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I'm in awe of his skill as a scholar.  He is the type of professor I wish I had found in my humanities classes in college - a joy to read, with insights grounded in a thorough knowledge of history and the ability to focus on essentials and principles.  He also is quite firsthanded in his analysis.

Ed,

You should post your opinions on books to Amazon.com. I bet you would make the CyberNet Scoreboard list of Top 10K Amazon Reviewers in a very short time.

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Love Actually. Hate is probably too strong of a word for it. It wasn't terrible. Here is why I didn't care for it. Too many characters most of which were unappealing or unlikable to me. Unfunny ( to me ) romantic comedy. Neglects some of the characters to the point where they should have been left out. Could have been edited down to 1/2 hour shorter and less characters and been much better IMO. When I start looking at the clock and thinking about stuff I need to do a movie is bad to me. By the end I didn't care enough about anything that happened to the characters. Another bad sign for a movie. I'm pretty critical of movies though. I have a hard time justifying sitting for 2 hours, its a pretty big time investment and it better be worth it.

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Feel free to list of any movies that you have seen and thought were of value to you.  Here is my list, off the top of my head.

At the risk of repeating anyone...

Finding Forrester (2000 with Sean Connery)

Four Friends (1981 directed by Arthur Penn)

Run Lola Run (1999 with Franka Potente)

I think I saw someone else mention The Count of Monte Cristo ?

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A personal favorite that rarely gets mention: Don Juan de Marco.

I second, and even third that!

A wonderful spirit, not to mention another Johhny Depp acting tour de force.

(My thanks to Ed for recommending that movie to me.)

And, speaking of spirit and acting, there is always Other People's Money.

Tagline for that movie: "Meet Larry the Liquidator. Arrogant. Greedy. Self-centered. Ruthless. You gotta love the guy."

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Guest jrshep

Since I just recently watched it again, I thought I'd mention "Quigley Down Under" with Tom Selleck.

He's a top notch marksman with a rifle, and he is hired sight unseen to travel to Australia to work for a rancher. Turns out that he decides he's not willing to accept the job, and all hell breaks loose. Great music too.

Directed by Simon Wincer, not  Ridley Scott (as I had stated briefly in another thread).

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glad to see i'm not the only person on this forum who likes Fight Club. i always thought it was a theme about individualism, saying that not everyone has to conform to a 9-5 white-collar job...if they dont want to. the fighting in the story i thought was a way for people to release all the frustation they had in their lives (a result of them not thinking for themselves and conforming). no one gets hurt except those who volunteer for it. although some are scared into thinking they are about to have their balls cut off. i thought of this as a dark comedy, because its funny how easily people are convinced into cult-like groups who follow everything their leader tells them. it gets so bad for the leader (edward norton) that its beyond even his control. also, in the end i think he realizes everything he'd been saying was wrong, thus he doesn't need Tyler (brad pitt) anymore. hence he says to Marla "I'm sorry...you met me at a very strange time in my life"...i.e. regretting everything he'd done. apart from that, i loved the clever dialogue, the acting, and plot twists. this was one of the few movies i've seen that really made me think as opposed to just sitting for 2 hours staring blankly at the screen. :yarr:

some of my other favorites:

Trainspotting : "choose life" -what more can i say

Life is Beautiful: makes you laugh, makes you cry...

Notorious (Hitchcock): Bergman, Grant at their best, first Hitchcock movie i saw.

Spellbound (Hitchcock): clever psychiatrist uses reason to solve mystery

Rebecca (Hitchcock): scared the hell out of me, watched it at 1am in the morning

Inherit The Wind: Spencer Tracy has great oratorical skills...

The Philadelphia Story: idealist woman living in a non-idealist world...

Adam's Rib: tickles the funny bone

Count of Monte Cristo: (with Jim Caviezel, who i think would make a GREAT Francisco) great book, great film

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: again, good speech by Tracy

Iron Monkey: i love foreign fighting films... ;)

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My favourites are:

Groundhog day - I must see that again because I haven't seen it in ages. I just love the fascinating premise behind it, and the way in which he deals with the situation.

Ghostbusters (Bill Murray again). I watched that for the first time since I was a kid recently and finally got all the jokes that I was too young to understand the first time round.

Alien and Aliens. I prefer the first one actually, because the Alien felt like an invincible force. I seem to be alone in this preference! The sequel was greatly entertaining as well though.

Terminator 1 + 2 (James Cameron again).

I'd like to add Secondhand Lions and Chocolate to the list.

I saw Secondhand Lions last week. I loved the story scenes, but the rest of it seemed rather banal and haphazard (especially near the end, where the story seemed hurried).

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That being said, AutoJC, why did you like Mystic River? I haven't seen it, but the previews I saw made it seem like an excruciating movie to watch.

I too found it excruciating. It was superbly executed, but the story was amoral and left you feeling cheated, like justice had not been delivered.

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Yesterday I'we seen movie Troya. At first I was reluctant to see it because I've read a review of it in TIA daily by R. Tracinski, whose articles I like. But then my good friend told me that he liked the movie and he told me about one of the last senteces of Odysseus in the movie - something like: I walked with giants -Achilles, Hektor.... Then was enough to start my curiosity. And now I must say I liked the movie.

I agree with some negative comments by R. Tracinski, but these posititives are for me greater then negatives especially today where I have a hard time to find a movie a I could at least partialy like:

1)There were strong characters driven passionate personal desires: Paris and his love for Helen, Hektor and his love for his family and city and dedication to defend it in order to live there a happy life, Agamemnon and his will for power, Achilles and his quest for "eternal glory",

Their desires were often not fully rational, but these times were truly at the very beginig of civilization, so they should be judged in that context.

2) It was partialy a war movie but there was no appeasement.

3) Battle scenes. Whene I was a kid my top interest were wars and battles and I wanted to became a "professor of wars" (I assume that this profession doesn' t really exists ;) ). What I like in these battle scenes is that they are like chess game -because there are definite logical laws of battle- but much more passionate -and weaker side can sometimes win by greater dedication, moral certainty and courage.

4) Stupid priests. There were priest giving foolish mystical advice to Priamus and I like that I could hate them for that.

5) Achilles displaying sense of justice in recognizing Hektor's greatness and returning body of Hektor to his father.

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I'll try restricting my list to ones people haven't mentioned (that I've seen):

October Sky

Billy Elliot

Almost Famous (I really liked, mostly because of the main kid's passion)

The Philadelphia Story (haven't seen it in a few years though)

Saving Grace

White Nights

A League of Their Own

Twister (i really used to like this)

Shaun of the dead --ok I know it's a zombie flick but I can't help it, it's just so funny almost all the way through (the end wasn't so funny).

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3) Battle scenes. Whene I was a kid my top interest were wars and battles and I wanted to became a "professor of wars" (I assume that this profession doesn' t really exists  :pirate: ). What I like in these battle scenes is that they are like chess game -because there are definite logical laws of battle- but much more passionate -and weaker side can sometimes win by greater dedication, moral certainty and courage.

They exist, we just call them GENERALS. :D

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I cannot believe I didn't tell you guys about Gentleman's Agreement

Trust me on this one; see it.

Gregory Peck is a journalist who goes undercover pretending to be Jewish so he can experience anti-semitism but what he discovers is that along with the regular bigots, all the people who professed their hatred of anti-semitism are just as bad. Premise-wise this film is one of the best.

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Here are a few very intelligent films that only got a little press, if any at all:

A Murder of Crows - great legal drama, very heroic role for Cuba Gooding Jr.

The Spanish Prisoner - a smart Roark paradigm; written by David Mamet

Spartan - minimal, but smart & concise military/political drama; also Mamet

Contact - of course

I could go on for a while, but I have to work tomorrow ... :)

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Here are a few very intelligent films that only got a little press, if any at all:

A Murder of Crows - great legal drama, very heroic role for Cuba Gooding Jr.

The Spanish Prisoner - a smart Roark paradigm; written by David Mamet

Spartan - minimal, but smart & concise military/political drama; also Mamet

Contact - of course

I could go on for a while, but I have to work tomorrow ... :)

I thought A Murder of Crows was very clever, but I remember disliking Spartan for some reason (I haven't seen it in a while).

Also everyone look out for a new Jodie Foster flick about a plane and a missing kid. It looks pretty good.

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My favorite movie is Ghostbusters. It's actually a brilliant film and its themes re-enforce LSC and non-governmental interference. If you remember the story at all, the bad guys are not only the spirits, but the EPA targeting the private business owned and operated by the heroes of the story.

The movies were rereleased on DVD just this week, and an interview with the co-star/co-writer Harold Ramis had him mention this about the team:

"I've never been a big believer in ghosts or the spirit world, and for me, that was part of the point of the movie," Ramis said. "What the 'Ghostbusters' represented was the triumph of human courage and human ingenuity. People create their own monsters. Our fears come from within us, not outside."

(source: http://www.ksat.com/entertainment/4795812/detail.html#)

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Just caught the end of Hook on tv. I forgot how much I love this movie. There are some fluff elements but overall it's a fun story with good winning over evil (with evil played very well by Dustin Hoffman).

Additionally, for you fans of movie scores, I think this score ranks among John Williams' best.

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My favorite movies, in no particular order, are:

Pulp Fiction

Kill Bill, Vol. 1 & 2

Reservoir Dogs

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

A Fistful of Dollars

True Grit

A Fistful of Dynamite

Akira

Smokey & The Bandit

The Magnificent Seven

Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Blazing Saddles

The Shawshank Redemtion

History of the World, Part 1

High Plains Drifter

High Noon

Unforgiven

... many more, but not time. (sigh)

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Watch Brubaker, starring the awesomely handsome Robert Redford. Y'know, I've always thought he'd have made a great Hank Rearden. If I were ever to become a film director, and were to film Atlas Shrugged, I'd be looking for a "Robert Redford" to play Rearden... Some hair dye could make a Roark out of him, too, lol. It's something about him, he's just right. I think after watching the movie you will agree.

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Well, I just read through the entire thread, and there are a few things I'd like to add. First of all, I'd like to comment on khaight's suggestion that Ralph Fiennes should be cast as Gail Wynand should there be a re-make of The Fountainhead—I think he'd be great as Wynand, I forget just what I exclaimed when I first read that, but I was very surprised and excited that someone mentioned him. Fiennes would be excellent as just about any of Ayn's central characters though. I have a great interest in anatomy (artistic anatomy), and he has one of the most incredible faces I've ever seen—a fine example of human beauty. He could easily play John Galt. Also, minorityofone mentioned Gary Oldman, who is also one of my favorite actors... There's something about him, too, that fascinates me... And there's an element of what fascinates me about Gary in newish actor Sam Rockwell, not sure what it is. Hm...

Along with Quiz Show I would also recommend The English Patient... The romantic scenes between Fiennes and Kristin Scott Thomas are reminicient of the unforgettable "encounters" in Ayn's fiction, and this romance is the most incredible, passionate, and wholeheartedly dedicated I've yet to see on the screen. Fiennes is intense as Count Laszlo de Almásy.

Out of the Past was the first film I ever watched starring Robert Mitchum (1947). Although it's a dark film noir, I love Mitchum's performance in it—he displays such intelligence and power in the film. I remember thinking he'd make an excellent Ayn Rand hero when I first watched it, but after watching many of his other films, I sorta changed my mind. He didn't play too many good guys, but when he did he totally kicked ass. Another good example is 1946's Undercurrent* in which Katherine Hepburn also stars—this film's theme screams objectivism, by the way. When I first watched it, I thought Ayn Rand must have had something to do with the script, and I had read then that she had worked for RKO and so I was convinced she had had something to do with it. She probably did, though indirectly. The film has clear objectivist overtones, and I very highly recommend it—if you can find it. TCM plays it every once in while, usually during the "Summer Under the Stars" event during which they dedicate an entire day to particular actors/actresses over a four-week period. It's going on right now, but the film wasn't included this year on Kat Hepburn's day. Maybe next year...

Holiday is another Hepburn film, co-starring Cary Grant, which I think would appeal to objectivists... But it also is hard to find, unfortunately. I think a lot of you would love this movie. It's very fun.

My most favorite film to date is Cinema Paradiso, which is an Italian film about a young boy and his relationship with the small Italian village's (Giancaldo) projectionist, whom he becomes friends with. I'm not sure precisely why, but this film and my sense of life are practically one and the same. I can't watch the film without becoming incredibly emotional, I can easily cry three or four times during the length of the movie (!). There's a childhood sense of purity and innocence about it, which will come off as tacky or naïve or downright stupid to some viewers... I suspect these are viewers who have all but lost the innocence of their youth. ;)

Other films worth noting:

· Wes Anderson's Rushmore, hilarious! Anderson's best.

· Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist, revolting story but excellent cinematography.

· Fellini's La Dolce Vita & 8 ½, both excellent films IMO.

· Spielberg's Empire of the Sun, starring a very young Christian Bale.

· Valerio Zurlini's Cronaca Familiare, beautiful cinematography—starring Marcello Mastroianni and a young Philippe Noiret (who would later play the older Toto in Cinema Paradiso).

*TCM will be airing Undercurrent on October 19th at 2:45 pm EDT. I'll try to remind everyone here before it airs. Y'all have to watch it!

S. Courcelle

Edited by S.Courcelle

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One movie not mentionned above that is really a must-see in my opinion is "The Edge" starring Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin.

The main character in this movie, played by Hopkins, portrays a superbly heroic man dealing with a very difficult situation. He is intelligent, resourceful, and unyielding. I could easily envision this type of character in an Ayn Rand novel, with very few modifications required to fit that bill. And Hopkins is an incredibly good actor, perfect for this role.

Has anyone else here seen it, and what did you think of it?

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