1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Blog Club

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
 
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This week we review:
#734. Local Hero (1983)


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We are a community of bloggers who share a common interest in cinema past and present, using the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die' book as our guide to exploring this vast realm of study.  

The 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Blog Club is a forum for bloggers to share in their passion and engage in group study, one classic film at a time. For our readers, it is a portal of cinematic opinions from a wide assortment of blog critics, one film per week, 52 weeks per year.

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Below you will find links to Community Pagesreviews, editorials and insight of our weekly-assigned films.
Under that is a list of past club assignment archives, contributor credits, and upcoming assignments

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Community Pages

 

#734. Local Hero (1983) 

#734. Local Hero (1983)

Why It's In The Book: "A gentle Scottish-set culture-clash comedy the the tradition of Whisky Galore! (1949) and The Maggie (1954)... Forsyth's near-mystical sense of place and his affection for all his characters... play into his low-key, quirky humor." -1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

Adolytsi - 8/10
"Local Hero isn’t a straight out comedy, and nor is it a straight out drama; it happily walks the fine line between the two, and I’d really not have it any other way."
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Movie Guy Steve - 8/10
"The truth of Local Hero is that it’s nothing particularly special or unique. It’s simply very, very good."
READ MORE

Overall Rating: 8/10

 

#469. Come Drink With Me [Da Zui Xia] (1966)

#469. Come Drink With Me [Da Zui Xia] (1966)

Why It's In The Book: "Long before there was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) there was the great King Hu, a master director who, beginning with his Come Drink With Me, helped revolutionise the martial arts costume drama by introducing a femal lead. The film is a visual tour de force, each sequence meticulously designed by King Hu into a feast of color, movement and high-flying action." -1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

Nicolas Krizan - 7.5/10
"quality fighting plus enough story and character"
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Adolytsi - 6/10
"While this was quite nice, and very stylish (which made for fairly entertaining viewing), it definitely showed the lack of skill and finesse that Hu had at this point in his career."
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Movie Guy Steve - 6/10
"Da Zui Xia is not going to make anyone who isn’t a fan of chop-socky films into one."
READ MORE

Overall Rating: 6.5/10

 

#153. The Wolf Man (1941)

#153. The Wolf Man (1941)

Why It's In The Book: "The Wolf Man, directed by George Waggner... still remains the most recognizable and cherished version of the myth… Makeup king Jack Pierce devised an elaborate yak-hair costume for [Lon Chaney Jr.] that would come to serve as the template for countless Halloween masks… The success of Waggner's picture led to four more Chaney-driven Wolf Man films in the 1940s alone. Dozens of imitators, updates, take-offs, spoofs have since followed." -1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

Sunny D - 9/10
"He's a regular guy, trying to find his way and maybe win the lady's love. He has no idea that his own story is going to become a tragedy."
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Adolytsi - 7/10
"Aside from the fantastic makeup effects and good horror sense, this doesn’t have much else extra going for it."
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Marie_Dressler - 7/10
"If only they could have found another actor to play the Wolf Man..."
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Nicolas Krizan - 7/10
"the weakest of the classic Universal horror movies"
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TSorensen - 4/10
"Apparently werewolves are only dangerous to women and old men"
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Overall Rating: 6/10

 
#73. Freaks (1932)

#73. Freaks (1932)

Why It's In The Book: "From its beginning as a horror exceeding all expectations... to its revival as an avant-garde film in the tradition of Luis Bunuel and Alain Robbe-Grillet, Tod Browning's Freaks has been classified as everything from horror to art house to documentary (because of the movie's use of 'real freaks'). Nevertheless, despite its originality of conception and design, and its startling ability to both move and frighten audiences, Freaks has remained to this day an underappreciated film.

...Alarming yet profound movie, which truly must be seen to be believed. It is a supreme oddity (freak?) of world cinema considered by many to be the most remarkable film in the career of a director whose credits include the original version of Dracula (1931)" -1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

TSorensen - 9/10
"To me this film is a gem and a humanistic master piece. It is food for thought that just a year later Hitler came into power on a program to eradicate exactly this kind of people."
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marie_dressler - 8/10
"Is it exploitation or art? Probably both."
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Movie Guy Steve - 8/10
"This film is so creepy and wrong, so horribly twisted, that it plays out like a train wreck. It’s awful to see, but you can’t look away from it."
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Nicolas Krizan - 8/10
"unsuspicious love and dark treachery"
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Squish - 6.5/10
"The worst of it is the constant failing attempt at comedy, the best is the immersive look at the clique of freaks"
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Chip Lary - 6/10
"The question of whether these performers were being exploited by Browning, or given a good chance by him, is one of the reasons to watch this film."
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Adolytsi - 5/10
"This is a novelty film pure and simple; watching the cast of oddballs go through the same tribulations and worries that we all do is quite the experience, but it’s not a great film by any standard."
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Overall Rating: 7.3/10

 

#419. Hud (1963)

#419. Hud (1963)

Why It's In The Book: "This modern Western directed by Martin Ritt is set in the featureless landscape of West Texas...It's a brilliantly acted film that catch as much of the feel for the dusty locale of Larry McMurtry's original novel Horseman Pass By." -1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

marie_dressler - 9/10
"From the spare, stunning black-and-white photography to the pitch-perfect performances, it is hard to imagine how Hud could possibly be improved."
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Movie Guy Steve - 8/10
"Hud breaks some genre stereotypes and is all the better because of it."
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Nicolas Krizan - 8/10
"fatal happenings breeds brutal recklessness"
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Adolytsi - 7/10
"It’s the interactions between Hud and the various characters, family and likewise, that makes up most of the entertainment value in this one, what of it there is to be had."
READ MORE

Overall Rating: 8/10

 

#552. The French Connection (1971)

#552. The French Connection (1971)

Why It's In The Book: "With Bullitt (1968) and Dirty Harry (1971), The French Connection spearheaded the cop-movie revival that took place around 1970… The French Connection remains a tremendously exciting and powerful movie, primarily because of its vigorous editing style [and] epic vision of urban decay… The editing – it’s rough-edged energy enhanced by jagged, truncated scene transitions – conveys both off-balance disorientation and reckless forward propulsion." -1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

Squish - 10/10
"I walked into The French Connection knowing that it would be typical drug dealer / cop chase flic. I left wondering why I hadn't heard more loudly-touted acclaim for what instantly became one of my Top 10 favourite movies of all time."
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Adolytsi - 9/10
"...A gritty, in-your-face cop film directed by William Friedkin, who does a bang-up job with this material. It’s smart, effective, and it leads you by the nose the whole way, which few films dared to do."
READ MORE

Nicolas Krizan - 8.5/10
"Fast and furious"
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Jay Cluitt - 8/10
"The chase against a criminal-carrying overground train is both the highlight of the film and possibly the greatest car chase in movie history."
READ MORE

Movie Guy Steve - 7/10
"I see why The French Connection is a good film. What I don’t see is why it’s a great film."
READ MORE

Lindsey - 6/10
"decent overall with an awesome car chase"
READ MORE

Overall Rating: 8/10

 

#1002. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

#1002. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Why It's In The Book: "Eyes Wide Shut is the perfect postscript to the oeuvre of Stanley Kubrick, who died within days of completing the film, in that it is signature Kubrick: intriguing, intellectual, intent, fastidiously crafted, and commanding to direct. It is also arguably portentous, remote, and labored. It enjoyed a big opening, thanks in part to sexy trailers of the reigning 'world's most glamorous couple' and costars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman... Cruise's performance was overshadowed by Kidman's smaller but more emotionally outspoken role, but his presence in virtually every scene gives the film an essential humanity. His palpably wounded male pride, pain, vulnerability, and bewilderment provide a sympathetic connection to what otherwise is a cold and cynical observation of relationships.  But, as ever, Kubrick's uncomfortable personal vision is conveyed with distinctive and stunning style." -1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

Thomas Ostrowski - 9/10
"...it's akin to a fine wine, only enjoyable in sips instead of gulps."
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Nicolas Krizan - 7.5/10
"Kubrick tries too hard"
READ MORE

Adolytsi - 7/10
"At over two-and-a-half hours, this will be a sizable investment on your part. I never thought I’d say this about a Kubrick film, but… I’m not sure if the return is worth your investment."
READ MORE

Movie Guy Steve - 7/10
"Interesting and weird, but not my favorite Kubrick."
READ MORE

Overall Rating: 8/10

 

#783. Tampopo (1986)

#783. Tampopo (1986)

Why It's In The Book: "The late Juzo Itami called his second comedy a ‘ramen Western’… it represents a quantum leap from his impressive first comedy, the 1984 The Funeral. Without abandoning his flair for social satire shown in that film, and in subsequent work, Itami expands his scope in Tampopo, to encompass the kind of free-form narrative play we associate with the late work of Luis Buñuel. His subjects are food, sex, and death, his ostensible focal point for the opening of a noodle restaurant. He takes us on a wild spree through an obsession, winding his way through various digressions with a dark, philosophical wit that is both hilarious and disturbing…

As in The Funeral, Itami’s ultimate interest appears to be exploring as well as ridiculing some of the paradoxes of Japanese society, including those involving class and etiquette, and he carries this off with energy and inventiveness." - 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die 

Member Ratings

Movie Guy Steve - 10/10
"I have watched this film over and over, and it never becomes old. It also never fails to make me ravenously hungry, particularly the rice omelet and the little pancake scene."
READ MORE

marie_dressler - 9/10
"In this very funny film, good food is connected to birth, death, sex, work, and pleasure in a mouth-watering way."
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Sunny D - 9/10
"You could enjoy the meal of a lifetime one magical night, and savor the memory the rest of your days, but in the morning your body is going to need to be fed again, and again, and again. Life goes on. Tampopo, the film, captures that essence, through a wide-array of mostly-charming vignettes around one central tale, showing almost as many emotional flavors of existence as there are spices in a gourmet kitchen."
READ MORE

Adolytsi - 8/10
"It takes a little bit to get into the meat of the film, rather than just dropping in on it, but once you’re there, this becomes quite the delightful little comedy."
READ MORE

Chip Lary - 8/10
"I think people that are familiar both with Westerns and Japanese films will get more out of Tampopo than those who don’t, but even those who have seen neither can still easily be entertained by it."
READ MORE

Lindsay - 8/10
"This is one of the most enjoyable films focusing on food there is."
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Nicolas Krizan - 8/10
"several clever and vaguely connected storylines interweave"
READ MORE

Overall Rating: 8.6/10

 

#1152. Skyfall (2012)

#1152. Skyfall (2012)

Why It's In The Book: "Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson pulled out all the stops for the film that marked the fiftieth anniversary of 007. With an Oscar-winnnig director behind the camera, plus a few winners in front of it, Skyfall is a prestige picture passing itself off as a blockbuster. The spextacle remains, but the film boldly delves into previously uncharted emotional territory... Sam Mendes's skillful direction is matched by Roger Deakins's rich cinematography. A silhouetted fight sequence, unfolding against the backdrop of Shanghai's neon-soaked skyline, is one of many memorable moments. And with Daniel Craig firmly in control, this is one franchise that looks set to continue for many years to come." -1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

Jay Cluitt - 9/10
"Exotic animals are back in Bond films! Yay!"
READ MORE

Movie Guy Steve - 9/10
"Skyfall is less a return to form for the James Bond franchise and more a well-designed and coherent redirection of a franchise that needed a shift to stay both relevant and interesting."
READ MORE

Adolytsi - 8/10
"Simultaneously a love letter to the years of Bond gone by and an evolution of the Bond film into a new era of filmmaking, Skyfall succeeds in damn near every possible way."
READ MORE

Sunny D - 8/10
"My wife and I were looking for some semi-mindless popcorn movie fun [...] and we got what we were looking for, with a little extra helping of 'huh, that's interesting' on top of the requisite exotic locales and dramatic explosions."
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Nicolas Krizan - 7.5/10
"a nice try to both honor and let go of some heritage"
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Chip Lary - 7/10
"The best part of the film, for me, is that we got to learn quite a bit about Bond’s past."
READ MORE

Kim Wilson - 7/10
"Overall, Skyfall was your usual action film. Boom, bang, and pow happened. Things exploded, people got shot and stabbed, and the good guy won."
READ MORE 

Overall Rating: 8/10

#830. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

#830. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

Why It's In The Book: "When Harry Met Sally provides indisputable proof, if it were needed, that all the right ingredients—a skilled comic director (Rob Reiner), great script (Nora Ephron), and brilliant casting (Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan) – do add up to a damn-near perfect piece of film entertainment…
A romantic comedy that tips its cap to Woody Allen movies like Annie Hall (1977), this is brought right up to date by Ephron's witty dialogue that accurately depicts the modern-day dating game…Against the backdrop of the most cinematic of cities, New York, scene upon scene is either a classic or features memorable dialogue: Sally fake orgasm in the deli, after which a woman at a neighboring table orders ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ (the lady played by Reiner’s own mother) and the store karaoke session when Harry bumps into his ex-wife are played expertly by the two leads, and support roles include Bruno Kirby as Harry’s pal and Carrie Fisher as Sally’s.
A triumph for all involved – Nora Ephron has yet to write a script that matches this one – the film turned Ryan into a highly sought-after leading lady and made Harry Connick Jr., who performs 1930s and ‘40s standards (including “It Had To Be You”) on the soundtrack, a bonafide star."
-1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Member Ratings

Adolytsi - 10/10
"I can point to pretty much every excuse that might pop into your head as to why you wouldn’t want to see this, point to When Harry Met Sally, and say 'Well, this is the one exception'."
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Marie_Dressler - 10/10
"I consider it the most perfect film in its genre since It Happened One Night (1934)."
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Chip Lary - 9/10
"It is one of the very best romantic comedies ever made."
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Movie Guy Steve - 9/10
"… if romantic comedies could be written this well, acted this believably, and directed this skillfully, it wouldn’t matter how much the same story was recycled over and over."
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nicolas krizan - 9/10
"Love or friendship?"
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Squish - 8/10
"Add to all this a relatively-young-in-her-middle-age Carrie Fisher and the unsung Bruno Kirby... whose delivery of the line '"BABY FISH MOUTH! BABY FISH MOUTH!' is the funniest line of the entire film, and you have yourself at the very least a safe date / safe to watch with mom if she can take the occasional swearing / guilty pleasure a guy can watch alone and really laugh film."
READ MORE

Overall Rating: 9/10

 

Upcoming Member-Assigned Reviews:

Thursday November 27th

#642. Star Wars (1977)
Thursday December 4th

#1109. WALL-E (2008)
Thursday December 11th

#1035. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Thursday December 18th

#821. Die Hard (1988)

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Past Assignment Archives

You can now find all the Past Assignments the 1001 Club has reviewed on its very own page.

Yes, I agree that it's long overdue.



 

1001 MUST SEE MOVIES CLUB
Complete Members List

(in order of contributions)

AdolytsiMovie Guy SteveSquishNicolas KrizanSiochembioKlaus MingMichaël Parent   KimWilsonAlysonJay CluittChipSunny DTSorensenLindseymarie_dressler Doug TilleyJaime GrijalbaBrian Vs. Movies •  BrandenOilarHaricharanDarwinTim BurrowbpdreviewUnivarnThe Mad Hatter  •  Shubhajit Lahiri •  ChrisLejarzar Robert • Simon Columb •  Jeff CotéChris Edwards • OilarKevyn KnoxK.J BroylesKurosawa_Lover  •  alfindeol  •  FeyjohnlgilpatrickThis Guy Over HereThe Movie Mistress  • WhitneyAndrew Robinson • Danny KingThomas GattoBlakeCastorHeatherMy Floating Red CouchTom CliftEl GringogenevieveRipleyRonanTravis McCollumCMrok93C.M. Dobson

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Recent Posts You May Have Missed - October

 
Nicolas Krizan muses on Skyfall, Rain Man, Europa 51, Mirror and Prince Achmed, all on the main page.

Adolytsi finishes *ALL* club assignments with reviews for Dangerous Liaisons, Shaolin Master Killer, A Fish Called Wanda and The Best of Youth.
 
Congratulations Adol - you are literally my hero.



 
Don't forget to check them out.


Remember kiddies, Archive posts are welcome. Whether you were a club member since its inception in 2009 or just joining us now, if you have a review you are proud of, I will gladly add it to the archives list.
 
Just submit it as you would an assigned review, including your score out of 10 and the quote from your post.

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