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

AFI Recap: #81 – #90

81. Modern Times (1936) – My least favourite of the three Chaplin entries in this list.  It lacks much of the charm of City Lights and Gold Rush, but the satire was great.  Full review herestarstarstarstarnostar

82. Giant (1956) – It’s like Gone With the Wind, but not good.  Its long and meandering and highly unfocused.  A huge disappointment.  Full review here. starstarhalfstarnostarnostar

83. Platoon (1986) – One of the best war movies I’ve seen.  Oliver Stone uses his great directorial eye and first-hand experience to paint a true picture of the Vietnam War.  Great visuals, compelling characters, and the ability to make us cringe and think seriously about what this war was about.  The best war films have a theme, and Platoon was no different.  This theme is how war causes the loss of innocence, and it is true to that theme throughout.  starstarstarstarstar

84. Fargo (1996) – I don’t flock to this movie as much as some other people, and its addition to the list caught me quite by surprise.  I suppose perhaps it needs a place, and this is still low on the list, but I would put it closer down with Pulp Fiction and Goodfellas for the modern additions.


85. Duck Soup (1933) – One of comedy’s greats.  The Marx Brothers were both ahead of their time and perfect for their time simultaneously.  I especially like Groucho’s mirror scene.  A required addition for this list which is too far down if anything.  The genius of the Marx Brothers should be higher.  starstarstarstarhalfstar

86. Mutiny on the Bounty (1936) – A not altogether interesting account of a famous mutiny on a British naval ship which was pretty big in its day and perhaps deserves the spot its at.  I had many problems with it however: the whole Tahiti segment felt like one giant diversion from the storyline, its hard to know who we’re supposed to root for at times, the actual mutiny which the movie had been building up to was underwhelming and disappointing, and it takes too long to end. On second thought, maybe it doesn’t deserve its place. starstarhalfstarnostarnostar

87. Frankenstein (1931) – Certainly one of the most iconic films on this list, Frankenstein seems to represent the bulk of the universal horror films of the 30s.  Frankenstein has enough story to hold interest and has some really great scenes with the monster, though the ending is unsatisfying. It deserves to be here. 87 is probably just the right place for it. starstarstarhalfstarnostar

88. Easy Rider (1969) – A revolutionary film, yet I’m not too big on it myself.  This movie was made for other people, not for me.  I really have no interest in biker culture at all.  Yes, yes, I know the movie was about more than that.  It was about freedom and rebellion against social norms.  For that, I respect it and agree with its place on this list, but the directing felt distant and unattached and so it was never able to really draw me in.


89. Patton (1970) – A war film seen from the point of view of the generals and higher ups of the army.  An interesting perspective, though its been a while since I’ve seen it.  It never really grabbed me and there’s not much which I can fondly remember from it.  I’d rather see Paths of Glory or Saving Private Ryan here instead. starstarstarhalfstarnostar

90. The Jazz Singer (1927) – This is really only here for historical reasons as it was the first film with sound dialogue.  In fact, this movie is really just a motley; a silent film with patches of speaking parts showing up now and then with a rather unadorned plot.  Al Jolson may be talented and its neat to watch those two major scenes of dialogue which were motion picture’s firsts, but the story is thin (though it seems to have been used as basis for the Simpsons episode where Krusty is reunited with his father) with a cop-out ending and as a movie alone would never make this list otherwise.  starstarhalfstarnostarnostar

My favourite of the ten: Platoon

3 Responses to “AFI Recap: #81 – #90”

  1. I agree with you on Fargo, it’s not bad or anything, but I don’t understand why everyone is so in love with it. The fact that it’s ahead of Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction kinda annoys me actually.

  2. I think it’s impressive that you watched all of these and recapped them so directly and to the point. Nice work!

    Platoon is a great one and I agree with you. Glad to see Johnny Depp in his element and pre-pirates/quirky character era. Plus, the score includes one of my favorite classical pieces: Samuel F. Barber’s Adagio for Strings!

    A fantastic post, sir!

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