Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Cross One Off the Bucket List!

Although I abandoned the blog almost two years ago, I have still been watching movies, and I officially finished AFI's list on January 29th... only four years and two days after I began. In hindsight, I should have finished all 100 movies before having a baby. It's tricky to find a block of 2-3 hours to myself to watch a movie with a toddler in the house. But still... watching 100 movies in four years is averaging one every two weeks, which is a pretty solid commitment, and I'm proud I finished it.

A few things I've learned over these four years:

  • Now that I've watched it while paying full attention, I recognize that Star Wars is an impressive movie for its time. For the record, though, I still don't understand the obsession.
  • I'm a Hitchcock fan. All of the ones I watched fell in the LOVED category.
  • Buster Keaton > Charlie Chaplin. Sorry. True.
  • I'd be fine to never see another Western in my life. Generally, the plot is simple, the script is boring, and the characters are one-dimensional. I don't love all the killing, either.
  • I respect the filmmakers who pay attention to whether lines or scenes enhance a movie and don't just add filler. (I'm looking at you, Singin' in the Rain.)
  • Marlon Brando was a creepy, creepy man who knew how to act.
  • I'm still thinking on it (it's a pretty big decision), but Casablanca may have surpassed Gone with the Wind as my favorite movie.
  • A movie (e.g. Schindler's List) can affect you in a way that leaves you literally shaking, for hours.
  • I wish I hadn't known the meaning of "Rosebud." I don't remember who told me, but that person sucks. Maybe I would've agreed with Citizen Kane's #1 spot had I not known that.

Overall, my movie-watching time was time well spent. There were still a handful of duds, but I discovered some amazing films I otherwise never would have seen.

Here's how they fell for me. The long list of "LOVED" and "liked" should tell you I thought this whole experience was worth it.


  • #2 The Godfather (1972)
  • #3 Casablanca (1942)
  • #6 Gone with the Wind (1939)
  • #8 Schindler's List (1993)
  • #9 Vertigo (1958)
  • #10 The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • #13 Star Wars (1977)
  • #14 Psycho (1960)
  • #16 Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  • #17 The Graduate (1967)
  • #18 The General (1927)
  • #20 It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • #21 Chinatown (1974)
  • #22 Some Like It Hot (1959)
  • #24 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  • #25 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  • #29 Double Indemnity (1944)
  • #32 The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • #36 The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  • #40 The Sound of Music (1965)
  • #42 Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
  • #44 The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  • #48 Rear Window (1954)
  • #50 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  • #55 North by Northwest (1959)
  • #61 Sullivan's Travels (1941)
  • #66 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • #71 Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  • #72 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • #75 In the Heat of the Night (1967)
  • #76 Forrest Gump (1994)
  • #83 Titanic (1997)
  • #87 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • #89 The Sixth Sense (1999)
  • #91 Sophie's Choice (1982)
  • #94 Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • #99 Toy Story (1995)
  • #100 Ben-Hur (1959)

  • #1 Citizen Kane (1941)
  • #4 Raging Bull (1980)
  • #7 Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • #11 City Lights (1931)
  • #19 On the Waterfront (1954)
  • #28 All About Eve (1950)
  • #33 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
  • #34 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  • #35 Annie Hall (1977)
  • #37 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • #41 King Kong (1933)
  • #43 Midnight Cowboy (1969)
  • #46 It Happened One Night (1934)
  • #47 A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • #49 Intolerance (1916)
  • #51 West Side Story (1961)
  • #52 Taxi Driver (1976)
  • #54 MASH (1970)
  • #56 Jaws (1975)
  • #57 Rocky (1976)
  • #58 The Gold Rush (1925)
  • #62 American Graffiti (1973)
  • #63 Cabaret (1972)
  • #64 Network (1976)
  • #65 The African Queen (1951)
  • #67 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  • #68 Unforgiven (1992)
  • #69 Tootsie (1982)
  • #70 A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  • #73 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
  • #74 The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • #78 Modern Times (1936)
  • #80 The Apartment (1960)
  • #81 Spartacus (1960)
  • #82 Sunrise (1927)
  • #85 A Night at the Opera (1935)
  • #88 Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  • #90 Swing Time (1936)
  • #92 Goodfellas (1990)
  • #95 The Last Picture Show (1971)
  • #97 Blade Runner (1982)

Didn't Like

  • #5 Singin' in the Rain (1952)
  • #12 The Searchers (1956)
  • #26 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  • #27 High Noon (1952)
  • #30 Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • #31 The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  • #53 The Deer Hunter (1978)
  • #59 Nashville (1975)
  • #60 Duck Soup (1933)
  • #77 All the President's Men (1976)
  • #93 The French Connection (1971)
  • #96 Do the Right Thing (1989)
  • #98 Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)


  • #15 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • #23 The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • #38 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  • #39 Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  • #45 Shane (1953)
  • #79 The Wild Bunch (1969)
  • #84 Easy Rider (1969)

I'd like to thank AFI for putting together a pretty solid list, and I'd like to thank my husband for tolerating me spending all of this time without him. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

#29 Double Indemnity (1944)

I thought the reason I didn't like Treasure of the Sierra Madre was the fact that I already knew the plot. In this movie (yeah, I know... I skipped ahead... It was available instantly on Netflix), the main character admits to killing someone in the first minute of the movie. Even after this, the whole film kept my attention because I still wanted to hear how he did it.

This is probably on the list because it's a classic film noir genre (Hollywood crime drama) that were popular in the 40's and 50's. This genre seems to also be pretty formulaic, like Westerns, but soooo much more fun and interesting to me.

Rating: 8/10

Big Names: Barbara Stanwyck

#38 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

I don't even know what to say on this one. It absolutely bored me... as much as Nashville and The Wild Bunch. Humphrey Bogart and his friend are broke Americans looking for work in Mexico, and after Bogart wins the Mexican lottery, he decides to spend the money on searching for gold with his friend and a prospector they met. They end up getting lucky, but then they all turn on each other. (This isn't a spoiler since all that information was even on the Netflix sleeve.)

I already knew what was going to happen, and maybe that was my problem... because I couldn't even focus on it. I ended up playing spider solitaire on my phone during a lot of the movie.

Rating: 2/10

Big Names: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

#39 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Stanley Kubrick directs four movies on this list: Spartacus (#81), A Clockwork Orange (#70), Dr. Strangelove (#39), and 2001: A Space Odyssey (#15). That's pretty darn good for a director credited with 16 movies. Of the three I've seen so far on this list, I can't believe they're all directed by the same guy. They have such different styles, but I've liked them all.

This one is a short satire (it's the movie where the guy rides the bomb!), and even though I had a hard time getting into it at first, I think I liked this one. I'd like to see it again before I know for sure. I loved the awkwardness of the President. I giggled during this conversation between him and the Soviet leader Dmitri:

Maybe it doesn't work as well when it's not in context, but it was pretty hilarious.

Rating: 6/10

Big Lines: "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!" #64 on AFI's top 100 quotes

#40 The Sound of Music (1965)

This movie makes me want to move to Austria. Or at least visit and go on the Sound of Music tour.

I've seen this a thousand times, but I don't think I have watched the whole thing in one sitting since I was in elementary school. I couldn't even watch it this time in one sitting. This is a looooong movie, so I broke it up over two days. When I was little, I zoned out during any of the scenes that didn't involve the children, so I guess this was a little more exciting for me to see the entire movie and fully understand what's going on with the world at this point in history.

I realized something when I looked up the Von Trapp kids on imdb: the actress who plays Liesl is SEVENTY years old now. Jeez... that makes me feel old because I don't think of this as an old movie at all.

Rating: 10/10 (great music, gorgeous scenery, based on a true story)

Big Names: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer

#41 King Kong (1933)

I knew the story of King Kong, but I didn't know that the movie had dinosaurs! How fun!

This was an exciting story, and I have to respect the creativity of everyone who worked on this movie because I'm sure every special effect was ground-breaking for its time. It is definitely unfair to compare it to modern-day effects. We can cheat with computers now so it isn't even the same thing.

The one thing I couldn't get over, though, was the lack of any expression on Kong's face. I really wanted to like him since he was supposed to be such a sweet character, but I couldn't help but think that King Kong's face just looked a bit like the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph.....

Rating: 6/10

Big Lines: "Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty who killed the Beast." #84 on AFI's top 100 quotes

#42 Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

I knew the story, and even knew the ending, but this was still lots of fun to watch. Pretty sure this one makes the list because it's so over-the-top with violence, probably much more so than any movies that came before it.

It inspired me to look up details of the real Bonnie & Clyde. Turns out that they mostly picked on small business owners and not the evil banks, so the real Bonnie and Clyde weren't nearly as likable. Also, no one's even sure that Bonnie participated in their hold-ups or even shot a gun... but that doesn't make as good of a story.

Highly recommend it and would definitely see it again!

Rating: 10/10

Big Names: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Estelle Parsons (the grandmother in "Roseanne" and pretty much the most obnoxious voice/laugh of any person, ever)

Big Lines: "We rob banks." #41 on AFI's top 100 quotes