Monday, February 11, 2008

The Movie Quest Continues

I knocked out 5 more movies as I continue the Academy Award Winner quest. Now, I'm at 40 down, and only 40 more movies to achieve my goal. I have broken the halfway mark! Once I finish Gandhi (1982) and Ordinary People (1980), I'll have completed 1970-2006.

Here are the latest movies I saw and a brief bit about what I thought about each of them.

Driving Miss Daisy -- I was avoiding this movie for some reason. I guess the premise didn't interest me at all. But, now having watched it, I don't know why I didn't watch it sooner. I liked the movie quite a bit, and I feel that it's got sort of a timeless appeal going for it as well.

Not sure how to describe it other than it being a human story with a lot of warmth embedded within. The acting was fantastic, which really helped draw me into the deepening relationship between the two main characters. Anyway, if you want to watch a fine film with a simple, yet meaningful, story, watch it. It's really not as boring as you might have thought.

Terms of Endearment -- I also found this movie enjoyable. It's not nearly as good as Driving Miss Daisy, but I could really identify with the various characters' struggles for some odd reason. Weird, because I'm nothing like any of the characters. I'm not in a marriage fraught with infidelity, nor am I broke. I'm not an old man who needs to use my past accomplishments to score with the ladies, and I'm certainly not an old woman who has yet to open up sexually.

So many characters with so many different issues, yet each one of them has his or her own way to show their love and caring... I guess that's why the title is what it is. Though, I can definitely see why some people might call it cheesy. But, I did think it was a worthwhile viewing. The movie does a pretty good job mixing together serious (and potentially tear-jerking) stuff and funny stuff, which is a plus in my book. I can't say this movie is for everyone, so you'll have to figure out if it's for you or not.

Annie Hall -- I typically like Woody Allen, so when I say I had fun with the movie take it with a grain of salt. I don't see why this movie is of Oscar-winning quality, but it was a fun movie for sure. I felt some parts were hilarious, and the good thing was that the comedy wasn't over-the-top ridiculous. In case you have no idea what the movie is about (I know I didn't prior to watching it)... it's a story about the relationship of an oddly matched couple. Not sure I really have much more to say about it other than... go watch it if you like Woody Allen's humor.

Deer Hunter -- The GZA actually bought this movie for me as a gift long time ago, and I never got the chance to watch it (I suck as a friend). So what did I think of this movie... okay, this movie was really, really good. But, boy was it f'ed up. I mean it. It's a highly disturbing movie. I can't imagine how much more disturbing and utterly f'ed up it would be if I had watched it when it first came out not long after the conclusion of the Vietnam War. The movie really shows the extreme nature of war and what it can do to people. The movie is both horrifying and sad, and it definitely does not glorify war in any way. In fact, it does an amazing job at making war look incredibly ugly.

Patton -- Patton is a bad ass! I think that sums up the movie. Well, that and the idea that war geniuses can be nuts. I would not ever want to mess with Patton. He was portrayed as a serious war genius with a great deal of knowledge about history and culture. And, it was clear that he simply loved what he did. He absolutely loved war. He talks about killing thousands of enemies much like one would talk about scoring thousands of points in a video game. But, maybe that's what it takes to be an awesome war general.

Okay, so the movie was good, but it felt a bit long. I could cut out at least 30 minutes, if not more, from the movie, and not too much would be lost. There's an intermission in the film if that is any indication on the length. The story is engaging, and while you never get totally bored, there are some scenes that are drawn out just a bit too much. Perhaps it's done for artistic reasons; I have no idea. I'm usually not a fan of World War II movies, but this one was decent. I can't say I'd want to watch it again, but I didn't hate it.

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