av_phile1: Pardon my ignorance, can someone define what a brainless movie is and what a thinking movie is? I must be too deep in Holllywood s**t to tell the difference. Examples pls.
Are the movies Seven, Basic Instinct, Hamlet, Schindler's List, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Dr. Zhivago, The Last Emperor, Empire Of The Sun, Silence Of The Lambs, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, Lawrence Of Arabia, brainless?
Are the movies Roma, Seven Samurai, The Piano, The Pianist, Amacord, Chocolat, My Life As A Dog, Amelie, Crouching Tiger..., Last Tango In Paris, thinking movies?
If not, what are?? How to distinguish?
Seven isn't brainless, it's stupid. Nice-looking, though.
Basic Instinct isn't brainless, it's timid. Mas malibog ang mga films ni Peque and Tikoy (Tikoy and Peque's films have more libido).
Hamlet you got to tell me which version. Olivier's is okay, Gibson's is a farce, Branagh's is comprehensive, but not much else.
Schindler's List is hopelessly saccharine and simpleminded.
2001 A Space Odyssey is also stupid, but the filmmaking's great. Besides, the filmmaker's innermost perversions are on display.
Dr. Zhivago--eh, As the World Turns in Russia.
The Last Emperor is big empty spectacle with a passive character in the middle.
Empire Of The Sun is really funny--JG Ballard turned into a Boy Scout adventure!
Silence Of The Lambs is well done, decent enough, but it's not Demme's best--it's not the poetry of the American middle class, or not as much of it as, say, his masterpiece, Melvin and Howard.
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane is wicked fun, but it tries too hard.
Lawrence Of Arabia is too tasteful, and Peter O'Toole too pretty (someone once said if he was any prettier he'd be called "Florence of Arabia").
Roma is crazy fun. I don't think it makes sense.
Seven Samurai is so bloody violent (and great) it overwhelms its flabby humanitarian themes.
The Piano is pretentious surrealism, and it stole an image or two from Goeff Murphy's genuinely great Utu.
The Pianist I haven't seen. I like Polanski tho, and he doesn't sit easy on Hollywood's lap--this is a convicted rapist, remember (note: finally saw it, liked it far more than Spielberg's saintly drama).
Amacord isn't Fellini's best. Some fine images, some grotesqueries a la Roma. Mixed bag.
Chocolat--Clair Denis' film is finely made, if soporific; the Lasse Halstrom version is crap.
My Life As A Dog--sentimental crap.
Amelie--terminal cuteness. I like the earlier, colder films.
Crouching Tiger--art film posing as martial arts film.
Last Tango In Paris--great film. Could have been more explicit, but the emotions are real.
How to distinguish? No hard and fast rules. Case to case basis, just argue for each case.
Not all brainless things are bad, not all thinking intelligent films are good. You can't get more intelligent than Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, which talks of racism, or of Man for All Seasons which is so damned self-righteous (it stacks all the cards blatantly in the hero's favor), or even something as recent as Schindler's List (Jews good, Nazis bad) and yet I say they're so thoroughly wrongheaded it's like pouring gold down a toilet. Intelligence is no guarantee of quality, and I'd take somethig gaga stupid like Ace Ventura, Pet Detective or Freddy Got Fingered over the lot.
Anyway, it's not brainless films per se that I object to--I mean, who ever got an ounce of meaning from a divine piece of nonsense like A Night at the Opera?--but the multimilliondollar muscle they expend in pushing this crap. A bit of it is fine, but Hollywood--and most Americans by extension and many Filipinos by default--never know what's enough. Moderation in all things, and as in food, variety and emphasis on nutritive material is recommended.