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1. The Godfather (1972) 2. Star Wars (1977) 3. The Godfather Part II (1974) 4. The Wizard of Oz (1939) 5. Casablanca (1943) 6. Rocky (1976) 7. Schindler's List (1993) 8. Wings (1927) 9. High Noon (1952) 10. Apocalypse Now (1979) 11. American Graffiti (1973) 12. On the Waterfront (1954) 13. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) 14. Singin' in the Rain (1952) 15. 12 Angry Men (1957) 16. Frankenstein (1931) 17. Some Like It Hot (1959) 18. Around the World in 80 Days (1956) 19. West Side Story (1961) 20. Rear Window (1954) 21. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 22. All About Eve (1950) 23. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) 24. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 25. Rebel Without a Cause (1955) 26. Psycho (1960) 27. King Kong (1933) 28. The Deer Hunter (1978) 29. Duck Soup (1933) 30. Citizen Kane (1941) 31. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) 32. City Lights (1931) 33. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 34. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) 35. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) 36. Pulp Fiction (1994) 37. Jaws (1975) 38. Modern Times (1936) 39. The Conversation (1974) 40. Tootsie (1982) 41. Gone with the Wind (1939) 42. Witness for the Prosecution (1957) 43. The Wild Bunch (1969) 44. It Happened One Night (1934) 45. The French Connection (1971) 46. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) 47. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) 48. The Untouchables (1987) 49. The Grapes of Wrath (1940) 50. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) 51. Barry Lyndon (1975) 52. The Godfather Part III (1990) 53. Blazing Saddles (1974) 54. RoboCop (1987) 55. For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943) 56. Awakenings (1990) 57. The Guns of Navarone (1961) 58. The Maltese Falcon (1941) 59. In the Bedroom (2001) 60. All the President's Men (1976) 61. Platoon (1986) 62. Reservoir Dogs (1992) 63. Halloween (1978) 64. The Thing (1982) 65. The Squid and the Whale (2005) 66. Back to the Future (1985) 67. Unforgiven (1992) 68. In the Heat of the Night (1967) 69. Dracula (1931) 70. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) 71. The African Queen (1951) 72. Zelig (1983) 73. The Searchers (1956) 74. The Exorcist (1973) 75. Marty (1955) 76. Alien (1979) 77. A Thousand Clowns (1965) 78. Since You Went Away (1944) 79. Kill Bill: Volume Two (2004) 80. In Cold Blood (1967) 81. The Elephant Man (1980) 82. The Pianist (2002) 83. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) 84. Kill Bill: Volume One (2003) 85. Clerks (1994) 86. Full Metal Jacket (1987) 87. Big Fish (2003) 88. Decision Before Dawn (1951) 89. The Killing Fields (1984) 90. Once Upon a Time in the West (1969) 91. 12 Years a Slave (2013) 92. The Warriors (1979) 93. Midnight in Paris (2011) 94. The Killing (1956) 95. Boyhood (2014) 96. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) 97. Adventureland (2009) 98. Atlantic City (1981) 99. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) 100. Ed Wood (1994)
If you would like to comment on my list you can PM me.
Here are a few of my favorite things: Favorite Actor - Al Pacino Favorite Actress - Ingrid Bergman Favorite Director - Francis Ford Coppola Favorite Movie Studio - Paramount Favorite Color - Blue Favorite Letter - R Favorite Number - 16 Favorite Animal - Raccoon Favorite Season - Winter Favorite Song - Layla Favorite Band - The Beatles Favorite Novel - The World According to Garp Favorite Author - George Orwell Favorite Football Team - The New Orleans Saints Favorite Baseball Team - The New York Yankees Favorite Basketball Team - The Philadelphia 76ers Favorite Hockey Team - The Philadelphia Flyers
Favorite Actor - Al Pacino
Favorite Actress - Ingrid Bergman
Favorite Director - Francis Ford Coppola
Favorite Movie Studio - Paramount
Favorite Color - Blue
Favorite Letter - R
Favorite Number - 16
Favorite Animal - Raccoon
Favorite Season - Winter
Favorite Song - Layla
Favorite Band - The Beatles
Favorite Novel - The World According to Garp
Favorite Author - George Orwell
Favorite Football Team - The New Orleans Saints
Favorite Baseball Team - The New York Yankees
Favorite Basketball Team - The Philadelphia 76ers
Favorite Hockey Team - The Philadelphia Flyers
Here are my favorite movies from each year dating back to 1918. 1918 - A Dog's Life
1919 - From Hand to Mouth
1920 - An Eastern Westerner
1921 - Now or Never
1922 - Grandma's Boy
1923 - Safety Last!
1924 - Hot Water
1925 - The Gold Rush
1926 - The Lodger
1927 - Wings
1928 - Speedy
1929 - In Old Arizona
1930 - All Quiet on the Western Front
1931 - Frankenstein
1932 - Scarface
1933 - King Kong
1934 - It Happened One Night
1935 - The Lives of a Bengal Lancer
1936 - Modern Times
1937 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
1938 - The Lady Vanishes
1939 - The Wizard of Oz
1940 - The Grapes of Wrath
1941 - Citizen Kane
1942 - Yankee Doodle Dandy
1943 - Casablanca
1944 - Since You Went Away
1945 - The Lost Weekend
1946 - The Best Years of Our Lives
1947 - The Bishop's Wife
1948 - Key Largo
1949 - Battleground
1950 - All About Eve
1951 - The African Queen
1952 - High Noon
1953 - Roman Holiday
1954 - On the Waterfront
1955 - Rebel Without a Cause
1956 - Around the World in 80 Days
1957 - 12 Angry Men
1958 - The Defiant Ones
1959 - Some Like It Hot
1960 - Psycho
1961 - West Side Story
1962 - To Kill a Mockingbird
1963 - Contempt
1964 - Goldfinger
1965 - A Thousand Clowns
1966 - The Sand Pebbles
1967 - In the Heat of the Night
1968 - Planet of the Apes
1969 - The Wild Bunch
1970 - Patton
1971 - The French Connection
1972 - The Godfather
1973 - American Graffiti
1974 - The Godfather Part II
1975 - Jaws
1976 - Rocky
1977 - Star Wars
1978 - The Deer Hunter
1979 - Apocalypse Now
1980 - The Empire Strikes Back
1981 - Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982 - Tootsie
1983 - Zelig
1984 - The Killing Fields
1985 - Back to the Future
1986 - Platoon
1987 - The Untouchables
1988 - Die Hard
1989 - Field of Dreams
1990 - The Godfather Part III
1991 - The Silence of the Lambs
1992 - Reservoir Dogs
1993 - Schindler's List
1994 - The Shawshank Redemption
1995 - Se7en
1996 - Hamlet
1997 - The Full Monty
1998 - Antz
1999 - The Sixth Sense
2000 - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2001 - In the Bedroom
2002 - The Pianist
2003 - Kill Bill: Volume One
2004 - Kill Bill: Volume Two
2005 - The Squid and the Whale
2006 - Babel
2007 - Zodiac
2008 - The Dark Knight
2009 - Adventureland
2010 - The Kids Are All Right
2011 - Midnight in Paris
2012 - Silver Linings Playbook
2013 - 12 Years a Slave
2014 - Boyhood
2015 - Room
1918 - A Dog's Life 1919 - From Hand to Mouth 1920 - An Eastern Westerner 1921 - Now or Never 1922 - Grandma's Boy 1923 - Safety Last! 1924 - Hot Water 1925 - The Gold Rush 1926 - The Lodger 1927 - Wings 1928 - Speedy 1929 - In Old Arizona 1930 - All Quiet on the Western Front 1931 - Frankenstein 1932 - Scarface 1933 - King Kong 1934 - It Happened One Night 1935 - The Lives of a Bengal Lancer 1936 - Modern Times 1937 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1938 - The Lady Vanishes 1939 - The Wizard of Oz 1940 - The Grapes of Wrath 1941 - Citizen Kane 1942 - Yankee Doodle Dandy 1943 - Casablanca 1944 - Since You Went Away 1945 - The Lost Weekend 1946 - The Best Years of Our Lives 1947 - The Bishop's Wife 1948 - Key Largo 1949 - Battleground 1950 - All About Eve 1951 - The African Queen 1952 - High Noon 1953 - Roman Holiday 1954 - On the Waterfront 1955 - Rebel Without a Cause 1956 - Around the World in 80 Days 1957 - 12 Angry Men 1958 - The Defiant Ones 1959 - Some Like It Hot 1960 - Psycho 1961 - West Side Story 1962 - To Kill a Mockingbird 1963 - Contempt 1964 - Goldfinger 1965 - A Thousand Clowns 1966 - The Sand Pebbles 1967 - In the Heat of the Night 1968 - Planet of the Apes 1969 - The Wild Bunch 1970 - Patton 1971 - The French Connection 1972 - The Godfather 1973 - American Graffiti 1974 - The Godfather Part II 1975 - Jaws 1976 - Rocky 1977 - Star Wars 1978 - The Deer Hunter 1979 - Apocalypse Now 1980 - The Empire Strikes Back 1981 - Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982 - Tootsie 1983 - Zelig 1984 - The Killing Fields 1985 - Back to the Future 1986 - Platoon 1987 - The Untouchables 1988 - Die Hard 1989 - Field of Dreams 1990 - The Godfather Part III 1991 - The Silence of the Lambs 1992 - Reservoir Dogs 1993 - Schindler's List 1994 - The Shawshank Redemption 1995 - Se7en 1996 - Hamlet 1997 - The Full Monty 1998 - Antz 1999 - The Sixth Sense 2000 - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2001 - In the Bedroom 2002 - The Pianist 2003 - Kill Bill: Volume One 2004 - Kill Bill: Volume Two 2005 - The Squid and the Whale 2006 - Babel 2007 - Zodiac 2008 - The Dark Knight 2009 - Adventureland 2010 - The Kids Are All Right 2011 - Midnight in Paris 2012 - Silver Linings Playbook 2013 - 12 Years a Slave 2014 - Boyhood 2015 - Room
I apologize for any spelling or grammar mistakes throughout my profile. If you would, please PM me to tell me if you've spotted any mistakes. Thank you.
"We'll be listening to you."
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Some Like It Hot (1959)
The St. Valentine's Day Massacre! No one would dare make a comedy set against the backdrop of this brutal gangland event of the 1920s, right? Well, if that were true we wouldn't have one of the funniest movies ever made. Who else but Billy Wilder could take a serious subject like that and turn it into the hysterical comedy romp that is Some Like It Hot?
I was never a big fan of Marilyn Monroe as a leading lady, but this movie is my exception. She's actually quite good, but surprisingly, she's shown up by the other two leading "ladies." For some reason, men dressing in drag has always been extremely funny to American audiences. As an American, I can't disagree.
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis know exactly how to deliver that great Wilder & Diamond dialogue. But I can't understand how only Lemmon got the Oscar recognition. I can't really choose which actor did a better job with their role and I suppose that's where Monroe comes in.
I don't want to leave out the amazing supporting cast that Some Like It Hot has to offer. You have the always intimidating George Raft as the villain, the always dependable Pat O'Brien as the detective, and the always hilarious Joe E. Brown as Jack Lemmon's love interest. You'll have to see the movie to believe that last part.
With all my rambling on about how funny this movie is, you're probably wondering what it has to do with the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and why the male leads are in women's clothing. Well, Lemmon and Curtis witness the killing and have to escape the clutches the men who carry it out. Along the way, they run into Marilyn Monroe and some of the funniest lines in film.
If you're in the moody for zany hijinks that only to notch comedy talent can provide, then search no further. Some Like It Hot will most definitely satisfy your funny bone.
My Favorite "Superhero Movie"
Everyone these days talks about how great Spider-Man, Batman Begins, or Superman Returns is, but they forget about the one film that made superhero movies popular again. Back when X-Men came out, I was blown away. I'd never seen a comic book movie have so much substance. The action was fantastic and this brand new talent named Hugh Jackman was destined to be a star.
The story revolves around a school for gifted youngsters. The general population refers to them as mutants, but they're really just like everyone else. Some of these "mutants" use the special power they've been given for good. They learn to harness their abilities and let them come out only when it is necessary. These extraordinary people are led by Charles Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart.
Of course, there's another side to all of this. There are those who are using their unique traits for evil. Because of all of the hatred toward the mutants, the villains want to make everyone in the world a mutant. Their leader is Erik Lensherr, played by Ian McKellan, who is the perfect foil to Stewart's good natured character.
Our main characters are that of a wide eyed girl, Anna Paquin, and a battle hardened soldier, Hugh Jackman. Both come to the school for gifted youngsters looking for answers or possibly a new life. Like the audience, they're new to this world of mutants and aren't sure of what to make of their "super" powers.
Through the course of the film, we run into many other mutants, both good and evil. Each one has a purpose and there's a reason for their inclusion in the movie. It's easy to have a favorite character and I'm sure you'll have one by the end of the movie. The fun and adventure is pretty infectious.
One thing I've noticed about X-Men is that it seems to have been overshadowed and tossed aside because of all the other great movies of this genre that have come out since. Many people think that the sequel to this was even better, but true fans know otherwise. Each character, while we may not see much of them, has their own little scene. You'll remember them for something they do, even if they have just a few minutes of screen time.
X-Men is the perfect superhero movie. It has everything you want in that category and more. The fact that it ends up being an allegory for something in today's society only adds to the greatness of this story. You don't have to love these kinds of movies to love X-Men and that's one of the reasons why I loved it so much. I just wish they could make them like this all of the time.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Paint It Black
Stanley Kubrick takes us on a voyage into darkness with this humanity tale of the horrors of the Vietnam war and how it affects the human beings who went through it. This is a story of people, real people and what they must do to survive in the harsh world of military boot camp and, ultimately, in the depths of hell.
We see this world of terror through the wide eyes of Matthew Modine. During his stay at Parris Island, he meets his extremely tough sergeant, R. Lee Ermey, and he learns that all of the other recruits are just like he is. Many people believe that boot camp is the highlight of the film and I can see why. I can't think of another movie that makes the viewer feel worried for their own sake when someone is yelling at another character.
The first half really sets us up for what's to come. We get to understand our protagonist and end up feeling just like he does. Modine is an everyman type that you can't help but feel for. You know what's going though his head in the bathroom scene because you're thinking the same thing.
After boot camp, we're thrust right into the Vietnam scene. Not with combat, but with the way it really was. Prostitutes walking down streets and giving venereal diseases to the soldiers who bring them back home are some of the things you think about when you see the city landscape of where we are.
If you've seen and love war movies like I do, you know that after the first combat scene, the feeling of having bullets flying by you just isn't the same. It's different with Full Metal Jacket. The tension in those scenes is drawn out so much that you're hooked into the moment so that even your heart is racing. I believe that these scenes are the best part of the film because there are very few war films that can do that.
What makes Full Metal Jacket different from others of its genre is that we know all of the characters. We've met people or are very close friends with characters like Animal, Cowboy, Hartmann, and even Pyle. Very few films do that anymore and to have a war movie do it is something you can't take for granted.
The finale sums up everything about the 1950s and '60s. It was the end of an era. When you see the scene, you realize the innocence that was taken away from this country so violently. An entire generation was lost because of this conflict and the world was changed forever.
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
Even Better Than The First
I first saw this one on its opening day, April 16, 2004, just as I had seen Volume One on its opening day, six months earlier. The night before I saw it I refreshed my memory by viewing the first film and I was glad that I did. Both movies really should be viewed as one single film because of how much you miss if you see just one of them. However, I will say that each movie can also stand on its own as a great film.
I'll begin by saying that I enjoyed this one just a little bit more than the first. I think that has a lot to do with David Carradine. Quentin Tarantino has a knack for bringing fading stars back from obscurity and he did it again with this great actor. Carradine plays the title character and brings Bill to life so much so that you kind of find yourself a little worried about the fact that our protagonist might actually end up killing him as the title suggests.
Speaking of our hero, Uma Thurman delivers yet another powerful performance as "The Bride," a former assassin hell bent on getting revenge for what her former "co-workers" did to her on her wedding day. This chapter in the two volume series continues with The Bride's journey and leads up to a fantastic climax that only Tarantino, the best director of today's generation, could bring you.
That's not all! There's even a cat fight that may go down in history as the best one ever captured on film. As one of the members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad on The Bride's hit list, Daryl Hannah squares off against Uma Thurman in one of the tiniest spaces to hold a fight scene, a trailer home.
Even Michael Madsen gets in on the action! As Bill's brother, Budd, Madsen plays one of the more sympathetic roles of his career, even though he's a cold blooded bastard. His character becomes very developed and we see what we saw only a glimmer of during the Vivica A. Fox sequence in the first: someone like us. We all know that Madsen is just another bad guy, but he shows us that those "bad guys" are just regular people trying to live in a world that doesn't want them.
Of course, we can't forget about Pai Mei. The most fearsome martial arts expert is played superbly in this film by Gordon Liu. Although he speaks only Mandarin in the film, his intimidating looks and fiery delivery give us another great supporting performance in a movie that I'll stay with any time I happen to catch it on television. I'm sure that you would do the same.
Yes, this film is a bloody good conclusion to the Kill Bill saga and, if you've seen the first, you definitely need to see this one to find out what happens and how it goes down. I recommend this to anyone and everyone because it's one of the best films of this decade.
The African Queen (1951)
Bogart And Hepburn At Their Best
Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn are arguably the two greatest performers of all time. Bogart has proved his success with such roles as Rick Blaine in Casablanca and Samuel Spade in The Maltese Falcon. Hepburn has shown us her talents with The Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby. Did they ever happen to make a movie together? Yes, they did. Was it any good? You bet your ass!
The African Queen is a rousing tale of adventure and romance with two unlikely companions. Bogie plays a steamboat captain who agrees to take Robert Morley's sister, The Great Kate, back to civilization during the onset of World War I. In the process, they must fight for survival along treacherous waters.
The gin-guzzling riverboat captain is a great counter to the strait-laced missionary and the two stars make this a ride to remember. Besides the performances, the script probably shines the most. James Agee and John Huston, who also directed, have a great knack for writing crisp and smooth interplay between the two leads.
There aren't very many supporting roles in this movie, but Robert Morley makes the best of his small performance. He's actually quite memorable and he hearkens back to supporting players of older Bogart movies like Sidney Greenstreet.
Both leads received well deserved Oscar nominations and Humphrey Bogart finally won his big award. That should tell you that I'm not the only one who thought this movie was excellent. If you like stirring action with great chemistry from the stars, then you'll love The African Queen.
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
I saw this movie a few years ago and it still resonates in my memory from time to time. That first viewing really affected me as a person because I realized what other people can do to me in the way of deceit and surprise. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that this ranks up there as one of the greatest endings of all time. It still packs a wallop fifty years later.
The story revolves around a murder with the accused being Tyrone Power. Charles Laughton decides to take on the difficult case with a little help from his loving wife, Elsa Lanchester. The job of the defense becomes even harder when Power's only alibi is his wife, Marlene Dietrich. The thing is, Dietrich is a witness for the prosecution!
The entire cast is wonderful in each role. Tyrone Power gives the best performance of his career, and it just happens to be his last one. In fact, this film may just be Lanchester's, Dietrich's, and even Laughton's best work. I don't want to take anything away from Billy Wilder though. His direction guides the film very easily to its climactic scene where all is revealed.
We can't forget about those special assets that had to be filmed at a cost of $90,000. Of course, I'm talking about those famous legs of Marlene Dietrich and they figure prominently enough into the movie. Her fans will be lapping it up when they see them and I can definitely understand why. Once you see them, I think you'll agree.
All that aside, this is a very excellent film. One that seems a bit underrated today because it isn't seen too often. I assure you, though, everyone I know who has viewed it has thoroughly enjoyed it. It's one of the best films of the 1950s and one of the best of the Golden Age of cinema.
I'll end by saying that only Agatha Christie could come up with a plot like this. With twists and turns to lead even Sherlock Holmes to wonder what happened, she has you on the edge of your seat until the credits roll. If you haven't seen the film yet, I envy you the experience.
"Do Or Do Not. There Is No Try."
The best science fiction film of all time has its story continued in this just as excellent sequel. By now, I'm sure most people have either seen this or have at least seen scenes from it and you probably all know the story and that it was a huge success. For those of you that have not had the pleasure to view this film, I shall do my best to persuade you to seek this one out. Of course, if you haven't seen the first film, and by that I mean the original 1977 entry, then get that under your belt first so you aren't completely lost.
The last part of that last statement may not actually happen because of the way the film is made. Even though it pretty much picks up where first one left off, you can put this film by itself and still be highly entertained and greatly impressed.
There are a lot of things to love about The Empire Strikes Back. The villain, Darth Vader, is better than ever. His dialogue may be some of the best ever written. Lines like "You have failed me for the last time" and "Don't make me destroy you," when taken into context, really blow you away as far as meaning and even enunciation. James Earl Jones is definitely a candidate for our greatest voice of all time.
Vader's not the only one spouting out great lines. A new character, in the form of a Muppet, might just steal the show. The fact that you are watching a puppet teach Luke Skywalker the ways of the force and you totally buy it really goes to show you how creative this movie is. The mannerisms of Yoda are so spot on that you think you're actually watching a person.
A movie with the greatest villain of all time and the best use of a puppet can't have any more to offer, right? You tell me that again once you've seen the Battle of Hoth through the eyes of the soldiers staring down those AT-ATs. As soon as you've seen that, you may claim that you've seen everything. Why more movies don't use miniatures and stop-motion animation is beyond me. After this film set the bar as high as it did, you'd think people would want to have their epic films at least look realistic like this one.
If those amazing feats aren't enough for you, try dodging asteroids while being chased by TIE Fighters, searching through the murky swamps of Dagobah in search of the greatest of all Jedi masters, or fighting the Dark Lord of the Sith atop Cloud City. Yes, The Empire Strikes Back has enough action to keep you on the edge of your seat for the duration.
For those of you who like a little more substance with your style, look no further. As I said before the dialogue is crisp and really makes you think. The romance between Han and Leia may have as much tension as that climactic lightsaber fight. Even the comedy is well played and timed. The movie also has one of the best, if not the best, ending ever shot on film.
The Empire Strikes Back is one for the ages. A film so jam-packed with literal awesomeness that you may need to pick up your jaw when the end credits start rolling. Crank up the sound, sit back, relax, and then prepare to get blown away by the second, or possibly fifth, chapter in the Star Wars saga.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
A Tearjerker For Men
I saw The Deer Hunter at a young age, knowing that it had won all of those Oscars and that it had earned its place among the elite films of the 1970s. Going into it, you can tell that I thought it had a lot to live up to. Its reputation had become pretty big and I think that if it were any other film, it wouldn't have worked. That's right, I loved this movie.
It opens beautifully and simply with a wedding. We see and get to know each character through their conversations with the others and their reactions to everything that's going on. That environment brings out the true emotions of these people and the movie really couldn't have done it in a better way. It was a brilliant decision to start the film with something that would show us exactly what we're getting into and what the filmmakers are setting us up for.
We are then led to the everyday lives of the characters. They're steelworkers, hunters, husbands, and friends. They're your friends. They're the people YOU know, the people YOU love. The film goes so far in depth that it seems as if YOU are a character as well. You feel what they feel and you believe what they believe. You're taken in by these average Americans and you live their lives.
Having just made so many friends while in Pennsylvania, you realize what the movie is about to do to you. You're about to be taken on a journey into the "heart of darkness." With other war movies, you learn about each character as the battle rages on. That's where this one is different. You already know who you're fighting with and that you're not alone.
That's what makes this film so powerful. It builds everything up to the point that you know and love each character. you actually CARE about each character so that when something tragic happens, it's the end of the world. No other movie has ever done that to me, whether it was before I saw this or after. No film had ever made me cry, literally bring tears to the eyes of a man. You know you're dealing with something special when that happens.
I won't go any further with this for fear that I might give too much away to those of you who haven't seen it already. If you are one of those people, then I urge you to check this movie out. You might not be as moved as I was, but I'm sure the film will stay with you for a while. Even if you're not a fan of war movies, this still works as its more of a human drama. The fact that only about one third of it is actually war may make you want to see it and please do. It's movie-making at its best.
Star Wars (1977)
"May The Force Be With You" - And Also With You
Originally, this was my favorite film. It has since been overtaken, but it remains at the number two spot. Originally, this had the greatest special effects money could buy. Of course, we now see what it has spawned and we wonder if it was such a good thing. Originally, this was just a story of good and evil, of youth learning, and of science fiction's maturity. Now, we see that the story of a boy following in the footsteps of his father had five other films to go with it.
I stress the word "originally" because of the fact that this film has been tweaked countless times in the past thirty years and it doesn't seem like the original film exists. It's really the only one that should because that's the version that became the phenomenon. That's the version that won all of those Oscars and that's the version that I, like so many others, first saw.
Why is it so important for this film to be seen the way it was first shown, you ask? Just look at what it has done to society and what this small film has accomplished in its short life. You won't have to look far to see that Star Wars has influenced almost, if not everything, to come after it. The "Citizen Kane" of the 1970s was one of the original blockbusters and the first science fiction film in over twenty years to be taken seriously.
You know what it has become, so what was it originally? Star Wars was the story of a boy who longs for adventure. He wants a life away from the farm. He yearns to discover new worlds, new cultures, and experience what it's like to grow up. At its heart, this the all-American story of chance and opportunity. On the outside, however, it doesn't look so simple. We see battles being fought, royalty being rescued, wizards performing their magic, and good triumphing over evil.
Yes, Star Wars has it all. Science Fiction may be its classification, but don't judge too soon. For those wondering whether to go ahead and finally watch the film for the first time, I urge you to follow through. You're journey will truly be one to remember as you see what everyone else has been talking about. I do impress upon you the fact that seeing the original is of the utmost importance. If you've seen and used the technology today, it may seem like you're playing Atari, but when you look back after thinking about what it had to offer and the feelings it gave you, you'll realize how awesome this movie is.
The Best Version of Shakespeare's Best Play
William Shakespeare would be very proud of this particular version of his play. Not only is it the best movie version of it, but it's also the only complete version of Hamlet. Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet is simply genius. Not only because it was written by Shakespeare, but also because it had the guts to do the whole thing, even if it went just over four hours.
We all know the story of the Prince of Denmark and his plot to avenge his father's death, so I won't go into the details of the story. I will, however, tell you that the best part of this Hamlet version is not the breathtaking sets or the stunning photography, but the actors' interpretations of each character. I doubt you'll find a better Polonius than Richard Briers' delicious portrayal. Plus, you can't go wrong with Julie Christie and Jack Lemmon. Also, Derek Jacobi, a regular among Shakespeare adaptations is magnificent as the antagonist to Hamlet.
Of course, we must talk about Kenneth Branagh. He wowed audiences when he came onto the scene with his first outing with Shakespeare, Henry V. He outdoes himself with Hamlet. Sure, Olivier's presence was captivating, but I think Branagh's performance is wonderful. When you watch him on screen, it's almost as if he knew exactly how Shakespeare wanted the role to be played. How he wasn't nominated for an Oscar is a total mystery. At least the movie got a few nominations and even an odd choice for Screenplay. I guess they know good writing when they see it though.
All in all, you'll never find a more rich and lavish production of the Bard's best play. To say that the technical aspects were awesome would be an understatement. If you love this play and are a fan of Shakespeare, you definitely need to check this movie out. Even if you don't really care for Shakespeare, the visuals will keep you occupied for the duration of the film. You may not think you'll be able to sit through all of it at once, but you'll soon find out that pausing this movie will make you want to see it even more.
Back to the Future (1985)
"Oh Hi, Marty!"
Back to the Future is probably the best and quintessential time traveling movie ever made. You can't go far without someone spouting out its memorable dialogue and imitating its wonderful characters. Now that it's over twenty years old, Back to the Future is entertaining a whole new generation.
It has a simple enough story that involves a teenager who longs for a better life and the crazy scientist friend who builds a time machine. When the scientist's unveiling of a time machine made out of a DeLorean goes awry, the teenager ends up accidentally going back in time thirty years. While he's there he sees all of the people he knows from 1985, except they're now thirty years younger.
A genius story like that creates an excellent movie and a star making performance by Michael J. Fox as the teenager. The highlight of this movie comes from the scientist played by Christopher Lloyd. His whacky antics were perfect for the role and made the character of Doc Brown immediately come to life.
Some viewers today may think that an '80s movie that ends up becoming a '50s movie won't be for them. Those people are sorely mistaken, because if you're looking for a wild ride that will keep you entertained and in stitches, look no further. Back to the Future has everything you crave.
Citizen Kane (1941)
Citizen Kane is the story of Charles Foster Kane, a man very similar to that of William Randolph Hearst. Kane has it all, a multi-million dollar business, a mansion named Xanadu, and a celebrity that rivals the President of the United States. Even with all of this success, he dies alone and old uttering the mysterious word: "Rosebud." What does the word "Rosebud" mean, you ask? Well, that's where the movies begins. In flashbacks, we hear all about the life and times of this very rich man called Kane. It's up to the reporters and you to figure out what it all means.
A very interesting plot, but that's not the best part. You see, a movie like Citizen Kane has to have a lot more to be called the greatest movie of all time. Believe me, it has everything. I was lucky enough to see this film in the theater at a classic movie screening. The great thing is that it was my first viewing of this masterpiece. I'd heard a lot about it and over the years it got its massive reputation, but I didn't think it could be this good.
One cannot describe in words how a movie could be so great. A film directed by a 25-year-old doesn't sound like a classic, but Orson Welles was able to change all that. His script is one of the greatest of all time. He had so much creativity that it all oozed out of him and onto the film. His portrayal of Kane is so realistic that you forget you're only watching a 25-year-old. The make-up artists can also take credit for this.
All of the technical achievements are a marvel. This is the first movie to actually use a ceiling, so you know it has to be good. Another unforgettable use of scenery involves a dining room table. Kane and his wife have been growing farther and farther apart. To show this, Welles has a montage of dinners with the table getting longer and making Kane and his wife physically get farther and farther apart. That's just one example of the genius that this film is.
It's too bad that 1941 audiences weren't able to really see this movie. The character of Kane was so close to Hearst that the famous newspaperman caused the film to fail at the box office. Hearst didn't want this movie to be seen. Luckily for us, we now have this film forever and can view it when ever we want. I highly recommend this milestone in film-making history.
Passion and Inspiration
Rocky is the story of a down and out boxer who's actually really good. People don't recognize this, but finally a trainer takes him under his wing. Apollo Creed, the world champion boxer, decides to get an unknown to fight with him in the ring and chooses Rocky. Now Rocky has his chance at the top and he'll work harder than ever to be the champion.
The great thing about this movie is the fact that it works on so many levels. On the outside, it's a sports movie that will inspire even a king to become greater than he his. On the inside, it's a love story. Rocky and Adrian are one of the most memorable couples in film history and their love seems to be real. It's not just your average sports movie or love story though. This is the finest you'll ever see, even if you don't like boxing or romances.
The soundtrack probably has the most uplifting song you'll ever hear. "Gonna Fly Now" was exactly the kind of song that a movie like this needed. Today, everyone knows it and will hum the tune and even run up steps if they can find any. That's when you know you have a classic on your hands. It will stand the test of time perfectly and will live on as one of the greatest movies ever made.
With all of those combinations, audiences were amazed with the tale of Rocky Balboa's dream of becoming a champion and his friends who helped him along the way. There's something else that makes this movie work more than anything else before or after it. It was released around the same time when the United States was celebrating its 200th birthday. This is the kind of movie that helped promote the American Dream and showed that our country was still the best. It was quite a way to show patriotism and unity when we needed it.
Nowadays, it seems like Rocky is branded as another Stallone movie with so many sequels. Those sequels kind of ruined the reputation that Rocky should have, and we all learned how important a good rep is when we listened to Rocky's speech. So the next time you see this and think its just another excuse to make money, just take the film by itself and then you'll see how well made and well acted this film really is.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
"This IS A Tasty Burger!"
Pulp Fiction is a movie with many interweaving stories about corruption, redemption, and honor. It is set in Los Angeles and gives us a different look at the world of crime. In Quentin Tarantino's world, the bad guys are fast talkers with a stylized vocabulary. There's really only one hero in the film, but that doesn't stop you from liking most of the characters, especially the always excellent Samuel L. Jackson. There's nothing this guy can act poorly in. He's great in everything.
As for everyone else, well John Travolta sky rocketed back into the public eye thanks to Tarantino. He was never better as the devoted hit-man to Jackson's one who has second thoughts about the profession. Uma Thurman can also thank Quentin for making her a household name, twice. She plays Mia Wallace, a very intriguing and different character that we don't get to see in many movies. Bruce Willis is the tough guy who's on the run from Mr. Wallace (Ving Rhames) after he doesn't do what he's told. As I said before, there's really only one hero in the picture and Willis pretty much fits that bill.
All of the other members of the supporting cast do very well with the few scenes they have. Each one is equally memorable and even our director, Quentin Tarantino, gets bitten by the acting bug. It's Samuel L. Jackson who steals the show and that's what I remember most about this excellent movie. Of course, there is gratuitous violence and graphic language, but nothing that we don't say in everyday life. As long as you have a pleasure for dark humor, you'll enjoy this movie. It really is more of a comedy than any other genre.
All in all Pulp Fiction is a masterpiece of originality. Some say Tarantino rips off from those low budget movies of the '70s, but he's really just putting all of what he learned from his childhood and creating something that comes off as nothing we've seen before. And that's all I need to enjoy a movie: something that I haven't seen before and that comes off as entirely original and creative. It's one of the best movies of the '90s.
Very Interesting Crime Drama
For its time, Alibi was probably groundbreaking with a crime world never truly seen before. That's probably why it was nominated for Best Picture in 1929. Today, people just see it as one of those creaky gangster movies from the early days of sound and pass it up thinking that it won't hold their attention one bit. I'm here to prove those people wrong.
For one thing, the story is what usually makes a movie for me. A film has to have a good story to get me to see it. Well, if you like any type of crime related movies, that's all you need to know. Even if you aren't a fan of crime dramas, this film will interest you with the way it captures the human spirit and the way it can deteriorate very quickly in times of stress.
Obviously that last bit can only be performed by great actors and actresses with natural talent. That's what you get with this film. Chester Morris deserved the Oscar he was nominated for, even if you just see his final scene you'll give it to him for his shocking portrayal of a rotten gangster.
I think that it's Regis Toomey, a forgotten star, who really shines in this film though. His performance as a drunk with something to hide is really quite remarkable. If they had Supporting categories back then, he'd have been a shoe-in.
I hope I've convinced you enough to check out Alibi because it's actually a really good film. I recommend it if you're looking for a good crime drama that will hold your attention, which shouldn't be hard since it's not a very long movie. Enjoy it, if you get the chance to see it.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
An Excellent Coming of Age Story
If there was ever a film about the innocence of children and the things they had to go through while growing up, this is that film. It is the quintessential coming of age story and it will never be forgotten.
Gregory Peck plays Atticus Finch, the father of Jem and Scout. His wife passed when the children were very young and Scout doesn't remember much about her. Atticus must serve as father and mother to both of them while still trying to maintain dignity and respect as he defends a black man in 1930s Alabama.
The film is based on Harper Lee's book of the same name. There are many differences between the film and novel, but the main points are kept in tact. The book had many lessons for everyone including racism and equality. The film takes those two main points and marvelously tells a tale of the prejudices inside us all.
Not only is racism a factor, but also just how we look at the social classes and even people who are just different in mannerisms. To Kill a Mockingbird is many lessons wrapped into a two hour movie, but those two hours pack so much of a wallop that you'll be shaken and engrossed at many parts of the film.
Each character is developed exactly the way Lee intended. Robert Mulligan's direction is nearly flawless and Gregory Peck's performance as our hero is one of the greatest in all of cinematic history. It's definitely the best film of 1962 and one of the five best of the '60s. If you have any compassion for your childhood, I urge you to see this excellent film.
The Warriors (1979)
A Definite Cult Classic
The Warriors is the story of a small time gang from Coney Island who's mistakenly accused of killing a rival gang leader during an enormous meeting of every gang in New York. Now the Warriors must fight for survival as every gang is looking to get revenge while they try to make it back to their home turf.
The film seems like it would have been forgotten over the years because of its little known cast, but that didn't happen. It developed a cult following just like so many other great films that were overlooked when they first came out. This is one of the best of those cult films.
Not only is it about gangs and fighting, but also about loyalty, trust, and friendship. Of course, a movie like this disguises those things because of its tough look and rough feel. You just have to really watch a movie like this and study it to get those little qualities that it gives off.
That's not the only thing that makes this movie so great. I guess it's because I love the '70s, but I just thought that all of the campiness and that decade's look and feel were so well captured in this film. From the music to the sayings and everything else, this movie is so '70s. Which is why it could never justifiably be remade. It does work as a video game though, which is what it was turned into last year.
I guess I'll sum up this film by saying that it's just really cool. If I had to give the definition of what that word meant, this film would be that definition. Not only are the Warriors cool, but every other gang is too, especially those intimidating Furies. If you ever wanted to feel like you were part of a New York city gang, this is probably the closest you'll come. The Warriors is definitely an amazingly fun and excellent movie.
The Conversation (1974)
The Conversation is the story of Harry Caul (Hackman), a man hired to record a conversation between two people who work for someone known only as The Director. Since Harry is an expert in surveillance, he knows there's something behind what these two people are saying. As the story unfolds and Harry's character develops, we realize that he may be in way over his head as he's lead into a world of intrigue and murder.
Gene Hackman's performance is up there among his best and may only be beaten by his character in The French Connection. If you liked that film, then this will be up there on your favorites list as well. He plays Caul as if he's set on getting the character exactly right. Down to the pauses and nervousness that he gives off, Hackman is perfect for the role and shows that he's definitely one of the best actors of the past 50 years.
But he's not the only one that shines in this haunting film. John Cazale's performance is something else to behold. Since he only made five films, one should cherish what he's made and what we get to see of him because every time he's on screen, we know that he can set the tone of a scene with just one line of dialogue. Cazale does just that in a perfect supporting role.
Fredric Forrest and Cindy Williams play the two talkers who we know barely anything about, but, like Caul, we're sympathetic to them from the start. The more and more we hear of their conversation, the more and more we feel as if we know them. Since that's pretty much the only dialogue they have in the film, both actors knew to make the most of it and they certainly did.
What makes this film stand out for me are the subtleties that we only see with further viewings. Of course, you only need one viewing to know that this is one of the greatest films ever made, but you'll like it even more if you watch it again a few years later. On a recent viewing I noticed that it opens with an aerial view of the park where the conversation takes place. Our eyes are fixed on a mime walking around and imitating the passing people. Only on this viewing did I realize the importance of this silent character in a film that's all about the sense of speech.
With such perfectly executed continuity, brilliantly acted performances, and an excellent script, one must wonder why such an amazing film isn't as well remembered today. I can't give you the answer to that question, but I'm sure that anyone who sees it will wonder the same thing because they'll know that what they've just witnessed is a masterpiece that only the greatest of filmmakers could give you.
The Fisher King (1991)
Dark, Funny, Sad, and Very Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam had been a well known director before he made this film. His works included Time Bandits, Brazil, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. So you know pretty much what to expect when you go into one of his movies. A fantasy filled world of dark humor and love. This film is no exception.
Quite possibly the best of Gilliam's post-Python films, it tells the story of radio DJ, played by Jeff Bridges, who, through no real fault of his own, ends up convincing a psychotic man to kill a bunch of people and himself in a nightclub after asking Bridges for advice. The DJ feels very responsible for this and decides to stop everything and try to cope with it.
After three years he gets attacked by hoodlums and is saved by a homeless man played by Robin Williams. The two get to know each other and Bridges reluctantly becomes friends with him after finding out how the two are connected.
Bridges and his girlfriend, played by Mercedes Ruehl, try different things to get Williams to fit in with the rest of New York City and to not be a bum. This results in some amusing situations involving the girl of Williams' dreams, played by Amanda Plummer, and another quest for the Holy Grail.
The film revolves around itself to bring us the tail of two not so different men in a big city where it seems everyone is different. Especially Mercedes Ruehl who ends up being the wise conscious of Bridges. She won a well deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, but we don't see much of her these days.
All in all, The Fisher King seems like something the children would like, but the adults would find amusing. I guess that means that it's a good film, but still a little dark for younger audiences. I thought that it was well done, but like most Gilliam works, something held me back from giving it a higher rating. The same thing happened with Twelve Monkeys, but I guess I have to see more of his films to find out why this is.
Natural Born Killers (1994)
Controversial and Misunderstood
Natural Born Killers is the story of two young lovers (Harrelson & Lewis) who are just having a good time. The only problem is the way they get that good time. It's by killing people whenever they want and whenever they feel like it. Of course, this is a horrible thing to do and it's too sadistic to even think about. So we must stop them by any means necessary. As the story goes on, we realize that the people that are trying to stop them are just as equally insane in their own way as the two main characters.
A premise like this could only come from one man and that is Quentin Tarantino. However, the movie version of his story is nothing like the idea that he came up with and that's why his name doesn't come to mind when we think of this. The name that does is Oliver Stone. Stone has done many things that were controversial when they were released and he's influenced many young filmmakers to push the envelope just enough as to say that this is original. When this particular film came out, we thought he'd gone too far.
And yet, you don't here much about this movie today. It's over a decade old now and it's had enough time to sink in with the public. When I finally got around to seeing this film, it didn't seem nearly as violent and corruptive as people made it out to be. But I didn't see it when it first came out. No, I saw it only about a year ago. There were many things going through my head about why a film like this isn't as contentious as it once was. I've come to realize and remember that back in 1994, a mostly pre-Tarantino world, our lives weren't as defiled by the media as they are today.
This made me come to the conclusion that the film, which actually provided a strong message about who we think are normal people and who we trust, came out at exactly the right time. It was just crazy and original enough to cause an uproar of controversy. If this film were to come out today, it wouldn't be a big deal at all and maybe that message would make its way across a little more clearly.
The film itself is just an okay one though. The acting is all right and it does have a good cast that works well together. It's interesting, with minor confusion. The tiny flaws that are in the film keep it as an average one for me and not as a great one like it could have been if Mr. Tarantino could have kept his hands on it. Overall, it's a good film that makes you think and I liked it.
The Best of the New Trilogy
Revenge of the Sith is the long awaited conclusion the Star Wars saga that began all those years ago. Of course, it doesn't seem like it was that long ago that the first Star Wars film was made and yet here we are almost thirty years later. Many things have changed, some things for the better and some not, but we still have that same heart that Lucas put into the original when we look at this film.
Now nothing can compare to the amazing and beautiful films of the original Star Wars trilogy in terms of special effects, music, lines, and basically any technical aspect of the three movies. Because of that, many people that were just casual fans of those originals weren't too taken with the first prequel and some even with the second. They had their reasons and they told us what flaws the two films had and we let them beat it into our heads that there was pretty much no reason for these films to even be called Star Wars movies.
Even with all of this, I stayed true to my beloved universe of Wookiees and Ewoks knowing that The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were only different because of the over the top special effects and that they were good movies in their own way. I also knew that no matter how much those casual fans wanted to hate this last film, they wouldn't be able to do it. It may have been because they wanted a good Star Wars film again so bad that they just told themselves that it was great or maybe they truly believe that this is one of the best of the saga and that Lucas has redeemed himself. Since I could relate to the new prequels enough to love them, I knew that the latter was going to be true for me.
It seems that it was true for those other fans too, because this new film is being called by some critics as the best of the series. We all know that that's impossible, even though they brought back Peter Mayhew and James Earl Jones, the real magic and warmth of the originals could never be reached. That doesn't stop this film from being the excellent story of betrayal and true love that it is.
Revenge of the Sith is the perfect title for a film like this because it doesn't fool anyone into thinking it has two meanings or anything like that. It's straightforward, just like the film, and the title proves the inevitable fate that the Jedi will succumb to at some point during the Sith's rise to power. We all knew that only two Jedi were to survive the dreadful Clone Wars, and yet when the scenes of those Jedi that we didn't know too much about but loved in a mysterious way came along, we were sucked into a black hole of deep sadness for them as if we had no idea that it was coming.
To me, that shows great storytelling and even if George Lucas needs some dialogue classes, the way he can shape a story and make it fit into each other like a jigsaw puzzle is astounding. The craftsmanship for the three prequels is amazing and it especially shows for this final segment as we know that if the piece doesn't fit into the puzzle, it wouldn't be right. Well that piece does fit and it makes the film the best of the new trilogy and one of the best films of the year.
Blade Runner (1982)
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Harrison Ford plays the title character and his job is to find and kill replicants, or robots of the future. Speaking of the future, what a grimy and unpleasant one it is. The sad part is that it only takes place about 40 years after the film was made and thinking that this is what the future will look like when the future is that close is completely insane.
Anyway, the plot seems interesting at first. Then you get to thinking that these replicants could pretty much be anywhere and anybody. Even the main character could be one. Of course, only someone with an apt mind could dig that deep into the film, but it offers the chance for you to do that during its long and all too similar chase scenes, so you're bound to start thinking about things like that. This will cause much confusion while you're trying to follow a story that seems to keep turning corners faster than you can say Vangelis.
Now I must say that Blade Runner isn't all that bad. One thing, and one thing alone, saves this film from being a total waste of time and that is the score. Vangelis pushes the right buttons once again with his beautifully haunting music that has been imitated and turned inside out by other science fiction/action films for years.
Sadly, the score isn't enough to save a film like this and that's why I've rated it so poorly. I can't begin to tell you that I, as a movie buff, cannot stand to be confused and then have an ending that goes nowhere. It's just something that I must learn to live with but will never learn to like. I don't know why the film is so praised by the public. I suppose that the story or maybe just the fact that it's so '80s when it's trying to be the future has something to do with it. I don't know why the latter would be something to like, but I guess everyone is different.
If you're wondering why a film with such a good cast could be this bad, then you're not alone. I've often thought about this as well and I've come to one conclusion. It's very possible that there is a great film trying to get out of the visual mess of this one, but a film that will never have a definitive version can never be good. You know you're going to have some problems when even the filmmakers can't agree on how the film should be made.
I may have confused you by just writing all of this, but I assure you that I'm not just ranting and raving about a movie with no ending and no organization. I'm telling you that there are barely any merits to the film and that the best possible way to view it is with a very open mind and a good stereo system.
As for the title of the review, it's the title of the novel that the film is based. I haven't read that and have no desire to after seeing this. People do say that the book is always better than the movie, so maybe, if I having absolutely nothing else to do, I'll give that a try and tell you about it. As of now though, I'm going to stay away from this film and try to go back to the good old days when the future was bright and I didn't have to worry about people who weren't people at all.
The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935)
Gary Cooper stars as a professional soldier opposite Franchot Tone as the cocky one and Richard Cromwell as the wide eyed new recruit. Cromwell's father happens to be the commanding officer and that puts Cooper and Tone against Cromwell for the time being. Of course, the two main leads are also at odds and that makes for some interesting situations.
Henry Hathaway gave us his best work with Gary Cooper and this is their best collaboration. It's also Franchot Tone's best film and that's saying a lot when you look at his resume. He may be fairly unknown with today's audience, but the star of Five Graves to Cairo, Dangerous, and Mutiny on the Bounty is one of the best actors of the golden age of Hollywood.
Nothing beats Gary Cooper though, and this is his film. He's the main lead and he's the one you'll probably identify with the most. His noble character is something that we see all the time from him, but this is the role that started it all and that's why he plays it so well.
This very good adventure story will keep you on the edge of your seat during most of the film. It's especially harrowing in the climactic fight scene. I definitely recommend it to any fan of Gary Cooper and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
King Kong (1933)
The Eighth Wonder of the World in All of His Glory
King Kong is one of my favorite films of all time and it's one of the greatest. This adventure story follows a group of show businessmen and adventurers as they make their way onto Skull Island. It seems as if the isle is deserted, but that is definitely not the case.
They eventually find people that live there and those natives kidnap Fay Wray, the only girl in the expedition. These natives present Wray to the monstrous ape known as Kong. Now the adventurers must get her back from the king of the island.
The catch is that Kong isn't willing to give up this woman so easily because he's starting to fall in love. What happens after Wray is finally rescued is something that will never be equaled on film because it's such an amazing sight.
King Kong is definitely something that everyone must see. The film takes special effects to a whole new level and, no matter how many fake computer effects they use in ripoffs, the stop-motion animation is the closest thing to the real thing and that makes the film brilliant.
If you've never seen it and really don't know what to expect, you're in for a treat. This is one of the most fun times you'll have with a movie and you'll really enjoy it.
Not Good At All
Goodfellas is the story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) an ambitious young Irish-Italian American who becomes surrounded by a gritty world of crime and violence, set in '60s and '70s New York, while trying to climb the ladder of success in the Mafia. His two best friends are Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). The latter is one of the most vile and disgusting characters ever captured on film. His wife is Karen (Lorraine Braaco) and she seems to be the only one who sees where Henry is truly going if he continues to stay in this brutal life of crime.
The film is based on the true story of the life of Henry Hill and what a life that must have been. A life of prisons, robberies, drugs, and hijacks is no way to live, but the main characters does all of them to keep his reputation and his fortune. He doesn't count on betrayal and death to turn him against that life of luxury, but he finds out that he must choose between the life of crime that's spiraling downward or a life of a rat that might have a chance to live in peace.
That gritty world of crime ended up being too gritty for my tastes. And all of the characters were much too grotesque to be likable. Even our main character is a scumbag that doesn't know what he's gotten himself into until it might be too late. Since there wasn't one character in my eyes that I could relate to or that redeemed himself, I had to rate this movie like any other Scorsese film that failed to give me what I wanted. Therefore, I didn't like this film and am not surprised since all of the Scorsese films that I've seen up to this point were made in the same fashion.
Somehow, the film went on to win an Academy Award for Joe Pesci as Best Supporting Actor at the 1990 Oscars. It was nominated for five other Oscars that year including Picture, Director, Supporting Actress (Braaco), Adapted Screenplay, and Editing.