The LAMB’s February 2021 MOTM – My Rankings


As a frequent and steady contributor to The Large Ass Movie Blog, (The LAMB), I always try to get more people involved with the site.

Every Month, the site runs a poll based on the list of films submitted by LAMB members for the prestigious ability of being named as the Movie of the Month that will be discussed on the LAMBCAST podcast during that given month.

I decided that each month I will watch each of the films chosen and give my rankings of those films in order to decide which film I should vote for and in doing so, maybe help some of you also decide which film to vote for.

The voting is open until Sunday the 31st of January, so make sure to get your vote in soon.

This month, there were 8 Contenders suggested (all by Richard of Kirkham: Movie A Day), so here they are:

  • Guys and Dolls (1955)
  • Mysterious Island (1961)
  • Le Samourai (1967)
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
  • The Cowboys (1972)
  • Fat City (1972)
  • Westworld (1973)
  • The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

 

Here are my rankings along with brief thoughts on each film (click on the film title if you want to read my full review)

8.  Fat City (1972) – The message here about life’s ups and downs is clear, but the deliberately slow pace isn’t for me. Great acting by all of the cast and it was nice to see Coach doing a different kind of role. (5/10)

7.  Westworld (1973) – Probably would have been more entertaining if I saw this before I saw the recent TV series. The basic premise and ideas here are ingenious but the technology of the 70’s looks silly when compared to what they can do now. Perhaps I will one day read Crichton’s novel that this is based on. The cast is also quite good here but the main problem is that when looking at today’s standards, things just aren’t as developed as they could be. (5/10)

6.  Mysterious Island (1961) – Intriguing idea that works better than one might expect due to the stop motion animation. The characters aren’t developed well enough and they all seem far too stereotypical along the way. The story unfolds in an interesting way, but fails to be more engaging. The way that the film mixes together fantastical and historical aspects helps make things more enjoyable to watch unfold even if this is far from being perfect. The use of mostly unknown actors in key roles here is actually detrimental to the story because it makes it harder to care about any of them. (6/10)

5. The Man Who Would Be King (1975) –Very interesting story that shows how hubris and delusions of grandeur can make people do things in order to attain power. The cast is great with Connery and Caine perfectly chosen as the two lead roles and Plummer is also great as the narrator and author Kipling. The movie feels a bit too long and might have been even better had it been cut a bit because the middle sections drag on a bit too much. Liked the way that this film discusses the modern and primitive ways of looking at things in life and how that can easily affect people decisions. (7/10)

4. The Cowboys (1972) – Good movie, kept me interested throughout. It was nice to see Wayne playing a grandfathery figure who cares a lot for his charges. (8/10)

3.  Guys and Dolls (1955) – Amazing cast takes this musical to great heights. Watching Sinatra, Simmons, Brando and Blaine in this film is great to see since they all do wonderful jobs with their roles. Despite Brando’s expectations for mumbling, he manages to do a stellar job even in the parts where he needs to sing. The songs of this film are quite iconic and I was shocked to realize how many of them  was already familiar with from other sources – especially Luck Be A Lady and Fugue for Tinhorns [which I recall from Oh God, You Devil (1984)]. The story itself is a bit of stretch yet manages to still be enjoyable throughout.  Two and a half hours is a bit too long for this story and there are a few more lulls than necessary along the way, but overall this is quite fun. (8/10)

2.  Once Upon a Time in the West(1968) – Great movie that was done exceptionally well. Deliberately slow at certain points, but if you stay patient, it’s completely worthwhile. Three lead actors are all superb! (9/10)

  1. Le Samourai (1967) – This film presents the difficult life of a hitman really well. We get to see how his mind works when committing a hit, before it and most importantly afterwards. The film tells its story at a great pace and that helps add tension and suspense to things as the plot moves along. Love the way that this film shows so much of what happens in a subtle way because that adds so much to the atmosphere of the story. The main character’s actions throughout the film seem so well thought out that he can never quite grasp why he has fallen into a situation that he cannot control. The story plays out really well and it’s so easy to find this story and character so gripping to watch as things move along in some very unexpected directions. (9/10)

 

So who should I vote for? – This was actually a tough choice. Both The Samurai and Once Upon a Time are superb and it was hard to choose between them, but ultimately, the story of The Samurai is slightly more thrilling, so I would go with that choice.

To vote, click here

 

Good luck to one and all!!!

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