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*so-called adult films, if any, have been omitted per IMDb's stricture
*TV shows & episodes from TV shows have been omitted
*shorts have been omitted
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Very Depressing, But Well Done
Death is always near in this film and nothing makes it seems more frightening/depressing than Dustin Hoffman's flawless acting. From the moment you are introduced to the seemingly scummy character, "Ratso," to Hoffman's infamous im prompt tu line: "I'm walkin' he'e!" right up until his last moments, there is an ominous cloud of despair hanging over the heads of our two main characters.
The second main character is Joe Buck, played by an adorable Jon Voight. (How can you NOT think he's adorable when Ratso accuses him of being a "fag"? Joe's dumbfounded, hesitant response was: ". . . Uh. John Wayne! You think he's a faggot?") Voight plays his character almost perfectly, too, capturing from the get-go the naivety Buck has towards "the real world" (something that was perhaps exacerbated by his tumultuous upbringing, shown in sporadic, nightmarish flashes throughout the movie).
But as an audience, we don't just love Joe Buck because of his boyish Texan charm. He also has compassion. He manifests this feeling in awkward, confusing, and often harmful ways, but nevertheless Joe is constantly thinking of his only friend. To give examples, each time Joe pays a special visit to 42nd St., he does so to gather "mony" for both himself and Ratso. He could take the money and run (though where to remains a matter of speculation), but instead he buys medicine, soup, etc. for his friend (and not himself).
Our sympathies are manipulated more in our main characters' favor at the end of the film, on the bus ride. Joe, being the post-adolescent that he is, finally gets "Rico's" name right, while monologuing in the middle of a fixed camera shot. At this point the ominous cloud hanging overhead has turned black, and we all of a sudden know that Rico will be dead by the time the camera moves over to him, despite our deepest hopes that the fixed camera angle is some sort of cruel joke; the film DOES seem peppered with pitch black humor, after all, we try to rationalize.
But our rationalizing is vain. Ratso's unmoving eyes, and still sweat on his brow say it all. Then we look at his tropical shirt, and we try to feel happy for him. We say to ourselves: "At least he made it back to Miami," but even this does no good. The blow is simply too great. There is an unnecessarily long black screen, and then the credits roll. Nothing relieves the terrible feeling that everything we're doing is pointless and despondent.
Nonetheless, this film showcases superb acting/directing, and at least we can use that little boost to appease that depressing feeling. This is definitely a must for any cinephile.
An interesting story, even if it's unbelievable
Whether you believe the guy or not, you gotta admit, Chuck Barris is one heck of an interesting guy. He created all those T.V. Shows, even if he wasn't a CIA hit-man.
If you listen to the comments spoken by Drew Barrymore, she claims something along the lines of: "I guess I want to believe it in my romanticism, but I'm not sure if it's true or not." I want to believe it's true, too, but like Drew, I don't actually know if I believe it, and I don't think I will ever shape an opinion, either. I think it is something that I will think about now and again to entertain my wild imagination, just like hypothetical situations in zombie movies, but these ideas only provide for one thing and one thing alone: Good entertainment. That's really all it is, whether you buy into Barrs' X-File-esquire story or not.
Now I was interested to hear the Bryan Singer once thought about directing it, and I think that I would actually be attracted to it if he did. But since an amateur like Clooney (not that I'm insulting him... I think he did a fantastic job for an amateur) directed the film, there were some things where--well, let's just say I often questioned whether they were done in one take.
Don't get me wrong, my inner struggle for an opinion on this movie is why I love talking about it so much, and why I PREFER that Clooney directed it instead of Singer.
One last and final note that I think that makes this movie so good is the willingness of actors to be in it, the enthusiasm, and the cameos (refer back to point #1 of this sentence). Julia Roberts was in it, doing a fantastic job, probably one of the most un-characteristic roles for her (I wonder how licking Sam Rockwell's face tasted?) and probably why I like it the best. Then there was cameos by Maggie Gyllenhall (Jake's sister that starred in the controversial "Secretary"--and ironically she plays an almost secretary-like character...). Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio were in it as non-speaking bachelor's, and of course, back to the non-cameo's, there were the amazing Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore and George Clooney in it as well (of course George had to be in there).
Very interesting movie. Maybe I'll have to read Chuck Barris' autobiography sometime.
The Exorcist (1973)
A powerful film to say the least.
This movie is, at the moment, tied with the Japenese "Premonition" for my favorite horror film of all-time. Perhaps "The Exorcist" has a slight advantage, though.
First of all, whether it is a true story or not, it still has extremely strange circumstances surrounding the making of this movie.
I think something like 13 people died during the making, the set burned down mysteriously (no one knows why, even to this day) as well as the crew being plagued with minor difficulties.
I have heard conflicting view on whether or not the actual exorcism occurred, but I tend to believe that no matter how improbable, these sort of things do happen.
Call me religious. Call me superstitious. That's just what I believe.
Also, the acting is amazing. I know a lot of it is real, like the angered look on the mother's face when she gets slapped across the room, and the frightened look from the Regan when she is flipping out on the bed. The are REAL emotions the actors went through, because they were being pulled too violently (in both cases) by the men who were pulling the ropes for 'special effects' behind them.
However, whether you, yourself believe in the above mentioned things or not, this is not a forgettable film whatsoever. My recommendation is to watch it either completely alone or with one other person at the most in a pitch-black environment. If you aren't freaked out and/or if your jaw is not dropped open by the end of the film, then I'll know you're watching it from a little cell in an unknown prison, Charles Manson.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
Great movie, although Hedwig's actions may bother some
The first time I watched this movie I gave it a three out of five stars. The reason for this was because of Hedwig's actions. Hedwig openly admits to saying he did some "jobs some called blow". This, to me, indicates that he was giving guys "blowjos" and not letting them know he was really a man. That grosses me out, as I'm sure it would a lot of viewers. I have nothing against transsexuals or hermaphrodites or whatever, but to do that to someone and have them not know what you really are is deceptive and personally, makes me want to punch them in the friggin' face, if not something more violent.
The other unacceptable action of Hedwig's was "jerking off" Tommy Gnosis when he didn't know Hedwig's true nature, either. Hedwig angers me for that reason alone, that he doesn't seem to care about other people, but at the same time, you have to sympathize with him.
The only thing that prevents me from giving this movie a ten is Hedwig's unforgivable actions and unforgivable taste in music. (Velvet Underground... No. DON'T take a walk on the wild side, let the person decide for themselves instead of you're brainwashing, Lou Reed... and Heroin sucks.) Also, the Rolling Stones are horrible. They're like dinosaurs. The only good artist Hedwig listens to is David Bowie. My personal opinion here, of course.
My only point here is that Hedwig may anger some, so if you are easily angered by the selfish actions of others, so will you be at this movie at first glance. I recommend going out and watching "Rocky Horror Picture Show" first to soften the blow, so to speak.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
13 year old girls and Green Day fans will love this. To everyone else: Don't waste your time.
First of all, I would like to say that this movie is highly overrated. It is the Green Day of Independent Films. A fad and nothing more. What is so special about it? Really? The people who made this movie probably pulled the change out of their pockets to make the film. Also, something I noticed is that another fellow had mention Jim Jarmusch (or however you spell it, I don't really care), the director of Coffee and Cigarrettes, which I thought to be one of the worst films I had ever seen. (Not even the appearance of one of the best modern comedians ever, Bill Murray, could save that movie.) I will concede that I only watched both of these movies once. (That is enough for me.) I will, eventually, when I have nothing better to do and time to waste, watch both of these films again, because I believe in giving things a second chance, but God, I sure hope there's a hell of a lot I missed, because this movie was just plain DULL.