Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My review of Aladdin

Disney marathon part II

I think that this might have been the first movie that I ever saw. If not, it was certainly my original favorite film. Good place to start.

Acting/Characters: The whole cast is likable enough. Nothing to put it above and beyond other voice talent, but (and you all know this is coming) Robin Williams as the Genie...he was easily the highlight of the whole movie. I mean the movie would have been not nearly as good were it nor for him. I really enjoyed every second he was on screen and he always made the scene much more interesting. Frank Welker also did a nice job as Abu. But it was Robin Williams who was the most memorable. For good reason. I also enjoyed Gilbert Gottfried a lot and I think he was the perfect choice for Iago. 10/10

Plot: It's your typical Disney plot. It's adapted from something else but it has that Disney twist. Like with all Disney films, the visuals are outstanding and the music is inspired. It is an excellent plot that keeps you interested the entire way through. 10/10

Screenplay: It's funny on its own, but Robin Williams once again brings beyond what this film was capable of without him. I would love to know what lines of his were improv and which were scripted. The list of scripted lines would probably total about 15 at most. All of the characters had a lot of excellent lines. It was very well done. 10/10

Likableness: Aside from the obvious nostalgic value, it is an excellent piece of film-making by itself. I would definitely watch it again. and again. and again. It's just that good. I highly suggest this film to anyone who hasn't seen it...and if you're around my age and you haven't seen it, your parents didn't love you. 10/10

Final Score: 40/40 100% (N)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. The opening scene with the street merchant was completely unscripted. Robin Williams was brought into the sound stage and was asked to stand behind a table that had several objects on it and a bed sheet covering them all. The animators asked him to lift the sheet, and without looking take an object from the table and describe it in character. Much of the material in that recording session was not appropriate for a Disney film.

2. John Candy, Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy were all considered at one point to provide the voice of the Genie.

3. In early visual development, Aladdin resembled Michael J. Fox. As the film developed, Jeffrey Katzenberg didn't think Aladdin had enough appeal to women, so he asked that Aladdin be beefed up a bit to resemble Tom Cruise. Jasmine's appearance was influenced by Jennifer Connelly, as well as the sister of her animator, Mark Henn. ad feedback
Animator Eric Goldberg based the Genie on the drawings of caricaturist Al Hirschfeld.

4. The two men in the crowd that Aladdin pushes through are caricatures of a couple of the directors (John Musker and Ron Clements); the original plan was to use film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, but they couldn't get permission.

5. During the course of recording the voices, Robin Williams improvised so much they had almost 16 hours of material. Because Robin Williams ad-libbed so many of his lines, the script was turned down for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award nomination.

6. While filming this movie, Robin Williams frequently received calls from Steven Spielberg who at the time was working on Schindler's List. He would put him on speaker phone so he could tell jokes to the cast and crew to cheer them up. Some of the material that he used was material that he was using for this film.

7. Jafar at first was more hot-tempered, while Iago was a cool, haughty British type. The filmakers felt that having Jafar losing his temper too much made him less menacing, so the personalities of the two characters were switched around.

8. During script and storyboard development, the writers were already considering Robin Williams for the role of the Genie but had not approached him for the project. In order to convince Williams to do the role, Eric Goldberg animated the Genie doing several minutes of Williams's stand-up routines, including parts from his album 'Reality... What A Concept', and screened it for him. Williams was so impressed that he signed almost immediately.

9. Scheduling conflicts with "Star Trek: The Next Generation" forced Patrick Stewart to turn down the role of Jafar. He has said in interviews that this is his biggest regret.

10. On what came to be known among the Aladdin animators as Black Friday, then Disney head Jeffrey Katzenberg told the team to scrap virtually everything they'd been working on for months and start all over again. He also refused to move the film's release date. Directors John Musker and Ron Clements were able to completely turn around the film's new plot and screenplay in just eight days.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My review of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

So, here's the deal, I am applies for a paid internship with the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida. Basically what that means is that I would be working in Disney World as well as going to College there for about 5-9ish months. So, in that vein (and having watched a bunch of Nostalgia Critic videos (for the first time even) that deal with Disney stuff) I am going to have a kind of Disney marathon. I started with this one because it's on he mentioned a lot in the videos I saw so...yeah.

BTW, I've been to the actual Notre Dame cathedral. It's pretty epic. And Disney in this instance did an utterly amazing job recreating it for the film here. Props there. So there.

Voice acting/characters: Well, when you have Kevin Kline, Demi Moore, Tom Hulce, and the infamously evil sounding Tony Jay, you expect a certain level of quality to the voice acting. You got that mostly here. Not the best stuff they've done, but alright. I wasn't a huge fan of Kevin Kline's voice work overall. The highlight was easily Tony Jay as Frollo. Yeah, they loved using low angle shots with him to make him as imposing and threatening as they could. I call it a success. The dude was nuts.

The characters are not what they are in the book at all. In this one, Quasimodo is deaf in the book , Pheobus is incredibly dumb in the book, stuff like that. I suppose it was an improvement. 7.5/10

Plot: Let me start with the obvious, THIS MOVIE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN RATED G!!!! You have genocide, choose me or I burn you to death and enjoy every minute of your suffering, lust, death by head trauma, lynching, murder of innocents, hell, what other kids film do you find that in!?

The plot is very loosely based on the novel by Victor Hugo. By that I mean it has the same characters and basic plot structure, but it is drastically different. Esmeralda pities Quasimodo but thinks he's so ugly she doesn't want to make eye contact with him. Frollo is an anti-hero with a large kind and compassionate side. Pheobus is the antagonist of the novel actually. The movie ends a lot differently from the book as well. In the book the ship sinks...I mean he's his actual father...I mean EVERYBODY DIES IN THE BOOK!!! EVERYBODY!!! (except Pheobus). But even with the changes that were made, the movie is still incredibly dark.

The plot (particularly the end) was filled with 'oh wasn't that convenient that they happened to have a vat of molten lead right there?' kinds of things. It seemed to be a typical Disney plot, but it was much darker than any other Disney film I had seen before. It also seemed to lack a certain fluidity that other Disney films have.

Of course, one of the things that Disney has always been fantastic with is the music. No exception here.

When talking about the songs, I gotta devote some time to 'Hellfire.' That song is pretty much the darkest Disney song ever. The singing, and the lust/burning in hell theme, the giant red hooded figures rise from the floor chanting 'Mea culpa'("through my fault"). Man, that song was the best in the whole film.

I wasn't a huge fan of that "out there" song though. The singing for that song was horrible. In fact, Quasimodo's singing in general was sub-par. The rest wasn't horrible.

Overall, while it was not Disney's strongest plot, it was certainly its darkest. 7.5/10

Screenplay: It was okay I suppose. There was nothing in there that was incredibly amazing or horrible. But, one thing I didn't like, was that they would often combine overwhelmingly dark stuff and add in a dash of often poorly timed humor. It was an overall mediocre screenplay. 7/10

Likableness: If you can get past how dark this film is (or if you like those kinds of animated films) then you will enjoy this film. If not, you will think it is mediocre. It was a very entertaining film overall. Not their best film, but still a good one to watch once in a while. 8/10

Final Score: 30/40 75% (D)


2. While Quasimodo is singing 'Out There', the camera pans over Paris and zooms in on a street. In this scene, Belle from Beauty and the Beast is seen walking and reading her book (walks out the bottom of the screen, to the right of the well), Pumba from The Lion King is being carried on a pole by two men (carried out of the bottom of the screen, but left of the well), and another man (in a gray blue tunic) is shaking out the Carpet from Aladdin.

3. The gargoyles are named "Victor" and "Hugo", after Victor Hugo. The third gargoyle, Laverne, is named after Laverne Andrews, one of The Andrews Sisters.

4. During the song "A Guy Like You", the gargoyles put a wig on Quasimodo, similar to wigs that actor Tom Hulce wears in Amadeus; Hulce is the voice of Quasimodo in this film.

5. The old heretic is Jafar in his old man disguise from Aladdin

6. Phoebus' anthropomorphic horse is named Achilles. At one point, Phoebus commands, "Achilles, heel!" The line is a double joke: first, it assumes (correctly, in this case) that the war horse will obey a command normally used for a trained dog. Second, the line is a pun on the phrase "Achilles' heel", a term for a person's weakness (which itself derives from Achilles in Greek mythology, who was invulnerable except for one heel; the Achilles tendon in the ankle is also named for this).

7. According to the audio commentary on the DVD, Frollo's horse's name is Snowball.

Best part in the movie

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My review of Bio-Dome

I have several films on a sticky note next to my computer that are my 'watch these next' films. A friend's suggestion put it on the list and the all powerful rules of the coin toss beat out other films like The Professional and The Elephant Man.

Acting/characters: Let me start by saying that William Atherton plays the same friggin role that he does in every film that I have seen him in. Ghostbusters, Die Hard 1 and 2, and now Bio-Dome. yeah. Same role. Plus (and this just kills me) This is was the next major role for Stephen Baldwin after (are you ready for this? I wasn't) The Usual Suspects. He goes from playing McManus in The Usual Suspects to this. That makes me sad. The acting was overall over the top and more than a little stupid but that is what they were aiming for. Still, the characters got quite annoying by the end. Before that to be honest. Baldwin was so great in The Usual Suspects and he was so bad in this. From what I understand, this is the normal quality level for Pauly Shore. It was entertaining at first but overall weak. 2/10

Plot: More or less predictable. It was as over-the-top as the rest of the film. It started out okay but then it just got really really stupid. Plus, IT WAS PREACHY!!!! It wasn't as bad as some such as The Day After Tomorrow or The Happening, but it was still pretty bad. That always kills a film for me. It was a plot that fit what they were trying to go for. 2.5/10

Screenplay: You know, there were a couple lines in the beginning that I found myself laughing at. That was about it. It got boring and repetitive very fast and I found myself thinking "Okay, I get it, they're stupid people who say stupid things and when they try to be smart they're still stupid." It wasn't anything I particularly enjoyed by the end. It was stupid for the sake of being stupid and that only works for so long. Plus it was preachy. 1/10

Likableness: Pretty much what I said in the 'screenplay' section holds true for the overall likableness for the film: It's stupid for the sake of being stupid and it only works for so long. It was only 94 minutes long but I wish it had been shorter or that they had at least tried a few different things with it. Other than that, it was a good shutdown movie. It's the kind of film you watch with a bunch of buddies and laugh at. It succeeds in that very well. 3.5/10

Final Score: 9/40 22% (S)

TRIVIA TIME: This film is one of the film credits of Patricia Hearst Granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst (whom the film Citizen Kane is loosley based off of), and daughter of Randolph Hearst. On February 4, 1974 she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) and held captive for over two months in cramped studio apartment #6 at 1827 Golden Gate Avenue near the University of San Francisco. She changed her name to 'Tania' when she was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army and experienced Stockholm Syndrome. Her part in the armed robbery of the Hibernia Bank (now a Bank of America branch) took place at 1450 Noriega Street in San Francisco's Sunset District. She was finally arrested in San Francisco at 625 Morse Street, not far from the Cow Palace. Her defense attorney would be F. Lee Bailey who, by many accounts, lost the case because he permitted his client to take the stand. President Clinton gave her a presidential pardon as his last act in office.

2. Kylie Minogue called this film her "worst career move". She said that it is the only thing she has done in her professional life that her father ridicules her for.

So, here's Stephen Baldwin in The Usual Suspects in 1995

And on the right is him in Bio-dome in 1996. AFTER his role in The Usual Suspects. He can do good so why didn't he pick a better role? after Suspects, he could have done anything I imagine.

This is Patricia Hearst. She played the mother in Bio-Dome. She doesn't know that yet. This is her after having been kidnapped and brainwashed by a terrorist group called the Symbionese Liberation Army.

This is her yelling commands during the April 15th 1974 Hibernia Bank robbery with her M1 Carbine. She has renamed herself Tania.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My review of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Well, this film is undoubtedly better than Episode I....Anything would have to be to be honest. Having said that (and once again RedLetterMedia opened my eyes and I discovered that this film was worse than I originally thought). So, here it goes.

Acting/Characters: Well, on the plus side, there aren't any children main characters and Jar Jar is toned down considerably. But until they remake the Phantom Menace and kill him violently the first time I we see him on screen, I can't forgive Lucas for the character's existence. And honestly, Lucas seemed to upgrade the characters a bit. Yep, each character got one new facial expression and/or emotion each: Anakin got arrogant and pissed off so he got two...lucky him, Obi-wan got irritated, and Padme got a smile. great. Good going there George. I mean, I can't say that the actors in this film are bad. Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman have gone on to do some really quality stuff (can't say 100% for sure about Hayden Christensen.). But they all come across as generally emotionless and flat. I'll get to why later. Although, I will say that I highly enjoyed Christopher Lee in this film. He had the most life to him. 3/10

Plot: RedLetterMedia goes into great detail as to why this plot is just as stupid (if not in some areas more so) as the plot of Phantom Menace. He's totally right. I'll be honest, it might not be the best that I get my ideas from RLM, but I can in no way deny what he says. But, the plot is just as stupid and nonsensical as the one for #1. I don't like to do this, but I feel that he says it much better than I ever could.
Sorry I deferred to someone else there. 1/10

Screenplay: Well, I shall now explain why it is not the actors fault that they suck so much in the movie. The actors could probably ad-lib better lines by themselves....drunk. But, since George has 100% control on these films and no one is gonna question the man who created pretty much the best sci-fi saga in history. I mean, Star Wars is the 2nd highest grossing film of all time. I guess that went to his head and he wrote some dumb lines to go along with his weak story to go along with his prominent special effects. It wasn't as bad as a lot of the dialogue for Episode I, but it was still stupid and a lot of it made no sense. 2/10

Likableness: Well, it was still visually pleasing like all of them, but it seemed to be too sterile and the set had no life to it. The fight scenes were good. It was like #1, visually pleasing with a few good bits here and there, but it was ultimately disappointing. 3/10

Final Score: 9/40 22% (S)

TRIVIA TIME: 1. Actors auditioning for the part of Anakin included Ryan Phillippe, Paul Walker, Colin Hanks and Jonathan Brandis. In the end Hayden Christensen got the part, primarily because he and Natalie Portman "looked good together".

2. This was the first film to have an "on-location" film shown once a week to document the shooting process. After the success of this feature, other films adopted the same process.

3. The librarian at the Jedi Archives (The Jedi Archives are modeled on the Trinity College library in Dublin, Ireland) says "If an item doesn't appear in our records, it does not exist!" This is a variation of the slogan of the Pacific Bell Yellow Pages.

4. In the arena, Senator Amidala's gun makes the distinctive sound of a .44 Magnum, a reference to this sound accidentally being left in the sound mix when Princess Leia shoots over the chasm in the special edition of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

5. Just before Anakin goes to search for his mother on Tatooine, he has a conversation with Senator Amidala. The camera pans to their shadows as they talk, and Anakin's resembles that of Darth Vader. According to the DVD commentary, the Vader-like shadow that Anakin casts was not a special effect but a coincidence.

6. The Separatist Droid army is made up of Trade Federation Battle Droids and Droidekas first seen in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace as well as the introduction of rapid-firing Super Battle Droids. The large Homing Spider Droids and the Dwarf Spider Droids belong to the Commerce Guild, while the missile-firing Hailfire Battle Droids belong to the IG Banking Clan.

7. The character Aayla Secura, played by Amy Allen, was not created by George Lucas. Aayla Secura first appeared in the nineteenth issue of Dark Horse Comics' "Star Wars: Republic" series (part one of "Star Wars: Twilight"). Lucas was so impressed with the character that he decided to have her in the film.

8. Jar Jar Binks, standing in for Senator Amidala, puts forth the motion that gives Palpatine supreme powers. This means that Jar Jar, the most hated character in the Star Wars canon, is indirectly responsible for the fall of the Old Republic and the near-annihilation of the Jedi order. Due to much of the animosity aimed towards Jar-Jar Binks in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, the working title of Episode II was "Jar-Jar's Big Adventure".

9. Most of the clone troopers wear plain white armor; some of the more senior troops' armor has added colored trim on the helmet and arms. The colors denote rank as follows: Green = sergeants, Blue = lieutenants, Red = captains, Yellow = commanders (the Jedi serve as the Clones' generals). Note that pilots also wear yellow trim, but their armor design differs from other Clones.

10. The death-sticks that the pusher tries to sell Obi-Wan were a hallucinogenic drug. With each dose, the user's life was shortened, and the successive dosages took away larger chunks from their lifespan. With each successive dose, the desire for a harder reaction increased.

Bet you think attacking an army of Battle Droids who had you surrounded from minute one was a bad idea now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My top 10 favorite films (and honorable mentions)

This is just what it sounds like. My top 10 favorite films of all time, and my honorable mentions.

#10. Scream. I am a huge Horror fan. When a horror film is done right, I adore it. So, the fact that Scream is a satirical/self-parody of the horror genre, I being the horror fan that I am got a lot of the jokes and adored them. Plus, if a film kick-starts another age of the slasher film it's pretty good.  Props to Wes Craven for coming up with another horror masterpiece. I pray that Scream 4 will be good.

#9. The Usual Suspects. I saw this one and immediately loved it. I unfortunately knew the ending, but that didn't take away my appreciation of how good it was. Kevin Spacey was amazing in this film and this film (along with American Beauty) showed me how great he is. He won Oscars for both so...The rest of the cast did an excellent job as well. And the plot...well, it was great.

#8. Hope and Glory. Who knew that a film about the bombing of London during WWII could be as funny as this one. Of course, it isn't all funny. It has some sad and touching moments too. It's based on the director's experiences in London during this time period. The ending is one of the best that I have ever seen and I laugh so hard I almost cry every time.

#7. The Dark Knight. This film deserves a spot on any top 10 list. The performances of the rest of the cast are overshadowed by Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker. Of course, we all know that though. Since this movie came out so recently and since everyone and their dogs have seen it, There's not much to say that hasn't already been said a million times.

#6. The Night of the Hunter. Harry Powell is...evil incarnate. Satan hiding behind the cross as one person in the film accurately puts it. His performance overshadows the rest of the superb performances. Mitchum said later that it was his favorite role. It's a dream role for anyone. It's a horror film that for people that I have shown this film today, it scares them still. Or at least, they are on the edge of their seats.

#5. The Shining. HEEEERREEESSSS JOHNNY!!!! I love this one. It hasn't fared too well with the top critics, but it is one of the best horror films that I have seen. Nicholson does an outstanding job as do Shelly Duvall and Scatman Crothers. But Nicholson steals the show. It is a great horror film that we will soon be dissection in my film class.

#4. The Sting. I love this one. This is another film with a really great ending. I was totally surprised the first time I saw it. I don't know why some people thing that this one didn't deserve to win Best Picture. I thought it totally did. The Academy might give the Award to The Exorcist today, but I think this one is the best. And if you don't, I'll have to kill you and everyone you know. You fallah?

#3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This film is excellent. Nurse Ratched is another excellent 'evil incarnate' character. seeing her and McMurphy battle for dominance really adds excellent tension to the film as to who will win out. It totally deserved it's 5 top Academy Awards. I wouldn't have said no to Brad Dourif winning Best Supporting Actor for this one either. He did an amazing job. They all did.

#2. The Silence of the Lambs. Anthony Hopkins' performance as Hannibal Lecter is, to me, the greatest performance of all time. Seeing as how I feel that Hannibal Lecter is the greatest fictional character of all time screen or print, he's any actor's dream role. Jodie Foster also does an amazing job as do Scott Glenn and Ted Levine "It puts the lotion on it's skin" A fantastic film that I would recommend to anyone.

#1. The Godfather Part I and II. I originally had Part I over Part II because it came first, but then I decided to just put the two of them together because I really can't decide between the two of them. Both of them are utterly amazing. If you look at my Oscar f*** up Awards blog, you will see that the fact that Coppola lost out to Bob Fosse for Cabaret was voted as the biggest best Director mistake. It's true. The acting is probably the best parts of these films. Duvall, Caan, Shire, Pacino, De Niro, Brando, Gazzo, Strasbourg, they all do amazing. There were only two acting Oscars for these films though. Too bad. If you haven't seen them, see them now. Not the third one. we do not speak of the third one. Also, ignore the people who call this film overrated.

Honorable Mentions. These are in no particular order. There are a lot of them so bear with me. Do I have too many? Yeah probably. Or not. Judge for yourself.

Misery. Kathy Bates won the Academy Award (and probably a plethora of other awards) for her role as Kathy Bates in this film. Anyone who has seen this one knows why. She was absolutely nuts. That hobbling scene...*shudder* the only time that I did not cringe was because I was on Oxycontin on account of staples I had gotten that day. I mean, you feel just as trapped as Paul Sheldon is. You can't do anything to stop what is happening to him any more than he can. It is extremely well done.

Kill Bill vol. 1 and 2. I think I prefer vol. I over vol. II. It just works more for me. Plus that Crazy 88 fight scene is unbeatable. I haven't seen Uma Thurman in much other than Pulp Fiction (She was up for Arwen in The Lord of the Rings though) but this is my favorite role of hers. The whole cast was great. Tarantino sure knows how to make a film. These two were my first films of his that I saw.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is another one that belongs on any favorite films list. It's pretty much the greatest 12 hours of film ever and certainly the best fantasy films ever. Peter Jackson can certainly make a film and I am excited for The Hobbit.

Terminator 1+2. This was back when James Cameron actually wrote a story with his special effects. In fact, the story came first. Nowadays...well...we'll get to that later I suppose. These two films (along with Aliens) are his best. T1 was great T2 was amazing and naturally, despite the fact that Cameron pretty much did his best to end the series after 2, they made a third one. Here's what I thought of that:

But before 3, the films are incredibly original action-packed fun films that keep you interested the whole way through. 

Alien/Alien. I don't care what others say, Contamination can't be better because this came years before that did. I loved how original the plot was. The whole idea of the Alien and what it does is excellent. Plus it just looks friggin cool. You are never entirely sure where the film is going to go next. Plus, the second one was just as good as the original. However, like with Terminator 2, Cameron had the whole thing end so that there shouldn't be a sequel but there is. And the sequel sucks. Not Fincher's fault though. 

The Lion in Winter. in my review of Sling Blade, I mentioned that a lot of actors have one role that is "take everything that you know they are capable of and just ignore it." That is this role for Peter O' Toole. No one can deny that he was amazing in Lawrence of Arabia. Well, he was better in this. Katharine Hepburn does an amazing job as well as do Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton. I would highly suggest this one.

The Color Purple. Again, an actor usually has one role that is their masterpiece performance. It is even more impressive if it is their first role. That is this one for Whoopi Goldberg. she did absolutely amazing in this film. So did Oprah Winfrey of all people. As any of you who saw my Oscar f*** up Award winners blog, you will know that Oprah's Best Supporting Actress loss was voted as the biggest Best Supporting Actress mistake in Academy History. This is one of the 3 movies that makes me cry. It's the second to the last scene that does it for me.

Crash. For the life of me I cannot understand why people thought that this one was a huge mistake. Brokeback Mountain had good acting but to me it had little beyond that. It just wasn't on the same level as crash was. I think that people hate Crash because they were so shocked when Brokeback Mountain lost. I for one adore this film. It's very powerful and it asks a lot of the right questions. This is the second movie that makes me cry. The scene on the cover does it for me.

Psycho. The father of all slasher films. Without this film, we wouldn't have Black Christmas, Halloween, Scream, Leslie Vernon, and the plethora of other slashers that came out during the ages that followed the Psycho age. The shower scene is obviously the best scene in the movie. it's one of the best scenes in cinema history. Nowadays I know that Best Picture and Director would have gone to this one in 1960. Hitchcock was (and in many ways still is) the master of horror and psychological thrillers. if people didn't believe it before Psycho, they believed it afterwards.

There Will Be Blood. There's more to this film than the milkshake line I promise you. Daniel Day-Lewis does an absolutely stunning job in this film. Paul Dano does a great job too (Where's his Best Supporting Actor nom!?) but it was Day-Lewis who stole the show. The film was as close to perfect as a film can get and I would not have been upset if this film had won Best Picture for '07. It was really close.

Schindler's List. Thank god the Academy saw fit to give this one to Spielberg. If this one had lost out like Private Ryan did (voted the worst Best Picture f*** up by you) If this one had lost...I would have been furious. But he won thank God. History looked well on this one. It's ranked in the top 10 in the Best films of all time list by the AFI. It deserves that spot. This film won 7 Oscars. It should have won 9. Neeson and Finnes should both have won. I get why Hanks won because the Academy is incredibly pro-gay, but I don't get why Lee Jones won. Weird. But, this one is a true masterpiece that will stay one throughout the ages.

It's A Wonderful Life. George Bailey might be the quintessential everyman. we can all relate to him because we have all been in seemingly impossible situations against insurmountable odds. I love the ending of this one.It's one that we all would like to have happen to us, knowing that you are an invaluable part of other people's lives. I felt that this one deserved Picture, Director, and Actor (it lost them all to The Best years of Our Lives) the whole film is superbly made.

Saving Private Ryan. I don't need to tell you again that this film losing to Shakespeare in Love was the worst mistake in Oscar history. Not since All Quiet on the Western Front has a film been this brutally powerful. Last year I decided that every June 6th I would watch this movie. I hope it is a tradition that I do every year. it was a fantastic film. Everyone needs to see it or at least the first 26 minutes of it.

Life is Beautiful. This film is the happiest sad movie or the saddest happy movie that I have ever seen. The first half will have you rolling on the floor laughing while the second will have you almost in tears. I totally agree with Begnini's Best Actor win for this even if others do not. I highly enjoyed this film.I would suggest it to any who have not seen it.

Four Weddings and a Funeral. This '94 best Picture nominee is pretty fun to watch. Hugh Grant is surprisingly likable in this one. It's a funny film overall. Not perfect, but still very likable. It's not a kind of film that I would like overall, what with it being a romantic comedy, but the smart humor makes up for it.

Airplane! Man this movie is absolutely hilarious. I re-watched it and loved just as much the second time. The highlight of the film has to be Leslie Nielsen as Dr. Rumack. Wait...some of you haven't seen this film!? Surely you can't be serious! "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley" Hilarious. 

No Country for Old Men. As much as I like There Will Be Blood, I like this film just as much and I am not at all sad that this film won Best Picture. I am especially not sad that Javier Bardem won Best Supporting Actor for this film. He was excellent at being the creepy, heartless killer. It's a very well done film and I'm glad the Coens finally got their Oscars for this one.

Fargo. Fargo was not a film that I laughed at the first time I saw it. It was very dark and bloody. But the second time I saw it. I found the humor in it. This movie is pretty hilarious. Very well done. "Oh yah"

Inglourious Basterds.  If there is one highlight to this film, it is Christoph Waltz as the gleefully evil Col. Hans Landa of the SS. But, there is no one highlight to this film. You have Landa, you have the ending that had everybody cheering, you have Brad Pitt who does extraordinary, you have the famous Bear Jew, it's just an all around good job. Tarantino does it again and I would not have been sad if this film had won.

Donnie Darko Directors Cut. I didn't understand this movie the first time I saw it. I've seen it 3 or 4 times now and I still don't understand all of it. I don't think anyone does. But, this film is incredibly well made. This one is deserving of its cult classic status. Frank is pretty freaking cool.

Dead Poets Society. While I recognize that Daniel Day-Lewis totally deserved his Oscar for My Left Foot, I would not have been upset at all if Robin Williams had won for this movie. I'm pretty sure that if My Left Foot had come out another year, (like 1988. I would have been interested to see him go up against Dustin Hoffman for Rain Man) Robin Williams would have won. It is a very inspiring movie and I would like to teach the way he does (not entirely, I would like to be as good as he is).

1408. The ultimate haunted room/house film. This film started the tradition my mother and I have of going to see a great horror film if one comes out. This film (if watched in the right setting) is really scary. It is an incredibly well done and effective horror film.

Good Will Hunting. The masterpiece performances of Robin Williams, Matt Damon, AND Ben Affleck? The film that got all three of them Oscars? Yeah, it is actually that good. Robin Williams' monologue in this film is one of the best I've seen. It was incredibly well done.

Raising Arizona. This is another film that got better when we dissected it in my film class. This is my third Coen brother film that I own. It is absolutely hilarious. Nicholas Cage gives what, to me, is his finest performance and Holly Hunter and John Goodman are also absolutely fantastic as well. It is a great film that I would suggest to anyone.

Shaun of the Dead. In a lot of ways, I would say that this film is better than Zombieland (which is is an excellent film as well). Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do an excellent job in this film. I was laughing the whole way through. It wasn't all comedy. It had some well done non-comedic performances. But it is a film that I would suggest to anyone.

Hot Fuzz. Frost and Pegg do it again. This film also had me laughing the whole way through. Frost plays pretty much the same role he played in Shaun of the Dead, but Pegg plays a completely different role. He has some range as an actor and I can't wait for the third one in this trilogy. This film had me laughing my head off at almost everything they said. It is an excellent film.

Scream 2+3+4. We all know that Scream 2 is widely considered to be an excellent follow up to the giant hit that Scream was. In fact, the Scream trilogy takes all three top spots in the highest grossing slasher films list. In order. I know that I'm justified in liking Scream 2 since it is a good film, but Scream 3 was not well received by critics. I like it. It's a guilty pleasure of mine. I loved the 4th one right after I saw it. It was a great end to the trilogy.

A Nightmare on Elm Street-If it wasn't for Scream, this would be my favorite slasher series. I really love this film. To me, Freddy is a more original monster than Frankenstein or Dracula since those movie monsters were based off of books and I know that if Freddy was around back in the 30s, people would be fainting because of how scary he is. Great film with an excellent killer.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare. I love the Nightmare on Elm Street series. I am a huge fan of the original and 2 and 3 weren't horrible. 4, 5, and 6 were as was the remake but Freddy vs. Jason wasn't horrible. If I was around when all of the Freddy films came out and followed them all the way, I would have been pretty disappointed with the fact that 6 ended it. But Wes Craven clearly felt the same way because he made this film. I really liked this film. It is an excellent and fresh take on the NOES films. Very well done Mr. Craven.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. I only saw this one about a month ago and I loved it so much I bought it. This is an incredibly original and well done Third Age Slasher. It combines some elements of scream with documentary style. It was an incredibly smart film and being the horror lover that I am, I got all of the jokes and references. It was great.

American Beauty. This is a recent addition. I liked this film a lot more the second time I saw it because we dissected it in film class and I realized how well Sam Mendes made this film. Plus, I liked Kevin Spacey a lot more. He did an excellent job in this film.