29 May 2009

Due to a planned absence Lieutenant Urban will be unable to provide reviews. Expect us to be back with even better content and design in June.
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14 May 2009

Reader's Respond 5 Favorite Films with Chase Francl

Reader's Respond- Top 5 Films

The quintessential Average Joe with a penchant for psychology, he possesses the unique skill to blame your mother for all of your problems. Chase Francl is a Hillsdale grad who’s headed to Washington, D.C. this fall to watch the world implode from the epicenter. But until then, these are his five favorite films.

5. Lions for Lambs

—An intriguing and surprisingly balanced look at the psychology and reality of war from contrasting perspectives. Breaking the mold of an explicitly left-leaning Hollywood, the movie explores the personal, political, and strategic difficulties simultaneously from differing perspectives, tempering theory with reality through the convergence of alternating plotlines. Also implicit is the tacit recognition of the goal of education as enabling students to think for themselves, rather than an indoctrination of professorial ideals.

4. Lord of the Rings Triology

—Coming from a die-hard Tolkein fan, this movie had me at “I amar prestart sen…” Despite its at-times significant divergence from the source text, Lord of the Rings is Hollywood-Blockbuster-Masterpiece at its best. Replete with characters, histories, and cinema-friendly battle scenes, the story itself redefines the fantasy/epic genre while the movie manages keep pace. A classic in every sense of the word.

3. Dumb & Dumber

—No explanation here is needed—Hands down the pound-for-pound funniest movie of the last two decades. Relying on the comedic brilliance of Jim Carrey in his prime, this film predates the sophomoric humor that defines much modern comedy and allows Carrey’s immense talent to take center stage. While the emergence of Will Farrell may now challenge Dumb & Dumber’s place among the all-time most quotable movies, this is the one comedy that dominated the genre throughout the 90’s and will forever remain one of the best.

2. Crash

—A movie that left me speechless for 20 minutes as the credits rolled and went to black, it’s a highly acclaimed film that more than lives up to its award show dominance. Examining the shades of grey that permeate racism and bigotry with more class than is expected of Lion’s Gate films, the movie steadily builds to an unexpected-yet-foreshadowed crescendo that feels neither contrived nor twisted. The interweaving of characters and plot lines is second to none, and the all-star cast allow their singular talents to be subjected to the overarching theme, culminating in the most thought-provoking movie I’ve seen to date.

1. The Matrix Trilogy

—Another film that makes you think twice next time you experience déjà vu, The Matrix wisely leverages Keanu Reeves’ innate cluelessness to their advantage as the awestruck-computer-geek-turned-savior of the not-so-free world. While the second movie does little except serve to bridge the vastly superior cinematic bookends, it reminds viewers that this is truly a sci-fi film in all its glory. Replete everything a movie-goer could ask for—a superior soundtrack, CGI well ahead of its time, cinematography that raised the bar, an underlying philosophy that is spookily plausible, and the redemptive theme that rings true to each of us—the Matrix Trilogy single-handedly made sci-fi fashionable again and tops my list of top 5 movies.
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08 May 2009

Star Trek

Urban: A great Sci-Fi that will please the general moviegoer as well as the trekkie
Lucas: Good homage to a great franchise, and a great action movie on its own

J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek will be well received by the general public. It contains a fairly straightforward story line and several of the characters have charisma. The film also contains several allusions, both visual and thematic, which refer to several of the past films in this franchise. These themes work to place the film firmly within the culture of Science Fiction, and also within the fold of the summer blockbuster.

While nothing in this story is overwhelmingly good, it really doesn’t have any weaknesses either. From the very beginning, the film doesn’t aspire to the greatest of heights. Opening with the back-story of related familial characters isn’t grand, groundbreaking, or garish. It simply is a formal way of opening a tale of epic leadership. The next time we see Kirk he is driving a stolen 60’s Corvette off a cliff in Iowa (I guess in the future the Des Moines Fault Line becomes worse than the San Andreas). Then he is in a bar fight. We don’t expect anything less. After all, his dad was heroic.

The opening is well-done, but it tries to draw too much of an emotional response from too little character development. It's a product of having too little time to work with; the film is two and a half hours already. That aside, the effects are spectacular. The camera work in space take a cue from Battlestar Galactica and give a scale to the ships that wasn't really done in any previous Trek. They wanted to open with grand spectacle, and they certainly achieved it.

I guess that what I am trying to say here is that the plot is formulaic. Not bad, but formulaic. The primary thing that saves the film from veering into the tired, is that the hero, Captain Kirk, gets his butt kicked in every fight that he gets into. I think that this is a welcome sight for most, used to seeing fights like last week’s Wolverine, and this spring’s The Watchmen, where the heroes are obligated to dispatch scores of cronies in at least one 30 second fight scene, usually in a hallway or in front of a gate. In this film, on only one occasion is a character that resorts to successful violence rewarded for his/her actions. Instead, this film stays close to its source material and also appears to be innovative by forcing its main characters to achieve victory by intuition, intelligence, and investigation.

Yes, when it finally comes down to the meat of the movie's conflict, the true Star Trek spirit really shines. The Enterprise wins the day because Kirk thinks one step ahead of his enemy, and does something so ballsy it shouldn't work, but it does. Vintage Star Trek. The comic relief moments throughout the film are mostly well done, though certain things, such as Scotty's little friend, or Scotty getting transported into water tube, seemed pointless.

One of the most important aspects of the Star Trek universe, for Gene Roddenberry, was the lack of interpersonal conflict between members of Star Fleet. When Deep Space 9 introduced a major, recurring race who were not enemies, but who were not part of Star Fleet, it was a radical departure. Suddenly, there were principal characters arguing with each other and yelling at each other. Here, the film-makers delve into this idea farther. Is Star Fleet really as perfect as the Original Series and the Next Generation made it seem? Or are there cracks and flaws, like there were in DS9? Spock and Kirk are at odds for most of the film. It is Kirk's reckless nature, explained by having been raised without a father, that sets off this conflict. When he does start a fight, everyone, even Bones, his closest friend, stand against him, and for the perfect order of Star Fleet. Kirk turns out to be right, but he has to work within the confines of a Star Fleet regulation to actually prove it, and act on it. So, perfection... with a twist.

The film also wins with fans of the franchise by staying close to other Star Trek themes both thematically and visually. First, the characters, while none appear to be outright copies, all have a certain likeness to the characters of the same name in the original. The cast has a good chemistry (with the possible exception of Zoe Saldana as Nyota Uhura) and do a great job of playing into their roles,,,, and the humor which naturally accompanies these types. I was especially interested to see some striking visual similarities. The scenes where Nero lets the bug loose on Captain Pike was eerily similar to the scene in Wrath of Khan where Khan lets the bugs loose on Chekov and Terrell. There was also a scene where Spock and his lover stop the elevator to talk which compared favorably with another scene from that film where Captain Kirk and another Vulcan stop the elevator.

The casting choices are mostly dead on. Much ink was spilled over how little Chris Pine studied Shatner's Kirk, and it was the right choice. An impersonation can't bring a character to life... for proof, look at one of the few weak choices, Anton Yelchin playing Chekov. Maybe it's a weakness of the original character, that so much of his identity came from his accent, but Yelchin's Chekov comes off as forced. Karl Urban's McCoy is dead on, and probably the best (or at least, my favorite) re-invented character. Zachary Quinto... well, he really was born to play the role.

The film's situational references to its cinematic ancestors are tastefully done. They come think and fast, but are not obtrusive, and are supported in the context of the movie. The red-shirt dying, the Ceti eel-like creature, and the elevator stop (which I didn't catch on my own, nice one Jay) are all scenes that will make fans smile and nod.

The final comparison with other films from the series that I found compelling was the issue of time travel and other bodies. Just like in Generations, where Captain Kirk appears to be living out a passive existence on an acreage, the parts of this film where Spock is living on the frigid planet fit well thematically. Instead of only having him appear to Kirk, which would have been odd, the viewer is allowed to see that the OS (original Spock) is alive and well as a type of advisor, kind of like Ben Kenobi after his battle with Darth Vader.

Time travel is done again and again, but it is an issue you have to deal with at the very outset, both as a viewer and as a movie-maker. The viewer has to understand and accept that time travel is being used. If you can't give the movie that much, there is no point in even seeing it. The movie-maker has to introduce the time travel early and clearly, or it runs the risk of becoming a deus ex machina. Fortunately, the opening scene makes it quite clear that time travel is a central part of the movie. They weave it into the story very well, and use it to set up the alternate time line, and a re-boot of the entire franchise. As a viewer, if you can swallow this, the movie works very well.

Even though my discussions of the film seem to reference many of the other things in the series, this film really could stand alone. Eric Bana makes a good nemesis, even if the reason for his evil plot seems a bit stretched. The action is intriguing and the story not only catches your attention to explain its conclusion, but it also serves as a good introduction to the characters, or to provide compelling back-story for those who are already fans.

Urban: Recommended
Lucas: Recommended
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07 May 2009

Coming Up- Friday, May 8th

Another week, another summer blockbuster. Star Trek is the movie to see this week, regardless of how tired the series may be. Next Day Air has The Wire connection that Obsessed did, but this week there is real competition.

J.J. Abrams made his fortune with Lost, now it's time to see if his magic can work on the big screen, and with an established franchise. To be honest, I'm worried. Wolverine's awfulness this weekend has reminded me just how easily a movie can go wrong when it tries to insert a new story into the continuity of an existing universe. Besides the fact that Star Trek has been done again and again and again, there's the additional danger of using CGI as a crutch. We've come a long way from the cheap plastic models of the original series, but replacing those models can't replace storytelling... there needs to be a compelling, plausible plot to back up whatever the effects department dreams up.

Further, that story must somehow fit into the existing mythology. For example, we know that Kirk cheats on the Kobayashi Maru test, the test that is supposed to be unwinnable. Star Fleet uses the test to see what candidates will do under extreme pressure, but Kirk thinks there is no such thing as a situation that is unwinnable. Part of the mystique of James T. Kirk is that he defeated this test... but that mystique was aided by the fact that we didn't know how he did it. Will J.J. Abrams's vision live up to what we have imagined? And finally, there's the time travel bit. From what I've been able to glean from articles and trailers, Kirk saves the universe in this film. Now, is that really necessary? Why couldn't the film just be about one man's struggle through the training process of Star Fleet, with a wink and a nod toward the audience who knows that he will become one of the most celebrated officers in the fleet? Instead of showing a simple story in extraordinary surroundings, they've decided to make an extraordinary story in extraordinary surroundings. It's possible, but not plausible.

Add all of this up, and it comes down to this: I'm worried.


Okay, I have to weigh in on this one,,,,, but from a completely different point of view. I know very little about Star Trek, other than having seen The Voyage Home and The Final Frontier when I was younger. I guess my principle way of assessing why I want to see this film is that as someone who doesn't know very much about the multiple series', the prequel is the best way to introduce the characters. It is also a genius way to incorporate new life and some hip-ness into a franchise that seemed to be losing steam. Also, the advertising Paramount has commissioned looks really good.

I agree in principle with the themes that Mr. Lucas addressed. Storytelling is often cut at the expense of thrills and explosions during the summer blockbuster season. However, from the opinion of the outsider, this series has never been based on special effects, but rather by grinding out a story (one of the main reasons that I never watched it, though I was intrigued by the philosophical/sociological themes is that I thought it was exceedingly dull) that is based on some great characters. I don't expect that to change.
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06 May 2009

Readers Respond-Five Favorite Films with Carly Urban

Reader’s Respond, 5 Favorite Films with Carly Urban

She works as an accountant at Varney and Associates in Manhattan, she criticizes a lot of the things I do,,, but she’s the wife, and sometimes that gives her the right. She’s my wife, Carly, and these are her 5 Favorite Films.

5) Death Proof

This was the second film of the Grindhouse Double Feature. I loved this film because it actually makes you feel good to watch it, if you are a girl anyway. The film is so satisfying because it is packed with feminist empowerment, the women in the film may appear to be victims but end up taking control. It has everything; there is a bad guy, a chase scene, death, revenge, and in the end will have you on your feet ready to kick the crap out of some scumbag. A must see.

4) The Little Mermaid

I realize this has no real cinematic status; nevertheless it makes my top five. This was a very influential film for me as a child and inspired many pool and bathtub reenactments. I can relate to Ariel’s youthful rebellion against her father and her wonderful discovery of Love. Not to mention she looks great in a sea shell bikini and so do I.

3) Singin’ in the Rain

I know it is a musical, and it may have some ridiculous use of Technicolor toward the end, but I can’t help putting it on this list. The part I love best is Gene Kelly tap dancing with an umbrella crooning “Singing in the rain” while getting buckets of water poured on him. That’s just my favorite part, but to be fair this movie had some very talented actors as well as innovative film style. Just watch the scene of Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) singing “Make them Laugh” and you’ll see what I mean.

2) Old School

Is there anything not to like about this film? It’s an Animal House for generation Y. I love the comedy here because it really isn’t that absurd, in fact it is quite candid. It is a great film about college social life, as well as what happens when you realize you have outgrown it.

1) Annie Hall

I love this film and give it my highest rating because it is fantastically witty yet honest and real about relationships. The interacting neuroticism of Alvy Singer (Woody Allen) and Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) is essential in this film and makes it a great to watch over and over. Alvy’s relationship with Annie is imperfect and I guess that is what I like best. This film is smart yet sad and is a great inspiration for personal introspection.
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05 May 2009

Listless Tuesdays: Top 5 Sci Fi Works That Should Be Movies -- Lucas

5. World War Z

I've always been fascinated with the idea of a zombie apocalypse. Modern life, turned completely on its head. I've talked with friends about what we'd do if it ever happened, but Max Brooks actually thought it out enough to make a book about it. The result is a book that is entertaining... but also touching in parts, thought provoking in others, and in the end gives hope that humanity can survive whatever is thrown at it... by nature, or by ourselves. If and when this is turned into a movie, they should keep the "oral history" style of it, and film it like a documentary, with after-the-fact confessionals. The book works because it never takes itself seriously and never slips a wink to the reader... the movie needs to do the same to work.

4. Starcraft

There's nothing horribly original in the Starcraft universe... There's an technologically advanced alien race, there's an insect-like hive mind race, humans are tapping into their psychic potential, and everyone is at war with everyone else. But the franchise takes all of these tropes, and meshes them into one coherent world. There are individual heroes, and there are grand, galaxy-sweeping conflicts. As a video game, Starcraft II has the potential to tell a story interactively in a way that a movie couldn't, but a Starcraft movie could also tell a story in a way that a game can't... As good as Blizzard's cut-scenes are, they can't compare to a real movie studio's CGI and models. Put a restraining order on Uwe Boll, and turn the Starcraft into a movie.

3. Ender's Game

The real difficulty with Ender's Game is that it requires children to act. Orson Scott Card claims in his introduction to this classic sci-fi novel that he feels like the same person he did when he was a six-year-old, but I have a feeling that he may be the exception rather than the rule... Few children really have the maturity that Ender and his compatriats possess. But that aside, the main conceit of the book, the battle room, is perfectly suited for film, especially today's CGI-rich film-making. If there's any time to do zero-gravity battle scenes, it's now.

2. Neuromancer

William Gibson didn't invent cyberpunk with Neuromancer, but he gave the genre some of its most enduring imagery. The huge, dirty, sprawling metropolises, the Matrix, which directly inspired the film of the same name, and an artificial intelligence trying to break the bonds imposed by its creators. A dystopian future, anti-heros, shadowy, behind-the-scenes corporations controlling everything... it's the perfect film-noir for the digital age.

1. Half-Life

Another video game franchise. And is it any wonder? What better exemplifies science fiction cum reality than video games? The first-person shooters we play today would have seemed like something from a writer's imagination even twenty years ago. Half-Life is another near-future dystopia. Only here, inter-dimensional beings (broght here by scientists meddling with forces they did not understand) have taken over Earth. A nerdy every-man hero leads a rag-tag team of resistance fighters against the aliens, and their human allies. It makes for a great game, and it would make for an amazing movie. If there is any doubt, take a look at this low budget fan video:

Spend some money on that, get a decent script, and you have a great film on your hands.
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Listless Tuesdays: Top 5 Sci-Fi Works That Should Be Movies

Top 5 Sci-Fi works that I would like to see as a film.


5. Akira

-Obviously, this one has been done before,,,,, as a classic anime film in 1988. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this would make an awesome live action film. The motorcycle fight scenes would be awesome and I would love to see the clash of western military-industrial complex against the sustainability theories of Eastern philosophy spelled out a little more clearly.

4. Snowcrash

-Wow, probably the hardest to film of any in this list. Neal Stephenson's digital world of the metaverse would be easy enough, same with the hyper-capitalistic world of couriers and burbclaves, but this story is extremely broad and its depth relies upon explanations of Chomskyan undestandings of language acquisition along with George Herbert’s Mead’s socialization of the self. To be completely honest, I only want to see this if it is done right,,,, and it would be really hard to do right.

3. Lost in the Cosmos

-Walker Percy’s last self-help book is more than a self-help book. The section, "A Space Odyssey II", tells the story of Marcus Aurelius Schuyler on his trip through space as he attempts to carry on humanity. When he gets back to earth, he is surprised to find out that not everyone has perished in nuclear calamity. A cross section of the human demographic still survives, and it is up to him to unite them. While this sounds a bit like Battlefield Earth, it is a lot deeper and definitely funnier.

2. Ender’s Game

-Orson Scott Card presents a great tale here, on par with Starship Troopers as far as source material for a film. The story would organize very well, by beginning with his training and then focusing on his war, the story could be shortened enough to include the interesting story lines about his siblings. One of those great books that would be a sure sell at the box office and could be extremely entertaining. The story is good enough to tell itself, even without the greatest writer/director team working on it.

1. Star Wars Legacy

-All of the interesting features of the original with even darker characters. Star Wars Legacy is a Darkhorse comic series tells the story of Cade Skywalker. 125 years after the events of episode VI, Cade has abandoned the order of the Jedi, but he still carries the Force as strongly as his ancestor Luke Skywalker. Unfortunately, Cade is also a drug user and has decided to take up a career as a smuggler (a la Han Solo) in order to support his habit. It’s a great story with characters that have a lot of different perspectives. It is like The Empire Strikes Back in every episode.
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01 May 2009

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Urban: A superhero movie in the same mold as Spiderman 3.
Lucas: Poor writing, poor directing, poor CGI.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine is director Gavin Hood's first major effort. It stars Hugh Jackman, playing Wolverine for the 4th time, focusing on the origin of his character, and his central role in the X-Men franchise.

I will start this off by saying this movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. The film compares well with Spiderman 3 as a comic book film that aimed to please a younger audience. There were plenty of little jokes throughout the film, and there were scenes that were obviously attempts to move the audience, but they fell flat because the attention to detail wasn’t there. The lack of darkness and depth really affected the film, causing it to seem like something intended for much younger audience, rather than the overwhelming majority of the audience, which were adults.

I should have lowered my hopes. This movie was a vehicle for the studio to cash in on a popular franchise. The story and writing were disjointed, the directing was mediocre, and, perhaps most unforgivably, the CGI was awful. While certain components were strong, they were assembled into something completely lackluster.

The most disappointing thing was there was plenty of source material that could have been used here. Instead, it seemed as though the production team set out to create a new story that is only loosely based on the original. The result, is a real mash of stories, characters, and themes that doesn’t fit anything very well. For me, the entire project was off course. For readers of the comic book, Wolverine really isn’t the leader, or fact-finding investigator that he is painted as in this film. Wolverine is the enforcer, and the guy who is always looking to break up the game plan with an individual mad dash that either blows the entire plan, or works because of his audacity. Neither characterization is to be found in this picture. At various times, the story alludes to the mutant/racism issue that is the focus of the first three X-Men films. Major Stryker alludes to his work as an attempt at a pre-emptive strike against the mutants, which is an interesting idea that has obvious political parallels to our current times. But aside from this one line, we never are allowed to ponder the ramifications/meaning of this move as another big fight immediately proceeds this line.

Yes, there was no strong direction for this. No purpose. Who is the bad guy? Stryker? Sabretooth? Deadpool? There was a mish-mash of fan-favorite characters who had been missing in the first three movies, but they couldn't come up with a strong, unused bad guy. But even with re-hashes of Sabretooth and Stryker, they couldn't settle on one. Ryan Reynolds was excellent as Deadpool for the two minutes of screen time he has at the beginning, but they he disappears for the entire movie, only to show up for another two minutes at the end... with his best characteristic, his mouth, sewn shut. Choosing any one of the threads the movie hinted at in the beginning, sticking with it, and developing it would have yielded a much more satisfying story.

I guess I don’t understand why they begin the story in 1845. Unfortunately, the most artistic part of the film is the opening credits, which portray Wolverine and Sabretooth (brothers) as they fight side by side in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, and Vietnam. This is unfortunate, because no explanation is given as to why these two decide to fight in American Wars (they are Canadian) and gives no clue as to why one of the brothers begins to go a little too far with the bloodshed after his 130th year. Overall, the lack of explanations is probably the biggest cause of frustration with this film. It is never explained why Major Stryker decides to inject Wolverine with Adamantium, or why after he is injected, that he suddenly decides to erase his memory, or why Wolverine is in a murderous rage after the adamantium is injected, or why his brother can’t be injected with Adamantium, why Patrick Stewart suddenly show up……. The list of what is unexplained goes on and on. On a final note, the timeline is very uncertain. Wolverine fights in Vietnam,,,, then 6 years later is a lumberjack in Canada, but the medical facilities where he in injected with Adamantium look very much modern day. The three mile island accident took place in 1979, which I guess, is built in to the storyline, the shots of Patrick Stewart in heavy makeup, with the superimposed helicopter are so grainy that they look as though they were filmed with a camera from that era.

The action scenes looked good, the fighting wasn’t extremely martial arts, and it was filmed with an eye for impact. I just couldn’t help but notice that no one ever had any blood on their blades. In fact, the total lack of gore (considering that Wolverine has blades coming out of his hands) was a little bit mystifying.

I was extremely disappointed by the CGI. I remember seeing, just a couple weeks ago, that there was a leaked copy of the film on the internet... but the special effects weren't done, there were still green screens and wires. I thought it must have been an older copy of the film, but after seeing the finished copy, I'm guessing they were rushing to meet the release date. Certain scenes were obvious green-screens (explosions, especially). The claws in the bathroom scene looked like they were from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. If there's one thing you need to get right in a mindless summer action movie, it's the special effects, and this film couldn't even get that right.

There are just so many things that could have been done better. It is too bad that this didn’t find its way into the hands of a more accomplished director/production team. Considering the extremely harsh reviews that this has been taking, its obvious that the bar has been raised for superhero movies.

Oh yeah,,, the ending. Not cool. Pulling the amnesia card is the lamest trick in the book.

Yes, I think the ending was a symptom of a flaw that permeated the whole production. By showing events that happened before the previous movies, but still remaining continuous with them, the movie was painted into a corner from the very start. But even with that problem, they could have done a better job than what ended up on film.

Urban: Not Recommended, but watch it because everyone else will.
Lucas: Not Recommended.
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Reader's Respond, Top 5 Films With Luke Walker

Reader’s Respond

He’s a stylish man and one of those that will lead our economy out of the wasteland. A Hillsdale Grad currently residing in Des Moines, Iowa. You can read his thoughts at Faded. He’s Luke Walker and these are his 5 favorite films.

5. The Seventh Seal

-Not only for what it meant to many filmmakers, but this film in college really made me think about what I was reading at the time (No Exit, Camus, etc).

4. Reservoir Dogs

-All the detail, down to the Apple Smokes, the right amount of violence, and a million other things. I love Pulp Fiction, but this is the only QT on my shelf.

3. The Seven Samurai

-The one that started them all.

2. Taxi Driver/Deerhunter (too close to call)

-Not even sure where to start. Just epic. Epic epic epic. Either one of these could be my favorite. I'm leaning towards The Deerhunter as my favorite movie of all time, because it was able, in a way, to tell the story of the war my father went through. Whenever I would ask him about it, he would either be lost in a sea of memory, or would just change the subject. Not to mention, the ending scenes are the most emotionally and visually intense scene I can think of. Playing with your life to try and save a friend. Pretty amazing.

1. V For Vendetta

-I feel like The Matrix is equally important to me, but never has a film so captured me or lifted a story from it's source text so well. After seeing The Watchmen, I could only appreciate V more for not what it was able to accomplish, but what it was able to avoid doing: being cheesy, or showing hours of blue ghost-cock.

My list is based on what I see is important in the overall timeline of film history from my perspective. Yes, there are many major films I have left out. But in modern film, I see the impact of these films in the shots, acting, and content of more recent movies. I don't see men wearing fedoras and pretending to be Bogart. I see dark, gritty films where we question who our heroes are, and what the truth is underneath. The Deerhunter is about very imperfect people. But they are still heroes, at least to me. There would be no V for Vendetta if there was no Spider Man, but V was the first film that made us ask about who our superheroes really are. QT (Quentin Tarantino) may just steal and reuse material, and that is a fair criticism, but at least he is honest about it. Many, many filmmakers just take without any reference or care.
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