RussianJet
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Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 2:02 pm

Been on a bit of a cinema binge recently. Got me thinking about what really makes for a good film and why.

I find it really difficult to define one single film as the best I ever watched, and in truth there are so many diverse genres as to render such superlatives nugatory.

Nonetheless, I can certainly see what kind of film I prefer. Human beings, gritty, real life stories. Things that teach you something about life that you might not otherwise have considered, perhaps.

Recent experiences include Hunger (2008), about IRA prisoners, A Prophet (2009), a French film about a young Arab man's experience in French prison, and The Thin Red Line (1998), which is a truly painful depiction of the reality of war. These are to name but a few, but are examples of films which I feel really touch the soul in some way.

Don't get me wrong, I am not averse to pure escapism either, or indeed absurd humour such as Monty Python films or Naked Gun. Love them. But, in general I have little time for films that rely solely on special effects and explosions to pass the time, for example.

So, what have you watched recently and why did it 'get' you?
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bristolflyer
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 2:29 pm

Some of my favourite films...

Shawshank Redemption - what's not to love. Makes you feel good
Brassed Off - superb film, again makes you feel good. Great music, great drama. Shows that you don't need a massive budget to make a great film. Pete Postlethwaite was a fine actor.
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aeroperu89
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 2:37 pm

Recent movies I've watched and loved:

*Transamerica (2005): A transexual woman finds out she has a son.
*Ordinary People (1980): It's about how a family cope with the lost of one of the sons. The performances here are excellent!
*Central Station (1998): Brazilian drama about the friendship between a young boy and a very bitter woman.

The reason all of these movies got me is the story. They were engaging, touching and all of them were about self-discovery. When I finished watching these movies, I was really moved!

Just as you, I like films that revolves around human beings and don't rely on special effects. I do watch "action movies" but it's mostly because my friends want to, so I get along.

ps: I also loved the Naked Gun movies. Leslie Nielsen was a freaking genius!

[Edited 2012-05-06 07:38:46]
 
mbmbos
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 2:59 pm

"Le Belle et La Bete" by Jean Cocteau

"Seven Beauties" by Lena Wertmuller

"Do The Right Thing" by Spike Lee

"Apocalypse Now" by Francis Ford Coppola (just saw this again recently and I think it has really aged well)

"The Godfather II" by Francis Ford Coppola

"Chinatown" by Roman Polanski

"The Third Man" by Orson Welles
 
thegreatRDU
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 3:29 pm

"Casino"
"Commando"
"Me, Myself, & Irene"
"The Departed"
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RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 3:35 pm

Quoting thegreatRDU (Reply 4):
"Casino"

Oooh, that's a fine choice. Saw that for the first time a few weeks ago, one of those films that made me wonder why the hell I never heard of it before. Can't beat a good mob film.
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Braniff747SP
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 3:49 pm

I have many favorite films, but three are at the top of my list: Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, and The Great Dictator.

Edited to add two more- I wrote the above in haste.

Der Untergang (Downfall) WWII movies are some of my favorites; and of the many that I have seen, this is the best. A more modern film compared to my list above and my favorite movies in general, but a great film.

The Party. Probably my favorite comedy... Just perfect.

[Edited 2012-05-06 09:29:02]
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RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 3:55 pm

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 6):
Lawrence of Arabia

That's an odd one. It is a film that every fibre of my being tells me I should love, but yet I just can't quite get into it. What in particular to you love about it?
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ManuCH
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 4:01 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 7):
Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 6):
Lawrence of Arabia

That's an odd one. It is a film that every fibre of my being tells me I should love, but yet I just can't quite get into it.

This is actually the only movie (yes, the only one) I've walked out from the theater before the movie had ended. I couldn't "get it", it's just not my kind of movie.

As far as my favorite one? I don't think there's one in particular. Generally I'm a fan of rather stupid Hollywood movies (you know, those to watch on a Sunday afternoon when bored), so anything goes there. Yes, I'm quite a disappointment to the real cinephiles  
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RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 8):
As far as my favorite one? I don't think there's one in particular. Generally I'm a fan of rather stupid Hollywood movies (you know, those to watch on a Sunday afternoon when bored), so anything goes there. Yes, I'm quite a disappointment to the real cinephiles

It's all good! Just interested to know why we like what we like really.   
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photopilot
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 4:09 pm

I've always enjoyed films that I'd call "epics". Long yes, but they give enough time to develop plot and character.

Ones I've always loved.

- Gone With the Wind.
- El Cid
- Dances With Wolves (Director's Cut)


others.....

- Broken Trail
- Schindler's List
- Gandhi
- Das Boot
- Gettysburg
 
RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 4:19 pm

Quoting photopilot (Reply 10):
- Das Boot

Truly excellent, and again, for me a fairly recent discovery. Another sign of a good film is when it is very long but keeps you living it throughout, which Das Boot achieves in spades.
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speedbird217
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 4:25 pm

Top Gun!
Taught me never to fly into jetwash...

No but seriously, a lot of great films have already been mentioned here. I think that older films usually have more effort put into story and message. Today there's so much eye-candy and effects that often directors don't feel the need to give the movie a deeper meaning.
I guess some newer films that I liked in regards to a "message" were Up in the Air and Garden State. The Blind Side and Gran Torino were also great.

Older ones? The Third Man, Godfather, Breakfast Club, St. Elmo's Fire just to name a few...so many more.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 4:34 pm

Quoting speedbird217 (Reply 12):
Top Gun!

Certainly worth watching, despite all the cheese.

Quoting speedbird217 (Reply 12):
Gran Torino

Lovely film. Clint at his best.
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Dreadnought
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 5:37 pm

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Unforgiven

Saving Private Ryan (The only movie that ever got me to choke up - the final scene at the cemetery.)
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RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 5:48 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 14):
Saving Private Ryan (The only movie that ever got me to choke up - the final scene at the cemetery.)

Crikey guv'nor, it sure is powerful stuff. That is a good example of a film which taught me that mainstream is far from automatically bunk. Other such examples might include Gladiator, or Forrest Gump.
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sturmovik
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 6:54 pm

Leaving Las Vegas - This one had me on the verge of tears.
Turtles Can Fly - Kudrish, one that I happened to see in college and it stayed with me.
The Taste of Cherry - I cannot recommend Iranian cinema highly enough, there are some true gems out there.
Amores Perros - loved the non linear storytelling, it's a shame his later movies didn't quite match up.
Eastern Promises - bloody gripping! Have seen it about 8 times now.
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PSA53
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 7:02 pm

If they're were movies that touched me for entertainment or education it would be the following:

"Lord of War" starring Nicolas Cage.This film was explicit in it's content of arms dealers and the brutal sadistic world of tyrants which provided a sobering education of reality.

"Raiders Of The Lost Ark" My second favorite movie of all time("Godfather,"first).Like "Stars Wars" the iconic John Williams score of this film was awesome.It was classic film in the good guy vs. the bad guys.

Most war films like "Das Boot",Tora,Tora,Tora","Valkyrie" and "Thirteen Days." were very good based on fact.

Timeless is "Wizard Of Oz","Spartacus"(little long.bad score) and "Goldfinger"
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flyingturtle
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 7:15 pm

- The Sergio Leone western movies. Because the tension is always kept up. It absolutely never gets boring.
- Cinema Paradiso (at least the extended version). One of the more honest "feel good" movies, and above all, it is a tribute to cinema, and it awakens memories to the Italy of the past which hat a frenzy for films. 10'000 screens in one country - which country of the same size can top that?
- The Shawshank Redemption. The parable of Jesus Christ without ever calling his name.
- The Green Mile. Don't know why, but I vividly remember this one...
- All of Stanley Kubrick's films. Because he invented his meticulous craftmanship anew for each one of his works.
- Into The Wild. What more can you say about a tormented young man seeking people he can trust, and people which trust him?
- Prisoner of the Caucasus. This movie led Boris Yeltsin to take up peace talks for Chechnya.
- Kelly's Heroes. "We are long gone when they find out we were 70ies soldiers in a 40ies war."

David

Well, I have to add:

- Patton. The portrayal by George C. Scott is magnificient.
- Apocalypse Now.
- Requiem for a Dream.

[Edited 2012-05-06 12:19:27]
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RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 7:52 pm

Quoting sturmovik (Reply 16):
Leaving Las Vegas - This one had me on the verge of tears.

Amen, that is a fine piece of cinema.
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Superfly
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 8:24 pm

I have a weakness for low-budget b-movies that make every effort to be taken seriously. Intentionally low-budget movies are lame.
Some of my favorites;

Black Shampoo
Superchick
Satan's Cheerleaders
Avenging Disco Godfather
Ebony, Ivory & Jade
Women In Cages
Coffy
Foxy Brown
Savage!




Serious large budget films I like;

Towering Inferno
Airport 1975
Airport 1977
Earthquake
Saturday Night Fever
The Brady Bunch - the movie
Alive
Turbulence
All 3 Austin Powers films
All James Bond films up till 'A View To A Kill'
Halloween 1
Amittyville Horror 2
Hell Up In Harlem
Bring back the Concorde
 
RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 8:56 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 20):
Saturday Night Fever

I feel ashamed for neglecting that - a superb choice. Going to have to watch it now...
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SuperCaravelle
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 9:12 pm

Quoting sturmovik (Reply 16):
Amores Perros - loved the non linear storytelling, it's a shame his later movies didn't quite match up.

Amores Perros is one of the biggest film surprises I've seen. The middle part was a tad lengthy, but a very interesting story overall. Still worried about the dogs though.

Apocalypse Now was over the top for me, an issue I have with more FF Coppola movies, although I like the Godfather movies. I do still like the "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" line though, the horror (no pun  ) and idiocy of war captured in one sentence.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 14):
Saving Private Ryan (The only movie that ever got me to choke up - the final scene at the cemetery.)

That's the part that annoyed me about that movie actually, tastes differ   As it was not a real story, it felt too acted for me. That's why I was much more impressed by Band of Brothers, not strictly a movie, but my favorite WW2 depiction by far.

I'm still looking for a Eastern front equivalent. Enemy at the Gates is kind of ok, but the romance story spoils it for me.


Finally, my own contribution for best films:

Hotel Rwanda. Completely unmissable for anyone even the slightest interested in Africa, political issues or humanity in general.
 
kingairta
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 9:16 pm

In addition to those all ready mentioned another good one that really hit hard with me was Taking Chance.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Sun May 06, 2012 9:21 pm

I'd be interested to hear the views of some Russian-speaking anetters on Russian and Soviet films.

Some of them are among my favourites, from Soviet Classics such as Beliy Bim, Chernoe Ukho (if your only wish is to cry then you can do no better than to watch that) to modern Russian films such as Ostrov, (The Island) and Vozvraschenie (The Return).

Some really good stuff.
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sturmovik
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 11:37 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 20):
Avenging Disco Godfather

Quite the list you've got there. This one's been on my to-watch list for a while now.

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 22):
Hotel Rwanda. Completely unmissable for anyone even the slightest interested in Africa, political issues or humanity in general.

Indeed. Very powerful movie, we need more of those.

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 24):
Russian and Soviet films

I've been in love with this Russian movie called Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears. Vera Alentova might've had something to do with that, I admit.  
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planeguy727
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 11:50 am

Metropolis - silent film that will draw you into the plot, deeply. An excellent exploration of man's challenge with the future.
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na
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 12:13 pm

Master and Commander
Das Boot
Dances with Wolves
Im Westen Nichts Neues
Koyaanisqatsi

These five films belong to my "Best Ten" list. Ask me another time, and my choice of the best of the best will likely be a bit different as for me there is no such thing as the one "best film".

Quoting speedbird217 (Reply 12):
Gran Torino

Great film, must rank somewhere between 20 and 30 on my best ever list!
 
BlueElephant
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 12:24 pm

I'm going to write here what the previous 27 posts did not include but that everyone was probably thinking.

Airplane!

Ok, seriously though best movie I've seen.

Probably:

City of Gods - that was a powerful movie for me. They left out very little and the violence felt very real and very eye opening.

Cool Runnings - yeah I know it was meant to be a comedy, and probably not seen this way. But its a movie that makes you feel very strong and proud at the end. A good way of showing the power of being yourself in the face of adversity.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 12:28 pm

Quoting thegreatRDU (Reply 4):
"Commando"

Excellent choice! 

And also 'True Lies'

Terminator 2

Because it's Arnold..
 
speedbird217
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 12:32 pm

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 28):

Airplane!

"We have clearance, Clarence" ..."Roger, Roger"...What's the vector, Victor?"
Hilarious movie.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 29):
'True Lies'

Good one! The Harrier scene in the Florida Keys is one of my favorite movie scenes of all times.
 
Superfly
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 4:06 pm

Here is a German film I'd like to get my hands on...
'Karate, Küsse, blonde Katzen' - German Trailer
There is a trailer available on YouTube but I won't post the link due to nudity.

Quoting sturmovik (Reply 25):
Quite the list you've got there. This one's been on my to-watch list for a while now.

Bring over your best buddies, get them drunk and then watch this movie. There are so many 'WTF did I just see' moments.  
Bring back the Concorde
 
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sturmovik
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 5:34 pm

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 28):
Airplane!

No one mentioned this movie yet? Surely you can't be serious..

Hey, someone had to do it..  
'What's it doing now?'
 
Airport
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 6:09 pm

The Lord of the Rings (thinking of them all as one film) is probably my all-time favorite film. The whole thing is like a magnificent painting of massive scale, fleshed out so you experience a wide variety of emotions. Everything carries a tremendous weightiness that any minor flaws are blown away by the sheer spectacle.

While I haven't yet seen them, I also have a feeling films like Gone with the Wing, Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia would be up there among my favorites as well.

I also love musicals (like West Side Story) and animated films (like Finding Nemo) that can be enjoyed by audiences young and old.
 
Superfly
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 6:20 pm

Quoting Airport (Reply 33):

Airport, I thought you'd pick Airport.  
Bring back the Concorde
 
tommy767
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 6:28 pm

Most Coen Brothers, Kubrick, Altman, Michael Mann.
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AviRaider
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 6:30 pm

The Right Stuff
O Brother, Were Art Thou?
Green Mile
Das Boot
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
True Lies
Clear and Present Danger
Saving Private Ryan
Rain Man
Apollo 13
The Big Lebowski
Amelie
 
RussianJet
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 7:03 pm

Quoting sturmovik (Reply 25):
I've been in love with this Russian movie called Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears. Vera Alentova might've had something to do with that, I admit.

Moskva Sezam ne Verit is indeed a lovely film. You may well also like Sluzhebniy Roman, or Ironija Sud'by.
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sturmovik
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Mon May 07, 2012 8:40 pm

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 37):
You may well also like Sluzhebniy Roman, or Ironija Sud'by.

Will check them out. On a related note, I did love Emir Kusturica's 'Crna mačka, beli mačor' and 'Podzemlje'. The former was just amazing fun to watch, and the latter was an incredibly brilliant portrayal of Yugoslavian history. I admit the latter has been criticized along political lines, but I just enjoyed it for what it is : a brilliant concept.

edited for typo.

[Edited 2012-05-07 13:41:34]
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4holer
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Tue May 08, 2012 12:55 am

About one minute of Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

"Hi Brad. You know how cute I always thought you were."
Ghosts appear and fade away.....................
 
compensateme
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Tue May 08, 2012 2:06 am

The Silence of the Lambs - the greatest movie of all-time.

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ER757
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Tue May 08, 2012 7:36 pm

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - everyone in the cast was outstanding
Taxi Driver - Deniro's performance as Travis Bickle was the most convincing I've ever seen - he WAS the character
Unforgiven - best western ever done IMO. I liked that the lines between the good guys and bad guys were blurred
Close Encounters of the Third Kind - just a personal favorite of mine
Casablanca - on a lot of "best of all time" lists for a reason
Star Wars - simply light years ahead of it's time when it came out.
 
Aircellist
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Tue May 08, 2012 7:57 pm

La vita e bella, wonderful fable about resilience, and imagination, and love
La grande illusion, wonderful fable about what is the truth depending of which side of the fence you are
Casablanca, for the intensity of the actors
Le roi et l'oiseau, superb story by Jacques Prévert
High noon, so much tension
The Lord of the rings trilogy, for what could only be done at the cinema...

... but my preferred... well, maybe Fanfan la tulipe, the original 1952 one, with Gérard Philipe and Gina Lollobrigida; superb play, super text by René Fallet, and one of the best actors all-out
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OYRJA
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Tue May 08, 2012 9:17 pm

1. Shawshank Redemption
2. Coming to America
3. Das Boot
4. A Space Oddesey 2001
5. The Heroes of Telemark

Thats my list.
 
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Moose135
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Tue May 08, 2012 9:23 pm

Casablanca - the best movie ever filmed.
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bristolflyer
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Tue May 08, 2012 11:29 pm

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 40):
The Silence of the Lambs - the greatest movie of all-time.

Great film for sure, the only thing that detracts from it were the sub-par sequels.

Quoting OYRJA (Reply 43):
2. Coming to America

Yeah I like that as well...but looks really dated now.
Fortune favours the brave
 
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n229nw
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Wed May 09, 2012 2:32 am

Quoting aircellist (Reply 42):
La vita e bella, wonderful fable about resilience, and imagination, and love

Definitely.

Quoting aircellist (Reply 42):
Casablanca, for the intensity of the actors

Good taste, sir.
I like the Maltese Falcon too. Love the tension created without violence there. Just people who have to sit in the same room and wait...

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 22):
Hotel Rwanda.

  

Others, classic and modern:

Airplane (of course!)
Rebecca (maybe Hitchcock's best? I'm also partial to Strangers on a Train and The Lady Vanishes, and North by Northwest)
Ratatouille (having kids, I've seen a lot of kids' movies now. I guess this is my favorite pixar film, and they are all good...actually haven't seen Wall-E yet...)
Secrets and Lies (Mike Leigh's best, fantastic character study)
The Up Series (best documentary project ever made--and 56 Up is about to come out, this month!)
Dr. Strangelove (The only Kubrick film I really love)
Charade--another true classic, blend of comedy, romance and thriller
Cinema Paradiso (thought I haven't seen it for so long, I wonder if it would live up to my memories of it)
Three Colors: Red (definitely far and away the best of the trilogy. Strangely haunting)
This is Spinal Tap (Christopher Guest and company are both comedy and musical gods)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (uneven, but the best of their movies, and in its best parts as good as their best, which is the best)

I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch.

Some runners up, perhaps a little more quirky:
Orson Welles's version of Macbeth (1948)(Sure Citizen Kane and the Third Man are great, but I'm especially partial to this idiosyncratic and gripping Shakespeare version.)
The old Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films, especially the first
Borat was pretty awesome...

[Edited 2012-05-08 19:36:20]
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Moose135
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RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Wed May 09, 2012 4:33 am

Quoting CompensateMe (Reply 40):
The Silence of the Lambs - the greatest movie of all-time.

That's certainly on my Top 5 list - and to this day, I still have a hard time watching it if I'm alone in the house.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
Ps76
Posts: 1015
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2004 7:52 pm

RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Wed May 09, 2012 9:37 am

Hi!

It's not a recent one but one movie I remember was really good when I was younger was "The Killing Fields". Had a great soundtrack by Mike Oldfield too.

Pierre
 
smittyone
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:55 am

RE: Best Films You Ever Saw And Why

Wed May 09, 2012 10:05 am

Not necessarily the best movie of all time, but I always come back to "A Few Good Men" for the courtroom scene.

Otherwise my personal favorites would have to be Casablanca, the Caine Mutiny, Master and Commander and of course Star Wars.

As far as animated films go, I thought "The Incredibles" was great.

K-19 The Widowmaker was fantastic if generally unknown. Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.

[Edited 2012-05-09 03:16:37]

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