What Makes A Perfect Film?

Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
edited May 2015 in General Movies & TV Posts: 37,936
I've brought up a few classics on the forums these past few days - well, classics in my mind, anyway. They're films that, if I were to make a quick description of my thoughts on the film, would generally lean towards me using the word "perfection." Of course, I don't mean it in the literal sense, as every film to date has a flaw of some sort: spotty continuity error, crew members spotted in reflections, etc. The perfection I talk about is the kind where the film contains all the right elements for you: the directing is sensational, the acting is phenomenal or works for the type of film, it has a proper amount of thrilling/action-packed/dramatic/horrifying sequences, or maybe you're an audiophile or someone very technology-oriented of sorts who is focused more on the soundtracks, score, editing, title sequences, etc. Or, perhaps it's the kind of movie that presents no immediate flaws in your eyes, or one that you know you can pop in at any second of the day and have what is your idea of a perfectly entertaining time.

So, what makes a perfect film to you, and what are some films that you would consider perfect?
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Comments

  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    edited May 2015 Posts: 17,283
    A perfect film, to ME, is a movie that's a hundred percent successful at what it intends to be in an artistic arena.
    Some examples:
    Day The Earth Stood Still
    On The Waterfront
    From Russia With Love
    Planet Of The Apes
    2001
    Legend Of Hell House
    The Parallax View
    Jaws
    Star Wars
    Raiders Of The Lost Ark
    Blade Runner
    Aliens
    T2
    Iron Man
    Ponyo

    So many others- these are just the ones off the top of my geek head...


  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    Where Eagles Dare is 'the' perfect film for me. Simply flawless.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,936
    Where Eagles Dare is 'the' perfect film for me. Simply flawless.

    I've been meaning to see this for a very, very long time now.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Where Eagles Dare is 'the' perfect film for me. Simply flawless.

    I've been meaning to see this for a very, very long time now.
    If you like grim, competent and darkly humoured intensive leading characters going against a plot bigger than themselves, along with a very atmospheric circles surrounding them and a brilliant soundtrack that speaks the entire storyline playing in the background, the film is for you.

    Besides, it's a spy thriller! :D
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,283
    Birdleson wrote: »
    the only absolutely perfect film in my eyes, where I would change an iota, not one inflection, is THE WIZARD OF OZ.
    That is definitely a perfect film.
    =D>
    A Chinese film, The Road Home is also IMO.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    Posts: 4,491
    I'm not sure there is a "perfect" film. But for me, there are three that come awfully close:

    GoodFellas
    L.A. Confidential
    Full Metal Jacket
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited May 2015 Posts: 15,534
    Films I consider to be the 'ultimate piece of entertainement' (so in a way, perfect):

    Layer Cake
    Collateral
    Munich
    Hot Fuzz
    In Bruges
    Lord of War
    Rush
    Blood Diamond
    Inception


    Now, mind you, I am not saying these films are the best made film of all time, or that they are are flawless. They just are the films that I've seen a gazillion times each, and they stil captivate and entertain me for every second of their duration.

    If I had to list the films I think are perfect in terms of quality, then: Godfather Part 2, Saving Private Ryan, Seven Samurai, Apocalypse Now... There are more but these are the ones on the top of my head.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    edited May 2015 Posts: 37,936
    @DaltonCraig007, you and I have just about the exact same movie tastes. Why we've yet to get together for some three-week movie watching marathon is beyond me!!

    @TripAces, those are some good choices. The first film that really made me decide to create this thread is 'The Terminator 2'. It's a film that ticks all the boxes and never fails to impress me in the slightest. Simply perfection from start to finish for me, and I'd have been much happier if they had ended it with this and not tried to drag out the storyline for more money.

    Here's another question I've proposed before - it's almost the same one, but spun in a different way makes you look at it differently: you have to describe what a film is to someone who has no idea what film/filmography is, but the only way to describe it is by showing them a movie. Which one do you select? I don't know why, but my immediate answer to the question is always 'Forrest Gump.'
  • edited May 2015 Posts: 5,767
    All the President´s Men, Manhunter, Die Hard and Mad Max Fury Road for me come close to what I would call perfect films.

    As for the why, hmmm...

    All the President´s Men: No action at all, just people talking and ringing other people´s bells, and still I am mesmerized by that film. Dustin Hoffman has something to do with it for sure.

    Manhunter: Cinematography, colours, music, and the very special atmosphere resulting from it. The first three minutes of the film already offering more background than many other films give in 90min. The villain being constantly present in the mind, despite him being absent from the screen for the first half of the film.

    Die Hard: Cinematography, lighting, right away from the first shot of the plane landing. Bruce Willis with unshaved head. Everybody including the viallains being dressed in a distinguished manner. Pace, tempo, no wasted time in the beginning or anywhere else in the film. Nice balance between violence and humor.

    Mad Max Fury Road: Cinematography, lighting, colour schemes. Pace, Tempo, no wasted second throughout the whole film, right balance between action and pause for breathing, but without losing a beat. Insane stuntwork. Fascinating characters and interesting character development.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,936
    @boldfinger, I thought 'Manhunter' was an excellent film, and did a damn fine job at building the villain up and unveiling him, not just at the right moment, but in the creepiest way possible. It worked so well, and a lot of movies fail to do that.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,705
    Manhunter is a small favourite of mine, but then I pray at the altar of Michael Mann. His style, especially in Thief, Manhunter and HEAT, commands my every ounce of respect.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,936
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Manhunter is a small favourite of mine, but then I pray at the altar of Michael Mann. His style, especially in Thief, Manhunter and HEAT, commands my every ounce of respect.

    I'm also a member of this group: Michael Mann is a god amongst men. I loved reading your Michael Mann marathon review a long while back (have you seen 'Blackhat' yet?), and I would absolutely add 'Heat' in the 'perfection' category. It doesn't get better than that, it's Mann in his prime, delivering 110%.
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    Michael Mann is a legend - Heat, Collateral, Miami Vice (2006), Public Enemies and The Insider are absolutely epic films.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,705
    @Creasy47, I have yet to see Blackhat. Just ordered the DVD. I somehow totally missed this in theatres. :(
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,936
    @DarthDimi, just let me warn you, it's a bit of a slow burner, and it opened up to horrible, horrible reviews here in the States. Apparently, it gained a lot of interest overseas, particularly in Italy (where apparently, they're also huge fans of Michael Mann.) Personally, once it kicked off, I thought it was intense, well shot (as usual), unrelenting, and although the action sequences weren't as long as his other films, there were a lot of surprises, and that gritty raw feel is there as usual.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,705
    Well, I can't wait to see the film, @Creasy47. The DVD should arrive in under two weeks... ;-)
  • royale65royale65 Caustic misanthrope reporting for duty.
    Posts: 4,406
    Chinatown and Get Carter would probably be my picks - two very atmospheric films - one can almost smell the decay in the latter.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,936
    And I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it, @DarthDimi!
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    edited May 2015 Posts: 15,534
    @Creasy47 we both loved 'I Saw the Devil', right? If you are open for other suggestions of asian masterpieces:
    'The Chaser'
    'The Yellow Sea' (2.5 hours of gutwrenching intensity. There's also a ton of fist fights, and they don't just use their fists: they use everything you ever dreamed of as weapons - knives, hammers, machetes, baseball bats, metal bars, you name it)
    'The Man From Nowhere'
    'A Hard Day'
    'A Bittersweet Life'
    'The Good, The Bad, The Weird' : A korean western, it's an homage to the classic Sergio Leone film. Scared it might not live up to the glorious inspiration? It's full of korean madness, think of it as Leone on a sh*tload of steroids (basically Tarantino multiplied by 100)
    'The Mission' (1999 film from Hong-Kong)
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,936
    @DaltonCraig007, that we did. 'I Saw The Devil' is pure intensity, as well, one of the most brutal films I've ever seen. I'll go ahead and add what I haven't seen from that list! My favorites that you listed are 'The Chaser,' 'The Man From Nowhere,' and as wild as it is, 'The Good, The Bad, and The Weird.'
  • DaltonCraig007DaltonCraig007 They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
    Posts: 15,534
    @Creasy47 I looked in my movie collection, you need to watch these badass asian action/thriller films too:
    Big Match
    A Dirty Carnival
    '71 Into the fire
    Hwayi Monster Boy
    Commitment
    A Company Man
    Confession of a Murderer
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited May 2015 Posts: 23,883
    What an interesting thread. I'm in agreement with a lot of the choices already mentioned. Some of my choices would be as follows, in no particular order and off the top of my head:

    North by Northwest (reference class)
    From Russia with Love (the best Bond film)
    Batman Begins (better than TDK imho - Bale & Neeson in superb form)
    Murder on the Orient Express (incredible film)
    Jagged Edge (took the courtroom drama forward)
    Die Hard (definitive)
    Terminator 2 (definitive)
    Sin City (very inventive)
    Pulp Fiction (reference class)
    Inglorious Basterds (such a great twist on history and a war film)
    Silence of the Lambs (still copied to this day)
    The Towering Inferno (even now it's relevent)
    Heat (incredible use of 3 hrs)
    The Godfather 2 (not much that can be said that hasn't already been said)
    The Bourne Identity (redefined the genre)
    Easy A (absolutely superb)
    Jaws (a classic)
    Star Wars (a classic)
    Jurassic Park (still immense today)
    Scream (took horror to a new level)
    Alien (I screamed, even if no one heard me)
    A Few Good Men (courtroom finesse - acting masterclass by all)
    Basic Instinct (Verhoeven genius)
    The Talented Mr. Ripley (cinematography is in a different league)
    Where Eagles Dare (agree - classic)

    I'm partial to thrillers, so they feature heavily. Having said that, my criteria are as follows:

    1. believable acting and characterisations
    2. witty dialogue or interesting dialogue (Easy A for instance is outside my preferred genre but I love the witticisms in it)
    3. real tension
    4. a wounded protagonist, or someone with something to endure or overcome
    5. a dangerous menacing overconfident antagonist (usually more educated & capable than the protagonist)
    6. wonderful cinematography
    7. marvelous special effects for the time
    8. amazing music
    9. eye candy (sorry ladies, but I'm a red blooded male)
    10. pushing the envelope or genre in some fashion - breaking new ground (i.e. T2, Pulp Fiction, Jurassic Park, Basic Instinct, Sin City, North by Northwest, Jagged Edge)
    11. finally - and this is the tough bit - there is that certain "je ne sais quoi" - that final icing on the cake that takes a movie from just average to something in a different league altogether. The 'x' factor. When it all just comes together perfectly like a beautiful symphony.

    Interestingly, the above criteria are why I love most of the Bond movies (with the exception of some of the 80's and most of the 90's). They tick a lot of the above boxes for me.
  • Posts: 619
    I don't know that any film is perfect. But of the films I've seen, the one that succeeds in all areas of performance, writing, and technical aspects is The Godfather.

    Great films are those you come back to time and again. You never tire of watching them, unlike so many films whereby one viewing is enough.

    Among my favorites to revisit:
    Godfather I & II
    Parallex View
    Casablanca
    Annie Hall
    Back to the Future
    Shawshank Redemption
    Vertigo
    Casino Royale
    The Graduate
    The Natural
    Night of the Hunter
    Days of Heaven
    Badlands
    Strangers on a Train
    North by Northwest
    Airplane
    Tootsie
    (too many more to list)

  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,936
    @bondjames and @CrabKey, excellent choices and entries, thanks for your thoughts! You've got some real great choices there, that's for sure.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,283
    Charade is pretty much a perfect film. The best of Hitchcock & Bond with a sprinkle of humour. 100% successful at what it was aiming for.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Agreed @chrisisall. I love Charade. Great film.
  • Posts: 5,767
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    @DarthDimi, just let me warn you, it's a bit of a slow burner, and it opened up to horrible, horrible reviews here in the States. Apparently, it gained a lot of interest overseas, particularly in Italy (where apparently, they're also huge fans of Michael Mann.) Personally, once it kicked off, I thought it was intense, well shot (as usual), unrelenting, and although the action sequences weren't as long as his other films, there were a lot of surprises, and that gritty raw feel is there as usual.
    As always, great to see so much love and respect towards Michael Mann :-).
    I wouldn´t even say Blackhat is more of a slow burner than most of Mann´s other films. Manhunter, Heat and The Insider all took their time. I really don´t understand all those negative reviews, it feels a bit like a conspiracy.

  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,411
    A perfect film is a film I can watch again and again without touching the fast forward button. Examples would be Sin City, The Spirit, Rumble Fish, Angel Heart and most of the old Disney classics.
  • Posts: 2,081
    I liked your criteria list @bondjames, but...
    bondjames wrote: »
    9. eye candy (sorry ladies, but I'm a red blooded male)

    I'm curious as to why you're apologizing - do you think women don't appreciate eye candy? (Though what anyone even means by eye candy differs and can be difficult to define or explain.)
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited May 2015 Posts: 23,883
    You're right of course @Tuulia. I apologized primarily because I was somewhat ashamed that my opinion of the physical appearance of an actor/actress can influence my definition of a perfect film - I almost feel it's somewhat unbecoming, when discussing such a refined, fine art. I was trying to be honest, but felt guilty.

    It's only human though, and you're correct - it's a personal thing that differs from person to person.
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