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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Movie reviews

Screenshot from School Rumble by taw (public domain)Movies I watched recently, more or less in order of enjoyability, all from IMDB Top 100:

  • Blade Runner (1982, 8.3, #99) - This movie is absolutely great. In fact much better than the book. Unfortunetaly there is no way I can tell you what's so great about it without spoiling - just be sure to watch the director's cut (hint hint).
  • Singin’ in the Rain (1952, 8.4, #68) - Normally I have low tolerance for musicals, but this one is wonderful. The characters of Don Lockwood, Lina Lamont, and Kathy Selden are just great compared to what is typically being served in the romance/commedy kind of movies. If you want to see just one musical in your life - check out this one.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962, 8.5, #41) - A movie that at the same times exists in a highly unreal world filled with magic, and does serious social commentary on the 1930s' American South. Like Dogville, except for being much less dark.
  • The Maltese Falcon (1941, 8.4, #57) - Noir classic. Multilayer conspiracies, murders, ruthlessness, big money, and evil women all over the place.
  • The Sting (1973, 8.3, #81) - a classic of the "con artist" genre that we all love so much. As usual, there are conspiracies within conspiracies, and nothing is quite the way it seems. Definitely a fun watch.
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, 8.5, #52) - A bunch of guys go search for gold in the Sierra Madre. But sitting on bags of gold worth more than they ever earned in their lives can easily lead to paranoia ...
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939, 8.3, #87) - yay, a very early movie about corruption in national politics. Some naive guy gets to become a replacement senator, when the regular one dies during the term. Then when he tries to actually be a senator and not just a puppet, he gets confronted with the power of some rich guy who controls all politicians in the whole state. Pretty funny.
  • On the Waterfront (1954, 8.3, #84) - the workers and a priest struggle against exploitation by mob-controlled labour unions. Mildly noir, somewhat enjoyable. Oh yeah, and the director was an asshole.
  • Modern Times (1936, 8.5, #66) - some Charlie Chaplin stuff. Watchable, but I wasn't terribly impressed. The Great Dictator was somehow more enjoyable.
And in category anime:
  • School Rumble - Hypergenki high school commedy. Harima loves Tenma, Tenma loves Karasuma (the whole network of unreturned love interests is getting even more complex later), everybody is totally weird and doing absurd things all the time. Plenty of fun to watch.
  • High School Girls - Ecchi high school commedy. It proves that there is such things as too many panty-shots. Totally awesome.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha - Totally ubercute (and they did actually say "mahou shoujo" in the title, congratulations). One feels there wasn't enough plot for the whole season, and the characters are rather bland (except for Fate, who is actually great), and ubercuteness may not be enough to save the series.


Reel Fanatic said...

I've been contemplating taking on the challenge that would be the Top 100, but haven't gotten around to it yet ... and I just love "On the Waterfront"

taw said...

IMDB top list is surprisingly reliable (considering dismal quality of most top lists) - most of the movies there are among the best of their genres, and even the ones I liked least were at least in the "pretty good" range. So I think watching the whole top 100 is a pretty good idea :-)

On the other hand many really great movies didn't make it even to the top 250, like Battle Royale or Clerks or Ringu, so watching just the IMDB stuff is definitely not enough :-)

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