This Is a Blog: Movies You Should See, Part 3

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Movies You Should See, Part 3

(Part 3 of 5, in alphabetical order)

Fight Club - I have a serious love/hate relationship with this movie. Modern digital filmmaking owes a lot to Fincher's work. Whenever I'm having an editing dilemma, I turn on this movie and it floods me with ideas. I've also seen it so many times, I can't sit through it any more. If no one has spoiled the ending for you, I highly recommend it.

The Godfather (Parts I and II) - In one of my many conversations about how I'd re-make the Star Wars prequels, I hit on an idea I thought would make for a good movie of its own. At its core, the Star Wars septilogy (I made that up) is about a man who represents ultimate good becoming a man of ultimate evil. That's the story I would tell. Then my roommate pointed out that's Godfather I and II. Michael comes in an ideological war veteran, and over the course of 2 movies we watch him build and build until he commits the most evil act imaginable. On top of it, we get to see Pacino (as Michael) before he realized yelling was fun. Watching him change is nothing short of fascinating.

The Incredibles - This is not a kids' movie. Although it has a sheen of kid playfulness, this movie is too dark, too depressing, too deep for children. As a guy who one day wants to be a father, this movie made me cry, many, many times. It may rival “Finding Nemo" in the number of times it made me well up. At its core, this is a movie about a father who can't do that job right until he can find a way to be himself. He foolishly puts his entire family at risk in this search, and at times it's down-right gut wrenching. Luckily, it's also got an unreal amount of truly exciting action. The scene when Dash – the little boy – finally discovers his powers, you really feel what a child would feel. And yes, that moment made me cry too.

Independence Day - I really do not understand how no other disaster movie is as good as this movie. Roland Emmerich has tried repeatedly to do it again, and he just can't. Is it the perfect ensemble cast whose biggest star wouldn't get big until after this movie's release? The special effects? The tone that skates the perfect balance of cheesy but not too cheesy? Please, someone figure this out, so we can have another one of these that even comes close to living up to how awesome this movie is.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - If you just whole-heartedly hate Frank Capra movies, you need to go out and find yourself a soul. Whatever you believe about the corruption of the American system, this movie makes you long for a world where one man really can stand up and take down the man. Jimmy Stewart, while he still liked playing likeable characters, shines with dough-eyed innocence, while making sure we all know that it's backed up by a strong, working brain and clear moral compass. Later, Stewart went for the darker roles. “Vertigo" makes me long for this movie the same way “American Psycho" makes me want to watch “Newsies."

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