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timschochet

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17. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Directed by: Stanley Kramer

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier

This is the last of the Kramer-Tracy trilogy on my list (though Stanley Kramer was the producer of an upcoming film I have yet to rank.) It is considered to be particularly poignant by film historians as it was the final Tracy/Hepburn film, Tracy was dying as it was filmed, and the tears that are in Katherine Hepburn's eyes in the final scene have to do with these facts (though that is a very tearful scene; I always cry watching it myself, but because of the script, not Spencer Tracy's fate sad as it was.) 

The film is essentially a comedy though it deals with what was an important issue of the time (interracial marriage), less so now. Some of both it's humor and it's message is incredibly dated- Isabel Sanford in particular is cringeworthy with some of her dialogue. I was actually introduced to this movie in a college film class by a professor who made the point that it's both sexist and racist. Racist in that Sidney Poitier is presented as the "perfect" black man; perfect in that he is a handsome, clean cut brilliant doctor. Yet he is willing to defer to the wishes of his fiancé's parents, telling them that if they disapprove of the marriage, it's off. This last is also what makes the film sexist, especially when contrasted with another interracial film from a decade earlier: Sayonara, starring Marlon Brando. Brando is a white man who is in love with a Japanese girl; at the end of the film he says screw it to everyone and marries her. The message from Hollywood, according to my professor, is that in a mixed marriage if the man is white, he can decide what to do. But if the woman is white, the man must defer to her parents to decide. 

I agree with my old professor's analysis, and even so I love this movie. (So, frankly, did he.) It may be dated, racist, sexist, but it's heart is absolutely in the right place and it's a wonderful romantic comedy. Tracy and Hepburn are simply magic together (as they usually were.) Poitier is fine but he strangely reminds me of William Shatner in this film, in looks, movement, speech patterns. I'm being serious here- watch this movie back to back with any episode of Star Trek: the original series. It's eery. 

Up next:  And that's the hardest part. Today everything is different; there's no action... have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food - right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody... get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.

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16. Goodfellas (1990)

Directed by: Martin Scorcese

Starring: Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci

Masterful movie about the mafia, from the view of the bottom up (vs. the top down view of the Godfather films.) If the Godfather films essentially continued the Hollywood romanticizing of gangsters (which had been going on at the time of the first film for over 40 years, ever since the original Scarface) Goodfellas takes a more realistic approach.

For pure filmmaking, this movie has a good argument as quite simply the best film on my list. Among my favorite aspects:

1. The use of rock music of the era. This is especially ironic because you know the characters portrayed never listened to the artists being featured- no doubt their tastes were from a previous era. But in particular Eric Clapton's guitar work on "Sunshine of Your Love" while Robert DeNiro is contemplating murdering anyone who might inform on him, and Jim Gordon's haunting piano at the end of Layla as we see all the dead bodies, are unmatched by any other film I've ever seen. The best use of a soundtrack ever.

2. The single shot camera work. Though there are several scenes that come to mind, the ones that stand out are early on when we are introduced to the large cast of characters that are in the mob, and when Liotta takes Bracco to dinner theater for the first time.

3. Joe Pesci. It's rather difficult to outshine Robert DeNiro, especially in a movie like this one, but Pesci manages to do it in what is easily his best role ever. He is the absolute star every time he is on screen and the rest of the cast are bit players alongside him. 

4. The beginning of the closing act of the film in which a drugged out Liotta is made paranoid by helicopters following him while picking up ingredients for a pasta dish. This ten minute sequence is hard to beat for best filmmaking anywhere. 

Up next: You see the whole culture. Nazis, deodorant salesmen, wrestlers, beauty contests, a talk show. Can you imagine the level of a mind that watches wrestling? But the worst are the fundamentalist preachers. Third grade con men telling the poor suckers that watch them that they speak with Jesus, and to please send in money. Money, money, money! If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up.

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On 3/3/2017 at 3:30 PM, timschochet said:

perfect in that he is a handsome, clean cut brilliant doctor. Yet he is willing to defer to the wishes of his fiancé's parents, telling them that if they disapprove of the marriage, it's off. This last is also what makes the film sexist,

This is ridiculous.

This would be true of many in the same situation. If the in-laws disapprove it's pretty difficult to get off square one, barring elopement and estrangement.

 

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On 3/3/2017 at 3:30 PM, timschochet said:

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier

The 2nd best thing about this movie is the cast.

The best thing about this movie - and you do not even mention her - is Katharine Houghton who is just plain drop out hot. Yeah.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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33 minutes ago, timschochet said:

1. The use of rock music of the era.

Song list.

33 minutes ago, timschochet said:

4. The beginning of the closing act of the film in which a drugged out Liotta is made paranoid by helicopters

Harry Nilsson!!!

Edited by SaintsInDome2006

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2 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

You amuse me.

I was joking and being serious. I can appreciate the filmmaking (minus the overuse of the VO), but it is just not a movie I like.  

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6 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

I was joking and being serious. I can appreciate the filmmaking (minus the overuse of the VO), but it is just not a movie I like.  

So......what?!......Are you a clown to me?!?! What the #### is so funny about you?!

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15. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Directed by: Woody Allen

Starring: Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Barbara Hershey, Woody Allen

With a terrific ensemble cast, Woody Allen's best movie (save one) examines human relationships and specifically sibling rivalries, love, marriage, and infidelity. The humor and the dialogue are sharp throughout, and the cinematography (by Carlo Di Palma) is breathtaking, as it is for all of Allen's films from this era. (One of my very favorite scenes is when Sam Waterston takes Wiest and Carrie Fisher on a tour of interesting buildings in Manhattan- the few times that I have been to the city I have always tried to look at some of those, like the Dakota and Guggenheim.)

As I wrote, everybody is great, even in the smaller roles- I especially love Max Von Sydow as the cantankerous old artist- I say old but this guy never seems to age! I just saw him in Game of Thrones last year and he looked like the same guy. Anyhow, I know that Woody is not everybody's cup of tea, and even I can't stand a lot of his films. At his best, though, he stands among my very favorite directors.

Up next: If this man should fall, who will lift the flag and carry on?

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22 minutes ago, timschochet said:

15. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

Directed by: Woody Allen

Starring: Michael Caine, Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, Barbara Hershey, Woody Allen

With a terrific ensemble cast, Woody Allen's best movie (save one) examines human relationships and specifically sibling rivalries, love, marriage, and infidelity. The humor and the dialogue are sharp throughout, and the cinematography (by Carlo Di Palma) is breathtaking, as it is for all of Allen's films from this era. (One of my very favorite scenes is when Sam Waterston takes Wiest and Carrie Fisher on a tour of interesting buildings in Manhattan- the few times that I have been to the city I have always tried to look at some of those, like the Dakota and Guggenheim.)

As I wrote, everybody is great, even in the smaller roles- I especially love Max Von Sydow as the cantankerous old artist- I say old but this guy never seems to age! I just saw him in Game of Thrones last year and he looked like the same guy. Anyhow, I know that Woody is not everybody's cup of tea, and even I can't stand a lot of his films. At his best, though, he stands among my very favorite directors.

Up next: If this man should fall, who will lift the flag and carry on?

This is basically Uncle Vanya meets Crime & Punishment without the redemption.

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29 minutes ago, timschochet said:

 

Up next: If this man should fall, who will lift the flag and carry on?

Our stars are aligning again, thank God, because........

I know it's me - since the dude is lionized by filmmakers, actors, and other artsy-type folks - but I never got Woody Allen.  The humor in his films doesn't work for me (so0me of his ancient stand-up I find hilarious), nor does all of the pathos. His stuff just bores me to tears. But, as I said, he keeps getting HOF actors so it's obviously me who's missing the point(s).

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40 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Our stars are aligning again, thank God, because........

I know it's me - since the dude is lionized by filmmakers, actors, and other artsy-type folks - but I never got Woody Allen.  The humor in his films doesn't work for me (so0me of his ancient stand-up I find hilarious), nor does all of the pathos. His stuff just bores me to tears. But, as I said, he keeps getting HOF actors so it's obviously me who's missing the point(s).

Fortunately, the necessity of Woody Allen no longer lies in getting him. As a fan, I absolutely would have preferred he stayed Money/Bananas/Sleeper/Love&Death silly. But now, when i see the intellectualization of mass culture in the 70s for the exception, almost aberration it was, i am so thankful he liberated the romcom, citylife, the culturevulture for so many people west of the Hudson, even at the cost of his sense of humor. Wouldnt have anyone to talk to if he didnt.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

Up next: If this man should fall, who will lift the flag and carry on?

:excited: :thumbup:

Edited by Andy Dufresne

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16 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

Fortunately, the necessity of Woody Allen no longer lies in getting him. As a fan, I absolutely would have preferred he stayed Money/Bananas/Sleeper/Love&Death silly. But now, when i see the intellectualization of mass culture in the 70s for the exception, almost aberration it was, i am so thankful he liberated the romcom, citylife, the culturevulture for so many people west of the Hudson, even at the cost of his sense of humor. Wouldnt have anyone to talk to if he didnt.

As usual, my friend, you're talking way over my head :)

 

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5 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

As usual, my friend, you're talking way over my head :)

 

only cuz you so ugly

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Just now, wikkidpissah said:

only cuz you so ugly

Should I hang a bong around my neck?

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1 minute ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Should I hang a bong around my neck?

i could smoke a bowl of you, my friend

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I have come to the conclusion that Woody Allen films are very good as long as he doesn't star in any of them.

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14. Glory (1989)

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman

My favorite Civil War movie of all time about the famed African-American 54th Regiment. Everybody involved is superb, and the battle scenes are absolutely riveting. This is the film that made Denzel Washington a memorable Hollywood actor. It also demonstrated that Broderick was capable of more than the teenage typecasting he received during the 80s.

I have long thought that Hollywood should give the 442nd regiment (made up of Japanese-Americans from Hawaii during World War II, VERY similar story) equal treatment- it would be a poignant story especially now.

Next Up: Ah, you're learning, Willie! You're learning that you don't work with a captain because you like the way he parts his hair. You work with him because he's got the job or you're no good! Well, the case is over. You're all safe. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

 

 

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Glory is a really well made movie based on an impossible to screw up subject, its production values are awesome, it has terrific detail, the story is real, it's packed with great actors... just one problem - it's boring.

Edited by SaintsInDome2006
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On 3/14/2017 at 4:57 PM, Mr. Mojo said:

I have come to the conclusion that Woody Allen films are very good as long as he doesn't star in any of them.

True although I've noticed his lead actors can have a tendency to mimic him.

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4 minutes ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

Glory is a really well made movie based on an impossible to screw up subject, its production values are awesome, it has terrific detail, the story is real, it's packed with great actors... just one problem - it's boring.

It is not.

Did you watch Gettysburg? Gods and Generals? Those movies are boring. Glory is riveting, IMO.

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Just now, timschochet said:

It is not.

Did you watch Gettysburg? Gods and Generals? Those movies are boring. Glory is riveting, IMO.

Best part is the beginning and the end imo.

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18 minutes ago, timschochet said:

14. Glory (1989)

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman

My favorite Civil War movie of all time about the famed negro African-American 54th Regiment. Everybody involved is superb, and the battle scenes are absolutely riveting. This is the film that made Denzel Washington a memorable Hollywood actor. It also demonstrated that Broderick was capable of more than the teenage typecasting he received during the 80s.

Fixed.

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2 minutes ago, pandora said:

Fixed.

I could have referred to them as "freedmen", "colored", or even "contraband" (though that term wouldn't be accurate, but it was used incorrectly at the time.) Why is this significant to you?

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2 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I could have referred to them as "freedmen", "colored", or even "contraband" (though that term wouldn't be accurate, but it was used incorrectly at the time.) Why is this significant to you?

Because they weren't called "African-Americans" during the civil war.

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Just now, pandora said:

Because they weren't called "African-Americans" during the civil war.

That doesn't matter. We don't live in the Civil War era.

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Just now, pandora said:

LOL.  It is Wikipedia.

I'd have to look it up, but I'm fairly certain James McPherson used the same term in Battle Cry of Freedom. (Pulitzer Prize history of the Civil War era.)

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3 minutes ago, timschochet said:

I could have referred to them as "freedmen", "colored", or even "contraband" (though that term wouldn't be accurate, but it was used incorrectly at the time.) Why is this significant to you?

Don't engage that fool, tim. You're not going to get a sensible conversation out of it, if that's what you're looking for. I made the mistake of responding to the inanity elsewhere and instantly regretted it. 

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Just now, Uruk-Hai said:

Don't engage that fool, tim. You're not going to get a sensible conversation out of it, if that's what you're looking for. I made the mistake of responding to the inanity elsewhere and instantly regretted it. 

OK. Never encountered him before (though I'm getting a vibe.)

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10 minutes ago, timschochet said:

That doesn't matter. We don't live in the Civil War era.

Tell me where in the script they call them "African-Americans" and I will concede it to you.

But I recall "negroes", "black", "colored", "n***ers", but no "African-American"

GB them not being politically correct.

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8 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Don't engage that fool, tim. You're not going to get a sensible conversation out of it, if that's what you're looking for. I made the mistake of responding to the inanity elsewhere and instantly regretted it. 

Aww.  I guess it hurt you being incorrect.

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6 minutes ago, pandora said:

Tell me where in the script they call them "African-Americans" and I will concede it to you.

But I recall "negroes", "black", "colored", "n***ers", but no "African-American"

GB them not being politically correct.

This is a nice thread for people with weird interests in ranking presidents, constitutional amendments, books, movies and pigeons - please go check out Capn Quinoa's thread on strange social theories. Thanks.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

14. Glory (1989)

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman

My favorite Civil War movie of all time about the famed African-American 54th Regiment. Everybody involved is superb, and the battle scenes are absolutely riveting. This is the film that made Denzel Washington a memorable Hollywood actor. It also demonstrated that Broderick was capable of more than the teenage typecasting he received during the 80s.

I have long thought that Hollywood should give the 442nd regiment (made up of Japanese-Americans from Hawaii during World War II, VERY similar story) equal treatment- it would be a poignant story especially now.

Next Up: Ah, you're learning, Willie! You're learning that you don't work with a captain because you like the way he parts his hair. You work with him because he's got the job or you're no good! Well, the case is over. You're all safe. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

 

 

It's a great movie, pretty much every actor turned in a quality performance. Broderick was terrible in it.

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1 hour ago, Uruk-Hai said:

Huh. This "ignore" function works well

:lol:

I can't stand someone speaking the truth and they are making me upset, so I shall put them on ignore.

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Tim - are you going to count down your favorite colors next?  Can't wait to see where green ranks.

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Good talk guys - I'll see myself out.

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9 hours ago, Gr00vus said:

It's a great movie, pretty much every actor turned in a quality performance. Broderick was terrible in it.

I think he was miscast, but acquitted himself well. Coming off Ferris Bueller it was hard to get that role out of your head. The more I've watched this movie, the better Broderick gets. If you think about the age the guy Broderick was playing would have been, the fresh face isnt that out of place. A more assured officer wouldnt have got that job and Broderick conveys naivete well.

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17 hours ago, timschochet said:

It is not.

Did you watch Gettysburg? Gods and Generals? Those movies are boring. Glory is riveting, IMO.

Hold on. Gettysburg has boring parts (it is bloated and was intended as a miniseries) but has some awesome parts.  The battle of Little Round Top is anything but boring.  

God's and Generals is definitely a mess. 

Glory is just amazing with an equally amazing James Horner score. 

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On 3/3/2017 at 4:30 PM, timschochet said:

17. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Directed by: Stanley Kramer

Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn, Sidney Poitier

This is the last of the Kramer-Tracy trilogy on my list (though Stanley Kramer was the producer of an upcoming film I have yet to rank.) It is considered to be particularly poignant by film historians as it was the final Tracy/Hepburn film, Tracy was dying as it was filmed, and the tears that are in Katherine Hepburn's eyes in the final scene have to do with these facts (though that is a very tearful scene; I always cry watching it myself, but because of the script, not Spencer Tracy's fate sad as it was.) 

The film is essentially a comedy though it deals with what was an important issue of the time (interracial marriage), less so now. Some of both it's humor and it's message is incredibly dated- Isabel Sanford in particular is cringeworthy with some of her dialogue. I was actually introduced to this movie in a college film class by a professor who made the point that it's both sexist and racist. Racist in that Sidney Poitier is presented as the "perfect" black man; perfect in that he is a handsome, clean cut brilliant doctor. Yet he is willing to defer to the wishes of his fiancé's parents, telling them that if they disapprove of the marriage, it's off. This last is also what makes the film sexist, especially when contrasted with another interracial film from a decade earlier: Sayonara, starring Marlon Brando. Brando is a white man who is in love with a Japanese girl; at the end of the film he says screw it to everyone and marries her. The message from Hollywood, according to my professor, is that in a mixed marriage if the man is white, he can decide what to do. But if the woman is white, the man must defer to her parents to decide. 

I agree with my old professor's analysis, and even so I love this movie. (So, frankly, did he.) It may be dated, racist, sexist, but it's heart is absolutely in the right place and it's a wonderful romantic comedy. Tracy and Hepburn are simply magic together (as they usually were.) Poitier is fine but he strangely reminds me of William Shatner in this film, in looks, movement, speech patterns. I'm being serious here- watch this movie back to back with any episode of Star Trek: the original series. It's eery. 

Up next:  And that's the hardest part. Today everything is different; there's no action... have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food - right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody... get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.

Really? That movie may have been shocking and groundbreaking at the time. Today, it's pretty lame IMO. There are definitely better Poitier movies and better Hepburn/Tracy films. 

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19 hours ago, timschochet said:

It is not.

Did you watch Gettysburg? Gods and Generals? Those movies are boring. Glory is riveting, IMO.

Totally agree w/ Gods and Generals. I like it for the period / costumes / etc, but it's a trainwreck all around.

But Gettysburg is boring? Really?  

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I'm not saying that you have bad taste in movies I'm really not.  And I liked Glory a lot.  Agree with everything you said about it.

But how the **** you rank it higher than Godfather?  On what planet is that a real thing?  This one?  Nope, not on this one.  You're on some different plane of existence or something. 

Again.  In my humble opinion.  YMMV.  Etcetera, etcetera.

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