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When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls.
See My IMDb Live Polls Here Below: ⬇
⚫ Polls 1 - 10
⚫ Polls 11 - 20
⚫ Polls 21 - 30
⚫ Polls 31 - 40
⚫ Polls 41 - 50
⚫ Polls 51 - 60
⚫ Polls 61 - 70
⚫ Polls 71 - 80
⚫ Polls 81 - 90
⚫ Polls 91 - 100
⚫ Polls 101 - 110
⚫ Polls 111 - 120
Some Statistics on My IMDb Live Polls Below: ⬇
⚫ Total Number of Live Polls: 110 (as of Aug 24, 2017)
⚫ Total Number of Votes: 210,000 (as of Aug 24, 2017)
⚫ Polls Featured at IMDb Home Page: 12
⚫ Polls Featured at IMDb Facebook Page: 4
⚫ Number of Polls with 1,000+ Votes: 30
⚫ Number of Polls with 5,000+ Votes: 10
⚫ Number of Polls with 10,000+ Votes: 5
⚫ My Poll Making Began in: July 17, 2016
⚫ Achieved Poll Maker Badge: Dec 29, 2016
Some Fun Facts on My IMDb Live Polls Below: ⬇
12/29/2016: I became the fifth fastest poll author in IMDb history to reach 100,000 cumulative poll votes, doing so in 165 days.
06/30/2017: I became the first poll author in IMDb history to have 2 live polls published on the same day TWO days in a row.
07/13/2017: I became the twelfth poll author in IMDb history to have 100 live polls published.
08/10/2017: I became the seventeenth poll author in IMDb history to reach 200,000 cumulative poll votes.
See My Other Personal Lists Here Below: ⬇
⚫ Favorite Actors of the Hollywood Golden Age
⚫ Favorite Film of Each Year I've Been Alive
⚫ Favorite Directors of All Time
⚫ Favorite Film of Each Genre
⚫ Favorite Film of Each Decade
⚫ TV Series I've Seen Entirely
Updated Weekly. September 21, 2017.
Most frequent directors:
Woody Allen - 13 films Billy Wilder - 8 films Steven Spielberg - 8 films Alfred Hitchcock - 8 films Martin Scorsese - 7 films Christopher Nolan - 7 films Charles Chaplin - 6 films Stanley Kubrick - 5 films Quentin Tarantino - 5 films Frank Capra - 3 films Ingmar Bergman - 3 films Sidney Lumet - 3 films Francis Ford Coppola - 3 films David Fincher - 3 films Joel & Ethan Coen - 3 films
DISAPPEARED Sunrise: A Tale of Two Humans Hugo Zelig
Borg McEnroe (2017)
Former rivals and best enemies
I was fortunate enough to see "Borg/McEnroe" on opening night for the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival. Without giving away too much (especially if you're like me and you didn't know much about this 1980s tennis rivalry coming into it), I will say that this is a fabulous film and everyone involved in the making of this film should give themselves a huge pat on the back. They have done an incredible job in making a film that successfully explores, analyzes and pays homage to two contrasting albeit equally fascinating personalities in sports history.
Both of the titular characters are played to perfection, thanks to virtuoso performances from Sverrir Gudnason and Shia LaBeouf, the latter of whom was practically made for the role. Regardless of what you think about Shia, his commitment to any role is always awe- inspiring and here he gives a performance that so perfectly combines loud-mouthed arrogance with an icy determination that he actually makes it hard for you to route against him. He creates a fascinating character alongside the calm, cool and collected persona of Björn Borg, played exquisitely well by Gudnason. Another performance who deserves a mention is Stellan Skarsgård, whose quiet loyalty really helps to anchors the film in the more pivotal emotional moments.
In a lot of ways, this film reminded me of "Rush (2013)" another excellent film that deftly explored an iconic sports rivalry and how each athlete helped shape the other. Like Rush, "Borg/McEnroe" transcends the sport at hand and excels in its exploration of human suffering, resilience and, ultimately, redemption. Aside from the themes at hand, the technical brilliance of the film totally grabs your attention and never lets go until the final frame. In what is the first full-feature length film of Janus Metz, he creates a film that perfectly captures a game-changing moment in sports history and the contrasting personalities of the men who changed it.
I really enjoyed this film and encourage anyone reading this to go see it!
Kimi no na wa. (2016)
One of the most beautiful films I've ever seen
This film will leave you speechless - it is quite simply one of the most beautifully crafted films I've ever seen. The animation is breathtaking and possibly the most beautiful animation ever put to screen. There really are no words to capture exactly how it makes you feel because this is simply a film that will move you in inexplicable ways. Sit down, enter the world that Makoto Shinkai has presented to us and soak in all of the magic. Un-be-lievable experience!
A harrowing film of Hitchcockian suspense and epic proportions
Christopher's Nolan latest film see him taking aspects we've seen him employ in his other films combined to make what might be his most mature feature to date. It combines the sheer scope we've seen in films like "Inception" and "Interstellar" with the structurally fascinating elements that make up those like "Memento" and "The Prestige". "Dunkirk" excites the senses with its ever-intensifying energy and is relentless in its barbaric portrayal of young men at war. It will, quite literally, shake you to the core.
The story of "Dunkirk" depicts the dramatic and real-life story of the Dunkirk evacuations occurring between May 26-June 4 in the spring of 1940. During this time, frequent rescue attempts of nearly 400,000 allied soldiers from Belgium, France and the British Empire were continually foiled due to being totally surrounded and cornered by the German Army at the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk, France.
The film is split into three different parts: Those that are told 1. On land 2. In air and 3. At sea, though each part of the narrative is unified by a common theme: these fighters, who are all merely young men, are here to live another day, not to get to know each other. It's unique as a war drama in the sense that its purpose isn't character exposition but collective emotions, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. There is little dialogue between characters and so the question isn't: "Who are these men?" but rather "Will they get out alive?"
Much like Memento, Nolan's themes of confusion, uncertainty and a persistent feeling of paranoia are in full throttle. The young soldiers appear in full survival mode and the directive choice by Nolan to not to delve too deep into any of their backstories (which he will likely receive backlash for) is fully understood. Let me quickly explain why.
Nolan has created an atmospheric narrative, where the anguish is felt collectively in a mass effect sort of way, I think. To establish character development with any specific soldier would be superfluous and so the viewer, like the soldiers amidst battle, feels a complete lack of personalization. Or rather, the dehumanizing effects of war are made that much more vivid.
Nolan's big-scale epic filmmaking (that would make David Lean proud) is a real joy with this film and has never been so evident. His avoidance of CGI and special effects make the war scenes seem as grounded as possible, presented in such a horrifyingly vivid and unapologetically realistic manner. To witness these scenes in a theater is to completely immerse yourself into the action.
Couple this with yet another epic score from Hans Zimmer and you're left with an experience that hammers home the horrors of the war in such a visceral way that it has to be considered up there (already) with some of the all-time great war films like "Saving Private Ryan", "Platoon" and "Apocalypse Now". In typical Nolan-fashion, we have been given yet another unique and engrossing interpretation on a genre and we couldn't be more thankful.
La haine (1995)
A film that bristles with style, authenticity and a general bleakness
For all the violence and despair shown in "La Haine", the film doesn't offer any solutions nor hope of improvement. As Vinz, one of the three ill-fated men at the centre of the story, says: "it's (the story) about a society on its way down. And as it falls, it keeps telling itself: "So far so good... So far so good... So far so good." There must be conviction in such words and the characters in "La Haine" seem to know they're in such dire circumstances, which are presented to us as almost inescapable for them.
The french film, which took home the César Award for Best Film in 1995, succeeds in its sense of realism, almost appearing as a documentary with incredibly subtle camera-work that allows us to, not so much participate in but rather, feel shameful for unobtrusively playing witness to the crimes. The cinematography specifically is an absolute treat to the eye, with innovative shots and angles to seamlessly truck the story along in an engaging fashion.
The grainy cinematography paints the inner city as a place of cold emptiness and savagery. Its beautiful from a distance, though embodying an ugliness at its core that its characters persistently find themselves in the middle of. The atmosphere's harsh lighting and expressionist style of cinematography bears a striking similarity to the classic noir film, "The Third Man", where the surroundings are so vibrant that they nearly become a character in itself.
Director Kassovitz, in only his second feature, demonstrates a masterful understanding of space and shadows, creating feelings of distress, at times claustrophobia, and a general sense of uneasiness. He uses quick edits during violent scenes and shows a willingness to employ some longer shots during the film's quieter moments, which help let the surroundings and reality of it all sink in a bit for the viewer. Overall, this is an emotional triumph which succeeds seamlessly in both narrative and style.
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
"The cat's in the bag and the bag's in the river"
Now how many films could get away with a line like that? Among other memorable lines include, "You're dead, son. Get yourself buried", "I'd hate to take a bite outta you. You're a cookie full of arsenic", and "Your mouth is as big as a basket and twice as empty". One could argue that Alexander Mackendrick's amorality tale is most remembered for its slickly written screenplay, boasting one sharp one-liner after another. However, the film also succeeds in utilizing its top-notch cast (led masterfully by Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis) set against the backdrop of an atmospheric New York City to the tune of a fittingly accompanied jazz score - never has the city appeared as charming as it does sinister, with its shadowy presence and dark undertones felt throughout the film. To immerse yourself in this film is to hypnotically experience the 'City that Never Sleeps' as a setting of estrangement, overcrowded sidewalks, excessive street noise and the smoke-filled nightclubs and bars.
The story is of Sidney Falco and JJ Hunsecker. JJ is a powerful jazz columnist while Falco is an unprincipled press agent much of whose success is contingent on getting that next big story into Hunsecker's column. ("Exactly how does a press agent work?", a man asks him. To which Falco responds, "A press agennt eats a columnist's dirt and is expected to call it manna".) JJ is unhappy with his sister's latest romance with a jazz guitarist named Steve Dallas and seeks out Falco to break it up. We remember these names because these are some highly memorable characters; they talk fast, talk smart and use their charm to persuade people to do what they want from them. Together, both Curtis and Lancaster project a cynicism and otherworldly pizazz that almost transcend their own surroundings. Consider also the script's persistent attribution of its characters to dogs ("Tell me sir, when he dies, do you think he'll go to the dog and cat heaven?")
I think what's most compelling about these characters is not so much their complete disregard for human emotion but rather how their hunger and drive for dirt on anyone will come at any cost. Both Falco and JJ are constantly scheming and conniving in their pursuit for success, that 'sweet' smell of it. It's intoxicating to them and their aggressive wordplay distracts us from the true lack of elegance these men have. At their core, their sleaze balls and toy with innocents like puppeteers as a means for personal gain. This kind of greed and narcissism is maybe more relevant today than it was back then and understandably makes this film timeless in its themes and characters. Overall, it's a black and white film whose morals are anything BUT black and white. "I love this dirty town", JJ states in the film's beginning. He's right about the dirty part...
Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
A one-of-a-kind cinematic treasure BUT an extremely important one as well...
"Judgment at Nuremberg" chronicles one of the most shameful periods in human history, one that some have not only forgotten but even dismissed as ever existing. Thanks to Stanley Kramer and Co. we are presented with a cathartic and engrossing take on the actual trials that took place between 1945 and 1949 that is as memorable as it is enduring. When four Nazi judges are tried for committing crimes against humanity, it is up to Chief Justice Haywood to carefully examine the evidence presented by many to come to a verdict.
In one has to be one of the finest courtroom dramas ever filmed, the 3 hour run time really feels like much less and much can be attributed to the tour-de-force direction of Stanley Kramer. His minimalist filmmaking and innovative camera angles almost instantly brings to mind the engrossing camera-work from another treasured courtroom drama in "12 Angry Men", directed masterfully by Sidney Lumet. The camera is so subtle and swift in its movement that it becomes a kind of conscious onlooker of the case this technique almost eliminates the feel of a screen between us and the film and inexplicably thrusts you right into the court with all of the other attendants. It also keeps your eyes absolutely glued to each nuance and detail that arises in the courtroom.
Spencer Tracy gives a fantastically understated performance as Judge Dan Haywood, the morally conflicted and kindhearted judge. Tracy's character is able to appeal to both our ethics and emotions by playing his role with complete conviction and honesty. As the trials progress, we find ourselves wondering how we would operate in his authority and he makes it clear throughout the film that every decision he makes affects not merely the soldiers on trial, but an entire country and even generations to come. Consider in the concluding trial scenes the way he shows a palpable struggle to declare Lancaster's character (Ernst Janning) guilty, masterfully demonstrating an imbalance between what his head and heart want. Also fantastic in their roles, albeit short-lived, are Judy Garland, Montgomery Clift and William Shatner.
Maximilian Schell plays Hans Rolfe, a German defence attorney, who argues that the defendants were not the only ones to assist in, or turn a blind eye to, the crimes. This too is a morally conflicted man (one of many prominent themes in the film) who is determined on preserving the dignity of a nation. And his arguments are centered on the notion that these soldiers were trying to act in the best interest of the country. Schell is compassionate, astute and compelling in his role and makes each time he sets foot on the podium a memorable one. It's also highly entertaining to watch his back-and-forths with Richard Widmark's Colonel Tad Lawson in the courtroom.
This film is impeccably written, acted and directed. I am hesitant to use the word 'film' here because a creation of this kind, that tackles this kind of subject matter so perfectly, is so much more than that. It shows how pervasive and damaging an ideology can become in a particular context. It's devastating to imagine these times actually existing and it takes something like "Judgment at Nurembourg" to remind people that they did indeed happen. This is powerful filmmaking at its finest, whose merit far exceeds its mere entertainment value. Masterpiece.
Tôkyô monogatari (1953)
Ozu has created a quietly brilliant and timeless masterpiece with this minimalist piece of filmmaking
It's films like Yasujirō Ozu's 'Tokyo Story' that transcend the idea of a movie and enter the realm of art in its most pure and provoking form. Often considered the greatest achievement by a directed who constantly challenged his audience with pensive and realistic material, 'Tokyo Story' is a heartbreaking look at the passage of time and the gradual estrangement that unfolds between two parents and their absentee children.
The realism of the film is undeniable, much of which stems from Ozu's long series of pillow shots seen throughout the film. These shots are cutaways, for no obvious narrative reason, that serve to add that extra depth and sentiment by letting the natural landscape and surrounding themes sink in that much more. Many of Ozu's pillow shots convey darkness or the transience of family memories and, by letting these shots linger on for several seconds, his narrative is quietly telling us that the flow of the world around them continues to truck along.
These shots are as enigmatic as the feelings of the characters we come to know in the film, saying one thing but doing so with faces that would suggest a hidden subtext. At the film's most heartbreaking moments, we struggle to understand exactly HOW they feel though it's clear to us that their suffering exists - but to what end? Truly one of the most beautifully crafted creations to come out of Japanese cinema and even cinema in general. This film is a masterpiece in every sense of the word.
Up there with Apocalypse Now and FMJ as one of the best films to depict the horrors of the Vietnam war...
... and for good reason! Platoon is a unique war film in that it almost plays out as more of a morality tale and the inner conflict that eats away at the insides of man rather than focusing primarily on the conflict with the enemies. In Stone's film, we are given in-depth examinations into both the atrocities of the war and those committed by the Staff Sergeant supposedly on the 'good side' of it all. Played to perfection by Tom Berenger. his terrifying portrayal of a heartless Sgt. becomes all the more frightening when contrasted with the compassionate, caring nature of Sgt. Elias, portrayed by William Dafoe. The film is unapologetically outspoken in its depiction of the horrors soldiers faced in the war and with razor-edged editing that nabbed Academy Award honors, it really does immerse you, almost uncomfortably so, in the hell these men endure. One of the best.
Ocean's Eleven (2001)
As slick and enthralling as a movie can be
Ocean's Eleven is a superbly entertaining film - featuring an all-star cast in top-form and sharp direction that strings along the narrative seamlessly. Like the heist plan these thief partake in, everyone's role is vital to make the film work and each deliver in their respective parts perfectly. Soderbergh has created something that has to be considered one of the best heist films ever and has your eyes glued with one trick up his sleeve after another. This is as slick and enthralling as a movie can aspire to be, great stuff!
La La Land (2016)
The stuff that dreams are made of...
"La La Land" is the kind of movie that you can't help but fall in love with for the sheer energy that oozes out of every frame, every note and every second its on the screen. It really puts you into an inexplicable kind of trance, you become completely lost in its lust and aesthetic beauty. Director Damien Chazelle, already the youngest winner of the Best Director Award in the history of the Golden Globes, may very well accomplish the same feat tomorrow at the Oscars.
The premise of the film is simple: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. We've heard it before, but what "La La Land" actually creates with a rather hackneyed plot line is anything but unoriginal. In fact, Chazelle deserves a ton of credit for creating a completely original musical, one that bursts with toe-tappingly poetic songs and melodies that will be entrenched in people's mind for a long time. He even pays homage to the more classic films of the Hollywood Golden Age by showing us alternate endings (many films of that era were known to film two endings) but how Chazelle masterfuly juxtaposes the fiction to reality merits an Oscar alone.
Aside from the incredible acting, cinematography and writing, one thing I must comment on about "La La Land" is the beautiful jazz score. This soundtrack is near close to perfect, especially for those that adore jazz. It perfectly encapsulates all those idealist thoughts people have when daydreaming about cities like LA or NYC. Have you ever listened to jazz music and, to quote fellow IMDb user ElMaruecan82, just felt nostalgic over a time you weren't even born in? Like "La La Land", Jazz has all the elements that pulls you in as a viewer: it has melody, it has harmony, it has rhythm, but most of all, it has soul. And boy, does this film have soul. It's energy is relentless and simply undeniable.
Coupled with the beautiful musical score and exceptionally well written songs ("City of Stars", in particular, is enchanting) is first-rate acting by Gosling and Stone. Gosling can really do so many roles but where I find him most effective is in his minimalism - he's really one of few actors who can show so much with so little. His subtlety and nuances create such depth and mystery in a character like Sebastien you could find yourself spending hours pondering over what he is merely thinking. Stone was great as well, seemingly effortless in her ability to project a charm and likability. Together, their chemistry was electric; they really just looked like they were having a great time out there (for anyone who says they couldn't dance/sing well).
Honestly, I could go on for days about the magic of this film and this likely won't be the final copy of this review for reasons of continuing to think over and re-phrase my thoughts of the film; I get what people are saying about how the film finds a way to stick in your head. Case in point, "La La Land" is the stuff that dreams are made of. And whether you're part of the group that despises the film or not, one can't deny the elegance, style and melodic magic the film possesses, and the ability it has to totally immerse you in all its jazzy glory; and isn't that, by some measure, what any film really aspires to do?