Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
The movies that changed my life are generally the movies that made me want to write movies, and subsequently, the movies I wanted to emulate.
Aside from those, there are the movies that made me depressed or exutlant, that changed my life in the short-term before I regressed to the getting-through-the-day mean.
But no movie has actually made me give up writing to do something more tangibly worthwhile. Which is more my fault than that of the movies.
Movie that depressed me the most:
Dead Man Walking
Movies that made me cry the most (tie):
Grave of the Fireflies
Joy Luck Club
Don't see the "Joy Luck Club" a month after your mother passes away. Just don't.
I know that wasn't the point of the film, but like Peter Riegert's MacIntyre, I fell in love with Scotland and desperately wanted to visit there. And I did back in 1985. I was terrified before I left assuming I would get lost and I would never fit in. But I had a great time.
The movie is also damn funny.
~ His Girl Friday.
I never knew "old movies" could be so good.
~ Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Bogie really WAS a good actor
~ Singin in the Rain
I could watch this movie daily. And TCM almost gives me the opportunity.
~ Hud, Hombre and The Hustler
Newman's "H" movies. Showed how really good he was.
~ The French Connection
My first car chase (I didn't see Bullitt until after this one).
~ The Wild Bunch
Made me appreciate Bill Holden.
~ Young Frankenstein
My favorite comedy. Gene Hackman and Kenneth Mars stand out.
~ The Godfather II
"Michael, we're bigger than US Steel"
~ Apocalypse Now
I saw this on openening day at the Cinerama Dome. The credits were in a booklet in the lobby. One of the few times a highly-anticipated movie came through for me.
~ Blue Velvet
Wow, what a trip.
~ Blood Simple
Introduction to the Coen Bros.
~ Miller's Crossing
My favorite Gangster film.
~ Boogie Nights
I was blown away. The Donut store robbery scene was tremendous
I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting at the moment.
It blew me away. I love many more movies, but nothing made me take screen writing classes and explore the visual elements of moviemaking like Brazil did.
Sorry. I'm an emotional cripple; feelings scare me.
So many possibilities, but I'm feeling the spirit of the season.
If you want to kill yourself.
Gummo is depressing, but in a way that is completely different from the rest of the films I mentioned.
Joy Luck Club made me cry also, and my mother is still with us. The movie also does a pretty good job conveying the authentic Chinese-American tone Tan, Amy presented in her book. (And calling someone "dog fart" is a good translation and authentic Chinese insult!)
I put his decade up against anybody's. And he was the best editor in Hollywood before anybody gave him his shot at directing.
[steps down from soapbox]
There, I feel better now. Much as I love movies, I'm not sure if I can say any movie has ever genuinely changed my life in any meaningful way. Although I do think seeing Se7en perhaps set me on the road to being the cynical person I am today. I now require most of my art, whether it be books, music, film, or visual art, to be relentlessly downbeat and depressing.
Then whenever I go off too far in that direction, I watch Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Waking Life made me think about life in different ways, but again, I'm not sure that it actually changed anything.
Se7en did affect me to such a degree that I was just really ticked off for days afterward, in addition to feeling physically ill.
Egotistical ramblings? It is two people talking. I don't see how you can call it egotistical (though certainly rambling). As for Ethan Hawke, he is good looking, funny and ballsy enough to ask a girl he just met to hang out with him all night. That combo will take you pretty far in life.
PS sergioleoneifr.blogspot.com recently hosted a movie quiz and one of the questions was: "What is your favorite Hal Ashby movie." I said Being There, though I love Harold & Maude.
Their observations are so nondescript, yet they're delivered with such deep meaning. I understand the concept of feeling that the love of your life might have gotten away, but the boo-hooing these two did was more than even I could take.
These two struck me as among the shallowest so-called deep thinkers around. I got no feeling that Hawke had any appreciation for the many things that did go right for him, and therefore I couldn't buy into his angst. I get the sense that if Julie and he had gotten together, they would have found something to have moan about within a few years anyway.
Maybe it's there and I've forgotten, but I don't have the sense that these two people really looked within themselves to see what was going on - they just looked at what was happening to them and were victims.
Overall, it was just one very long, tedious conversation. I couldn't wait to get away from them.
I do hate to rag on someone's top-five movie, because it depresses me when someone does it to me. Rest assured, it happens.
It is besides the point that you have had conversations like the one in the movie and no one took interest in them. What you are really saying is you aren't taking interest in this conversation and so other people won't enjoy paying attention to your conversations. This is a movie celebrating those conversations and obviously many people enjoyed this movie, so the fact that we have all had that particular experience only makes the movie more enjoyable (for me anyway). I have done many things that are in movies, but it only means that movies are an attempt to show life, not just some way to escape to places we can never visit.
The other stuff isn't debatable, you didn't like the characters, I did. I didn't get the smallest scent of someone who was simply a whiner. I loved how the movie had a plot even though it was "just" a conversation. They begin by awkwardly talking and lying to one another (Delpy especially), then revealing more and more of themselves and finally quiet for the first time as they walk up the stairs towards her house. Once inside the house there is the sweet scene where Delpy plays the guitar and there is this sense that both of them are home and by the time the movie ends (avoiding a kiss or sex somehow) the audience (me anyway) was totally in the moment. I went back and watched the last scene again immediately. I felt like I had fallen in love over the course of the movie.
Anyway, I don't take offense. Another one of my five favorite movies, The Big Lebowski, is one of those movies that many people just hate. Meanwhile, I think it is the funniest movie of all time and I can get endless enjoyment just quoting it. Different strokes and all that. I love the site, and I generally agree with your tastes (especially in baseball), though often for different reasons.
For me, it's definitely "The English Patient". I loved the movie, sure, but what it really is that it's the movie I took my first real girlfriend to on our first date. It was the start of something truly big in my life.
Also, I'd say "Casablanca", cos my friend Keenan & I used to watch it every weekend at least once. Sometimes we'd divvy up all the lines and say them along with the characters. That usually became a little awkward in the Bergman-Bogart scenes, but we pushed through it.
45 - My point is that it was egotistical for them to think that their particular conversation was worthy of this treatment, not that they didn't have the right to construct a movie that way. By all means, do a conversation movie - but give me more interesting characters. Hawke's a published author, married, a father (I think) - it's not as if I couldn't relate. But his character doesn't go any deeper than just wanting more.
This line: "What you are really saying is you aren't taking interest in this conversation and so other people won't enjoy paying attention to your conversations" isn't what I'm saying at all. It's not a cause-effect thing. I'm saying that the journey you describe isn't really much of a journey to me. I'm not impressed that by a movie about star-crossed lovers that requires its entire length just to get them to be honest with each other.
I saw the first movie, thought it was mediocre, heard people saying the second one was better, but I found it to be worse. When I say they "force" us to spend time watching one conversation, I think it should be pretty clear I don't mean that literally. Obviously, I could have turned it off. But I kept waiting for a payoff - one that never came for me. (And time isn't a factor - a movie can be as long as it wants if it can justify the length.)
Hawke's character was just the height of pretentious. All kinds of postured suffering, but no growth.
I hated The English Patient.
But with Casablanca No. 1A, my No. 1 movie is The Misfits - and I've been taken to task for that more times than I can count. I've gotten my wife and best friends to try to watch it and they can barely sit through it. And to me, that movie has absolutely everything.
You're dead on about Coen flicks. They all demand repeat viewings.
Casablanca, is the perfect studio movie and I could watch it (especially the first half) once a week.
50 - I don't think it is supposed to be a movie where you relate to Hawke on the level of job, status ect. If so, then I wouldn't be able to relate at all. As for not being impressed, I don't know if I was impressed, I was caught up. It wasn't a movie that changed my life, it was a movie that I felt very deeply (I would point to You Can Count on Me as a similar movie).
Obviously we just have to agree to disagree about the quality of the conversation and the build up. The fact that they were ultimately honest with each other was moving to me because under the circumstances it made sense not to be honest. He is leaving, they only have a short time together. Why unburden your heart to one another? The build up of their feeling towards the ending where they show each other how they feel. That was powerful to me, obviously not to you.
Anyway, no biggie. If you spent part (or all) of the movie not liking one of the characters then you were in a different place than where I was. That isn't an indictment on you (if anything it is probably painting me as over sentimental weeper), that is just how it went.
50: Agreed that Hawke's character was dull but Julie Delpy kept the movie going and Hawke was tolerable in the two movies, particularly in Before Sunset. I like the second one better.
Movie that affects me early: Chinatown. I didn't understand English very well when I first saw it and still thought it was a very good movie. A few years later, it became great as I understood English and the plot better.
Being There and Local Hero was also very good finds for me. A Woman Under the Influence was one of the first very powerful movie that I saw and understood. It got me rather blue for days afterward.
I've noticed there is a substantial minority of people who really, really didn't like "The English Patient" for one reason or another, but I really love it, and not just because of the personal history I have with it. I thought it was an amazing marriage of huge, epic story elements with small-scale detail -- so many movies that long, that cover such huge topics, become impersonal or overly grand, and "The English Patient" didn't, at least to me. But there are a lot of reasons why a person might not like the movie. I've had a lot of people tell me all about them.
As far as "The Misfits" goes, it's been years since I've seen it, but off the top of my head I'd rank it well behind several other Huston movies, including but not restricted to "The Maltese Falcon", "Key Largo" and "The Treasure of Sierra Madre". That said, it's been at least five years since I've seen any of those movies, so I reserve the right to change my mind.
But I'm fine with agreeing to disagree. I loved You Can Count on Me.
Oh, and I too hated "The English Patient." Much prefered the Seinfeld take on it. (I didn't walk out on it, though I may have napped.)
Also? "Crash." [channeling David Alan Grier in the "Men on Film" sketches,] Haated it!
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