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Thread: The Popular Movie Blindspot Thread

  1. #76
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    I think it ties to number of recent activities (watches/reviews/etc.) the films receive as well.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  2. #77
    That would make sense. I also thought it might measure the number of times the movie has been LOGGED, not just rated/marked as viewed.

    Like, more people have SEEN Harry Potter, but more people are WATCHING (logging) Catch Me If You Can. Likewise, more people have SEEN The Man Who Knew Too Much, but more people are WATCHING A Man Escaped. Kinda checks out.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 05-05-2022 at 04:06 PM.

  3. #78
    Can't stop won't stop DFA1979's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Idioteque Stalker (view post)
    Is this discussion of The Searchers on topic? Drumroll.......... Yes, it is!

    LB's most popular movies of 1956:

    1. The Killing 85k views
    2. The Searchers 82k
    3. A Man Escaped 44k
    4. The Man Who Knew Too Much 60k
    5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 54k

    Seems to me 44k is fewer views than 60k/54k, but hey I'm no mathematician. Regardless, The Killing posting some sweet numbers!
    I really need to see A Man Escaped. I'll watch The Man Who Knew Too Much after I view the original. I've seen the rest.
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  4. #79
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    Quote Quoting Idioteque Stalker (view post)
    Is the discussion of Raimi's Spiderman on topic? Drumroll.......... Yes, it is!

    LB's most popular movies of 2002:

    1. Spiderman 1m views
    2. LOTR: The Two Towers 930k
    3. Catch Me If You Can 788k
    4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 1m
    5. Attack of the Clones 761k

    Looks like popularity isn't strictly tied to number of views. I learned something new.
    I've seen all of those. I only like TTT and Catch Me. The rest....no.
    Blog!

    I really don't care anymore
    About all the Jim-Jim's in this town
    And all the politicians makin' crazy sounds
    And everybody puttin' everybody else down
    And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

  5. #80
    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    Can't say I agree. Roger Ebert made a similar point about tone (citing John Qualen's "yumpin' yimmini" routine as immigrant rancher Lars). I think the movie needs that level of comic relief because otherwise it would be unbelievably grim, and the audience would have too much time to think about exactly what happened to Lucy Edwards and her sister.

    You mentioned Ford's ability to shift between large and small gestures, and I think this is sorta the same thing. Except in this instance, he can't afford subtlety. The violence in the film is so excessive that only broad humor can counter its effect.
    I think there are a couple issues here that are being conflated. First, I think we both agree that it's generally a good thing for filmmakers to counter-point big moments (comic or otherwise) with moments of understatement, and this is something that studio-era directors knew and that contemporary Hollywood filmmakers have either forgotten or never learned in the first place. The second issue is why this contrast is necessary. I would argue that variation is a good thing in itself, irrespective of a film's subject matter, as it keeps films from lapsing into monotony. With regard to The Searchers in particular, I think the film is fairly clear on what happened to Lucy and her sister (and Martha), even if it's not explicitly stated (remember Wayne's line, "What do you want me to do? Draw you a picture? Spell it out? Don't ever ask me. As long as you live, don't ever ask me"). Rape is a major theme in the film as it provides the motivation for Wayne's wanting to kill Natalie Wood, and I don't think the presence of comic relief in the film in any way obscures this or diminishes its gravity. The third issue, and where I think we disagree mostly strongly, is the question of how broad is too broad. In this particular case, the problem I have with the film's comic relief is that I don't find it funny, and the scenes with Look especially strike me as cruel in their humiliation and dehumanization of indigenous women, making them painful to watch.
    Last edited by baby doll; 05-06-2022 at 12:04 AM.
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  6. #81
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    I think there are a couple issues here that are being conflated. First, I think we both agree that it's generally a good thing for filmmakers to counter-point big moments (comic or otherwise) with moments of understatement, and this is something that studio-era directors knew and that contemporary Hollywood filmmakers have either forgotten or never learned in the first place. The second issue is why this contrast is necessary. I would argue that variation is a good thing in itself, irrespective of a film's subject matter, as it keeps films from lapsing into monotony. With regard to The Searchers in particular, I think the film is fairly clear on what happened to Lucy and her sister (and Martha), even if it's not explicitly stated (remember Wayne's line, "What do you want me to do? Draw you a picture? Spell it out? Don't ever ask me. As long as you live, don't ever ask me"). Rape is a major theme in the film as it provides the motivation for Wayne's wanting to kill Natalie Wood, and I don't think the presence of comic relief in the film in any way obscures this or diminishes its gravity. The third issue, and where I think we disagree mostly strongly, is the question of how broad is too broad. In this particular case, the problem I have with the film's comic relief is that I don't find it funny, and the scenes with Look especially strike me as cruel in their humiliation and dehumanization of indigenous women, making them painful to watch.
    I'm saying Ford's ability to shift from small and large moments goes hand in hand with his ability to juggle tone. He's uses humor as a narrative shortcut, a way to downshift from high tension to low in a near instant.

    This is absolutely necessary because the runtime is so constrained. "The Searchers" covers 10 years in a shade under 2 hours, with an action climax that starts with less than 10 minutes of screen time left. (But who notices? The movie is so narratively dense that it feels longer than it is.) With so little time, Ford can't bullshit around with extraneous material or ponderous, obvious transitions between sequences. This is what you and Roger (heh) don't seem to want to acknowledge. You remove the humor or quiet it, and the picture doesn't work as well.

    You could say that Ford lets his audience off the hook, by giving them an out, a way to avoid dwelling on story's harsher aspects, but then I think he walks a very fine line between honoring a a certain legacy while condemning aspects of it. He does something similar in "Fort Apache," with Wayne and Fonda, a movie that has an almost thematically ambiguous ending. His films might have had a clear message on the surface, but they also contain a subversive layer underneath, making it possible to view the character's choices in different ways. I like this a bit better than the alternative. It's more skillful, for one.

    By contrast, look at some of Anthony Man's westerns from the same period. "Man from Laramie" and "Man of the West" are both more tonally singular, never letting the audience off, and both are seriously grim, bordering on nihilistic. Well made, sure, but ugh, just nasty experiences. You don't walk out of those movies feeling good about the world. I mean, I think that was Mann's intent, and good for him for making his audience feel terrible, but Ford was trying to deliver a mainstream crowd pleaser that also had an entirely fucked up level of violence in it.

    Or look at George Steven's "Shane," with its prairie home cruelty. His world is blunter and dumber than Ford's, and the film's early violence is mostly a justification for the hero's actions later on. The ending is unsophisticated and almost juvenile, because we're meant to view the story through the eyes of the little boy at its center, and that story can only have one possible outcome. I mean, it works, because when the inevitable happens, the audience is both thrilled and relieved. But it's a tent show compared to Ford's opera.

    PS: I hear you about Look, but I also think she exists at the thematic center of the movie, and the fact you feel like shit watching what happens to her happen to her is entirely part of the point Ford was trying to make. I think both he and the movie are on her side, because of the way Martin finds her, and the regret he expresses over her fate, and the ebb and flow of tension and resolution around the scenes including her.

  7. #82
    Quote Quoting StuSmallz (view post)
    Anyway, I guess my biggest cinematic blindspot right now would be The Wizard Of Oz, which is partially due to general knowledge of it from "cultural osmosis", and the way that parodies like this make me feel like I've basically seen it already:
    Meant to bring up earlier that I totally relate to this idea of cultural osmosis keeping me away from a movie. I've never seen De Palma's Scarface... I mean, why the hell would I need to? I'm almost certain I know what that movie is. Likewise for many Bond movies, Dirty Dancing, Sixteen Candles, Rocky, classic Universal monster movies like Dracula and The Mummy, etc. It may even be related to why I am no longer compelled to seek out the MCU. I do not expect to be surprised, and that is one of the main reasons I watch movies or engage with art of any kind.

  8. #83
    Continuing to watch the #1 most popular movie of each year according to LB (if I haven't seen it already).

    1910: Frankenstein. 14 mins. Not in great condition. The monster's creation is easily the highlight. It looks as if they melted a cadaver and then played it in reverse. The monster tries to strangle a few people and then is horrified by its own reflection with some light mirror trickery. It was okay. Here's what I watched: []

    1909: A Corner in Wheat. 14 mins. Not subtle, even by D.W. Griffith's standards. But hey, he was busy inventing the language of cinema. Most notable are the editing tactics used to juxtapose the Wall Street tycoon (who corners the wheat market) and his luxurious lifestyle with the farmers who can barely afford to buy the food they harvest themselves. In this way it is a precursor to Eisenstein. The evil tycoon man literally drowns in wheat. Oddly enough, I watched it on Tubi.

    1908: Fantasmagorie. 85 seconds. The first animated film? Apparently it's associated with the Incoherent movement, which I'd never heard of but is a precursor to Dada. So yeah, it makes no sense. You could spend the next 85 seconds doing worse things: []

    1907: The Dancing Pig. 4 mins. Barney the Dinosaur, but creepy. Humans are into weird shit and always have been. The tongue reminds me of when Leia kills Jabba the Hutt. Video below.

    1906: The Consequences of Feminism. 7 mins. The men sew, iron clothes, primp, gossip, and provide childcare. The women smoke, drink, and aggressively come onto the men. To this day, many people think it's brilliant satire. I thought it was stupid. I have no idea what the music is from, or if/how it's associated with the film, but it is absolutely delightful. Video below.

    Next up: Georges Méliès.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 05-06-2022 at 04:25 AM.

  9. #84
    Videos continued from above (only two are allowed per post):

    The Dancing Pig: []

    The Consequences of Feminism: []

  10. #85
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    The third issue, and where I think we disagree mostly strongly, is the question of how broad is too broad. In this particular case, the problem I have with the film's comic relief is that I don't find it funny, and the scenes with Look especially strike me as cruel in their humiliation and dehumanization of indigenous women, making them painful to watch.
    Yeah, plus, you have that moment when [
    ]

  11. #86
    Continuing to watch the #1 most popular movie of each year according to LB (if I haven't seen it already). After this I will reset back to 2019 and watch the #2 most popular movie of each year.

    All this Méliès makes me a little curious to revisit Hugo. Watched everything on youtube except for The Impossible Voyage, which is on HBO Max (and probably also youtube). That is the one I would recommend the most, but the others are also really fun.

    1905: The Black Imp. 4 mins. Not even close to the most popular of his movies, but I guess 1905 was a down year for cinema lol. A mischievous devil goes invisible and rearranges the furniture in this dude's room so that chairs disappear when he tries to sit in them, etc. The editing is very impressive.

    1904: The Impossible Voyage. 20 mins. This was awesome. A Trip to the Sun, basically. Starts kinda meh, with Melies pitching his idea to a board and then touring the factory where the machine is being built, but even in these moments the hand coloring really pops. Once things are set into motion, however, it's just one magical moment after another. The piano score with the HBO Max version is fantastic, reminiscent of Rachmaninoff.

    1901: The Man with the Rubber Head. 3 mins. One funny idea is enough.

    1900: Joan of Arc. 11 mins. More impressive hand painting, particularly during Joan's execution. As you would imagine, far less humorous than most Melies. Would've benefited from a couple intertitles explaining the drama onscreen.

    1899: Cinderella. 6 mins. As far as narratives go, fairy tales naturally suit this guy.

    1898: The Astronomer’s Dream. 3 mins. My favorite of the really short ones. The fact that it's a dream enables Melies to go all out with the cool effects.

    1896: The Haunted Castle. 3 mins. Maybe the first horror movie? It's not scary or anything, but a bat turns into a vampire and someone chases off a devil with a crucifix. A much different vibe than, say, people leaving a factory.

    Next up: Starting over at 2019 and counting back the #2 most popular movie of each year. First will be Captain America: The First Avenger.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 05-06-2022 at 10:49 PM.

  12. #87
    Quote Quoting Irish (view post)
    I'm saying Ford's ability to shift from small and large moments goes hand in hand with his ability to juggle tone. He's uses humor as a narrative shortcut, a way to downshift from high tension to low in a near instant.

    This is absolutely necessary because the runtime is so constrained. "The Searchers" covers 10 years in a shade under 2 hours, with an action climax that starts with less than 10 minutes of screen time left. (But who notices? The movie is so narratively dense that it feels longer than it is.) With so little time, Ford can't bullshit around with extraneous material or ponderous, obvious transitions between sequences. This is what you and Roger (heh) don't seem to want to acknowledge. You remove the humor or quiet it, and the picture doesn't work as well.
    Just to clarify, I'm not saying Ford should have removed the humour from the film; I just wish the jokes were better.

    PS: I hear you about Look, but I also think she exists at the thematic center of the movie, and the fact you feel like shit watching what happens to her happen to her is entirely part of the point Ford was trying to make. I think both he and the movie are on her side, because of the way Martin finds her, and the regret he expresses over her fate, and the ebb and flow of tension and resolution around the scenes including her.
    I would find this argument more convincing if Beulah Archuletta gave a better performance instead of grinning stupidly in every scene in which she appears. That her character never expresses any sense of hurt at her various humiliations, or indeed any awareness that's she's been humiliated, gives the audience license to laugh at her mistreatment. At the same time, although the film clearly condemns her murder, as a spectator I don't feel very affected by it because the character never registers as fully human.
    Just because...
    Accident (Cheang Soi, 2009) warm
    Introduction (Hong Sangsoo, 2021) warm
    Taki no Shiraito (Mizoguchi Kenji, 1933) mild

    The last book I read was...
    Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner


    The (New) World

  13. #88
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    I would find this argument more convincing if Beulah Archuletta gave a better performance instead of grinning stupidly in every scene in which she appears. That her character never expresses any sense of hurt at her various humiliations, or indeed any awareness that's she's been humiliated, gives the audience license to laugh at her mistreatment. At the same time, although the film clearly condemns her murder
    That's the thing, though; the film should've clearly [
    ]

  14. #89
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    Quote Quoting Idioteque Stalker (view post)
    Continuing to watch the #1 most popular movie of each year according to LB (if I haven't seen it already). After this I will reset back to 2019 and watch the #2 most popular movie of each year.

    All this Méliès makes me a little curious to revisit Hugo. ....
    I could not stand Hugo. I thought I had seen more Melies - where are you watching these? Youtube?

  15. #90
    What I haven't seen from the IMDB Top 250. But given some of the ones that I have seen on that list, I'm in no rush to fill some of these gaps (Whiplash? Pirates of the Caribbean? V for Vendetta? A Beautiful Mind?):

    44. The Intouchables (2011) 8.5
    45. Modern Times (1936) 8.5
    51. City Lights (1931) 8.4
    55. Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) 8.4
    63. The Great Dictator (1940) 8.4
    88. 3 Idiots (2009) 8.3
    94. Capernaum (2018) 8.3
    102. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) 8.2
    112. Hamilton (2020) 8.2
    124. Like Stars on Earth (2007) 8.2
    125. Downfall (2004) 8.2
    128. Dangal (2016) 8.2
    129. The Kid (1921) 8.2
    131. The Father (2020) 8.2
    133. Green Book (2018) 8.2
    135. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) 8.2
    157. Gone with the Wind (1939) 8.1
    162. Dial M for Murder (1954) 8.1
    169. Warrior (2011) 8.1
    174. The Gold Rush (1925) 8.1
    179. Children of Heaven (1997) 8.1
    180. Ben-Hur (1959) 8.1
    181. The General (1926) 8.1
    183. Wild Strawberries (1957) 8.1
    187. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
    192. Sherlock Jr. (1924) 8.1
    193. Room (2015) 8.1
    199. Wild Tales (2014) 8.1
    203. Mary and Max (2009) 8.1
    204. Pather Panchali (1955) 8.1
    207. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) 8.1
    208. Hotel Rwanda (2004) 8.1
    209. Tokyo Story (1953) 8.1
    210. Dead Poets Society (1989) 8.1
    216. Rush (2013) 8.0
    226. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 8.0
    228. To Be or Not to Be (1942) 8.0
    229. The Battle of Algiers (1966) 8.0
    231. The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 8.0
    232. Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009) 8.0
    237. My Father and My Son (2005) 8.0
    238. Persona (1966) 8.0
    245. Gandhi (1982) 8.0
    247. The Help (2011) 8.0
    250. Rififi (1955)
    Last 10 Movies Seen
    (90+ = canonical, 80-89 = brilliant, 70-79 = strongly recommended, 60-69 = good, 50-59 = mixed, 40-49 = below average with some good points, 30-39 = poor, 20-29 = bad, 10-19 = terrible, 0-9 = soul-crushingly inept in every way)

    Run
    (2020) 64
    The Whistlers
    (2019
    ) 55
    Pawn (2020) 62
    Matilda (1996) 37
    The Town that Dreaded Sundown
    (1976) 61
    Moby Dick (2011) 50

    Soul
    (2020) 64

    Heroic Duo
    (2003) 55
    A Moment of Romance (1990) 61
    As Tears Go By (1988) 65

    Stuff at Letterboxd
    Listening Habits at LastFM

  16. #91
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    I will never stop pushing Mary & Max. Must see.

  17. #92
    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    What I haven't seen from the IMDB Top 250. But given some of the ones that I have seen on that list, I'm in no rush to fill some of these gaps (Whiplash? Pirates of the Caribbean? V for Vendetta? A Beautiful Mind?):
    The Good
    All those silents, plus Persona

    The Bad
    Mary and Max (sorry Skitch)

    and the WTF?
    Hachi


    Quote Quoting Yxklyx (view post)
    where are you watching these? Youtube?
    For the most part, yes.
    Last edited by Idioteque Stalker; 05-07-2022 at 01:38 PM.

  18. #93
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Idioteque Stalker (view post)
    The Bad
    Mary and Max (sorry Skitch)
    Well now trans will have to judge between our opinions.

  19. #94
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Well now trans will have to judge between our opinions.
    If he doesn't log it on LB within 48 hours then that means I win.

  20. #95
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    What kind of barometer is that?? lol

    trans almost never sides with me, you got this in the bag. Usual bet?
    Last edited by Skitch; 05-07-2022 at 01:41 PM.

  21. #96
    Quote Quoting Skitch (view post)
    Usual bet?
    I really can't afford to take any more of your children. Let's just go back to doll hairs.

  22. #97
    Can't stop won't stop DFA1979's Avatar
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    The Help is an awful movie.
    Blog!

    I really don't care anymore
    About all the Jim-Jim's in this town
    And all the politicians makin' crazy sounds
    And everybody puttin' everybody else down
    And all the dead bodies piled up in mounds

  23. #98
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Idioteque Stalker (view post)
    I really can't afford to take any more of your children. Let's just go back to doll hairs.
    Fine but you're not getting any brunettes

  24. #99
    Is this argument over Mary and Max on topic? Drumroll.......... No, not really!

    LB's most popular movies of 2009:

    1. Inglourious Basterds 1.3m views
    2. Up 1.3m
    3. Fantastic Mr. Fox 730k
    4. 500 Days of Summer 717k
    5. Avatar 1m
    .
    .
    .
    37. Drag Me to Hell 154k
    38. Adventureland 170k
    39. Mary and Max 104k
    40. A Single Man 99k
    41. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 264k

    Still, Mary and Max has over 100k views and is on the IMDB Top 250. It is on the outskirts of what I would call a "popular movie."

  25. #100
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    In this particular case, the problem I have with the film's comic relief is that I don't find it funny, and the scenes with Look especially strike me as cruel in their humiliation and dehumanization of indigenous women, making them painful to watch.
    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    At the same time, although the film clearly condemns her murder, as a spectator I don't feel very affected by it because the character never registers as fully human.
    Small contradiction there, yeah?

    Look is crudely drawn, sure, but I dunno if giving her more depth would have necessarily helped, as she serves a specific purpose to the story. Most of the other supporting characters exist on more or less on the same level (Lars, his son, Laurie, Futterman, etc).

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