Sunday, November 27, 2011

#69 Tootsie (1982)

This is the original Mrs. Doubtfire. Dustin Hoffman plays Michael Dorsey, an actor who can't find work in NYC, and his agent blames Michael's difficult personality. To prove a point, Michael dresses as a woman, auditions for a soap, and gets the part.... Of course, this becomes a bit of a problem when he falls in love with one of his coworkers, then her DAD falls in love with him, American women idolize him (as a woman), a male coworker drunkenly attempts a date rape, and yeah.... it's just a giant mess.

The great lines in this movie were perfectly delivered, and I've learned after watching some of the really old movies on this list that delivery can make or break a joke. (Timing in the older movies was sometimes odd to me.) I found out a few hours before I watched this that Bill Murray played Hoffman's roommate, but it ended up being an insignificant part, so don't get too excited about that.

It's hard to rationalize a romantic comedy being ahead of so many great dramas, but to be fair, it was done very well!

Since my original goal was to get through 50 of these movies in the first year (so before February 1,) I've got some work to do! Next up: Unforgiven.

Rating: 7/10

Big Names: Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr (poor girl definitely gets the shaft in this movie,) Geena Davis (very first role for her!)

Big Lines:
This exchange between Michael and his agent was awesome...

Michael: You should have seen the look on her face when she thought I was a lesbian.
George: "Lesbian?" You just said "gay."
Michael: No, no, no -- SANDY thinks I'm gay. JULIE thinks I'm a lesbian.
George: I thought Dorothy was supposed to be straight.
Michael: Dorothy IS straight. Tonight, Les, the sweetest, nicest man in the world asked me to marry him.
George: A guy named Les wants YOU to marry him?
Michael: No, no, no -- he wants to marry Dorothy.
George: Does he know she's a lesbian?
Michael: Dorothy's NOT a lesbian.
George: I know that. Does HE know that?
Michael: Know WHAT?
George: That, er, I... I don't know.

Julie: I miss Dorothy.
Michael: You don't have to. She's right here. And she misses you. Look, you don't know me from Adam, but I was a better man with you, as a woman... than I ever was with a woman, as a man. You know what I mean? I just gotta learn to do it without the dress. At this point, there might be an advantage to my wearing pants.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

#71 Saving Private Ryan (1998)

I went to see this movie on my very first, non-double, date. We actually left early because my date was concerned he wouldn't get me home in time to make my curfew, so I didn't know how it ended until I saw this yesterday.

At 15, I had decided that I didn't enjoy this movie, but this time around, I loved it. Usually, movies that are set primarily in war zones do not interest me (see my thoughts on Platoon) but this movie had enough story for me to stay interested throughout the entire movie. Even though it was almost three hours long, it flew by. My heart was literally racing in the last battle scene, and upon realizing what would probably happen, I even cried. To me, if a movie can move me in that way, it's a powerful one. It has messages that leave you thinking. What does it take to make one life worth more than another?

Even though this was a fantastic one, I'm excited about my next movie Tootsie, a movie I haven't seen and about which I know nothing. If it's better than this one, it must be awesome, right?

Rating: 10/10

Big Names: Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel (yeah, the guy from those Fast & Furious atrocities,) Ted Danson (who knew?)

Big Lines: 
Captain Miller: James, earn this... earn it.

#72 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Everybody knows this movie. Everyone loves it. If I was using the IMDB top 250 movie list instead of the AFI top 100, this would be the absolute last movie I would watch since it's #1. Sometimes I prefer to dislike things that everyone else likes just because that's so boring and expected, but I can't help it. This is a good movie.

I would recommend if you're one of the 98% of people who "LOVE THIS MOVIE!" then you should also read/see The Count of Monte Cristo. It's a similar movie of redemption, and it's fun cheering for the underdog. I hadn't realized the first time I saw this movie (~10 years ago) that Andy even recommends that book to his fellow inmates.

A random, bizarre thought that I had over and over throughout the film was the Mitch Hedberg joke about the Dufresnes... I guess it's an uncommon name, and the only other reference to a Dufresne I could think of was this one:

"When you go to a restaurant on the weekends, and it's busy, they start a waiting list. They start calling out names, they say, 'Dufresne, party of two. Dufresne, party of two.' And if no one answers, they'll say their name again. 'Dufresne, party of two, Dufresne, party of two.' But then if no one answers, they'll just go right onto the next name. 'Bush, party of three.' Yeah, what happened to the Dufresnes? No one seems to give a shit. Who can eat at a time like this?? People are missing! You're all selfish. The Dufresnes are in someone's trunk right now, with duct tape over their mouths. And they're hungry. That's a double whammy. Bush, search party of three, you can eat when you find the Dufresnes."

Rating: 10/10

Big names: Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins

Big lines:

District Attorney: And that also is very convenient. Isn't it, Mr. Durfresne?
Andy Dufresne: Since I am innocent of this crime, sir, I find it decidedly *inconvenient* that the gun was never found.

Andy Dufresne: Get busy living, or get busy dying.

#74 Silence of the Lambs (1991)

My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad pharmacy test is out of the way, and since late October, I've been working on everything else I had neglected since I started studying. Finally, I'm caught up enough not to feel guilty about allowing myself to restart my movie-watching. I've actually watched three since last Thursday... I've just been a slacker about writing about them.

So, about this movie....  I had seen parts of it thanks to my friend Shawna; I remember a night in high school when we started the movie at maybe midnight, and every time I fell asleep, she would wake me up and restart the movie at the spot at which I had fallen asleep. She finally gave up, though, so I had never seen it all the way through.

It's been well over four months since I finally watched this, so it's hard to remember how it initially struck me, but I know it was everything I thought it would be: creepy, intense, impressive, disturbing. Anthony Hopkins plays a "monster," and I think what sets him apart from any other monsters in a horror movie is the fact that he's so intelligent and witty, he's almost in a way, likable. Stories that can make you simultaneously root for and despise one of the main characters are fun to me.

All in all, it was a great film. As an interesting tidbit, only three films have won all top 5 Oscars (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Screenplay): It Happened One Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and this one.

Rating: 7.5/10

Big names: Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster