Top 100 Movie Review: #60 – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Good Fun with No Story.

Absolutely ridiculous at times — too ridiculous.Screen_Shot_2015-06-26_at_9.26.15_AM.0.0.png

American Film Institutes Ranking: #60/100
Awards: Nominated for nine winning the ones for sound and effects.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

I can’t recall ever actually seeing this film, but somehow I knew quite a few bits and pieces. Maybe the Simpsons are to blame.

This movie cheesed me out. The movie continues to expect more and more suspension of disbelief until you are reach an apex of phantasmagorical hallucination. Like a rich dessert, I was satisfied at first, but by the end, I reached a saturation point where I didn’t want anymore.

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Top 100 Movie Review: #24 – Raging Bull (1980)

Lacked Intrigue.

The most exciting part of this movie was watching Robert De Niro get fat.

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Robert De Niro with a BMI <25.

American Film Institute Ranking: #24/100
Academy Awards: Nominated for eight while winning two for Best Actor (De Niro) and Best Film Editing.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

This film has a lot of pieces: a boxing angle, character study, beautiful black-and-white cinematography, artistic flare. All of this is crammed into a predictable trite: the amazing boxer who is both protagonist/antagonist because of his inner demons.

While the individual pieces are solid in their own way, they never really coalesce into something bigger due to the overall narrative missing a hook.

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Top 100 Movie Review: #57 – The Third Man (1949)

Sensational Cinematography.

The story was okay to good, but the visuals made the film. 

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Joseph Cotton and Orson Wells.

American Film Institute Ranking: #66/100
Academy Awards: Nominated for three winning best cinematography.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

A whodunit wrapped around a historical time piece, “A Third Man” is another entry into the catalogue of film noir. It relies on tension created by relationships rather than overt violence. This doesn’t always keep the pace up, but the shots within the film are so intricate that it adds an artistic crust that makes up for the lack of action.

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Top 100 Movie Review: #90 – The Jazz Singer (1927)

The Death Knell For Silent Films.

Al Jolson’s first lines “Wait a minute! You ain’t heard nothing yet!” presciently described the future of cinema. 

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American Film Institutes Ranking: #90
Academy Awards: Was ruled ineligible for top awards at the 1st Academy Awards (1929) because so many silent films would be displaced.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Jazz Singer has two reasons for its present day notoriety: it was the first ever feature-length talking film; it uses a lot of black face by Al Jolson.

What gets lost between these two things is that the film content itself is surprisingly good. The story is a basic father vs. son/conservative vs. liberal retelling that’s told from a Jewish heritage perspective. The twist makes it different and meaningful. Interspersed are song numbers by Al Jolson that still resonate.

A review of this movie requires a lot of history and cultural perspective. Here we go.

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Top 100 Movie Review: #26 – Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Not necessarily LOL Funny.

But still very entertaining and edifying. 

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Peter Sellers character number one: Dr. Strangelove.

American Film Institute Ranking: #26/100
Academy Awards: Four nominations winning none.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

During a time consumed with Cold War concerns, Stanley Kubrick decided to nail it by showing the ridiculousness of missile gaps, mutually assured destruction, and doomsday devices. I’m not quite sure how he got away with it. He makes fun of the two major world powers and everyone in both governments. It strikes the necessary balance needed for a dark comedy — it makes you chuckle, but it also makes you think.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #43- Super Star Wars (1992)

Geeking Out

Everyone wants the same things: to use a lightsaber.

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Luke Skywalker with Bell’s Palsy. 

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #43/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

The bar is set very low for Star War games. All any fanboy wants is a chance to play out their galactic fantasies. Even the most fumbling games are greeted with praise and play due to it satisfying the deep-seated need of adventure and acting out heroics.

I remember these games being a big deal to my childhood-self as the idea of a multi-medial approach was something to get excited about. The thought that you could watch the Star Wars movies PASSIVELY and then play them out ACTIVELY so unique.

This game has a hard time making the same claim in 2018 — it’s grown quite rough around the edges. 

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Top 100 Movie Review: #45 – A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

She Fooled Me.

The wait through the first 3/5ths is worth the firecracker of an ending. 

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Kim Hunter, Marlon Brando, and Vivien Leigh.

American Film Institutes Ranking: #45/100
Awards: Nominated for 12 winning four with three of them in the acting categories (a feat only matched by Network).
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

Things were be-bopping around for a good while, and I started to get worried: this could be a dud. Was this a classic movie just because it dealt with some “risque” themes?

My concerns were ungrounded. When Blanche DuBois started to become unhinged, things become phenomenal. A switch instantly flipped and all the ground work hitherto became immensely signifiant. I was on the very same ride that Blanch had put everyone through, and it was very unsettling when it was time for the ride to end.

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