Thursday, January 27, 2011

#96 Do the Right Thing (1989)

My first Spike Lee movie!

This is a story of a white Italian family who owns a pizza place in a black neighborhood in Brooklyn. On one hot summer day, a black customer notices that the pizzeria has no photos of black men/women on their Wall of Fame, so he tries to convince everyone in the neighborhood to boycott the restaurant. The racial tension builds throughout the day until everybody decides to go crazy and just go after each other. Netflix definitely lied to me when it told me that this would be a comedy at some point. The one line in the movie that made me laugh was, "I don't fucking curse that much." Oh, and I did enjoy the pizzeria owner going Office-Space-fax-machine on the guy's boom box. I'm sure that wasn't meant to be funny, though.

I can see points of the movie... violence does not solve violence, racism runs deep through generations, and people can generally be idiots who don't think through their actions. I just didn't like that throughout the movie, even before anyone provoked them, absolutely everyone was hateful and violent. There were only two characters who were even close to likable: a drunk bum and the pizza delivery guy's sister, and she only had 10 lines in the whole movie. Also, even though cussing doesn't bother me (note: I don't cuss much myself because I sound like an idiot when I do,) this was out of control. Every other word isn't necessary. It was distracting.

The acting was great, the messages were important, but the movie was just slowwww...

Rating: 4/10

Big names: Spike Lee (directed and played the pizza delivery boy), Samuel L. Jackson, Rosie Perez, Martin Lawrence

#97 Blade Runner (1982)

This one got to go first because it was available on my Netflix instant queue.

Not to give too much away, but this is a futuristic movie (set in 2019, ha, 8 years from now) about these machine creations, called replicants, that look just like humans and are used as slaves in colonies off of Earth. They're superior physically, intellectually, but void of any emotions and only live for 4 years. Harrison Ford (kinda a cutie in this one) is a blade runner, whose job is to kill any replicants who come to Earth. When 4 dangerous replicants make it to LA, Harrison Ford has to track them down and kill them.

In general, action movies bore me, and especially sci fi/futuristic ones, with a few exceptions (ahem, Fifth Element). This movie wasn't so bad, though. The love story in it was a pretty unexpected twist, and it was actually cute. There was also a pretty warm fuzzy message at the end about appreciating the life we have and loving life in all forms.

I have to admit, I was distracted by all the "futuristic" things in this movie that were just funny to me like the *extremely* 80's car he drove/flew, the Atari billboards, and the complete lack of cell phones! As for whether I think it belongs in the top 100, I can't really say yet. I'd have to wait to see some other ones ranked in the 90's before I can really compare it to anything.

Rating: 7/10

Big names: Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Edward James Olmos (the Calculus teacher in Stand and Deliver!)

My New Year Starts in February

For years, I've been wanting to expand my horizons when it comes to movie-watching. For the most part, I think of reading books and watching movies as wasted time, mostly because I pick out the cheesy ones that don't really make me think or even hold my attention. In fact, I usually have movies on as sort of background noise while I'm doing other things. When I pick a good one, though, I know it because I can't look away, it keeps me thinking long after it's over, and it actually affects me in some way.

My thought is, though, if I purposely choose to watch the best movies of all time, then they ALL have to be that good, right? I'm sure they won't be, but some of them must be. Here is one of my New Years 2011 resolutions: to watch, or at least to begin watching, the top 100 American movies of all time.

  • I have to watch the entire movie, and NOT to be doing anything else at the same time. No phone, no facebook, no to-do lists, maybe laundry.
  • I'm going to try to watch mostly in order from #100 to #1, but that all depends on what I have on my Netflix instant queue and whether it's Trav's turn to pick out the movie for ourNetflix disc list.
  • Here is the list I'm using:
  • I have to watch ALL of them, and for those I've already seen, I'll be watching them again!

I'll be honest... I'm not a great writer, and I'm certainly not great at reviewing or critiquing movies, so please don't expect too much out of this. I'm really doing this blog for me, so I can document what I've done and so I can remember exactly how I felt after I watched these movies for the first time.

Anyways.... here goes!