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BP’s Top 100 Challenge #42: Sunset Boulevard, by Sarah Brinks

25 Jul

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list provided such a challenge.

I love Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. She gives 110% in her performance and it works. This was my second time seeing the film and it was a delight to revisit it. I think my experience watching Sunset Boulevard was enhanced this time by the Battleship Pretension Top 100 challenge, over 2017 I have seen a number of silent films so the story of an aging silent film actress trying to make a comeback connected with me more this time.

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BP’s Top 100 Challenge #43: Metropolis, by Sarah Brinks

22 Jul

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list provided such a challenge.

The last time I watched Metropolis was in my early film history class in college. I didn’t really like it as much as other silent films we watched in that class. In 2008 when they had found the missing footage and restored a nearly complete version of the film I was curious to see if I liked it better when it was complete. It turns out I had almost no memory at all of this film and was really delighted to see the fully restored version.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #45: Jules and Jim, by Sarah Brinks

19 Jul

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I can’t quite put my finger on what is so fascinating about love triangles, but they certainly make for great fiction. From King Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot to Katniss, Gale, and Pita, fiction is full of love triangles. Jules and Jim is another strong addition to the genre. I had tried watching this film years ago and didn’t finish it. I am glad I stuck with it this time.

Rewatching the film, I see why I gave up on it about a third of the way through. The beginning is the least interesting part. It isn’t until after the war that the film starts to really get interesting for me. Once Catherine marries Jules, and Jim comes to visit, the story really takes a turn for the better. Watching the three of then navigate their relationships is fascinating and kept me entertained.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #44: The Wizard of Oz, by Sarah Brinks

18 Jul

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list provided such a challenge.

The Wizard of Oz is yet another movie on the Battleship Pretension Top 100 list that I grew up watching. It’s only been a few years since I have last watched this film and it was just as magical this time as it was when I was a child. I have always loved the story of The Wizard of Oz and was very happy to return to it for the Battleship Pretension Top 100 challenge. I recently had a conversation with some coworkers about The Wizard of Oz and one person said she didn’t like the film because it was too weird for her. I agree that it is weird but it works for me.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #46: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, by Sarah Brinks

11 Jul

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is another movie on the Battleship Pretension top 100 list that I grew up watching, but I am so glad I got to rewatch this film because I think it has been close to twenty years since I last watched it. It isn’t surprising, but I still absolutely love it but I also got a lot more out of it during this viewing.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #47: Bicycle Thieves, by Sarah Brinks

8 Jul

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list provided such a challenge.

Bicycle Thieves is a film on this list that I had always wanted to see but never got around to, which is part of why I am enjoying the Battleship Pretension Top 100 challenge so much. The story of Bicycle Thieves is simple but the film isn’t simple at all. I love that at its heart it is a film about the limits of a man’s morality and his relationship with his son.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #48: Ran, by Sarah Brinks

5 Jul

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list provided such a challenge.

Ran is a retelling of William Shakespeare’s play King Lear set in medieval Japan. It was interesting to see this version of the story because the problems that I have with Ran are the same problems I have with ‘King Lear’. I am a huge Shakespeare fan but I have never loved ‘King Lear’. It was always over-long, dull in the middle, and unnecessarily tragic and the same can be said for Ran.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #49: Oldboy, by Sarah Brinks

4 Jul

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I have admitted previously that Asian cinema is a weak point in my film-watching but I will also admit I had purposely never seen Oldboy. I have seen a few of the director Park Chan-Wook’s films and I have enjoyed them, but found them difficult to watch. Through cultural osmosis I had learned a few things about Oldboy and I knew there were things there I could never unsee. You can’t unsee a man eating a live octopus, no matter how much you might want to. I also have a very low tolerance for body horror. I just have a very weak stomach and things like Dae-Su Oh cutting out his own tongue were very difficult to watch. In fact, to be honest, I didn’t watch it but knowing that it was happening even with my eyes closed was enough for me to need to take some real deep breaths and think about happy things… even writing about it now is tough for me.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #51: Persona, by Sarah Brinks

27 Jun

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I wasn’t sure what I was in for when I started watching Persona. The opening is a strange montage of early film clips and some fairly horrific images of a crucifixion and a sheep being slaughtered. It ends with a child waking up in a morgue looking at the image of a woman’s face. I have seen a handful of Ingmar Bergman’s films in the past and enjoyed them, so I was holding out hope. Then we got into the real story of the film and I was onboard.

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BP’s Top 100 Movie Challenge #52: Blue Velvet, by Sarah Brinks

20 Jun

I decided to undertake a movie challenge in 2017. This seemed like a good way to see some classic movies that I have unfortunately never seen. The Battleship Pretension Top 100 list has a good number of films I hadn’t seen before so it is a good source for my challenge.

I don’t have a lot to say about Blue Velvet. David Lynch’s brand of weird is not a weird that I respond positively too. There is no doubt that he is a talented film maker who if good at his craft, but the stories he tells and the way he tells them, in a lot of ways, repel me.

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