argento
Starring: Tony Musante, Suzy Kendall, Enrico Maria Salerno, Eva Renzi, Umberto Raho
Genre: Horror, Suspense/Thriller, Giallo

Overview:
An American writer (Tony Musante – Toma TV series) traveling in Rome is the only witness to an attempted murder by a sinister man in a raincoat and black leather gloves, though he is powerless to do anything to stop him. With a feeling that something is not quite right about the scene he has witnessed and the police's inability to make any progress, he launches his own personal investigation... and nearly loses his life in the process. While this modern day Jack-the-Ripper type is slithering through the dark byways of Rome slicing up pretty girls, director Dario Argento is carving up the emotions of terrified viewers. Dark deeds are mixed with black comedy worthy of Hitchcock in a film of almost unbearable tension and nail-biting suspense.

My Thoughts:
I watched this back in October, and I gave it such a high rating that my mom really wanted to watch it as well, so it seemed like the perfect choice for this task in the scavenger hunt.

As far as the second viewing goes, I still think just as well of the film this time as I did two months ago. Mom really enjoyed the film as well, especially that things don't always go the way you expect them to. While the apartment scene is the most actively horrific, the ending still holds the most horror for me, simply in its implications. I'm also still impressed by how beautiful the film is - the lighting, color palette and cinematography. I would still really highly recommend this film, it is so good.

Bechdel Test: Fail

Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 09:52:12 PM »
Film #3 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #20: Watch the 17th film in order of release from a long running film franchise



The Time of Their Lives
Year of Release: 1946
Directed By: Charles Barton
Starring: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Marjorie Reynolds, Binnie Barns, John Shelton, Gale Sondergaard
Genre: Comedy

Overview:
Mistaken as a traitor, Lou's ghost is trapped in Danbury Mansion until his innocence is proven.

My Thoughts:
This is the 17th film in Abbott and Costello's Universal series, and it was a lot of fun. It was really different from their other films I've seen, as they didn't play off each other or insert any of their routines, but instead all the comedy arises from the story. And the story is really fun, and really funny, and very well-written. Both Bud and Lou do a great job with their roles, and you don't miss the routines because you're too busy laughing. Highly recommended.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2017, 10:38:36 PM »
Film #4 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #27: Watch a film set in Ohio (the 17th US state)



Anomalisa
Year of Release: 2015
Directed By: Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson
Starring: David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan

Overview:
From the Oscar® winner who brought you Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich comes a riveting new "MASTERPIECE." Michael Stone - husband, father and noted author - travels to Cincinnati to speak at a customer service conference. But once he's separated from the routine of his daily life, a chance encounter helps him to realize just what, and whom, he's been missing. Love, laughter and loneliness align in a "STAGGERINGLY INVENTIVE" stop-motion work of art from directors Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson.

My Thoughts:
Anomalisa is the story of a man's single night stay in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is worn down by depression, which makes all of the mundane parts of life excruciating. Everyone speaks with the same voice and he subconsciously views himself as a robot. He is going through the motions of life. He yearns for something special, some connection, some spark to bring life to his existence. Yet when he finds it, once the novelty wears off he begins to cycle back down.

This is a really well done piece of stop-motion, unusual in its adult subjects and audience, unusual in its unlikeable main character. Michael isn't a good person, and though we're invited to know his feelings we're never given an understanding of what has brought him to where he is, so we're never invited to truly empathize with him. Yet it's still an interesting study of how people relate to one another, and how connections form and die.

This is a good film, and I enjoyed it, but I'd recommend it only to fans of art films, however, since I'm not sure how much mainstream film fans would enjoy this.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2017, 10:44:28 PM »
Film #5 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #24: Watch any film with the word "JUST" in the title (for the UK magazine Just Seventeen)



Just Like Heaven
Year of Release: 2005
Directed By: Mark Waters
Starring: Reese Witherspooon, Mark Ruffalo, Donal Logue, Dina Waters, Ben Shenkman
Genre: Romance, Comedy

Overview:
Reese Witherspoon stars in the spirited romantic comedy Just Like Heaven. When David (Mark Ruffalo) rents his new apartment, the last thing he wants is company. Then Elizabeth (Reese Witherspoon) shows up, insisting the apartment is hers...until she disappears right before his eyes. He's convinced she's a spirit. She's convinced she's still alive. As they search for the truth of Elizabeth's past, their relationship changes from resentment to romance. Also starring Jon Heder, Just Like Heaven is a delightful film that critics declare is "one of the best romantic comedies to come along in years" (JP Sarni, Sirius Satellite Radio).

My Thoughts:
This is an utterly predictable rom-com. It's also a cute, sweet little story about two lonely people finding each other in the sort of unconventional way that only happens in a fantasy. It's escapist fluff, but that's what you're generally looking for in this sort of film.

What I really like about this one, though, is that the two people are actually decent human beings. They're not being intentionally mean to each other and they're not screwing over anyone else to be together. There's way too much of that in the genre, and though it's played for comedy, I've never found that sort of thing funny.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2017, 10:47:45 PM »
Film #6 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #14: Watch a film from any director (or Pixar) who has made exactly 17 films



Brave
Year of Release: 2012
Directed By: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Starring: Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy, Animation

Overview:
Pixar Animation Studios, the creator of Toy Story 3, whisks you away on an astonishing adventure to an ancient land full of mystery and tradition. Bursting with heart, unforgettable characters and Pixar's signature humor, Brave is "a rousing, gorgeously animated good time," raves Peter Travers of Rolling Stone.

Take a heroic journey with Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land. when Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos in the kingdom, she must harness all of her skills and resources – including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers – to undo a beastly curse before it's too late, and discover the meaning of true bravery. It's legendary on Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack with never-before-seen bonus features!

My Thoughts:
This is one of the very best of Pixar's films. It's wonderfully animated, has great voice work, and is also a great fairy tale. Yes, it's a pretty simple story, but that's what a fairy tale is. It's been five years since it came out now, and it's still a very unique film - it's hard to find a female-centered children's film like this one. Brave isn't about romance and has a strong mother figure. Merida is a wonderful, strong character with plenty of flaws to make her believable. Her mother, Elinor, is the same - a strong, good role model in many ways, but with believable flaws. Great messages, marvelous animation, lots of fun. Recommended for everyone.

Bechdel Test: Pass
Mako Mori Test: Pass

Overall: 4/5
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 09:49:05 PM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 06:14:39 PM »
Film #7 of Scavenger Hunt 22
Task #23: Watch a film either about magazine production or the fashion industry (for the US magazine Seventeen)



Funny Face
Year of Release: 1957
Directed By: Stanley Donen
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson, Michel Auclair
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Musical

Overview:
In the Academy Award®-nominated classic, Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire join forces, lending their song and dance talents to a timeless music. When a fashion magazine mogul (Kay Thompson) and her head photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire), scout out a bookstore for their next photo shoot, Dick discovers the unique face of bookseller and amateur philosopher Jo Stockton (Hepburn). Whisked off to Paris, Jo is soon transformed into a global supermodel...and finds herself falling for the photographer who first noticed her sunny, funny face.

My Thoughts:
This film has the bonus for the Scavenger Hunt of being about the production of a fashion magazine, so it fills the task doubly.

I wish I had as much good to say about the film itself.  The performances are great, and it's always a joy to watch Fred Astaire dance.  Audrey Hepburn is delightful as well, though you're never going to convince me she's not absolutely gorgeous.  It's also sad that she has zero chemistry with Astaire, since their romance is the center of the film.

The thing that struck me most, even ahead of the fact that the film needs more of Fred dancing, is that the film is horribly anti-intellectual.  Not only are Audrey's character's interests put down by her new friends, the intellectuals of Paris are made by the film to look ridiculous.  If Funny Face makes fun of the fashion industry, and it does, it not only makes fun of the intellectual it puts it down. 

Enjoyable enough for what it is, but it could have been a much better film.  Still, worth watching for fans of Astaire or Hepburn.

Bechdel Test: Pass
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3/5
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 06:20:56 PM by Danae Cassandra »
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 06:20:17 PM »
Film #8 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #1: Watch a film with "17" or "seventeen" in the title



'49-'17
Year of Release: 1917
Directed By: Ruth Ann Baldwin
Starring: Joseph W. Girard, Leo Pierson, Jean Hersholt, Donna Drew
Genre: Drama, Western

Overview:
Ruth Ann Baldwin was a journalist who joined Universal as a screenwriter in 1913. She wrote for the serial The Black Box in 1915, did a stint as an editor, and was tapped by the studio to direct. 49-17 is a charming and suspenseful western parody about a millionaire who hires a Wild West theatrical troupe to relive his past as a miner forty niner. Every sacred western cow is turned on its ear: the patriarchal representative of the law, the Young Man, the Gambler, the saloon brawl, and the Woman. Jean Hersholt gives a powerful performance early in his notable career as the taciturn desperado. Despite the success of 49-17, Baldwin s career as director was over by 1920.

My Thoughts:
This is an interesting early Western, and more densely plotted than many silent films.  A rich, older man wishes to relive the days of his youth out West, and sends his secretary to repopulate the ghost town he once lived in.  The secretary gets involved with the Old West sideshow folks he populates the town with, falling in love with the young ingenue of the troop.  But the villain desires her as well, and has something to hold over her father. 

I enjoyed the story more than the performances here, though the judge is particularly good none of the others stand out.  The story is interesting, however you do need to pay attention to catch all the foreshadowing clues.  Worth watching for silent film fans.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 2.75/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 06:23:51 PM »
Film #9 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #5: Watch a film set during the 17th century



Queen Christina
Year of Release: 1933
Directed By: Rouben Mamoulian
Starring: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith, Lewis Stone, Elizabeth Young
Genre: Drama, Romance

Overview:
To escape the burdens of rule, Sweden’s Queen Christina rides into the countryside disguised as a boy. There she meets and secretly falls for a dashing Spanish envoy on his way to the royal court. Imagine the envoy's delighted surprise when he and the young "nobleman" must share a bed at an overcrowded inn.

Greta Garbo gives a luminous performance in this lavish costume drama, starring with her one-time off-screen fiancé John Gilbert and directed by Rouben Mamoulian. "It had been so enchanting to be a woman, not a queen. Just a woman in a man's arms," Christina murmurs to her lover when her true identity is revealed. But she knows her people will not accept her marriage to a foreigner. Torn between her duty and her heart, she must make a fateful decision.

My Thoughts:
This is a lovely romance starring Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. It has a beautiful historical setting, though it fails as a historical film. This is very definitely historical fiction, as the characters share names with their historical counterparts but much of the detail and story has been invented for the film.

If you're not looking for this to be about the actual Christina's life, and just sit back to enjoy this as a romance between a Sweedish queen and Spanish ambassador, this is a great film. Garbo is stunning, and the final shot has become iconic. She has great chemistry with Gilbert, who does a fine job in his role as well. It's a shame his career never took off in talkies - office politics are a bitch when you make an enemy of your boss.

Recommended as a beautiful historical romance, and likely a must-see for fans of Garbo. She's touted as a lesbian icon here, but aside from her masculine dress and a hint of a close relationship with a lady-in-waiting, I don't find that to be true. If anything she's more genderfluid, declaring she wasn't going to die a bachelor rather than an old maid. But that's just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

Bechdel Test: Pass
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 06:26:57 PM »
Film #10 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #9: Watch a film about or featuring cycling (for the 200th anniversary of the invention of the Dandy Horse)



Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista)
Year of Release: 1955
Directed By: J. A. Bardem
Starring: Lucia Bose, Alberto Closas, Bruna Corra, Carlos Casaravilla, Otello Toso
Genre: Drama

Overview:
Upper-class geometry professor Juan and his wealthy, married mistress Maria José, driving back from a late-night rendezvous, accidentally hit a cyclist, and run. The resulting, exquisitely shot tale of guilt, infidelity, and blackmail reveals the wide gap between the rich and the poor in Spain and surveys the corrupt ethics of a society seduced by decadence. Juan Antonio Bardem's charged melodrama Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un ciclista) was a direct attack on 1950s Spanish society under Franco's rule. Though the film was affected by the dictates of censorship, its sting could never be dulled.

My Thoughts:
If the cyclist only appears in the first part of the film, he permeates the entire tale. This is a really brilliant exploration of selfishness, guilt, and the extremes people will go to to preserve their status quo. It's also a film about redemption or karma, depending upon the choices one makes. The performances are excellent, though I never became invested in the romance. It's hard for me to understand what either Maria Jose's husband or her lover saw in her. Still, a great film, and recommended for noir fans.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2017, 06:46:25 PM »
Film #11 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #7: Watch a film about someone stranded on a desert island (for the 75th anniversary of the radio program Desert Island Discs)



Swiss Family Robinson
Year of Release: 1960
Directed By: Ken Annakin
Starring: John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, Janet Munro
Genre: Adventure

Overview:
One of Disney's biggest and most fondly remembered hits, the spectacular screen version of the literary classic Swiss Family Robinson is full of breathtaking South Seas scenery, hundreds of exotic animals and treacherous pirates.

This heroic tale chronicles the courageous exploits of the Robinson family after they are shipwrecked on a deserted island. Using teamwork and ingenuity, they skillfully overcome the obstacles of nature and transform their new home into a "civilized" community. But the ultimate challenge lies ahead when a band of cutthroat pirates threaten to destroy the Robinsons' makeshift paradise.

Capture the thrills, romance and fun of this unforgettable Disney film!

My Thoughts:
 was originally going to watch Island of the Blue Dolphins for this task, but my computer's been having a lot of connectivity issues at home, so I figured it would just be frustrating to watch a film streaming. So instead, I put in this old gem.

I loved the book as a child and it was a go-to favorite for rereading. The film is a decent adaptation of the novel, and it's a lot of fun to watch. I've seen it before, but it's been many years, so I didn't remember how annoying they made the two female characters. Mother is a much more resourceful character in the novel. Here they're such helpless damsels it's hard to empathize with them for the modern viewer.

The adventure of the film, though, the parts with Father, Fritz and Ernst, are great fun and very entertaining. If you're looking for a family-friendly shipwreck film, or enjoy Disney's live action films from the 60's (and this is one of the best), I can recommend this one.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2017, 06:52:03 PM »
Film #12 of Scavenger Hunt 22
Task #29: Watch a film about poetry, poets, or based on a poem, then write your review in a haiku.



The Raven
Year of Release: 1935
Directed By: Louis Friedlander
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Lester Matthews, Irene Ware, Samuel S. Hinds
Genre: Horror

Overview:
Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's short story, this horror masterpiece features Lugosi as Dr. Vollin, who has a fetish for instruments of torture. After saving the life of a beautiful young girl, the doctor becomes infatuated with her. When he teams with an escaped killer (Boris Karloff) who needs a new identity, the doctor gets more than he bargained for. Revenge, obsession, and manipulation blend together in this wicked Lugosi classic.

My Thoughts:
Lugosi is great
Quoting Poe and nothing more
Lady stop screaming

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2017, 09:45:05 PM »
Film #13 of Scavenger Hunt #22
Task #6: Watch a film which features cryogenic freezing/suspended animation (for the 50th anniversary of cryonics)



Vanilla Sky
Year of Release: 2001
Directed By: Cameron Crowe
Starring: Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Kurt Russell
Genre: Drama, Romance, Science-Fiction

Overview:
Tom Cruise delivers one of his finest performances in this unforgettably powerful film that reunites him with his Jerry Maguire director, Cameron Crowe. Young, handsome and wealthy, publishing tycoon David Aames (Cruise) can have anything his heart desires. Still, David's charmed life seems incomplete. One night, David meets the woman of his dreams (Penélope Cruz) and believes he may have found the missing piece. But a fateful encounter with a jealous lover (Cameron Diaz) suddenly sends David's world out of control, rocketing him on a roller-coaster ride of romance, sex, suspicion and dreams...to a shocking, final awakening you will never forget.

My Thoughts:
A bit overlong, but features a stellar performance from Tom Cruise.  The rest of the cast pulls off decent performances, but this is Cruise's film, and he really demonstrates his acting chops here.  Definitely the finest performance I've seen out of him.

I don't really want to say much about the film.  Someone hit a friend of mine with spoilers on this one, and he's never been able to watch it.  It is one of those films with several layers, and a bit of a puzzle, so even as you figure out what the pieces are, you also have to put them together. 

Recommended for fans of concept sci-fi or Cruise.  I enjoyed it and would definitely watch it again sometime.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 3.5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2017, 09:48:33 PM »
Film #14 of Scavenger Hunt 22
Task #31: Pick up something you can read, turn to page 17, find the 17th word, and watch something with that word in the title



There Was a Father
Year of Release: 1942
Directed By: Yasujiro Ozu
Starring: Chishu Ryu, Shuji Sano, Haruhiko Tsuda, Shin Saburi
Genre: Drama

Overview:
Yasujiro Ozu's frequent leading man Chishu Ryu is riveting as Shuhei, a widowed high school teacher who finds that the more he tries to do what is best for his son's future, the more they are separated. Though primarily a delicately wrought story of parental love, There Was a Father offers themes of sacrifice that were deemed appropriately patriotic by Japanese censors at the time of its release during World War II, making it a uniquely political film in Ozu's body of work.

My Thoughts:
In keeping with the challenge here, I grabbed the 17th book on the shelf next to my desk, which gave me Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlien, and led to the word "was." I had a few choices to pick from, and ended up going with this poignant family drama from Ozu.

This is the story of Shuhei, who works hard to give his son the best life he feels he can. Shuhei admonishes his son to work hard and do his very best, stressing duty and honor over the self. He loves his son deeply, and takes a job far from him to provide for his education.

This is also the story of Ryohei, a son who idolizes his father and wishes for nothing more than his time. Who wishes to live with his father, sit and talk with him, and stand next to him and go fishing in the river. Ryohei honors his father's wishes, however, and does well in school, keeps to his job, and marries the girl his father chooses.

Yet Ryohei learns from his father's mistakes, and sees to inviting his father-in-law to live with them, understanding the importance of the relationship to his wife. He seeks to give her what he himself wanted and had so rarely - time.

Really excellent, poignant family drama - my only wish is that the print and sound had been better. Perhaps the future will bring us either the discovery of a new print or better restoration techniques. We can hope; this film deserves it.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 4/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield

Offline Danae Cassandra

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Re: Scavenger Hunt #22
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2017, 09:55:19 PM »
Film #15 of Scavenger Hunt#22
Task #10: Watch a film which was nominated in any category at the 17th Academy Awards



Laura
Year of Release: 1944
Directed By: Otto Preminger
Starring: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price
Genre: Drama, Crime, Film Noir

Overview:
This gripping and lushly photographed film noir, one of the most acclaimed mystery thrillers of all time, is a must-own classic on Blu-ray™. Jealousy, passion and blackmail surround the murder investigation of the stunning Laura (Gene Tierney), leading to one of the most surprising twists the screen has ever seen.

My Thoughts:
Laura was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, but only won for Best Cinematography (Black and White). It's neither surprising that it was nominated for so much (it's an excellent film) nor that it didn't win (Going My Way swept just about everything that year).

This is a truly wonderful, twisty noir. I don't want to give any spoilers, since the joy in mysteries is figuring them out. Laura is the story of a detective investigating a murder. In doing so he meets, and suspects, multiple people associated with the victim. Preminger does a fantastic job of making the viewer suspicious of everyone except the detective, dismissing each suspect, only to return to them with new suspicions later. Not many people can pull that off as well as he has done here. Absolutely top notch and the highest recommendation.

Bechdel Test: Fail
Mako Mori Test: Fail

Overall: 5/5
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-- Thorin Oakenshield