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Author Topic: Movies not on OSC's list.
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Card's all time film list is a very good resource for finding good films, especially older ones that you might not have heard of. Nevertheless, there are some films that I am almost sure that he would like, yet are mysteriously absent. So I thought it would be fun to make a thread recomending films to Card that he would probably like, based on his reviews of similar films.

A few notes: Try to limit the films listed here to ones Card would like, since that's why I am posting on this side of the forum. Read a whole bunch of his reviews first, and don't just list a movie because you personally liked it. For instance, I am a fan of big dumb loud action films, but I know Card isn't, so I won't be mentioning them. If it isn't immediately obvious to you why Card wouldn't like Pulp Fiction or Eyes Wide Shut, you probably shouldn't post here.

Make some effort to be sure that Card probably hasn't seen it. Look at the lists linked above, and if it's a very recent movie, so a search of the site for it.

Lists of movie title are extremely boring. Try to provide a brief description or review of it, preferably mentioning why you liked it.

I am posting this topic in hopes of doing Card a tiny bit of a favor by pointing him toward films he might like. Besides, what's the point of being a crazed fanboy if you can't engage in creepy, semi-stalkerish behavior. Remember: I'm your #44 fan! [Smile]

Now, on to the list:

The Guns of Navarone: I am not entirely convinced that Card has never seen this, simply because it is so his style of film. Nevertheless, it doesn't show up on the site. All I can say is that it is like The Dirty Dozen, only with much better plotting, acting, dialogue, and characters. The plot is fairly simple in outline: There are a whole bunch of British troops trapped on an island in the Aegean, which the Germans are going to annihilate. The British cannot evacuate them, because the Germans have two massive guns on the neighboring island of Navarone. The Brits try to bomb them, but they are housed in a cliff beneath a mountain of solid rock. So they decide instead to send a small team of commandoes on a near suicidal mission to sabotage them. This is the definitive commando movie, but it also works as a drama, as the soldiers wrestle with the moral ambiguities inherent in wartime. It's a wee bit long, but for anyone who likes war movies or likes dramas, I cannot reccomend this movie too highly.

A Bridge Too Far: A wonderful study in wartime incompetence. After watching the Allies and the Germans totally botch up one thing after another, I was amazed that either side managed to win the war. The Allies get points for ignoring obvious warning signs and bad planning, the Germans for sheer numbskullery and botching an ideal situation. It is a fictionalized account of Operation Market Garden, where the Allies, in fall of 44, decide to do a massive offensive into in order to put themselves in a position to conquer Germany before Christmas. Their plan is to send a massive swarm of paratroopers to capture a series of bridges, then starting a tank blitz and securing them. You can probably guess from the title what ended up happening. This is an ensemble film, with a large cast of characters that are not fully fleshed out, in fact many of them exist to a large extent as a series of vignettes. But what makes this so interesting is watching the stategies of the two sides play themselves out. It is almost like watching an extrordinarily well produced documentary, rather than a typical film. Nevertheless, it has very good acting, good writing, and it recreates the feeling of being in a war. Very strongly recomended.

The Third Man: This movie starts out a bit slow, but it keeps getting better until it reaches its very satisfying climax. The mystery itself is very well done, but it is the it is the characterization and dialogue that truly makes it shine. NOTE: Do not under any circumstances read the back of the DVD box. It gives away way too much information and lets any semi-intelligent person figure out huge chunks of the riddle. Here is all of the plot you need to know: An Amercan novelist goes to post-war Vienna to get a job from a friend, only to find when he gets there that the friend is dead, and also accused of a serious crime. He sets out to clear his friend's name.

To Have and Have Not: This film is similar in many ways to Casablanca, and not as good. Despite that, it is a worthy film in its own right. It stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who give some of their best performances. Bogart plays a captain of a small fishing boat in a French island in the Caribbean during World War II, but soon finds himself getting involved with the resistance to the Nazis. Very good acting make up for a somewhat predictable plot.

P.S. I know that anyone with access to cable movie channels might well have seen these, but these are good enough that it is worth it bringing them up, just in case.

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Member # 233

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I don't know...I mean, it's a worthwhile project, but I don't fully understand Card's taste in movies. For instance, I'm fairly sure that he actually thinks Alien was a really great movie, but he's not the kind of person who can sit there and actually watch it. You know, like how a lot of Christians couldn't stand to watch The Passion. I think that Card may have a low tolerance for seeing depictions of suffering, no matter how briliantly executed. Or rather, the more brilliantly executed, the less his ability to sit there and watch somone suffer.

I notice that The Joy Luck Club and Enchanted April weren't on his list either. Okay, there are some parts of The Joy Luck Club that could really sear a tender heart, I'll grant you that. But why isn't Enchanted April there? I have no idea. He certainly doesn't have any aversion to romantic comedy, after all. And that's one of my all time favorite movies.

Terminator 2: not on Card's list. I think that part of it might be the level of suspense and violence, though it certainly isn't Alien. Could be all the gunfire...I really don't know. But the heart of that film is an SF moral dilemma that I know Card doesn't hate, "Should you kill an innocent man to change an unbearable future?" Or perhaps it's a more comlex (you know, nuanced) examination of what knowing the future does to your life, that conflict certainly spans more of the film, from Sarah Conner's Apocalyptic dream at the beginning to the wandering lines at the end of her escape from that grim certainty.

And a few of the movies on his list...why are they on the list? I have no idea. He's got a blurb there, but it doesn't connect to the reality of the film I saw. No, not many of his entries produced that reaction, I fully applaud most of the entries in his list, if I can't always understand their ranking or the abscence of other films I really liked for reasons I would think Card might appreciate.

I think that some of my bemusement might be explained if I could be sure that Card were mainly ranking domestic films that he believes many people have seen. That would neatly explain the abscence of The Road Home and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (along with Shaolin Soccer, which he probably really hasn't seen). Of course, the emotional brutality of those films shouldn't be downplayed. Even the comedy, Shaolin Soccer, speaks of tyranny and oppression in terms that can make you flinch a bit.

Or maybe it's more oriented towards classic films, which would explain why Serenity isn't on the list either (for starters).

Anyway, I suppose that I've mentioned a few films here, and I'd guess that Card has already seen most of them. I certainly don't cast a vote against anyone seeing all of them. But I find it hard to say particular reasons that I think that Card would consider them good.

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Aliens, Crouching Tiger, Enchanted April, and Terminator 2 are all on his other good films list. So it looks like you do have a good idea of what he likes. The list, by the way, is a few years old and isn't updated, so new movies won't be on it. I am amazed, however, that he put the effort in to list so many movies that he likes. To me that shows a great deal of dedication to his fans (or maybe just a love of reviewing things:)). I trust his judgement in movies (in most genres) so I can just look in there and find all sorts of good films I might enjoy. If he doesn't go into detail I just look it up on IMDB.
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Orson Scott Card
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Guns of Navarone and A Bridge Too Far were all righit, but ... for me, the "human drama" felt contrived - melodrama - on Navarone; and the book of A Bridge Too Far (Cornelius Ryan, I believe) was so rich with detail that for me the movie was just a generic-war-movie response to it.

The Third Man suffers from noir pretension. Every time I've tried to watch it, I get so irritated that I give up.

I don't think I've see To Have and Have Not, though I certainly should have - it's Bogey and Bacall, directed by Howard Hawks, with a screenplay that was dusted for the fingerprints of William Faulkner <grin>.

As for Crouching Tiger and the Road Home - remember that I haven't actually updated that list for more than five years. About time I did, don't you think?

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Yes, you can add such brilliant films as The Incredibles and The Spongebob Squarepants Movie to it. [Wink]
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Avery Good Schreibner
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I am not a big movie fan and not a fan of t.v at all. That's why I've been sitting here all night long. However, I care for a young man who likes movies, and I have three children and a wife who likes movies. How'd I get lucky? Despite my efforts, I have seen a bunch of movies - or rolled my eyes at a bunch of movies and left to find a book. There were a few listed on the lists of movies that did capture my attention either at home or, rarer still, in the theatre. I very much enjoy Much Ado About Nothing. Please Don't Eat the Dasies holds a special place in my heart as it was one of the first movies I ever saw in a theatre.

The movies I like are just a bit to the left (is that a bad thing? or right if being left is bad) of the usual. However, they are films I am certain you will enjoy but very much unlike films mentioned.

The Passion of the Christ held me captive the entire show till when the end came, I made it to the men's room in a fog. Once I got there, I shut myself in the nearest toilet and sobbed. It was horrific. I can not bring myself to view it again. All that aside, that is what a story told should be - so realistic to me the reader or viewer that I am moved to respond with real, heartfelt emotion as if I were there. If you hate it, please don't tell me. It touches me like none other.

Romeo and Juliet, the Leonardo De Caprio version. It's not that I am a Leonardo fan, but this, too, with all it's Victorian language brought Romeo and Juliet home - or to California anyway. (I live in Indiana.) Seeing men in tights priss around with swords saying I bite my thumb at you is just ... fantasy. Seeing some white dude packing a piece jump out of a convertible at a gas station say it to some Hispanic dude makes it a rude gesture like it was intended to be. The story is, of course, Shakespear and the acting is super, even unto the death.

And speaking of an Hispanic dude, he shows up again in Moulin Rouge as Tolouse Lautrec in a Bohemian love story in which only she (the female lead) dies. He is left, then, to tell the story. It is spectacular spectacular and runs far afield of reality. It is a musical that re-does old standards and even pokes fun at "Like a Virgin", which I thought was great. It is outlandish eye candy with a sad ending but leaves the viewer with the hope that the greatest thing is to be loved and to love in return (or something like that).

Some other musicals I enjoyed include Joseph's Technicolor Dream Coat,(the American version) a stage play on film. It's ... like the filmsabove - not like every other movie. It takes that old story nd tweeks it to novelty andnew life. Ciderella with Whitney Houston. Not that I'm a Whitney Houston fan (or really even a Brandy or Whoopie Goldberg fan), but it is certainly not your grandmother's bipity-bopity-boo. I guess I like it that way. And, Newsies. An excellent story about big city poverty in the roaring 90's when newspaper boys hawked papers for the Hursts et al. The boys didn't have anybody or anything but their newspaper boy jobs, and the man in the ivory tower, like he didn't have enough of his own, wanted to dip into theirs, too. Well, those boys weren't going to stand for it, no sir! They organized their own strike! It is based on history but jazzed up with song and dance. Messing with kids is the worst thing and kids telling stories is the best thing.

Other historical movies I like include Mel Gibson's Patriot. It's Mel Gibson, c'mon. Also, it is the only movie I ever walked out on because the graphics were so good. I'm epileptic, and I thought the cannon ball coming right at me was going to throw me into a seizure. I later bought the film and watched it at home. The cannon ball's not quite so intimidating on an 18" set. The war for American independence had lots of layers, as does Gibson's character.

Another historical film I like is la Amistad. Just in case you haven't seen it, it is a film of being free in Africa, being enslaved in Africa, fighting for and winning freedom at sea, being captured and imprisioned and suffering a trial for freedom against Spain, the trading company, degenerated black/white relations, and the U.S. courts. Passionate. And they won! The Africans of la Amistad were sent back to the area of Sierra Leone and Liberia. I got the chance to lend this film to some people who recently moved to my home town from Sierra Leone. That was a good dose of reality therapy for me. How often do we take the oportunity to say "Here, watch this. This is my ancestors treating your ancestors like crap, although I'd like to say my ancestors weren't involved in any of that.

One historical film is Japanese, a Japanese version of life around the end of WWII. It's told from the Japanese perspective and from a boy's perspective. It helps me remember that both sides suffer in a war and that war is not limited to wariors. I should also say it is non-vulgar Anime - a cartoon but not in the least humorous or cartoonish.

I do like cartoons and Japanese cartoons and Japanese cartoons by Miyazaki. My Neighbor Totoro has probably the best visuals (are they called cinematography in cartoons?) of any film, along with Grave of the Fireflies and Spirited Away. My Neighbor Totoro is beautiful and sentimental and appropriate for children. It is also complex enough to entertain adults. It is about a Professor whose wife is recovering in hospital and who takes his two young daughters to live in their new-to-them decrepit old farm house that just happens to be haunted by dust bunnies. Don't be put off by the dust bunnies part. They are by no means the Anglo version of "What's that under the bed?" They are ... um, you tell me.

Spirited Away is entertaining and complex and maybe too much so for young children. It is not a film my 8-year-old son would choose from among our library, but also not one he would avoid. It is about parents moving with their school aged daughter to a country home when they stop by an abandoned, so they think, amusement park. It turns out that when the sun goes down, the spirits come out to play. The girl's parents are turned to pigs. She enlists the aid of an assistant to the head mistress. He helps the girl get a job in a bath house and they connive together about how she will get her parents out before she forgets who she is and they are turned to loin, roast, and chops.

Grave of the Fireflies, my son said was too sad to watch. All of these cartoon films have some Asian religious undercurrents I don't completely understand though my not understanding them doesn't detract from the film at all. This film is the story of WWII in Japan from a boy's perspective. He loses his father who was a military commander at sea. He loses his mother when the city is strafed during frequent raids. Her dying and death was too gruesome for my son. He escapes with his pre-school aged sister to an Aunt's house in another town. Aunty is, at best, unsympathetic. The two children run away to live in an abandoned cave and try to live on their own. Sorry. Gotta leave you hanging there. Any more would spoil the story. Again though, it is the best of things and the worst of things (kids telling stories about hurting kids).

Another excellent cartoon, and one from this side of the Pacific is X-men: the Legend of Wolverine. I believe the live-action X-men films closely follow the cartoon ... and take a few liberties to earn it a PG-13 rating - just to pump it up for 'today's discerning viewer'. The cartoon I didn't pick out; the live action film I did. The guy I work with picked out the cartoon. I thought, yea, ok, this'll be fine for his limited I.Q and I'll suffer through it. Man. It just goes to show you that you can't take anything for granted. I think my jaw might have dropped open. The blue German-Catholic mutant is portrayed in the live action film as one who mutilates himself to suffer for his religion - I think just to pump it up a bit. The cartoon left out just that little bit and the cartoon character came across as being honest, forthright, convincing, and convicting in his Christian faith. Often, Christians in movies have some severe faith flaw or they hammer you with their faith or they are charicatures. This cartoon character was so honest, I'm surprised the ACLU hasn't come after him.

The last cartoon is British animation - Wallace and Gromit! I love them all! Claymation reaches the 21st century and more then 32 frames per second. You think you got troubles? You need a break from reality? Watch Wallace and Gromit - any of them - and they'll all fly away - your troubles, aeroplanes, sheep, porridge....

Also on my list is The Lord of the Rings. Has anyone not seen it yet? Would you believe, there's no nudity, sex, or profanity and these films rock. As excellent as this is, though, I still think I've read the books more times than I've seen the films.

Last, the ultimate guy comedy. The Pink Panther films with Peter Sellers. I may snicker at some humorous parts in other films, but I am just laughing right out loud with these. There are so many classic lines: "Does your dog bite?" "Do you have a ruuom?" and the costumes and Kato and impersonating the maid and those stupid denouements. Oh my gosh, I've got to quit now - I've got to go watch the Pink Panther.

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Well, as long as I'm babbling, I should mention Millennium Actress, which is the kind of movie that can bring tears to my eyes just listening to the theme song. It's a little hard to follow, till you give up and accept that the truth we find in the stories we remember doesn't care about the distinction between fiction and "reality".

That's probably too far into the meta-story of being a narrative artist, but it really touches me. I want to believe that the beautiful things humans create reflect some inner truth. Watching a movie like that, I feel a little closer to that goal.

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LOTR et al were all great. Even after I read the series by Tolken! it was a bit spliced and choppy based on the books - but it worked as series of movies for those who will never read! However I feel that one will lose so much by not reading the Hobbit, and the following LOTR books.

The WORST.. let me emphasize.. WORST movies of all times: English Patient... This was the greatest agony of all of times! All of the viewers should have gotten awards for stamina and tenacity!

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remember that I haven't actually updated that list for more than five years. About time I did, don't you think?
If you do it, I'll read it. [Smile]
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The Best of Youth. In fairness, that is recent (first released in 2003; released in the U.S. 2005) But it is one of the best films I have ever seen, as good a Lawrence of Arabia. No, better, becouse the charecters are ordinary people. Well, several of them are mentaly ill, but other than that....
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What is it about pelegius?
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Oh, God, I couldn't even start to explain. Thankfuly, I don't have to [Smile]

The film is ambitious. It wants no less than to follow two brothers and the people in their lives from 1963 to 2000, following them from Rome to Norway to Turin to Florence to Palermo and back to Rome again. The lives intersect with the politics and history of Italy during the period: the hippies, the ruinous flood in Florence, the Red Brigades, kidnappings, hard times and layoffs at Fiat, and finally a certain peace for some of the characters and for their nation.

The brothers are Nicola and Matteo Carati (Luigi Lo Cascio and Alessio Boni). We meet their parents, Angelo (Andrea Tidona) and Adriana (Adriana Asti), their older sister Giovanna (Lidia Vitale), and their kid sister Francesca. And we meet their friends, their lovers, and others who drift through, including a mental patient whose life seems to follow in parallel.

As the film opens, Nicola has qualified as a doctor and Matteo is still taking literature classes. Matteo, looking for a job, has been hired as a "logotherapist" -- literally, a person who takes mental patients for walks. One of the women he walks with is Giorgia (Jasmine Trinca), who is beautiful, deeply wounded by electroshock therapy, and afraid of the world. On the spur of the moment, Matteo decides to spring her from the institution and take her along when he and Nicola take a summer trip to the "end of the world," the tip of Norway.

Giorgia is found by the police, but has the presence of mind to protect the brothers. Nicola continues on his journey and gets a job as a lumberjack, and Matteo returns to Rome and, impulsively, joins the army. They are to meet again in Florence, where catastrophic floods have drowned the city. Nicola is a volunteer, Matteo is a soldier assigned to the emergency effort, and in the middle of the mud and ruins, Nicola hears a young woman playing a piano that has been left in the middle of the street.

This is Giulia (Sonia Bergamasco). Their eyes meet and lock, and so do their destinies. They live together without marrying, and have a daughter, Sara. Giulia is drawn into a secret Red Brigade cell. She draws apart from her family. One night she packs to leave the house. He tries to block her way, then lets her go. She disappears into the terrorist underground.

Matteo meanwhile joins the police, takes an assignment in Sicily because no one else wants to go there, and meets a photographer in a cafe. This is Mirella (Maya Sansa). She wants to be a librarian, and he advises her to work at a beautiful library in Rome. Years later, he walks into the library and sees her for the second time in his life. They become lovers, but there is a great unexplained rage within Matteo, maybe also self-hatred, and he will not allow anyone very close.

Enough about the plot. These people, all of them, will meet again -- even Giorgia, who is found by Nicola in the most extraordinary circumstances, and who will cause a meeting that no one in the movie could have anticipated, because neither person involved knows the other exists. Because of the length of the film, the director Marco Tullio Giordana has time and space to work with, and we get a tangible sense of the characters growing older, learning about themselves, dealing with hardship. The journey of Giulia, the radical, is the most difficult and in some ways the most touching. The way Nicola finally finds happiness is particularly satisfying because it takes him so long to realize that it is right there before him for the taking.

The film must have deep resonances for Italians, where it was made for national television; because of its politics, sexuality and grown-up characters, it would be impossible on American networks. It is not easy on Italy. As he is graduating from medical school, Nicola is advised by his professor: "Do you have any ambition? Then leave Italy. Go to London, Paris, America, if you can. Italy is a beautiful country. But it is a place to die, run by dinosaurs." Nicola asks the professor why he stays. "I'm one of the dinosaurs."

Nicola stays. Another who stays is his brother-in-law, who is marked for kidnapping and assassination but won't leave, "because then they will have won." With the politics and the personal drama there is also the sense of a nation that beneath the turbulent surface is deeply supportive for its citizens. Some of that is sensed through the lives of the parents of the Carati family; the father busies himself with optimistic schemes, the mother meets a grandchild who brings joy into her old age."


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Most of the movies I've watched have been at Card's suggestion so now I'm thinking real hard about what to suggest! [Big Grin]

After reading his review of Batman Begins I would recommmend viewing Christian Bales' performance in the film Equilibrium. Interesting mix of elements from Fahrenheit 451, 1984, & Co. but very well done considering how low budget it is. Sean Bean also has a small but potent role.

The director, Kurt Wimmer, does a great job as well, even though he succumbs to "let the hero just kick some butt" in a few scenes. I'll be keeping an eye out for his other releases.

Also, if you watch closely you'll catch a glimpse of the actor who plays Boone in Lost! I forget his name. [Wink]

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Akira is the only sci-fi anime that I could add (I thought about Planetes but the anime ruins the seriousness and the slice of life part of the manga). While it is vastly inferior to the manga (which is an alternate telling but explains much more than the film can), it finds a way to be creative and original even by today's standards. Since any summary I could type might include spoilers I'll link to ANN's

Another thing that I would like to point out about this film is the animation. It really is amazing. It has an incredible amount of detail (in one scene ,as the two gangs are fighting, the camera zooms in and around buildings and in each window you can see the desks and lamps outlined) and can beat out 99.9% percent of animation today.
BEWARE:Watch this and then read the comic because the comic makes you expect much more than a movie can give in 2 hours.

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