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Author Topic: Litmus Test Movies
Hobbes
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I don't think I could pick a litmus test movie. There's some movies that really love but I don't think really reflects anything about the charecter of the people who like it. Also, some of them everyone loves (i.e. Groundhog Day). I might be able to think of a few movies that if you did like them you're not the person for me (as had been suggested before on this thread). Not that any of this matters, I've found the perfect person. [Big Grin] [Kiss]

Hobbes [Smile]

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Bob_Scopatz
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quote:
So far I have an affinity with the two Bobs... What does this say about me?!?
I think it says you should change your screenname.
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katharina
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About A Boy

This one isn't essential, but if someone deeply loves that movie, then they might understand me. I love it.

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Book
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I knew a girl who hated Groundhog Day. She thought the idea of the same thing over and over again was stupid. So, yeah, I thought she was stupid.
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pooka
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My mother in law hates groudhog day. But can you quote it? I hope someday they do an expanded edition with outtakes. And I recently realized that must be what life is like for actors.

I finally looked up Wes Anderson in the imdb, and I really liked "The Royal Tennenbaums".

If you liked the paperboy slipping on the ice, it's an indication you probably liked "Better Off Dead".

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FoolishTook
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Movies to test people with:

Lord of the Rings (of course)

Pride and Prejudice (A&E mini-series version)

Braveheart

The Pianist

Not liking these movies is a sign of questionable character.

But if aforementioned shady character tops it off by loving the likes of The English Patient, Save the Last Dance, She's All That, any movie with Chuck Norris or Steven Seagal in it, any movie with the word "Booty" in the title, or any movie starring a female pop star, then it's bad news all around.

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katharina
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*small voice* I liked Save the Last Dance.
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pooka
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Was "save the last dance" with Julia Stiles? I liked that one okay. Julia Stiles is about the only actress under the age of 30 that I like.

That reminds me... "Strictly Ballroom". I seriously wondered if our marriage had a future when my husband dissed this one. But he's a special case, since he actually danced Ballroom in college. So "Strictly Ballroom" for him is like "Stargate" for me (as a linguist with some familiarity with Arabic. "The Vowels are different?" Come on, they don't have vowels!) Anyway, does "Moulin Rouge" hold a candle to "Strictly Ballroom"? Anyone even seen both?

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katharina
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I love them both. They are different, but both are wonderful.
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Dagonee
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My main litmus test movie is Army of Darkness. If you like it you're automatically cool. if you don't, I pity you.

You can still sit at my lunch table, though. [Wink]

Dagonee

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Speed
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Army of Darkness rules, dude.
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Noemon
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You know, I used to have a list of litmus test movies, which included titles such as The Princess Bride, Raising Arizona, This is Spinal Tap, etc, but then I met my wife, who has radically different taste in movies, is basically going to go the ROTK only to hang out with me and eat popcorn, and is the most incredible human being I've ever met.

You know, I have a cousin that looks almost exactly like Julia Stiles. Her sister looks startlingly like Cameron Diaz. It's kind of weird.

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Farmgirl
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[Cry] ((doesn't pass Bob_Scopatz's litmus test))

Actually, I do love Being There and have seen it several times....

but don't think I've ever heard of Life of Brian

Farmgirl

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jeniwren
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Strictly Ballroom is top on my litmus test list. I can't think how many people I've had over for dinner to watch this movie. Second is The Princess Bride. They get extra points if they have also read the book and liked it. They lose the extra points if they went looking for the original by S. Morgenstern.

Groundhog Day is another good one, though I can't list it because it isn't one I've ever actually used.

They win gobs of points if they have not only heard of Burn the Floor but liked the dancing and hated the camera work. Better still if they saw it on stage.

Anyone who hates A&E's Pride and Prejudice must be ... must be.... [Eek!] well, they must be someone not on my list of people to see movies with.

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pooka
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What's weird is that we talk about litmus test as if it were an on and off thing (the main example being reproductive rights as a litmus test for Federal Bench nominees). But if you know what a litmust test is, it's a scale of acidity or baseness ranging from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Sorry to wax nerdy all the sudden.
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Book
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Never heard of Life of Brian? Wow! That just throws my sense of perspective entirely out of whack.

And I loved Being There. But if acting stupid got you very far in the world, you'd be talking to Emperor Book the First.

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Noemon
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Farmgirl, you've never heard of Life of Brian? Have you heard of Monty Python at all?

You should go and rent Life of Brian. If you haven't seen them, you should also rent Holy Grail and The Meaning of Life.

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Farmgirl
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Are they clean enough for my kids to see? (teenagers)

I'm familiar with Monty Python -- just haven't seen a great deal of it.

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Noemon
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Well, there's a little male full frontal nudity in Life of Brian (just a few seconds), and there's a little bit of gore in both Meaning of Life and Holy Grail, but all three movies would proably be pretty tame in the eyes of a typical teenager. I know that when I was a teenager I didn't find anything in them shocking.
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ae
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What Noemon said.
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Noemon
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Oh, there's a bit of gratuitous female toplessness in Meaning of Life, and a little bit of non gratuitious female nudity in Life of Brian. I'd forgotten.

And Meaning of Life has a pretty funny song about Catholic attitudes toward sperm, and a kind of tedious song about penises.

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rivka
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LOL, pooka! I thought about pointing that out, but I guess I wasn't secure enough in my science-geekiness. [Big Grin]

OTOH, some people DO change colors when watching certain movies.

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Farmgirl
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...male full frontal nudity???? [Eek!] :running to get the movie right now!!:

Just read the Amazon review on Life of Brian -- it does sound like a riot! As long as it doesn't make TOO much fun of religion (wouldn't want my kids to start dissin' the church)..

FG

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Book
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I like the sketches the most though. You can buy the DVD's online at www.aande.com for the low easy price of $149.95, a fourteen volume set of 1400 minutes, call or order today to for this great, low bargain!

(They give me a bucket of fish every time I say that.)

[ December 05, 2003, 01:18 PM: Message edited by: Book ]

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pooka
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There is one scene in Meaning of Life that everyone told me I *had* to see. so I finally sit down to watch it, and it was so raunchy that even though we got withing three minutes of "One thin mint" I just couldn't stand it and turned it off. And this was when I was a teenager. Also not great for teaching your children tolerance of other religions. Okay, I need to go take my anti-geek-essants.
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Farmgirl
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yeah... there's this guy here next to me at work who tells me now he loves Life of Brian, but he loves it because he (my co-worker) is an atheist (or agnostic) and loves making fun of religion...

FG

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Noemon
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Yeah pooka, when I was watching The Meaning of Life with my wife day before yesterday (I got the extended edition DVD for my birthday a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't gotten around to watching the deleted scenes yet), I just skipped that scene. I thought that the scene was pretty damned funny the last time I watched it, but I was only about 16 at the time, so who knows what I'd think of it now. In any case, had I been by myself I would have happily watched it, but I knew that C would hate it enough that it would sour her to the rest of the movie.
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Noemon
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If you can get the delux version of The Life of Brian, with all of the deleted scenes, do. There is one deleted scene that I found absolutely hilarious.

As for making fun of religion--I don't really think that it does so. I mean, it jokes around *about* religion, human weaknesses, sillinesses, and so forth, but it doesn't really leave its audience thinking "hee hee, Christianity, what a farce" or "bwah-ha ha, Judiasm, what a load of crap" or anything.

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StigLarson
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Spinal Tap. If their amp doesn't go to 11, we won't get along. But you don't wanna go raga.
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Dagonee
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The scene in LoB where the Roman guard corrects the revolutionary's grammar on the anti-Roman graffiti is hysterical.
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Noemon
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It is, isn't it? So is the part where the Judean People's Front (or is it the People's Front of Judea?) is having the whole "what have the Romans ever done for us" discussion.

The whole Stan/Loretta thing is pretty funny too.

Let's face it, most of that movie is incredibly funny. It's definitely my favorite of the Python movies.

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Beca
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Hrm. I wasn't impressed with Moulin Rouge, though I do like Ewan. I'm over 20, so I can't fall into your minority, though. Popular songs mushed together do not a musical make.

I don't know what movies would make up my litmus test, mostly because I get along with people who don't share my tastes in movies, and there are people who share my tastes in movies with whom I don't get along.

However, if you love both Until The End Of The World and Aliens, chuckle at Joe Versus The Volcano, can quote Mothra, and have seen Major Dundee more than 20 times, you might be one of my siblings. If you also really, really like a Michael Powell movie called I Know Where I'm Going, you might be me.

I should just write a list of movies you'd have to have seen to become an honorary Erickson. Also, we hate having to watch anything that has been modified to fit your TV screen. (Evil pan-n-scan.)

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Olivet
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Oy. I love Monty Python movies, and monster movies. You know what I mean-- the ones with a guy in a rubber Godzilla outfit, et al? Love 'em. *giggles*

I guess I don't really do the "litmus test" thing either. Like with Moulin Rouge, I didn't like the medleys all that much, but some stuff was just too catchy. Ron hated it the first time we saw it, but still caught himself singing "if you can can-can!" at odd moments. For me it was the visuals, and the camp- factor more than the 'music'. And I'm over 30. [Big Grin]

The LotR thing has more to do with the books than the movies. My beloved is generally unhappy with the movies, but we both have shared a reverence for the books.

We have friends who really, really loved George of the Jungle, and many movies of that particular cultural stripe. We... don't usually like those movies, but we still like the people. We watch movies with them, but usually meeting in the middle somehwere, like with AotC or Sixth Sense.

We have other friends who are big into foreign films, Greenaway films and their artsy ilk. I don't think they've seen FotR, even yet. *snicker*

Thing is, I know what they will like and I know what to talk to them about. I knew the Tarpleys would go for The Wicker Man and the Smiths wouldn't. The Smiths would probably like the Cat in the Hat movie and the Tarpleys (or, you know, the hubby and I) wouldn't.

Actually , I lean more towards movies the Tarpleys would dig, and Ron is a little closer to what the Smiths would go for (they are a typical he-likes-action-she-likes-romantic-comedy couple, so Ron and Mr. Smith have more in common than I and Mrs. Smith do, with the exception of our LotR addiction). But the Tarpleys fear the geek cachet of LotR, and will remain LotR virgins until we arrange to force them to sit through one of them with us. [Wink]

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Jon Boy
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quote:
Sorry to wax nerdy all the sudden.
What's with the "all the sudden"? I thought you had always been a nerd, pooka.
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MattB
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I made a kind of gurgly half laugh, half sob noise when the tank rolled onto screen at the end of Life is Beautiful.

The only other film I think I've cried in is Field of Dreams. And I still do, every time, at the end.

I like people who like Scorsese and Coen brothers movies (even - nay, especially - Barton Fink), yet who still appreciate Die Hard and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

I also love The Book of Mormon Movie for its A)absolutely oblivious ballsiness, and B) colossal lack of skill. I loved it the way my parents loved the thirty minute Macbeth that I was in in fourth grade. Three or four of my good friends had exactly the same reaction to it I did, which, I think, indicates why we're friends.

Favorite Oh Brother line: We're in a tight spot!

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Rolf Singer
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I like way too many movies to ever judge people by whether they like the same ones I do...BUT if a person likes Donnie Darko or Magnolia or Happiness, they go on my list for "People Who Are Truly Cool"
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Book
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I like the first two (in fact, I;m the first person I knew who first saw donnie darko) but I've never seen Happiness, or heard of it.
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pooka
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quote:
I thought you had always been a nerd, pooka.
I'm actually more of a Runt(tm).

The movie I have yet to find anyone else who likes: "Point Break".

There are people more prude than me. My in-laws switched off "Oh Brother" (SPOILER?)

when the moonshine started flowing, because they thought it was about to erupt into unbounded wanton debauchery.

[ December 05, 2003, 09:11 PM: Message edited by: pooka ]

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Book
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Wow. That's just crazy to me.

But (SPOILER) you didn't see any debauchery, all you saw was some unhappy toad mistaken for a man.

[ December 05, 2003, 09:22 PM: Message edited by: Book ]

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Eaquae Legit
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For me, I like a person who can laugh a those great old Disney movies. Robin Hood, or The Sword in the Stone.

I'm also impressed by someone who enjoys The Three Stooges.

But really, I like so many different movies, I don't know if there's a single one I could pick as a litmus test.

And I think I have to second that "Titanic" comment. Unless you're the Porterman, but he's a special case, and only really watches it to see the boat go down.

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pooka
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The movie that proves you are a Chiu is "Strange Brew" Looking back, I have no idea why my mom would have taken all her children under the age of 15 to that one. It's probably because me and my big sister wanted to see it, and my mom believes in supervised exposure to questionable influences. "Cool special effects, eh?"
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Jon Boy
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Questionable? Isn't it PG? And anyways, it's a modern adaptation of "Hamlet." So it's like, um, a cultural experience.
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Lene'
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I can't bring myself to use movies as a litmus test simply because some of my good friends think I have very odd taste, and I love them too much to dump them for being so clueless. <g> But I admit, in our house we love many of the above-mentioned flicks. O Brother is one of my own favorites, and we all love the Pythons. How 'bout Army of Darkness, any Ash fans here?

Some others, off the top of my head: Galaxy Quest, The Commitments, Office Space, The Mission, Hudsucker Proxy, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, Breaking Away, and Raising Arizona.

I love being snowed in during the winter. I make a batch of cookies or cinnamon rolls, and we settle in to watch videos togther. Bliss!

Oh, we're all addicted to the LOTR movies, too. My husband's birthday is the 17th, and we're all going to the show as part of his birthday celebration. I was in the hospital back in May with a pulmonary embolism, and I joked that I knew God wasn't so cruel as to let me kick off without getting to see the 3rd LOTR movie first, so I would at least make it to December. My son has reminded me that I have at least til *next* December, because of course I have to be able to see the extended version of move #3. <g>

Lene'

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saxon75
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Hail to the king, baby.
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Lene'
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Just as long as you don't ask me to give ya some sugar. <g>
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Chris Bridges
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Pooka - there are two versions of the Groundhog Day DVD. The "special edition" doesn't have bloopers or deleted scenes per se, but there are documentaries on the making of the movie and you get to see the actors goofing around. Worth the search.

It's gotten so I'm afraid to buy DVDs without making absolutely sure there's not more than one version. The Princess Bride has two, one with just the movie and trailer and one with featurettes and interviews and commentaries and stuff. I just found out recently that there's a version of The Mask of Zorro that has behind-the-scenes stuff and a fencing featurette, which is annoying because that's not the version I have. Grr...

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pooka
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quote:
Questionable? Isn't it PG?
Right, well it was before PG-13 was invented (just barely). As I recall, she was going through a "as long as it shows the bad effects" policy. Thus she let me see "Nightshift" on cable when I was 13. Because, you know, I needed to be shown that prostitution isn't all glamour and fun.
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Bob the Lawyer
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See, a while ago I posted about seeing Evil Dead -- The Musical while in Toronto. Nobody seems to have noticed so I've come to the conclusion that there are, in fact, no Ash fans on this board.

Sorry.

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Brinestone
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See, I'm one of those people who has kind of weird taste in movies. I've never expected to find many people who share my taste, let alone a guy. Although, Jon Boy earned major points for sitting down with me and watching some of these. [Smile]

Little Women: I think this may be my favorite movie of all time. I can't tell you why. I get more out of it every time I watch it, and I've seen it about 30+ times. I was very pleased with Sugar + Spice for mentioning it at all, since no one else seems to get a darned thing from it. Jon Boy is one of two men I know of (the other is my father) who has watched this movie all the way through. Though I'm wondering where his motives were . . . [Wink] I do admit that this movie is 100% girly and has no redeeming value for most men. Oh, well.

Kenneth Branaugh's Hamlet: Oh! This is a wonderful movie. It's so beautiful to watch, so artistic. Shakespeare's language just flows off their tongues like water. Mmmm. But it's so long that I've only seen it four times or something.

Contact: I just watched it again yesterday and remembered why I love science fiction, space, and the movie in general. *starts reading the book*

Chicken Run: Hehehehe. Jon Boy got major bonus points for suggesting this movie.

You've Got Mail: I love the wittiness and the beauty of the cinematography.

And The Princess Bride and Monty Python (Holy Grail). So I can be mainstream if I want to. [Smile]

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ClaudiaTherese
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For me, not so much litmus test as yardstick. Or horizontal dipstick, with measures of "humor" and "depth" and "quirkiness," and so forth.

The Princess Bride
Groundhog Day
Monty Python (in general)
Raising Arizona
This is Spinal Tap

(why goodness, I believe I agree with Noemon [Smile] )

but also

Brazil
Being John Malkovich
Blazing Saddles
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Bulletproof Heart
The Truman Show
The Godfather
Babette's Feast
A Clockwork Orange
Blade Runner
Vertigo
Apocolypse Now
Unbreakable

and of course,
LOTR series

Bulletproof Heart is the one I will never get over. For me, it's like the Desiderata of movies: I always find something more of myself in each time I see it. The pained cynic, the overeager young hot shot, the weary nihilist, the One Who Gets It All Wrong. I've never found anyone else who even remembered it, though.

[PS: katharina, I liked Save the last Dance, too. [Smile] ]

[ December 13, 2003, 11:06 AM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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