Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

AFI Recap: #51 – #60

51. The Philadelphia Story (1940) – One of the great screwball comedy classics with the added bonus of having Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart all in one movie together.  There’s a lot of sharp-cracking wit to keep you interested and many funny moments to keep you laughing.  starstarstarstarhalfstar

52. From Here to Eternity (1953) – I’ll be honest; I don’t remember a whole lot about this movie, other than the infamous beach kissing scene and something to do with Ernest Borgenine fighting in an alley.  In other words, its not all that memorable of a movie.  I do remember being slightly entertained while also being underwhelmed.  Oh well.

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53. Amadeus (1984) – A high-spirited movie which refuses to wear of the shackles of stuck-up snobbery that most period dramas have.  Its a lot of fun watching Mozart’s story.  What escalates this material is that the true core of the film is the love and appreciation of music, which is very strongly felt through the character of Salieri who in turn is able to allow the audience to feel it as well.  starstarstarstarhalfstar

54. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) – It seems fateful that I am writing about this movie the night before Remembrance Day.  I see Western Front as being one of the very first movies with something really important to say.  Even now it feels like its maturity was far higher than the other students in the class at the time.  A wonderfully filmed story which makes us think and feel and confront our own beliefs about war.

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55. The Sound of Music (1965) – Oh dear, what do I say about the Sound of Music?  A part of me hates to say anything negative about it simply because it may be my mom’s all-time favourite movies.  But truthfully, I really don’t like it.  I find it highly annoying and highly irritating.  I have to give it some points for the interesting backdrop and bits and pieces of strong choreography, as well as its ability to absolutely captivate audiences, I just don’t ever want to have to watch it again.  The amount of times I’ve already seen it is more than enough.

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56. M*A*S*H (1970) – There are most comedies which are usually forgotten a year or two after they’re released, and then there are  the great comedies whose legacy lasts far longer.  MASH is one of the greats.  It turned the war genre on its hear as we followed the adventures of a group of doctors who refused to lose their sense of humour and fun amidst the chaos of war.  I especially love the football game along with Hot Lip’s attempts at cheer-leading.

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57. The Third Man (1949) – I think I need to file this under the “watch again” file since there must be something I’m missing.  I found it to be a really interesting thriller with a fantastic villain reveal and final chase in the sewers.  And the cinematography was incredible.  But this movie is hailed as a masterpiece, some will even claim it rivals Kane itself.  I wonder if a second look would have me still scratching my head or if it would set my voice of high admiration amongst the others.

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58. Fantasia (1940) – Another of Disney’s early classics, Fantasia combined music and pictures in one of the most successful fashions in film history.  I watched this quite a bit when I was a kid, mostly because I absolutely loved the scene where Mickey makes those mops dance.  I still have strong memories of standing too close to the television set and watching those mops move around in unison of Mickey’s wand as he wore that floppy blue hat.

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59. Rebel Without A Cause (1955) – The legend of James Dean is not without merit,  as his most famous role here shows quite clearly.  He had a lot of talent and a lot of charisma.  He was very naturally able to create this character full of teen angst and doubt and frustration and do so in a way which really touche don what the audience felt as well.  A strong and compelling film and worthy of a place on this list.

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60. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1980) – Think of ‘adventure movies’ and this will probably be the first one which jumps into your head.  Indiana Jones stands for adventure and for the last thirty years he has been an icon of the highest status in the industry.  Not a menial feat by any stretch.  But besides the reputation, the movie itself is every bit as good as its reputation.  There is a timeless quality in those frames.  Raiders is one of the greatest examples of a film having that intangible, inexplicable movie magic which sets it high above the rest.  starstarstarstarstar

My Favourite of the ten: Raiders of the Lost Ark

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