Tuesday, November 16, 2010

100 Years... 100 Movies Update.

This week I took a huge swing at my 100 Years... 100 Movies list.  (Thank you Netflix instant queue!)  I realized that I only have 30ish months and 70+ movies to watch.  So, clearly I have to get to it!  Let me say that I have no idea why some of these movies are considered great.  Certainly not the top 100 movies of all time.

Annie Hall-- Completely depressing.  Two naval-gazers fall in love then break up, then get back together, then break up, so on and so forth for about two hours.  Two hours of my life that I will never get back.  Grade: F

Platoon-- Young guy volunteers to go to Vietnam and gets scarred for life in the process.  I am not an Oliver Stone fan, and I really started out hating this movie.  But the story got better as it went on-- lots of plot twists I didn't see coming-- and I ended up thinking it was okay.  Grade: C+

The General-- This one is hard to review along with the others because it is a silent film from 1926.  The plot is about a train engineer Johnnie, who loves only two things in life-- his train (The General) and Annabelle Lee.  It's really a funny movie with a sweet story and even a bit of intrigue.  It was just a little difficult to keep my attention without any words for a long period of time, but I think that's just my ADD and has no reflection on the movie.

The main actor, Buster Keaton, was incredible.  He did all his own stunts (which included leaping across boxcars on a moving train, chopping firewood out of a boxcar while its moving, and riding on the front ("cow-catcher") of a moving train while attempting to dislodge large wooden planks that are blocking the tracks in front of him), which would now be completely out of the question.  The cinematography was innovative for its time, and it had the most expensive stunt (visual effect?) to date-- $1.7 million in today's currency.  Definitely worth watching.  Grade: B+

Saving Private Ryan-- After the D-Day invasion of Normandy, Captain Miller and his team attempt to locate Private Ryan, the sole survivor of his 4 or 5 brothers, so General Marshall doesn't have to tell his mother all her sons are dead (a la President Lincoln to Mrs. Bixby).  The team encounters some skirmishes as they search for Ryan, then once they find him, a big firefight with the Germans ensues.  People die, lots of blood and guts.  **SPOILER ALERT** Private Ryan is saved.  Yay.  I'm a huge WWII fan, but this movie did not really move me.  I guess after watching Band of Brothers, I'm ruined for all other WWII movies.  Grade: B-

One Flew Over a Cuckoo's Nest-- I'm currently watching this one, but so far, it's my favorite of the bunch.  I like seeing Jack Nicholson back in the day.  Who knew he was kind of attractive?  And the story's pretty good, too.