Sunday, October 13, 2013

100 Movies 3 (10-1)

100 movies 3 (100-91)
100 movies 3 (90-81)
100 movies 3 (80-71)
100 movies 3 (70-61)
100 movies 3 (60-51)
100 Movies 3 (50-41)
100 Movies 3 (40-31)
100 Movies 3 (30-21)
100 Movies 3 (20-11)

10. Up
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Why is it ranked here: One of the better Pixar movies. It definitely goes into some strange places for a children's movie. Is it as entertaining as Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. or the Incredibles. Maybe not, but it at least has something for everyone. They fast forward this man's life until he gets old and grouchy. Then he ends up with a stow away kid, a flying house, talking animals and going up against a childhood hero all for the memory of his lost wife.
Interesting: In real life it would take 12,658,392 balloons to lift his house off the ground - opposed to the 20,622 balloons in the movie. Only John Ratzenberger has provided a voice in every Pixar movie. The characters are all based on a circle or rectangle, with the villains in the triangle shape.

9. Lincoln
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Why is it ranked here: Played by the fabulous Daniel Day Lewis. The beginning and ending are pretty awful for me. It starts with a too long monologue speech to a random soldier. The ending is basically, 'I'm going to a play, see you later!'. The middle is very good though. Some of his monologues/speeches are pretty brilliant and they do a good job showing what kind of a leader he was. The cast was very good, though none of them did I find particularly interesting - except Tommy Lee Jones. Sally Field, Gordon-Levitt, Spader.I enjoyed it and the 2:30 running time felt about right.
Interesting: This movie actually led the 13th amendment be officially be ratified. Mississippi voted to ratify the amendment in 1995, a clerical oversight caused that vote to remain unofficial and only in 2013 after the movie came out did the mistake get noticed. Also, Spielberg spent 12 years researching.

8. How To Train Your Dragon
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Why is it ranked here: Not a Pixar movie to say, but it looked close enough for me to want to watch it. Similar to the other movies about dragons - see Puff the Magic, Dragonheart - where a human befriends a dragon and they fight other evil humans together. This one is entertaining up until to the end which involves a giant fight consisting of many dragons. A kids movie, but there are enough jokes and good things going on here to not enjoy it.
Interesting:  They used 7 or 8 different animals all as inspiration, look, and sound of the dragons. They changed the ending to have the boy lose his leg, but didn't feel great about it. Parents in the screentest approved the change as did the book's writer. Spielberg thought it would be better for the dragon to be with the boy as he awoke opposed to treating the dragon like a horse.

7. Scott Pilgrim vs The World
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Why is it ranked here: My second watch and while it wasn't as fantastic as the first time I watched it. I still got quite a bit of joy out of this one. I was really behind what Edgar Wright was doing here. It might have quite a few moments that non gamers would not understand, but that wasn't really an issue with me. I also never read the comic, so I can't really complain how that's different or how Scott isn't a DB. Michael Cera is playing himself here like he always does, but there are many different good things around him where he doesn't get tiresome. This is kind of strange to explain, but I wasn't sure if I loved the way it ended. But there was an alternate ending which ended with Scott ending up with the other girl. While I wasn't happy with that either, the combination of the two make me feel pretty okay about it. The fights are all interesting and different and there are a few cameos.
Interesting: Edgar Wright obtained permission to use the theme from the SNES game, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, by writing a letter to Nintendo, saying it is a  nursery rhyme of this generation. He was also allowed to use the Seinfeld theme song as well. Knives is supposed to be 5 years younger than Scott and his sister is supposed to be 4 years younger. In real life Michael Cera is younger than both by 3 years. One of my vacations with Hellen was to Casa Loma in Toronto. This was the setting for one of the fights.

6. Zero Dark Thirty
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Why is it ranked here: An enjoyable ride for me. I didn't know much about it going into it other than the obvious. Everyone said there would be the torture scenes, so I was ready for it. What I didn't know about was the double infiltrator used by terrorists to bomb an American compound. The movie focuses on Chastain's character and her rise, but we don't see any of her personal life at all. Maybe there isn't one - but even as a war drama it's not as compelling if we aren't interested in the character or know who she really is(Maya is persistent and she hates Al-Qaeda, but the whole country does that as well). The movie of course gets behind all of this due to our feelings on the subjects at hand(and the never created before raid scene).
Interesting: The actual raid was the roughly the same amount of time as it was in the movie(25 minutes). The movie was originally going to come out about the unsuccessful capture of Bin Laden, but obviously had to change.

5. The Hobbit: Unexpected Journey
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Why is it ranked here: How was I not going to watch this? The characters we love - Gandalf, Gollum, Saruman, Lady Galadriel are all back. We have many dwarves which we will never completely remember, the tiny one Kili who is an awesome fighter. There is really fat one, Gimli's dad, a really old one and of course the leader Thorin/Richard Armitage. The songs are few, but so wonderful in between. The orc fighting is generally boring even if there is lots going on. The troll scene was done much better. The flaming pinecones ending was good. We already get the dwarves respecting Bilbo which might be a movie or two early. Being 3 movies is going to be interesting. They can already see the mountain when we leave them off. The next movie will have Spiders and Elves, but where else are they going to go in the third movie? With Smaug tearing shit up? That's basically the end of the book(I know the battle, but that's not very long really). They do lots of setting up Lord of the Rings - with the necromancer and the Lotr characters which are out of place here. I'm not unhappy with the inclusions, but they do feel like a separate movie at times. The Gollum scene stole the movie for me. I probably would have liked it anyway, but that was above and beyond the best thing here. The made up white Orc was fairly pointless, though I can see it giving Thorin something of a good climax. I was very happy with Martin Freeman as well. Smaug's voice is going to be kick ass as well(Benedict Cumberbatch).
Interesting: Andy Serkis stayed on after completing his Gollum scene in one week as a second unit director. Richard Armitage said his first time acting was as an elf during a stage production of The Hobbit. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are Sherlock and Holmes together, so can't wait to see that as well. This movie was stuck in development hell for the longest time. Peter Jackson wanted Martin Freeman so badly he filmed around Freeman's schedule.

4. Skyfall
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Why is it ranked here: The latest Bond(the 25th one), and while not the greatest it does have it's moments. The ending was truly brilliant as it ends the prequel-ness of the Craig character. The inclusion of Q is pretty sweet. The foreign assassination scene is pretty awesome. Javier Bardem does all he can with the tried and true(yet predictable) Bond villain. I think I expected way more out of the climax than I got. I expected something else to happen instead of the Home Alone esque fight. There were a couple twists, but I saw most of them coming except for the for-mentioned ending.
Interesting:  M's house in the film is of old Bond score composer John Barry, it was done as a tribute to him as was the music in the film. Sam Mendes the director almost had ex girlfriend Rachel Weisz attached who is now married to Daniel Craig.

3. Silver Linings Playbook
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Why is it ranked here: Won so many awards and it was well deserving. I didn't know Bradley Cooper could act so well. I had no idea who Jennifer Lawrence even I was(even though I saw her in X-Men First class, I barely recognized her). David O. Russell has some awesome work to his name now - The Fighter, Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees. Fantastic supporting cast of Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles and Chris Tucker. I knew nothing about the movie going in and came out loving it. Story, characters and payoff are all fantastic. It's really about Jennifer Lawrence who steals the show though. De Niro has some of his finest moments in a long time as well here.
Interesting:  Mark Wahlberg was originally cast and was written with Vince Vaughn in mind, but the director changed his mind. David O. Russell was drawn into the story as his son has OCD and bipolar. Jennifer Lawrence despite stealing the show, doesn't appear until 25 minutes into the movie.

2. Casino Royale
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Why is it ranked here: The latest Bond remake with all new actors is a prequel updated for a more realistic age. Judi Dench keeps her role here as M, but just about everything else is different. Daniel Craig has a phenomenal first run. It ends on a cliff hanger despite being 15 minutes too long. The poker scenes are fantastic. We get all the traditional Bond elements even though I couldn't see them coming! Dead Bond girl and the helpful agent doing a turn. There is a ending climax shootout, but no lair here. We even get Felix Leiter here. The story is Bond as his first assignment has to win money from a supposed terrorist. This Bond is not as cock sure as the previous ones(Connery especially comes to mind, but even Brosnan), so he has some venerability to him.
Interesting: Craig was picked from his performance in Munich. Craig and Eva Green starred in the Golden Compass together. The third movie where Bond resigns. The fourth involving a Casino Royale. The second time that M's home is shown. Only the second one to feature no naked dancing during the intro song.

1. The Incredibles
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Why is it ranked here: The best of the Pixar movies. It has those family elements combined with super hero powers. It does take quite a bit of time before we are having fun, but when it gets there - the climax is a ball. The superheroes aren't allowed to be super, so the husband hates his dead-end job, the kids all hate being normal and the mom(played by the awesomely voiced Holly Hunter) has to hold it together. Samuel Jackson and Jason Lee each get some fantastic voice time here.
Interesting:  Syndrome's energy beam is a real science concept, one that Stephen Hawking bases his black hole theory on. The voice actor playing Dash actually had to run around the studio to really be out of breath. John Barry was originally hired to score the film in his James Bond-style.

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