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Fight Club (1999)
A rare action flick
This is movie is a great action movie, because it is, despite the constant brutal violence, not really the typical action movie. It is very original, and is a great study of a protagonist with schizophrenia. This movie IS realistic. People with schizophrenia (I know this because both my parents are shrinks) often feel the need to beat themselves and other things to a pulp because of the emptiness they feel.
This movie is tricksy in the way that A Beautiful Mind was tricksy, and I like movies that turn the tables like this.
Fight Club is entertaining and is a rare great action flick. It's also based on a great book, I hear (which I should have read beforehand), so I suppose that helps.
Chaw. Bloody Brilliant.
Citizen Kane (1941)
Citizen Kane uses lots of nifty camera work, with longer shots and such. Also, it's one of the few films I've seen that doesn't manufacture cheap answers.
(potential spoilers ahead.)
Charles Foster Kane, a rich and powerful man, has just died. His last word was "rosebud" and a reporter is searching for its meaning.
Rosebud is the word embedded on Kane's childhood sled. It, and the glass ball, represent his childhood, his innocence, and life before fame and riches twisted him and turned his heart black.
Chaw. Citizen Kane is a great movie, and anyone who says otherwise knows nothing of cinema. Perhaps not the greatest film in history, but in my books, it is the greatest American film in history.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Great film, great music
An old fashioned love story and flamboyant musical, filled with a diverse mix of jazz, gypsy, ballad, hip hop, and techno.
It's way up there with Fiddler on the Roof pour moi, and I liked the music even BETTER.
Ewan McGregor's voice is spectacular, specially in upper range-- it's so full and pure. Kidman's is also great, and I am sure they had to go through a great deal of musical training to reach such a full, precise sound.
A great story, a great film, and great music.
Bravo, wot, wot! 10/10
We Were Soldiers (2002)
Another crappy war movie romanticizing American soldiers that fought for "their country, their loved ones, and their freedom..."
A shallow black and white picture (figuratively speaking) of good vs evil that glorifies Americans trying to take over the world. Vietnam was a mistake. This movie was a mistake. If you want a Nam movie, see something like Born on the Fourth of July, Tigerland, or the Deer Hunter.
(potential spoilers ahead)
One of my top 5. Geoffrey Rush delivers a terrific performance as David , a piano player driven to madness by the shunning of his father, and by playing the Rach 3, supposedly the hardest piece ever written.
A complex, moving masterpiece about the effects of pressure.
A great movie showing us the barbed underbelly of training in the U.S. army. This movie is low budget, provocative and risky, and hence earns my respect. Good acting, good writing, action-packed (though not stupidly so) and over all an enjoyable experience. One of my favorite war movies of all time. 8/10
Mel Gibson's accent slips from time to time, but he is still good as William Wallace and he's just down right sexy. The film strays close to cheesiness when Wallace makes his pre-battle pep talks but thankfully, the score is awesome, so the screen doesn't get lacquered in strings and cheddar, and you almost don't notice how bad the writing is(for the speeches).
The writing, overall, isn't too bad (though not that accurate, historically), and there are some really well-written scenes; such as the "wits of men."
The romance between William and his wife feels quite rushed, but it's not that much of an issue, since the Braveheart aficionados only like it for the gory battle-scenes (in general, faw!).
There are flaws, yes, but Braveheart is still a mind-blowing movie of epic proportions. The cinematography (though I'm not quite an expert) is phantasmagorical, and there are several Bee-eautiful scenes; such as the scene with the deer, the love scene by the waterfall, the scene where William takes off Robert's helmet, the scene where Robert walks among the dead bodies, the torture scene (Gibson seems to have a fondness for S & M), and the final scene with the flying sword, although the writing there is excruciatingly bad: "They fought like warrior-poets--they fought like Scotsmen." Bah.
Good acting, okay writing, great cinematography. 7/10
I'm not sure if this movie is intentionally one big joke, but I found it absolutely hilarious. It sports some of the worst writing I have ever seen. The whole thing is laughable, even the french bad guys are played by Italian mobsters!
"I've done a few stewardesses." "Just a few."
Some guy points a gun at Olivier Martinez's character's head. "What are you gonna do, shoot me?"
Even the acting is bad, which is surprising, since Samuel L. Jackson and Collin Farrel are usually pretty good. But none of them have any on-screen chemistry, which takes away from an already-bad movie.
Okay. This movie is either police-movie bile or satirical genius. I am not sure. But I'm pretty sure it's the former.
Lilies of the Field (1963)
they don't make 'em like this anymore
Movies these days are usually either no-brain action movies, no-brain comedies, no-brain cheese dramas or just plain pretentious crap.
Lilies of the Field is a fairly simple story about faith (in God and in each other) and after watching SWAT, it was a relief watching something as charming as this. It is easy-paced, calm and delightful with wonderful performances all around.
I really like Sidney Poitier, so I suppose it adds, but this film is a real treat. I'm not really religious, but this movie wasn't at all the Bible preach I was expecting. It's a treasure. One of my top ten of all time. Timeless classic--too bad they don't make 'em like this anymore. 10/10
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Good for an American film
I am thoroughly surprised that simpletons (so I thought) such as Matt Damon and Ben Afleck wrote this. The story is perhaps a little predictable, but I wouldn't call it cliché. It shows interesting character development and bonding, therapeutic techniques, and the windows and barriers of a genius.
Maybe I enjoyed this because I'm not a genius, and could somehow relate to the writing of two American rednecks.
Good movie. 7/10