July 2009 archive

(1 entries)

July 30, 2009

I'm mad as hell, and we don't need no stinking giant gorillas!

I made a New Year's Resolution to complete the AFI list, but then almost immediately took a break from the AFI to watch as many Oscar movies as possible in February. Then it took me until June to pick it up again, but I've made some decent progress since then!

It's strange to think that I'm in the 90s now. What will I do when this project is over? I've been working on it since 2005!

93/100

  • Network (#66)
    I went into this movie knowing nothing about it except the "mad as hell" scene and a vague idea that it had something to do with television. So as I was watching it, I had no idea where it was going. People got fired, then unfired, then refired, and everyone was pretty unhappy (or just bored) with life. There were some interesting observations made in the many rants and monologues, but I didn't feel like there was a lot of direction or structure. There wasn't really a buildup and denouement; there was shouting, then things happened, then other things happened, then it was over. This kind of fit, though, because the characters themselves seemed so directionless and frustrated that it made sense for them to be in a directionless movie. I also liked the unexpected bits of humor and satire, like the lawyers and revolutionaries sitting around discussing contracts.

    Not bad - I'm glad I watched it, but it's not something I'd watch over and over again.
  • The Deer Hunter (#79)
    First things first: Classic schmassic; this film could have used an editor. An hour into the movie, nothing had happened yet. The wedding sequences were too long and didn't add so much to the plot that they had to be there. This is especially painful because I knew going in that the movie was going to be three hours long. I hoped that they made it three hours long because they NEEDED three hours to tell the story, because they couldn't possibly cut anything. So when I felt like they were wasting my time during the first hour, that turned me off to the rest of the movie.

    They wasted so much time on the wedding and pre-Vietnam junk that there didn't seem to be enough time to include anything in Vietnam. There was no explanation as to how they got into or out of the situations they were in. You can't miss a moment of the wedding dancing, but we don't see how Walken's character got to that point, or why it seemed to hit him harder than anyone else?

    My other complaint is that this is often identified as a Vietnam War movie when (at most) a third of it takes place in Vietnam. And it's not about the Vietnam War experience - it's about the Russian Roulette experience. They don't seem to be traumatized by the war itself, but by all the Russian Roulette that's been played around them and the damage that it has wrought.

    Meryl Streep's character was pretty useless - this is a movie about Guy Love. Maybe that's why I didn't get into it.

    At least we got to see Fredo in another stupid hat.
  • King Kong (#43)
    I wish I hadn't seen the 2005 version first, because I kept feeling like the 1933 version was ripping that one off, and not the other way around. They were very similar.

    Interesting to see the stop-motion technology of the time, but the story (though VERY SIMILAR) wasn't as compelling as the 2005 version.
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (#30)
    Liars and tigers and donkeys, oh my!

    GOLD! GOLD! makes men mad! Mad with greed! Mad, I tell ya!

    You know what makes Sarahs mad? CONSTANT REFERENCES TO THE DANGER FROM TIGERS IN A MOVIE THAT TAKES PLACE IN MEXICO.
  • The Grapes of Wrath (#21)
    I liked it more than I expected to, and I think this is because it's a story about a family, rather than a story about the Great Depression. As I understand it, this focus on the family's story, rather than their surroundings and circumstances, is a departure from the book and I think it works well, because I'm more interested in characters than in settings and learning about California migration.

srah | 6:27 PM
Tags: afi, movies

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