2020 Shelter in Place Alphabet Movie Draft - BONUS ROUNDS

All right, let's get right to the main reason I lobbied to extend this little exercise into double overtime.

Back in the halcyon days of physical rentals from brick-and-mortar Blockbusters when I was still a kid, my parents would regularly pick up a couple movies for the weekend while I snagged myself a Nintendo game. Sometimes I watched their movie choice with them, but usually I sequestered myself away in my room with my gaming prize while they slogged through whatever boring grown-up stuff they'd dragged home.

My introduction to my next pick played out per the norm. I never watched this film with my parents, instead spending that time helping Mega Man overcome the evil Dr. Wily. But I left my room for a snack or something right as the credits rolled, and I distinctly remember hearing my dad say "Eh, pretty good. I don't need to see it again."

That really stuck with me. I remember being confused, a little saddened, hurt even, by the comment. Believe it or not, I actually felt sorry for whatever movie my dad was describing in such flippant terms. In my adolescent mind, things were either awesome or terrible, and only the terrible deserved to be forgotten. To hear my dad describe something as good enough to enjoy, but not good enough to remember struck a nerve.

I wanted to somehow rescue this film from the abyss of obscurity to which I knew my dad had just banished it. So when my parents left the house, but before they'd returned the rentals, I did what I had never done before and watched a film they rented without them.

And I liked it. A lot actually. It was fun and funny, had cool action, cool tech, cool shots, cool characters. I didn't fully understand everything going on, a lot of the more subtle humor and topical nuance went over my head, but I could follow along well enough. I made a conscious decision at that time to bestow this random movie my parents rented a place within my favorites list. Which is a bigger deal than it sounds: at the time my "favorite movie list" was essentially limited to Back to the Future, TMNT, and Point Break. A high honor indeed. But despite what my dad said, this movie deserved it.

As I grew up, my opinion softened a bit, but never below the sentiment of "you know what, I really do like that one." with a customary watch every now and again. Nearly 30 years later now, and the movie my dad callously cast off the island (and probably legitimately has no memory of) has been a mainstay on my expanded favorite movies list ever since.

Wildcard #1 is for ...

Setec Astronomy




Sneakers (1992)

It was a dead heat between this and Shakespeare in Love for my "S" pick, but I went with the latter to bolster up my rom-com options, and because overall I think Shakespeare ... is the more "complete" film experience. But it pained me to do it, leaving Sneakers alone at the alter yet again.

I've previously called it a "poor man's Ocean's Eleven," which while apt given the focus on the ensemble cast, and the consummate sleight-of-hand caper elements, doesn't nearly encapsulate what makes Sneakers significantly unique among cinematic shovelware.

One key to appreciating Sneakers is through embracing the zeitgeist in which it was crafted: namely the brief period in America immediately following the Cold War when the country collectively exalted to the heavens in a unified voice "We won! ... uh, now what?" Sneakers is a product of that surreal, hungover after-party morning stupor when the nation tried to find its shoes and put together a plan for breakfast.

There is the DNA of a "business as usual" by the numbers espionage thriller that could copy-paste the omnipresent Soviets as the clear and present danger - standard operating procedures for the preceding 40 years. But Sneakers is emblematic of a reality in which geopolitical affairs move faster than the Hollywood filmmaking industrial complex, and a script written in 1981 surprisingly isn't as topical a decade later.

The movie even makes reference to this with numerous, almost wistful mentions of the Russians, like a sullen teenager pining for a lost love. There's a point in the middle when the narrative starts to veer in that direction regardless, with body counts slowly rising, and Redford as Bishop going full Three Days of the Condor shouting "Who are you working for?!" at people in the shadows. But then Bishop gets back with his crew, and it's as though he remembers "Wait a minute, I'm not in that kind of movie" and we get back to the fun stuff.

Redford really is the heart and soul of the film, and the only reason it got off the ground in the first place. But there is not a weak point in the cast. Ackroyd is great as a flat affect conspiracy theorist. River Phoenix - in his last on screen role - fits the lovable scrappy tech kid. McDonnell walks the delicate balance of being the put-upon sardonic voice of reason, who still isn't a total wet blanket buzzkill, and relishes being the mutrue cool girl whose's still allowed in the "clubhouse." Strathairn as the blind hacker Whistler is a scene-stealer.

Of course, special mention must be made for Ben Kingsley, a sympathetic villain with the most ridiculous accent this side of Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending. But even more so, the great Sidney Poitier in his penultimate major motion picture role. Not only does he play the soberingly necessary part of the "only adult in the room" with sophisticated power and poise, but here's a shocker, he's also low-key hilarious. Now I had only ever known Poitier as a dramatic actor, with no idea he had any kind of comedic sense and timing. I didn't even know he had a few comedies in his repertoire until I went through his filmography and found a pair from the 70s. But Poitier puts on a great show of balancing dramatic intensity with charismatic, straight-chill comedy, so that he can do either from scene-to-scene, or even line-to-line, and seem completely within his character.

Beyond that, there's some slick early 90s tech shots that still seem futuristic within the film universe even if they're running on DOS. The script writing I find especially clever. At one point Bishop delivers the throw-away line "You know, I wanted to join the NSA, but they found out my parents were married" which is kind of a 1% joke anyway, but the scene lingers for a second without a cut away, staying long enough both for for the audience to get the joke AND for the other guy to enter the frame under the pretense of kicking the crap out of Bishop right when the audience figures out the insult.

It's also unintentionally funny in a Post-Patriot Act world, seeing a guy in a "dangers of tech and surveillance" movie, unironically smiling as he says "We're with the NSA ... We're the good guys." hoping to ease the mind of the hacker dude with the checkered past.

Too Many Secrets

 
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All right, let's get right to the main reason I lobbied to extend this little exercise into double overtime.

Back in the halcyon days of physical rentals from brick-and-mortar Blockbusters when I was still a kid, my parents would regularly pick up a couple movies for the weekend while I snagged myself a Nintendo game. Sometimes I watched their movie choice with them, but usually I sequestered myself away in my room with my gaming prize while they slogged through whatever boring grown-up stuff they'd dragged home.

My introduction to my next pick played out per the norm. I never watched this film with my parents, instead spending that time helping Mega Man overcome the evil Dr. Wily. But I left my room for a snack or something right as the credits rolled, and I distinctly remember hearing my dad say "Eh, pretty good. I don't need to see it again."

That really stuck with me. I remember being confused, a little saddened, hurt even, by the comment. Believe it or not, I actually felt sorry for whatever movie my dad was describing in such flippant terms. In my adolescent mind, things were either awesome or terrible, and only the terrible deserved to be forgotten. To hear my dad describe something as good enough to enjoy, but not good enough to remember struck a nerve.

I wanted to somehow rescue this film from the abyss of obscurity to which I knew my dad had just banished it. So when my parents left the house, but before they'd returned the rentals, I did what I had never done before and watched a film they rented without them.

And I liked it. A lot actually. It was fun and funny, had cool action, cool tech, cool shots, cool characters. I didn't fully understand everything going on, a lot of the more subtle humor and topical nuance went over my head, but I could follow along well enough. I made a conscious decision at that time to bestow this random movie my parents rented a place within my favorites list. Which is a bigger deal that it sounds: at the time my "favorite movie list" was essentially limited to Back to the Future, TMNT, and Point Break. A high honor indeed. But despite what my dad said, this movie deserved it.

As I grew up, my opinion softened a bit, but never below the sentiment of "you know what, I really do like that one." with a customary watch every now and again. Nearly 30 years later now, and the movie my dad callously cast off the island (and probably legitimately has no memory of) has been a mainstay on my expanded favorite movies list ever since.

Wildcard #1 is for ...

Setec Astronomy




Sneakers (1992)

It was a dead heat between this and Shakespeare in Love for my "S" pick, but I went with the latter to bolster up my rom-com options, and because overall I think Shakespeare ... is the more "complete" film experience. But it pained me to do it, leaving Sneakers alone at the alter yet again.

I've previously called it a "poor man's Ocean's Eleven," which while apt given the focus on the ensemble cast, and the consummate sleight-of-hand caper elements, doesn't nearly encapsulate what makes Sneakers significantly unique among cinematic shovelware.

One key to appreciating Sneakers is through embracing the zeitgeist in which it was crafted: namely the brief period in America immediately following the Cold War when the country collectively exalted to the heavens in a unified voice "We won! ... uh, now what?" Sneakers is a product of that surreal, hungover after-party morning stupor when the nation tried to find its shoes and put together a plan for the day.

There is the DNA of a "business as usual" by the numbers espionage thriller that could copy-paste the omnipresent Soviets as the clear and present danger threat - standard operating procedures for the preceding 40 years. But Sneakers is emblematic of a reality in which geopolitical affairs move faster than the Hollywood filmmaking industrial complex, and a script written in 1981 surprisingly isn't as topical a decade later.

The movie even makes reference to this with numerous, almost wistful mentions of the Russians, like a sullen teenager pining for a lost love. There's a point in the middle when the narrative starts to veer in that direction regardless, with body counts slowly rising, and Redford going full [Redacted] shouting "Who are you working for?!" at people in the shadows. But then Bishop gets back with his crew, and it's as though he remembers "Wait a minute, I'm not in that kind of movie" and we get back to the fun stuff.

Redford really is the heart and soul of the film, and the only reason it got of the ground in the first place. But there is not a weak point in the cast. Ackroyd is great as a flat affect conspiracy theorist. River Phoenix - in his last on screen role - fits the lovable scrappy tech kid. McDonnell walks the delicate balance of being the put-upon sardonic voice of reason, who still isn't a total wet blanket buzzkill. Strathairn as the blind hacker Whistler is a scene-stealer.

Of course, special mention must be made for Ben Kingsley, a sympathetic villain with the most ridiculous accent this side of Eddie Redmayne in [Redacted]. But even more so, the great Sidney Poitier in his penultimate major motion picture role. Not only does he play the soberingly necessary part of the "only adult in the room" with sophisticated power and poise, but here's a shocker, he's also low-key hilarious. Now I had only even known Poitier as a dramatic actor, and had no idea he had any kind of comedic sense and timing. I didn't even know he had a few comedies in his repertoire until I went through his filmography and found a pair from the 70s. But Poitier puts on a great show of balancing dramatic intensity with charismatic, straight-chill comedy, so that he can do either from scene-to-scene, or even line-to-line and seem completely within his character.

Beyond that, there's some slick early 90s tech shots that still seem futuristic within the film universe even if they're running on DOS. The script writing I find especially clever. At one point Bishop delivers the throw-away line "You know, I wanted to join the NSA, but they found out my parents were married" which is kind of a 1% joke anyway, but the scene lingers for a second without a cut away, staying long enough both for the other guy to enter the frame under the pretense of kicking the crap out of Bishop AND for the audience to get the joke.

It's also unintentionally funny in a Post-Patriot Act world, seeing a guy in a "dangers of tech and surveillance" movie, unironically smiling as he says "We're with the NSA. We're the good guys." hoping to ease the mind of the dude with the checkered past.

Too Many Secrets
I took this one out from under you in an earlier draft. It remains a re-watchable favorite :)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
John Wick: When Helen died, I lost everything. Until that dog arrived on my doorstep... A final gift from my wife... In that moment, I received some semblance of hope... an opportunity to grieve unalone... And your son... took that from me.

John Wick (2014)

John_Wick_TeaserPoster.jpg

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2911666/

I wanted to add a Keanu Reeves action flick in the library and this one delivers in spades. :) Keanu is in his element here, much like Matrix but more "grounded". The fight scenes are incredibly well choreographed and the action is relentless. David Leitch's influence is on full display here, similar to another action movie that he directed I took in the last draft.

From wikipedia:

John Wick is a 2014 American neo-noir action-thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski, in his directorial debut, and written by Derek Kolstad. It stars Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, and Willem Dafoe.

The story focuses on John Wick (Reeves) searching for the men who broke into his home, stole his vintage car and killed his puppy, which was a last gift to him from his recently deceased wife (Moynahan).
Stahelski and Leitch's approach to fight scenes drew upon their admiration for anime and martial arts films. The film used fight choreographers and gun fu techniques from Hong Kong action cinema.
Stahelski and Leitch drew inspiration from the visual stylings of the 60's and 70's as well as cinematic influences, including Sergio Leone, Akira Kurosawa, Steve McQueen, Lee Marvin, William Friedkin and Sam Peckinpah. With Stahelski himself stating, "All the way back to Kurosawa up to Sergio Leone. We like the spaghetti western sensibility there, some of the composition." Albeit inspriation and emulation from the noir film genre, Stahelski too added that, "Noir maybe was sort of less impactful for us than the other sort of westerns and Kurosawa and things like that. I think we wanted to make this hard-boiled character."
Justin Lowe of The Hollywood Reporter wrote, "After a marked absence from the genre, Reeves resoundingly returns with an effortless, kinetic style that positions the film extremely well for any potential follow-ups." Peter Debruge of Variety spoke highly of the film, "Back in action-hero mode, Keanu Reeves joins forces with his Matrix stunt double to deliver a slick and satisfying revenge thriller" and noted "what a thrill well-choreographed action can be when we're actually able to make out what's happening". Stephanie Zacharek of The Village Voice said that, "Reeves is wonderful here, a marvel of physicality and stern determination – he moves with the grace of an old-school swashbuckler."
Viggo Tarasov: It's not what you did, son, that angers me so. It's who you did it to.
Iosef Tarasov: Who? That ****ing nobody?
Viggo Tarasov: That "****in' nobody"... is John Wick. He once was an associate of ours. They call him "Baba Yaga."
Iosef Tarasov: The Boogeyman?
Viggo Tarasov: Well John wasn't exactly the Boogeyman. He was the one you sent to kill the ****ing Boogeyman.
Iosef Tarasov: [stunned] Oh.
Viggo Tarasov: John is a man of focus, commitment, sheer will... something you know very little about. I once saw him kill three men in a bar... with a pencil, with a ****ing pencil. Then suddenly one day he asked to leave. It's over a woman, of course. So I made a deal with him. I gave him an impossible task. A job no one could have pulled off. The bodies he buried that day laid the foundation of what we are now. And then my son, a few days after his wife died, you steal his car and kill his ****ing dog.

Winston: Have you thought this through? I mean, chewed down to the bone? You got out once. You dip so much as a pinky back into this pond... you may well find something reaches out... and drags you back into its depths.


Viggo Tarasov: I'll say this, John. They sure as **** broke the mold with you.
 

Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
I have messaged @foxfire to go ahead and post his write up, if he's ready. I'm going to be awhile, yet, especially since I've been unexpectedly busy at work, this week.

Everybody knows what my pick is, anyway. There's no suspense here.
 
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RAD (1986)
1597327875027.jpg

https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0091817/

If you were a kid growing up in the 80s at some point you likely had a BMX bike and built ramps and jumps. RAD took it to the next level. Hometown boy Cru Jones was a big fish in a small pond, but he finally gets his chance when “Helltrack” comes to town and he gets to test his skills against the top BMXers around. Aptly titled, this film is just.....rad.

 
S = Stranger than Fiction (2006) - PG-13



Of all the letters available, S had the most traffic. This is a fun movie I find rewatchable for the clever concept, execution, and superb ensemble cast. Will Farrell plays a fairly solemn, yet hilarious lead, in what is a funny yet dramatic role. He shares the screen graciously with Emma Thompson, Queen Latifah, Dustin Hoffman, and Maggie Gyllenhaal equally well.


https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0420223/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
 

bajaden

Hall of Famer
B = The Bridge on the River Kwai: This is one of my all time favorite movies. It plays out almost like a Shakespeare tragedy. It was directed by David Lean, of Lawrence of Arabia fame and starred Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins, and the great Japanese actor Sessue Hayakawa. The movie won 7 academy awards including best picture. The movie takes place in a Japanese prisoner of war camp where the Japanese commander is using the prisoners to build a railroad bridge over the river Kwai. What the movie is really about, is the psychological battle between the Japanese commander (Hayakawa and the British commander (Guinness), and how principle becomes obsession which becomes tragedy.

In early 1943, British POWs arrive by train at a Japanese prison camp in Burma. The commandant, Colonel Saito (Hayakawa), informs them that all prisoners, regardless of rank, are to work on the construction of a railway bridge over the River Kwai that will help connect Bangkok and Rangoon. The senior British officer, Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson (Guinness), informs Saito that the Geneva Conventions exempt officers from manual labor. Nicholson later forbids any escape attempts because they had been ordered by headquarters to surrender, and escapes could be seen as defiance of orders.

At the morning assembly, Nicholson orders his officers to remain behind when the enlisted men march off to work. Saito threatens to have them shot, but Nicholson refuses to back down. When Major Clipton, the British medical officer, warns Saito there are too many witnesses for him to get away with murder, Saito leaves the officers standing all day in the intense heat. That evening, the officers are placed in a punishment hut, while Nicholson is locked in an iron box.

Meanwhile, three prisoners attempt to escape. Two are shot dead, but United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Shears (Holden) gets away, although wounded. He wanders half-dead into a Siamese village, where he is nursed back to health before completing his escape downstream and eventually to the British colony of Ceylon.

 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
As my second "free pick" in the alphabetical movie draft, I select:



Scrooged (1988)

Directed by Richard Donner

Starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Bobcat Goldthwait

Trailer

Unlike my previous pick, this film wasn't actually on my draft radar for a while - I have to admit I simply forgot about it until folks started taking Christmas movies. Oh yeah! Christmas movies are a thing. There are two Christmas movies that I watch every year, and this is one of them. (OK, technically I think there are three, but the third is only because my family watches it...) Of course, I wouldn't have taken Scrooged in front of my first-round "S" pick, so it was pretty much moot until the second bonus round came around and made it eligible again. The setup behind this one is pretty easy - it's Dickens' classic Xmas story moved into a modern setting, with Bill Murray playing the hard-hearted TV executive whose Christmas Eve visits by three ghosts eventually rescue his soul. Murray is just perfect for this role, and it definitely has the rewatchability factor - I've watched it every year for at least a decade and I don't think I'm going to get tired of it anytime soon.

I was touched by a gift. A four-year old kid receives what in today's marketplace is a 40 or 50 dollar piece of milk-fed veal.
 
As my second "free pick" in the alphabetical movie draft, I select:



Scrooged (1988)

Directed by Richard Donner

Starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Bobcat Goldthwait

Trailer

Unlike my previous pick, this film wasn't actually on my draft radar for a while - I have to admit I simply forgot about it until folks started taking Christmas movies. Oh yeah! Christmas movies are a thing. There are two Christmas movies that I watch every year, and this is one of them. (OK, technically I think there are three, but the third is only because my family watches it...) Of course, I wouldn't have taken Scrooged in front of my first-round "S" pick, so it was pretty much moot until the second bonus round came around and made it eligible again. The setup behind this one is pretty easy - it's Dickens' classic Xmas story moved into a modern setting, with Bill Murray playing the hard-hearted TV executive whose Christmas Eve visits by three ghosts eventually rescue his soul. Murray is just perfect for this role, and it definitely has the rewatchability factor - I've watched it every year for at least a decade and I don't think I'm going to get tired of it anytime soon.

I was touched by a gift. A four-year old kid receives what in today's marketplace is a 40 or 50 dollar piece of milk-fed veal.
Fun one that’s unfairly maligned.

Also, Murray’s looking a little Barry Manilow on that poster.
 

Capt. Factorial

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Staff member
Fun one that’s unfairly maligned.

Also, Murray’s looking a little Barry Manilow on that poster.
I honestly wasn't aware it was maligned at all. Ignored a bit, perhaps. Didn't know there was active anti-Scrooged sentiment though.

The poster is...frightening. Easily scarier than the Ghost of Christmas Future.
 
With my twenty-seventh pick in the Shelter in Place Alphabet Movie Draft, I will make use of the letter X in a "relaxed" fashion to select:

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009):



Director: Wes Anderson
Dir. of Photography: Tristan Oliver
Writer(s): Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Roald Dahl (based on the novel by)
Score: Alexandre Desplat
Cast: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwarzman, Eric Chase Anderson, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe
Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy
Runtime: 1 hour, 27 minutes

IMDb Entry: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0432283/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

Hey everybody. Sorry I've been MIA. Crazy week. I see we're going a further bonus round, so I've missed two picks--the final of the draft, and the first of the bonus round. This one fulfills my x requirement, and it is the only film I've had to select within the framework of the original rules that happens to be "relaxed." It's just such a tricky letter, and I'd prefer to use it to pick I film that I adore.
 
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With my twenty-eighth pick in the Shelter in Place Alphabet Movie Draft, I will make use of the letter M once again to select:

Midnight Run (1988):



Director: Martin Brest
Dir. of Photography: Donald E. Thorin
Writer(s): George Gallo
Score: Danny Elfman
Cast: Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin, Yaphet Kotto, Joe Pantoliano, Dennis Farina, John Ashton
Genre: Action, comedy
Runtime: 2 hours, 6 minutes

IMDb Entry: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095631/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

I haven't selected much in the way of "comfort food" in this draft, so I'll use my first selection of the bonus round to do so. This is one of those movies that delights me every single time I watch it (and I watch it rather frequently). Midnight Run was generally considered a lesser product of the mismatched "buddy movies" of the 1980's, but it has undergone something of a reappraisal in recent years as audiences have wandered back to the sheer pleasure of watching Charles Grodin's "the Duke" get perpetually under the skin of Robert De Niro's Jack Walsh.

It looks as if my next pick will be coming up soon, so I will do my best to be on time for that one!
 
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After much deliberation, I choose another M film...I think...I don't speak french...

M = Les Miserables (2012)



My father has been playing these songs to me for years. Such an epic score, and an epic story for the ages!

IMDB - 2012 said:
I went to an awards screening of Les Miserables and left the cinema speechless. Tom Hooper's direction and the cinematography, costumes, art design and editing are nothing short of genius.

Hooper's idea to have the actors sing live really brings a deeper emotion to the film not seen in other movie musicals. Hugh Jackman is absolutely incredible as Jean Valjean and carries the film with spectacular grace. Anne Hathaway is magnificent in her fleeting role as Fantine - the film's sequence in which she goes on a downward spiral is one of the it's best moments, and her ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE HEARTFELT rendition of 'I Dreamed A Dream' will win her the Oscar by itself.

Also, a great supporting turn from newcomer Samantha Barks as the heartbroken Eponine (look out for her waist - it's absolutely tiny!), who is sure to be shot into stardom. Eddie Redmayne, Russell Crowe and Aaron Tveit are also good, and there's some great comedy relief from Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.

It will leave you laughing, crying, and feeling inspired. A great watch, sure to win some major awards
Link #1 = One Day More
Link #2 = Red and Black
Link #3 = Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
Link #4 = I Dreamed a Dream

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1707386/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
 
The truth is like poetry

And most people ******* hate poetry.

Wildcard #2 is for ...



The Big Short (2015)

This is such a uniquely clever and entertaining film about an otherwise dry subject. It could be used as a case study in strategies to teach economics to the general public.

Of course, Margot Robbie in a bubble bath explaining subprime mortgages is a good place to start.

The writing is on another level built on believably natural, sharp, and witty dialogue, allowing Carrell, Pitt, Bale, and Gosling to shine. While the four are basically left on their own islands (Only Carrel and Gosling have any scenes together) they all put in extraordinary work mostly confined within their own bubbles of the narrative.

Bale as the esoteric savant with questionable (non-existent) social skills, being the first to call out the obvious coming crisis and ignoring the torches and pitchforks of his stockholders at his office doors as he stubbornly sticks to the math and facts.

Gosling as the arrogant money-obsessed, slick-talking douchebag, who’s a hero in our film only because the transparency of his self-interest is refreshing.

Pitt as the retired stock wizard who abandoned the game when he realized its corruption, coming back to mentor a pair of rising star rookies when the level of impending doom they discover shocks even him.

And of course Carell leading his team of stock market renegades who hates the system, and want to bring it down from the inside.

Then there are the celebrity cameo cutaways, such as Robbie and the Bubble Bath, that explain necessary concepts for the audience in entertaining ways. I have shown this to people who don’t like economics or movies, and they walk away having enjoyed this.

I also admire this film for not being afraid to stick to its subject. Often when a movie takes on a dry topic , the filmmakers will infuse the narrative with “humanizing” elements or romantic subplots to appeal to a wider audience. The Big Short doesn’t give a damn about any of that. There’s a minor characterization for Carell’s character about his brother’s suicide, but otherwise, this movie boldly focuses on the topic at hand. The only thing I know about Gosling’s character is he’s an arrogant prick whose greed happens to put him on the right side of history. And that’s enough for me.

It really is a brilliant near-satire of a real life crisis, demonstrating the myth of the rational market.

And the hypnotic power of Margot Robbie in a bubble bath.

 

Attachments

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With my twenty-ninth pick in the Shelter in Place Alphabet Movie Draft, I will make use of the letter D once again to select:

Deadwood: The Movie (2019):



Director: Daniel Minahan
Dir. of Photography: David Klein
Writer: David Milch
Score: Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, John Hawkes, Gerald McRaney, Robin Weigert, Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson, Dayton Callie, W. Earl Brown, Brad Dourif, Anna Gunn, William Sanderson, Kim Dickens
Genre: Western, drama
Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

IMDb Entry: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4943998/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_3

HBO's Deadwood is, in my opinion, the greatest television series of all time (with apologies to The Wire and The Sopranos). David Milch's western is at once mightily violent and exceedingly profane, as well as an incredible, Shakespearan examination of how community forms and shapes itself around the needs and ambitions and dreams of its participants. It also ended in an untimely fashion after its third season, for reasons that still baffle everyone involved in the production to this day. Milch has talked on and off about concluding the series with a movie for over a decade, and the stars finally aligned to make that happen in 2019, with the vast majority of one of the most impressive ensemble casts in history reuniting for this special project. The result is an achingly beautiful meditation on... well, endings.

Because Deadwood: The Movie is a made-for-TV special, and was not widely released in theaters, I was unable to select it in the initial draft, nor in the first bonus round. But now that all rules have been suspended for this final bonus round, and given the pandemic's ravaging of our economy and the summertime moviegoing experience, it feels deeply appropriate to make this pick, because it was perhaps the most special theater screening I've ever been a part of before COVID-19 arrived to destroy all semblance of communal gathering. I flew out to New York for the Split Screens Movie Festival's presentation of Deadwood: The Movie in June of last year. It was hosted by my favorite film and television critic, Matt Zoller Seitz, and it featured a live Q&A afterward with director Daniel Minahan and Robin Weigert (Calamity Jane herself). The great Ian McShane also participated via video conference, and it was an absolute blast to hear him speak of returning to his most lauded and loquacious of roles, Al Swearengen, proprietor of the Gem Saloon.

As for the film itself, I'll let MZS opine on its pleasures:

Matt Zoller Seitz said:
Deadwood: The Movie is parting as sweet sorrow. It’s also a film about the necessity of saying good-bye, even when the initial parting occurred long ago, and was so abrupt that no one involved could make sense of it. For a full decade after powerbroker, saloon owner, and gangster pimp Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) was last seen scrubbing the blood of a woman he had to kill in order to save another woman’s life, there were rumors of a pair of movies, or another season, something that would help complete the story and leave fans with something other than the lingering trauma of sudden, violent separation.

At long last, here it is. And true to the spirit of series creator David Milch—an idealist, but in no way a sentimentalist, and a theatrically-minded dialogue-writer whose greatest creation amounted to Sam Peckinpah’s Our Town—it’s not a delayed extension of the old show. Rather, it’s a gentle exploration of why we so desperately wanted one, why it was always impossible to will something like that into creation, and why, contrary to that voice whispering in our ear, we never truly needed it. That need was a metafictional equivalent of one of the intoxicants on display throughout the initial run of Deadwood: a depressant, numbing agent, or hallucinogen, like booze or opium or laudanum or a ball of dope, that kept us from facing the fact that it was time to move on.

Like so many sets of Deadwood episodes, the movie observes Aristotelian unities of time and place, unfolding within the span of three days, never leaving the town except during its opening shots of Alma Garret Ellsworth (Molly Parker) and her now-teenage daughter Sofia (Lily Keene) arriving by train at the same time that Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert) travels by horse to pitch woo to her beloved Joanie Stubbs (Kim Dickens). The working title of the movie was Deadwood: Statehood, in this writer’s opinion a better summation than what HBO ultimately assigned it—not just because it tips off viewers to the story’s organizing milestone (South Dakota being finally inducted into the union), but because it prepares us for a wider reckoning or stock-taking. Ten years on, all of Deadwood’s surviving major players are gathering together to assess the state of the town, the state of their relationships, and their goals for the future, if they have any. (Some don’t. It’s to Milch’s credit that, as in life, a lot of his characters still seem to be living without plans—which, as Al once said, are a way to make God laugh.)

Within these two hours, Milch nestles many moments of public, communal catharsis—what I like to call “Deadwood moments” even when I see them in a context other than Deadwood. Trixie (Paula Malcomson) gives birth to her child with Sol Star (John Hawkes), her labor provoked by the arrival of the gold mogul turned California senator and pontificating crapheel George Hearst (Gerald McRaney), and then marries her man in a ceremony where Al, once her pimp, gives her away.

Another release from the past: Al’s been a little bit in love with Trixie all these years, while Trixie has felt somehow bound to Al, and is as shocked and pleased as we are when he wills the Gem Saloon to her. The simultaneous arrival of Hearst and Alma—yin and yang, dark and light—is another Deadwood moment, gathering the whole town together for a somewhat stilted ceremony designed to once again award Hearst, a murderous man-child who neuters elections that fail to ratify his will, the validation he continually seeks. (Trixie, God bless, won’t give it to him.)

This daytime gathering in the thoroughfare is mirrored by a nighttime incident of mob violence. Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), accessing his inner savagery, allows it to go on until he sees his wife Martha (Anna Gunn), the better angel of his nature, looking on with a mix of disappointment and hope. Seth’s increasing ability to shape and direct, if not necessarily control, his temper is more evidence in this tale of how progress can happen even where you may not expect it.

But here, too, that persistent Milchian awareness of the limits of hope comes into play. We’re aware that a monster like Hearst, powered by money and made respectable by official title, is unlikely to ever be decisively defeated. He can only be temporarily humiliated in a symbolic victory: The rich bastard knocked down in the mud, kicked around a bit, and put in jail for one night, or maybe just a few hours. On a show that’s mainly about the noble but endless and often frustrating war between civilization and savagery, community and individual will, you take any win you can get, however small it may be.

More than anything else, we come away from the film feeling healed somehow. It’s not about any specific promises or assurances. It’s more of a mood. A vibe. And a lot of that comes from a recurrent sense that all of these characters are better off squaring off against the inevitable, accepting defeat where victory is impossible, and making peace with physical decay because none of us can stop it, only slow or hide it. (“Swellings and saggings to the tit I lay at the exactions of time,” Al told Hearst in season three.)

The film is an ironically inverted mirror of the great closing scene of Al in bed, being tended to by Trixie and Jewel (Geri Jewell)—possibly at death’s door from cirrhosis of the liver, though maybe not, but in any case softly raging against the dying of the light. “Our father who art in heaven,” Trixie says. “Let him ****in’ stay there,” Al replies. The final shot of the movie—one of the best in Deadwood history—suspends us at at decision point: a physical Morse code tap that seems to signal a letting-go, yet Al’s hand remains connected to Trixie’s.

But where Al seems determined to live, if only one day more, the show’s creator—who is losing his memory to Alzheimer’s disease, and is keenly aware that this could be his last screenwriting credit—seems to be gently arguing the opposite: Let it go. Let me go. Just let go. Milch, Deadwood’s Prospero, surveys his creations for what is likely the last time, and releases them from their obligations to him, and himself from his obligation to them, and to us. “Release me from my bands,” Shakepeare’s old sorcerer implores the audience, in the play’s closing monologue, “With the help of your good hands.” That Milch would write one of his greatest works and have it subtly argue against the urgent necessity of its own existence is a magic trick worthy of the great Ricky Jay, who—along with so many regular Deadwood castmembers, including Powers Boothe (Cy Tolliver) and Ralph Richeson (Richardson), and so many beloved characters, including Wild Bill Hickock (Keith Carradine), Whitney Ellsworth (Jim Beaver), and Jen (Jennifer Lutheran), the Gem prostitute killed in place of Trixie—didn’t live long enough to see this small miracle.

In the end, the film is more song or eulogy than admonishment—a work of empathy, persuasion, and comfort. We can see with our own eyes that the story went on in Deadwood, just as it did for us. Life went on, even though we weren’t able to keep watching it unfold. Everyone is older now. Some are thicker, greyer, or both. Wu (Keone Young) has consolidated his power and is now as much of a fixture in town as any of the so-called legitimate business people. Samuel Fields (Franklyn Ajaye) has returned to the place that brought him so much grief, going from being self-protectively neutral to aligning himself with the needs of the camp, and his words both herald and encourage the emotional progress of the others. (Fields’ monologue to Bullock about the impossibility of a man with his skin color being treated fairly sums up the show’s unusual awareness of racial as well as class and gender dynamics.) The only significant new character is Caroline (Jade Pettyjohn), a young would-be sex worker whose first couple of days in town amount to a rundown of how different things are than they were ten years ago, as well as an argument presented by multiple characters—including Trixie, who lets Caroline hold her newborn baby, and Jen’s boyfriend Johnny (Seth Bridgers), who says she reminds him of his beloved—as to why she shouldn’t, and needn’t, choose the exact same path as other women who come here. (There are many more women in town than there were on the series, subtly communicating that this is now a slightly more civilized place.)

Fields describes his murdered friend Charlie Utter (Dayton Callie) as seeming as if a weight had been lifted, but many of Milch’s other characters unburden themselves as well, of delusions and denials, unexpressed dreams and ambitions, and false senses of self. Alma lets go of Seth and Seth of Alma, while Martha lets go of her anxiety about Seth still being in love with Alma. (The final image of the Bullocks kissing in the doorway is a callback not just to the iconic final shot of The Searchers, but of the final shot in season two’s “A Lie Agreed Upon Part 1,” which showed Seth embracing Alma in the doorway of her apartment after abandoning his newly-arrived wife in the home that he built for her.

Deadwood: The Movie is so generous, practically profligate, in its fondness for this memory-flash device that the result is a rare example of a film or TV show making good on the old, usually ridiculous notion of a drama’s setting somehow being “another character.” It feels like the hive-mind here, dreaming and speaking, as well as the cinematic embodiment of another long-deceased character, Reverend H.W. Smith (future Rectify creator Ray McKinnon), standing over the grave of Wild Bill and paraphrasing Corinthians: “For the body is not one member but many. He tells us: ‘The eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of thee.’ […] All are necessary.”

To that end, Milch, who wrote the script, and director Daniel Minahan, a series veteran, have inserted a number of brief, wordless flashbacks into the story. These at first seem entirely functional—a way of summarizing important bits of backstory for fans who didn’t have time to rewatch the entire series, and perhaps giving non-fans the gist, though honestly it’s hard to imagine why anyone who’d never watched a frame of the series would want to see this coda. But by the time we reach the halfway mark of the story, and they’re still happening, they begin to seem more like 1970s art house cinema-style emotional fragments, collective recollections by the town itself struggling to remember so as not to forget. It’s hard to imagine that Milch, who wrote and rewrote this script while battling the initial stages of Alzheimer’s, was unaware of the extra-dramatic metaphor he was serving up. Upon repeat viewings (as of this writing, I’ve watched the movie three times) the result seems more like a gift from the storyteller to himself, in addition to its value as a summation, benediction, and farewell, a final parting remark on the thoroughfare before tipping the hat and turning to walk away: Say good-bye to Deadwood, and remember.

The final four minutes are the film’s closing Deadwood moment, and one of the very finest, jumping from place to place, character to character, home to home: Alma and Sofia, Seth and Martha, Jane and Joanie, Al and Jewel and Trixie, and on and on, as the score plays an instrumental version of “Waltzing Matilda,” the song that Jewel couldn’t remember the words to. And, suddenly, quietly, as if in a dream, snow begins to fall. Western fans may be reminded that Milch always adored the films of Robert Altman, the directorial version of a Spinoza-styled, non-interventionst God who devised fictional communities—collective organisms, Milch has called them—in order to scrutinize them through art. Milch’s very favorite Altman film, and a huge inspiration on Deadwood, is McCabe and Mrs. Miller, a town-based Western set against snowy backdrops. The show’s language is often called Shakepearean, but it’s also Joycean, as in James, with its spiraling, swooping, constructions and unexpected continuations and stopping points. The final few minutes of Deadwood: The Movie bring Joyce and Altman together, specifically through the perfect closing lines of Joyce’s “The Dead”:

“Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”
https://www.vulture.com/2019/05/deadwood-the-movie-review.html
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Matt Kowalski: Half of North America just lost their Facebook.

Gravity (2013)

Gravity_Poster.jpg

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454468/

From wikipedia:

Gravity is a 2013 science fiction thriller film directed by Alfonso Cuarón, who also co-wrote, co-edited and produced the film. It stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as American astronauts who are stranded in space after the mid-orbit destruction of their Space Shuttle, and attempt to return to Earth.
The film earned accolades from numerous critics and guilds. At the 86th Academy Awards, Gravity received ten nominations, including Best Actress for Bullock and Best Picture, and won seven awards, including Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. The film was also awarded six BAFTA Awards, including Outstanding British Film and Best Director, the Golden Globe Award for Best Director, seven Critics' Choice Movie Awards, the 2013 Ray Bradbury Award,[6] and the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
I wish I would have caught this movie in the theater, as I think it would have been even more amazing on the giant screen. But even at home this film is dazzling. Bullock and Clooney are fantastic in this, and the use of long shots (I'm a big fan of them) in the film helps draw you in and emphasizes the isolation and helplessness she feels.

https://www.businessinsider.com/17-minute-take-at-the-beginning-of-gravity-2013-10

Matt Zoller Seitz, writing on RogerEbert.com, gave the film four out of four stars, calling it "a huge and technically dazzling film and that the film's panoramas of astronauts tumbling against starfields and floating through space station interiors are at once informative and lovely". Justin Chang, writing for Variety, said that the film "restores a sense of wonder, terror and possibility to the big screen that should inspire awe among critics and audiences worldwide". Richard Corliss of Time praised Cuarón for playing "daringly and dexterously with point-of-view: at one moment you're inside Ryan's helmet as she surveys the bleak silence, then in a subtle shift you're outside to gauge her reaction. The 3-D effects, added in post-production, provide their own extraterrestrial startle: a hailstorm of debris hurtles at you, as do a space traveler's thoughts at the realization of being truly alone in the universe."
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film five out of five stars, writing "a brilliant and inspired movie-cyclorama ... a glorious imaginary creation that engulfs you utterly." Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph also awarded the film five out of five stars.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film four out of four stars, stating that the film was "more than a movie. It's some kind of miracle." A. O. Scott, writing for The New York Times, highlighted the use of 3-D which he said, "surpasses even what James Cameron accomplished in the flight sequences of Avatar". Scott also said that the film "in a little more than 90 minutes rewrites the rules of cinema as we have known them".
Matt Kowalski: So, what do you like about being up here?
Ryan Stone: The silence.

Ryan Stone: I know, we're all gonna die. Everybody knows that. But I'm going to die today. Funny that... you know, to know. But the thing is, is that I'm still scared. Really scared. Nobody will mourn for me, no one will pray for my soul. Will you mourn for me? Will you say a prayer for me? Or is it too late... ah, I mean I'd say one for myself but I've never prayed in my life. Nobody ever taught me how... nobody ever taught me how...


Matt Kowalski: Listen, do you wanna go back, or do you wanna stay here? I get it. It's nice up here. You can just shut down all the systems, turn out all the lights, and just close your eyes and tune out everyone. There's nobody up here that can hurt you. It's safe. I mean, what's the point of going on? What's the point of living? Your kid died. Doesn't get any rougher than that. But still, it's a matter of what you do now. If you decide to go, then you gotta just get on with it. Sit back, enjoy the ride. You gotta plant both your feet on the ground and start livin' life. Hey, Ryan? It's time to go home.
 
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Mr. S£im Citrus

Doryphore of KingsFans.com
Staff member
I haven't had the necessary time to devote to making a write-up for my previous pick, and the time that I had set aside to do so, yesterday, got swallowed up by a work "emergency" (we got a new POS system at work, and my boss decided that the perfect time to finally digitize our entire inventory was right now. Not back in April, mind you, when we were closed the entire month for quarantine, but now).

So, needless to say, I haven't had time to do a write-up for this pick, either. Or even really give it much thought. So, I ended up making my selection via a double-blind process: I wrote down four possible candidates for this pick (my final pick has already been decided), used a random number generator to assign a number to each pick, and then asked @VF21 to pick a number between 1 and 4, without telling her what I needed it for. Thus, this selection was made.

I'm still going to go back and do a write-up for Black Panther (expect my nerd-out notes to be copious), and keep watching this space for a future write-up for this one but, in order to keep the draft moving, and with my penultimate pick in the 2020 Shelter-in-Place Movie Draft, I select:












Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
I haven't had the necessary time to devote to making a write-up for my previous pick, and the time that I had set aside to do so, yesterday, got swallowed up by a work "emergency" (we got a new POS system at work, and my boss decided that the perfect time to finally digitize our entire inventory was right now. Not back in April, mind you, when we were closed the entire month for quarantine, but now).

So, needless to say, I haven't had time to do a write-up for this pick, either. Or even really give it much thought. So, I ended up making my selection via a double-blind process: I wrote down four possible candidates for this pick (my final pick has already been decided), used a random number generator to assign a number to each pick, and then asked @VF21 to pick a number between 1 and 4, without telling her what I needed it for. Thus, this selection was made.

I'm still going to go back and do a write-up for Black Panther (expect my nerd-out notes to be copious), and keep watching this space for a future write-up for this one but, in order to keep the draft moving, and with my penultimate pick in the 2020 Shelter-in-Place Movie Draft, I select:












Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
OMG. I am soooo glad I picked #3. That is actually one of my favorite MCU movies.
 
So I think I’m going to all 80s with these bonus picks....

The Great Outdoors (1988)

1597631144111.jpg
It’s vacation time for outdoorsy Chicago man Chet Ripley (John Candy), along with his wife, Connie (Stephanie Faracy), and their two kids, Buck (Chris Young) and Ben (Ian Giatti). But a serene weekend of fishing at a Wisconsin lakeside cabin gets crashed by Connie's obnoxious brother-in-law, Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd), his wife, Kate (Annette Bening), and the couple's two daughters. As the excursion wears on, the Ripleys find themselves at odds with the stuffy Craig family.
Loved John Candy, he always cracked me up. This film gets high marks from me because it’s so relatable. This easily was like many of my summer vacations growing up. Dan Aykroyd is great in this as well.

 
F = The Flight of Dragons (1982)



This fantasy epic highlights the bridge between magic and logic. I love how they explain the practicality of dragon fire and dragon flight. Four brothers meet to strategize a future where man's machines are overpowering old magic. The Golden Wizard, Lo-Ta-Cho, the wizard of peace and healing, the Blue Wizard Solarius, lord of the heaven and depths, deepest ocean, highest mountain, Carolinus, the green wizard of nature's realm, and lastly, from loathly tower, Omadon, the red wizard, lord of the devil's domain, master of that accursed magic the world calls black. Omadon will not admit defeat, and swears to corrupt man to greed and lust. A quest is formed to steal the red crown of Omadon, and so begins a great adventure!

Link #1 = Dragon Science
Link #2 = The Ogre of Gormley Keep
Link #3 = Gorbash's Story
Link #4 = Four Brothers

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083951/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
 
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L = The Life of Pi (2012) - PG



This film weaves of beautiful tapestry of visuals, emotional depth, magic, faith, love, hate, danger, and desire. It features a struggle for survival, and poignantly highlights the search for meaning in all souls.

IMDB said:
According to mythology the journey of life is splayed with different forms of hurdles, the path to salvation lies in standing tall against such hurdles even if the Gods are callous to your understanding. By maintaining hope we try to live up to their expectation, knowing that God will guide us if we keep fighting on our endeavor for greater good. That's pretty much the whole and soul of the movie. Opened first time in India at IFFI 2012 Goa, I was in the mix of lucky few who got to watch the repeat show of this 3D movie adapted from Yann Martel's book of same title.

Piscine Molitor(Pi) Patel as he was named after a swimming pool by his dear uncle apparent by his ardent love for the same. Piscine is born Hindu in Pondicherry India, but as he levels an understanding he begins to peek into other religions and sooner he starts endorsing Christianity and Islam also. His father, a zoo owner pounces upon a chance of relocating the zoo to Canada. On their way to the far west with animals on a Japanese ship, tragedy struck on a murderous stormy night capsizing the ship with Pi and a Royal Bengal Tiger left to see the remains. And so the adventures journey of innocent young boy with life threatening feline animal begins.

There was the thunderous applause from the audiences when the tiger gives his first appearance in the safety boat. Spending months to produce the Tiger didn't go to waste too, he looked every inch perfect and the way he has been handled in the movie is exquisite. The first few scenes are reminiscent of old India with bullock carts, later the landscape changes and so do the people. The characters of a hot blooded modern day father, the supporting mother and the story involving the tender love between the protagonist and the girl are delightful, however short they may be. The innocence of young Pi through his school years and his introduction to a motley of faiths sets up the foundation to his uncanny characterization. But the real fun starts when they are both lost at sea and Pi tries an assortment of ideas to keep him as well as the Tiger alive. The movie is never complete without the mention of adequately yet delicately used VFX. It would really be a shame to put into words those magnificently shot sequences and the scale on which the art work is done. This movie epitomizes the correct com-mixture of story with special effects. I could gather so many 'wows' while I was myself devouring on the same scenes. The humor is well prevalent and does lighten up the few still scenes between the two.

Suraj Sharma plays the most significant role in the movie with all his efforts and he wins it in the end. The guy is awesome handling some tough intense scenes in the movie. Irfan Khan playing the narrator as well as the older Pi shows his maturity in the business, patient with the small parts, he never misses his character and his narration and dialogue's delivery is to die for. Adil Hussain as Pi's father is superb with his character and does contribute a hell lot. Other actors contribute evenly including the computer generated zoo animals. Real salute to the art directors of the movie for putting up such beautiful pictures on screen. Ang Lee is as always incomparable with his cinema, he has definitely reached shore with this movie and a more versatile director in my book.

The older promises the character he is narrating that he will prove him that God exists, well did he or not? For that you have to wait for that amazing climax scene. This is art, storytelling and VFX at his best in a single movie. Who would want to miss that??
Link #1 = Trailer
Link #2 = Bioluminescent
Link #3 = The Tiger and the Goat

Quotes:
Adult Pi Patel: What has Mamaji already told you?
Writer: He said you had a story that would make me believe in God.
Adult Pi Patel: [laughs] He would say that about a nice meal. As for God, I can only tell you my story — you'll then decide for yourself what you believe.
Writer: Fair enough.

Santosh Patel: You only need to convert to three more religions, Piscine, and you will spend your life on holiday.
Ravi Patel: [laughing] Are you going to Mecca this year, Swami Jesus? Or to Rome for your coronation as Pope Pius?
Gita Patel: You stay out of this, Ravi. Just as you like cricket, Pi has his own interests.
Santosh Patel: No, Gita, Ravi has a point. You cannot follow three different religions at the same time, Piscine.
Pi Patel: Why not?
Santosh Patel: Because, believing in everything at the same time, is the same as not believing in anything at all
Gita Patel: He's young, Santosh. He's still finding his way.
Santosh Patel: And how can he find his way if he does not choose a path? Listen, instead of leaping from one religion to the next, why not start with reason? In a few hundred years, science has taken us farther in understanding the universe than religion has in 10,000.
Gita Patel: That is true. Your father is right. Science can teach us more about what is out there, but not what is in here. [touches chest]
Santosh Patel: Some eat meat, some eat vegetable. I do not expect us to all agree about everything, but I would much rather have you belive in something I don't agree with than to accept everything blindly. And that begins with thinking rationally. You understand? [Pi nods] Good.
Pi Patel: I would like to be baptized.

Writer: So, you're a Christian, and a Muslim.
Adult Pi Patel: And a Hindu of course.
Writer: And a Jew, I suppose?
Adult Pi Patel: Well, I do teach a course on Kabbalah at the university. And why not? Faith is a house with many rooms.
Writer: But no room for doubt?
Adult Pi Patel: Oh plenty, on every floor. Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it has been tested.

Santosh Patel: You think that tiger is a friend? He is an animal, not a playmate!
Pi Patel: Animals have souls. I have seen it in their eyes.
Santosh Patel: Animals do not think like we do. People who forget that get themselves killed. That tiger … is not your friend. When you look into his eyes you are seeing your own emotions reflected back at you. Nothing else!

Pi Patel: The gods were my superheroes growing up. Hanuman, the monkey god, lifting an entire mountain to save his friend Lakshman. Ganesh the elephant headed, risking his life to save the honor of his mother Pārvati. Vishnu, the Supreme Soul. The Soul of all things. Vishnu sleeps, floating on the shoreless cosmic ocean, and we are the stuff of his dreams.

Writer: I think, you've set the stage. So far we have an Indian boy named after a French swimming pool, on a Japanese ship full of animals, heading to Canada.
Adult Pi Patel: Yes. Now we have to send our boy into the middle of the Pacific, and uh…
Writer: And make me believe in God.
Adult Pi Patel: Yeah. We'll get there. It was four days out of Manila, above the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot on Earth. Our ship, the Tsimtsum, pushed on, bullishly indifferent to its surroundings. It moved with the slow, massive confidence of a continent.

Writer: It was a human tooth?
Adult Pi Patel: Don't you see? The island was carnivorous.
Writer: Carnivorous? Like a Venus Flytrap?
Adult Pi Patel: Yes. The whole island. The plants, the water in those pools, the very ground itself. During the day those pools held fresh water, but at night some chemical process turned the water in those pools into acid. Acid that dissolved those fish that sent the meerkats scurrying into the trees, and Richard Parker running to the boat.
Writer: But where did the tooth come from?
Adult Pi Patel: Years ago, some poor fellow just like me must have found himself stranded on that island, and like me he thought he might stay there forever. But all that the island gave him by day, it took away again by night. To think how many hours spent with only meerkats for company. How much loneliness taken on. All I know is that eventually he died and the island digested him, leaving behind only his teeth. I saw how my life would end if I stayed on that island. Alone and forgotten. I had to get back to the world, or die trying. I spent the next day preparing the boat. I filled my stores with fresh water, ate seaweed until my stomach could take no more, and brought as many meerkats as I could fit into the storage locker for Richard Parker. I couldn't leave without him, of course. It would mean killing him. And so I waited for his return. I knew he wouldn't be late. No one has seen that floating island since, and you won't read about those trees in any nature book. And yet, if I hadn't found those shores, I would have died. If I hadn't discovered that tooth, I would have been lost, alone forever. Even when God seemed to have abandoned me, He was watching. Even when He seemed indifferent to my suffering, He was watching. And when I was beyond all hope of saving, He gave me rest, then gave me a sign to continue my journey.

Adult Pi Patel: Can I ask you something? I've told you two stories about what happened out on the ocean. Neither explains what caused the sinking of the ship, and no one can prove which story is true and which is not. In both stories, the ship sinks, my family dies, and I suffer.
Writer: True.
Adult Pi Patel: So which story do you prefer?
Writer: The one with the tiger. That's the better story.
Adult Pi Patel: Thank you. And so it goes with God.
Writer: Mamaji was right. It's an amazing story. Will you really let me write it?
Adult Pi Patel: Of course. Isn't that why Mamaji sent you here after all? My wife is here. Do you want to stay for dinner? She's an incredible cook.
Writer: I didn't know you had a wife.
Adult Pi Patel: And a cat and two children.
Writer: So your story does have a happy ending.
Adult Pi Patel: Well, that's up to you. The story is yours now.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/?ref_=fn_al_tt_4
 
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VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
With my twenty-ninth pick in the Shelter in Place Alphabet Movie Draft, I will make use of the letter D once again to select:

Deadwood: The Movie (2019):



Director: Daniel Minahan
Dir. of Photography: David Klein
Writer: David Milch
Score: Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek
Cast: Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, John Hawkes, Gerald McRaney, Robin Weigert, Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson, Dayton Callie, W. Earl Brown, Brad Dourif, Anna Gunn, William Sanderson, Kim Dickens
Genre: Western, drama
Runtime: 1 hour, 50 minutes

IMDb Entry: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4943998/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_3

HBO's Deadwood is, in my opinion, the greatest television series of all time (with apologies to The Wire and The Sopranos). David Milch's western is at once mightily violent and exceedingly profane, as well as an incredible, Shakespearan examination of how community forms and shapes itself around the needs and ambitions and dreams of its participants. It also ended in an untimely fashion after its third season, for reasons that still baffle everyone involved in the production to this day. Milch has talked on and off about concluding the series with a movie for over a decade, and the stars finally aligned to make that happen in 2019, with the vast majority of one of the most impressive ensemble casts in history reuniting for this special project. The result is an achingly beautiful meditation on... well, endings.

Because Deadwood: The Movie is a made-for-TV special, and was not widely released in theaters, I was unable to select it in the initial draft, nor in the first bonus round. But now that all rules have been suspended for this final bonus round, and given the pandemic's ravaging of our economy and the summertime moviegoing experience, it feels deeply appropriate to make this pick, because it was perhaps the most special theater screening I've ever been a part of before COVID-19 arrived to destroy all semblance of communal gathering. I flew out to New York for the Split Screens Movie Festival's presentation of Deadwood: The Movie in June of last year. It was hosted by my favorite film and television critic, Matt Zoller Seitz, and it featured a live Q&A afterward with director Daniel Minahan and Robin Weigert (Calamity Jane herself). The great Ian McShane also participated via video conference, and it was an absolute blast to hear him speak of returning to his most lauded and loquacious of roles, Al Swearengen, proprietor of the Gem Saloon.

As for the film itself, I'll let MZS opine on its pleasures:



https://www.vulture.com/2019/05/deadwood-the-movie-review.html
Thanks to this post, I just ordered the entire Deadwood series on DVD to add to my collection I know there's been a lot of buzz about it in the TV thread so I guess it's about time I saw what the fuss was all about. ;)