Top 100 Movie Review: #61 – Vertigo (1958)

I Was Getting Worried.

And then the twist cracks you over the head and everything changes. 

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American Film Institutes Ranking: #61/100
Awards: Nominated for two in the technical categories.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

This movie made me sweat bullets over wasted time. You get stuck watching, reading, playing, and listening to a lot of things you don’t care about when you review top 100 lists. Here I was, halfway through, and wondering if I really cared to make it to the end. I’m thankful I did. Hitchcock takes his sweet time, but once he finally decides to drop the bomb, everything that was “wasted time” becomes intricately plotted narration.

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Top 100 Movie Review: #9 – Schindler’s List (1993)

Milking the Emotions.

Spielberg uses all his blockbuster techniques which occasionally go too far. 

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American Film Institutes Ranking: #9/100
Awards: Nominated for twelve winning seven: Picture, Director, Screenplay and more.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Presented in a black-and-white documentary style, Schindler’s List is meant to capture the true essence of the horrid holocaust. The goal was to make this as real as possible; this isn’t just some story, but a an actual event that affected all of humanity. The holocaust offers plenty of real examples of humans at their worst. Just replaying the instances of complete barbarianism would have been enough to devastate.

Spielberg takes it one step further; he tugs on our heart using narrative and plot devices that could have easily come from his other blockbuster films. These Hollywood maneuvers are at odds with wanting to create that pure narration of a historical event. Some scenes, gut-wrenching enough on their own, become too staged and the realism melts.

Even with this, it is still a beautifully impactful movie and an important film for its historical significance. Continue reading “Top 100 Movie Review: #9 – Schindler’s List (1993)”

Top 100 Album Review: #74 – Otis Blue, Otis Redding (1965)

Otis Sings Your Favorite Songs…That You Prefer By Someone Else.

The originals and covers just don’t beat out other versions.
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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #74/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Let’s play a game. Who do you think of when I say “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction?” How about “My Girl?” Does “Respect” make you think of anyone in particular? I doubt Otis Redding’s name bubbled up to your consciousness, but on this album, Otis will remind you how many songs you like by other people. Whether an original or cover, this material only makes you wish you were listening to the other and BETTER version

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Top 100 Movie Review: #29 – Apocalypse Now (1979)

He’s Crazy…Wait — Is He?

The journey up the river and deeper into the jungle is rewarding. 

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American Film Institutes Ranking: #29/100
Awards: Nominated for eight winning Sound and Cinematography.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

The right space for a lesson to exist is on a continuum where it goes past being a challenge but stops before it becomes inscrutable. Movies that are too easy become labeled as hackneyed. On the other end, movies that are completely impenetrable are only liked by a certain few; a parade of avant garde and social conscious critics try to prop up the significance as it falls on deaf ears.

Apocalypse Now hits that right spot. I’m not sure I understand all of it, but I get enough of it for it to continue to roll around in my brain. The movie exposes our faulty concepts on the meaning of insanity and then goes on to try and figure out who really is acting “crazy.” By the end, and maybe even still, I’m so disoriented that I’m not sure I can tease that one out.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #67 – Knights of the Round (1991)

Life Should Come With Difficulty Settings.

A quick change in the options menu makes the difference.

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Sydlexia’s Ranking: #67/100
Developer: Capcom
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Life can be harsh. This current clinical rotation I’m at is pretty hard for me: I’m treating patients I’m not used to with a very strict clinical instructor while working lots of hours. When Friday night rolls around, I don’t want to have to deal with “Very Hard” or “Normal.” I just want to have some mindless fun, an easy excursion for the mind, body and soul.

Thankfully, Knights of the Round makes that a real possibility. Grabbing an extra controller, a friend, and setting difficulty the to “Easy” was the perfect way to start my weekend.

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Top 100 Album Review: #93 – Sign o’ the Times, Prince (1987)

This Took Forever to Like.

I finally came around to enjoy Prince’s socially conscious and eclectic album. 

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #93/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Taking a look at the track listing, I recognized one song. This made me real excited. I loved the albums Purple Rain and the Love Symbol, so if this was going to be somewhere between those two, I knew it was going to be awesome.  The space between the best, undeniably great songs on this album (track 1 and 13) was so vast it felt like mostly filler. I was so deflated. 

It’s been around a year since I downloaded it. Somehow giving it tries at random intervals finally clicked. I still wouldn’t say this is grand material (and I would quickly recommend other albums in front of this one), but it’s a much better album than what my previous self would have considered.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #54 – Super Bomberman 2 (1994)

A Story Mode With Almost No Story.

No reasons are required when blowing up things on perfect grids.

Screen Shot 2019-01-18 at 10.02.05 PMSydlexia’s Ranking: #54/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

I”m not sure what to think of Bomberman as a person or symbol. Is he an underemployed fireworks pyrotechnic? A dissatisfied demolitioner? Why does everything look like Hello Kitty? Not to mention his environment: a perfect grid system that would put any major city to shame. Trying to tease out any more details would be an act of futility as the story proffers no more than a constant theme of destruction.

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