Today IMDb Top 250 project will be completed :) First project finale :)

I am watching the last film from the list: Seven Samurai by Kurosawa. I left one of the best ones to the end as a nice closure 🙂

Kurosawa and Miyazaki are by far my top heroes among all other great directors. Their talent in storytelling surpassed my expectations in many ways.

Movies, like books, are about storytelling. They use less words so it is not very easy when compared to books. Any subject, if told really good, can become a masterpiece.

That’s what I learned the best from the bests among IMDb Top 250. I will definitely use this in my future short films for my Filmmaking project.

Dog days are over or what?

Just finished watching Dog Day Afternoon with Pacino from my IMDb top 250 watchlist. I love this man. So real.

Free association to Dog Days Are Over by Florence + The Machine.

Continue reading Dog days are over or what?

Watch IMDb 250 project update: 10 left :)

This one is too close to an achievement if you call watching movies an achievement 🙂 *

Here is what I’ve been so far: Alex’s scores on IMDB 250

I do as I am sick at home, it is much better than pitying myself and doing nothing 🙂 Here are what I learned through this journey:

Continue reading Watch IMDb 250 project update: 10 left đź™‚

Movie project may lead to something bigger: New goals on the way…

The movie project is going so good that not only I watch them, I read other’s critics, I write down my notes etc. It is not only watching the movies, it is, for me, a learning platform by discovering and understanding the best examples. In short, learning by examples.

I have always been a theoretical learner, all these graduations in different areas of study, researching and attending classes, participating in discussions, non-conforming the lecturers included.

Continue reading Movie project may lead to something bigger: New goals on the way…

Movie project updates

In the past 2 days I watched 7 movies from IMDb top 250 and there are 57 movies left in my watchlist. I think I can finish them by the end of January 2015 🙂

It is going real good. I am in no rush, I just like watching good art.

Love,

Alex

Movie critique – Fanny & Alexander (1982 – Bergman) by Alex

Yet another so called “masterpiece” including step dad issues in a ridiculously rich & famous family and made IMDB top 250 because the director’s name is Ingmar Bergman.

There has already been a very boring Hamlet, so what’s the point in remaking that?

The only nice thing was the art direction in the movie. The mood of the characters correspond well with the scenes/colors/dresses and even curtains 🙂 So? That’s it.

Noone understands the movie. Many appreciations were made how supernatural, divine magic interferes etc.

Here is a spolier for you:

The kids literally die and never have escaped or rescued! End scene proves that the mother did not see her child when she is going out. Only the grandma sees Alexander, as she sees other ghosts like her son (real father of Alexander)

I really do not get what is Fanny doing in the movie except for being an eyewitness. Nothing special about her. The movie should have been called Alexander’s revenge. Fanny has almost no lines and stands as a background in the scenes.

Aaron, Ishmael… Ok we see the religious names of prophets and etc. Alex do not even believe in God. When he was possessed by Ishmael, he created the fire event in the house and took revenge/rescued his mother and twin sisters to be born. Just like what he saw as ghosts in the house before his death.

OMG! This was Hamlet taking revenge after death with really good art direction and mood-matching color choice in the curtains. That’s it.

Do not waste your 3 hours on a 6 out of 10 please. Life is short.

Alex

Best Indian Movies to watch – Compact critiques by Alex

In IMBD top 250, there are several Indian movies, a.k.a. Bollywood, and each of them won or nominated for many awards including BAFTA and Oscars. I watched all of them and here are my compact critiques:

3 idiots (2009) One of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Criticizes the harsh and competitive educational system in India and gives good insight about career choice issues in India. A must see as it is really different in Europe or USA. There are many students who commit suicide every year in India because of the pressure of failing in the class. If possible, watch it with your children. Aamir Khan shows one of his best performances.

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What I learned:

1. “Being an idiot is not being stupid.”

2. “Do what you like the most and you are already best at. And do it perfectly. Success will follow”

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A funny scene from 3 idiots

***

Slumdog Millionaire  (2008) A must watch, not only an Oscar winner but also a masterpiece in both script and directing.

images (1) - CopyFor the casting of the adult actors/actresses, I cannot praise that much though.

As the script and directing is too good, the mediocrity of the cast is eliminated. Too long but bearable. This was the only one I watched at the movie theatre and at some moments I got sleepy 🙂

Very important note that the children acting in the movie depicting the toddler years were extremely successful. Their acting is far much better than the adults in the movie.

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What I learned:

1. “A good movie is not about casting, it is about script, directing and cinematography.” (It is no surprise that it won 8 Oscars including script, directing, cinematography, music and best movie.)

2. “Notice everything. It will help you some way.”

***

Taare Zameen Par : Like stars on earth (2007) Another too long movie but the messages are too important so I recommend this one too. It is about a boy with dyslexia suffer from living an ordinary school life failing over and over until a ttaarezameenpar (1) - Copyeacher (Aamir Khan of course) gives him a chance to show his great talent in illustration. A life changing movie with many educational quotes for families with young children and teachers in competitive schools. The best scenes are the ones that show how different a dyslexic child’s brain works from “normal” ones.

What I learned:

1. “Normal is neither creative, nor perfect.”

2. “How a dyslexic mind works”

***

Rang De Basanti (2006) How I missed this masterpiece? I cannot believe myself! If you loved V for Vendetta, you will adore Rang de Basanti! Cast is perfect, Aamir Khan shines again. The story by Kamlesh Pandey could not be told better. Screenplay (Renzil D’Silva) and directing (Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra) is beyond perfect.

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This movie is about how things “do not change” in time and revolution will always be there as far as a handful of innocent, honest young students exist. Differing from V for Vendetta, this movie is not about revenge. It is purely about justice. So, it is far better than V, which is also one of my favorites.

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Rang De Basanti shows gradual transformation of university students from being politically apathetic to antigovernment rebels. After the death of their friend, who is in the army as a pilot, Defence Minister blames the pilot for the crash although it is because of the Minister who was bribed and purchased the plane parts which should not be used.

The students organize a peaceful candlelight at the India Gate, but the police severely and the rest of the film shows the dramatic results of this violence.

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10 out of 10 from me… In terms of script, directing and casting.

What I learned:

1. “No country is perfect. You’ve got to make it perfect.”

2. Thanks to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra I learned a lot about directing. The yellow bus passing in the background when we see the past and present is one of the best scenes of simple symbolism along with the song Rang de Basanti, which means “color me saffron(yellow)” (80 yrs ago some firebrand young indian nationalists were singing this song in all parts of India and trying to fight colonialism.)

rang-de-basanti-poster - Copy

3. “There are 3 kinds of people. The ones who go to death screaming, the ones who go to death silent (like Vendetta) and the ones who go to death “Laughing”. Those are the ones who believe in others will take the torch and they did not die for nothing.”

***

Dil Chahta Hai (2001) I will be honest. I did not like it. Too too long and very very boring. It is about love and finding love etc etc. I don’t really know why this one is on IMDB top 250.

What I learned:

“You can be a man who falls in love easily or never falls in love at all. It does not matter. When it comes to a relatinship, you should first be a good friend to her. It takes time and effort.” (Spice Girls said this one earlier, so… 🙂

“Conversation is the key”

“You cannot choose who to love, it just happens.” What a clichĂ© 🙂

These messages are in most of the movies so it becomes boring seeing them again and again. I simply do not recommend this one even Aamir Khan cannot save this movie 🙂

***

To sum up:

The only bad side that all of those movies share is the length. They are too long to capture my attention as they are nearly 3 hr movies. I cannot imagine myself watching them in a movie theatre. At home, I watch them while doing other things including texting or tweeting. Sorry but especially the songs and dances are too too long with an exception of Slumdog Millionaire. It has no songs or dance until end credits; however, still too long…

If you want to start, start with Slumdog Millionarie. Then watch 3 idiots. You will love them I promise 🙂

If you liked V for Vendetta, watch Rang de Basanti in the first place.

Believe me, these Indian movies will give you a realistic perspective in Indian Culture like My Sassy Girl (2001 – original) gives about Korean culture. I strongly recommend that one too.

As a last word. Please do not waste time on remakes. When they are remade by Hollywood they are not successful because of the cultural differences. Hollywood should continue to do Hollywood and stop doing the remakes of international blockbusters.

Alex

Updated IMDB top 250 movies to be watched with compact critiques by Alex

Here is the list of IMDB top 250 and my status of watching, how many times I watched them and how I score them in my view.

To some movies, I get addicted and watch them over and over again rather than a new movie, so I wrote how many times I watched the movie too. These are the least possible numbers so I probably watched them more times than that :))) 

I am a Star Wars nerd as you’ll see 🙂

So in this year I will watch the rest at least once.

Of course IMDB is not the only authority in selecting which movie to watch but public opinion is a good guide if the number of voters are global and many.

So for me, IMDB ranks is a better source than “artistically selective” film critiques.

My scores can be interpreted as follows:

1= so awful that I forced myself to finish it.

2 or 3=Yes it was “a movie”. That’s all. If you have so much time 🙂

4 or 5= tolerable for once

6=watchable

7=good

8=real good, fun

9=learned from the movie, loved it

10=Adore it! Learned so much from it!

HERE COMES THE LIST (will be updated as I watch)

Rank & Title  IMDb Rating My Rating Watched before 2015 Watched during 2015 (My35Project)
(depends on the data on IMDB on 25.12.2015) x=1 time, xx=2 to 5 times, xxx=5 or more times
1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 9,2 10 xxx
2. The Godfather (1972) 9,2 7 x
3. The Godfather: Part II (1974) 9,0 7 x
4. The Dark Knight (2008) 8,9
5. Pulp Fiction (1994) 8,9 7 xx
6. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 8,9 7 x
7. 12 Angry Men (1957) 8,9 10 xxx
8. Schindler’s List (1993) 8,9
9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) 8,9 8 xxx
10. Fight Club (1999) 8,8 10 xxx
11. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) 8,8 8 xxx
12. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 8,8 10 xxx
13. Inception (2010) 8,7 7 x
14. Forrest Gump (1994) 8,7 8 xx
15. Interstellar (2014) 8,7 7 x
16. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) 8,7 9 xx
17. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) 8,7 5 x
18. Goodfellas (1990) 8,7 8 xxx
19. The Matrix (1999) 8,7 9 xx
20. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) 8,7 10 xxx
21. Seven Samurai (1954) 8,7
22. City of God (2002) 8,7 10 x
23. Se7en (1995) 8,6 6 x
24. The Usual Suspects (1995) 8,6 9 xx
25. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 8,6 8 xx
26. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) 8,6
27. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) 8,6
28. LĂ©on: The Professional (1994) 8,6 8 xx
29. Life Is Beautiful (1997) 8,6 9 xx
30. Casablanca (1942) 8,6 5 x
31. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 8,5 6 xx
32. American History X (1998) 8,5 9 xx
33. Psycho (1960) 8,5 6 x
34. City Lights (1931) 8,5
35. Saving Private Ryan (1998) 8,5 8 xx
36. Spirited Away (2001) 8,5 10 xxx
37. Rear Window (1954) 8,5 6 xx
38. The Intouchables (2011) 8,5 x
39. Modern Times (1936) 8,5
40. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 8,5 7 xx
41. Memento (2000) 8,5 6 x
42. The Pianist (2002) 8,5 1 x
43. The Green Mile (1999) 8,5
44. Sunset Blvd. (1950) 8,5
45. Apocalypse Now (1979) 8,5
46. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 8,5
47. The Departed (2006) 8,5 6 x
48. Gladiator (2000) 8,5 6 xx
49. Back to the Future (1985) 8,5 7 xxx
50. Alien (1979) 8,5 6 xx
51. The Prestige (2006) 8,5 6 xx
52. The Great Dictator (1940) 8,4
53. The Lives of Others (2006) 8,4 7 x
54. The Lion King (1994) 8,4
55. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) 8,4
56. Django Unchained (2012) 8,4
57. Cinema Paradiso (1988) 8,4
58. The Shining (1980) 8,4 6 x
59. Paths of Glory (1957) 8,4
60. American Beauty (1999) 8,4 6 xx
61. WALL·E (2008) 8,4 9 xxx
62. North by Northwest (1959) 8,4
63. Aliens (1986) 8,4 5 x
64. Citizen Kane (1941) 8,4
65. Amélie (2001) 8,4 9 xxx
66. Vertigo (1958) 8,4
67. M (1931) 8,4
68. Toy Story 3 (2010) 8,4 7 x
69. Das Boot (1981) 8,4
70. Oldboy (2003) 8,4 9 x
71. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) 8,4
72. Princess Mononoke (1997) 8,4 8 xx
73. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) 8,4 10 xxx
74. Once Upon a Time in America (1984) 8,4
75. A Clockwork Orange (1971) 8,4 9 xx
76. Taxi Driver (1976) 8,4 9 xx
77. Reservoir Dogs (1992) 8,4 8 xx
78. Double Indemnity (1944) 8,4
79. Braveheart (1995) 8,4 4 x
80. Requiem for a Dream (2000) 8,4 9 xxx
81. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) 8,3 8 x
82. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 8,3 1 x
83. Witness for the Prosecution (1957) 8,3
84. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 8,3 7 x
85. Full Metal Jacket (1987) 8,3 8 xx
86. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 8,3 9 xxx
87. The Sting (1973) 8,3
88. Bicycle Thieves (1948) 8,3
89. Boyhood (2014) 8,3
90. Amadeus (1984) 8,3 6 x
91. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) 8,3
92. Snatch. (2000) 8,3 8 xx
93. Rashomon (1950) 8,3
94. L.A. Confidential (1997) 8,3
95. For a Few Dollars More (1965) 8,3
96. All About Eve (1950) 8,3
97. The Apartment (1960) 8,3 2 x
98. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) 8,3 10 xxx
99. The Kid (1921) 8,3
100. Some Like It Hot (1959) 8,3 4 x
101. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) 8,3
102. Inglourious Basterds (2009) 8,3 7 xx
103. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) 8,3 7 xx
104. The Third Man (1949) 8,3
105. A Separation (2011) 8,3
106. Gone Girl (2014) 8,3 1 x
107. YĂ´jinbĂ´ (1961) 8,3
108. Batman Begins (2005) 8,3 1 x
109. Toy Story (1995) 8,3 7 xx
110. Metropolis (1927) 8,3
111. Unforgiven (1992) 8,3
112. Taare Zameen Par (2007) 8,3 8 x
113. Raging Bull (1980) 8,3
114. Scarface (1983) 8,3 8 xx
115. Up (2009) 8,2 10 xx
116. Chinatown (1974) 8,2
117. Downfall (2004) 8,2
118. The Great Escape (1963) 8,2
119. Die Hard (1988) 8,2 7 xx
120. 3 Idiots (2009) 8,2 8 x
121. On the Waterfront (1954) 8,2
122. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) 8,2
123. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) 8,2 8 xx
124. Heat (1995) 8,2
125. The Hunt (2012) 8,2
126. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) 8,2
127. Good Will Hunting (1997) 8,2 8 xx
128. The Seventh Seal (1957) 8,2
129. My Neighbor Totoro (1988) 8,2
130. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) 8,2
131. The Gold Rush (1925) 8,2
132. Ikiru (1952) 8,2
133. The Elephant Man (1980) 8,2
134. Wild Strawberries (1957) 8,2
135. Ran (1985) 8,2
136. The General (1926) 8,2
137. Blade Runner (1982) 8,2
138. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) 8,2
139. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) 8,2
140. Gran Torino (2008) 8,2
141. Casino (1995) 8,2 6
142. The Big Lebowski (1998) 8,2
143. Warrior (2011) 8,2
144. Rebecca (1940) 8,2 8 xx
145. V for Vendetta (2005) 8,2 9 xx
146. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) 8,2
147. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) 8,2
148. Rang De Basanti (2006) 8,2
149. The Deer Hunter (1978) 8,2
150. It Happened One Night (1934) 8,2
151. Cool Hand Luke (1967) 8,2
152. How to Train Your Dragon (2010) 8,2 7 xx
153. Fargo (1996) 8,1
154. Trainspotting (1996) 8,1
155. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) 8,1
156. Rush (2013) 8,1
157. Gone with the Wind (1939) 8,1 10 xxx
158. The Maltese Falcon (1941) 8,1
159. Into the Wild (2007) 8,1
160. A Beautiful Mind (2001) 8,1 6 xx
161. The Wages of Fear (1953) 8,1
162. Dial M for Murder (1954) 8,1
163. The Sixth Sense (1999) 8,1 7 xx
164. Hotel Rwanda (2004) 8,1 8 xx
165. Dil Chahta Hai (2001) 8,1
166. The Thing (1982) 8,1
167. Finding Nemo (2003) 8,1 6 x
168. No Country for Old Men (2007) 8,1
169. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) 8,1
170. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) 8,1 7 xx
171. Mary and Max (2009) 8,1 8 x
172. Platoon (1986) 8,1
173. Life of Brian (1979) 8,1
174. 12 Years a Slave (2013) 8,1
175. Incendies (2010) 8,1
176. Network (1976) 8,1
177. Touch of Evil (1958) 8,1
178. Diabolique (1955) 8,1
179. Annie Hall (1977) 8,1
180. Sin City (2005) 8,1 6 x
181. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) 8,1 3 x
182. The Princess Bride (1987) 8,1
183. Stand by Me (1986) 8,1 7 xx
184. There Will Be Blood (2007) 8,1
185. Ben-Hur (1959) 8,1
186. Amores Perros (2000) 8,1 9 xxx
187. The 400 Blows (1959) 8,1
188. In the Name of the Father (1993) 8,1 1 x
189. The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 8,1
190. The Wizard of Oz (1939) 8,1 7 xxx
191. Million Dollar Baby (2004) 8,1 2 x
192. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009) 8,1
193. Persona (1966) 8,1
194. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 8,1
195. The Avengers (2012) 8,1
196. Gangs of Wasseypur (2012) 8,1
197. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) 8,1
198. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) 8,1
199. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) 8,1 8 xx
200. 8½ (1963) 8,1
201. Gandhi (1982) 8,1
202. Donnie Darko (2001) 8,1 9 xx
203. Strangers on a Train (1951) 8,1
204. Infernal Affairs (2002) 8,1
205. Jaws (1975) 8,1 4 xx
206. Stalker (1979) 8,1
207. High Noon (1952) 8,1 1 x
208. Twelve Monkeys (1995) 8,1 6 x
209. Shutter Island (2010) 8,0
210. Notorious (1946) 8,0
211. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001) 8,0
212. The King’s Speech (2010) 8,0 4 x
213. The Terminator (1984) 8,0 7 xxx
214. Fanny and Alexander (1982) 8,0
215. Before Sunrise (1995) 8,0 8 xxx
216. Groundhog Day (1993) 8,0 7 xxx
217. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) 8,0 6  x
218. The Battle of Algiers (1966) 8,0
219. Ip Man (2008) 8,0
220. Rocky (1976) 8,0 7 xxx
221. The Night of the Hunter (1955) 8,0
222. Dog Day Afternoon (1975) 8,0
223. Monsters, Inc. (2001) 8,0 7 xx
224. La Haine (1995) 8,0
225. La Strada (1954) 8,0
226. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) 8,0
227. Memories of Murder (2003) 8,0
228. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) 8,0 3 xx
229. Barry Lyndon (1975) 8,0
230. Castle in the Sky (1986) 8,0
231. A Fistful of Dollars (1964) 8,0
232. The Big Sleep (1946) 8,0
233. The Truman Show (1998) 8,0 8 xx
234. The Help (2011) 8,0 7 x
235. The Graduate (1967) 8,0
236. Roman Holiday (1953) 8,0
237. Jurassic Park (1993) 8,0 5 xx
238. The Hustler (1961) 8,0
239. Swades (2004) 8,0
240. The Celebration (1998) 8,0
241. Beauty and the Beast (1991) 8,0 6  x
242. In the Mood for Love (2000) 8,0
243. Papillon (1973) 8,0
244. Stalag 17 (1953) 8,0
245. Rope (1948) 8,0
246. Her (2013) 8,0 5 x
247. Prisoners (2013) 8,0
248. Before Sunset (2004) 8,0 4 xx
249. Three Colors: Red (1994) 8,0
250. Underground (1995) 8,0 9 xxx

UPDATES (24.12.2014)

I started my project with the Godfather I and II. Like but no love… Sorry. I am sick and tired of watching daddy issues.

DeNiro was good as Vito. Oh he has always been goooood 🙂

For Pacino, he was adorable in Scarface, not here… Diane Keaton especially was very bad in this one although I adore her for her comedies.

Today I watched City of God and I loooooved it. Loved every minute of it. Thank God for documentary-style cinema! So we can learn something instead of being fans of overrated mafia stories and daddy issues stuff.

Now I am watching Intouchables.

My all time fav is Gone with the Wind and i suppose it will remain the same.

Indian movies like “3 idiots” are in the list too!. I am glad, especially to see Aamir Khan more on educational issues.

That’s all for today. I will write and score as I watch throughout the year 🙂

UPDATES (25.12.2014)

Just watched The Beauty and the Beast and found it quite boring… Singing, dancing, same old same old. Where is the interpretation, a new twist to the story? Even parents get bored and add twists to stories they tell their kids before sleep!!!

Cannot compare this Disney things to real animes like Nausicaa or Spirited Away by Studio GhibliHayao Miyazaki. Better watch them again and again 🙂

Harry Potter, although very good story as a book, I hate the acting and directing of this sequel from the beginning. It runs so slow, they act so depressed. There should have been more humor in any adventure. It gives Twilight taste to me. 6/10 from me. Yawnnn :/

I will watch Dil Chahta Hai now! Aamir Khan is always good 🙂

Alex