Top 100 Movie Review: #66 – Network (1976)

Prescient to Our Current Political Life.

Human nature never changes — Network knew it.

140326200452-network---howard-beale-horizontal-large-gallery
Howard Beale (Peter Finch), the despondent news anchor, now prophet of the airways.

American Film Institute Ranking: #66/100
Academy Awards: Nominated for six winning four: Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

“Network” knew there was a weakness in the system and ourselves. All it was going to take was one seemingly clairvoyant person to serendipitously realize that people don’t live on a diet of rational, purposeful solutions. Rather it is channeling people’s frustrations and anger, being a conduit for people’s rage, that propels you to power.

Howard Beale did not purposefully reinvent his show to do the latter; he mentally snapped at the appropriate time on air. What happened next was a lack of duty by those that had the power to stop it — the television executives were more than happy to rake in the ratings boom that he brought.

This bug in the system reveals much about ourselves and should make our selections of politicians no surprise.

Continue reading “Top 100 Movie Review: #66 – Network (1976)”

Top 100 Movie Review: #27 – Bonnie & Clyde (1967)

The Start of New Hollywood

The movie is enjoyable on its own right, but it gets a bit better when you know the historical significance. 

bonnie-and-clyde-12

American Film Institutes Ranking: #27/100
Awards: Nominated for eight, winning Best Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons) and Cinematography.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

The start of New Hollywood!

Directors now had more control since there was no longer a process for code approval and the content could be more risque. This movie couldn’t have been made previously; it glorifies Bonnie and Clyde with gory violence. The movie focuses on the deranged protagonists and never takes a moral stance. It opened up a whole new venue of story telling without the obligatory moral condemnation.

Continue reading “Top 100 Movie Review: #27 – Bonnie & Clyde (1967)”

Top 100 Movie Review: #19 – Chinatown (1974)

Gut Crushing Neo-Noir

I don’t know if the ending could have been any other way.

chinatown 1.jpg
Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway.

American Film Institute Ranking: #19/100
Academy Awards: Nominated for 11 winning one: Best Original Screenplay.
My Rating:cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

This movie gets a lot of hyperbole thrown its way with many people describing it as having the best script ever.  I like it, just maybe not on that cataclysmic of a level.

I love noir with the unscrupulous detective, ineffective police, corrupt government, and gritty delivery. “Chinatown” is just another reincarnation, and with an intriguing mystery paired with a stomach-punch ending, it fulfills the expectations of the genre.

Continue reading “Top 100 Movie Review: #19 – Chinatown (1974)”