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

AFI Recap: #71 – #80

71. Forrest Gump (1994) – I remember seeing Forrest Gump when I was a kid and loving it.  Years later, I wondered if the film’s greatness came mostly from the hype around it, but luckily after watching it a couple more times over the last few years, I realize that it is just as great as ever.  It is like a documentation of American history for the last 50 years with some colourful characters and heartfelt drama along the way.  This is both a great and memorable film. starstarstarstarstar

72. Ben-Hur (1959) – One of Hollywood’s great epics.  It doesn’t quite have the gravitas of masterpieces like Lawrence of Arabia and Gone with the Wind (which I guess is why those are at 4 and 5 and this is at 72), but its still a great epic in its own right.  And the chariot race still has yet to be matched. starstarstarstarhalfstar

73. Wuthering Heights (1939) – What is this doing so high on the list?  I can see it sneaking in at 99 or 100, but not at 73.  It isn’t particularly outstanding and doesn’t seem to be all that beloved, unlike other films of that era (Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, etc.).  I was pretty bored to be honest and didn’t find it romantic in the least.  It was like a low-rent Gone With the Wind.


74. The Gold Rush (1925)– Chaplin is the master of physical comedy.  Its hard to deny that.  But in The Gold Rush he also touches upon our emotions a lot, as well as providing memorable characters and a dynamic locale.  starstarstarstarhalfstar

75. Dances With Wolves (1990) – I don’t think the movie has the respect it deserved.  I know a lot of people are angry that this took the 1990 Oscar over Goodfellas.  Well I am here to declare once and for all that Dances With Wolves did indeed deserve the statue more.  This is a moving, sweeping epic on both a visual and emotional level.  Native Americans are finally treated with respect by the movies and we get a wonderful insight into Sioux life at this period in history.  Oh, and remember above where I said that the Ben-Hur chariot race has yet to be matched?  Well, the buffalo hunt comes awfully close. starstarstarstarstar

76. City Lights (1931) – Despite the limitations of silent films, Charlie Chaplin’s charm permeates every frame of this fantastic movie.  You can read my full review here. starstarstarstarhalfstar

77. American Graffiti (1973) – Sometimes the greatest movies out there are the ones without any real plot.  This was true with MASH, and its true with American Graffiti.  American Graffiti is more about setting, about recapturing this specific period in time.  And boy does it ever.  You feel cool just watching this movie, following along with its hip, street cruising characters.  There was a sort of innocence of those early sixties which will bring you back to your carefree youth no matter what time period you grew up in. starstarstarstarhalfstar

78. Rocky (1976) – I have a confession to make: I don’t care for Rocky.  I know that probably makes me un-American (even though I’m not even American in the first place), but that’s the way it is.  The boxing movie genre generally bores me to death in the first place, and that includes its grand champion Rocky.  Its not a bad movie, in fact its a pretty good movie.  I just don’t care whether I ever watch it again or not. starstarstarhalfstarnostar

79. The Deer Hunter (1978) – Its been quite a few years since I saw The Deer Hunter.  I remember it being a really good movie, but now all I can remember of it is the actual deer hunting scene and the Russian Roulette scene (which is masterfully disturbing and suspenseful).  I don’t remember much else, which I suppose speaks to the movies effect on me.  I agree with the Deer Hunter being on this 100 list, just don’t expect it to show up on my personal 100 list.  starstarstarstarnostar

80. The Wild Bunch (1969) – Oh goodie. Another western.  This one isn’t much different than all the others, expect perhaps that its louder and more obnoxious.  I’ll admit I was starting to get into it near the end, but I don’t know why this on this list.  Westerns are more than well-represented on the AFI 100, to the point of over saturation.  starstarhalfstarnostarnostar

My favourite of the ten: Forrest Gump

One Response to “AFI Recap: #71 – #80”

  1. I like Dances With Wolves, but there’s no way it deserved the Oscar over Goodfellas.

    I agree with you on The Deer Hunter completely. I really loved it when I saw it, but it didn’t leave too much of an impression. Maybe I just need to see it again.

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